Extracting data from log file w/ pattern recognition

What is the best way to assign variables to data in a log file?  

Example:
       If I wanted to extract the IP address for the latest log-on of a user from the pm.log file in /var/log to use to compare it to another IP address, how would I instruct perl to find the IP address for that user at that time in that log file?

I've tried pattern recognition, but can't get it to work properly  What would be the syntax if I used patern recog?.


delaneyAsked:
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cymbalCommented:
I think pattern matching is nearly always going to be easiest, unless the information in your log file is delimited in some way in which case you can use split to split each line on a delimiter and assign to variables.

eg. If your log contains:
User bill logged on at 3 am, his IP address is  :321.321.321.321
User bob logged on at 4 am, his IP address is :123.432.123.321

Then you can split on the colon to get the IP address like this...
...
($boringstuff, $IPaddress) = split /':'/,$linefromfile;
...

If the IP address is buried in normal text with no obvious delimiters, then you could try this to match an IP address from a file using pattern recognition:

$linefromfile =~ /(\d+\.\d+\.\d+\.\d+)/;
# Match: digits dot digits dot digits dot digits
$IPaddress = $1; # Store the IP address

Hope this helps

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