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.
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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.

Why Hardware Freedom Day is important?

The usage of software can be controlled to a certain extent so as that it could not cause any harms that is offered by the “Big brother” in the industry.But when taking the other part of the game,the hardware is the most effective part in the system where certain magic can be done.So,when looking at this point of view the event “Hardware Freedom Day” encourages the interested among various aspects and has shown its importance.

Arduino_Uno_-_R3

Hardware freedom day initiates the hardware enthusiasts in using and contributing to Free and Open hardware projects by means of the term “Open Hardware“.

The main aim of this event is to,

  • Include user contribution
  • Spread awareness about Free and Open hardware
  • Act as a platform for people to share their ideas with others

Digital Freedom Foundation takes care of the event at global level but various volunteer groups can organize it by themselves.There are no strictly any protocols followed.The event can be taken over in several ways so as it could be as interesting as possible.Some of the ways are,

  • Talks on Open Hardware.
  • Stalls to demo projects done using Open Hardware.
  • Hacking and Hands-on session.

Let us enjoy a global freedom in hardware.

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).