Anders Schneiderman asked:
> I'd like to start playing with Ruby, but I'm having trouble 
> sorting out what to download.  I'd like to find some precompiled 
> binaries that will let me run Ruby on Win98 and let me play w/ 
> Ruby and Tk. 

I'm sorry I can't help you here by offering a complete solution, and I have
no idea about Ruby and Tk on Wintoys. Anyway, I've written this piece of
(outdated) information:

  http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/4008

> Also, what is cygwin?

Here's how I found some information for you:
http://www.google.com
cygwin                     # typed at search box
click first link           # Cygwin FAQ
click first link           # named What is it?
read following excerpt:

   The Cygwin tools are ports of the popular GNU development 
   tools for Windows NT, 95, and 98. They run thanks to the 
   Cygwin library which provides the UNIX system calls and 
   environment these programs expect. 

I guess it took me about the same time as for you to make the question. 

And I'm sure you also tried http://www.cygwin.com/ and just missed the info
at banner and main text :).

> Just for fun, I downloaded them both.  When I ran "ruby.exe" 
> in rbcw145,

I guess he suffered from the same problem:

  http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/3510

I'm sorry I can't help you more than this, but as I prefer other working
environments than Windows, I don't have up to date info how to proceed.

I know there are couple of different unofficial binaries for win32, and some
of them might work on hostile environments like W98 :):

  http://blade.nagaokaut.ac.jp/cgi-bin/scat.rb/ruby/ruby-talk/5357

In any case, if you manage to have enough time to try out, don't let other
people to spend same time. So share whatever results you manage to get.

	- Aleksi

Ps. actually, now that I think about it, following my instructions at
ruby-talk:4008 and using a modern ruby cygwin version from
http://jarh.hoops.livedoor.com/ruby/  might do the trick. Unfortunately I
don't have any time to try out, nor update my instructions. And I don't have
any access to W98 systems which seem to be the source of problems. Hopefully
in near future...

Anyway the Ruby packaged in above adress seem to be really complete
including RUnit, rd, racc, gtk, tk, xmlparser and zlib, and eruby. Maybe
this is the way to go!

Pps. Beware that there has been some discussions going on about creating an
installing program for in-hurry or I-just-want-to-use-Ruby kind of people.
So things will be probably much better in the near future.