We hope you had a good Christmas and got what you wanted (maybe even a new computer?). Now you'll want something to keep you occupied during the dark and cold evenings to follow, so we have three CDs and a DVD full of fun and useful software. Most software on our coverdisc is supplied as source tarballs or binary packages, needing installation before you can try them out. Wouldn't it be easier if you could run programs directly from the disc? That's what we thought, so the two main features on this month's discs do just that.
Racer is a racing car simulation you can run straight from the disc. Freeduc is a "Live CD" Linux distribution, one that you can run and use without installing anything to your hard disk, simply put the CD or DVD in your drive and reboot the PC. Have a happy new year.
The Freeduc distribution shows the importance many people place on the educational market, getting people to use Linux as early as possible can only be good, for them and for Linux. Here is another program for our newest users. TuxPaint is a painting program for Linux, as if you hadn't worked that out for yourself. What the name doesn't tell you is that it is for children. While a five year old would be bewildered by The Gimp, they would have no problems getting to grips with TuxPaint, and enjoying themselves in the process. All images are loaded through a thumbnail browser. Not only is this easier for children to use, it means they have no access to the filesystem, which is a good thing (although it doesn't mean stop them putting biscuits in the disk drives). TuxPaint has very modest hardware requirements, so you can let the children use it on an old PC if you don't want to let them loose on your new, expensive toy.
From the January 2003 issue.