A Window to Freedom - Report on Dec 4th Free Software Users Group Thrissur Meeting

Published on: 2008-12-5

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A Window to Freedom - Report on Dec 4th Free Software User's Group Thrissur Meeting


The Free Software User's group of Thrissur had its first public gathering at the Sahithya Academy hall on Dec 4th; if the interest and enthusiasm shown by an audience numbering about 300 is any indication, the new year is going to witness a dramatic change in the way people in the Cultural capital of Kerala use computers - it's going to be good bye and good riddance to Microsoft, and welcome to the wonderful world of GNU/Linux and Free Software! Banner Sahithya Academy Hall After the brief inaugural ceremony and speeches by Prof.Manoj Kumar, Mr.K.Venu and others, Hiran started his "Celebrating freedom" talk. His example of a bicycle (later upgraded to a motorcycle and then to a car) sold by a company under an EULA was well received by the audience. Hiran-celebrating freedom Hiran Subsequently, Mahesh did a presentation on technical aspects of GNU/Linux and Free Software (which was dangerously close to becoming *too* technical): Mahesh Hussain sir and Suresh (of Swathanthra Malayalam Computing) gave presentations on the use of Malayalam in Free Software: Hussain sir of SMC Suresh of SMC But the real "star" of the morning session was this guy: There was some problem with our laptop audio output and we were showing Bunny as a "silent" picture - the amazing thing was that even then, the audience enjoyed every bit of it! Unny explained the "open movie" concept behind Big Buck Bunny, but there was not enough time to develop the idea further. There is plenty of scope to explore ideas like Free Culture at a place like Thrissur which has such a deep association with the arts - this is something which we should discuss during the next FSUGTSR meeting. Not to be outdone by Big Buck Bunny, Aswin (the local Compiz enthusiast) decided to wow the audience with a flashy demo of what the GNU/Linux desktop can do. Before diving into the demo, he gathered ground support by declaring himself to be the guy who is "trying" to study B.Tech at GEC Thrissur (reliable sources say that this was carefully rehearsed performance)! I am sure that those who saw the demo will, in the future, never be impressed by any kind of silly eye candy offered by "other" operating systems! Unny delivered the killer punch by declaring that "we" (GNU/Linux) have no need to "show-off" flashy stuff because we have a lot of other things which are much more important - only those who have nothing of significance to offer try to fool people with eye candy! Aswin - the Compiz master! The evening session had an installation demo by Alex and Devidas. Some time was spent in a Q&A session with the audience. Unni Jain Basil demonstrated some useful GNU/Linux tools. As he was demonstrating the amazing Stellarium, we asked him to check out the night sky at around 7:00 pm in India on Dec 1st. In a few seconds, we saw the amazing spectacle of Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon forming the "celestial smiley" on the screen! The celestial smiley! An install fest as well as a CD/DVD burning session was running in parallel to the talks throughout the day - a lot of people approached us for GNU/Linux distros - many of them asking for as many as 3 distributions! "A window to Freedom" came to a close at about 4:30 in the evening - the response from the public very much exceeded our expectations. We are excited by this, and hope to continue with our activities with renewed vigour. Team FSUGTSR Check out report in The Hindu Also, reports by Aswin, Alex, Devidas.


Mon Jan 26 10:38:26 2009

Motivated by fsugtsr. Trying for free s/w comm @ gec sreekrishnapuram


Sun Dec 7 15:30:16 2008

This ia inspiring to youngesters aswell as old ones.This is a good move. This doesnot carry any individual interest. so it will succeed. Thanks for the effort of all those involved..

Sreejith K

Sat Dec 6 15:09:26 2008

Nice report. I'm really stunned by the number if audience present. "300". Wow... the organizers must have done a great job. Really missed the event :(


Sat Dec 6 13:06:47 2008

Great work !! And beautiful report. Thanks everyone who made this a big hit.

Sujith H

Sat Dec 6 11:05:07 2008

Nice event. This year I am missing most of the events, I wished to attend :(. Hats off to the FSUG Trichur group and all the organizers behind it :)


Sat Dec 6 08:07:49 2008

Really inspiring! Thanks for the report.

Santhosh Thottingal

Sat Dec 6 04:10:18 2008

Great! Kudos to all who organized the event


Sat Dec 6 09:04:31 2008

Happy to learn that it was a success. Hats off to all involved!