A Fedora Activity Day was held at the Red Hat office at Pune, India on the 29th and 30th of May, 2010. The event page can be found here and the reports by the attendees is here. I had the opportunity to be a part of the event which turned out to be a great learning experience for me.

meejan , yevlempy and /me reached Pune just past midnight on the 28th. We reached the Red Hat office the next day at 9 a.m. The day started with a session on GNU Autotools by debiansid after which everyone present there spoke of the work they intended to do over the weekend. After struggling with many typos for sometime, I finally managed to get things working.

Meejan and /me worked on gFotoStat over the two days. Since the release of v 0.2, we had got a list of around 8 bugs/features to be worked upon and I worked on shortening the list as much as possible. Meanwhile, I also submitted the gfotostat spec for  review.  Meejan and myself managed to kill some of the bugs and added a Preferences menu to the app. (it is not fully functional as of now). Unmanindu suggested to add an option to select the bar or pie charts to be set as default view from the Preferences menu. Also, on the 30th was his talk on OLPC as a Fedora downstream which was recorded by kushal. View the talk here (111 mb)

Towards the end of the event, there was a feedback session and discussion whether organizing such FADs did serve its purpose and  FUDCon among other things.

Some work still left to do after which I will be finishing as soon as my semester exams wrap up (on the 18th) Expecting  the v0.3 release of gFotoStat very soon after that.

15th of May, ’09 : With around 15 students present, at 11:30 a.m. we began, continuing from where we left last day.  Though the number of students decreased from the previous day, it was nice to see a few new faces. the students of the ECE Dept. couldn’t join because they had their internals followed by a lab exam.

The day began with videos. Few videos from demonstrating the use of KSnapshot, Okular, PackageKit and a few others were shown. After this Yevlempy ( Harsh Verma ) began the session on basic shell commands. Makghosh gave the students a breifing about the File Heirarchy System. Together with Makghosh, he showed the commonly used shell commands such as cd, cp, ls, mkdir, rm, man, who etc along with the various options. The students tried out the commands on their systems and a few queries that came were dealt with.

Makghosh and Subhodip explained about the file permissions and ownerships, demonstrating the same by creating a test file and changing its permissions, etc. A student asked that why don’t we login as root and they explained the evils of root-login. With everyone satisfied, we moved on with Subhodip explaining wha a repository /mirror is. Then, rtnpro and Subhodip explained yum. With the local  mirror at hand, they showed how to install or update a package, search for a package, enable or disable a repository (they explained the contents of the fedora-local.repo file).  Rtnpro also showed how to use PackageKit.

Subhodip and Makghosh also set up a local mirror there which would cater to the needs of the students. Then began the session on vi by Dibyanshu. He explained the need of the versatile editor, demonstrated the basics of vi, the various options and commonly used commands. By the end of the session, the students were comfortable with vi. However, as an alternate to vi, gedit and KWrite were also shown.

After a 30 minute break, at around 3:15 p.m. Rtnpro began his session of GCC. The number of students decreased, however, in the following few minutes, more joined in, many of them new faces. The term GCC was explained first and then students were explained its basics. As the session progressed, they wrote their first program in gcc- ”Hello World”. Shortly, they were given an assignment to write a code to print the Fibbonacci series. It took some time and errors, but they executed the code successfully.

The Error-of-the-Day award will go to a girl who began writing the code in C but mixed it up with python (seems she has been practising a lot of python lately). She had  compiled the code unsuccessfully and was trying to find what error she had made, still not realising that she had used python in a supposed-to-be C code. 🙂 View the code here. The students did another few assignments.

Makghosh then demonstrated Anjuta IDE. A few students who seemed to be mulling over gcc were quite happy to see Anjuta which has a very nice GUI like the Turbo C++ that they generally use in Windows. Makghosh explained that besides C and C++, Anjuta can also execute Java, Python, Vala,etc. codes.  It was past five already.

A Power cut again disrupted the proceedings. However, that did not stop Subhodip from giving the students a sneak peek into Java in near-darkness on a laptop with the stuents surrounding him. Having distributed Fedora 10 DVDs, Fedora 10 FEL Live DVDs, and stickers, we called it a day at 5:45 p.m.

Pics can be found here and here.

14th of May, ’09 : Day – 1 of the Fedora Activity Day  (FAD) conducted by the Linux Users’ Group of Durgapur, dgplug, in Dr. B.C. Roy Engineering College, BCREC, was quite an eventful one. 🙂

The programme began at 12 noon with makghosh giving an introduction to Fedora Project to some 25 students who had assembled there. The students comprised mostly of the 2nd year students of BCREC while a handful of 1st and 3rd years were also there.

His presentation was appreciated by all and it was followed by  the session “Myths about Linux – busted with Fedora .” by KishanGoyal and Subhodip. The general misconceptions that people have regarding Linux installation, configuration and usabilty were looked into. The Students came up with some questions and they were dealt with.

One of them stated that he has been using Fedora for quite some time now and he liked it , but still he had to shift to Windows as Wifi was not working in his laptop. He was adviced to  use Ndiswrapper  and configure his Wireless adapter ( A Broadcom  model) properly. Another guy who had unsuccessfully tried installing Fedora had come with his laptop and his problem was solved too.

After this there was a session on artwork by Amrita, Arpita and Debashree who explained the basics of Inkscape, drew a scenery to demonstrate the use of various tools and options, and also showed the students some of their works. After the session, Subhodip suggested that now, since they know how to use Inkscape, they can utilise their inter-semester break to earn some cash by designing wedding cards. 😀

This was followed by an introduction to KDE and Gnome by Rtnpro, Sunny_slls and sherry151. KDE found liking among the students who seemed to be impressed by its looks and features  and that all the 30 PCs of the lab were running Fedora 10 FEL  Live DVDs helped further. Sherry151 (Rangeen Basu Roy Chowdhury) showed them how to play  audio and video files. It was now 2:10 p.m. and everyone agreed to be back after a 40-minute break.

The programme resumed at 3 p.m. with sherry151 speaking about the IRC. Another few students joined us. Airtel Mobile Office being  internet connection  used, IRC clients like X-Chat, ChatZilla, etc. were not working and so, mibbit was used. The students were explained the use of IRC, shown how to join a channel, told about the etiquette they should maintain,etc. mbuf, shrink and roshan08 waved to the students.

Just as sherry151 was began his session on FEL, a power cut played the spoilsport! 😦 However, that did not dent his spirits and he went on with the students now surrounding him. Also, all the laptops present there were given to the students. Rangeen spoke about various the apps present lke Octave, KTechLab, etc.; drew a few simulations, showed some that were prepared beforehand, and even asked a student to create one.  About an hour into the session, electricity was back and everyone quickly switched on the PCs. They had not even boot when the power cut spoiled it all for the second time, damn! He also told the students various wasys by which they could contribute to FEL  like documentation, writing tutorials, etc. Sherry151’s session was very interesting and some students from the ECE Dept. turned up exclusively for that session.

It was about 4:30 p.m. and power supply had not resumed. Having consulted the students, it was decided that the rest of the sessions would be taken the next day, i.e. 15th of May, ’09.

Pics can be found here and here.

The Linux Users’ Group of Durgapur, dgplug, is conducting a Fedora Activity Day(FAD) in Dr. B. C. Roy Engineering College, Durgapur on the 14th of May, 2009.

This FAD aims at increasing FOSS awareness among the students of BCREC and to introduce them to the wide spectrum of things that they can do in Linux in their day to day life.

The events page can be viewed here.

Suggestions and feedback are welcome.