The material in this document is taken from Appendix H.1 in the book A Primer on Scientific Programming with Python, 4th edition, by the same author, published by Springer, 2014.
Anaconda is a free Python distribution produced by Continuum Analytics and contains about 200 Python packages, as well as Python itself, for doing a wide range of scientific computations. Anaconda can be downloaded from http://continuum.io/downloads.
The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Spyder is included with Anaconda and is my recommended tool for writing and running Python programs on Mac and Windows, unless you have preference for a plain text editor for writing programs and a terminal window for running them.
Spyder is started by typing
spyder in a (new) Terminal application.
If you get an error message unknown locale, you need to type the
following line in the Terminal application, or preferably put the line
$HOME/.bashrc Unix initialization file:
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8; export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
Anaconda installs the
pip tool that is handy to install additional
packages. In a Terminal application on Mac or in a PowerShell terminal
on Windows, write
pip install --user packagename