I should provide version numbers... the RHEL on work machines is pretty 
backwards.

Ruby: 1.8.1
Perl: 5.8.8

I ran on my personal Macbook Air with Ruby 1.9.3 and Perl 5.10, and Perl 
was only 2x faster.  So it seems Ruby 1.9 is indeed substantially faster 
(assuming Perl is fairly stable).

Curious when I did the loop in C how huge the speed increase was with 
-O1 versus -O0...

#include <stdio.h>
int main(void) {
  int i = 0;
  while (++i < 10000000);
  printf("i = %d", i);
  return 0;
}

but that's a bit off-topic...

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