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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fedora and Open Source Event at GCECT, Kolkata

A Fedora and Open Source Event was held at my college (Govt. College of Engg. and Ceramic Tech.) on 2nd February, 2010. I was really excited to meet FOSS experts. However my experience consisted of  a mixed bag of pluses and minuses.

The event was attended by A. Mani,  Abhisekh JhaIndranil Das Gupta, Jayanta NathProshun Prodhan, Stephanie Das Gupta among others. More details about the event can be found here.

The day was marred with protests by our student union. I have no idea why in-spite of knowing about the 2nd February date, they had the protests *that* day. The power systems failed, and the computer meant for presentations had flopped. The laptop could not be configured with the projector. Our student's union was supposed to organize food packets for all attendees. It was all planned and budgeted. However, due to the protests, they were limited to only for guests. A series of organisational flaws.

The talks too were filled with glitches and on my part incorrectly referred to 'linux.org' instead of 'kernel.org'. Something Proshun Prodhan pointed me out.

There was also something I wish to talk about. A few comments made by Indradg aka Indranil Das Gupta were simply *strange*.

First, to categorically state Linux does not have viruses. I am sure he has heard of them, Brundle Fly, which is among the best known examples. Any one on a Lindows (now called Linspire) could be affected by viruses since it inspires users to run as root [1]! However, his statement can be accepted as being a generally correct since Viruses on Linux are 'negligible'.

The second comment, he made, outside, while interacting with us after his talk regards Google Picasa. When I pointed out that Google Picasa runs on Wine, he refused it saying it was native. I am not sure who agreed with him, but someone did. When someone of his stature makes such a comment, I hoped I was maybe wrong and in new (?) versions it has come up with a native version. So I installed Picasa and found out it was indeed what I thought it was. It still uses wine.

Thirdly, Google Summer Of Code is not over for this year. Visit: http://code.google.com/soc/

Apart from that, I found his talk to be stunning and he was amazingly passionate!

Next up, I decided to address some things the students wanted to hear about. As expected I got a plethora of questions that I guess, I was able to answer. (Forget the kernel website... :P) I decided to interact with the audience. Time being limited, I wrapped up and handed over to A Mani.

A. Mani was so modest and down to earth, I was taken aback! I had read some of his papers on his website. However, he was not too good with the crowd. His talk was strictly technical and his 10 minutes gave an insight in the process of Digitization of Books.

Prabin Dutta also spoke on Cloud Computing and we also had Avisekh Jha speaking on hacking in general. I found Avisekh Jha's talk out of place. This was an Open Source Event after all.

Prosun Prodhan, RHCE and part of Webel Informatics could not conduct the scheduled quiz and Fedora 14 DVDs were distributed to all registered participants and attendees.

Well... these were series of glitches. It was the first time we (Read: Prabin Dutta alone) organised the event.

We won't lose heart. Remember the old adage: "If at first you don't succeed, Try try again!"

NB: Pardon my rantings... Just my views.. Just mine... :)

[1] : http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Security/linspire-root.html

1. Corrections made, added links (15.Feb.11)


  1. Hello Rahul,
    My name is Abhishek Jha. When you could see this https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_14_release_party_gcect
    Then how could you type my name wrong. Plus you also forgot the link to my blog, when you linked to the other speaker's pages. You could google my name and find out my link if you type is right as "Abhishek Jha" because its Search Engine Optimized at Google.

    Plus my speech was not just on hacking, it was "How to make money from open source projects" with proper live example of my friends, some tips and there you didn't pay proper attention.

  2. @Abhisekh Jha: Well the example you cited was not Open Source...

  3. @rahul:it was opensource earlier, he made it closed source but still free after it became popular so that people cant copy his code, you can ask its author at http://listenitnow.com to verify my speech. tell him my name and verify all you want to. you can also verify it from simultaneously from prabin, he was there too. if you want some more examples dive into oracle's free-ware projects, you will find plenty examples there.

    and from next time make sure you pay attention to what people say, this will avoid misconceptions like the one that happened with you right now. cheers!

  4. @A.Jha:Look this is my blog and I can say whateva I want to!

    The example you are citing is a poor example. The spirit of Open Source is violated here. We need not know at which time frame it was Open Source, and even if it was, it cannot be made closed source (according to the GPL). I wonder what License it was under. If it was GPL, and it is closed source now, this is a violation of the GPL. Please clear your conceptions before trying to clear others.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit here!