Category Archives: dgplug

#dgplug #fad

On May 14-15, 2009 dgplug organized a Fedora Activity Day at BCREC, Durgapur targeted mainly for newbie users. This was basically a follow-up event to the Fedora installfest that we organized sometime back. The notion was, ‘okay, so now that i have installed Fedora, what to do with it?’ . We put up the sessions in such a way that, even the fresh faces don’t find anything ‘out-of-the-blue’.

What did we do?

Day #1:

  • Introduction to Fedora Project – /me
  • Myths of Linux busted with Fedora – kishan and subhodip
  • Session on Inkscape & Fedora Artwork – arpita, amrita & deboshree
  • Desktop Usability session (kde look n feel, media support) – ratnadeep
  • IRC and Mailing List Etiquettes – rangeen and /me
  • FEL Workshop – rangeen

We had around 30+ students (mostly from 2nd year), 20 standalone systems, 5-6 laptops. The had F10 installed whereas the desktops were running on FEL Live DVDs. Now, during the introduction, I broadly explained what is FOSS, the 4F’s and how the community makes Fedora a better option/choice. The mythbuster session was quite well, there were question regarding openjdk, graphics and wireless support. The dgplug girls also did a nice session with inkscape. Post-luch, the IRC session was interesting (mbuf & roshan08 waved on the big-screen). We told them about #dgplug, #fedora-india, wikis & bugzilla and different mailing lists to discuss different issues. Everything went good except power-cut did a downplay during the FEL workshop. Rangeen however explained different apps with his laptop. A student working on robotics also tried designing a basic circuit in ktechlab. We had to then reschedule rest of the sessions for the following day.

Day #2:

  • Commonly used shell commands – harsh and /me
  • Yum and Packagekit – rtnpro and subhodip
  • The power of Vi – dibyanshu
  • Workshop on C using gcc – rtnpro
  • Overview of Anjuta IDE – /me
  • A session of Java in Fedora – subhodip

On this day, we had around 20 students. During the shell command session we also told them about file hierarchy system and file permission, ownership etc. Dibyanshu, a newbie himself had a good session on vi. The workshop on gcc and anjuta was mainly aimed to help the students do their lab assignments of C in gcc rather than good-old TurboC compiler. Ratnadeep explained to them, gcc is 32-bit compiler, how to compile and execute C programs in gcc, the improvements of C99. After this, the students were given to solve couple of simple lab assignments (fibonacci series and palindrome problem). It was kinda nice to see each of them use vi and gcc to do them. Then, for IDE lovers, Anjuta was shown and how it can ease of life while doing a project on C. They did the same assignments in anjuta for instant practise. Then subhodip gave them a sneak-peek into Java with his laptop (in near darkness because of a repeat power-cut at that time thanks to evening Nor-westers). Then we distributed F10 DVDs (40-50) & FEL LiveDVDs (27) and ‘powered by Fedora’ stickers.

PS: If you can’t see the photo-slides here, please check the ‘dgplug fad‘ album

The Takeaway:

So, for the two days we had around 40 students (old and new). I could see around 10 faces from the previous installfest (well most of them girls and quite interested). The numbers were fairly okay considering the ‘egg-jams’ just after 10 days. But they really seemed to like anjuta and gcc (because now they know how to code C in Fedora), and whole lot of things shown for the two days. The FEL session was also useful in context to doing 8085-micropocessor programming in GnuSim8085 and matlab stuffs in octave. There were actually 5-10 ECE students during the FEL workshop. They were also told of join Fedora classrooms and dgplug sommer training to continue the good process of learning. And also the goodness of giving back to community. They have enough to chew on for next 1-2 months. We do need to organize another follow-up event (focussed on contribution and assessing the progress, maybe August, at a date when we can have all the colleges together).

That apart, in the midst of the FAD, we got permission from concerned faculty person to have a local Fedora mirror. It will be updated weekly/bi-weekly. We have got a nominal 70GB diskspace and can easily have all the iso images of Fedora DVD/LiveCDs along with the mirror. The students can get Fedora both as dvds or live-usbs. Also they can get the latest updates. They just need to come down to get whatever required.  It’ll pretty much offset availablity problems due to poor bandwidth and interconnectivity. But still the disconnect needs to be bridged amply to enable the students to properly use the power of irc and mailing lists.

Bottomline, though being postponed by a month, it went on great and was whole lot pHun :) More snaps and event reports.

KGEC + FAD

I decided to be at the Fedora Activity Day at Kalyani Government Engg. College on the last moment. So on 21st February morning ~0530 hrs, three of us (rtnpro, tux_440volt & me) boarded the Durgapur-Kalyani state bus. Well, en-route @ Memari some protestors stopped the bus and then, we had to change three local trains to finally reach Kalyani.

Once there, Rohit (2nd year, KGEC) came to take us from station. We reached the venue at a fairly good time ~1130 hrs inspite of the hackles. While entering the main building, we saw a long queue of people registering for the event, getting their student kits (F10 media, stickers and other stuffs). Was like Fedora everywhere, took some snaps.

Without wasting anymore time, we briskly went to the auditorium. Rangeen was there overviewing the event. Shortly after Indranil Das Gupta and some college faculties came in. Shreyank and Mitesh from NIT-Durgapur were also there. Couple of college faculties kickstarted the FAD then after. It was nice to hear that the college management amply supported FLOSS though that needs to increase more & more :) Indranil was the chief guest of the event. He then gave a good introduction on “What is *this* all about?”. Then it was time for lunch.

Post-lunch, we started our session. We were running one-hour late due to a power-cut though.

At 1400 hrs, I started it out with a nice ‘Introduction to Fedora‘. Subhodip did follow it up busting ‘Myths of Linux‘. The two sessions lasted for around 2 hrs. After that we both did a half-an-hour Q/A session. I liked that the number of students were same throughout the day. There were hosts of questions. We showed them about common nitty-gritties, like network, proxy configs, packagekit, look and feel of KDE 4.2. Some were also redirected to Rangeen to be answered in the installfest that was lined up after this.

Soon after the installfest started ~1630 hrs. We all went there (it was a CSE lab AFAIR) to have a peek into what was going on. Initially there were around 60+ students which is quite good. We (me and subhodip) had to leave shortly after this. I had my sisters’ wedding reception in the evening and I gotta *be* there at any cost. The installfest formally/informally lasted upto 0200-0300 hrs late into the morning thanks to Rangeen and Ratnadeep. They did a fantastic job. rtnpro did some cool things with his mini mirror-in-a-box ;) More about it here.

And last but not the least, the organizers did a great job to put up the event. They told me that network administration at their hostels was in their hands which was great. Though, all the 5 halls were not interconnected. But anyway, they can have local mirrors for each halls. They have also formed a LUG just yesterday, which will consolidate them more.

Photos are over here and here.

#dgplug turns four

Bunjee group ;)

Image: Bunjee group ;)

It was an offbeat birthday celebration. No cake…nothing! We…ten of us gathered @ wonder vatika food court…to have inpromptu discussions and of-course lunch. Steaming over the masala dosas and hakka noodles, the real piece of cake was juniors (i just mean college juniors) sharing their experience using linux & foss tools…consistently moving from user level to actively contribute in different projects. Everybodu put up their experiences. I also told my bit of story…was trifle long ;) also shared the mapping spree back from freed.in/2008.

There were discussions regarding ‘release early! release often’,  ‘as free as beer’, ‘being little crazy’ and more importantly a mindset to focus on one/two doable things at a time rather than trying to do everything togather. It was an equal platform…’anybody can advice everybody‘.

The day ended with a resolution of what each of us will be working in coming months & also to bring up newer members in the LUG, and so on! Finally, we finished off with the icecream cups & cones. I really missed my camera as its’ with my dad on an official trip to south india.

Some more photos are here.

Random Notes…

dgplug talkies @ NIT Durgapur: Today there was a seminar-cum-discussion at Assembly Lab, IT Department, NITDGP between 2nd & 3rd year students over there and dgplug members lead by Kushal da. So, the catch line was “you guys have so good infrastructure and brains, why not just come up and contribute in different upstream projects”. Kicking off with a introductory session about us & what we were doing etc, there were discussions regarding how & where to contribute in FOSS, the different tools out there like demos were given for irc, svn, python, bugzilla, creating patches etc. It was quite something when irc went live….lots of people online including pradeepto da & runa didi waved at future developers, document writers and translators :) Also a special mention was made about Indichix to inspire girls into linux. There were talks regarding Google soc and also the job benefits of learning foss tools. It was a very open environment & credit goes to them also, “learning foss thing in the foss way”. Lots of stickers and some lug posters wre also distributed. After lunch at a food court called vatika, we moved for another session at BCET which was also more or less okay.

fedora installfest @ BCREC: Big or small, knowing the thing is the ultimate goal. Couple of days back, dgplug conducted a fedora installfest for 1st & 2nd year guys of BCREC. There were atleast 20 students with 5 laptops. So, it was a fantastic beginning. Apart from the basic installation steps of fedora, people got lots of important packages for audio/video/graphics etc from a local repository. In this process, they learnt to do yum, install rpms. There was also brief discussions about how to draw big stuffs in small time with inkscape, connect to internet, basic directory structure and preliminary commands to work in linux etc.

We hope they will in turn help their peers and also get more foss contributers apart from users from both these colleges. I must mention that NIT Durgapur has a 34 Mbps dedicated internet connection and they were thinking of a fedora mirror inspired from WBUT Kolkata & NIT Hamirpur. Hopefully we can see that someday :)

Random Notes...