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

MagicPoint is an X11 based presentation tool designed to make simple presentations easy and complicated presentations possible. Its presentation file (whose suffix is typically .mgp) is just text so you can create presentation files quickly with your favorite editor (e.g. vim, Emacs, pico, etc). MagicPoint is completely free and is offered under absolutely no warranty from it's developers. For more information, please refer to the Copy-write info bundled along with the package. Since MagicPoint extensively uses fonts in various sizes, the developers recommend installing good font rendering systems on the system. Please refer to README.fonts or README.fonts.jp for more details. However, in our experience, most stock installations of Linux from various leading distributions have no problem rendering the most common fonts required by MagicPoint.

Let us get started with down loading and compiling MagicPoint. The official home page of MagicPoint is http://www.mew.org/mgp/. Get the tarball from the homepage or look out for RPMs. The latest tarball available at the site is magicpoint-1.07a.tar.gz.

Untar the source as follows.

tar -xvzf magicpoint-1.07a.tar.gz

Follow the steps below to compile MagicPoint:

./configure

xmkmf

make Makefiles

make

When you believe that everything is OK, install MagicPoint as follows after logging in as root:

make install

make install.man

In case, you were able to lay hands on the MagicPoint RPM, more the better. First login as root and type the following command

rpm -ivh mgp-*.rpm

This wraps up installing MagicPoint using either the sources or the RPMS?s.

Having installed MagicPoint we will test some of the sample presentations. In the directory in which you have down loaded the source, there is another directory called sample. Illustrated below is a snapshot of part of our MagicPoint directory structure.

-rw-r--r-- 1 trevor users 40668 Feb 11 09:47 print.o

drwxr-xr-x 2 trevor users 1024 Feb 16 10:24 sample

-rw-r--r-- 1 trevor users 62701 Feb 11 09:45 scanner.c

-rw-r--r-- 1 trevor users 7094 Sep 10 1999 scanner.l

Inside the directory sample, you will find a lot of sample MagicPoint presentations. Run one of the presentations as follows:

mgp -g 800x600 sample.mgp

The above command will run the MagicPoint presentation for you in window of size 800x600.

Creating your own Presentations