Anyone feel like helping out a N00B?

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Anyone feel like helping out a N00B?

Postby anthonylc » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:56 am

Hey guys and girls, thanks for taking the time to read this. Lets get straight to the point. I've decided I want to learn how to program. MIT has an online course 6.00 that is an introduction to programming and computer sciences. I started to get the tools I need for this course, which are Python 2.5.4 and IDLE. Two problems right off the bat; (<-- is that right punctuation?)
1. I have never set up, downloaded, or installed any software like this before
2. I am brand new to Mac comps, and it is making this even more difficult for me because I am trying to figure this out in an unfamiliar environment.
Now I have come to figure out that Macs already have Python built into OS X, I checked my version and its 2.7.5. So my questions are:
A. Can I downgrade my built in version of Python to the 2.5.4 that I need for the course? Or is there also lower versions built in (someone had mentioned it on forum I read while trying to find the answer).
B. If not, what do I do? I have downloaded a compressed version of 2.5.4 but I am not sure how to install it on my computer
C. How do I install this IDLE program and then run Python in it?
I know these questions may seem pretty low brow to most (all) of you here, as you can see I am pretty green to the whole computer programming thing, but I assure you I am a quick learner and no better way to jump in and start mucking about.
I am running a brand new Macbook pro with Mavericks installed.

Thanks, I really appreciate the time anyone takes to help me. I even appreciate the time someone takes to make a good crack about my thread.
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Re: Anyone feel like helping out a N00B?

Postby metulburr » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:13 am

I cant believe they are using 2.5, that is old. 2006-ish. I would assume the beginning of the course would describe how to install the version they are using. I dont know much about macs, but since they are unix based, its safe to assume that your OS is using python 2.7 for stuff.

the first repsponse though looks to answer your question ... me-machine
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Re: Anyone feel like helping out a N00B?

Postby Mike_S » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:16 am

Hi anthonylc

I mentioned the MIT courses here - viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3639 - the Spring 2011 course recommends any Python 2.5.x - 2.6.x, just not Python 3.0. I think you could get by with 2.7.5.

QA - I would not attempt to downgrade Python, it's integrated into your OS, you'll likely be reinstalling your OS should you screw up.

Q2 - I would use Python 2.7.5 installed on your OS, it will work fine for most of the basics of this course. If you run into a snag, post the code that won't run using 2.7.5, I'm sure someone will help you adjust the code to make it work and I think you will learn a bit along the way.

Q3 - I have no idea about Macs but (personally) I would either find a better IDE for Mac and/or use the Mac equivalent of the Windows command prompt (if it exists) and learn to run your python scripts. I've never like IDLE on Windows, maybe it's better on the Mac, don't know.

Enjoy your class, post any questions you have I'm sure someone will be able to direct you.

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