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One of the most difficult things about getting started with programming and data analysis is setting up your computer.

Computer setup is also one of the parts where you learn the most about how your computer works, so think of it more as a learning experience (with appropriate amounts of struggle) instead of simple preparation.

What kind of system do you have?

One more question for you: do you have an M1 or M2 machine? You can check by clicking the apple icon in the upper-left corner of your screen, and then selecting About This Mac. If it says "M1" or "M2" anywhere in there, you... have an M1 or M2.

These computers macs are newer, faster, sleeker, and were historically prone to installation problems. They've gotten better in the past year, but if we encounter any we'll work hard to get through them!

Find other people who use Windows!

Windows is a lot more flexible of a system, sold by many different people and places, and is build to support a lot of older pieces of software. As a result, there's a much winder range of settings on a Windows machine as compared to a Mac.

With so many settings, you might run into issues that aren't covered in this guide! Leaning on other Windows folks to help think through problems is a great approach.