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Much like Midnight Commander captured the feel and essence of the popular DOS application, Norton Commander, UnixTree models itself closely on the once popular XTreeGold. XTreeGold was the introduction that many first PC users had with DOS, which, much like Norton Commander, had a semi-GUI interface to ease the transition into a tricky environment. Although this may not strike an instant chord with command-line purists or full-blown X users, I know a number of people for whom XTreeGold was their primary interface day to day, and hopefully, UnixTree will ease their transition into the UNIX shell in the same way XTreeGold did for DOS. I've had a chance to use it, and I'm quite impressed, especially as certain essential UNIX commands are assigned to single keystrokes to speed up your daily command-line usage.
Anyone who has a mobile phone will know the time-old classic game, Snake. I still play the popular X game Gnibbles from time to time, and I've always had a soft spot for the style of gameplay. Gnake brings that gameplay to the console in a rather simplified form, but still, it's damn hard. Compilation is easy; simply grab the tarball, enter make and then ./gnake. I'm not sure whether the levels progress (I haven't passed stage one), but some of the options that can be altered include the playground size, speed, number of apples, growing length and the ability to add computer-controlled snakes.
Console Commander (concom.sourceforge.net)
Console Commander brings you a selection of information and system tools under an easy-to-navigate group of menus that should be of serious comfort to anyone not familiar with the Linux shell. Some of the clever features group together the sorts of information I've always had to dig through large GUI programs to reach, like Kinfocenter. Information, such as CPU type, free memory, partition usage, distro info and so on, is usually a pain to hunt down individually. Combined with tools that automate tasks like package and repository upgrades, how-tos and many more features, this is a handy program indeed. Although there's nothing technically amazing happening here, it has no pretenses about what it is and will save time for many users. I love it.
Brewing something fresh, innovative or mind-bending? Send e-mail to email@example.com.
John Knight is a 25-year-old, drumming- and climbing-obsessed maniac from the world's most isolated city—Perth, Western Australia. He can usually be found either buried in an Audacity screen or thrashing a kick-drum beyond recognition.
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.
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