Thank you gents.

You are right, when you type date command, windows does wait for your 
input and that explains why a command window opens up and appears to 
hang.  I tried hitting Enter key as we normallly do in response to a 
DOS/Windows command and still no response - may be a Ruby thing.

I did change the command to `dir` which does not wait for a response and 
got the expected output.

Lastly, this may be a silly question, but the backquote (`0) command 
redefinition however does not make sense to me.  Seems to me that the 
backquote symbol is being redefined as follows:

  def `(cmd)

This is only redefining the backquote character `

but the method is invoked as `dir` or `date`

What happens to the closing quote?  Is this not odd?

Bharat

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