Glenn Reynolds talks about a shortage of geeks and one of his readers comments that a key contribution to this is when computers stopped shipping with BASIC. Glenn makes the plea to computer makers to include BASIC on the computers as a public service. Of course, Macs already ship with both Python and Ruby, surely superior languages to BASIC and excellent learning languages as well.
On a Mac, all you have to do is fire up a terminal (Apple Key + Space Bar and then type “Terminal”), type “python” in the new terminal and you have a place to start learning programming. Work through the Python tutorial and you’re well on the way to becoming a novice Python programmer.
Of course, on a Windows machine you’re going to have to do a little more work because, well, it is Windows after all.