[fedora-india] 26th April - foss workshop/fedora install fest event report

anirudh shekhawat shekhawat.anirudh at gmail.com
Tue May 5 14:31:47 UTC 2009

The following lines came to my mind

May the winds be upon our back,
And the sun upon our face,
And the wings of destiny carry us aloft to dance with the stars..

when the day finally came for the first ever lugj (linux users group jaipur)
workshop called as FOSS-nigma, which was to be held at Kautilya Institute of
Technology, organized by a lugj member Udit Sharma who is a student of 3rd
year computer science of the same college. we all had eagerly waited for
this event, it has also adorned lugj's IRC channel (#lug-jaipur) topic for
the past one month and it was also lugj's first ever public appearance so
you can imagine the enthusiasm. The workshop was, A FOSS talk session and
Fedora install fest.

The event was scheduled for Sunday 26th April at 10:00 o'clock and I was
there at 9:30 to be of some help. The clock was ticking, it was already time
and I dint see any participants coming, then something struck me, it's a
sunday and I began to worry what if no one turns up. But soon my mind was at
peace when I saw people turning up (late but alright ) and the seminar hall
was filled to capacity i.e. around 80.
So we just brazed through the opening of the event and the stuff which
doesn't matter a lot , we soon started with our talks session for the day.
Just as the event was stating I saw Udit coming up with two/three cartons
full of stuff and was later told that they contained free goodies to be
distributed during the event, graciously provided by Mozilla and Sun. So the
now the talks.

(1).    Introduction to FOSS by Mr.Varad Gupta (He's the first RHCSS in
India, an active contributor to the community and also runs a linux training
academy in Delhi called Fostering Linux). We couldn't have found a better
speaker than him to talk about free and open source software and he drove
down all the way from Delhi that morning just for the event, we were like
wow!!. The talk was really good for newbies and for us well which made us
aware some facts and figures about open source movement that we dint know
of. He talked about the basic philosophy behind the freedom movement (FOSS)
which is what I like to refer it with. There were very good examples of the
freedom ideology been adapted outside the software world, companies like
GoldCorp (a mining company) which adapted to the open source model and
became a leader from becoming a bankrupt, there were many examples like that
which made the audience very keen. The session was interactive as we gave
away free goodies to the person who answered questions asked by the speaker
and by that time Varad also added some 50 odd copies of the april isue of
LFY which he brought with himself to our already large the collection but
lacking the grandness. The talk was really an enlightening experience for
everyone.So as the talk got over Varad had to leave for delhi so we got
little time to chat with him regarding lugj's future plans but he was
patient enough to talk for a while and would really like to carry on his
association with lugj. He gave some good suggestions regarding the FAD we
want to conduct and will try if he could bring some Red Hat guys too. Well
then he left, making us proud of what we have and are doing.

(2).    Firefox and its addons by Mr.Udit Sharma (lugj member, mozilla
campus rep and fedora ambassador and also college OSUM leader, He's too much
rolled into one, right :) ). Udit Sharma talked about firefox (wearing a
thunderbird Tee)and some of its great addons like youno, chatzilla,
googlepidea, scrapbook, firebug etc and people were keen to know about what
firefox is, though some of them have been using it but dint exactly know how
powerful it is.
(3).    Firefox-extended. Well this wasnt really a scheduled talk but one of
our lug members Jay Pandya(sarai fellow, wordmint developer and a 3rd year
computer science student too) felt that firefox needs more time then what
has been given (dont worry that was not an attempt to fork lug, we are good
and very well running you envy people) so he grabbed the Microphone and
starting talking about firfox (wearing a firefox Tee). He talked about
history mozilla, how it actually came into existence and Free the Web
philosophy, why do we need projects Mozilla and how it has transformed the
web we look at it now. Free goodies were been continuously distributed by
volunteers during the whole session and audience was making every attempt to
atleast grab one. By now the whole session has become very interactive and
people were simply throwing questions at the speaker which he was glad to

(4).    Fedoraproject by Anirudh singh shekhawat (fedora ambassador and 3rd
year student). Well it was high time we talked about fedora which we were
going to install in everyone's computer during the install fest. I started
the talk with what is fedora and stuff like who uses fedora around the
world, people behind fedora etc etc. The one important point I wanted to
make was to answer the question people generally have regarding fedora is
that fedora being not an easy to use desktop i.e. as mostly say a newbie
non-friendly desktop, so I told everyone that fedora does not compete in
that domain to provide with end users an easy to use desktop like some other
distros do. But, rather it competes where it wants people to get involved in
the community and help them give ways to contribute back to the community.
It wants a consumer to become a contributor. With a wide sphere fedora
project which requires not even technical people but rather non-techies to
do things like documentation,Marketing,Speakers and the beautiful Artwork
which fedora has become known of.

That was enough of talking for newbies to get a little introduction of FOSS
I guess.
So in the end we decided to have a BoF session to clear their brains from
any proprietary stuff they might have been left with. And as we expected we
were fired with questions, coming from every corner of the room. Everyone
was calmed down and we started to take one question at a time. Most were the
general questions like why should we use linux, what it has that windows
does not have,the virus, security features etc. The session proved to be the
important of all and I think at the end of it everyone was convinced to
every extend to put a linux distro in his/her computer and fiddle with the
damn thing.
After the workshop we took a half an hour lunch/chichat break where the
lunch was also provided by the college.

Fedora Install fest-
Thanks to Mr. Rahul sundaram and Mr.susmit who graciously sent us 100
fedora-10 DVDs for the install fest. And all thanks to Udit that we were
given an Air-conditioned, projector equipped, Internet ready lab for the
install fest. So we quickly got hold of a participant's laptop, connected it
to the projector, distributed DVDs and turned ON the fedora magic. The
projector was used to show everyone what steps to follow for the
installation process and it turned out to be very easy for everyone. We were
also explaining some stuff as they came along like swap,ext3, LVM etc. And
soon all the manual work was done and all laptops were now installing
fedora. We used this free time to tell everyone about how to get codecs to
play restricted audio/video files like mp3,avi etc and also told them how to
get help on the internet and most importantly IRC. One thing which we really
missed during the install fest were laptops with ATI cards and an
opportunity to fire at ATI as well, if only it wouldn't have worked, we
certainly dont come out as crazy yuppies who'd simply fire words at anyone,
but in the ATI case, we wouldn't have minded it either :). So after the
installation, time for the first boot. And I remember the gaping faces, when
they saw fedora booting and they were very happy to have something like that
on their machine. There were some animation guys who were so happy with the
kind of Artwork fedora has been doing and they in no time would love to
contribute back to the community. With some more remarks like that we just
couldn't hide the smiles from our faces and felt good about the whole event
and thanked everyone for the support and an opportunity to spread the
freedom movement around. As we were leaving the college there was a rock
band competition about to start and we could hear the drums and guitars
being tested, the mood was rightly set and we marched through the gates as
the soldiers of the great freedom revolution, feeling happy to bring it to
our little place called jaipur and determined as ever to take it further...

Anirudh singh
IRC nick Acedip
lugj IRC channel - #lug-jaipur

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