New Projects - Fresh from the Labs
And, as root or with sudo:
# make install
On what must be a record string of luck, Xfburn was the third app in a row to install itself in the menu. Check under Utilities→Xfburn. If it's not there, enter xfburn at the command line. For me, first impressions were of a slimmed-down K3b, and if you're finding this strangely reminiscent of that last PCManFM section, you're right. This is another one of those instant-loading programs that doesn't contain a zillion warning messages upon startup, and it has functional aesthetics without being ugly and GNOMEish (yes, I said it—send all hate mail to the address at the end of this article).
However, usage still is fairly restricted for the moment. As you can see from those three big buttons at the start, you currently are limited to “Burn Image, New Data Composition and Blank Disc”. Any new projects are opened in new tabs, K3b style, leaving the welcome screen at the first tab, allowing you to continue with more burning tasks. The Preferences section is clean and simple, and it lets you scan for devices without any of the manual trickery you may expect from a lightweight application. The nicest touch I found was the drop-down box toward the bottom right of the screen when composing a new disc that lets you choose whatever size disc you are using on the fly—very refreshing.
For the moment, this application is quite limited in that it's data-only for now (no audio CDs or video DVDs), but it still is in heavy development. The development team has made the wise choice of making the program very modular and scalable, allowing them to add bits later but keep the mechanics tight on what they have coded for now. Again, for any lightweight distro builders, this is a neat choice, and once development has added further functionality, Xfburn and PCManFM would make a formidable combination for everyday desktop usage.
Projects at a Glance
QBrew—Home Brewing Calculator (www.usermode.org/code.html)
For the lucrative free-as-in-beer Linux drinking market comes the home brewing calculator QBrew. Full of great technical stuff like mash content, something called the Morey color calculation, presets for all kinds of beers/ales across the globe, and the thoughtful ability to change between metric and imperial, this project is a must for any home brewers out there.
Knitter—3-D Knitting Tool (knitter.sourceforge.net)
Are you bored with the usual patterns in supermarket magazines and looking for something more hard-core? Well for you knitting maniacs, Knitter is a 3-D knitting tool that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. With Knitter, you can preview patterns in full wire frame 3-D and even account for factors such as gravity with a new physics engine. So for all you hard-edged, dangerous knitting mavericks, rock on!
TkResolver++—Telekinesis Testing Software (pkl.net/~node/software/tkresolver)
Now for the most literal case of mind-bending software I've seen. This scientific experiment draws a line down the screen that's influenced directionally by a random number generator. Your job is to try to influence the line's behavior with your mind, and the program records the results, which can be compared to other operators' statistics around the globe—just don't bend your monitor's cathode ray.
Brewing something fresh, innovative or mind-bending? Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Knight is a 24-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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- Gordon H. Williams' Making Things Smart (Maker Media, Inc.)