Shaun_Hills at Shaun_Hills at
Thu Sep 7 04:55:08 CEST 2000


I am really new to this myself (other than hacking around a few pre-written MS
Office macros and Perl scripts in the past - can't really call that
programming). A few things you may find interesting:

As you know, Perl is mega-popular and incredibly widespread. So I considered
learning it. I had a look at some of the Perl programs around and couldn't
understand the first thing about them (talk about hard to read). I looked at
Python, and the structure was so simple and easy. Sure, Perl might be more
useful for me, but I figure I can always learn it later when I'm a better
programmer (ie. after some more Python programming!). What's the point trying to
learn something messy/complex and failing? Learn something nice, clean, simple
and powerful - then build on that knowledge. In sum, I decided Python is a great
first language.

I am using the SAMS book "Teach Yourself Python in 24 Hours". VERY highly
recommended. Nice step-by-step intro to a lot of programming basics, both in
general and as they relate to Python. And quite cheap, too. Probably doesn't
cover everything you need to know, but it'll get you up and running enough to
use an O'Reilly's book or something for the more advanced stuff.

Windows text editors - always a sore point. Forget Notepad (and Vim if you're
just starting out). Grab a shareware/freeware copy of Super Notetab Light
( or Textpad ( Textpad is better IMHO and the
downloadable version is fully functional, but it pops up nag screens at random
until you pay for it. Super Notetab Light is freeware and integrates really well
with Windows (becomes your default text editor if you want). IDLE and Pythonwin
are very good, too (of course!).

Most important - have fun... :-)


Shaun Hills

Message: 21
   Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 21:16:14 -0400
   From: "Brendhan Horne" <brendhan at>
Subject: Newbie

I am really new to this. I have never worked with any computer language
before. I have downloaded Python 1.6 for Windows. I have downloaded the
tutorial which for me is a bit dry and a tad difficult to understand. So as
I go to unzip this what should I expect?  What are some good beginning
exercises to start with on this? Please understand that I have not written
anything in a computer language before and have no idea what kind of
prompts are with this, hell I wouldn't even be sure of when to press the
enter key.
Thanks in advance

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