Weeks of preparation, meetings and late night group chats finally culminated into Corsair Hackers Reboot. It was planned for Saturday 19th April 2014 at Fortune Way Shopping Mall, Centre de Flacq. The night before Ronny, Nadim, Nitin, Pritvi & I went there to set up the tables and arranging the layout. Most of us reached home quite late. Ajay & Kavish on the other hand had a hectic day finalizing stuffs for Police presence and getting hands on a couple of more devices.
###Corsair Hackers Reboot, D-Day
We initially decided to reach Fortune Way at 07h00 to make sure everything is ready by 09h00. Oops! We kinda missed it. Most of us have been quite taken up the last few days and we didn’t make it there until 08h00 – 08h30. Nevertheless, everybody rushed to get stuffs done. Each with their assigned tasks. The participation of University of Mauritius Computer Club members was commendable. Despite having the burden of assignments/dissertation and some being on eve of exams many of the members managed to give us a helping hand.
Making up LUGM team was Ronny, Nadim, Ajay, Nitin, Pritvi, Avinash, Kavish, Pawan, Yog, Shamsher, Ashley, Kaleem, Yasir and Me. Selven despite being ill managed to drop by. His presence of course cheered everyone.
On the Computer Club side we had Ibraahim, Yunus, Nirvan, Nayar, Saamiyah, Ratna, Ashmita, Hena, Brijesh, Anup, Kishan and Sherven. A great collaboration of young minds indeed. Last minute jumping on board were Chelon, Keshav and Kevin from UTM Tech Society.
Ajay and Kavish got hands dirty quickly to setup LAN stuffs. Ashley joined in & taught Computer Club folks how to make LAN cables. Crimping tool, RJ45 connectors and the task was achieved quickly. Being busy already at the Demo desk I didn’t know about the hard work going on behind the scene with cabling & all. I was preparing a Synergy demo with laptops running different Linux distributions and one Windows XP machine (properly licensed & it was their to be dumped for a Linux Mint replacement). Unfortunately the machines didn’t have Synergy and I was waiting for Emtel to fix their connection issue and I would quickly set up. Well … Even though during preps Ajay reminded Emtel of the crappy connection at the Microsoft Global Windows Azure Bootcamp, it seemed like Emtel engineers didn’t take anything seriously. For the whole day I had Internet for something like 15 mins only (a real pity). I cancelled several demos I intended (testing of Internet Browsers, Skype, IRC Chat and even Microsoft Office Online).
While I was still setting up the Laptops & Desktops, people started pouring in for a Linux install. Woohooo! That was a great thing indeed. I stopped connecting PCs, temporarily left the demo section & helped in for Linux install along with Pritvi and Kishan. For the whole day I hopped between Linux installs & quick demos. Whenever we were stuck with some partitioning issue Ajay would join to give a helping hand.
I installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on a girl’s laptop who’s doing some part-time course in IT. While the setup was on she asked me a few questions about web servers as she was stuck with some assignment involving a migration from Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to the Apache web server. To ease things for her once I had internet connection I installed Apache on her laptop and explained her a little bit how it works. I dropped a simple HTML file in the DocumentRoot and showed her the major directives of httpd.conf. At the same time Pritvi and others were busy with Installfest. I also installed Ubuntu on another elderly folk’s laptop. I noticed his keyboard had dual layout with Arabic characters and I asked him if he’d like to set it up for Arabic typing. He was happy to hear that. I thus added the Arabic layout and called Saamiyah to type something & see if all keys are set properly. Before leaving the elderly folk gave me a pat on the shoulder and said, “You guys have made my dream come true. I always wanted to have Linux on my laptop but there was no one around to teach me.” Now, that was much more than mere encouragement. Yet another elderly folk stayed with us for the whole day. He had brought a Samsung netbook and his first expression was, “J’en ai marre de ce foutu XP.” Ashley helped him load Linux Mint & Shamsher configured the interface in French. Finally, that was one more happy guy to carry home a Linux machine. Nadim sitting at the Hacking Challenge desk was also busy helping some ladies getting Linux Mint on their notebooks. Some install went unaccounted as I was still hopping to-and-fro the Installfest & Demo desks.
In the centre of the hall, just a few metres away from my desk, Yasir was doing electronic wizardy with his Arduino projects. I could see the “awe” of young folks when he displayed the cool tricks.
Far from my sight awesomeness was still happening. Yes, the hacking challenges were full ON! It was only when the event was ending that I came to know the proportion of the hacking challenge. A big task achieved indeed by Yog & Nitin. Not so far from the Hacking Challenge, Saamiyah was all colorful while painting cartoon characters on children faces. I wonder if I may call Pawan a kid but mister managed to have a Tux drawn on his hand. Kiddos were also seen having fun with the GCompris setup. Shamsher a.k.a Luffy had his nuts game getting popular. It was still far from my sight & I wondered what could so many people try to solve with nuts. Anyway, I hope to try that some day during a meetup.
On the other side of the hall, Merlin Digital were displaying some cool gadgets, seemed like their sensitive-to-touch Dinosaur became popular. Kaleem was there to display Android TV, Emtel showcasing their products/services and Spherinity giving info about their IT courses. One thing I should add about Spherinity was their helpful attitude to note down names & get us some stats about attendees.
My mom, dad and brother came at some time but unfortunately I couldn’t make them meet the rest of the team.
We finished around 16h00 and left Fortune Way past 17h30 after cleaning up & packing our stuffs. It was a great day, awesome event & target achieved. Pizza & beer was a must for the crew. (^^,)
Photos, courtesy of Pawan Babooram.