freed, like never before!

Another edition of the annual FLOSS meet, but this was no FreeDel, this is!

It was a rocking weekend! Feels great to have met so many cool people, some of whom I already knew by their IRC nick. Turns out, most of the speakers were already connected with the community and you can find a whole bunch of this elite group flock at #linux-india, the most happening place to be, apart from! It is heartening to find out that so many people are actually making a living out of the Free Software revolution in India. It somehow empowered my belief in the Indian initiative. There were some great talks on new ideas and tools on the GNU/Linux front, and some interesting workshops were conducted, the food was good, but it was meeting all of the guys from the Indain FLOSS Community in flesh, that was the highlight of the event.

I was there with Anant Narayanan, a friend from college, who spoke on Plan9 from Bell Labs. I have been fascinated by the new concept ever since he started working on it as part of Google Summer of Code 2007. Its a whole new approach to an Operating System, and the folks at Bell Labs have done well to rethink the UNIX philosophy. Best part about Anant’s talk was that he bashed up and guillotined Tux, and got away with it at a “pro-Linux” conference! Sad that OldMonk and folks were missing from his talk, or he would have been banned from for life!

We attended various other talks. “10 things you didnot know about Python” by Gopal from Yahoo had some interesting hacks about programming in Python. Raj Mathur’s “How to be a Criminal” was about software patents. Its worth mentioning that India is one of the few countries with no Software Patenting System, and that is something my friends and I have discussed at college too. India is probably the best country to live in, if you are a software developer and have a product to sell. “Digitally Sound” by Niyam Bhushan was one of my favorite talks. I had once tried the JACK Audio Connection Kit, along with other tools like Ardour, Creox and hydrogen. However, Niyam Bhushan explained what it takes to be a real musician. Along with using these tools effectively, you needed an ingredient X – the human knack of differentiating sound and pitch – which took center stage in his talk. He was very inspiring and I certainly wish to give my dream of digitally composing music a second shot. While I missed the panel meeting that happened later that evening on the first day, Anant tells me it was quite eventful, and they had some valuable discussions.

All work and no play, at linux-delhi? No way! On Friday night, a party went to a lavish place – “The Golden Dragon” – for dinner and some drinks, and I hear they had a great time. I wasn’t part of this celebration either, as I visited my sister and my naughty nephew! I had a good time myself with family. On Saturday, before catching the night bus back to Jaipur, Anant and I had dinner at Saravana Bhavan in Connaught Place, which served the best South Indian food I have had in months!

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