Clone this wiki locally
Windows is strange. We recommend installing VirtualBox or VMware and run a Linux distribution (Ubuntu is recommended). The setup takes about 20 minutes on modern laptops, and will make your life easier. However, IF you absolutely want to develop with Windows, previous participants have had success with Cygwin.
Leons posted a great blog post documenting the event in Toronto, including how to get running for the event: http://lpetr.org/blog/archives/at-the-hackreduce-hadoop-workshop (specifically the "Running Hadoop and #HackReduce exercises on Windows" section).