Dec 232013
 

In 1997 I worked in a very big press farm: we did lot of works related to drugs packaging and we worked on high volumes, so they eventually decided to try a new technology (at the time), one of the first models of Computer To Plate from Krause.
That was an amazing (and huge: more than 15 meters!) machine, it totally revolutioned our work at the time: for most of our commissions we hadn’t no need anymore to do computer -> prints -> films -> plates but we could go straight from computer to plates (and use them on the presses): we printed on a postscript printer exported by a Sun Ultra, on which we assembled the print layout and then we imposed it (with a laser) on 70cmx100cm plates (in a granite tub).
As Krause sent german technicians and I was the only one that knew english enough in that department, I was the one who was teached to use the machine :)
That was fun, and I also got in touch with X-Windows on the Ultra boxes, running SunOS and a desktop environment I was seeing also for the first time, CDE.

CDE

CDE running on Slackware

After a while I moved to another job and I never had the possibility to work on CDE again.
Then, last year, the Open Group released it as open-source \o/
As the released codebase was 15 years old, a lot of work had to be done to make it usable on modern computers, but much has already been done and recently a beta has been released.
So, despite it being still unripe and driven by curiosity and nostalgia, I decided to package the version they got in their git

http://ponce.cc/slackware/testing/CDE/

If you want to try it, read very well the README in that folder, as some (and a little invasive) manual steps have to be taken before building/installing.

Hope the older ones of you will got the same weird feeling as me, watching it running on Slackware :D

And, while I am at it… Merry Christmas and happy new year! ;)