Celebrating Software Freedom Day 2015

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is an annual worldwide celebration of Free Software. SFD is a public education effort with the aim of increasing awareness of Free Software and its virtues, and encouraging its use. FSHMP (Free Software Hardware Movement, Puducherry) has been celebrating SFD for the past 4 years. As a continuum,  we are also celebrating SFD this year at “Venue to come here” on 20 SEPT 2015. The event will go on from 9 am to 5 pm throughout the day.

maniraj_poster

Events Planned :
This year as a part of SFD, various stalls and talks have been planned. Most of the stalls will widely be taking about Various Free Software’s like LibreOffice, GIMP etc and Introducing the public about Free Software, Mass Surveillance  and Net Neutrality.
 
As a part of FSHMP activities, we have also experimented a bit on Mesh Networks (A better way of open internet). We have also planned to share our knowledge on the same. Apart from Mesh Network, we are also planning to share our knowledge and show a few other projects that we have been experimenting on.
Well too much technology and no fun is not good. So this year we also having a Gaming Contest to impress and show the amount of gaming that GNU/LINUX is having. Well what game? Well it’s “Open Arena”. Bring in your GNU/Linux powered laptops, and lets play. 
    
What more, that’s a lot. Apart from these told above, we will also be having various people from other Movement likes ours , FSFTN (Free Software Foundation, TamilNadu) etc, also sharing their knowledge.
Ok, this is all interesting, But I dont have an GNU/Linux powered laptop ? What to do? Bring your laptop, and we will help you unleash the beast.
Note : We are not a computer service center. We are set of students, professionals etc who are working our way to educate the common man about Free Software.

Host, Run & Play OpenArena

Host, Run & Play OpenArena

From discuss.fsftn.org:

OpenArena is a multiplayer First Person Shooter game (This could be considered the Free Software Alternative for the famous Counter Strike).

This game is designed cross platform, so it doesn’t matter what operating system you use and you can play it on all operating systems.

This post is intended to help you Setup, host the game in your computer so that you can invite your friends to play from their computer via Internet. We will be using Debian GNU/Linux operating system in this tutorial. You can use any GNU/Linux Distribution to host / play the game.

Step 1: Download the Binary

You can download the binary files (i.e executable files) from here

Step 2: Unzip / Extract the files

Step 3: Navigating to the Extracted folder via Terminal

Open the Terminal. Navigate to the folder, using ‘cd’ command like shown below

cd Downloads/Application/openarena-x.x.x

Note: I have unzipped or extracted the zip file into Downloads/Application folder, so you have to find out the path where you have your openarena folder. (x.x.x is the version number in the name of the folder).

Step 4: Starting the Game

You have to identify what is the architecture of your Operating System. 32 / 64 bit. You can find it from the terminal itself. Try executing the below command,

uname -a

Check the output of the above command. It should be something like this

Linux crunchbang 3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.16.7-ckt2-1 (2014-12-08) x86_64 GNU/Linux

The output may vary according to your operating system. But the important part is, if you see x86_64 then it means 64 bit, else if you see something like i386 or similar to that, it is 32 bit architecture.

The reason we need to find that was, the openarena binary that we downloaded contains executable files for both 32 and 64 bit architecture for Gnu/Linux, Windows & Mac OSX Operating systems. We need to find and execute or run the binary file that matches ours.

If it is 64 bit, execute the following to start the game (Note the .(dot) and slash(/)

./openarena.x86_64

If it is 32 bit,

./openarena.i386

This will start the game, this way you are starting and can play the game in Single player mode or if you have Internet connection, you can join other people online with Multiplayer option. But you cannot invite others to play, because you aren’t hosting the game from your game or you can tell the name of the Arena (server) that you have joined in Multiplayer mode and tell your friend also to find and join the same arena, So you people can play together.

Step 5: Server Configuration

So now, you have decided to host the game server, i.e instead of joining already available public arena from Multi-player option, you wanted to create a new server and invite others to join that.

We need a configuration file to tell OpenArena that we are going to start this game as a server & give some name to the server so that people can find it easily through Internet. Download the sample Server.cfg file.

Download and move the server.cfg file to ‘baseoa‘ folder inside Openarena-x.x.x

Now open the server.cfg in any text editor of your choice.

You can give a new name for your Server, find sets sv_hostname “My_Arena” and change My_Arena to the name that you want to have for your server. Same way you can read the file and know what each line means and configure accordingly.

After you have made changes to the configuration file, save the file and close it.

Step 6: Port Forwarding

This is an important step. Each network based application in an operating system runs in a specific port, so that any request to that application through Internet can be forwarded to that port number. Think port as a gate to enter into that application. So, Port forwarding has to be configured in your modem or router. Let’s see how to do that.

Open Firefox -> http://192.168.0.1 (or) -> http://192.168.1.1

It will prompt for username and password. Mostly it should be “admin” & “password”. If you have changed, then you know what to enter. If not, check the manual that came with your router or modem for username and password. I use D-Link Router, So the example will be based on that.

We need the local ip address of your computer, go to network connections and find your ip address.

Search and find for “Port Forwarding” option in your router’s advanced settings (In Some router, it will be named as Virtual Servers). We are going to add a new entry for openarena here. OpenArena runs in port number 27960 by default. See the below image for reference

setupSave this configuration, No need to restart router for this to take effect.

Step 7: Starting the Server

Our router or modem is now listening for outside connections and will forward the requests to port 27960 where we are going to run our OpenArena Server.

In Terminal, again navigate to the OpenArena extracted folder and execute the following

Note: Depending on 32 or 64 bit, choose the 0a_ded file.

./oa_ded.x86_64 +set dedicated 2 +set net_port 27960 +exec server.cfg

This should start the server. Others can join this server and play.

Step 8: Invite friends and play

Visit http://dpmaster.deathmask.net/?game=openarena and search for Your Server name. If  the above steps are properly carried out, then you should find the name of your server along with IP address and port number that it is serving and listening to.

Share the IP and Port number to your friends enjoy Shooting 😉

Starting the server doesn’t mean you will also join the game to play. You should start the OpenArena client in a separate tab of terminal to join the game too.

./openarena.x86_64 and then selecting multi-player will put you inside the game with others.

Note: If you stop the server or if you computer gets switched off in the middle, then the game will end for everyone and eventually everyone will get disconnected.

Email to TRAI on Net Neutrality

Email to TRAI on Net Neutrality

Internet in India is at Risk. Telecoms service providers and Content providers are violating Net Neutrality in various means. This will not ensure equal Internet for everyone as how it is right now. This will create an artificial scarcity for knowledge & information which otherwise is freely flowing in nature.

TRAI (Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India) is asking opinion from Public whether or not they support Net Neutrality. This is our chance to make our voice heard. For your convenience, we are providing you with the content for email.

What should I do?

  1. Read the email content below.
  2. Copy the email content.
  3. Use Subject as “I Support Net Neutrality” for the email.
  4. Send email to advqos@trai.gov.in by pasting the copied content in the message.
  5. Share this message with your friends too.
  6. Use #IndiaWantsNetNeutrality hashtag on Social Networks.

Hi,

Last two-three decades have shown us the power of people communicating to each other independently, peer to peer over the INTERNET. The world of Free Software, Wikipedia, Khanacademy, MOOCs(Massive Open Online Courses), Arxiv.org, to name a few would not have been possible had people not been able to express, share, and spread their views over INTERNET.  Internet has made it possible to decentralize knowledge andmake it accessible to people across the world.

On similar lines, Facebook, Gmail, Whatsapp, are just few examples of how corporates have made use of INTERNET and made available platforms to enable people to communicate easily with very little technical knowledge. They have come up with own business models across this also.

But though all these are the major and well known players in the INTERNET world, they just form a very small part of the actual INTERNET world. Internet comprises of millions of websites, each trying to communicate some idea to its viewers. Like Facebook provides a platform to communicate with your friends, a blogger like Avijit Roy may use his blog as a platform to spread his views on religion. Like Gmail provides mailing service, Riseup.net may provide mailing list services to activists organizations. Whatsapp may provide services for people to chat using their mobile, where as TOR may be used by people to browse
Internet anonymously.

All of these wide range of entities (individuals/organizations/corporates) are making use of Internet in their own way. Calling only a few of them  OTT(Over The Top) Service would definitely be wrong as each entity provides some or other service. Some may make money over donations, some others by  displaying ads and some by selling ads. However that should not be a reason to differentiate their content or service over the INTERNET.

All of the content over INTERNET should be treated equally irrespective of how they are accessed, used or monetized. I would request government of India not to take steps towards breaking fundamental aspects of INTERNET which is one of the humanity’s greatest invention. Net Neutrality is a must for future of Internet.

Email Content Source Credit: Vignesh Prabhu of FSMK (http://blog.viggy.in/?p=836)

Celebrating Arduino Day

Arduino Day Poster

About Arduino Day

Arduino Day is the worldwide celebration of Arduino’s birthday. Last year we celebrated Arduino Day at Viluppuram. This year we are hosting the event at Puducherry. We are doing a hands-on session where people can participate as teams. This event will help you get started with Arduino and so you can start hacking with the hardware and play around.

Who Can Participate?

This event is targeted at students who have interest with computer hardware and software. Students of any discipline (Engineering, Arts & Science, etc.,) are also welcome.

What will you learn?

  1. Downloading & Installing Arduino IDE in your computer.
  2. Blinking the LED.
  3. LED fading effects.
  4. Playing the Buzzer Alarm.
  5. Working with Ultra Sonic Sensor.
  6. Detecting Light using LDR.
  7. Controlling simple DC Motor using Arduino.
  8. Serial Communication Python – Arduino.

How Can I Participate?

You can participate as a Team from your institution or from different institution. You have to register your team here.

  • A team can have maximum of 4 members and minimum of 2 members.
  • Also we have very limited number of Arduino boards with us, so we are accepting registration for only 6-7 teams.
  • Registration is based on First Come First Serve basis.

Should I bring anything with me?

Yes. You should bring a Laptop. We have Internet provision at the Venue.

Is there a fee?

Yes. We charge Rs. 100/- per team. As a not-for-profit organization, this fee collected from you for this event would be used to build the community itself.

When is the last date for registration?

Registration closes on March 27, 2015 (Friday).

How do I pay the registration fee to you?

We do not have online payment support. Either it would be on-the-spot or you have to pay to one of the member of this community at your college. Our community members are available at SMVEC, MVIT, PEC, PU, RGCET, IFET, Alpha college of Engineering & Achariya Arts & Science College.

Where is the event happening?

The event is happening at Pondicherry Science Forum at Reddiarpalayam, Puducherry. Landmark: Opposite to State Bank of India, Reddiarpalayam.

 

FSHM & an electronic startup called Funshock are jointly organizing this event at Puducherry.

Edubuntu in Girls Government High School

We have been talking about installing Gnu/Linux Distro’s for the Computers in Savararayalu Government Girls Higher Secondary School at Puducherry, since Hemavathy, Principal of that school wished to migrate from Windows to Gnu/Linux after visiting & inspired by Kerala Schools.

We had discussions on what Gnu/Linux distribution we should install. Finally we chose Edubuntu (an official derivative of Ubuntu operating system) and the version is 14.04.1 LTS. We also had other choices like EduBOSS (official derivative of BOSS – Indian government funded customized debian derivative operating system by C-DAC). The number of packages that came along with EduBOSS is very limited compared to Edubuntu. Moroever, edubuntu gave more choices while installing with respect to leave out or include education tools based on the age category like elementary, primary or secondary level students.

We found out that Edubuntu can acts as a thick client serving thin clients connected via local network. Though, we did not use it due to the fact that there was no LAN in their school.

Prasanna, Sinduja & Sarath volunteered the installation session.Thanks to Sinduja, she had already installed various Free Software Educational tools in most of the machines running windows. There were Posters on Richard Stallman, Aaron Swartz, Charles Babbage, Free Software Philosophy, Linus Torvalds, etc., There were 9 Desktop in which Five machines running Windows 7 and four Windows XP. We tested Edubuntu performance in all the machines before installing. We disabled Unity interface and sticked with Gnome fallback environment because of low availability of hardware resources(1.25 GB of RAM) and the fact that Unity also consumes more memory of graphical overlay.

We installed Edubuntu in 7 machines along with the existing operating system as dual boot & in 2 machines we had to install it as a primary OS since their windows installation has already been corrupted and required a reinstall.

We named those machines after the name of Free Software activists, Privacy enthusiasts & Scientists (RMS, Linus Torvalds, Aaron Swartz, Edward Snowden, Jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Ramanujam, Charles Babbage, Lady Ada). We started the installation session at 2 pm and finished by 5.00 pm.

Thanks to Hemavathy Madam for allowing us to install Edubuntu in their school computer lab. Soon students will be using Gnu/Linux in their school. There will be continuous classes for students on various tools available in the OS. We are in need of volunteers to teach the students. We have lots of work to do. Gear up people.

Installation Pictures – https://prasanna.trovebox.com/photos/album-9/list

P.S: This Post is composed by Sarath and edited by Prasanna.

Software Freedom Day 2014

Software Freedom Day is an World-wide event where Free Software activists / enthusiasts all over the world will spread the word on Free Software to the Public by hosting public stalls and celebrations.

We are celebrating Software Freedom Day at Puducherry since 2011. We are happy to announce you that we are celebrating this year too.

Here is our Wiki page at Software Freedom Day website.
http://wiki.softwarefreedomday.org/2014/India/Puducherry/PuduvaiGLUG
Date – 21-09-2014

Venue – Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, M.G.Road, Puducherry.

Poster designing and stalls to be exhibited are in progress. We would be happy to know if you could join us, spread the word on Free Software and celebrate Software Freedom Day!

Tell us if you are interested to celebrate SFD with us.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1pHak6ZhfcpiVuavC5-v0HMSkMgQKLDzLFyyGxKYOqEU/

Documentary Screening – The Internet’s Own Boy

Documentary Screening – The Internet’s Own Boy

“The Internet’s Own Boy depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. It features interviews with his family and friends as well as the internet luminaries who worked with him. The film tells his story up to his eventual suicide after a legal battle, and explores the questions of access to information and civil liberties that drove his work.” – The Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/TheInternetsOwnBoyTheStoryOfAaronSwartz)

This documentary is released under Creative Commons License (CC-BY-SA-NC). Last week the documentary was screened by Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu (FSFTN) at Thoughtworks, Chennai. As a part of this movie screening FSFTN is screening at Puducherry this Sunday (27/07/2014).

docu_screening

Here is the agenda,

  • 3:00 PM – 3:15 PM – An introduction speech
  • 3.15 PM – 4.00 PM – First part of movie screening
  • 4:00 PM – 4:05 PM – A small break.
  • 4:05 PM – 5:05 PM – Rest of the movie.
  • 5:05 PM – 5:30 PM – Discussion about the issues.

The event is free to attend.

Time : 3:00 PM – 5.30 PM
Venue : Livelihood Resource Center for Marginalized (near Sri Sankara Vidyalaya Matriculation School, E.C.R, Lawspet, Puducherry).