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2010 Census: Getting setup

After attending this meetup last week, I was pretty excited to get going on hacking census data for my own purposes. I had the day off on Thursday so I spent most of the day trying to get the census.ire.org source code running in a local VM. Despite being one of those guys that’s pretty good at following directions, I did run into a few problems (but, then again, I’m not much of a sysadmin). In the spirit of maybe making someone’s life easier, here’s how I got the project going in a Ubuntu 11.04 vagrant VM.

First, a minor divergence

The docs over in the github repo follow standard Python development practices by first setting up a virtualenv into which all the code libraries for the project get installed thereby making it easy to compartmentalize what you’re doing in one project from another. Try as I might, I was unable to make this work (I posted an issue in the repo, for those interested). There’s probably an easy answer out there somewhere but I, for one, was unable to find it. Since I was already setting this up in it’s own VM, I figured that made it compartmentalized enough for me so I went ahead and installed everything globally just so I could get the project up and running. So, without further ado, here’s the short version of how I setup my VM.

What’s next?

For me, that’s more a strategy question that anything. I’ve written a bit about my motivations and what I hope to get out of it. In the couple days since then, I think I’ve come up with a more specific approach which I’ll be writing about once I have it laid out end to end (and get a few particulars cleared up). So, uh, once again, stay tuned.

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