Hocus Pocus

I’ve recently been playing around with a new Linux distro. Previously I had been using Slackware, a great distro in it’s own right, but now I’ve found myself Sorcerer (review).

One of the great things about Sorcerer, is it’s fast, this is because all software is compiled specifically for my hardware (including utilising the improved instruction set of my processor). Most software comes in binary form, which is compiled for the lowest common denominator.

Where linux is concerened, the lcd is usually an i386 (pre-pentium), with windows it’s probably i586 (pentium 2) (this doesnt mean it’s better, it means it can only run in a 586 or above). Well, all my software is compiled taking advantages of the i686 (p3) that I have, meaning it all runs much faster.

But the fun doesnt end there… oh no. All the software on my system is seriously up-to-date, and can be automated to download and install all the latest upgrades to pretty much every peiece of software I have. Think of this as something like Windows Update, but without the slow IE based interface which requires your full attention. So… everyday at around 6pm my computer downloads a list of updated software to find out if there is anything new to install, and if there is, it downloads it and compiles it (and compiles it for my hardware, thus it == fast), all without my having to lift a finger. And dont think of it like it only update things that Windows Update would (that is, the browser, the media player, and patching security holes) it does all sorts of software. Why dont you take a look at the Grimoire (a grimoire is a book of spells).

And still it doesnt stop, Sorcerer has a package management system, that is, I can easily install/uninstall software with the tap of a few keys… for example, I can install mozilla by uttering “cast mozilla”, Sorcerer will go off and get me the latest copy available of mozilla, download it and compile it and install it. And if I no longer want mozilla, I can get rid of it simply also “dispel mozilla”. Now that’s EVEN easier than installing stuff for Windows. There is also a simple to use menu based program manager, for those who dont feel like typing commands.

Then comes along another bundle of joy, a brand spanking new Window Manager called FluxBox. It’s ultra ultra light, and has one of the most nifty little features i’ve seen yet for the GUI, tabbed windows… that is, you can link windows of a similar type into their own tabs, in the same way Opera and Mozilla let you browse in a tabbed fasion. Check it out!. I’ll make a screenshot when I’ve got more software casted.