I thought that I had loaded the latest ActivePerl from ActiveState. On the download page - http://www.activestate.com/store/download.aspx?
prdGUID=81fbce82-6bd5-49bc-a915-08d58c2648ca I selected the Windows AS Package for download and installation, if this isn't the latest version of Perl for Windows can you point me at the correct URL please (especially if it includes the Win32 extensions). I first tried the MSI Package but got an error message to the effect that "The installation package could not be opened - not a valid installer package."
I just checked the link you gave. Unless your browser is quite different than mine, you should check the page again, please. On the left, ActivePerl 184.108.40.2069 -- the one we recommend. On the right, ActivePerl 220.127.116.118. Both have As and MSI versions.
And, again -- I'm still uncertain which "Win32 extensions" you speak of. Look at your installed docs; you'll see many, many Win32 extensions already installed standard, and ActiveState 5.8x is like 5.6x in that regard, I assure you.