18 Oct 2007

A long overdue update; Freed.IN this year was a bundle of joy. I caught up with a majority of the #linux-india regulars, and met some of them for the first time (ilug-bom-ers mostly).

The event started a bit late (nothing unexpected), but everyone quickly caught up with the schedule over the course of the day. I attended Gopal’s talk on 10 things I didn’t about Python - the concluding demo on getting the Wii remote to control beryl was especially wicked. Immediately after that was my talk on Plan 9, which had more attendees than I would have expected. Niyam’s talk on FOSS multimedia tools was a real crowd-puller, and the samples were very impressive. We had a key-signing party that afternoon, which was fun; if it weren’t for the embarrassment of showing ID cards with 10-year old pictures on them!

I missed lunch on the first day thanks to the talk on the Python Standard Library, but it was worth it. I made my way to the nearby JNU canteen and munched on a few snickers before returning to an extremely interesting panel discussion on whether LUG’s should provide commercial FOSS support.

Later that night, a bunch of speakers along with the ilugd crew found ourselves in the Golden Dragon for dinner; which can only be summarized by ramkrsna’s excellent photography.

The second day began with Raj’s thought-provoking talk on the issue of software patents, immediately followed by a talk on how FOSS can cut costs and keep customers happy at the same time, by Robin Miller (of Slashdot/Sourceforge/ThinkGeek fame). Niyam had another talk on digital creativity with FOSS. The day wound up with a vote of thanks, and a panel discussion on getting FOSS communities to work together. I had to reach Jaipur the next day, so I bid goodbye to all the wonderful folks; but they had an amazing dinner party later from what I hear.

An extremely fun event, executed in typical ilugd style, and definitely improved since freedel. In retrospect, some things may have been better; like keeping the talk halls a bit closer to each other, choosing a more tighter set of talks (there were too many to attend!) and not make lunch clash with any talk! I would suggest Freed start charging for attendance next year to ensure that an interested audience turn up (you can make the lunch and a T-Shirt complimentary), and schedule talks with atleast a 10 minute gap between each other. The ilugd is all geared up for the next edition of the event, tentatively to be held in February 08. See you then!