I can not get matplotlib to work on a windows xp professional machine

If you don't want to use Ipython, you could change the

    > backend to Agg, which is non interactive (figures won't pop
    > up), save figures to a file and open it with a viewer. For
    > instance, the following should work from any ide.

Alternatively, you can use the TkAgg backend from the standard python
shell with interactive set to True, as described on