Today, we normally install Node from source, and it works best on Unix- or POSIX-like systems. The requirements to begin using Node are modest, and your most important tool is the one between your ears.
Installing from source requires a Unix-/POSIX-like system (Linux, Mac, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, and so on), modern C/C++ compiler, the OpenSSL libraries, and Python version 2.4 or later.
While the book is about developing web applications, it does not require you to have a web server. Node provides its own web server stack.