1.2. Set up

Let’s install our programming “stack”. Please do all of these steps before the first class:

  1. Create a GitHub account, then

  2. Install Anaconda (not the Nicki Minaj song).

    • Install the latest version, make Anaconda your default Python installation, and accept all the defaults otherwise.

      • Mac users: The TA used the “64-Bit Graphical Installer (435 MB)”

    • Update Anaconda: Open up Anaconda Powershell Prompt (on windows, or terminal on Mac) and type

      conda update --all

      then click enter

  3. Test start Jupyter Lab (simply see if you can open it, then close it)

    • Open Anaconda Prompt (or terminal on a Mac) and type jupyter lab, click enter, and an internet tab should open with the url http://localhost:8888/lab. This is Jupyter Lab, and where we will code this semester!

    • The “point and click: option: Open Anaconda Navigator and launch Jupyter Lab from there

    • I recommend using the Powershell Prompt, because getting comfortable with that will be helpful

    • Bonus: Play around and explore Jupyter Lab. For a walkthough of what you’re seeing, this page should help.


    Once Jupyter Lab is open, you can create a new window to run terminal commands, otherwise they won’t work if you’re using the same window that jupyter lab is running from.

  4. Install Git.

    • Mac users: Your TA installed Git via Homebrew. Go to https://brew.sh, copy the home-brew address (they have a little copy paste icon which makes it easier for students), then type brew install git into the terminal and it’ll install git. (There is no config necessary, type “y ” when prompted with y/n?)


    If Mac users install Git via Xcode, you’ll have to install Xcode and essentially waste 4gb of space you probably won’t be using.

  5. Install GitHub Desktop. I accepted the default settings.

  6. Optional, but recommended: Install a good text editor. Atom or Sublime are recommended.

If you’re into poorly done youtube content, I tried to cut together a video of me installing everything:

Now we are ready to go!