My 3rd NSS Camp

Posted in NITC, NSS, Society at 1:33 pm by Pirate Praveen

The beautiful Vythiri

Kiren SK wrote in his blog about our Vythiri Camp experience ….

It was really a great chance to attend the National Service Scheme Camp organised at Vuthri by the juniors. Making the arena for another get together with the juniors who were always the embodiment of grt friendship.

The team
The team

We spent two days in the NSS special camp on Dec 3 and 4. The second day we climbed the Chembara peak (2nd highest peak in Kerala). The last day of foss.in I ran to catch bus to Vythiri just after the closing key note and Rock show began. We had not booked tickets so we decided to try our luck with seats. (Even on Friday morning we were not sure to go, but after a phone call from Prashob and MP in the morning I decided we are going). Luckily we got seats thanks to a confusion (Two guys booked a seat for the third guy in the back and the third guy booked two seats in the front !! So three of us, me, Kiren SK and Rakesh sat comfortably).

Rakesh, Kiren, Thomson, Sajeev and Dhanraj sir

We reached the camp site early morning on Saturday. This was my third NSS camp. I still remember the beautiful memories of my frist NSS camp which Pattambi’s team conducted. ( I would love to see someone writing about all days of the camp like this for this camp too)

Haridas entertaining the camp members — from Anakkampoyil camp

Last time we had the responsibilty to make the camp happen. So this time and the first time I enjoyed without any tension. We had taken up reconstruction of a road. It was beneficial to about 25 families. The road was about 2 km long. We joined the team and started for the worksite.

‘Special Group’

They showed us the results of many days hard work with enthusiasm and satisfaction. It gives you a lot of satiafaction when you know that you have made a difference to somebody’s life. Even to go to a hospital they had no transport available as the road was not motorable. Now they can avail transport.

/me having a look at the progress, Jayakumar sir is seen explaining

The people there prepared tapioca snacks for us.

Having a break

The finishing touch- Geo

After the work we had bath in the river near by. Then we had delicious lunch. After the hardowork the luch always is very tasty. We missed Kunchiramettan – he used to cook for all the camps, he could not come this time because he was not feeling well. He used to tell us the experiences of the previous camps. He was there at the time of Rajan [He was a student of REC Calicut and was (believed to be ) murdered by Police during the days of Emergency ]. Even now people know REC (now NIT) as Rajan’s college. We have our cultural festival Ragam named after him. Last time he told us about his experience with Rajan. Rajan was good actor and he was coming back from a perfomance with Kunchiramettan when poilice caught him. To juniors you missed Kunchiramettan this time.

Kunchiramettan at Anakkampoyil camp

We were preparing for the Camp Fire after lunch. The campfire is for my third time and it was wonderful each time. It was filled with Folk songs (original – by the camp members and other popular numbers) and film songs.

The camp fire — Prashob is seen in full swing

Camp fire

Folk song moment.

The Fire

After the campfire there was camp evaluation. Hey folks you did a wonderful job. Congratulations. There has to be suggestions for better camp next time. It is very necessary, otherwise you would feel complacent. Every time you should think how to make the next one better. We also gone through this phase. Take the suggestions to make the next camp even a better one.

Me at the worksite

We were in a confusion whether we should stay for the trekking too. But we decided to go for trekking. We climbed the Chembara peak, the second highest peak after Anamudi. It was a wonderful experience [Still the wound I got from a leech bite not cured 🙁 ]. We left the campsite by 9 and reached the top by 11.30.

For more photos see the nss website
I’ll update the trekking photos after I’m back from X mass holidays.

Merry Christmass and Happy New Year to all.


GNU slash Hurd guide

Posted in Free Software at 11:29 am by Administrator

You can try the live CD from superunprivileged.org I installed GNU/Hurd using cross hurd two days back.

The steps involved are
1. Create a 2GB ext2 partition

update: There is no 2GB limit from k8 onwards

2. mount it (say /root/jail – crosshurd default)
3. Install crosshurd (apt-get install crosshurd)
4. Run crosshurd as root
5. Let it complete the installtion
6. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst to include GNU/Hurd (Installguide has the grub entries )

Some pointers to remember

The Hurd partition naming isdifferent from linux

Linux Hurd
hda hd0
hdb hd1
hdc hd2
hda1 hd0s1
hda4 hd0s4

7. Login in single user mode
8. Run ./native-install
9. Reboot to multiuser mode (change grub entries)
9.1 cd /dev; ./MAKEDEV
9.2 mount the GNU/Linux partition
9.3 Edit grub and reboot.
10. Run console (refer install guide for options)
11. Add CDROMs to sources.lst
11.1 create CDROM device hd2 (in my case)
11.2 mount -t iso9660 /dev/hd2 /cdrom
11.3 apt-cdrom add
11.4 umount (!!!! umount is not there in GNU/Hurd, I have not figured out how to un mount yet, but I just killed the iso9660 server after ps -x)

update: settrans -gf /cdrom/ will unmount the cdrom.

11.5 Take out the CD and insert next CD
11.6 run apt-cdrom add, but it fails so mount the cdrom again and run the command

(Some body need to hack on this – how to unmount cdrom)

Create a file /bin/umount
#Filename: /bin/umount
settrans -gf $@

bash$ chmod +x /bin/umount

If you create this file apt can automatically unmount the cd for you after installtion is complete.
Also create an entry in the /etc/fstab file like this
/dev/hd2 /cdrom/ iso9660fs ro,noauto 1 1
#’/’ at the end of /cdrom is important. /cdrom won’t do. It has to be /cdrom/

12. apt-get install vim xserver-xfree86

Not yet configured x, need some hack
13. setup network
14. add apt repos


The gcc version is 4.0, gnome is 2.2 wmaker is there. So it has come a long way. It is time to try it for all those who tried it before and disappointed. It gives you a chance to go back in time and experience the joy hackers had in the early linux stage. There is lotta opportunity to hack. Many simple things can be done, which is missing.

May be we can hack on the live CD to have X and so on

I started hacking GNU and if anyone out there willing to do this with me, I’ll be very happy.



Posted in Bangalore, foss.in, Free Software at 9:01 am by Administrator

I have written about first 3 days earlier, so let me complete this with the fourth day.

I went to Harikrishnans home in the morning and we left for Bangalore palace in his bike. Earlier days we used to take auto. We lost our way once near the Cunningham road side but we reached venue by 10. As usual I was the hall marshal for the Ballroom. I collected the water bottles for the speakers and reached Ballroom in time. Morning session was FOSS Community track and Fred, Karunakar and Kushal presented in the morning. Fred talked about NGOs and FOSS, while Kushal spoke about his experience in Durgapurlug. In the after noon Volker Grassmuck (Wizards of OS) talked about the LiMux (Linux for Munich) project. He narrated each step of the migration and the probelms faced in a very interesting way. Munich chose Debian GNU/Linux for its 14000 desktops. Another interesting talk was by Sunil of Mahiti. He talked about government policy for foss adoption. He had good examples to quote for each of his arguments. There were some more sessions after this. Then the volunteers had to take all the stuff from Registration desk back to the expo hall.

Hats of to all the volunteers who made this event happen. Cheers to Surjo our chief. (We have a party for the volunteers today).



Posted in Bangalore, foss.in, Free Software at 6:22 pm by Administrator

I was given the charge of Ballroom again today. The theme for the morning session was Education. it started with Philip Tellis’ talk. There was some delay in starting the presentation due to some network problem, but sorted it out. It was a very interesting presentation when he tried to compare FOSS process with the Education process and suggested the changes needed in the current education system. after this there was a talk on Moodle (online course anagement software) by Dr. George Easaw of Goa Enginering college. He explained his experience in in setting up moddle in his college and clearly showed the benefits. Then there was a talk on Agriculture software developed for framers. It was followed by Sai Sreeram’s talk on his experience in Kuppam in Tamil Nadu as when he was with HP. I moved to the Intel hall for a presentation of NRCFOSS (National Resource Centre for FOSS) on curriculam developed for Anna University based on FOSS (They have 2 electives and a project on FOSS). I was hanging around in the evening in the expo area. There was Laya Taranga performing today and I was playing with Aasim(2nd atandard) and Arjun(10th standard who gave a presentation with Sarath on Morphix remastering). Surjo also joined us later. Just one more day to go. It was a wonderful experience to meet so many people who share your interests and ideas. Tomorrow we will be having a key signing party.