Edward Byrne wrote in post #1176298:
I haven’t ever really worked with Win 8.1, but I guess it’s not so
different from Win 7…
Win 8.1 comes with two shells: The infamous “DOS command line” (invoked
using “CMD”), and the PowerShell. I’ve never worked with the latter, so
I can’t comment on this.
While CMD would be enough to work, it’s really everything else than
powerful, and most programmers wouldn’t call it a shell, but if you are
happy with it, you could use it as a start. If you want to stick with
it, get familiar with it a bit, and alos with Batch programming.
BTW: You invoke “irb” in this shell by the command … irb.
There is an alternative, though:
When I have to work on Windows, I install Cygwin, which gives me plenty
of tools, including various shells. If you follow this route, be careful
that there are two Cygwin installers - one for 32 bit Windows and one
for 64 bit Windows.
Since Cygwin is so huge, only certain base packages are installed by
default. This includes bash, a good shell which is quite common. You
usually install first the base packages, then invoke setup again and
install additional packages.
For additional packages, I recommend you to install mintty (which is a
much better terminal console than the one which comes with Windows) and
chere (which allows you to invoke the shells directly from Windows
after installation to learn how to use them.
As for the shell, I use zsh instead of bash, but this is a matter of
taste. Since you said that you are new to shells, you might try out fish
instead, which is a shell especially made for people who have not much
experience with this topic. I think it is quite good for beginners.
There is online documentation (man-pages) for the shells too, but the
docs is huge and meant to be a reference, not for learning. To learn how
to use a shell like bash or zsh, it’s better to google for a tutorial on
BTW (and before this is going completely off-topic): If you decide to go
with Cygwin (and use bash/zsh/fish or whatever), you have the choice
between two Ruby implementations: The native one for Windows, and one
which is bundled with Cygwin. I wouldn’t install both, unless you are
experienced and know what you are doing. For learning, both are fine. My
recommendation would be to install the Cygwin Ruby (also available with
the Cygwin setup program) if you want to work in Cygwin shells, and
install the Windows Ruby if you want to stick with the native Windows