An Unknown Indian

Thoughts of a FOSS enthusiast

Archive for April, 2007

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 released :)

Posted by Balachandran on April 23, 2007

       Hello folks, back to bloging after a long time. Exams kept me away from this great activity. But now, news to celebrate.. Debian GNu/Linux 4.0 has been released. Or in other words, Debian “etch” has been released after 21 months of development. Debain claims to support 11 architecures and seems have over 18000 installable packages.

Latest versions of all popular software packages such as the K Desktop Environment 3.5.5a (KDE), an updated version of the GNOME desktop environment 2.14, the Xfce 4.4 desktop environment, the GNUstep desktop 5.2, X.Org 7.1, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4a, GIMP 2.2.13, Iceweasel (Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.3), Icedove (Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5), Iceape (Mozilla Seamonkey 1.0.8), PostgreSQL 8.1.8, MySQL 5.0.32, GNU Compiler Collection 4.1.1, Linux kernel version 2.6.18, Apache 2.2.3, Samba 3.0.24, Python 2.4.4 and 2.5, Perl 5.8.8, PHP 4.4.4 and 5.2.0, Asterisk 1.2.13 are also available.

The default desktop is GNOME and is available in the first CD. For the first time, a graphical front end will be used for the installation process. Also, for upgradation processes, the full file will not be downloaded. Onle the diff between the 2 versions will be downloaded and patched.

For more info, please visit Debian’s hompage

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Posted in Computers, FOSS, GNU/Linux | 1 Comment »

TCENet – Our intranet portal

Posted by Balachandran on April 3, 2007

       Hello folks, a post on something that has taught me and a few others a lot. The TCENet project of this great instituition. TCENet is the intranet portal of Thiagarajar College of Engg., one of the most popular colleges in Tamilnadu. The speciality of this project is that it is being developed exclusively by the students of the college with the non- stop support from the alumnis and staff. Another important piece of information worth mentioning is that TCENet is totally FOSS based.

In TCENet, we use python, an extremely user friendly object oriented language along with Cheetah, a template engine written in python. The database used is Postgres. Initially, the TCENet project ran on proprietary platform with the Oracle database, but now it runs on a Debian GNU/Linux server. It all began with the necessity of a intranet portal felt by the students and staffs alike and so a few students of the Dept. of Copmuter Science started doing working on it. Started as a simple intranet portal, TCENet now provides a whole lot of services to the students and staff.

The TCENet is being developed within the walls of PP lab or the UNIX lab, where a group of students, comprising of second, third and final years, sit back after college hours and work for a few hours. But, the most important thing to be noted is that, it is not just development of the site that takes place, but huge amounts knowledge transfer. But for the people here, I would have never knoe the spirit of FOSS, the power of GNU/Linux or opensolaris. I would have never used python and above all, never would have got an opportunity to work on servers that are comparable with those in the industry and work 24×7.

A services provided by the TCENet team are listed here:

  • A Centralised  Authentication System (single sign-on) using kerberos, LDAP and Samba for the entire college.
  • The TCENet, college intranet portal, developed using python+postgres.
  • The TCEMail, our own mail service, using Exim and Cyrus with SquirrelMail.
  • An alumni portal for the use
  • The TAMS, an attendence monitorin and leave management system for staff.

The various services provided by the TCENet web portal includes attendence monitoring for students and daily students’ attendence updating for staff, e-circulars, an issue tracking system, submitting feedbacks on lectureres by the students and so on.

These apart, the people here have done a lot of work in the field of operating systems. A few OS/kernels developed by the people who were a part of the PP lab include AAOSK, GoaTee/ProX, Quark etc. GoaTee/ProX is being developed still with the addition of a lot more features.

Also a few people worth mentioning are Gerald Naveen, Joe Steeve, Ananth Shrinivas, Arun Ponniah, Balamurugan, Senthil Kumaran, Praveen, Senthil Kumaran, Subramani, Sriram and others.

A Few screenshots:

TCENet

TCENet
TCEMail

TCEMail

Posted in My days | 5 Comments »

Vista’ desparate attempts

Posted by Balachandran on April 3, 2007

       Hello folks, Back to blogging after a long time. Had a tough time facing the model exams and will be off again in a week with the semester exams round the corner. But in the meantime, through the mailing lists in which I have associated myself, I got a piece of news regarding the windoze Vista, the latest OS from Microsoft.

It seems that they have restricted the GNU GCC apps to 32 MB. That is no application can ask for memory size of more than 32 MB, by using malloc() or calloc() or other such functions. This restriction is really the height of foolishness. If you design an OS that cannot run an application develped in C using some other compiler not native to your OS, then why should such an OS be used?

I also learnt that if the same memory allocation is done using M$ compilers like VC++, there will be no problem. This simply tells that the heads of the microsoft are desparately trying to take measures to pull people away from FOSS/OSS. That apart,  the effects of DRM are already evident. I feel that it is high time that activities of proprietary organisations are controlled and movements like DRM are curbed.

Posted in Computers | Leave a Comment »