Category Archives: Linux

Wohoo!! Just about an hour to go

UPDATE: Ah!! there it is, Fedora 10 Cambridge…Fire it up


Approaching another milestone!! Read stickster’s awesome message 🙂


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 🙂

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 started  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 🙂

More Snaps are over here.

Update 101: “The magic has begun”

All these days i was continuously working setting up the infrastructure ready, doing custom setups and testing things for the i18n of openstreetmap, more precisely setting up internationalization in rails which will comprise a major chunk of my gsoc project.

I started off by setting up an osm local install on my desktop earlier this month. That was something because there different set of things to look after and configure each of them properly. I got little stuck with the mod_tile thingy…the configs. I just couldn’t find where was some hard-coded paths renderd daemon was trying to access. Thanks to TomH & Alex, for mentioning about gen_tile.cpp. I thought all of these paths should be placed in render_config.h and even made a patch of it (to ease my work) but later learnt and/or realized that they are meant to serve some greater purpose like module options actually.

So, crossing all this, when rails together with mapnik powered on for the first time i was awestruck. I just wanted to laugh…whew!! Then after some discussions with my mentor Mikel Maron, we looked up at the different options available. He gave me a comparative study of different ways to internationalize rails. I kinda liked two amongst them namely, globalize-rails and ruby-gettext (which i had proposed earlier). So as planned, I somewhat did some quick hacky test setups to test both of them. Though they weren’t free of problems, but as of now, i simply like the robustness of globalize combined with click-to-globalize plugin. Also the the fact that globalize currently supports more languages give it a plus. Sven Fuchs has written some really cool tutorials….thanks to him because i don’t know for some reason whatsoever i’m not getting the Anyway, the current state is i’m trying to setup globalize in the rails_port of osm now. Its’ bound to have lots’ of problem…need to fix them. Another concern is that about the translators’ accounts. Whether it will be wiki-like so that anyone can put up translations or the traditional translation groups somewhat moderated. Though this will come at a later stage.

In the meantime, i actually upgraded my desktop to an E8200 2.66 GHz proc. + DG33FB motherboard + 2 GB combination and its’ showing some real power. So, another ordeal that came up of nowhere was shifting the entire setup to the new hdd. It made me remember of the osm vmware image that Milo van der Linden talked about in the early stages of the project. There was some real hike in the rendering speed compared to my 5-yrs old celeron 1.7 GHz mobo.

But now, my 6th semester exams are scheduled from 3rd-13th of June and i’m really getting low working hours now 😦 I will also put up a wikipage regarding i18n sooner than later. Loads of work still left…

Among other news, my activity oriented tutorials are up on the …lots of thanks to Anne Marie (annma) for putting them up. I just love the logo guy pointing to the tutorials. Hopefully, i’ll try to put more of them. And more recently Debayan from NIT-DGP has put up the 3rd ntp pool server for India (with my WBUT starting the spur as always). I can now three ntp servers in

Update: Also as a matter of fact, globalize-rails now supports much more languages compared to ruby-gettext. And when combined with click-to-globalize plugin, i can see that we can even actually chip in translations from a WebUI….which is pretty cool 🙂

i18n in OpenStreetMap

Yesterday, as an interesting twist of events my Google SoC proposal for OSM was accepted. Its’ about “Internationalization setup of osm web pages and map tiles“. Thanks to my mentor Mikel Maron and the entire OSM community. Its’ going to be a rocking summer 🙂

Internationalization of openstreetmap have diverse aspects hidden in it ranging from web pages localization, rendering localized map tiles including rendering of complex Indic scripts. And we will take up a phased approach and see what’s possible within the stipulated timeframe.

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...

Rewind into

Rewind into

The LAMP of 2008 was lit with huge round ofapplause & cheers vibrating around the breadth of Gyaan hall a.k.a., the auditorium of School of Information & Technology of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Some formal registration typo thing was going in the reception stall of the event. So in the very beginning ‘was gifted with some goodies like free media, some freed stickers, gnome badges etc. After all this fresh beginnings, the event finally kicked off with quick intros from core ilugd members like Kishore Bhargava, Andrew Lynn, Raj Mathur, Gora Mohanty followed by the first talk of the day ‘Community is an oft mis-used word’ by Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay. He basically described some of the deep-rooted fundamentals that decides the direction of a community so to say, what it is, how it should be, what are the mindsets you ought to carry to be a part of it. After another session by Samiah regarding educational softwares, we pulled off for lunch (muft from sponsers). It was some real fun around there apart from good food. Had chit-chats with people whom i knew only online like Sankarshan da, Pradeepto da, Mishti di, Niyam bhusan, Rene and unending others. After that, I spent the second half of the day mostly at the conclave where rounds of discussions went on regarding defining knowledge and some possible areas to work on for better sharing of information. In this context, we did mention the Bijra school project @ durgapur which actually created a better computer-aided learning environment. The day ended with Mane’s talk regarding accessibility & dev areas of orca. It was pretty late, so signing off we (me & subhodip) went back to my brothers’ place at uttam nagar, west delhi where we actually stayed.

The second day was full of talks and more talks…I enjoyed all of them. Typically, the OSM talk of Mikel & Schuyler, Rene’s talk regarding mesh network, Runa didi’s talk regarding translation communities were very interesting. Also between all these, I also fond myself in the group which Mikel was explaining about collecting GPS data, integrate & edit them in JOSM etc. This actually took me on because it was something rather new in India particularly the GPS devices. Its’ exciting!! That evening, Anand actually proposed us “why don’t you map your way back to Kolkata (train route)”. This was really cool and we two talked with OSM guys and they seemed to like it at that point of time. Since dinner was ready, we decided to discuss about that the following day. Now, what a dinner!! Above everything, it was really charmed by freed.beers & cool starters. And I definitely remember those ‘happy birthday’ gift & wishes to Gora. Overall it was lot more fun at there. As it was pretty late we stayed back at the JNU guest house thanks to Andrews.

The next morning i woke up early. Anyways, packing sacks ‘strolled down to to halls which was rather only few hundred metres from the guest house. This day filled with really cool talks like, AanjhanR’s nice talk on FOSS for Electronic enthusiasts (which is an angle i am sure can increase FOSS enthusiasm in different colleges like ours, because some people think it’s for CSE/IT guys only which is not true), this was followed by a great lunch and then more excitement post-lunch, two talks on Independent Music and Radio by Shreyas, Friji and Raj. I typically liked the Radioverve spirit. After these were the talks on OLPC by Sayamindu da & KDE educational softwares & games by Pradeepto da. The evolving Step app (kde-edu) rocked there & also i must mention i checked my g(e)mails on the olpc. I liked sugar very much and installed on my desktop back home. After this was another interesting thing, Mikel came to me & beton and handed over a gps reciever as he told the other day so as to map the train route from New Delhi to Kolkata. That was something cute takeaway at the end of the event. So above everything it was loads of fun out there…!!!

Here are the loads of photos: freedin2008

Add the country word list in KHangman

After burning some midnight oil yesterday, I finally completed the first cut of my presentation regarding “lets add a country word list in khangman”… you will definitely find this interesting. Download it from here. Also please post the much needed comments & suggestions for improvement.

Add the country word list in KHangman

Update: Just to give an insight of what’s happening inside KHangman is that, to integrate a word list or a category into it, we need to create a kvtml file. A snapshot of a sample kvtml file is as follows:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE kvtml SYSTEM "kvoctrain.dtd">


<t>the land of gods</t>


<t>the land of rising sun</t>



Have fun!! 🙂

See you at 2008, New Delhi.

Add the country word list in KHangman