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?
- 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.
- 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
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.