Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chamba - swatanthra movie project

First time when j4v4m4n called up and told me about the "chamba project" I was not interested because making a animation movie is a very expensive process in terms of time and efforts as learnt by me in previous LUG meets of Hyderabad where satish goda has explained us about Blender & big buck bunny . I also learned about models and how to create small animations with them .

Well that makes me kind of 'aware' of the direction in which chamba project is heading . I did see some mails in ILUGB and some updates in FB on it . Well it is gathering some momentum . I was only worried about the momentum in actual blender users . Because blender users are not just your normal computer users , they are someone who understands graphics,lighting ,motion etc and most importantly can move around the complex interface of Blender.

Bar camp Kerala 9 : There was a quite long discussion on 'blender vs maya' which did bore me , but interestingly there was sintel movie which I think has evolved a lot from Big buck bunny movie kind of drove this thought into mind that lot of the tools have improved .

Chamba Operations team meet :j4v4m4n sent me an SMS that there is going to be a meet at sooraj's house in thrissur on sunday . Well I decided to go despite sooraj's low priority to that event ( lol he is busy with something else ) . After bugging him for directions , hosting me etc we made it to 'Sahitya Academy ' Thrissur .

There was Manoj K Mohan from "VAST" , Alex from GEC trishur, Jishnu from MESCE and nirmal from Thrissur , we stood there talking when hiran came and lead us to sit right on the corridors of the academy ( after taking permission ) . we sat in a circle and the discussion started with sooraj introducing the project while I reminded to introduce the concept / story of "chambaka" the name of the project and why its important .

The discussion went on with script which has not been decided and is more or less the business of creative team . I was stressing on how low the time of the movie should be because I believe "less the time of the movie the more easier it becomes as the frames decrease " . There was also a point on multilingual nature of the movie where it is going to be dubbed into other languages which means getting all the teams from other states involved .

The task ahead for this team would be by promoting it by showing sintel and driving in the concept of "open movie " . I pitched in by showing a sample video of "chambaka" we could explain the goals of the team especially the openness involved . There was also a talk on blender sessions and we would be having one on December 1st week .

We were pinged by the sahitya academy person that its late , we then moved on to a ritual where hiran took some pics , in between we discussed with two persons from arts/documentary side . I also took some pics which came very bad with my camera . I slipped with Alex into an english drama which was quite nice .

We tried calling j4v4m4n , using GPRS on my phone via bluetooth of a netbook and we left to Akshaya hotel in the city centre for j4v4m4n . We met him opposite the hotel who was FBing via mobile . We went upstairs for dinner and our discussion went on from script, creative team to english vs malayalam etc . we ended our conversation with chambaka fruit which j4v4m4n has brought from a tree in his home .

Chambaka fruit
Forgot to mention that the Hash tag for chamba is #chamba . Tweet with it :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dist & Desktop Upgrade/Change !

Yes its the debian language , and I did do a change/upgrade of distros while the desktop was more or less changed .

I am talking about lenny to squeeze which asked me to download lot of stuff . Since I am on a low bandwidth I went on removing all packages . And I had a hell of a time relating X related packages using both aptitude and apt-get . The clever thing is when you dunno any solution go for aptitude but aptitude in my case didnt support the regular expression '*' .

After removing OO,vlc,gnome and other electronics app the download was decreased to 400 M . I couldn't go less :D

Well since gnome is gone after the dist upgrade we shifted to kde . The package to do is kde-standard .

So to get KDE on to your machine
#apt-get install kde-standard
Well that got the desktop running . An install of amarok and ugly plugins of gstreamer did the rest . Well sarath .. Happy ?

Monday, November 15, 2010

#bck9 the tag !

My first barcamp in India was here . I am very thankful to Amrita group for arranging bus facility and providing us free lunch which IMHO in a barcamp is quite surprising .
After a small fresh-up I met some important people like Kenny Jacob and obviously my first complaint was the screen . Its quite too small for the auditorium . It also disappointed me when we were showing sintel movie of blender , when we had great sound coming out the movie in a small screen and different frame ratio was disheartening :(

I called up suraj & hiran to ask when they are coming . well they are on their way and they came right in between the "supposedly FOSS" talk . They were late because ' we are always late' lol I kind of agree.

Coming back to the events sessions , the wordpress plugins talk was quite short and I didn't care much as I couldn't see anything in the small screen plus I need to reengineer my talk because sajjad anwar wont be coming for his OSM intro talk .

Next one was by praseed on "FOSS " in kerala . Note the quotes on FOSS . It was also called " a case of inmates running the asylum?" I couldn't catch it with the mallu accent in the beginning but later WTF did he really mean that and Yes he did !
Apparent a MS user group user who desparately seeks for BSD licensed stuff isn't particularly new and he expressed his anguish over how linux users group became libre users group and how they all became stallman's preachers or something of that sort. I cut his short telling not to use the word stallman inappropriately .

His blah blah blah went on like that and I bet its a 'deja vu ' for me because even MS PR agents do the same thing , the same arguments nothing new or creative about . The relatively naive audience in the room as per the blogs and tweets were quite pleased by the talk which when finished for Q & A . I asked his in 'open source' and 'free software ' what do you prefer . His answer was on expected lines ' open source' :D He then went on to tell how libre user groups restricted him to discuss on wine . I simply told him its off topic in a libre user group and its your mistake . I am not sure how many of the audience caught it .

Cetly Live by Hari Krishnan was one talk which really interested me , it sounds like a simple example of campus blogging but it actually is a competetion and cetly people did do it nicely . They have made the students participate which means a heavy inputs to the blogging and having it on their own web platform is amazing thing to do , and yeah it always works well in a campus envoronment and its high time other campuses copy this style .

Blender Py API discussed by unnikrishnan a cool guy was well recieved and I didn't have time for it as I was thinking of getting map rendered and I again failed :( Anyways there was an open movie by unni which was a trailer next followed movie which had first issues rendering and it was good sound and I liked the story of dragons . Sintel is also cute but it looks more 'anime' was it some japanese contribution ? I didn't Know .

Just like the talk on " supposedly FOSS" there were also questions and assumptions on "blender vs maya" , which were slightly amusing but nonethless irritating . I kept my peace and concentrated on talk while hiran and other took it up .

The lunch was "ok" but the sweet was good . I also carried it on my way back . People commented that this is what you get out of a Kerala 'vegetarian' meal and we should not forget that this is an ashram !

I had to start post lunch and the talk went on as planned with some huge Q & A . After my talk I remember listening to phonegap thats it nothing much from me as I was down entirely (lack of sleep the earlier night ).

Ohh yeah suraj the free software enthusiast has given a malayalam talk highlighting the goals of free software movement countering the voices against it .

Hiran and co left to thrissur while I waited till the end ohh yes I went to that village I guess its called amritapuri and the rural kerala environment which I am experiencing for the first time is quite amazing to say the least .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fuel Telugu workshop @ ANU , Guntur

This is how it all started . Rajesh Ranjan has called me and we had h to organise FUEL workshop during Mukt.in 2008 . We couldn't oragnise a discussion on telugu aspect of FUEL because of lack of interest in the language .

2 Years back when I returned to #l10ncappune at RH I met Rajesh Ranjan who discussed with me and Karunakar about how he or karunakar or me couldn't organise a FUEL workshop in telugu at Hyderabad .

Now that I am back in the state , I wanted to do it and I kind of liked the concept of guntur or vijayawada as I always believe in telugu language neutrality,quality in that region one because vijayawada is where the press /print telugu has origniated .
Well one fine day in my grandmoms village I was going to meet a friend in guntur so made a plan to go to the college . Thanks to my friends contact venkat adaka who is a telugu tweep has taken me on bike and assisted me in forming our initial talk .

After some initial discussion and rajesh ranjans discussion one fine day we thought of deciding a date . And then after a call to the HOD who asked me to come to the dept to finalise the date . Well Guntur is almost at a stone throw from khammam a train to vijayawada and a bus took me directly to the department .

Then in 5 minutes we decided the date to be the last weekend of the december . We called the caterer to decide on food . I called rajesh & anjun rao chavala and told him about the confirmation . We then focussed on getting travel and rooms in vijayawada . I ended up deciding a stupid hotel called 'shri pada '

Well then was the entire conference calls from Krishna in RH to arjun and me ,later joined by Rajesh Ranjan .. we went on planning schedule , press letter which took most of our time .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Installed Fedora 13 ( again ! )

I started with F13 Alpha Netboot long back and today the same CD failed during installation probably due to bad media or some bug , anyways I reinstalled F 13 KDE live ISO and everything was so smooth because I had installed previous F13 as /home and / . Hence a format of / did make lot of things easy :)

The reason why I had to re-install is quite a strange one and might be funny . From F13 alpha I was regularly updating to observe the changes ,and as I had previously mentioned , it was becoming very stable . It reached a point where I couldn't stand it . Hence I choose to go to rawhide and that was at a very wrong point of time when F14 is no more the raw hide while F15 is becoming rawhide. It would still have been very easy if I hadn't the rpmfusion repo's . Well I did enter into a yum mess and I am amazed yum behaved very well , only that I messed it the wrong way .

Before any one reading has doubts like " how complex GNU/Linux or fedora is ? " . Well I opened my firefox to restore the tabs of last session which I had in my previous installation !

Mapping companion

You know how much it helps to have a companion during mapping ?

Well its a BIG thing to have someone who is your friend and understands whats going on . We could share the driving , recording POI's , catching the GPS device and lot more of things . My compoanion here is a person with similar backgrounds hence didnt take much time to even edit the trails .

We did cover a lot of roads . Despite one roadblock and a dissapointing evening which led us to a mountain peak where the wind did give us the right idea for us . We didn't have enough time to finish it as per our expectations and plans but we did get into a cool template which we would be using for the future :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Well why am I mentioning a group as a title of a blog !!

Dominick the mind and person behind the Free Software Users Group - Vidya Jyothi Institute of Technology met me incidentally at #debian on irc.oftc.net . Just like the nick he turned out to be an alien to Indian free software comunity .

And wow he is a huge debian fan from hyderabad .. I already had 2 Tshirts from Mini Debconf India 2010 held at COEP , Pune . One definitely was for krish , the other I bought just to see if anyone(dominick ? ) was interested . Hence the deal with krish and dominick was ' to justify me coming to hyderabad lets meet ' the meet turned out be a full fledged event with 4 speakers and yeah VJIT-FSUG !

Sarath MS

Another name worth mentioning was Sarath MS from Swecha team . It was really nice to meet someone from the team which made 'swecha the distro ' and is now 'swecha the team' >> "Team" is the word for the entire group which works to carry forward the free software movement in Andhra Pradesh .
Check out more about swecha .

So these three people have agreed to be at the event which more or less went on the lines of ubuntu,free software and debian installation on text mode . We couldn't cover most of the topics due to the time limitations we had . But I felt nice that we didn't cover the things planned as the audience are more n00b's than expected ( excuse the bluntness ) . It definitely takes time to get this deep into them .

so the obvious question : Outcomes ?
As expected not many good news . Well the student who made the logo had his sticker sold for 10 bucks . We could also sell one more sticker on software freedom . Well on the real side , dominick was approached by three girls for a Debian DVD .

One person who couldn't come to the event had mailed back to the group expressing his annoyance on us unable to mention the correct room . Poor guy was searching in other rooms , there was some miscommunication from our side :( On the brighter side he tried out ubuntu .

Things I liked : Me , sarath ms , krish and dominick - our participation was like a great team which worked together despite all of us coming from 'different' backgrounds . Every one of us gave our best :)

During debian installation which I kind of handled , the installation was done by girl who knew least about computing/participation . All the installation steps were handled by suggestions from me,dominick,krish and sarath MS . There were also some questions to the audience .. the interaction was going on superb but for one thing !

Here I introduce another great personality called 'pranav' aka ppc as he calls himself lol :D So he is the great graphic designer and the volunteer who made 'things happen' from the college side . Before dominick kills me lemme get to the story .

I was telling that "everything was going fine except for one thing" . There was this pranav who was staring outside window with a desperate look on his face :O He keeps on bugging me & lol also krish right in between the debian installation session . The whole 'high tension' tactics of his started almost 30 minutes before the official time which kind of are damn irritating for the event itself.

I felt that I was being hard on a poor kid , but we(atleast me and dominick) felt that things need to end properly . we did finish the debian installation but the machine was unplugged even before we could reboot to the installed debian :( .

Well the sticker sale as krish said was not up to the expectations . 2 stickers out of the hundred we bought .. and here I have to mention the lady who had walked and waited all the time at printer shop to get the stickers printed . She works at cognizant and has tried out various distros and she is going to try out more thanks to some empty DVD's and CD's which I gave her in exchange to the price of stickers lol . Dominick told that he would distribute the FSUG logo stickers for free as in free beer .

Unfortunately at the last moment when we couldn't complete the installation there was no time for students to take/buy the stickers . They had to run for the bus .

We had a feedback session before we closed . The feedback as expected was the same ' it was nice ..blah blah blah ' but some instances I heard we want to learn more about free software , want to try debian .. which did give me "some" satisfaction .

PS: The basic prerequisite for attending the event was a mail to vjit-fsug mailing list writing their computing experience, and only 5 came without that and surprisingly they all have written back after the event !!

Also since it was my "birthday" /me and dominick went to his home , took some rest packed my things and went to paradise for a treat and before you ask about krish , he was very near to paradise .. munching bytes .. err hertz whatever for his AMD phenom lol !

Sunday, August 22, 2010

some stylesheet mess

The words on the picture above mean nothing ! Anyways I think that picture is a step ahead for me to work on stuff !

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mini Deb Conf India ( telugu తెలుగు )

నేను నిన్న నే వచాను పూణే నించి . అక్కడ నేను చిన్న దెబ్ కాన్ఫ్ (Mini Deb conf)ని నలుగు రోజులు నిర్వహించి మరియు పాల్గొని వచ్చాను . అక్కడ చానా మంది పాత మిత్రులని కలిస్నాను . కొత్త వాళ్ళు కూడా అయ్యారు . చెప్పుకోదగ్గ వారంటే ముందు ప్రవీణ్ .. నేను అక్కడికి వెళ్ళటానికి ముఖ్య కారణం ప్రవీణ్ ని మళ్లీ కలిసే ఛాన్స్ ! అది కాకా విక్రం మరియు కార్తీక్ వస్తున్నారంటే చానా हंगामा ఉంటాడని ఉహించాను .. మరి ఉండ లేదా అని మీరు ప్రశ్నించోచు ! ఇక్కడ ఇంకొక వ్యక్తి ని పరిచయమ చేయాలి .. అది అభిజీట్ అభిజీట్ కి ఒక 'hatsoff' చెప్పాలి . అలాంటి ఉపాధ్యాయులుంటే చాలు మన దేశము లో ఫ్రీ సాఫ్ట్వేర్ చానా ముందు కి వేల్తడి . నా వంతు గ నేను మాత్రం ప్రభుత్వ నిధులు గురించి చెప్పాను . ప్రభుత్వ నిధుల చే CDAC అనే సంస్థ BOSS అనగా భారతీయ ఒపరేటింగ్ సిస్టం సొల్యుషన్ డెబియన్ ని వాడి ఒక బాస్ సాఫ్ట్ వేర్ గ విడుదల చేస్తది . అందుకే ఈ సరి బాస్ తో డెబియన్ సంబంధం గురించి మంచి बातचीत అయ్యింది :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mini DebConf India Day 2 ( le finale)

I had a hell of a time having health issues which made me come late to the venue . Praveen the early bird speaker (aka come at 8 to learn more ) had already started and some 30 people have turned up was the ooutput I got from swapnil via sana's cell .

I hurried up and saw nice activity going on with interested people on day 2 on packaging .

Well praveen's way of debian development could be said to be like this .

A review of the important terms and then like get into an upstream package find a man page bug and then submit the bug to debian . The coolest thing which happened .. and which never happens at any place is

  • Kushal : the upstream guy .
  • praveen: finds a bug patches it
  • Kartik : approves it in debian as a DD.

Also as praveen said to me it was a great live interactivity as Kushal and praveen worked together live in front of people by arguing on the package,bug license and with the Debian developer chipping in .. it really made an awesome combination whose demo could the best someone could ever get !! ( Yeah COFSUG ,PICT and other pune students - I envy you )

FOSS in Education was handled by Vikram by using the ekalavya example .

There was a BOSS<--> Debian discussion which was interesting

Sunday, August 08, 2010

MiniDebConfIndia Evening 1

Me and Vivek walked to the lab from the seminar hall where j4v4m4n was taking a session . After his session we planned to go somewhere to eat . Well vivek wanted to learn more so did I as we don't know what happened at this place.

Anyways as we were getting down vikram was returning from a visit to MG road . The cool thing was some new students were turning up by 8 PM :)

But we were leaving ! Kartik just returned from his hanging out with kushal . So kartik took care of the students while me , praveen,vikram,vivek,raghavendra and vipul have gone to eat again somewhere near MG road. I remember us fighting for locations,gprs ,opus on the main road it was fun that we were all damn tired.

After the dinner we had a small walk to get an auto where vivek left and a phrase of mine triggered a flame war lol ( I do that often :P )

Me and praveen took an auto to foss lab where kartik was still going on with the students . Nice to see motivated students staying till 10 in the night andd they were not local hostel students they have come from different colleges and we asked them about the user group status and they are very interested to expand it in college while abhijit gave them suggestions and all of chipped in with more advices lol .

It was so late in the night but I still wanted to blog about the event made a call to the eternal volunteer swapnil who came and collected me to show his machine which unfortunately has a very bad motherboard and a overheating processor from pentium4

Well we browsed photos till the router collapsed and I couldn't blog anymore .. atleast got the pics and their metadata right :)

The sad thing and horrible part of me was to see swapnils eye lids dropping .. OMG what a pest I was !!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

j4v4m4n becomes a debian maintainer

As we guys were going down to boat club canteen for a quick breakfast .. kartik gave the good news which came in time :)

Boat club canteen is right on river bank .

Nice mushrooms are growing below a tree :)

DebConf India Day 1

Kartik the debian developer

Praveen & his mandarin Tee

Well how did it start ? It started with a debian developer waking me up calling my name ! Abhijeet who had to hurry to the venue at 8 Am while me praveen and the DD had to go to the Modern cafe for our breakfast ( 3 idly + 2Cafe+ 1T ) which we finished quickly and after some crossing of the road ended up at the seminar hall2 where we heard from abhijeet that vikram has arrived well it was a small meetup of old friends .

Kartik smiles

meeting of FREEDOM buddies

Then I came inside and started bugging people about the network .. well it looked like I was the network guy !

The funny thing was the router was set up in the middle of a hall with no wired connection to it . Abhijit requested other faculty's own network which more or less was a lifeline . I kind of shared the password with very less people .

 The debian and ubuntu guys together :)
I was more or less trying to get Wifi working . Peeking in a little bit to hear praveen & omkar - the deb and ubu guys speaking together .
Vikram and his friend
vikrams talk was attended by me . Well it was energetic .Vikram in his L10n and I18n talk he showed a POT file and also showed the amount or contributions needed in each language . He also encouraged a new language proposal for rajasthani .
RH people
We breaked for lunch when I went with shirish we had a discussion about calendars. Is there a free web application alternative for google calendar and a bit about all LUG's.

I met karunakar with whom I discussed about debian installer work being started . Also karunakar has told me that there is a simple guide to install fonts.Post lunch discussion was with vikram when we had some catching up to do .

Then Kartik after the lunch in 'how to contribute' session he showed us how to classify bugs and how to report them . He showed a sample bug which was a comment that something was not working .

Kartik had an issue with buggy wicd to connect to the wireless. I even made my router unencrypted which unfortunately didn't help .

Then people with and without laptops were divided . The machine less people went to the lab which was handled by praveen and omkar.
Lab_foss (inputs from COFSUG student): He started by asking people to google for 'maintenance guide' so as to make the students self sufficient . He explained the new words in the guide like 'sponsors,mentors,upstream etc'

Licensing issues while packaging were exlained . After that the steps of packaging in debian were explained. We downloaded the source package of lekhoni which was written by kushal . He explained the code compilation process and how to resolve the dependencies which might occur during compilation .

One bug which involved correct version No's of lekhoni in readme was found and are kept for reporting tomorrow .

A small interview with COFSUG student : How to contribute session and the practical session on source code compilation and fixing bugs during packages was interesting .

compared to other tech events its more technical and it was done in small time ..the response was not expected.

Finally the credit goes to abhijith and his team of volunteers who made it happen !
 Very Active volunterrs

Friday, August 06, 2010

MInidebconf India Day 0

It all started in morning when I met piyush and swapnil the local COFSUG members .

Our discussion started on Ubuntu,debian ,fedora. and why they were still on dual boot . The limitations of running VS.net is there . Its all ubuntu dominated world on COFSUG which is a good place for getting debian contributors ;)

Then I got a call from pravi with instructions on things to do . After that I went to the FOSS lab which kind of was our adda all the time . Its a lab of 50 Ubuntu machines .

I started on the live image and virtual box .. but was told by praveen to use th existing one . Added to that mine didn't boot . So we kind of added to that machine . The lab had some cleaning and teaching going on we guys ie me some volunteers started working on stuff. I on the meanwhile gave a nice introduction to sana khan on how X,GTK,QT,KDE and gnome are inter dependent . She also had got a good practice on apt,sources.list, & vi which more or less will be helpful for tomorrow session .

Madhur and Avinash are the main guys working of rthe live image sometimes assisted with swapnil . Some girls were also trained on ubuntu and gpg keys.

By the time praveen and kartik came it was getting dark but volunteers who went for a breakfast returned and there was an informative session on GPG keys where lot of questions on cryptography were asked . I also had a silly doubt on what is a 'fingerprint ' and how do you relate it with public key .

Well before that we had an introductions session in which abhijit sir was given all the praise :)

Finally the most important thing was water was arranged and yeah there was a discussion on putting map posters sign boards ... the virtual image and how do we share it .

Will be blogging back properly !

Friday, July 02, 2010

hmm hmm hmm

First time I am adding a strange title to this blog :)

How does the above image look ? a bit weird . Well to some it might look as a road junction . To some people it might look as a secondary road joining a primary road .

To some it looks exactly like a Z17 tile from osmarender :D

What about this ? any difference ?
Some people can see a black things on the red line which looks like a insect. Some can identify it as some icon ie POI near the road .

whats with the image now ?

Every one can see it as a name . but the clever can identify as the name of some amenity :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My own fedora rant

I have been using Fedora 13 for some time . I installed it with a netboot CD for which I had to get DHCP running on modem itself ( normally runs on ADSL) .

I got XFCE as the desktop as its the lightest . I couldn't get Graphics running by default which was not much of an issue as I just installed the noveau packages for my Nvidia graphic card . I was very happy by this release because I will be using free drivers from the Noveau project

Then there is this packagekit package manager which I thought would be amazing but sadly it was buggy . Anyways the best thing is yum . Yum really rocked this time(from fc4 times) . Never a bug,it felt wonderful using the new yum :)

I got KDE 4.4.2 running which obviously should have bugs as its released in march and it did crash plasma couple of times because I tried searching inside widgets . I went to #fedora-kde to ask but no one responded . #kde told me to ask them in US timings . I left it alone after a couple of updates it started being stable as the release got near. No wonder fedora developers are working day and night squashing bugs so that the release becomes usable .

Feeling tempted ? The question does arise as I haven't used a debian distro for quite some time . I am still unfamiliar with some package names in fedora . A bit of yum searching with grep or googling is helping me get adjusted ;)

Kpackagekit ( different from packagekit) is still buggy maybe I will report it . My network is damn slow and yum likes to load its package lists . The strangest thing today is packagelists are more heavier than the package I want to install . By the way I did yum update just 20 hours ago , I was a bit surprised and felt homesick ( debian I wanna come back :D )

PS: One more rant .. I have changed all the theme packs from fedora-default to KDE-default !!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Revisiting L10n


Frankly speaking its been a long time since I translated a string . I felt like re-connecting the community hence called up praveen to tell that I am coming for #l10ncamppune .

My travels both to and from pune deserve a separate blog of its own . I met Mintos at praveen's place. Learned that all RH employees stay in that flat of Jasmenium , Magarpatta city . We both walked to RH office which is located in the same city .

By the time we reached , the session already has started and people were having a discussion on foss and business value . Ani gave me a notes and asked me to fill a form . Before I sat down on the seat I remember having signed 3 times ;)
Support based revenue and also dual licensing were discussed . I just stayed calm because I got the feeling of 'deja vu' and was silently hoping that we move forward to l10n and i18n .

Naveen from RH started the talk on i18n . He went on a bit deep on how character encoding is done and I kind of liked that talk as I was learning something new. There was a discussion on proprietary vs unicode fonts and I mentioned my experience with telugu newspaper eenadu .
There was also a discussion on indic rendering and rendering engines and why gnome-terminal couldn't render the indic fonts. On the other hand praveen showed emacs rendering it properly ! ( GNU emacs :D ) . Most of the naveens session the terminal was used from emacs .

During the break I met ankit from Gujarati team . I heard of him but never got to meet him . He told me that krishnababu from telugu team couldn't be here as he had to go to his home town . We went to cafeteria where coffee day coffee was being served ! I was introduced to rajesh and our discussion went on to fuel telugu .

Back to the session students needed help in typing . We tried to push forward inscript typing which is relatively easy . we gave some sample sentences and made them type. Ankit asked them to open a sample po file of a small application . He showed them the various translation tools like poedit and lokalize. some of them also opened them directly in gedit . Students then were asked to translate it . Those translations were compared to the one actually translated by hindi team . That was a cool way of doing things .

some of the students felt that they were typing very slowly because of inscript. Karunakar asked them to remember the ordering of letters from ka kha ga gha ( क ख ग घ ).. so on . The next day he made them say loudly so that they could remember the ordering on inscript keyboard easily . Thats really a good idea and I am guessing that it came out of his huge indic experience ;)

The morning session continued with students translating po files. They also created accounts in gnome l10n and uploaded their po files . That IMHO took them directly to contribution . I sat down on tuxpaint po which I translated long back . I opened lokalize to see that it was not rendering telugu . I asked ani and shankar who are the back benchers(lol nice term for people who were helping out all students ) . Shankar told me that it was a bug with spell checker and indic scripts. He told me that the bug was fixed in the next update .

After the lunch runa's talk was very interesting . She showed some strings actually almost all the scenarios which a stating translator faces .
The students were asked on how to translate ' bordeaux' the colour of french red wine !! She then suggested us to see the closest locally used colours . She gave some examples which I couldn't grasp because I am not that good in hindi .

Rajesh Ranjan gave a introduction to fuel and showed how simple those words in the po file are and why its a need to have them discussed and agreed upon by various teams of translators,linguists and press. The topic got deviated by translation database which kind of ended the session .

There was also a discussion on 'why translate' which really bored me cause I am a bit neutral to both the arguments. I finally say that while bringing desktop to a rural person , it is expected to be in local language which that person could comprehend .

computers are not just for अँगरेज़
The above sentence is also coming from me who almost learnt typing english on a french keyboard and having used a localised french windows XP desktop !

The session ended with shankarshan collecting feedback from students. There was a plan to do another session but this time to be planned at the colleges .

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cent OS woes

A sad title .. hmm

Well I am back to a redhat based distribution after a long time and getting it to run my way did take some effort :)

It started even before I downloaded the Centos 5.4 DVD . My Ubuntu File system installed by a certain friend has only 8 GB on its root partition . I had to remove/move all the files so that I could successfully download the DVD .

I was shocked by the anaconda when I selected text installation .. WTF things haven't changed at all !! I selected basic installation because I wanted things to finish fast . I carefully selected not to install Grub . Though it gave a warning I kind ignored it .

Booting centOS via grub legacy became a nightmare. Ubuntu forums some oe suggested that chainloading is the best way to go . Actually its the worst way to go for a centOS .

To chainload I did two things one was to install grub in centos root partion .. next I messed it up to such an extent that I wanted it on my MBR. but the grub in centOS itself is in a mess .

Left desperate I went to Grub2 . Things were smooth . I found someone telling me that I need to install centOS again but without any grub . I did that and was unable to boot because ubuntu's perception of root partition sda6 !=hdb6 which was centOS perception . I was left with kernel panic's for some time . Then I tried out with noacpi knowing in heart that it has nothing to do with it. Finally looking at my own grub config I realised that CentOS entry was missing a initrd line .

Adding the initrd line was simple to figure out after so many tries. Anyways Grub2 Rocks !

By the way CentOS 5.3 looks just like RH9 :D

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Well OSM rocks big time !!

There are huge number of tags to select and I really love both the tools

  • Potlatch : Good for intermediate web editing
  • JOSM: Good for advanced and B/W conscious user ( like me )
One thing is true . Its hard to begin :(

Availablity of GPS traces is the only way you can map places in India .

Here is my map

View Larger Map

There are still lot of things to do :)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

First trace

Hurray .. here's my first trace ... finally a line on my home town :)

The blue line beside the previous road marking is mine . I am a bit confused on the previous markings . They have marked a well known road. But I doubt the accuracy . It also didn't coincide well with google's mapping . ( just a comparision )

I will be posting more. By the way this is not SE 'yari' as previously posted. I have got a nokia N82 sooner than the Yari .
I used 'sports tracker application and it could export to gpx easily .

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mapping $HOME

I am not happy to see that one of the top contributors for $HOME in google maps was a user called 'pavi' LOL

'Efforts better utilised' Yeah I get the feeling . I tried many times to use the potlach editor for mapping . But the Yahoo satellite imagery zoom level is so bad that I couldn't even identify the place.
The same was with google 2 years back . But now the satellite did come and take some snapshots . I can identify even buildings . That made easy the mapping of places . Anyways now I have got some practice using google maps.

One day I sat down mapping using potlach . I could change the population so that my place would be visible in OSM on a particular zoom level . I also added grand ma's village and some places like hospital . But it is a very cumbersome process.

The only way to get $HOME on OSM is via GPS . Luckily I could find a SE 'yari' mobile with a GPS inbuilt. I haven't yet seen the device. But I found some software which works with it .

Mobile Trail Explorer
is a free software which can export gpx and kml files . I installed it on my SE 'z550i' which doesn't have a GPS inbuilt but it anyways got installed because the software can use a GPS device built on a external bluetooth device.

As of now waiting to get my hands on SE 'yari' !