### Python - Variables

Variables in Python Now that you have Python installed and know how to start the Python shell, you’re ready to do something with it. We’ll begin with some simple calculations and then move on to variables. Variables are a way of storing things in a computer program, and they can help you write useful programs. Calculating With Python Normally, when asked to find the product of two numbers like 8 × 3.57, you would use a calculator or a pencil and paper. Well, how about using the Python shell to perform your calculation? Let’s try it. Start the Python shell by double-clicking the IDLE icon on your desktop or, if you’re using Ubuntu, by clicking the IDLE icon in the Applications menu. At the prompt, enter this equation: >>> 8 * 3.57 Notice that when entering a multiplication calculation in Python, you use the asterisk symbol (*) instead of a multiplication sign (×). How about if we try an equation that’s a bit more useful? Suppose you are digging in your backyard and uncover