Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ubuntu release event + FOSS team hangout

It was as the title says both ubuntu 12.04 release and a hangout of old and new buddies revolving around various FOSS circles :)

Me and logic went to get the cake which me and praveen illa ordered yesterday at Karachi bakery . The pangolin on the cake attracted two girls who were like curious to know about the animal , we explained them how free software projects like ubuntu , mozilla and others use the names of animals which need conservation or more love . The bakery was also very proud of the cake which was not given to us until it was photographed .

Back in the venue met ritesh for the 3rd time though it was like a meeting for the first time !! I spent some time telling people on phone how the building is infront of a blue glassed white building of Shadan womens college .  I was very happy that Anivar was able to make time to attend the event despite his hectic schedule .  Krish and Atul were very surprised to see the numbers which were not there in our earlier meets .
Ritesh started his pitch on Ubuntu explaining why use linux, ubuntu etc and we couldn't get the projection in place . The venue owner Kashyap tried a lot getting the projection fixed with his laptop, praveen illas laptop , I made them settle for logics laptop which also had some graphic driver issue but was "ok" for presentation .
Atul and krish were in other room as there wasn't enough place to move . Atul took praveen illa's laptop to run the installation script  . Anivar joined us at that time and they had a  hell lot of catching up to do :)
  In the lecture hall we decided to go on with Cake cutting ceremony aka ubuntu release , but before the cake people were asked to introduce themselves as is the tradition of lot of our user group meets .  After that we had a photo session and the smallest ubuntu user in our group  of 14 years  was the chief guest and he cut the cake .

Icy orangy the taste really felt good as I was sick of eating the default chocolate/vanilla flavoured cakes . lol atul mailed me asking for the recipe as it raised some curiosity . Yeah asking something which the propreitary secret of Karachi bakery is pointless !!

Praveen Illa talked about issues with localisation and the status of projects like LXDE, Gnome,XFCE etc . Anivar did ask about the 100 % status of gnome telugu translations and said that it was good . Me and praveen later had a lil chat on why it was projected so as to show 100 % always despite the fact that there are major issues with translation quality and how important a glossary is .

 Vineel  talked about the various mozilla projects and how we could contribute to the project . I seriously wish he had used the projector atleast to use the project pages  or  atleast used the white board to write the names of the projects .

Atul wanted to talk before as there are two people one from bangalore who just came to attend the openstack talk . He talked about OpenStack and how a  private cloud works and he had some pretty neat diagrams on the functioning of the architecture . Some of my questions also drew paralell comparisions with EC2 offering of Amazon .
He says 
 "Openstack uses its own API which is completely open source unlike Amazon and as a result of which Openstack will increase in adoption of Hybrid cloud, using Open source Openstack API. You can have Public and Private cloud easily sharing workload."

Krish talked about puppet with the whiteboard drawing puppet server and clients . I was outside saying bye to Anivar who has to catch a bus .
Finally logic pitched about wikipedia and local wikipedia pages  and I am guessing also about wikimedia foundation .

The event didn't end so soon and the mother of our chiefguest was waiting for him. Well it was the time to say bye to folks . But after event parties are always exciting and I am never going to miss it . Logic was my pillion rider while ritesh came on another bike . Behind us were vipul, praveen Illa and atul on Krish's nano . We had some traffic disturbances thanks to someone jumping into Hussain Sagar , later went to Paradise where while others bought food , Me and logic drank something cool . I had falluda and I still love the fact that my first falluda was from Thrissur in Kerala , quite a contrast from hyderabadi drink its supposed to be .
Back in Army zone which is ritesh sisters home ( who was out of town) we ate ,drank and had fun chatting all night but it was tuxnani's call which was the most amusing . After my post on FB he called us up and everyone spoke to him on speaker .

That ends our party or get together or FOSS event .. lots of names but its the fun which we had matters the most . 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Eventful day

Could tag the day as #event as it started with me going to #OpenDataHyd of which the first word is the only thing open about it , the least I say of it the better , though well organised it lacked every sense of the community and had more of a corporate agenda with corporates pleased with themselves . The govt fellas were here to show off !  And guess the venue ? ISB lol it was meant to be .

The only good thing was I met Kiran Baddi and Siddhartha from swecha during lunch . We also met Srikanth Lakshman whose talk on bus routes kind of went to a deaf audience . I returned with him to another event which is more exciting .


Update : Srikanth has written a story on it . And As he says the question by the OGPL guys  about geospatial data is weird . The govt fellas dont want to open the data but complain some opendata campaigner that the maps she was using was wrong especially with respect to kashmir . If the govt has released the maps in fist place this wouldn't have been a issue . I should also mention a s***y talk by UID fellas . I dont understand how opendata folks allowed such an advertisement ? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Protesting against internet censorship - Hyderabad

Why Protest ? 

  • Blockage of internet sites
  • Plan to introduce new ways of curbing internet freedom
  • Amendment of copyright law to introduce censorship 

Where ?

The proposed place by Anonymous and Free Software Movement of India  for the protest was peoples plaza , Necklace Road in the centre of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad . Later our venues did change ;)

How we started :

  I reached that place to find a group standing on the footpath and found out that they are from Anonymous and they had masks with them and some posters .

 People are yet to come , and we kind of asked where the others are . We were shown that there is another group down  at the parking place
Walked slowly to find the swecha group , notably happy to meet Sunil Mohan after many years . I kind of told how we organised some gimp telugu events and plan/efforts to create telugu gnome glossary . He admitted that it was hard . 

Swecha did bring out some cool goodies in form of Tshirts and posters hand drawn by volunteers in contrast to the Anonymous printed posters . Also was glad to meet Srikar  who came from Bangalore .Me and praveen went for a small walk around and found that police have approached anonymous and were trying to stop them from protesting . I was asked by one of them to bring both groups together and approach the police unitedly . Back in swecha group after exchanging pleasantries I was ale to meet Kiran Chandra and discussed the situation between those two groups and police . He pointed me out to the FSMI page on protest  and the reasons why were doing it . As we moved ahead with our posters , I had choosen a poster with swecha written in "telugu" which was later stolen by a girl lol .  Well the argument with police which was to come did turn out to be quite long and it did unite the Anonymous and swecha groups to an extent . I was lucky enough to find neenaoffline in the anonymous group thatnks to that as the arguments went on I was catching up with neenaoffline who is now doing his google summer of code.

Police arguments : 

  • No protest is to be done without permission
  • You need permission to stay as a group
  • Even if you separate you must remove your Tshirts and posters
  • We will take your Tshirts and posters !!
  • We have allocated a special place for bandhs and dharnas and even for that you have to get a permission 
Those above arguments did irritate the crowd and the some of our teams did bring out some good reasons on freedom or right to protest which definitely fell to the  deaf ears of police who were unrelenting .  The police even shouted at anonymous group very loudly  in a fiercely manner so that everyone removed their masks . Around the end of the argument did meet old swecha buddies like Kiran baddi , sandeep , divya and medhamsh who just reached the venue .

Final judgement by police : 

We are allowed to protest at the Bandh chowk near indira park . We should be following the police jeep . Even there we were to be monitored and allocated a  particular time limit so as that we protest in that stipulated place and time frameworks defined by the police . 

The Movement starts !!

Here we embark on a exciting charged up journey  to indira park with guys and girls on bikes . As if to interest us or to provoke us by their rules and regulations we did make some extra rounds like one near the imax circle and all the way round turn on main tankbund to reach the lower tankbund region of Indira park instead of going below the telugu talli flyover .
                We started out coolly with all the anonymous and swecha posters coming out high from their folded avatars and we went with  a driver on bike with protest posters by the pillion rider , those who haven't any posters( my bike ) collected from others who were travelling in a group .

 We went on very excited as we reached tankbund instead of going through lower tankbund which was a cool thing as we could show our group and as if we were escorted by police security lol

Down at the Bandh Ghat :

We started with our placards and slogans , we also were approached by the press who were curious to know about what was happening over there .

  We all formed a human chain and started with our slogans .

  • Say NO Internet Censorship
  • Bandwidth is our birthright
  • Listen sibal listen we wont keep quite

I liked these 3 slogans especially the 2nd one which has been my slogan all  of my techie life.

Swecha volunteers did a great job by giving voices by sharing and chanting the slogans all over the human chain . There were people who did observe us and were curious . They were given pamphlets about how govt is taking away our internet freedom .

Freedom Song and Conclusion :

After the Human Chain we all gathered at one place and as a group our slogans were more audible and press did take out some photographs .

Here is an article published in sakhi district edition  .


Freedom Song - Protest against Internet... by pavithrans
After that there was this exciting freedom song by a guitarist .  We all sang by him in the occupy style of singing .
We all sang on the lines "I want my freedom set me free "
I also could meet swecha volunteers like medhamsh and others  who were interested in my N900 and how debianised it is and I was surprised that they consider it as a smart phone .
 Kiran Chandra concluded by saying that this fight is not going to stop . He thanked everyone for attending the event including the police for their support ;)

Farewell to friends : 

Then farewell and a promise to neenaoffline after that more farewells and  also promised to meet sasi bhusan later . police were bugging us to leave so had to leave in midway of discussion . After that  had sugarcane juice with praveen with whom I went to his place  and had a lil chat with him .

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Bugs / issues whille installing debian wheezy from USB

Debian wheezy - The new testing release from debian had some issues while getting installed on my machine  va USB .

First I downloaded the weekly snapshot and made it bootable on USB using the tool unebootin . I  regularly use unetbootin and it works most of the times but this time something did go wrong!


  • After loading installer components and when installing base system is already done . The installer complains that there is no CD ROM present .
Note that this is happening midway of installation and it stops saying that it couldn't install busy box . Mounting USB and installing busybox manually didn't help me continue with the installation as the installer step has completely failed and there is no way I could resume but have to go to previous step or net step(with warnings) 

Tried somethings like
  • Mounting USB as  CDROM
  • Changing sources.list to directly read from mounted USB folder - This one works nicely with apt-get install busybox
2nd option was cool but I couldn't verify the packages  as thats on  a local repo folder  bot a cdrom . And even to force the installer to go to 2nd step was a tricky one as every time the installer step runs it rewrites the sources.list . I had to write to that file in that instant and was presented with an unsolvable problem
  • Packages cant be verified . press Y to continue !!!  

How the hell can I press Y when the script is not asking me for inputs and yeah the script is not run with skip package verification issue and I am in no mood to modify it . 

My solution was to just install all packages using aptitude - the CUI package management tool . Funny it sounds but that day I was forced to learn aptitude CUI tool which I always avoided . I do run aptitude search and aptitude install but never standalone aptitude .

So I installed all the packages from CD 1 and continued to the step where grub was installed but importantly there is a step where installer would create user accounts . After that I finished installation  and rebooted . 

Hurray there was a login screen but my happiness was short lived as my Nvidia ethernet was not detected , I didn't have a X server installed !! I tried searching for as many packages available on USB but never found xserver-xorg or the drivers for my Nvidia graphic card

Now I booted via  linux mint live to only learn that my live disk was 32 bit and my installed system was 64 bit and I can't chroot into it . I searched a lot for mini 64 bit live distros and finally  found a nice one called GRML .  Its a debian based live distribution aimed at sysadmins and most importantly comes with a 64 bit version with less space . 

After some consecutive reboots installed all the drivers xserver etc . Gnome3 did misbehave and it was because of my Nvidia driver which I thought was installed with the package . But I was mistaken and yeah for the first time downloaded the proprietary version and installed it as instructed in debian wiki


And yeah the final result , Am I happy ? 


YEAH . Tres Content !!