Kumar Appaiah :: New Debian Developer from India

Kumar Appaiah Kumar Appaiah is the new Debian Developer from Indian subcontinent. He is a graduate student at IIT-Madras and an active member of local gnu/linux user group ILUG-C. He talks to FCI's Praveen about life, linux and plans ahead.
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Snapshots from CES 2008

Its official now Gnu/Linux is making its presence felt in the consumer electronics like UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PCs) , Mobile phones and the newer MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices). Doc Searls of Linux Journal hits the bulls-eye when he poses the question 'What will happen now that the consumer electronics tide is starting to turn toward Linux and its value system?' while covering CES 2008.

Take a look at the photos from the CES 2008 event and see if its for real.

Eee PC :: Yet Another Power User Review

Asus Eee PC

Shawn Powers gives us the low-down on owning a Eee PC for past few months. Here is his list of pros and cons of the Eee PC.

Pros:

  • Extremely portable. It's like carrying a paperback book.
  • Fast boot time, especially with the original OS.
  • Apps, especially games, come pre-configured for small screen.
  • Plugging into a monitor gets full size goodness without a reboot.
  • Everybody thinks you're super cool.
Cons:
  • The keys really are a bit too small.
  • The screen is annoyingly small when browsing some sites.
  • The battery life isn't horrible, but it's not great either.
  • There's no way to determine the battery charge level externally.
  • Updates are awkward at best, and rare to arrive

Classmate 2 PC Review (Video )

Watch the latest Classmate 2 (aka "netbooks") announced by Andrew chien (Intel vice president, Corporate Technology Group and director of Intel Research) at Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai this month (April 2008).
Image Courtesy PC Watch
The second-generation Intel-powered classmate PC is powered by Intel® Atom™ Processor.

Darren Waters compares the Classmate 2 PC with the OLPC XO laptop .

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Introducing Google App Engine (Video)

A straight forward introduction to Google App Engine architecture by Kevin Gibbs at Campfire One (April 7, 2008).
App Engine also includes the Django web application framework, version 0.96.1. Note that the App Engine datastore is not a relational database, which is required by some Django components.
I don't yet write python but I love have a dekho at Google App Engine soon.

The transcript of the talk is also available.

Free Software Activits Demand a National Policy Mandating Open Document Standards

Benagaluru, Karnataka, India: Free Software Users Group – Bangalore and FOSS Community in India has organized a Candle Light Vigil in front of Townhall demanding a National policy mandating the use of Free Document Formats such as the Open Document Format for data storage and requesting the Government of India to appeal ISO approval of OOXML based on its no vote and comments. The programme was the launch of various events & awareness campaigns on Document freedom.

The event also highlighted the organizations who voted for the broken standard OOXML in Bureau of Indian standards(BIS) voting against national interest. Various Software professionals, free software activists, students from RV College, BMS , and various people supporting the cause are participated in the event.

“Very big voices like NASSCOM and Infosys that have not participated in even one meeting have voted irresponsibly. We fear that if such lobbying continues, academics and individuals like us will be put on the defensive, unless there is a policy in place,” said Nagarjuna G., professor at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, who was part of the technical committee of BIS. This committee alone identified 200-odd technical flaws in OOXML’s specifications and more than 1,000 others were identified internationally.

The protesters, called Microsofts OOXML as a “banana standard” and carried various placards with sologans like were “Infosys, NASSCOM, Wipro, TCS get well soon”, “ISO - No More Standards through the Backdoor!” The candle light vigil urged following steps to users for achieving document freedom and urge all users to embrace it.

1. do not send attachments in proprietary formats like .doc, .xls, .ppt & use Open Document format
2. do not to pollute their friends computers and the internet with unethically encoded documents.
3. inform the users that they do not have right to decode the documents they themselves have written, if they use proprietary formats
4. distribute open office cds, containing applications with source code for windows.
5. distribute GNU/Linux live cds.

For More Details, Please visit http://fci.wikia.com/wiki/Campaign_for_Document_Freedom

Event Photos

A Photo pool of the event is available at Flickr ( under creative commons License) : http://flickr.com/photos/kushaldas/sets/72157604562832040/


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Few other photos taken by Renuka Prasad at the event.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Drupal register_globals Requirements problem

If your web server has register_globals turned on, then Drupal (5.x or later) won't install until you fix it. Unlike Drupal other free and open source CMS systems like Wordpress, Textpattern gives you a security warning, but installs without a squeak. Anyway don't fret over it much, it for your own good. (Detailed discussion about the the evil :P register_globals is posted here).

Drupal Requirements Error Page

The solution which is commonly suggested is to try placing php_flag register_globals off line in your .htaccess file. If you are using Apache 2 server then you'll get a HTTP Error 500 Internal server error (like I had on the webserver that hosts my test server).You can try creating a php.ini with these lines and keep it your root folder of the website.

[PHP] register_globals=off

If nothing works then you can request the hosting company to make the changes to the global php.ini file nicely.

Contributing to Debian for Dummies Talk

If you come across Christian Perrier's speaking at any one of the Debian Linux conferences don't miss his Contributing to Debian for dummies talk. It is perhaps one of most entertaining talk about Debian project for new and experienced users alike.

I haven't found the video of this talk, however the slides in PDF format are available for download from his Debian talks page and also from FOSS.IN/2007 site.

Linux Terminal Support for Indian languages

Listening to Prof.Amba P. Kulkarni talk about the Anusaaraka was a pure delight. It was here I first heard about the old GIST (Graphics and Indian Script Terminal) technology, as a gnu/Linux OS user I asked her if its possible to display Indian Language characters on a Linux virtual terminal, however Prof. Kulkarni didn't have a ready answer.

Its common knowledge that Indian script characters are well supported under X window system, but I didn't find any information on compiling Linux kernel to support a Indian scripts much like the older GIST machines. Please do share information about this issue.

Mibbit Chat Widget with FreeNode IRC Server

Last night koolhead17 (aka Atul K. Jha) pinged me with an idea of providing a live chat feature for the mukt.in event site. I think its a good idea, we used [Mibbit] chat widget to direct our web vistors directly to #mukt.in IRC channel at FreeNode. Try it out right now.

If you are interested take a peek at the source of this webpage for simple one line XHTML code to add [Mibbit] chat widget to your website. More information is available at [Mibbit] Widget page.

FOSSMeet @ NIT Calicut: A Report

Pramode shares his experiences at the 2 day workshop for school kids called FOSS@School as part of the recently concluded FOSSMeet at NIT Calicut in Kerala. Aanjhan (aka Tuxmanic), Kishore and Hiran also blogged about the event.

Darn! I missed out this time, would be there for 2009 event.