VisionEgg installation tips

This blog is not supposed to be a place for tech support, but after spending many hours solving software problems, I think I should write this information down in case anyone else is having the same problem.

I always wanted to use VisionEgg for visual psychophysics but I never successfully installed it on my Mac. The reason is this: VisionEgg depends on the python programming language, but python on OS X is a little confusing. Apple distributes python with OS X, but Apple’s distribution is organized in a way that is slightly different from python.org’s official distribution. If you install python packages from the source (with “python setup.py install”), the installer tends to be smart enough to install the packages into the right place. But if you install python packages using binary installers, weird things happen once in a while.

To use VisionEgg, I first tried to install NumPy, python’s numeric math library. The official binary package of NumPy, however, does not like Apple’s python distribution, so I started by installing python.org’s distribution. That was a big mistake. I managed to install all the packages required by VisionEgg, but VisionEgg wouldn’t run. I got segmentation errors.

This problem was solved by sticking to Apple’s python and staying away from binary installers.

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~ by hhyu on April 28, 2011.

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