Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | September 19, 2005

software frees my day

Another frequent update to cover the Software Freedom Day 2005 held at St. Xavier’s College, Mapusa, Goa.

I finished preparing my presentation just four hours before (0300) i’d to get up(0700) to get ready and go on sanat’s bike (sanat as complimentary offer of the most supporting friend for the day). We left at around 0910 and reached the place at 0945. Luckily (and surprisingly?) Sanat was knowing the roads too…real steep. We reached wellll before time…Indian Standard Time i.e. Had a look around…whether u’d like to call the campus huge or not, there definitely is a lot of open space between the various buildings….our business being confined to just the college hall. ‘twaz funny with me tryng to locate nelson (event coordinator) just a normal visitor, and the volunteers thinking…why does this person want to meet him…my mistake. just can’t get in habit of being more than me. šŸ™‚

Program Schedule

  1. 2 amazingly performed songs (english songs as they originally sound) and a fusion dance
  2. Principal Newman Fernandes’ Opening speech on “freedom FLOSS provides to both developer and user”.
  3. Now the talks:
    1. Nelson Lobo and some B.Sc. Comp. Sc. students demo-ed the contents of the OpenCD and knoppix live CD. OpenCD contains a great choice of free software packages for the windows platform, primarily trying to convey the message of freedom to the windows user without scaring them off with “Move to Linux or perish” slogans. Knoppix is the most frequently used live distro but somehow even though GNOME doesn’t look so glossy, it’s still (rumored to be) less resource hogging than KDE and for the slow notebook (reasons well known) connected to the projector, it would have been wiser to demo the Ubuntu Live CD, which comes as part of OpenCD. This will not only help people use the CD’s to the full potential, but also realise that there are other options besides your KDE-centric knoppix (other window managers are also available but KDE is default). It also shows another cool property of GNU/Linux that a full distro fits on a CD, at the same time leaving loads of space for fitting in windows versions of those open source apps that you already found on the live demo of Ubuntu.
    2. Next up was the talk of the day: Prof George Easaw (the teacher) took a class (blackboard and chalk and all) on how a couple of local colleges had managed to set up the E-learning platform MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment), to benefit local students. Proprietorial solutions that I’m aware of (Blackboard) charges in several lakhs for what the open source solution can adequately fulfill. Read a comparison done by Humboldt State University. He invited all to try out http://www.gec.ac.in/me/mymoodle (username: newuser and password: newuser).
    3. Next up was Santosh Shetty, my friend went up on stage to present/conduct a class on directory structure in *nix based systems. Presentation wise, I liked the loud and clear voice that explained the mis-directed root šŸ˜‰ But font size and all should have been larger…on the blackboard, considering the class although comprised of few ‘students’ was mostly concentrated at the far back…cud hear voice…but the dull chalk powder ain’t pullin’ them enuf….good presentation in terms of saving on LCD costs.
    4. DP : – First and foremost the LCD projector was begging for some extra ventilation as the hellish heat of the diabolical presence. >:-) I sucked in my presentation. Since preparation sucked…just spent like an hour from 2am to 3am and had little sleep…didn’t rehearse the slides, so i went ff with my points from my previous slides before transitioning into next slides. partly it was because i have habit of writing down few points and elaborating like my blog posts…but at the same time also knew that ppl’ll need points to remember” sorta visual aids…well the audience selection also sucked with poor li’l HSSC students thrown into the hall.
      well, i’ll try improving my slides for ECAP and make it more generic…just a try…hoping for the best.
  4. Now the unofficial schedule: –
    1. Had lunch with the other speakers…am really really thankful to nelson lobo to take all the trouble to do so many arrangements to make me (and other speakers) feel comfortable with our voluntary work….kinda giving us more encouragement to further volunteer.
    2. Later, I caught with my friends after they finished braving the unfinished Debian install demo, which was going alongside the Xandros install demo. Regarding this, I’d say my friends and some few more went for the debian demo whereas majority went for the xandros install…this means 2 things:
      • my friends have sincere interest in learning complex areas of linux.
      • the fact that majority opted for the easy-to-install distro shows that people want to know practical ways of getting linux on their desktop. either case both are debian at the upper core.
    3. Next after my friends had lunch, we went to comp lab. and my friends were attending a hardware workshop while i was showing some useful sites of open source to some comp.sc. guys there. along with my photoblog, del.icio.us page, etc. they are using bsnl broadband, which crawls like dial-up during the day i.e. during college hours.

    We left around 1300 to get back to hostel. Left my friends’ at panjim…met another friend and continued back to univ. later

    Acknowledgements:first to bluebird and mm; thanks for the support u showed…to me…for…my presentation. it was nice of u to come from so far…ppl staying close to that place don’t realise…i was also pleased to see my hostel friends take trouble to come by bus and was lucky enough to keep my talk reserved till the last slot for them…coz i knew that whether it was lunch time or not…hssc students aren’t the targetted audience for any of the presentations. U R the target audience. my classmates appreciated the talk too (which is good encouragement). hope to see more critical mass…next time around with your influence…if my presentation was successful in convincing you…
    brajesh4u and abhishek also were thinking of possibilities of having SFD in the dept. it’s a remote possiblity since the machinery is more complicated but nothing wrong in dreaming….big.

    will post the later happenings in the next post.


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