Software Freedom Day 2009, Kolkata

On 15th September, 2009 the Software Freedom Day was celebrated in

The CSI Auditorium,

Computer Society of India, Kolkata Chapter,

5, Elgin Road, 4th Floor,

Kolkata – 700020

The following talks and discussions were planned for the SFD 2009, Kolkata :

A. Mani to speak on “The Fedora Project”

J. P. Mathews to speak on “Using Linux on PCs with limited resources”

Ratnadeep Debnath(me) to speak on “Fedora-12 Highlights”

Snehashish Chakraborty to speak on “RabbitMQ”

From Durgapur, me, Kishan Goyal, Harsh Verma and Bama Charan Kundu had come to Kolkata on 15th September to attend SFD. We reached the CSI auditorium at around 4:30 PM. There we met with A. Mani. We had a small introductory chat with each other. We were given some SFD goodies like badges, balloons, etc. Then we setup Kishan’s notebook for the purpose of presentation and successfully connected it to the projector.

At around 5:00 PM, J. P. Mathews and some people from DPS Technologies India, and Rohit joined us in the SFD’09. Some students ( engineering) also turned up. There were around 12 people attending the event. A. Mani welcomed everyone to the event and then J. P. Mathews said that Snehashish Chakraborty, unfortunately, could not come to the event. Then he distributed leaflets for the new

Sapienza Home PC coming preloaded with Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

Specifications : Intel ATOM Processor 230 @ 1.6 GHz + Intel original MotherBoard, IGB RAM, 160 GB SATA HDD,

17″ TFT Display with in-built speakers, Keyboard and mouse, Optional DVD drives, etc.

Starting from Rs. 14,900 onwards.

Then A. Mani came up with his talk on the Fedora Project. It was quite informative and introduced the attendees to the features of Fedora, the Fedora Community, foundations of Fedora, Open Source. It was followed by me ( rtnpro) talking on what is new Fedora 12. Topics of the talk were General Introduction to Fedora Project, Fedora Release Cycle, features in Fedora 11, things which couldn’t be implemented in Fedora 11, what’s new in Fedora 12, common Fedora 12 bugs, how to contribute to testing. As an example, I mentioned the various opensource projects that the members of DGPLUG has been involved into. I also highlighted the significance of portable repositories, which is of vital importance when internet connection is a constraint.  Slide used for the presentation can be found at

http://www.slideshare.net/rtnpro/fedora-12-introduction

Then there was a small break for tea. After that, J. P. Mathews gave his talk on Using Lnux on PCs with limited resources. He also discussed about the Sapienza Home PC, which is very affordable, running on Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Then he also mentioned about Linux being used at schools and educational institutions. LTSP is a good technology to be used for the purpose. He also showed interest in the ongoing Bijra Project of DGPLUG ( using LTSP). Idea of having a local flash storage in the LTSP terminals were also discussed. Open Source virtualization tools were also discussed and compared with VMWare. Mr. Mathews also mentioned a functional programming language named Erlang, and Open ERP frameworks.

This was followed by free media distribution of Fedora 11 DVDs and Ubuntu 9 Live CDs.

The event concluded at around 7:15 PM. The discussions held during the event were very interesting and innovative. This marks a long path to travel. The event was a success with people  getting in their head to foster a general understanding of software freedom, and encourage adoption of free software and open standards.

Using Linux on PCs with Limited ResourcesU
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Bijra Project Updates

It has been quite some time I blogged on our ongoing classes. And how are we doing? So far it’s been quite some good experience taking classes in Bijra High School. Hope to make it better and better.

Lately, classes were taken in Bijra High School on 4/3/2009 and on 6/3/2009.

Let me remember…mmm…what did we do out there on 4th March…I remember now :

We were lucky to get the 11:20 B-Zone bus to Kataberia. People who went to Bijra? Ratnadeep (rtnpro), Kishan, Bappi, Meejanur, Harsh ( with his digikam). We reached the school by 12:00 PM. We called the Std. VIII students in groups in the Computer Lab. Bappi and Kishan took charge of the lab. Basically, it was kind of a recapitulation or better introductory class for the Std. VIII students. They were introduced to the OpenOffice Writer and later they had some hands-on with TuxPaint. I and Meejanur went to Std. V to take theory. O Gash! It was some different Std. V than the last time we saw it, full of din and bustle. We started the speak on the topic CPU and its components. Don’t know what happened, was it that we could not communicate the topic nicely or they were in a mood of fun, the class could not continue. We talked on this matter to their teachers and asked for their cooperation to make the students more disciplined. Then it was the half day break. After that, there was the computer lab for the students of Std. VI and I and Bappi went to Std. VII. The students were serious. The class was responsive and inquisitive. I remember them even asking :

Can I see what’s in my friend’s bag with a computer?

How to start a computer?

How to play games in computer?

As always, Bappi gave a nice brief introduction on the basics of a computer. And I spoke on the WHY part … Why to study computers? How it will make their education a fun? How info was shared before the advent of computers , mobiles, phones and what it is now? All this time, Harsh was on the move taking the pics for the day’s Bijra report. We were about to end the class, but we had to end it in an unusual manner when we heard the horn of the 3:15 PM Bus back to Durgapur. I shouted for the Bus to wait, I and Bappi bade them goodbye and ran for the bus. We called others and finally boarded the bus. The students were all gathered near the windows to bid us Good Bye.

6th March, 2009:

It was a normal day at Bijra High School, I, Bappi and Harsh went there with our notebooks all running on Fedora 10. It was the previous day’s fiasco in Std. V that made me think that the kids need to enjoy the computers and then start learning the boring theory. So, I talked with Subhodip Biswas and decided to go to Bijra High School with notebooks, to make the classes more interactive. As expected, when we went to Std. VII, the all jumped up to their feet to see us opening our notebooks infront of them. We showed them how to start the computer, how to login, explained the username-password relation with lock-and-key analogy. Then Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury and Shreyank Gupta from NIT Durgapur arrived at Bijra High School. Then we continued with our class. We showed the kids some cool KDEedu applications like Marble, Kbruch, played Videos, Songs, pictures, showed them themselves on the Laptop screen with Cheese. In between, harsh was so frustrated that he was dying to teach apart from taing pics. Lucky, for him he found that the kids understood Hindi and he right away dived in to interact with the kids. We did it in groups. They were all elated. Then they were taken to the lab in two groups. There Bappi, Rangeen and Shreyank took charge. Shreyank also mended the mouse-cut wires of the speakers, and made them functional. He started showing to the students some cool Nat-Geo videos, while others were on the other comuters with Bappi and Rangeen trying their hands on TuxPaint. Meanwhile, I and Harsh went to Std. VI with our notebooks. It was kind of the same response as we received in Std. VII. As in Std. VII, we showed them how to start a computer and do login. We also showed some cool applications like Marble, Kbruch, videos, music and pics. They were all enjoying the class. They now seemed really serious in learning this computer subject. It was around 3 PM that we wrapped up the classes. We introduced Rangeen and Shryank to Nizam Sir, the HeadMaster at Bijra High School. Then we got the 3:15 PM bus to Durgapur.

Thus a normal day at Bijra turned out to be a great successful day for both us and the students of Bijra.

Thanks

Regards

rtnpro