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✓ Checklists

Where is everything? What do I need before each class? What sort of computing setup do I need?
Answers in a handy checklist form!

✓ Starting Each Class

Open your laptop, prepare to get hands-on! Details:
  1. Open the Class Schedule Table, so you will have access to today's materials (LINK )
  2. Open the MS Teams course forum, get ready for chat (LINK )
  3. Start your Python application into the shell environment (= IDLE).
  4. Open your designated script folder on your laptop where you save your Python scripts.

✓ Computer/Software Setup

Python setup
  1. No Python on your machine? Install the latest version, currently 3.11 (3.10 is fine too). I recommend the Anaconda distribution.
    • Head to https://www.anaconda.com/download and follow instructions.
    • Note that Anaconda Python comes bundled with many popular 3rd party software libraries, therefore it takes up a lot of space on your disk storage (around 10GB). It will likely take a LONG time to install as well.
    Alternatively, if you don't mind manual library management, you can install the official python.org version from https://www.python.org. Installation instructions: Windows and Mac.
  2. IDLE shell is the Python environment of choice for this class. On Anaconda Python, IDLE is somewhat buried and it takes a bit of figuring out how to access it.
    • For Mac folks, it is simple: open up Terminal and type in idle &, then ENTER key. It may be idle3 instead.
    • Windows folks: here's how you can create a handy shortcut. DO IT -- it's absolutely worth the trouble!
  3. Ultimately, your Python work environment should look like this:
    (Windows), (Mac OS).
  4. Don't want to use IDLE? Your favorite IDE might work just fine for this class, as long as it has a built-in Python shell environment. Check with me.
Other setup
  1. On your laptop, create a class folder where you will keep your Python scripts for this class. Suggestion: "ling1330" under your Documents folder.
  2. Windows people: congrats, there's some additional setup you need to do. :-) Follow the instructions here. DO NOT SKIP!!
Taking screenshots
  1. Windows (see this page for explanation):
    • Classic way: PrtSc or Alt + PrtSc, then Ctrl+V to paste
    • New: Shift + WindowsKey + S then use Snip & Sketch app
  2. Mac (See this page for explanation):
    • Command + Shift + 4 to capture a region or a particular window, ... + 3 for the entire Desktop
IDLE command history
  • Windows: Alt+P (previous command), Alt+N (next command)
  • Mac: Ctrl+P (previous command), Ctrl+N (next command)
  • Recommendation: remap them to ⇧ / ⇩ (UP/DOWN arrows), they are much quicker! Instructions here.

IDLE and command line, when you're stuck
  • Ctrl + C to abort a mistyped command and return to clean prompt
NLTK setup
  1. Install NLTK
    • Anaconda users (Win/Mac): nltk is already on your system, so no need to install. Skip to the the next step to download the data pack only.
    • Students using python.org distribution should install NLTK through pip. Windows instruction, Mac instruction.
  2. Download NLTK data
  3. Confirm your NLTK is all set: screenshot.