February 18, 2009

Talks @ Mukti 09

For those people who doesn't know what Mukti is, let me start by giving a brief introduction of Mukti. Mukti is a FOSS symposium organized by the Linux Users Group of National Institute of Technology, India. It is probably the biggest of its kind in eastern India. I don't exactly know when it all started but I have been a part of it since I was in first year. Now in my final year, I have witnessed various flavours of Mukti. This year it was planned to be little different from the previous ones and concentrated more on informing people and spreading awareness. This was to be done by organizing talks and workshops on different aspects of FOSS and Linux.
The FOSS week began on 2nd February and was inaugurated by the IT minister of West Bengal, Dr. Debesh Das. The talks and workshops saga started off on 3rd Feb with NRCFOSS workshop on "How to write C/C++ programs in GNU/Linux" and was followed by a workshop on "Python: An Integrated Programming Language" by our dear Shreyank Gupta in the afternoon. In the evening the "Fedora Electronics Lab" talk and hands on session, which was held alongside with the VariCAD session, was a first of its kind in our college. The talk was done on-line by Aajhan who stays in Switzerland. Thanks to Debayan for his Skype Video idea, we heard the creator's words though due o some technical problems, our microphone did not work and the session had only limited interactivity. We created history.

The next day i.e. 4th Feb was alsodedicated to nrcFOSS workshop namely "Collaborative Software Development Using SVN". A workshop on"Typesetting for engineers using LATEX" by our very own Prof. J Howlader was next . In the evening we had people from CDAC to give a demo of "Matlab alternatives for Linux: Scilab and Octave". The sessions were great learning experiences for all those people who attended them. That was enough the day. Needed to make preparations for the to come.

5th February did not have any workshops or talks and so moving along to 6th Feb, Friday on which day Mukti 09 started off with a talk on "How to run a successful free software business" by Mr. Abhas Avinav who was also an alumni of the college and has a successful free software business of his own. His company is called 'Deeproot Linux'. Met Pradeepto there. We really learnt a lot about business prospects in FOSS. In the afternoon I met Satya Komaragiri who was a GSoC student from Delhi and seemed really cool. Her talk on "How to contribute to FOSS" was next on the chart. It was a nice and interactive one and a half hour session though she kept asking me over and over again whether she looked nervous or not. In the mean time " A day with Fedora" had begun and we had to rush to attend it. Arindam and Subhodip were ready with their presentations and taught some cool stuffs. They showed how to make a live usb drive. Subhodip's presentation on "Myths about Linux busted with Fedora" was especially good. The first day of Mukti finally ended with a great talk on "Managing your on-line profile" by Yu Yu Din.

Next morning, 7th Feb, couldn't wake up early for the "SUN Technologies" talk but did just in time for the talk on "INGRES CAFE" by Mr. Tennyson Kaliyampadi which followed. Didn't really know a lot about DBMS or databases. Still it was interesting.Pradeepto's talk on "KDE: The Desktop Environment" was at 4:00 p.m. He was awesome. He demonstrated the KDE-edu applications like Kstars, Marble, Kletters etc. He also showed a program that he had written as an example to give us the feel about 'How easy it is to code in KDE'. It used the marblewidget and displayed a map. So much in only 10 lines. That's KDE. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. After the talk was over we socialized with him for a while and heard a lot of stories about his experience in the community, FOSS.in stories, the KDE booklet and many more. Anurag who was present in the talk, had to rush to the IT lab for is workshop on "Ruby On Rails: Next Generation Web Framework". Could not attend it though.

On 8th Feb, we were supposed to have Sayamindu as the speaker on "OLPC project" but he couldn't make it. The only session left for the day was that by Indranil Das Gupta on "The Indian FOSS community". It was the beginning of the end of MUKTI 09 and was successfully concluded by the valedictory ceremony and the very precious vote of thanks by Mayank Daga, President of NITDGP LUG.
Debayan was in charge of the workshops and talks and indeed he did a wonderful job in organizing those, bringing in people from all walks of FOSS. Thanks to Debayan and the Mukti team for such a wonderful event.


  1. Couple of corrections :

    a) its Dr. Debesh Das *not* Mr. Debesh Das

    b) its "Indranil Das Gupta" *not* "Indranil Dasgupta" :P