Saturday, February 18, 2006
Report from FOSS.MCC at Mount Carmel College
I attended the FOSS.MCC event at Mount Carmel College on Friday, 17th February. 17th February ? That rings birthday reminder in me. Ok. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Anjali !!! I know you are miles away in UK but I hope you have a wonderful Birthday. Okay so here's my report from FOSS.MCC.
Yesterday was a day of surprises for me. I took leave from work to attend the FOSS.MCC at Mount Carmel College one of the premier Womens' College in Bangalore. As I entered the College and met Neeldhara (Neel to me), she dropped a bombshell on me. I am supposed to be the "Chief Guest". Woah ! That was really a very pleasant and unexpected surprise ! I didn't know how to react. After a few minutes, my feet touched the ground and I realised that I shouldn't take it lightly and need to motivate the girls for making sure the event is a success. The entire event was organised by the students of the Computer Science Department. Its a superb and sincere attempt by the girls to spread the usage and philosophy of FOSS.
The event started off with a divine invocation by a student. Its the normal way to start off any event any education institution. Its the same way we do it at all the event amy College as well. After a welcome address by one of the students who was the Master of Ceremonies for the day, the Head of the Department of Computer Science gave a short speech about the various components of FOSS and encouraging her students to get into the FOSS world. Then came the toughest part of the morning, for me at least. It was now my turn to speak, supposed the inaguration speech by the "Chief Guest" and "BLUG Co-ordinator". My speech of 5 minutes was short and sweet. It was more of a motivational talk encouraging the girls to use FOSS and wishing them all the best for the success of the event, their future endeavours and for their studies and careers.
After my speech, I was presented with a boquet of flowers and a memento by the girls. I have that memento on my desk at work now as a remembrance. Very sweet of them I must say. After the pleasentries were done, I was thrown off the stage so that the fun part of the event could begin. The talks that followed started off with Atul's talk on "An Introduction to FOSS". As usual, a neat talk what FOSS is and why should we use it. An encouraging talk motivating the girls to get involved in the FOSS community.
The next talk by Tejas was on Linux shells. After some issues with the resolution of his FreeBSD OS running on his trusted Acer laptop and the projector, the "Fedora Guy" finally used the laptop of Surekha Sastry who was one of the speakers of the day running on Gentoo to run his presentation slides and demo. Surekha Sastry from the Indic and Localisation project spoken next. Her talk was about enabling various Indian languages support with various FOSS tools and FOSS operating systems.
Neeldhara, a student at Mount Carmel College and also the co-ordinator for the event was the next speaker. Her talk was about Hackerims, a non-technical talk. She also explained about the design of the memento given out to the speakers and other dignitaries like me :) Anush, a student from PESIT then took off from where Neeldhara finished to continue with the Hackerisms talk. Anush talked about why do geeks hack, what's the difference between hacking and cracking and so on. He even urged the girls to get involved in the FOSS communities as a beginning. The dude even passed a nasty remark during his talk and later apologised to the audience for it :) The remaining talks after the lunch break were by Swaroop and Shreyas. The final talk by Atul was about how the job market is with using FOSS as a career option.
Overall, I must say that quite a few students were being initiated into the FOSS world and this is just a small beginning. I hope this small spark that has been lit will turn into a fire and spread across the campus. I wish I could have done more. But there's always a next time. I do hope I can contribute in spreading the philosophy of FOSS by organising BoF sessions at Colleges. Mount Carmel College has been a beginning for me. Let me see if I can do it my own College - Christ College.
Sr. Albina is the new principal of Mounts, Bangalore and she is still driving people crazy. She has joined hands with Sr. Violet, and their boy friends michael and jeyabalan. they are in the spree to clean the college empty:) so beware.
The good old days were really great, with sr.jesvin marie, sr. G and of course the soft spoken Sr. Jesuina.