in reply to nmake, CPAN and Modules not listed in PPM
Your experience is shared... :-(
Several points to make:
1. Even if you have VC++ installed, you need to set up your compiler environment properly before it will work. Installation of VC++ almost invariably creates a BAT file: VCVARS32.BAT which has the environment vars set up. Run this in your console if you get the "can't find cl.exe" messages. Otherwise, add the commands from VCVARS32.BAT to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file, if you have enough environment memory to do that.
2. Try CPANPLUS as an installation tool -- but be aware it has a few bugs. Mostly, it gives funny messages which seem ominous -- and then you find it worked anyway.
3. Make sure you update the ExtUtils::MakeMaker module. ASPN's 5.6.1 version of this had Win32 bugs galore, and these have been the source of most problems, in my experience.
More recent versions are +much+ better. From memory, I think this update did most to fix those problems with Makefile command formats that were inconsistent with nmake.
4. Look to Randy Kobes' site for ppm files for many useful modules, and read the stuff he writes about them in various places (including newsgroups). He provides a great service for those of us who are OS-handicapped. Also check Dave Roth out, and http://www.northbound-train.com/perlwin32.html