Prime Time Freeware for UNIX

The back cover claims that the collection of software is geared towards programmers and users alike. But looks aren't everything; it's what is inside that counts with a package like this.

Different parts of this disc will make different people happy. But the key point is that there is something (no, plenty of things) for everybody. The fact that all the packages are well documented and up-to-date is an additional big plus. Instead of yet another dump of some FTP site, we have two logically organized and planned discs which makes finding what you want more intuitive and easy than an Archie search.

I would tend to recommend the discs more for the programmer or hacker than end-user, despite the number of “user programs” included. For anyone who does any programming or scientific work, the discs can be quite helpful. I admit to using several of the packages myself off the discs. Also, anyone who doesn't have a fast Internet connection will appreciate how quickly they can have access to all the latest Unix software with the PTF package. It takes the drudgery out of FTPing and downloading. In short, while the discs are not a revolutionary breakthrough, they are definitely a big step for UNIX software packaging and free software in general. If you think you might use it, get it. You won't be disappointed. However, if you neither need nor want the convenience of good package descriptions and organization, stick to your favorite FTP sites and save your money.

Preston Brown ( is a sophomore computer science student at Yale University. He first discovered Linux with an early TAMU release in late 1992, and has been using it ever since.