well all this started a few months ago when i saw fedora 9 in many computer
labs in my college and i was pretty astonished and awed at the very sight of
it, there was this feeling that i have an another option to work at other
than windows(which is non existent anyways) which is very difficult to
putout in words and i could see a new beginning and a fresh air was all
around which only spoke of freedom..well many days passed and i was waiting
for some news to come on its own from the college front about the new gained
freedom in its machines but nothing happened a few more months passed.
This campaign was called Jagriti, as it looked as an apt name for it since,
its an awakening from the darkness which has for so long prevailed that, is
not confused by light by all the mortals who don’t have a mind of their own
And at last i thought it was time to take an initiative to start the freedom
movement afresh where it had lots its steam. So now it was the time. This
 is exactly what i have started along with another lug-jaipur (linux
users group jaipur) member mukul gupta, also skit-osum  leader of my
college, which also is an enthralling community of over 500 members which
also makes it one of the seven such communities the world over. The project
is well supported by our IT-Head of the department who is willing to do
anything for it, he is even willing to change the whole infrastructure of
few labs who have computers from the times of Adam, and would get some new
sleek machines and you can imagine the joy of installing fedora 11 on them.
That is just a notice which had to be circulated around the college to
inform all the teachers and students what is going around. According to it,
all the programming work will be done on linux and we are to assist the
concerned teachers to implement it in their respective labs. This becomes so
necessary pertaining to the wide spread use of turbo C which sensible people
all around the world have even forgotten about but for some god knows what
reason it happens to be the most popular IDE in india for c/c++. Though when
we were planning our shift to fedora a guy also suggested to use another IDE
for windows instead and i remember giving him some strange sort of looks and
he knew what was coming and he shut up, but later i also explained him a few
things and made that strange thought to go away. Everything seems to have
been falling into place and we are about to start with our labs from monday,
assisting teachers to write their c/c++ code on fedora.
The project is witnessing a mild start but the whole picture will get clear
by end of the next week and how have we performed in the coming week, and
there-after we would be too glad to involve lugj and the indian foss
community and take the initiative to a whole new level.
keeping fingers crossed :D
My web home http://acedip.in
Linux Users Group Jaipur http://lugj.in
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Today, Sunday, September 13, 2009, I deployed Fedora 11, and Fedora 11
offline repository at Devnar Foundation for the Blind, Mayurmarg,
Begumpet, Hyderabad, India.
They have been using a proprietary software on a proprietary system,
and wanted to explore better alternatives in this regard.
I was given a 256 MB RAM system, with 40 GB hard-disk. This system did
not have Internet connectivity. The offline repository really helped.
Most of the systems are donated by companies for the school to use.
The school follows the Andhra Pradesh State syllabus, and this year
they have introduced Intermediate (after Board X). They write their
exams on slate or on Braille paper (which I believe, is very
expensive). Some students stay in the school hostel, while others' are
They do have one MountBatten Brailler  (costing around 1,00,000
INR) which can produce output to a computer or a printer. It also
spells out the input. I didn't have time to test it with Fedora
(serial, parallel ports).
A junior teacher, Miss. Shashi, did try out Orca  with the Gnome
shortcut keys, listening to Orcas' audio output. She was able to
navigate through the Gnome menus, and use Openoffice.org Writer. They
did want spoken American English, which is default in Gnome. It will
be good to have those Orca audio recorded in Telugu or other regional
languages in India.
There were some very interesting questions like:
* Orca loads only after logging in -- which spells out menus, the
frame window that is selected, keys pressed etc. So, grub which loads
prior to all these doesn't announce the choice of kernel. So, how does
one choose the right kernel?
* A sound can be played after gdm loads? Otherwise, they wouldn't know
if the system booted to gdm or not. If there are multiple user
accounts, some application need to spell-out the login names?
* By default there is no shutdown sound in Fedora 11? How to set one?
* Some applications pop-up menus didn't support tab feature, so one
had to remember to use shortcuts like Alt+S to Save, or Alt+C to
I shall check these requests with the Orca project team, and any other
queries that they might have as follow-ups.
I would like to thank Padma Shri Dr. A. Saibaba Goud for giving me an
opportunity to deploy the solution at their school. Thanks to Rakesh
("arky") Ambati for introducing me to them, who also works for
'Braille Without Borders' . Eric Ofori from South Africa will be
following it up with support for the school staff (about 40 in
number). If anyone in Hyderabad is interested in helping them, please
do contact me offline.
With all due respect to the physically challenged, I did not take any photos.
Fedora GNU/Linux Event @ SRM:
An event named Linux Lingo was organised today as a part of SRM
University’s tech fest, Aarush 2009. Myself and Mr. Ramadoss from
NRCFOSS, Fedora Ambassasador conducted the event. Ramadoss introduced
the students to the philosophy of free software and Stallman’s crusade
against the imposition of proprietary software. He delved into the GNU
philosophy and gave several examples to emphasise the concept.
He then talked about the open source community following which we
demonstrated a Fedora 11 installation. We got a volunteer to install
the operating system. The audience had several doubts about the
install process, and we resolved them. For the fun of it we tried to
install in Hindi once, but reverted to English finally.
After the demonstration, I spoke about the software available in
Fedora, and then about a few basic command line utilities. It was
followed by a talk on bash scripting.
The day ended with our answering a few questions from the students
about open source, real IT revolution and choice of software. Over a
hundred students participated in the event and were introduced to the
free software movement. We thank the coordinators of the event, Shiv
Deepak, Vipul Jain, Anisha Kaul and Prakhar Agarwal for the enthusiasm
they showed in organising this event.
SSN College of Engineering