Is your Laptop ‘Data Science’ Ready?

What does it mean when they say “Data Science Ready Laptop’? How do you know if your laptop can help you run data science projects?

My old laptop became unusable and I decided to upgrade my laptop. This allowed me to look at the above problem in more detail.

I chose a laptop with an 11th Gen i7 processor @2.8 GHz with 16 GB RAM based on various articles by data science enthusiasts on choosing a laptop for data science projects.

One of the exciting (or mundane- however you look at it) tasks once you get a new laptop is to install all the necessary applications.

Here is the list of software programs/ applications that I have installed so far:

i. Anti-Virus- Not a data science relevant application but an anti-virus is a must for any laptop. I choose ‘McAfee LiveSafe’ for my laptop partly because a trial version was already installed on my laptop and partly because I used this on my previous laptop.

ii. Chrome Browser- Again not data science relevant application but downloaded this out of personal preference.

iii. Python- Python is one of the most popular languages for data science and I wish to work on it. I followed the classical method of downloading it through the below link:

I downloaded the latest version 3.9.6.

The Python installation itself is fairly straight-forward. It just needs admin.

Also remember to check the option ‘Add Python 3.9 to PATH’

Once Python is installed, you can check if its correctly installed using the below command in Windows PowerShell (there is no need to run Windows PowerShell as Admin user)

python –version

The output of this command will be the version of Python installed on your system.

In my case the output was ‘Python 3.9.6’

While downloading Python, I encountered the following errors:

  • ‘python was not found run without arguments’- I encountered this error while trying to verify the version of Python installation. I researched this on google and found that issue was that Python was itself not installed completely. I went back and downloaded it again. I also navigated to “Manage App Execution Aliases” and turned off all items related to “python”. These two steps resolved the issue
  • ‘python’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. I encountered this error while trying to verify the version of Python installation. Turns out I just had to restart my laptop and it resolved this issue.

iv. IDE for Python: Though Python comes with its dedicated IDE called Thonny, I have not used this before. I have worked with Eclipse and so for this reason, I installed Eclipse for Python.

I downloaded Eclipse from the below location: (This installation already includes JRE so you don’t have to install it separately)

I selected ‘Eclipse IDE for Java Developers’

Click ‘Launch Application’ after installation.

Eclipse provides a default Workspace and you can change it if needed. Then click ‘Launch’

Since we need to use Eclipse for Python, we need to integrate the Python Installation with Eclipse. This is done by installing Pydev Plugin.

For this, navigate to Help> Eclipse Marketplace

In the Find Field, enter the value ‘Pydev’, click ‘Enter’ and install Pydev.

Once Pydev is installed, there is an additional step needed.

Navigate to Window- Preferences -> look for Pydev and expand it

Under Interpreter, choose Python Interpreter. We need to specify the location of Python Interpreter.

Click ‘New’ and select ‘Choose from List’ option and add. Then click ‘Apply and Close’.

iv. Putty: Putty allows the use of SSH to access a remote computer. This will be particularly useful for accessing servers on Cloud.

I downloaded Putty from the following location

With these setups, I am ready to start working on some actual data science projects which I will be covering next few posts.

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