No, I don't want normalization, what I want is the number that was put into the DB. If they put in .98, then I want .98. If they put in .97062, then that's what I want.
If I give Perl .98 as a string and then coherce it into a float, it has no problem representing it. I simply fail to believe that there is a floating point precision problem within Perl that should be accepted in this case. There may be one in Access, or in the ODBC magic that is handing the data to Perl from the DB. In other words, if there is a floating point problem, it is correctable on some level.