Rabbit Hole

Just had a day of falling down a rabbit hole. Though not arrived in anything as delightful as Wonderland for my trouble. I just keep seeming to keep falling… and at the same time I am falling out of love with Windows, seriously.  Fine as a user, but as a developer…oh sh…

Environmental Variables

Ooh I’ve been learning all about paths in environmental variables on the windows machine.

Basically this are semi-colon separated list of locations on your pc that your operating system can look for certain scripts it needs to execute.

It’s how “pip” means something in the command line, as in “pip install lxml”.

I’ve discovered I have about 3 different versions of python on my pc. Whoo hoo! One as part of Anaconda , and two installed separately (2.7 and 3.4)

If you’ve mapped your path to the scripts in the wrong directory, then you will run the wrong version of a script, or at least affect packages in the wrong directory. So I can dumbly check for installations of various packages, and it will give me results for the wrong version.

So make sure you are mapping to the right version.

Windows key > type "env", select "edit environmental variables for your account" > select PATH.

At the end of the variable value input, type “; “, then the path to the directory that the script that you want to use is in.

Open Command Line as an Admin on windows 8.1

Sometimes you need this to do stuff, you know, to your own computer, even though you are supposedly already an admin. Sometimes commands just fail because of authentication issues, and it won’t even tell you. Thanks Microshaft.

Windows key > type "cmd", press cntrl + shift + enter.

After the permissions window, you should be a super user

Python compilation errors on package install

You might come across this when you try to install a python package. Unable to locate vcvarsall.bat. Lovely. So what’s going on?

So…you need some developer tools. The old school way was to install visualstudio express to get the compiler needed for such things as compiling binaries on your windows machine as a developer. But its not available anymore.

Cue rabbit-hole of stackoverflow and other forums to try to find a solution.

I’ve installed ancient visual studio packages, python dev packages from Microsoft, open source dev tools that were supposed to be, definitely, what I needed. Nothing was letting me compile binaries on my Windows 8.1 machine. Everytime I tried to compile, even simply with a package manager that was supposedly ported specifically to windows, I’d always get these bizarre errors.

But now…ANACONDA!!! I uninstalled all my painfully sourced bits and pieces, all attached with string, stickytape and little bits of chewing gum, and waited what felt like 3 hours to download and install Anaconda.

And all is nice and lovely.