Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the pointer.  I was able to resolve the issue for my office
machine by removing the 3rd-party winsock component.  I will have to
try the same thing on my home machine tonight and report back the
results.

It turned out to be a winsock installed by my company's VPN,
NetScreen/Neoteris, that was causing the problem for Ruby.  The
solution I did was using "install/remove LSP" provided by NetScreen to
remove it.  The NetScrere LSP remove program says you can use it if
Internet connection is not working, so I assume the VPN will work
without it.  I will have to try it on my XP machine at home, and
hopefully it will resolve the Ruby issue and my VPN will continue
working.

There's a MS KB at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=811259 that shows
you how to verify your winsock with "msinfo32" if anyone is interested.

Thanks the help from everyone,

Barry