Python Environments with Conda

Anaconda (and these days miniconda) has been my go-to for getting Python and the scientific/data science software stack installed on my computer (even on my Arch linux machine!). When it first came out it was the first time I was able to install and use pandas and the rest of the scipy stack. I’ve stuck with it ever since. It was also the first time I used (and understood) virtual environments.

Absolute and Relative Directories in Python

One of the most common tasks (for me at least) is saving or getting data from another directory from where the current python script is running. However, for many of the file I/O functions, it assumes the current directory or you need to give it an absolute directory. Using something like ../other_directory will not work. Here is one way you can get the current script directory, and then append to the string the relative paths.

Setting up VirtualBox

Edit: March 31, 2014: As an assignment for Software Carpentry I made a screencast to follow along with these steps, here Installing Windows XP in VirtualBox: Files needed: VirtualBox (VB) Intaller here: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads CD or ISO of OS (for my CUMC/CU friends you can find the windows XP ISO here: http://cuit.columbia.edu/cuit/software-downloads/operating-system-software/windows-xp The VB version I am using is 4.2.6 After Installing VB. You want to click “New” in the toolbar.