If you know the encoding of the file, you can tell Perl what it is, and it will act accordingly. Otherwise, it assumes it is 1 byte = 1 character, and fail on several multi-byte (or variable-length) encodings.
Note: I wrote UTF-16 above since you said you got 'NULs after every character'. You should check if it is indeed UTF-16, or maybe UCS-2 (they're not the same, you know...), or even something else.
dakkar - Mobilis in mobile
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