Pick a Free OS

From Power (point) to Magic(point) -- Presentations using your Linux box

So we decided to look around and what better place than Freshmeat (www.freshmeat.net). A little sniffing around Freshmeat and we came up with some good tools to make simple and handsome presentations. We downloaded the following software:

Prestimel

PPresenter

Magic Point

Prestimel turned out to be a no-brainer as we could not install it. We were testing it on a SuSE 6.4 Installation running the 2.2.14 kernel. However, we just could not figure out why Prestimel would not compile on our box although all the dependencies were satisfied. We finally gave up and are therefore unable to review Prestimel. We however did have some previous experience with Prestimesl and would recommend that you give it a try (i.e. if you can compile it). Creating slides in Prestimel was a piece of cake as we remember. It was as simple as taking the sample XML file provided with the stock compilation of Prestimel and tweaking it to suit our needs. You then run Prestimel again with the appropriate command line switches parsing it a template for the background and color scheme according to your choice and lo....... Prestimel creates all the slides as separate HTML files interlinked to each other and created using the template mentioned by you during parsing of the XML file. All you then need is an HTML browser to view the slides.

That was as far as Prestimel goes. The next application to be chucked off our list was PPresenter. This was another pain in the .......? You know how cryptic some of these packages can be. We soon realized that getting started with PPresenter would require us to code our own slides in some scripting language that was almost equivalent to messing around with assembly code. Not that PPresenter was any different from the others in the way things worked, but we felt that it was too cryptic for the average user to get a hold on. And to expect a novice to start coding in some cryptic scripting language just to make a elegant presentation is asking quite a lot.

Than left us with Magic Point and fortunately for our CEO (or us!), we had a better experience.