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Cool Linux CD

After spending a few minutes with Cool Linux CD (see Figure 3), it quickly becomes apparent that this distribution really excels in multimedia. If you're into audio, video, or 3D graphics, this one is definitely worth a look.

Figure 3Figure 3 The Cool Linux CD desktop.

Cool Linux CD uses IceWM, a lightweight window manager that requires fewer system resources than KDE. There's some tradeoff in the ease-of-use and eye candy departments, but overall it works well. One ease-of-use issue cropped up quite early on, when I started the included Mozilla browser and discovered that I had no network connectivity! Fortunately, there's an icon on the desktop, labeled Start LAN. After selecting a DHCP-based configuration, I was able to browse the web without a hitch. In addition to Mozilla, an adware version of the Opera web browser is included. The Rox file manager is also included. OpenOffice.org and AbiWord handle office suite chores.

Multimedia is where this distribution really shines. For audio buffs, there are editors, mixers, and looping tools. Video is also well supported. Cinelerra provides a DV editing environment reminiscent of Final Cut Pro. Once you're done editing your video, an assortment of players and format converters are ready for post-production use. GIMP is provided for 2D graphics work, and there are several 3D modeling programs, including Blender and Truevision.

Cool Linux CD provides a unique mix of software, but it's probably better suited to users who have worked with Linux, rather than neophytes. With the CD, a FireWire drive, and a bit of Linux knowledge, it offers a multimedia studio to go.

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