Before you get started with installing SharePoint Server 2013, I would recommend that you use the following 2 platforms:
- Windows Server 2012
- SQL Server 2012
Why do I recommend these 2 platforms? Well, SharePoint Server 2013 uses .NET Framework v. 4.5 and this is built right into the Windows Server 2012 platform. In addition, there are some features in SharePoint Server 2013 that can only be utilized in conjunction with SQL Server 2012 (such as Access Services). Therefore, for the best overall SharePoint experience, I would recommend building your underlying SharePoint Server 2013 infrastructure on top of Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012.
In addition, if you are planning on developing for SharePoint 2013, you will need to get the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 here: http://aka.ms/OfficeDevToolsForVS2012 This is essentially just a Microsoft Web App Installer specifically designed for you to download all of the tooling required to begin developing for SharePoint 2013.