November 13, 2014
Nadim along with several students from Université des Mascareignes (UDM) collaborated the past few weeks in order to organize a Linux Festival on the university campus. I was a passive reader of the emails going to & fro and also the lengthy group chats. The festival was finally approved thanks to the support of the Head of IT, Mrs. D Ramlowat. A charming lady who encouraged our activities.
So, I wake up this morning & try to assemble all my stuffs. Aaargh! I still have a mess. « Ish, what have you been doing dude? » I said to myself.
My slides had typos, my gears were scattered. Did I need a coffee boost? Well, maybe but that would have gotten me late. I rather rushed out. On the way, I missed picking up Pritvi and had to drive back some 1 Km to get him. While on way, I kinda messed up choosing the route; ended up taking the longer route.
Nevertheless, we were able to reach UDM by around 09h00. Nadim and a fellow student, Aniff, were waiting in the parking area. Got down, greeted them and I enquired if Ajay had arrived. Nadim said he wasn’t coming & that Ajay did inform in the earlier messages. I was like “whaaaaaat? Dude, I need the networking gear to get a Synergy demo up.” Grrr! I was so much missing my beloved coffee by then.
We placed the usual LUGM Linuxfest banner at the entrance, had some quick chit-chat and proceeded to the lecture theatre. I took out my gear & tried to correct the last typos in my slides. By then S. Moonesamy (SM) and Loganaden Velvindron (Logan) joined us. We tested the gears & I should commend the work of the UDM staff. We had some glitches with the projector and they wrestled with the cables and all to fix the issue. I really appreciated that. They did their best to accommodate our tech needs. Thumbs up guys!
Nadim then introduced me to Mrs. Ramlowat, as stated earlier, she is the Head of IT. On my turn, I introduced her to JoKi and SM. We had a quick-chat regarding user-group activities in Mauritius, talked about the IT culture and how we, as in user-group members, help in bridging the gap between academic & the professional life.
Shortly after 10h00, the event started with an intro/welcome speech by Mrs. Ramlowat, followed by Yashna who introduced the various speakers of the day. Awww! I was first in the list to speak. By then, my need for a good black coffee had risen even more. I looked at the full-pack room & cheered a “Hello, I’m Ish.”
I gave a quick introduction of GNU, Free Software Foundation and Linux. Wait! I missed the creative flow here. I knew it, I could feel it. Nevertheless, I tried to catch up. I was slow on my slides but luckily folks sent me hints (thank you buddies).
I ended my prez on four qualities that can inspire one to contribute to the open source community. Those are the arts of Coding, Doodling (Graphics), Writing, and Talking.
Then Logan came up with his presentation on open source & career. He broke the illusion that “open source” work always has to be free of cost. He explained how he got hired thanks to his contributions in various open source projects, OpenSSH, OpenBSD, BIND (DNS) and all. He shared short stories that marked his life while he discovered & got acquainted with the open source world.
Then SM came up with an introduction about the Mauritius Internets Users Group. He explained why the group communicates through a mailing list rather than social networks. Along his slides, he shot various questions to get the room more interactive. His slides started from the quality of Internet in Mauritius & went through Web Security. We talked about Internet banking and got some feedback about how folks see the security level.
Few people noticed it but ironically, SM ran his slides on a Windows 7 laptop. I killed him twice in my thoughts for breaking into a Linux Festival with a Windows machine.
The event ended with a mini-workshop near the café right after we were offered refreshment by the UDM team. For that, my humble gratitude folks.