An Unknown Indian

Thoughts of a FOSS enthusiast

FossConf ’08 @ MIT,Chennai

Posted by Balachandran on February 5, 2008

       Hello folks, It was an wonderful weekend at Chennai. ILUGC, NRC-FOSS and others organised the first FossConf ’08 at the Madras Institute of Technology, Chrompet, Chennai. The event started on February 1st and concluded on 3rd. It had demo stalls with tool and project demos and then sessions on various topics.

Myself, Ashok and Vins participated in the event and had the opportunity to attend a few sessions. We had put up a demo stall as well. Initially it was on “Networking” where we explained stuff on DNS, Proxy server etc. Then, on seeing that the crowd that came there needed more basic stuff, we renamed the stall as “GNU/Linux basics”. We handled the stall only for a couple of hours that day and went to attend sessions. First, we attended the session on Djanjo handled by Mr. Ponnusamy. But unfortunately, for me, the session was not impressive; I dont really know why. Then, we attended a session on “PHP attack and defenses” which was handled by Mr.Bala Vignesh from Lucas TVS. It was really interesting as he spoke on code injection, sql injection, XSS and remote execution. The session was followed by an interesting argument between the participants.

Then on the final day of the event, we attended two more sessions, one on parallel programming and the other on ruby basics. We were also present for the session on KDE 4.0 by Mr.Pavithran, but didn’t sit for the entire session. On the whole, the sessions were really nice. But, I still don’t get the difference between python and Ruby as both of them seem to be same from what we all learnt in that Ruby introduction session.

For the concluding session, we had a surprise guest, Mr. Brian Behlendorf, the founder of the Apache foundation. He gave a wonderful talk on how open source tools are in fields other than Operating systems, Servers and web browsers. He gave a few examples as well like opens source academic content preparations tool, and opensource tool for editing video content of the wikipedia etc. He also mentioned how open source can get into the field of medicine by creating collaborative tools.

The closing day also had an open-to-all-participants quiz conducted by Mr.Ramdoss amachu and another guy.  Those who answered correct were rewarded with a Ubuntu pen. The grand moment was when our college won the prize for the best tool demo. Also, GLUGOT’s contribution was spoken about were highly and more is being expected from it.

The only disappointment that we had there was that a few stalls that we had planned to attend got canceled due to some unavoidable reasons or overlapped with other sessions . Else, we would have attended sessions like iptables and web 2.0 optimization.

We also found time to go to the City Center. There we had our friend Venkatesh waiting for us with his nephew. We spent some good time there eating some stuff and then taking a few snaps (with my digicam) with him.

Finally, a great many thanks to Ashok and his aunt’s family for the three of us stayed there. We had some really nice food cooked for us on all three days. It really saved us from looking for some boarding and lodgings elsewhere.

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