in reply to Working with other processes and programs
My pid is in $$ or is returned by getpgrp(0)
My parent's pid is getppid()
Launching a process and *not* waiting is done with fork but read the fork docs before using it because it doesn't work like you might expect... Using open instead of fork is probably a better choice much of the time.
Closing the opened handle without reading the output dumps the output to stdout. (this could be implementation specific??)
You can get the exit code of the child process from $? >>8