It’s getting better…

Exactly two weeks after 25th of August, yesterday was the occasion of the next installfest @ WBUT, organised by the WBUT-LUG in association with ILUG-CAL.ORG. Due to some classes being held, it started off about an hour later. Also, I was a little late in reaching the venue and hence Rabi and Ankur got a bit jittery and there were a few frantic phone calls :P

The number of participants this time was larger, around 27. The number of volunteers from ILUG-CAL was less this time, those present included Susmit Shannigrahi, Abhisek Datta, Debarshi Ray, Soumyadip Modak and Arindam Ghosh (travelling down all the way from Durgapur, once again). However,  about four of the first installfest participants volunteered as instructors in this second edition. This included Abhishek Pandey, Sanjeev Kumar, Shibabrata Basak and Shreya Roy Chowdhury. Adding to this list was Anurag Khan from BE IT 3rd Yr. Eight personal systems (including 3 laptops) were present at the Installfest, and for the first time, it included an external participant - Smita Bhadra, a GLT-Madyamgram member.

It started off with me giving a little “speech” about the history of GNU/Linux, the FSF and the basics of GNU GPL, the stage where FOSS is poised at the moment, ending it with a show to the “Truth Happens” video from Red Hat. The atmosphere in the room was rather charged up and some actually clapped when the short film ended. Susmit and the other ILUG-CAL volunteers took over from there on and got down to the business of installing Linux.
This time, as the 64-bit repos were also up, there were few problems unlike the last time. Since we managed to clear the installfest agenda - installation, basic configuration, adding additional repos, user management, playing mp3, DVDs, games, configuring the
internet etc, we decided to carry on for some more time.

Just to give the participants a taste of GUI programming in Linux, Susmit fired up Glade and quickly demo-ed Rapid Application Development in Gnome / Linux style :) The participants also played around with changing locales and setting up SCIM. For most, it was a rather surprising experience to see the desktop change into their own native language, while some got tickled by some of the translations of english strings. I sent a BN_IN UTF-8 encoded email to the WBUT-LUG mailing list  (incidentally, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Thakur was the first to reply to that mail :) . Quite a few of the participants also wanted to join in the Freedom Toaster-alike project that Susmit has taken up recently. 

We wrapped it up and called it a day around 8:30 PM. Among other things, Prof. Debesh Chowdhury, Head of the Department, ECE at the JIS College of Engineering came down to pick up a copy of Debian 4.0 R1 DVDs and the latest version of Knoppix. Since, it took some time to burn the DVDs, he ended up sitting through a part of the Installfest. He was enthused enough by what he saw there, and has promised to try and organise a similar program at his college.
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