FOSS Workshop at MNIT

06 Nov 2006

Phew! The FOSS workshop is finally over, and everything went off pretty much as planned, barring the few goofups that are just unavoidable in any event!

On 2nd night, we received the NRCFOSS team - Kenneth Gonsalves and Prof. C.N. Krishnan from the Jaipur airport, and while Prof. Krishnan went along with his old friend Prof. R. Sharan (who incidentally happened to be currently working at the LNMIIT at Jaipur!), we took Kenneth to the guest house here for dinner. The following morning was hectic as ever, we had to organize two events simultaneously - as luck would have it, the critical TEQIP feedback programme was also scheduled for 3rd!

So, we were kind of shuttling back and forth between the two venues. By around noon, we managed to wrap up the TEQIP programme, and turned our full attention to the FOSS workshop. Prof. Krishnan, Prof. Sharan and Kenneth first met with the Director and the faculty of our department to discuss the prospects of introducing FOSS awareness in our college. I didn’t attend that meeting (it was quite high profile), but I guess it was largely successful. Looks like the Director expressed interest in introducing this FOSS course as an elective for our department. Let’s see how that goes.

After this, all of us had lunch at the guest house, after which it was time for the student sessions. We managed to begin at around 2:15 despite several goofups. Kenneth took the first talk - an introduction to what FOSS is all about. This was followed by Prof. C.N. Krishnan talking about management and FOSS - as the director of the NRCFOSS at AU-KBC, he shared some of his experiences on how FOSS makes sense in the management and business context.

Meanwhile Raj Mathur, Prof. Andrew Lynn and Dr. Gora Mohanty - the team from ilugd - arrived, and after a short tea break, Raj Mathur began with his talk on FOSS philosophy, licensing and why FOSS is “good” - both ethically and monetarily. This was followed by a talk on Localisation and FOSS (with some great live demonstrations) by Dr. Gora. Prof. Andrew then took over with a brief (yeah, we were running out of time!) presentation on how you can use FOSS for research work such as cluster computing.

We winded up at around 7ish, after which everyone got together for a small brainstorming session where we discussed the further course of action, the proposed FOSS syllabi (see: FOSS and Education), and also debated on how this can be spread to other colleges in Rajasthan. By 8:15 we were all ready for Dinner. Unfortunately for Raj - we were heading for a vegetarian restaurant called “Indian Spice” - however, I think everyone still enjoyed the Gatta, Chacch and Missi Roti!

The folks from Delhi were off to Banasthali from the restaruant itself, while the NRCFOSS folks stayed back because they were scheduled for talks at the LNMIIT on 4th. Overall, a successful event, and we hope the momentum is maintained in the coming years. We hope to have many more such events in the future, and pray that FOSS makes big strides in India!