MIT 6.189 A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python (OCW)
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http://www.python.org/getit/mac/tcltk/ - Download Python 3.3, it should include IDLE with the package :) If it doesn't, mail me and I will help you do it another way :)
Don't download Python 3. MIT's courses are usually in Python 2, which is already on a Mac. Newer versions of OSX ( >10.5.8 ) apparently have something in /usr/bin which allows IDLE to be launched from a Terminal window with: idle & The ampersand allows the window to be used while IDLE is running.
Thanks. Have tried MIT's version. Will look in use/bin first to see if anything comes up.
Don't bother looking. Just type "idle &" in a Terminal window and press enter. If it launches, you're good, if it says "File not found", I'll give you a little script that you can tweak to the version of Python on your machine. You can put that script in /usr/bin and then the "idle &" will work.
Ok. I'm reluctant to use the terminal window that appeared-has my log-in info, since I'm new to this. Is there another terminal window I can do this in that won't affect my MAC in case I mess up?
As long as you don't start a command with sudo, you won't have permissions to do anything that a reboot won't solve. You will need to get comfortable with command line. Programming is a matter of writing commands that will be executed, rarely generating button clicks and even that would be done with code/commands.