Google’s Code University

Hello folks,  Though I came to know of this very late, I thought it would be useful to post it. Google has yet again done what it, can to spread knowledge. It has a “Code University” or a place in the web, where anyone can access lecture notes, assignments and reference materials for any topic related  to computer science. These have been contribute from various universities across the globe. This apart, it has a few video tutorials as well. It seems to be really useful. All the lecture notes are in the form of presentations( ppt, unfortunately. Many university prof. still go for MS office it seems. ) The link to the site is

http://code.google.com/edu

FossConf ’08 @ MIT,Chennai

       Hello folks, It was an wonderful weekend at Chennai. ILUGC, NRC-FOSS and others organised the first FossConf ’08 at the Madras Institute of Technology, Chrompet, Chennai. The event started on February 1st and concluded on 3rd. It had demo stalls with tool and project demos and then sessions on various topics.

Myself, Ashok and Vins participated in the event and had the opportunity to attend a few sessions. We had put up a demo stall as well. Initially it was on “Networking” where we explained stuff on DNS, Proxy server etc. Then, on seeing that the crowd that came there needed more basic stuff, we renamed the stall as “GNU/Linux basics”. We handled the stall only for a couple of hours that day and went to attend sessions. First, we attended the session on Djanjo handled by Mr. Ponnusamy. But unfortunately, for me, the session was not impressive; I dont really know why. Then, we attended a session on “PHP attack and defenses” which was handled by Mr.Bala Vignesh from Lucas TVS. It was really interesting as he spoke on code injection, sql injection, XSS and remote execution. The session was followed by an interesting argument between the participants.

Then on the final day of the event, we attended two more sessions, one on parallel programming and the other on ruby basics. We were also present for the session on KDE 4.0 by Mr.Pavithran, but didn’t sit for the entire session. On the whole, the sessions were really nice. But, I still don’t get the difference between python and Ruby as both of them seem to be same from what we all learnt in that Ruby introduction session.

For the concluding session, we had a surprise guest, Mr. Brian Behlendorf, the founder of the Apache foundation. He gave a wonderful talk on how open source tools are in fields other than Operating systems, Servers and web browsers. He gave a few examples as well like opens source academic content preparations tool, and opensource tool for editing video content of the wikipedia etc. He also mentioned how open source can get into the field of medicine by creating collaborative tools.

The closing day also had an open-to-all-participants quiz conducted by Mr.Ramdoss amachu and another guy.  Those who answered correct were rewarded with a Ubuntu pen. The grand moment was when our college won the prize for the best tool demo. Also, GLUGOT’s contribution was spoken about were highly and more is being expected from it.

The only disappointment that we had there was that a few stalls that we had planned to attend got canceled due to some unavoidable reasons or overlapped with other sessions . Else, we would have attended sessions like iptables and web 2.0 optimization.

We also found time to go to the City Center. There we had our friend Venkatesh waiting for us with his nephew. We spent some good time there eating some stuff and then taking a few snaps (with my digicam) with him.

Finally, a great many thanks to Ashok and his aunt’s family for the three of us stayed there. We had some really nice food cooked for us on all three days. It really saved us from looking for some boarding and lodgings elsewhere.

Sun acquires MySQL

Hello folks, some hot news from opensource world. Just got the news from Slashdot that Sun Microsystems has acquired MySQL, the famed FOSS GPLed database. And to confirm it, visited the MySQL website and a few blogs at blogs.sun.com . So, to the best of my knowledge this is the biggest acquisition in the open source world. MySQL is the world’s fastest growing database being used by everyone from the Internet giants Google and Yahoo. The acquisition is valued at $1 billion totally. Though, Sun + MySQL will be a greater force than MySQL alone – Sun’s great engineers will support the development-, I have a few questions that come to my mind:

1) Will MySQL continue to be licensed under GPL or will it be CDDL

2) Will there be any “non-open source” sun contributed parts added to its code base.

Linux Mint – The distro for those moving from windows

       Hi folks, Got something interesting this time. Bought this month’s Linux For You a bit late. Anyway, now that i have bought it, saw the media that came with it this time. One was a CD with software related to electronics etc. The other was a Live CD, based on Ubuntu. It was named Linux mint. I am not sure if I had been ignorant or if it was a relatively new distro, I had never heard that name. As it was a live CD, I was eager to try it out.

Continue reading “Linux Mint – The distro for those moving from windows”

Setting up MRTG in Debian

    Hello folks. After some setback, I have managed to setup MRTG in my Debian etch box. I thought of posting the process step by step so that it might be useful to someone someday. MRTG, The Multi Router Traffic Grapher, is used to see what a router does. It displays in the form of clean and pretty graphs showing how much traffic flowed through each interface.

Continue reading “Setting up MRTG in Debian”

FStival ’07@TCE

GNU/Linux User Group Of TCE( GLUGOT) and GNU/Linux User Group of Madurai (GLUG-Madurai) are organising FStival ’07, the Free Software Festival at Thaigarajar College of Engg. Madurai on September 15th, Saturday. This is the fourth time the event is being conducted and it has always been successful. We hope to have a similar success this year as well.

FStival is celebrated as a part of the international event, the Software Freedom Day. The main objective of the event is to promote free software and propagate its advantages over other proprietary software. In our college, for FStival, we organise various demo stalls where various free software tools will be explained by students. We will also have an installation demo at the auditorium.

This year, we have intended to have stalls for Emacs and Vi, LaTeX, Gtk/Glade, Binutils, GCC, LAMP, Databases, CMS, Office, GIMP, Blender, Games in GNU/Linux etc. as usual and some new stalls like IDEs( Bluefish, KDevelop), Linux in day-to-day, Linux commands, GNU/Linux in industries etc. We will also have a stall on Beryl, a very attractive window manager. To popularise the concept of Live CD, we have a stall on Live CD. We may have a stall on GNU/Linux in industries and one on GNU/Linux history and propaganda.

Microsoft behaves cheaply yet again

       Hello folks. People who have already read this blog a few times would know that I often make posts against microsoft. For those who do not agree that M$ is bad, here is another example. It was announced on Wednesday in our college that Students can attend the off-campus placement program for Microsoft at PSG the next day. Initailly, many students were happy. But soon after came the eligibility for attending the placement program. This are the conditions

  • Must be a certified .NET programmer with expertise in the technology.
  • Must have expertise in all Microsoft technologies.
  • Must have a CGPA* of atleast 8.

CGPA is a grade point based evaluation system and setting a minimum of 8 is agreeable. But the other 2 conditions are absurd and they clearly show how cheaply M$ behaves. It is well known that most of their technologies s***. And yet in an desparate attempt to propagate them, microsoft has adopted this new technology. This is equivalent to saying, to work in IBM, you must be a master of their UNIX or like to work at Ford, you must have owned and driven a ford.

I was really wondering if Microsoft will ever have a sane guy in their folds who would tell them that their reign has ended and that to survive any more, they must turn to open source.

TCE powered by a SAN, NAS and itanium machines — #1

A great unforgettable weekend pased by. From Friday morning to Monday evening, we had a beautiful, tech-packed weekend. As per the schedule, Joe and Sen came to the college on Friday for a 4 day visit. The first day had 2 sessions on FOSS to inspire the juniors at TCE. Then, for the remaining three days, it was all in the server rooms of TCE, upgrading, configuring and giving life to the servers.

Continue reading “TCE powered by a SAN, NAS and itanium machines — #1”

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 released :)

       Hello folks, back to bloging after a long time. Exams kept me away from this great activity. But now, news to celebrate.. Debian GNu/Linux 4.0 has been released. Or in other words, Debian “etch” has been released after 21 months of development. Debain claims to support 11 architecures and seems have over 18000 installable packages.

Latest versions of all popular software packages such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5.5a (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.14, the Xfce 4.4 desktop environment, the GNUstep desktop 5.2, X.Org 7.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, Iceweasel (Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.3), Icedove (Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5), Iceape (Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8), PostgreSQL 8.1.8, MySQL 5.0.32, GNU Compiler Collection 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3, Samba 3.0.24, Python 2.4.4 and 2.5, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.4 and 5.2.0, Asterisk 1.2.13 are also available.

The default desktop is GNOME and is available in the first CD. For the first time, a graphical front end will be used for the installation process. Also, for upgradation processes, the full file will not be downloaded. Onle the diff between the 2 versions will be downloaded and patched.

For more info, please visit Debian’s hompage

Vista’ desparate attempts

       Hello folks, Back to blogging after a long time. Had a tough time facing the model exams and will be off again in a week with the semester exams round the corner. But in the meantime, through the mailing lists in which I have associated myself, I got a piece of news regarding the windoze Vista, the latest OS from Microsoft.

It seems that they have restricted the GNU GCC apps to 32 MB. That is no application can ask for memory size of more than 32 MB, by using malloc() or calloc() or other such functions. This restriction is really the height of foolishness. If you design an OS that cannot run an application develped in C using some other compiler not native to your OS, then why should such an OS be used?

I also learnt that if the same memory allocation is done using M$ compilers like VC++, there will be no problem. This simply tells that the heads of the microsoft are desparately trying to take measures to pull people away from FOSS/OSS. That apart,  the effects of DRM are already evident. I feel that it is high time that activities of proprietary organisations are controlled and movements like DRM are curbed.