2. Installing Python

Installing Python

The awesomeness of Python should have convinced a fair number of you (I hope!!) to take that daring yet exciting step towards scientific analysis that moves at your pace and without dictation from license servers (no more ‘License exceeded!’ messages) or  guilt from using not-so-legal software. Python is platform-independent but the convenient way to install all the necessary scientific packages does depend a bit on your operating system. The easiest and no-nonsense way of getting all of scientific python is to install the Enthought Python Distribution. Enthought is the company that actively supports the development of NumPy and SciPy: two of the main packages. Enthought doesn’t charge for the software but they charge for support. However, they provide free downloads of the scientific python suite (multiple actually) for all students and academics as a neat executable. Simply put your name, host institution and country and download the relevant binary. EPD is available for Mac OSX, Windows, Ubuntu, Solaris, Red Hat and Suse. Windows users can also choose to get Python(x,y). For more information on installing numpy go here – though they also seem to recommend the EPD route. Note that getting EPD will install a lot of packages (see here for a comprehensive list) in addition to Python 2.6.6.

Post contributed by Shrividya Ravi, VUW

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