Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

Deciding on a Python 2.5 Distro [ID:136] (Free) (2/10)

in series: Python Development on XP

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Your first task is to pick the right Python distribution. At you can get the latest and greatest Python 2.5, with SciPy you get a math-oriented v2.5 and with ActivePython you get a complete but older v2.4 [edit March 2008 - ActivePython's distribution is now at Python 2.5 as well]. Watch the video to learn which is the right one for you.

Here are the distros:

At the end of this video you'll know which is the right distribution for you to start with. To raise a question just post in the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

Also see my Resources for Python Newbies series to learn about all the on-line Python tutorial, news and forums sites.

Got any questions?

Get answers in the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

Video statistics:

  • Video's rank shown in the most popular listing
  • Video plays: 113 (since July 30th)
  • Plays in last week: 3
  • Published: Sometime before 1st March 2007 (in other words - we don't remember!)

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Show some quick comments >>

All comments excluding tick-boxed quick-comments

Very good!

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66. Bradleyvops Thu, 29 Jul 2010 03:41

Very nice spoken. for non native-english-speaker easy to understand. very usefull informations. well done.

Good intro for newbs, but since several years have passed since it was made, it could use some updating....

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Thanks for the videos. They are appreciated. I have only one comment. As an American I have some difficulty understanding you when you speak quickly. I know that speaking slower does increase the size / length of the videos, but it does tend to make you more understandable. Thanks again.

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61. Michelloi Sun, 25 Apr 2010 15:42

Yes, this tutorial is useful for beginners. Thanks for doing.

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Thanks, minor expansion of knowledge. I already had Python downloaded but was not aware of the SciPy version.

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58. marinir seo Wed, 13 Jan 2010 06:58

just played first ot your lesssons ok so far .will poste others as i go along thabks for the time you have spent tp help others get started.

57. zouykfbjb Sun, 10 Jan 2010 05:26

Great this is very useful to me.. Thank you

55. anonymous Tue, 29 Dec 2009 14:50

Thank you, especially for mentioning SciPy!

Are there other specialized distros for python?


54. anonymous Mon, 28 Dec 2009 19:33

needs to be updated, first half was great, second half was confusing.

53. anonymous Sun, 27 Dec 2009 16:02

nice high level intro

52. anonymous Tue, 08 Dec 2009 02:25

I'm new to this so I look forward to continuing this series!

Thank You for your time and expertise in making these videos!

I look forward to writing my own programs one day and giving back to the internet what it has done for me!.............Ken

51. anonymous Mon, 09 Nov 2009 07:01

its a great idea to set uo a website like this which is very interactive

good work

hoping for more

50. anonymous Mon, 26 Oct 2009 20:59

Good job on this. Note: there is a newer version of python - 2.6.4

Just started with Python, and much appreciated for all your hard works. Cheers.

48. anonymous Wed, 14 Oct 2009 08:28

Good work!! Keep it up!!

47. anonymous Wed, 09 Sep 2009 00:22

The video tutorial was very informative and easy to understand and follow. Thank you

46. anonymous Thu, 03 Sep 2009 23:33

I'm a complete noob yet So far so good.

45. anonymous Thu, 06 Aug 2009 14:20

Nice video. I didn't know about the SciPy dist, thanks!

44. anonymous Tue, 28 Jul 2009 14:00

Thanx, really well done, although it is a bit old...

43. anonymous Mon, 27 Jul 2009 14:39

Thank you for this. It was quite helpful.

42. anonymous Sun, 26 Jul 2009 13:53

How much will cost me to start learning Python. And how long would it take to start getting the grip on this language.Thanks

Sincerely Pax

terrific clear voice, keep up the great work.

terrific clear voice, keep up the great work.

terrific clear voice, keep up the great work.

terrific clear voice, keep up the great work.

37. anonymous Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:51

Thanks for the info about Scipy. Main concern is how up to date your videos will be now

36. anonymous Sun, 12 Jul 2009 07:09

This first video was nice and clear with showing the different distros which was confusing me a bit, as a complete "python seems massive with too many options where is a clear path" noob. One thing is can I install, or how do I use SciPy if I have already installed one of the other distros (active python in my case). one other small thing is the "Show some quick comments" drop down sprang back up without letting me see/choose anything. But over all this little intro confirmed my choice and what I was reading else where on the net. So thanks. Im going to check out some others now.

35. anonymous Sat, 11 Jul 2009 15:29

this is good video

34. anonymous Sat, 11 Jul 2009 15:28

This is very good tutorial

33. anonymous Sat, 11 Jul 2009 15:27

This is very good tutorial

32. anonymous Tue, 16 Jun 2009 11:33

Thank you very much. As I am newbie in Python, I got to know where I can get python and it's stuff.

Thanks for the python info!

30. anonymous Wed, 10 Jun 2009 10:48


This is great. I looked at Python a couple of years ago and had no idea your site existed. I sort of dropped out until I began looking again at Python resources and ran into your site.


29. anonymous Mon, 08 Jun 2009 01:57

Great videos. Clean and clear. 5/5

28. anonymous Sun, 07 Jun 2009 22:28

Very nice,Thank you.

27. anonymous Wed, 03 Jun 2009 12:03

Thank you for your effort in helping us noobs get started with Python. :-)

26. anonymous Sun, 24 May 2009 09:09

I have been looking for a long time for some video that could take you step by step through coding and also give the important resources for futur growth Kudos

Great site

Everything is great, but I'm spending all of my time filling out these feedback forms. When a person is beginning something from scratch, it's hard to make substantive comments -- you need to get into it a bit first. Not to be discouraging at all, but the lessons are short, which is good, but the feedback and navigation to the next lesson kind of distracts you from the learning -- at least at first... Thanks very much for your considerable efforts.

Submit again? What does that mean?

Everything is great, but I'm spending all of my time filling out these feedback forms. When a person is beginning something from scratch, it's hard to make substantive comments -- you need to get into it a bit first. Not to be discouraging at all, but the lessons are short, which is good, but the feedback and navigation to the next lesson kind of distracts you from the learning -- at least at first... Thanks very much for your considerable efforts.

23. anonymous Wed, 29 Apr 2009 01:11

Very useful info.

Thank you.

22. anonymous Tue, 28 Apr 2009 10:29

Nice start. The text at end was a change form the audio and went by too fast.

thank you for your work

Hi dmackersie. You're quite right - here I just wanted to concentrate on pure Python 2.5 distributions.

IronPython and Jython are both alternative environments (which talk to .net/mono and java respectively).

There is also PyPy if you want to look at a possible future environment for Python.

Nice to know about various Python distributions, but no mention is made of IronPython

ActiveState is now at 2.5, so Ian's comment about ActiveState being behind in no longer the case. Of course the general idea behind his comment that ActiveState will lag a bit will always be generally true.

ActiveState includes the PythonWin IDE (which ActiveState does not really point out when they try to sell you the Komodo IDE. PythonWin seems pretty basic but it has enough to step through code and I like it so far (as a newbie). -- Bob

16. anonymous Sat, 20 Oct 2007 07:19

Good job Ian...thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights.


As far as I know - it is something to be installed 'instead of'. Certainly that's how I've used it in the past.


nice intro. I do scientific work so scipy will be interesting (when I'm no longer such a newbie!). It would have helped when you mention scipy--to state whether it is an add-on to's distro or something which should be installed instead of-- (it sounded like you meant the latter).

Many thanks Ben, the feedback is appreciated.


Good work. The content, pacing, and video quality are all excellent.

Show us a text outline and move through the topics in the outline.

Thanks for taking the time to do these screencasts!

really fantastic

9. anonymous Wed, 28 Mar 2007 14:55

Ian, I am definitely interested in a video series on basic programming. I am old and interested and my children are young and interested. A high quality, over the net aimed at adults but basic enough for the first time computer users - I would be very intere$ted in.

Aw Chris - such kind words, thank you :-)

Right - so an introduction to code structures (lists, tuples etc) would be useful? I shall add that to my list of topics to cover in the future.

Let me know if any more topics come to mind?



Ian, I've watched all of your video series. I really think you do a great job of explaining several different aspects about Python for us newbies.

I was actually expecting the videos to be more of a lesson in the code structures (ie. lists, tuples, and dictionaries, etc.) but I think you can find that information elsewhere.

I particularly liked the last video that shows how to create tests for your code so that you can verify it does what you want it to! I found this to be very helpful.

Great job Ian, keep up the good work

Hi Claus, thanks for the link. I'm just introducing straight-Python here, else I'd also have to talk about Jython (and IronPython) and I'd just end up confusing some of the beginners!

Thanks for the feedback,


Hi Ian, if you target the windows-world, i think you should perhaps mention the IronPython-Distribution which adds access to the .NET-Framework, the new MS Powershell, Direct3d etc.




Hi Horst, thanks for the comment. Adding some Powerpoint slides? That's an interesting idea, I'll think on that.


Hi, very nice introduction. It make sense, and i never learned before about scipy.

suggestion: maybe adding some (powerpoint) slide in between to give the audience something more to look at.

Hi Jack, thanks for that. As I mentioned in the comments on the 2nd video, I spent a month building this material and making these videos, it is great to know that you found it useful.

I'm always open to suggestions for new series that I should be making...



direct to the point.

covered topics completely

Well Done

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Kudos and Thanks for Ian

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