For any Windows users who just want a Linux platform to try scripts on, you can always burn a Linux Live CD. This is a CD that you boot off of, and it provides a full Linux desktop -- without touching your Windows setup unless you tell it to. You can use devices such as USB memory sticks for permanent storage.
Here is one mirror that provides ISO images of Fedora 8:
The KDE version might be more comfortable for long-time Windows users. Be warned that it's a very full CD, nearly 700MB, and things can run a bit slow when running from CD, especially if you don't have much RAM. (I have tried the KDE LiveCD on a machine with 512MB, worked fine.) Perl, Ruby, and Python are all provided by default; however, not all Perl modules are provided -- so you'd wind up using the package manager to fix that. (su - ; yum install perl-Image-Size and so on.)
You can find more information about Fedora Linux here:
Admittedly, this isn't the sort of thing you want to do every day -- but if you want a taste of how Linux works without having to configure extra hardware or whatever, it might be worth playing with.