BoF at Woody’s Jayanagar on 4th September

Posted in Bangalore, Environment, Free Software, Society at 6:06 pm by Pirate Praveen

I had called for a BoF last Sunday at Woody’s Restaurant Jayanagar. Thejesh picked me up near BTM water tank and we reached Woody’s by about 2.50pm. First one we met ther was Kanti from Nagpur and working with Oracle (he was the only one with a laptop). Surjo couldn’t come because he had some other engagemnet at home. So we waited outside for some more guys to join. Then Abhishek from Hyderabad and working with Novell came and the fifth one was Lakshmi Narayan Kamat. We moved in and started the session with a bried intro and agenda of the meet. Gopal V (dotGNU hacker working with Yahoo and he is from Ernakulam) and Yathiraj joined us to make the count to 7. Only Gopal and Abhishek were the regular BoF guys and the rest of us had the frst BoF (It was third FOSS meeting for me in Bangalore the first one being Debian Developers Conference and the second one Blug meet. Also I went to Belgaum for VTU Floss Campaign).

We already discussed various possible activities on Software Freedom Day and listed on FSUG-Bangalore wiki. Now we analysed each option and decided to focus on two activities

1. Go on AIR on Radio City 91 FM on Software Freedom Day
2. Spread the word about the day through blogs and articles on News Papers

We had earlier thought of going to colleges and discuss about the importance of software freedom and advantages of using FOSS, but unfortunately we could not go forward with it on SFD since most of the colleges we contacted were having exams (My college NITC is having internal exams from 5th and Thejesh’s college BTL is also having internal exams and Thejesh was the only original Bangaloreans came for the meet). But we have not chucked out the plan completely. We plan to take up this issue after the SFD.

3. Meet VC of VTU and submit the petition (see VTU Floss Campaign for more details )

Another topic we discussed was to bring out a live CD with all the available educational tools (especially one for VTU). The ambitious project aims to develop a customised GNU slash Linux distro for Educational institutions customised for India ( The problem we face with the current aproach is discussed earlier – see this).

We discussed the problems facing for the adoption of FOSS tools in colleges (The main issue is that most care about only the marks and nobody is interested to try out something new and the reluctance of teachers to accept a new tool even makes the matters worse). Gopal V descibed how some of his friends who chose Scilab in Mechanical lab got less marks than those who used Matlab. Now we want to make sure people who chose FOSS would succed. So we plan to hack on Octave to make it work like Matlab (It is very similar but many don’t want to learn something new). So as the first step we plan to have a session by someone who actually use Octave for his work (In IITs they use Ocatve) and understand the issues and extend if necessary to suit to Indian circumstance, which include preparing tutorials to suit the Indian Curriculum needs.

Kamat sugeested designing wallpapers and Screen savers describing software freedom and its importance (He is a good artist and showed us many images designed in gimp for gnome artwork – Most are available from Gnome Art)

I had EduMorphix CD (live CD cum Install CD prepared for use in High Schools in Kerala as the curriculum includes a chice between Windows and GNU slash Linux) with me and we tried it on Kanti’s laptop. We also had a quick view of GNU slash Hurd live CD too. It was followed by a brief discussion on Monolithic and microkernel. Gopal V explained that the concept of everything is a file in Unix is taken to a higher level in GNU slash Hurd — everything is a pipe (See my seminar on GNU slash Hurd )

We were ready to leave by 5.30 with a focused aim for SFD – be on AIR

Then we discussed about mono and dotGNU (the foss competeters for Free Implementation to Microsoft’s .NET technology). It was like ‘Straight from the horse’s mouth’ as Goplal V described about internals of dotGNU — He is a dotGNU core developer for last 4 years.

Gopal V ported dotGNU portable .NET to Encore simputer during Linux Bangalore 2004. Quote from Atul Chitnis – The conference Organiser.

”I threw the challenge as a joke, the bet being a cup of coffee. Gopal borrowed a PC at the conference, and finally an Encore Simputer, and came to me on the third day, saying that I now owed him a cup of coffee. It took a few seconds before the enormity of that statement hit me.”

Then we dispersed and I walked with Gopal V from Woody’s. We discussed about dotGNU and Free Software and a lot on the way. I went to his home and then we went to Landmark in Forum where he purchased some books and I came back to BTM drenched fully in Rain. I walked a lot and the discussion was so interesting that I didn’t know I was walking this far ! From Jayanagr to Forum through Tavarakere and back to BTM near water tank. I was looking for the expansion of BTM for all the time since I started my stay in BTM and now Gopal V told me that BTM stands for Bommanahalli – Tavarakare – Madivala as it was formed by taking parts from each of these.

I came back home with happy heart. It was a great day.

Update: Early in the mornig (6.30) I was up and went to ground to play football (we ie, me, VR, Kaustup and Ganjan played the day before for the first time). But no one turned up so I went to my friends ‘ home near Madivala lake in BTM 2nd stage. I had breakfast there and at 10 we went for boating in Madivala lake. It was really a good experience to see Pelicans very near [The species seen in Madival lake is Spot-Billed Pelican]. It is an awesome scene to watch pelicans land in water, like an aeroplane landing.

Read this story about the current situation of the lake.

Madivala lake: Where are the birds?

Madivala lake. location: 29th main, tankshow road, ii stage, btm layout. size: 114.16 hectare. total wetland area 24.74 acre. department it comes under: karnataka forest department. history: the madivala lake was built by the cholas nearly 300 years ago. it is said to have been built overnight. it got its name (which means washerman) because the lake used to be primarily used by the washermen population that lived around it. still the water was supposed to have been so clean that people would travel several miles to take drinking water from it.


  1. Surjo Das said,

    September 6, 2005 at 9:23 am

    Good that you have some direction to take on SFD and also you now know the expansion of BTM.

  2. Administrator said,

    September 6, 2005 at 11:40 am

    Now I also know that madivala means washerman 🙂

  3. Vivek Varghese Cherian said,

    September 6, 2005 at 12:28 pm

    I am really pleased to know that you and Thejesh are taking forward the VTU FLOSS Petiton. Do let me know if i can pitch in with any contribution. I was planning to be in Blore by now, but the trip never materialised partly because of my financial constraints and party because of ill health. I hope to be in Blore some time after i finish the Software Freedom Day celebrations in Cochin.

    We need to build up grassroot level contacts among students and lecturers in Karnataka, and then pursue the petition ( this is going to take some time, maybe even a couple of years) but i am sure the results will show in due course of time. I can volunteer to take a seminar in AIT Chikamagalur ( that’s where i passed out from).

  4. Vivek Varghese Cherian said,

    September 6, 2005 at 12:34 pm

    There is another CD that is being worked upon here called EduSarge. We will be testing it at a 2 day training program for small scale businessmen in Malapurram. Once the testing is over, i can mail you a copy or bring it in person when i come over.

  5. pravi said,

    September 7, 2005 at 8:50 am

    Nice to know about EduSarge, I was thinking on the same lines (I would be happy to get it). It is not enough to include all Educational Free Softwares in a CD, but we should extend and create new tools that fits our (Indian) system. KSTA seems to have plans for new tools, we can work with them to customise the available tools as well as bringing out new tools for our system. We need to start a projcet for this and I talked to Sarath also. Your GNU mech tools can be a part of this greater initiative. I am planning to take SFD activities forward and have a Educational track in FOSS.IN

  6. Dilip said,

    September 8, 2005 at 1:47 pm

    I too wanted to come and play football on that day..By the time I got up it was almost 9 am.. Hey why dont we arrange a official match between Geeky BTM guys and Cool Koramongala guys ? Ready for the challenge ?

  7. Nirmal Thacker said,

    September 14, 2005 at 8:17 pm

    yeah lets have a soccer game as dilip says.
    @pravin – cool blog dude!

    i was once a btm guy too…then i shifted to an apt in east end…living all by myself and studying ….i could really do with a soccer game!lets have it guys!

  8. Praveen A said,

    September 15, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    So the cahallenge is accepted. Now let us fix the date.

  9. Dilip said,

    September 19, 2005 at 4:08 am

    Why u were bit reluctant to accept the challenge .. ? Pedichittanno ?

  10. Dazzle said,

    September 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm


    i too wish to celebrate sept 19th in our district.can u gve some suggestion.am from Idukki.i need a worthwhile class to gve to my students. we r using IT@School GNU/Linux in our school

Leave a Comment