All good suggestions above. My only addition would be to break your first project into more achievable chunks:
- create a script that reads commands from a local file and just echo'es them back to STDOUT
- create a script that connects via SSH to *one* remote host and does something simple (like ls the current directory). Take a look at Net::SSH.
- combine 1 and 2
- create a script based upon 3 that doesn't hard code a remote host but uses addresses read from a file.
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