Part of the win32utils project, win32-service allows you to create an manipulate Windows services from your Ruby program. This can be useful for both managing your Windows services from Ruby (for example, a monitoring program could restart a service if it stops responding), as well as making your Ruby (or other) programs into services.
Ruby Best Practices is a book unlike most other Ruby books. It doesn't teach new language features and isn't a reference manual. What Ruby Best Practices does is take real open source software and walk you through the source code. It will show you the best of what Ruby can do, and how to go about doing it. The book is available from O'Reilly and Amazon.