I figured I'd try running the tests that Ron Jeffries is running, to see
what happens on my Windows XP machine.

I realized that I haven't actually used my win32 install in a while; it was
still on 1.8.4 and rubygems couldn't even self-update from 0.9.0.  So I
just blew it away and redownloaded.

I've made a huge mistake.

Problem #1: There are (or were?) a lot of mirrors for Ruby downloads, but
they seem to be gone as of the (otherwise really pretty) ruby-lang.org
redesign.  So I had to downloaded it from the main site - and, judging by
the download speed, that hurt the site even more.

Problem #2: I remembered reading here that the one-click installer was
outdated, so I figured I'd just download the base install and build it up
myself.

(I've made a huge mistake.)

Problem #3: Rubygems needs zlib.  Ruby-lang.org used to have that for
download, but it's not there anymore.  Downloaded it from zlib.net, but
there's no zlib.dll in there; just zlibwapi.dll now.  I couldn't find any
mention of that on Google, but I did find people saying they had downloaded
the old DLL and put it in c:\ruby\bin (not lib!), so after some error and
error, I renamed zlibwapi.dll to zlib.dll, and put it in c:\ruby\bin.

Problem #4: ruby setup.rb now gets past zlib, but crashes with a segfault!
It's at this point that I realize that the Ruby Windows binary on
rubylang-org is also out of date; it doesn't list the patchlevel, but it's
dated 2007-03-13, which I think was the initial 1.8.6 release.  OK, so
maybe there's a bug that the current zlib or gems hits.

So, bunch more Googling, no mentions on comp.lang.ruby, but I eventually
stumble across www.garbagecollect.jp/ruby, which has mswin32 builds
available.  More slow download across transatlantic links, more unzipping,
and: 

Problem #5: same crash.

Back to the zlib page.  Ah hah... I had searched the page for "Windows",
but the version of the DLL I apparently want is NOT the one called "zlib
for Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP/2003 (DLL version, plus related utilities)".
It's "zlib compiled DLL, version 1.2.3, zipfile format".  I see my error.

I replace the zlibwapi.dll-named-zlib.dll with zlib1.dll-named-zlib.dll,
and now, all is well.

So... since Ruby's a community effort, what can I do to help solve problems
1-5, other than posting this for Google to index?

-- 
Jay Levitt                |
Boston, MA                | My character doesn't like it when they
Faster: jay at jay dot fm | cry or shout or hit.
http://www.jay.fm         | - Kristoffer