Category Archives: Life

Random Scribbles

1. The FOSS teacher training cum workshop (2nd edition) at WBSUB, Kolkata on March 13-14 was great. IDG, Susmit, Subhodip, me along with 3 other wbut-lug guys trained them about the basics of FOSS, desktop environments, openoffice, productive internet etc. Really, it was good to find school teachers getting trained in FOSS as they would have a ripple effect on their students. The sessions were exhaustive and handouts/handbooks were also distributed. The photoset is here.

2. Google Summer of Code 2009 is on and OpenStreetMap, Fedora, KDE & lots others are participating this year. Student applications have started yesterday. Head out here to open the doors of freedom. Btw, this is the 5th year (anniversary) GSoC is happening and hence the Retro 60’s logo theme. πŸ™‚

3. Went to Burdwan yesterday for some work. But the cool thing is drove all the way (up & down 160 kms) from durgapur myself. It was fun! Never went so far considering me a newbie in driving cars.

4. Kinda pissed off that college tech-fest is not happening this year. Permission problems and all. well, a long story in itself!!


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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ 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.

Random notes…

Just sat to jot down my mind.

1. Travelled to few interesting places lately. To begin with, had a trip to Vishakhapatnam with my friends during christmas. Some photos are here. After that went to Ganga Sagar Mela (fair) in mid-January. As the common belief goes, most go there to wash off their sins with a holy dip in River Ganges. It was more or less fun out there. But felt like they (authorities) can do a lot more to boost tourism in the place where 15-20 lakhs of pilgrims visit in just 3 days.

2. Had a jiffy trip to Kolkata Book Fair. Helped guys at the IOTA stall. It was about promoting Free Software, with nice demos to people coming around and lot more.

3. Visited Bijra after quite some time. kishan, rtnpro & gang also went to have an overview. Had interesting feedbacks.

4. Talks & workshop on Fedora at Mukti’09. For updates check event page.

5. My internet has been acting up for the last week. I *hate* network timeouts. But now i’m using OpenDNS and its’ working great.

AXIS’08 Event Report

I should have blogged this a lot earlier. But I was badly busy with the current workshop. So sincere apologies for that.

AXIS is the annual technical fest of VNIT, Nagpur. So, on the afternoon of 24th September, we (Susmit, Subhodip and me) boarded Gitanjali Express for our visit to Nagpur. Thanks to Susmit, as most of the preparations were done by him like buying tickets, printing of stickers, posters, dvd labels and burning the Fedora dvds etc.


snap #1: fedora goodies πŸ™‚

According to schedule, we had two slots for seminar and workshop, a 1.5 hour slot on 26th September for talks and another 2 hour slot on the 27th for workshop. Thanks to our hosts, they arranged for a room with sitting capacity ~100. So, we started the talks nearly on time (~4:30 pm). Susmit started with ‘Introduction to Fedora‘. The hall had around 70 sudents by that time. They really liked the ‘Truth Happens‘ and ‘Choice‘ videos. Apart from that Susmit quite categorically explained ‘Why Fedora?‘ and then ‘How you can contribute to Fedora?‘.

After this, it was time for Subhodip to take up the thread and delve the ‘Myths of Linux‘ that people generally possess. His talk was quite cool especially the myth that you can’t play songs and videos properly in Linux was killed. He also talked about for motivating girls into Linux. Both of them took somewhat more time than we decided. So, i was left with only 10-15 minutes i guess. But as i said, the hosts were very accomodating.

vnit crowd @ FOSS talks

snap #2: vnit crowd @ FOSS talks

fedora live

snap #3: fedora live

My talk was on ‘Fedora Live‘, that is Live CD and Live USB creation, install/test them, and emphasizing on the cool transition that’s possible today, from other operating systems into Fedora. Also the fact that ‘you have everything in your flash drive, both the Live OS and the documents et al‘. Since time was limited, i had to shorten up things. I quickly started the liveusb creation demo or rather a mini-workshop. One of the present students volunteered for creating the liveusb (which ran successfully from qemu). After that, some more of them did the same. Then i just briefed about scope of developments in this aspect (including submitting patches and bug-filling). The talks were officially wrapped up around 6:50 pm. Overall, the response was quite awesome. Three cheers!!!

Next was the workshop day. Well, there were some miscommunication within organizers. Because of that, the event startedΒ  over an hour late and turn up was low. We did the workshop but then came the surprise. They told up “We want another session tommorow…”. So then we again went back next day morning and encountered a hefty turn up quite more than we actually expected ~70 in a lab having just around 15-20 systems. And also most of them were 1st and 2nd year students.

During Workshop

snap #4: During Workshop

We locally hosted a dvd dump from a laptop and did network installation in all the machines. Many of them popped up with different querries, some of them were also quite interesting ones. We told them about yum, packagekit, livna, compiz, openoffice, gave demos of desktop environments and lots more. It went on for over 3 hours. Finally we ended the session with lots of photos and interaction regarding forming their college lug. They namely Arindam (not me!) and Anand told they already have a group of open source enthusiasts. So our question, ‘why don’t you form you LUG?‘. So that was the ending note…

Group Pic

snap #5: Group Pic

We returned the same day evening from Nagpur. It was a really great week!!

They told me over telephone that they will forward us the details of their LUG as soon as it’s in action πŸ™‚

More Snaps are over here.

Initial release of the i18n branch of osm rails-port

Now, we have a working i18n branch for the osm rails_port. This setup is done by using globalize and click-to-globalize plugins. As of now all/most strings of website can be translated using the present translation interface. We even have l10n statistics, translation update feeds and more…

SVN Branch: []

Wikipage: []

More detailed writeup: []

Loads of thanks to my mentor Mikel Maron and the entire osm community for guiding and helping me out in internationalizing the rails-port πŸ™‚

Another major chunk of work that will follow this is, map-tile localization. Also there are some enhancements to be done, listed in todo section of the wikipage. So discussions are open. And, i’m really glad that I passed my final evaluation of Google SoC, thanks again goes to my mentor πŸ™‚ It was a rocking summer!!

#dgplug turns four

Bunjee group ;)

Image: Bunjee group πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰ also shared the mapping spree back from

There were discussions regarding ‘release early! release often’,Β  ‘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.

day out @ kolkata

It was all about mapping and macboook. couple of pics:

I had been mapping different parts of ccu, parts of salt lake, park street, rashbehari avenue, ruby hospital, and the brand new shopping mall South City at Prince Anwar Shah Road, South Kolkata. It was a day full of fun (and exhaustion). Will try to upload them by tomorrow…

@Apple Store: got my macbook replaced (apple guys were really helpful). witnessed the mad rush for iPhone3G, with tv interview going on the other part πŸ™‚