> Are those significant changes? 
Definitely. Absolutely. Doubtlessly.

Again, I'm very new to Ruby,
> though not programming.
One more common point.

> I am/was a big fan of Python, esp due to its clear
> layout requirements (a god-sent for those of us who have
> to read other people's code), but Ruby is my current favorite :-)
And yet another. I have been a Python fan for a few years, too ( until 
the very moment I opened the Picaxe for the first time and read the 
first few pages :-)

I am even more sure you need to grab R4R...

Cheers,

__
Peter
http://wwww.rubyrailways.com