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OSSCamp Delhi 2009

By on Sep 10, 2009 in Personal, Tech Takes | 4 comments

OSSCamp Delhi was held at NSIT Dwarka on 5-6 September 2009. OSSCamp is an unconference on open source software, technologies, and ideologies, one of the largest events related to open source in India. Even as I was travelling by Delhi Metro to NSIT Dwarka on the morning of the first day of the event, I met a guy from NSIT who was going for the same. (He figured I might be heading there too since I was wearing the ILUG-D t-shirt.) Met Kinshul Sunil outside NSIT’s administration building; he works as a community manager at a company called OSSCube, which is in the field of open source software development / training / support. Kinshuk oversees a lot of the organizational details of the event and even with this being a community-driven event a lot of credit must be given to him for managing the event so well. Was handed a name tag; designed by Yadu Rajiv. (Yeah, I know it looks like a name tag for a Rage Against The Machine concert, but they probably don’t use name tags.) Also met other people at the start of the day – Mohak Prince, Sachin Khosla, Ankur Sethi, Apoorv Khatreja, Udit Agarwal, Triveni Yadav, Sanchit Gulati, Anshu Verma. By 10-10.30am (of day 1) we had quite a respectable crowd of 142 people (I kid you not) assembled in the NSIT Delhi auditorium. The event kicked off with Kinshuk giving a short introduction to OSSCamp. Lalit then urged audience members to give jadoo ki jhappi [which made Lalit (in?)famous] to each other and we had a small-scale free hugs campaign going on for a while (only a handful of the audience participated). The talks started in earnest then. I won’t be going into the details of the talks since they have already been live-blogged on the NSIT CSI society blog – check it out for a short summary of sessions held (a few held at the end of day 2 are missing). During the sessions, what Mohak Prince and I noticed was  that every speaker mentioned licencing, but didn’t go further into nitty-gritties. We had quite a few first-timers to open source this time who seemed thoroughly confused by this talk of licenses, so we both decided to give a session on Creative Commons licenses. Unfortunately, NSIT administration hadn’t given us permission to set up a WiFi network, and their own WiFi network had been shut-down ever since Ankit Fadia had scared the living daylights out of NSIT faculty, post 26/11 Mumbai attacks. We both were trying to find a presentation to aid our talk so we borrowed a laptop with a Reliance data card from someone and searched out a suitable presentation. We scheduled the session post-lunch. Lunch took a long time to arrive. It was ordered from some big dhaba (oxymoronic term, I know) called Apni Rasoi or something which is apparently quite popular in Dwarka. Post-lunch the number of attendees reduced drastically, so I decided to postpone the Creative Commons session to day 2. Clearly, there is some such thing as a ‘free lunch’ at least at an unconference on open source – and that was what some seemed to have come for. Although I wouldn’t blame them entirely for wanting to leave, since some of the talks in the morning had nothing to do with open source. On of the highlights of the day was a video conference with Bryan House of Acquia on the future of Drupal 7, but could not be carried through because of low bandwidth issues (we had to switch to text chat and then eventually call it off). What else would you expect on a Reliance data card? After a session on indie game development by Yadu Rajiv, we wrapped up for the day. Day 2 started off late as it was a Sunday. (I was stopped at a Metro checkpoint for carrying a ‘walkie talkie charger’.) When I arrived at the venue at around 10.15am there were just a handful of people – almost all of them speakers who were schedule to give presentations that day. By 11am though the crowd has swelled in number to around 90 people; quite respectable for second day of an event. We had people from Adobe too to give presentations on Flex and BlazeDS – open source software released by Adobe (!!!) – and those were some of the best designed presentations by far. Students in the audience were given free (as in beer, not speech) licensed versions of Flex Builder. I think it’s a good start by companies such as Microsoft and Adobe to take some initiatives in interacting with the open source community and we shouldn’t be too cynical about it. Lunch was better on day 2 as we had pizza from Domino’s. While placing the order we had also asked them to provide ketchup sachets. The lazy asses thought “Why bother buying so many ketchup sachets when we can ‘solve’ the problem in one go by providing a 2-litre ketchup sachet”. I didn’t even know that they made 2-litre ketchup sachets! Hilarity ensued, or rather, didn’t since we sent that back. We had a working lunch with presentations continuing while the audience wolfed down pizzas. Mohak had to give an exam that day, so I proceeded with the talk on Creative Commons licenses on my own. The presentations I used were made by...

[gyaan.in] Monthly Archive – July 2009

By on Aug 9, 2009 in Personal | 0 comments

It has been two weeks now since gyaan.in was launched. Let me take this opportunity to, once again, say a big ‘Thank You!’ to all members of the gyaan.in community and visitors of gyaan.in who have ensured that this initiative is off to a great start. We have ‘question of the day’ threads going on at gyaan.in daily, and this post is a compilation of the best questions asked in the month of July 2009. These are in no particular order. Which is the Indian city whose Maharana was the only royalty who did not attend the Delhi Durbar for King George V in 1911, and why? (by bhavika) Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur. He kept his place at the Delhi Railway Station, where the King Emperor came to meet him—as one ruler meets another with equal honour, because Udaipur is the only city which has never been captured by the Mughals. Their defence was impenetrable. 1908 Summer Olympics were actually to be held in Rome, but something happened that eventually made the venue shift to London. What was it? (by nasri) Mount Vesuvius erupted in 1906, so Italians couldn’t afford to hold the games while reconstruction was going on. Which dictator titled himself: “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor____________, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”? (by Galen) Idi Amin What is a wrackground image? (by Kush) Any kind of texture or background image on a web page that does not let the viewers properly read the text displayed on the page, due to bright colors of the image/texture. Rolex has created only one digital watch till date. Where can you find it? (by crystalunicorn) Wimbledon There are only two batsmen in the history of English cricket who have scored centuries on their away and home TEST debuts. One of them is the current opening batsman Andrew Strauss; who’s the other? (by venky) Ranjitsinhji. He scored 62 and 154 not out against Australia at Old Trafford in his first Test, becoming the second batsman after W. G. Grace to score a century on his debut for England and also the first batsman to score 100 before lunch (on the third day, moving from 41 not out to 154 not out in just over 2 hours). He scored 175 in the first innings of his first overseas Test, also against Australia in 1897 (at that time it was the highest score that had ever been made for England in Test cricket). Which noted Indian personality’s father was one of the three main (Indian) contractors who built Connaught Place? The other two were Sardar Dharam Singh and Rai Bahadur Narain Singh. (by bhavika) Khushwant Singh Which organization was started after its founder came to know about two students who had been sent to jail for a period of seven years for raising a toast ‘to liberty’? (by ankurb) Amnesty International Codenamed ‘Milan’ this piece of ‘hardware’ was introduced at the D5 conference in 2007. As soon as it was launched on April 17, 2008, it found a place in the Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, Innoventions Dream Home and was used by MSNBC for the 2008 US Presidential elections. It was the brainchild of Mr. Steven B and Mr. Andy W. (by boris) Microsoft Surface The first thing you notice about the Red Fort is the great wall or the ‘curtain’ which stands in front of the Lahore Gate (the one on Chandni Chowk). But this wall wasn’t built by Shah Jahan; in fact, it was a later addition by Aurangzeb. Why did he build it? (by bhavika) Court etiquette decreed that, as long as the nobles were in view of the emperor, they had to move about on foot and not on horseback or palanquins. They also had to keep bowing, à la Mughal-e-Azam. So Aurangzeb built the curtain wall, and the the courtiers simply became invisible to him. He probably did it because he found all this protocol irritating. What is in the dark (refer to the picture)? (by achu_182) ‘Tumbler’ (better known as ‘Batmobile‘) from Chris Nolan’s Batman franchise. Born in 1963, who holds the position of Chief Happiness Officer in the company he works for? (by achu_182) Ronald McDonald Which Bollywood film’s director offered a money back guarantee if the audience did not like it, but kept his promise to only 5000 viewers across India? (by crystalunicorn) Mani Shankar for Mukhbiir What connects the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? (by pearlsinghal) They’re all named after Renaissannce age artists – Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo. Connect Youtube, a game called Zero Wing by Sega, and Simply Awful. (by achu_182) Zero Wing gave us “All your base belong to us” which was popularised in the forum Simply Awful (similar to 4chan) and was used by Youtube as an April Fool’s prank) Fool On The Hill is a song originally written by Paul McCartney and recorded by the Beatles in 1967 eventually appearing in the Magical Mystery Tour album. In April of ’75 it also entered history. Why? (by Rhead) In April 1975, at the Homebrew Computer Club fourth meeting, Steve Dompier programmed his MITS Altair 8800 personal computer to play The Fool on the Hill. The trick was that the output device...

Quiz archives – eSpice, G@teway, Columban Open

By on Aug 2, 2009 in Personal | 5 comments

If you haven’t noticed already, quiz archives for DPS Noida’s eSpice 2009 computer symposium, Montfort School’s Gateway 2009 computer symposium, and Columban Open Quiz 2009 Semi-Final 2 have been upload at gyaan.in. I also urge any quizzer or computer club members from any school to read this thread on why you should share quiz archives. In a nutshell, I’d like to quote lines from this IBM ad: Collecting data is the first step towards wisdom, but sharing data is the first step towards community. Knowledge amplification – what he learns, we all learn; what he knows, we all benefit...

Dates for TCS IT Wiz announced

By on Jul 22, 2009 in Personal | 0 comments

Dates for TCS IT Wiz 2009 have been announced. Check them out here. An archive of TCS IT Wiz 2008 Delhi round is available here.

Two days left for Mod Quiz

By on Jul 22, 2009 in Personal | 2 comments

Two days to go for Mod Quiz. Look up details here. Your school should’ve registered by now, but in case your school wasn’t invited for the event then contact Arindam Bhattacharya at 9312600283 – you’ll be registered in case any of the invited schools aren’t sending in their full ‘quota’ of three teams. Prizes worth Rs 50000 up for grabs courtesy the sponsors Del Monte Foods. I’ll be there at the event too, to watch the show. Maybe we can have a gyaan.in members’s metup after the quiz(zes). :)