Question about PANDAS

Rustom Mody rustompmody at
Mon Oct 20 07:12:22 CEST 2014

On Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 3:57 PM, Ryan Shuell wrote:
> Thanks guys.  I just feel frustrated that I can't do something useful.
> I'm reading all about dictionaries, and types, and touples.  Then I read
> about string manipulation and loops; two of my favorite things to do.  Then
> I read about logic:
> -719 >= 833
> False
> That's great, but it's just not very useful for me.  I thought I could use
> Python to do screen scraping.  Right now, I use R to do almost all my screen
> scraping.  I used to use Excel, but r is just light years easier to use, so
> I'll go with that.  I thought Python may be even easier to use than R, and
> perhaps even more powerful too.  However, since I picked up my first Python
> book about 3 months ago, I seem to be learning all kinds of useless things,
> and no practical things.  When I find cool code samples online, I can't even
> get them to run.  Last week I found a small sample of code that supposedly
> merges data from several text files in a folder into one single file.  I
> played with it for a couple hours, and never got it to work.  In less than
> 15 minutes, I could have done the merging task, using Excel, Access, VB.NET,
> C#.NET, or even a batch file. 

You have my sympathies.

Most of what help you'll get here is 'inside-out':
Start with small toys. Work slowly towards more realistic problems

Many people (like you) would like to go the other way --
Start with trying to solve a real problem.
Handle the small nitty-gritties as they arise.

On and off Ive expressed a need in a similar direction eg

The problem with your approach is that its very system-specific

>>> [1,2]+[3,4]
[1, 2, 3, 4]

will be the same on any python. Any OS. Any version.

However installing a package will vary.
And the best way of installing will vary widely.
So its harder to help

OTOH I will say this:
Any learning requires some faith at least temporary and provisional.
If you pick up some book which purports to educate on some subject
and decide before opening it that
- subject is bogus
- author is a rogue
etc etc

you are not likely to get much out of it.¹

So it may irritate you to listen to the advice you get here to 
start baby-steps first.
However if you dont listen, you are wasting time - most of all your own.

¹ Of course your suspicions may be true. Thats the fun of life!

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