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Julia on Google Compute Engine: installation and first steps

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This blog entry is part one of a series on using Julia with Google Compute Engine. It was inspired by a bit of narcissism, a burning passion for scientific computing, and lackluster experiences with other comparable languages. I recently had the opportunity to answer a question about running Julia on Google Compute Engine (GCE), and thought I'd dust off this half-finished blog entry to round it all out.In this entry, we'll focus on installing Julia on a GCE instance.What is Julia?Julia is a fairly recent programming language that focuses on high performance and ease of use. It's become rather popular in scientific circles as an alternative to languages like R or MATLAB. It's interactive environment means that you can explore data and models easily, but because Julia programs execute quickly, they scale well, and can be easily parallelized.I can't do the Julia language justice in one paragraph, so you should check out all the various features on their site. We'l…