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Here's a link that everyone can access: the tutorial on standalone scripts.

1) Is it possible that you aren't in the appropriate directory? Just a guess. What happens if you type ls? Sorry if this is too naive of question.

2) Strings can't be factored; polynomials can.

sage: P = 'x^2+x'
sage: P.factor()
AttributeError: 'str' object has no attribute 'factor'
sage: (x^2+x).factor()
(x + 1)*x
sage: R.<y> = ZZ[]
sage: R
Univariate Polynomial Ring in y over Integer Ring
sage: (y^2+y).factor()
y * (y + 1)

Of course, I didn't get your error message, so maybe something else is going on.