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Getting your computer ready

If you are just starting the class or get a new computer, here are the steps you need to get all of the software installed for this class:

Install Miniconda3

Miniconda is a Python package manager. It helps us install python and the various packages we will use in the course.

Download Miniconda here:

Windows Users

You probably want the 64-bit installer (unless your computer is older than you are…)

Mac Users

In Fall 2021, Apple started building laptops with M1 processors instead of Intel processors.

You can determine which kind of processor you have by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then “About This Mac”

  • If the chip section says “Apple M1” in it, you have an M1 processor
  • If it doesn’t, you have an Intel (x86) processor

Select the pkg installer that corresponds to your processor.

Miniconda Installation

The miniconda installer will ask you some questions. You can accept all the default settings.

Install PyCharm


As a BYU student, you can get a FREE educational license from JetBrains in order to use the professional version of their products.

Or, you can install the Community Edition.

Either edition (professional or community) will work fine for this class.

Create a PyCharm project

Once you have PyCharm installed, do the following:

  1. Open PyCharm.

  2. Create a new project.

There are two things you need to tell PyCharm about your project:

a) Where should it store your files b) Which version of Python should it use

First specify the location for your project.

  • Click the Folder icon on the right to browse your folders.
  • Create a folder called “CS110”.
  • In the CS110 folder, create a new folder call “Lab1” (no spaces!).
  • Select “Open” to use the new Lab1 folder.

Second, specify the version of Python to use.

  • The first time you use PyCharm, you will need to configure the environment we created earlier (called cs110)
  • Click the triangle next to “Python Interpreter” to expand the interpreter settings
  • Select “Previously configured interpreter”
    • If the cs110 environment is not visible, we need to configure it in PyCharm
      • Select the ... icon on the right
      • Select “Conda Environment” on the left
      • In the “Interpreter” field, select the “cs110” option (the example below shows an environment named jupyter)
      • Select the checkbox “Make available to all projects”
      • Select “OK”
    • Now select the cs110 environment for you project’s Python interpreter.

Third, unselect the “Create a welcome script”

Fourth, select “Create”.

From now on, create now folders inside the CS110 folders, e.g. for Lab2, Lab3, and Project1. If you use this same project, you won’t have to worry about redoing any of the configuration you just did.

Example: creating a new project in PyCharm

Creating a project in PyCharm

Example: configuring a Conda Environment in PyCharm

Configuring a conda environment


Windows Users

Use the “Anaconda Power Shell (PS) Terminal”

Note: you will also find an “Anaconda Prompt”. That’s not the one you want. You will also see a “Power Shell”. That’s not the one you want. Look for the one with both “Anaconda” and “Power Shell” in the name.

Mac Users

Use the built-in Terminal app or install iterm2.

Create a conda environment

Using the terminal, create a conda environment named cs110:

conda create -n cs110 matplotlib pyqt==5.15.7 pillow pytest

Activate this environment:

conda activate cs110

Now install some of our software:

pip install -u byu_pytest_utils
pip install -U byubit