Setting up Python on Windows (and Mac?)

  1. Note: You should have a folder on your desktop called: Python and a file in that folder called: SG_Notebook_1.ipynb
    (from the email I previously sent) before you start this process.

  2. Using your browser, go to:

  3. Click on the big blue "Download Anaconda" button near the top right.
    Apparently you have to give them an email address, but they don't appear to do anything to verify it.

  4. It then takes you to a page where you have the option of choosing various different intallers for Mac or Windows.
    I chose this one:
    Windows 64-bit / 342M / md5: dccc94b5e1b77e56385a318c5c91b6d1

  5. You may get the choice of either running the installer right then, or saving it.
    I saved it. I ended up with a file called: Anaconda-1.8.0-Windows-x86_64.exe (It appears to be roughly 350 Meg.)
    All through this process I got various warnings that the file I was downloading couldn't be trusted, etc.

  6. I located the file in the downloads folder. I right clicked on it and did "Open" (Note that I could have done "Run as Administrator" -- I didn't do that. I assume this means the installation will only be good for the one user account.)

  7. Once again it warned me that the software wasn't "verified" and so on, and I confirmed to run it anyway.
    I took all the default options by clicking -- Next, Agree, Next, Next, Install -- to the various questions that came up.
    At some point it says "Completed" and you have to click "Next" again, and then "Finish."

  8. Open a "Command Prompt" and change directory into your Python folder.
    I had made my python folder on the desktop and simply called it "Python" so what I typed in the command prompt was:
    cd Desktop\Python

  9. If you type: dir
    You should see all the files in the folder. Presumably the only thing there is SG_Notebook_1.ipynb

  10. Before you do the next step, it would be a good idea to have a browser window up on the screen. The browswer should not take up the whole screen, so that you can still see the command prompt window.

  11. Now comes the big step. You start up python by typing: ipython notebook --pylab inline
    It might take a while for anything to happen. Like 30 seconds or more.
    Eventually, a new tab should appear in the browser called: "IPython Dashboard" and in that tab, among other things, you should see the notebook: SG_Notebook_1.ipynb.

    Click on SG_Notebook_1.ipynb

  12. The notebook should "start." Near the top should be a set of pull down menus. Pull down the one called "cell" and select "Run All."

  13. Let it run, and the when it seems to have finished scroll up and down and look things over. There will be a warning after the first "cell" that you can ignore. Otherwise you shouldn't see any obvious error messages, and there should be a bunch of stuff that looks like it might be computer code and resulting "mathematics" of some sort :-)

  14. When you're done, you should be able to stop whatever is running in the Command Prompt window by typing "control c" a couple of times, or simply dismiss the window. It won't hurt anything.

    Let me know if it works!