It’s been more than 10 days since I last posted ‘cause I was (and am) following a very busy schedule.
A lot happened in these days. The most prominent event among many was the LAMP workshop by the India Linux Users’ Group, Delhi held on August 23, 2008 at ABES Engineering College.
I was trying to get a fully working linux distro installed on my PC since I first assembled my PC back in December 2006. My quest for linux knowledge led me to ilug-d on October 16, 2007 and I am a member since then. But, I was not involved in their mailing list (partly because I hesitated as the discussions that went on there were far beyond my knowledge). So, I decided to try my hands on many distros myself: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint, Sabayon, Gentoo PCLinuxOS and many others; found some that were too good and some that I wasn’t even able to install on my PC. I was most satisfied with Linux Mint until came Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) after my XII Boards exams (in April) this year. I ordered a free CD from http://shipit.ubuntu.com and installed it in May after I received the installation disk. This was the time when I really learned a lot fiddling with internet setup, software installation, partitioning, etc in Ubuntu (Ubuntu Forums was the real and greatest help in all my queries). Then came the day when I got rid of Windows XP completely and forever. Well, this was all about my linux journey. A lot of learning followed.
ILUG-D organized a workshop before at Indraprastha Engineering College (IPEC) back on June 7, 2008 and I was full of remorse for not able to attend that one. So, I was quite excited about this one at ABES and was lucky that I had a day off from my busy schedule that day.
There was some conflict in the timings that were given by the group (11 AM) and the organisers (10 AM), so my excitement forced me to go according to the earlier schedule. Reached there and found that actual workshop timings were from 11 AM, so I decided not to waste my time and started debugging a Python program on my N72.
At around 11, the ilug-d members arrived. My first impression about Supreet was whether he was Richard Stallman. I expected the members (read: I always imagined) to be young guys like Supreet and got a mixed result. There were both types: young and old with common ideas and philosophies about FOSS. Well, my expectation was not that bad too as was seen in the presentation given by Mr. Sudev Barar about the group. They started out more than 10 years ago!
I found the discussion about piracy (“chori” as it was called by Mr. Sudev) and making money with FOSS very intriguing. In fact the question about making money with FOSS kept on cropping again and again till the end (and was followed in the mailing list too).
Then came the presentation about Linux by Shantanu Chaudhary. I was expecting the guys to practically demonstrate installation of some distro but that didn’t happen (and got to know at the end that it was because the college didn’t provide suitable computer systems for installation). I made many friends there and found out from them that the biggest problem they faced with linux was its installation and installing software.
It was lunch time and the workshop was suspended for about an hour. At this point of time, I started searching for my friend, Vibhor, who just took admission at ABES this year and was supposed to attend the workshop (at least to give me company). I missed the lunch in this effort and had to do with the college canteen :(.
Back at the workshop. It started with distribution of many linux CDs and DVDs (Ubuntu and Fedora). Again my bad luck (or lack of effort), I couldn’t get my hands on any disks (I needed Fedora 9 DVD). Then Supreet started with the most technical sections of the whole workshop: Apache web server and PostgreSQL. I was under impression that Apache was a tough nut to crack (having read everywhere on the net about the problems they face in its installation and configuration) but I saw the guy using it for real development work (so, I am also going to try to do without XAMPP and will use Apache with Postgres for further development of the under construction TechGlider.com site). I also thought that MySQL was the best language (open source) for databases but I discovered Postgres as a better alternative.
Then we headed for a tea break and finally I got Fedora 9 DVD (asked from of ABES boys having 2 disks). After the break I noticed an abrupt change: At 11 in the morning the workshop hall was full of people; after lunch break, more than 90% of ABES students were gone and after the tea-break, even the ABES faculty was nowhere to be seen :-/. So, we were left with very few people who were really interested in open source. But, this didn’t let our spirits go down and we continued with the workshop.
At last, Mr. Gora Mohanty gave a demonstration on “how to create a dynamic website in less than a hour using Django” and kept saying I have hardly written 4-5 lines of code :). I was really impressed with the whole lot of things we can do with the framework (will try to experiment with this soon).
I requested the group to let me have a snap with them and was really happy being with the guys, I highly admire. It was my first time with the workshop and I really enjoyed it and gained a lot from it. And, I got some friends with similar ideas and interest in technology like me. The most important thing I learned is that I have a long way to go and a lot of things to learn (whenever I think of this, I remember Supreet for his vast technical knowledge and down to earth attitude).
You can view the presentations given by the group and some photographs at http://wiki.linux-delhi.org/cgi-bin/twiki/view/Main/ABESGhaziabadWorkshop.
There are a lot of benefits associated with joining a linux users’ group (if you are one), some of them include staying updated on what’s happening in the open source world and getting help with your problems. To subscribe to the ilug-d mailing list and be a part of them, visit: http://www.linux-delhi.org
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(I am really overwhelmed with joy to see that this post has got this many viewings in less than 24-hours of my posting it on web:), but no feedbacks :()