September 2008 Meeting Details

Date : 28-09-2008
Time : 2:15pm – 5:30pm
Venue : Internet Club, IInd Floor, AMI Trust Building,
Broadway Enclave, Broadway, Ernakulam
Attendance : 20

The meeting started at 2.15pm.The first session was an Introduction to Free Software, GNU Movement, Open Source Software, Licenses and GNU/Linux. The main agenda of the meeting was the technical presentation by Jaisen, “Geo Visualization and Resource planning with Swathanthra Software”.

The session started with the speaker talking about the history of maps the different types of geographical mapping methods and types of maps. The concept of Cartography and the scientific methods used were explained in detail. This was important because these were the building blocks of GIS. The speaker moved on to describe his project “Geographical visualization of Cheruvannoor Panchayat in Kozhikode”. He started by explaining the functioning of Grama Panchayats, need for resource planning and the government policies related to Resource planning and Swathanthra Software. He described his objectives and requirements for the project.

The fact that the audience were eagerly following the presentation could be seen from the volley of questions that had started coming from the moment the session started. The speaker was able to clear all the doubts. Some people among the audience already working in GIS field shared their experience and knowledge in the field.

The speaker demonstrated the Map Server and the web based interface. ( He also briefed through the configuration for setting up the same.

The attendees then moved on to have tea and snacks after the session.

The Next session described the most commonly used File managers in GNU/Linux – Nautilus and Konqueror.

The session started with the explanation of basics of the File Manager. The people who already had knowledge on these subjects shared their ideas. There were lot of doubts as well. The speaker explained the importance of knowing more about File Managers. He said that knowing how to use file managers would help us to efficiently speed up the work.

After that session Jay Jacob gave a brief introduction to the upcoming National Free Software Conference. He encouraged the audience to participate in the conference, present projects and technical papers. He explained the importance of the event and how the Free Software community should benefit from this event.

A small briefing about the activities of ILUG Cochin and how ILUG Cochin and the Swathanthra Software community needed the active participation from those who came for the meeting was emphasized.

The meeting concluded up at 5.30pm with the recitation of the National Anthem.


Sunil Kumar AU
K B Smart
Jaisen N D
Manu V
Mohammed Rashad K M
Punnoose P.J.
Unnikrishnan G
Sreejith K S
Kevin Sha
Binny V A
Mahesh Aravind
Zaheer M K
G Venkata Subramanian
Sameer Mohammed Thahir
Jay Jacob
Sreenadh H

We thank all the attendees for coming and urge them to put their feedback on the mailing list so we can improve future meetings.

And hope the next meeting is bigger and better.

Software Freedom Day, 2008

Date : 20/09/2008
Time : 17:00 – 19:15
Participation : 18
Events : Peaceful procession, Candle Light Vigil

The programme for SFD was charted out in a haphazard manner due to the last minute decisions. But it was good that all went well, even the climate was favorable for the conduct. The initially planning of a procession and candle light vigil did not seem feasible until about 2 pm. We made quick decisions and then opened one of the rooms at JJ’s place to find almost everything we required for the event. We purchased few chart papers for hanging up as body posters. And the team started writing messages on them. While some others started making placards from what we could find. Few printouts were taken thanks to JJ and then we stuck all of them up. We had to run around a bit to get the Assistant Commissioner’s permission simply because he was not available at his office. But luckily at 4pm we could get his permission in person. The preparations were hurriedly completed by 5 pm. And we started of on to conduct what would be Kerala’s first free software procession.

All of the people were really excited and this helped create a highly spirited atmosphere for the event. We started from the church next to Broadway where JJ inaugurated the event. We started marching in two rows towards the Boat Jetty. Two people held the banner and many of them held placards and hung the posters on their neck.

The heavy traffic and congested roads made us walk a bit fast. Many of the onlookers were surprised to see few young people walking with so much excitement for something they couldn’t figure out. Indeed those who got the message too were surprised to see the initiative. We changed the original plan to turn before the Boat Jetty and marched further till the law college. We halted there for almost 15 minutes, which gave the opportunity for people to read the posters, placards and banners. The passengers on the vehicles were most among the onlookers. Several small vehicles slowed down to see what was happening. Indeed the body posters which was an idea of Balakrishnan Sir had created the necessary impact.

As all this was going on, almost every step of ours was captured by all those who had a camera. This made the procession turn into a photo session for the onlookers. We then crossed to the other side and started our march back to Marine Drive. Again the insane driving of the Killer buses was keeping us on guard on when to jump to safety. We reached Marine Drive and halted just before the Bay Pride Mall. We stood there for almost 20 minutes. The group was a great attraction to all the people. Couple of people came close to us and inquired about what was going on. We could tell them few things about Free Software.(Unfortunately we hadn’t carried any pamphlets due to last minute preparations).We could get a good publicity with that small time.

The group then moved to the Marine Drive walkway and took two rounds up and down. And ended up at the Marine Drive Musical Walkway bridge at 6:30pm. Few of us bought candles and we lit them at 6.45. The light breeze made it difficult to hold the flames. And also many of the people had started moving back home. We walked till the end of the walkway and ended the days programme with few among us talking and thanking all.

We went back to Broadway and dispersed back home. Indeed although there was nothing specific achieved by the programme, we had realized a form of publicity that was more effective. and celebrating Software freedom day in style, unlike all other places were it was celebrated inside and we showed the world that September 20th indeed had a significance.

We thank the Assistant Commissioner of Police, and the office staff for allowing us to take out this procession at a very short notice of few hours and also for having provided the necessary precautions.

Thanks to Prinson for the initiative and ideas.

Sreenadh, Shibin, Shyam, Royce, Vipin for making the entire program a reality IB Manoj for giving our contact to prinson and actively taking part for all the hard work Nitish for the previous day planning and active participation from Nawal, Abhishek, Awadesh, Chandan, Ajay from CUSAT.

And JJ for all the material printouts and for keeping ILUG capable of celebrating SFD with a place we can call our own in the heart of the city.

Of Course Balakrishnan Sir for the wonderful ideas and the vision for ILUG Cochin.

People Who participated for the event:

I B Manoj
Jay Jacob