May 16, 2009

Preparing for FOSJAM

One of the labs for the hackfest for FOSJAM
The day has finally come to an end for all the preparations for the grand day tomorrow, and we were greeted by a sandstorm which actually brought temperatures down in jaipur which was burning like hell with 45C.

The installation team from left me, udit and linuxguru
We configured labs and installed fedora 10 in 80 machines prior to the event, which will be used for hackfest.
The team from right jai, deependra singh, udit and the lugj rocker (guitarist) kapil
Everything set and now we left for our respective homes to get a sound sleep before the big tomorrow. Though some of the lugj members happily went to a pub close by to get their spirits high prior to the event.
lugj Members relaxing after the hectic day. from right anirudh, me, udit, deependra and kapil.
The venue for the event jecrc college.

May 14, 2009

Countdown to FOSJAM, Day 0

Lug Jaipur - FOSJAM
Day 0 15th May 2009
Countdown to FOSJAM
Nothing like the day, when you start it with installing fedora in hundreds of machines. Well today is that great day and preparations are are been give final touches. College laboratory machines are getting sleek fedora 10 (On college's request winblows have not been removed,though it got removed in some of the machines by the determined advocates of foss i.e. lugj members :)), xchat for using IRC during the event and loads of other cool features.
Machines getting an incarnation - fedora

Computer is laughing out loud, happy that it's finally getting freed.
LUG members from left, me, linuxguru and udit

Right now I am sitting on the server machine for the network installation, managed by Deependra singh. A meeting of the volunteers is also taking place in the lab making final decisions. Suddenly a pissed teacher marches into the lab shouting at why everyone missed his class for this stupid event, but looking at the rage in the eyes of the lug members and everyone else putting their heart and soul into the event, he quietly went out.

LUG members doing the job. Freeing computers and giving them and a new life

linuxguru doing the dirty job, fixing machines where network installation was not taking place.

College has given away to the monotonous, traditional education environment and has joined us for the freedom celebration called FOSJAM. Students can be seen interacting with lugj members (whenever they can get hold of one) discussing some related queries and getting acquainted a day before the showdown.

Cheesy moments during the installation ;) me, linuxguru and kapzi

May 12, 2009

Lug-Jaipur organizing FOSJAM

What is this Universe ?
From what it arises ?
Into what does it go ?
In freedom it arises, In freedom it rests
And into freedom it melts away.
..From Upanishads

FOSJAM is the celebration of the very essence, of the universe we are all part of i.e. freedom. It is a gathering, for everyone who believes in the Free and Open Source Movement, which is again a celebration of freedom. It is also a gathering, for anyone who wants to understand the Free and Open Source Movement, which is more over, a way of life. The event aims to grow awareness for the same cause in the city of Jaipur and in India.

What is Freedom

The event will showcase workshops by free software developers in India, who have been an actively contributing to the open source community for a long time now. Talks would range from technical stuff to basic, suiting a wide range of audience. Event will also host a hackfest, for programmers to get their hands dirty and play around with the code for the purpose of learning, fixing bugs, writing patches or maybe develop a module or a plugin.
It is been organized by Linux Users Group Jaipur ( LUGJ ) in co-ordintion with Jaipur Engineering College and Research Center (JECRC). We are thankful to JECRC for providing the venue and infrastructure for the event.

In all respects FOSJAM is an event organized by the community for the community. Anyone is free to come and join the celebration of freedom.

May 7, 2009

lugj logo from the desert

What is the recipe of success for a lug?
Though sounds like a business venture, but it is not, its simply our good old linux users group which specially "we", are trying to nurture and grow in a small place called jaipur, right in the middle of the indian desert and the state called rajasthan, Which BTW hosts more than 4 gsoc 2009 (if I'm not wrong) students. Can we even computer hardware at temperatures above 45C with no air-conditioning?, well certainly we can and that is a different topic of discussion rather.
But what we have for the time being achieved is that form a linux users group jaipur which we unanimously (not that unanimous though, i can still hear some teeth crunching) decided to call LUGJ. We were all happy with our little achievement but then the sudden thought of the future puzzled us. Not everything has answers so we went to celebrate with some beers what we have at the moment and think about the future after some beers when the mind is clearer like a sunny day.
And that (the beer thing) some how sparked the imaginative nuerons in a lug member's head (udit sharma) and he started to work on the lugj logo design. And later, another lug member (jay pandya) trying to give more graphical looks to the previous one, came out with something we dint have to approve of, it was destined to be our logo, it was that obvious. And we named it the "tux-banna", where banna stands for the "rajput boy" where rajput can be googled.


Later the imagination of lug-members (only jay I mean) gave tux-banna innovative and discreet looks and here is one which is good. In the background is a famous monument of historical importance in jaipur.

And after the logo we have been considerably more active and have come out with lugj's website but it's still been given some final touches and will be up by tomorrow I hope.
We hope this lug doesnt get buried under the sand of thar and shine with our tux-banna.

May 6, 2009

linux users group jaipur, first workshop/fedora install fest

The following lines came to my mind

May the winds be upon our back,
And the sun upon our face,
And the wings of destiny carry us aloft to dance with the stars..

when the day finally came for the first ever lugj (linux users group jaipur) workshop called as FOSS-nigma, which was to be held at Kautilya Institute of Technology, organized by a lugj member Udit Sharma who is a student of 3rd year computer science of the same college. we all had eagerly waited for this event, it has also adorned lugj’s IRC channel (#lug-jaipur) topic for the past one month and it was also lugj’s first ever public appearance so you can imagine the enthusiasm. The workshop was, A FOSS talk session and Fedora install fest.

The event was scheduled for Sunday 26th April at 10:00 o’clock and I was there at 9:30 to be of some help. The clock was ticking, it was already time and I dint see any participants coming, then something struck me, it’s a sunday and I began to worry what if no one turns up. But soon my mind was at peace when I saw people turning up (late but alright ) and the seminar hall was filled to capacity i.e. around 80.
So we just brazed through the opening of the event and the stuff which doesn’t matter a lot , we soon started with our talks session for the day. Just as the event was stating I saw Udit coming up with two/three cartons full of stuff and was later told that they contained free goodies to be distributed during the event, graciously provided by Mozilla and Sun. So the now the talks.

(1). Introduction to FOSS by Mr.Varad Gupta (He’s the first RHCSS in India, an active contributor to the community and also runs a linux training academy in Delhi called Fostering Linux). We couldn’t have found a better speaker than him to talk about free and open source software and he drove down all the way from Delhi that morning just for the event, we were like wow!!. The talk was really good for newbies and for us well which made us aware some facts and figures about open source movement that we dint know of. He talked about the basic philosophy behind the freedom movement (FOSS) which is what I like to refer it with. There were very good examples of the freedom ideology been adapted outside the software world, companies like GoldCorp (a mining company) which adapted to the open source model and became a leader from becoming a bankrupt, there were many examples like that which made the audience very keen. The session was interactive as we gave away free goodies to the person who answered questions asked by the speaker and by that time Varad also added some 50 odd copies of the april isue of LFY which he brought with himself to our already large the collection but lacking the grandness. The talk was really an enlightening experience for everyone.So as the talk got over Varad had to leave for delhi so we got little time to chat with him regarding lugj’s future plans but he was patient enough to talk for a while and would really like to carry on his association with lugj. He gave some good suggestions regarding the FAD we want to conduct and will try if he could bring some Red Hat guys too. Well then he left, making us proud of what we have and are doing.

(2). Firefox and its addons by Mr.Udit Sharma (lugj member, mozilla campus rep and fedora ambassador and also college OSUM leader, He’s too much rolled into one, right :) ). Udit Sharma talked about firefox (wearing a thunderbird Tee)and some of its great addons like youno, chatzilla, googlepidea, scrapbook, firebug etc and people were keen to know about what firefox is, though some of them have been using it but dint exactly know how powerful it is.
(3). Firefox-extended. Well this wasnt really a scheduled talk but one of our lug members Jay Pandya(sarai fellow, wordmint developer and a 3rd year computer science student too) felt that firefox needs more time then what has been given (dont worry that was not an attempt to fork lug, we are good and very well running you envy people) so he grabbed the Microphone and starting talking about firfox (wearing a firefox Tee). He talked about history mozilla, how it actually came into existence and Free the Web philosophy, why do we need projects Mozilla and how it has transformed the web we look at it now. Free goodies were been continuously distributed by volunteers during the whole session and audience was making every attempt to atleast grab one. By now the whole session has become very interactive and people were simply throwing questions at the speaker which he was glad to answer.

(4). Fedoraproject by Anirudh singh shekhawat (fedora ambassador and 3rd year student). Well it was high time we talked about fedora which we were going to install in everyone’s computer during the install fest. I started the talk with what is fedora and stuff like who uses fedora around the world, people behind fedora etc etc. The one important point I wanted to make was to answer the question people generally have regarding fedora is that fedora being not an easy to use desktop i.e. as mostly say a newbie non-friendly desktop, so I told everyone that fedora does not compete in that domain to provide with end users an easy to use desktop like some other distros do. But, rather it competes where it wants people to get involved in the community and help them give ways to contribute back to the community. It wants a consumer to become a contributor. With a wide sphere fedora project which requires not even technical people but rather non-techies to do things like documentation,Marketing,Speakers and the beautiful Artwork which fedora has become known of.

That was enough of talking for newbies to get a little introduction of FOSS I guess.
So in the end we decided to have a BoF session to clear their brains from any proprietary stuff they might have been left with. And as we expected we were fired with questions, coming from every corner of the room. Everyone was calmed down and we started to take one question at a time. Most were the general questions like why should we use linux, what it has that windows does not have,the virus, security features etc. The session proved to be the important of all and I think at the end of it everyone was convinced to every extend to put a linux distro in his/her computer and fiddle with the damn thing.
After the workshop we took a half an hour lunch/chichat break where the lunch was also provided by the college.

Fedora Install fest-
Thanks to Mr. Rahul sundaram and Mr.susmit who graciously sent us 100 fedora-10 DVDs for the install fest. And all thanks to Udit that we were given an Air-conditioned, projector equipped, Internet ready lab for the install fest. So we quickly got hold of a participant’s laptop, connected it to the projector, distributed DVDs and turned ON the fedora magic. The projector was used to show everyone what steps to follow for the installation process and it turned out to be very easy for everyone. We were also explaining some stuff as they came along like swap,ext3, LVM etc. And soon all the manual work was done and all laptops were now installing fedora. We used this free time to tell everyone about how to get codecs to play restricted audio/video files like mp3,avi etc and also told them how to get help on the internet and most importantly IRC. One thing which we really missed during the install fest were laptops with ATI cards and an opportunity to fire at ATI as well, if only it wouldn’t have worked, we certainly dont come out as crazy yuppies who’d simply fire words at anyone, but in the ATI case, we wouldn’t have minded it either :) . So after the installation, time for the first boot. And I remember the gaping faces, when they saw fedora booting and they were very happy to have something like that on their machine. There were some animation guys who were so happy with the kind of Artwork fedora has been doing and they in no time would love to contribute back to the community. With some more remarks like that we just couldn’t hide the smiles from our faces and felt good about the whole event and thanked everyone for the support and an opportunity to spread the freedom movement around. As we were leaving the college there was a rock band competition about to start and we could hear the drums and guitars being tested, the mood was rightly set and we marched through the gates as the soldiers of the great freedom revolution, feeling happy to bring it to our little place called jaipur and determined as ever to take it further…