I always jump in with both feet. Having never used Python before doesn’t faze me; programming things hasn’t since my first job out of college when i was “challenged” to programmed boot code into core memory with toggle switches. (I won beer, but that’s a different topic.)
This is magnetic core memory. Those are little magnetic donuts with wires fished through them by people with little tiny fingers. One bit per donut. These things were the first memory devices in space, and they still work despite lots of hard radiation Programming them isn’t hard after you read the manual: you use toggle switches.
I needed some kind of editor and apparent needed to download this NumPy thing into my Windows computer. And a working Python installation. Mine was broken, and I never really remembered installing it — it was probably there from some other thing I installed.
This is a picture of the toggle switches, just in case you were trying to picture them.
Apparently I’d had an old broken version of Python on my laptop from some software that I installed then deleted because it sucked. (92% chance)
A couple of Googlings later and I found Anaconda. They brag that they did all the work for me, installing Python AND this NumPy thing. 195 seems like a lot of things to get for free, but I wasn’t too impressed because my Ubuntu machines all have thousands of things.
It includes over 195 of the most popular Python packages for science, math, engineering, data analysis.
One 366 MB download later and I had this:
Wait. 366 MB? Not 36? What’s in this thing anyway? Probably should have read the website. My laptop had 250G free, so I didn’t really check that out. (I should have.)
Instead I looked for an included IDE, and found Spyder, one of the 195.
That’s what you do, and you get this:
Yup, it’s an IDE kinda similar to every other IDE everywhere, since like the 90s. It has an output window, a code window with pretty colors, an object inspector, etc.
But I want to stop the story right here. See all those python files in the little window? I took some time to write them (mostly cut and paste at first) to test out what I could do. That was a fun learning exercise and I learned a lot doing it.
Don’t waste your time like I did. The cool kids WILL laugh at you. Instead, use notebooks.
Don’t be a dope like I was.