$ ruby -v
ruby 1.8.0 (2002-12-24) [sparc-solaris2.8]
$ irb
>> "2".to_i *1.1
ArgumentError: illegal radix 1
        from (irb):2:in `to_i'
        from (irb):2
>> "2".to_i * 1.1
=> 2.2


Notice the difference:
   - "2".to_i *1.1
   + "2".to_i * 1.1

That space after "*" makes all the difference.

-- 
Daniel Carrera
Graduate Teaching Assistant.  Math Dept.
University of Maryland.  (301) 405-5137