Thursday, January 31, 2013

A precompiled Scipy from Activestate?

So, I've been procrastinating installing Scipy, since a manual install requires having (and manually using?) C and FORTRAN compilers. I tried using pip to do a quick install, but that failed because it needed the FORTRAN libraries (specifically BLAS). None of the off-the-shelf tools, it seemed, were actually off-the-shelf for Windows users. I swear to Loki I will turn this laptop into a Linux box when I have the money to upgrade... but if I'm going to use Numpy/Scipy to teach undergrads, which I still intend to do, then "get Linux" really isn't a solution.

But I ran across a Stackoverflow thread this afternoon where somebody mentioned that ActiveState has a precompiled standalone build of Scipy. My ears did verily perk up at this! After trying a few things and getting very strange error messages, here's what appears to have worked:

Step 0: close all Python sessions.
Step 1: Open ActiveState's PYPM from the Start menu. (This will open a glorified command shell.)
Step 2: enter pypm -g install numpy
Step 3: enter pypm -g install scipy

(The -g flag is an instruction for PYPM to install to the global Python installation.) After doing this, I opened up IPython and both numpy and scipy imported correctly! Yay!

The foregoing is recorded so that I can reproduce this install (or give my undergrads instructions to install) later.

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