Well, not that I found the final answer to the problem, but I thought I'd let you all know what else I found.
in reply to Image::Magick on Windows 98
At least this is certainly not a matter of improper coding. As you may read in my Use Perl; journal, I've created a minimal test, ran it on 5 different windows versions, and it only seems to work properly on WindowsXP and WindowsNT4 (I don't have Win2K, but I guess it'll run fine there too). Windows 95, 98 and ME can't run even the minimal test (where Win95 doesn't run at all) without errors.
Using Perl to enable the disabled: pVoice