From: John Maclean [mailto:info / jayeola.org] 
# Where can I find out more about that method within ri?
# ri Object?

judging fr stud's reply, maybe you can try the string object first, eg,

botp@pc4all:~$ qri to_i
------------------------------------------------------ Multiple choices:

     Class#to_i, Float#to_i, IO#to_i, IPAddr#to_i, Integer#to_i,
     NilClass#to_i, Process::Status#to_i, Rational#to_i, String#to_i,
     Symbol#to_i, Time#to_i

botp@pc4all:~$ qri string.to_i
------------------------------------------------------------ String#to_i
     str.to_i(base=10)   => integer
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Returns the result of interpreting leading characters in str as an
     integer base base (2, 8, 10, or 16). Extraneous characters past
     the end of a valid number are ignored. If there is not a valid
     number at the start of str, 0 is returned. This method never
     raises an exception.

        "12345".to_i             #=> 12345
        "99 red balloons".to_i   #=> 99
        "0a".to_i                #=> 0
        "0a".to_i(16)            #=> 10
        "hello".to_i             #=> 0
        "1100101".to_i(2)        #=> 101
        "1100101".to_i(8)        #=> 294977
        "1100101".to_i(10)       #=> 1100101
        "1100101".to_i(16)       #=> 17826049

botp@pc4all:~$

kind regards -botp