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Part 2, Section 1:
A Bit of Programming.





Python Programming.

We saw before how programming a computer to do things takes a lot of work: logical gates, switches, and all sorts of madness. Luckily, these things are all already made and integrated into the computer and, more luckily, people have already created relatively nice ways of telling computers what we want them to do! One way that we tell computers what we want is by creating a program. The steps go something like this: we tell the computer what we want via some programming language, another program translates our program into 0's and 1's which the computer understands, and then the computer does what we want (most of the time).

We'll be going back down into the trenches in the next section to work at an extremely basic level, but for now I want to illustrate some of the things you can do (in general) with computers. Because of this, we're going to learn a programming language which is relatively refined and nice called Python.

One of the nice things about Ubuntu is that almost everything is already preloaded. We only need to download one thing, and we'll go through that now:

Downloading IDLE: When you're in Ubuntu, you'll see this little button on the left side called the "terminal" that has a little that has something which looks like a > _ on a little screen. Click this and a big black box with text should appear. Type out:

sudo apt-get install idle

And it'll ask for your password. Provide it (note that it doesn't do that **** thing when you enter your password; it doesn't actually show anything, but just go with it) and it will automatically download idle. Neat. When it's done, you can type in "idle" to the terminal and it will pull up the program. This is the program you'll use to make python programs. We'll do that below!


  1. Exercises!


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