The meeting for the month of March 2010 was conducted successfully.
Following is a brief snapshot of the meeting.
Time: 2:30pm – 5.30pm
Venue: Internet Club, IInd Floor, AMI Trust Building,
Broadway Enclave, Broadway, Ernakulam
The meeting started of a bit late at 2.30pm with the customary self
The moderator started the discussion by explaining the basic concepts
of Free Software and the Free Software Movement. The moderator
explained about the four Freedoms with examples, why Free Software is
a better software and the Free Software Licenses. One attendee asked
to explain about Creative Commons. Another attendee, who is a student
of FISAT explained what is Creative Commons and how it works. The
features of different GNU distributions were also discussed. The
attendees asked questions about Entirely Free Distribution of the GNU
Operating System and Debian. The moderator suggested to use gNewSense.
– Agenda – Digital Restrictions Management.
The moderator explained What is DRM, its intention and how it attacks
a users freedom.
The moderator gave examples, the Product which are having DRM and how
it affects the users. DRM on Music, Movies(DMCA), iTunes, iPOD, iPad,
ebooks, Amazon, iPhone, Games etc were discussed. The Fairplay
encryption on Music and Movies were explained. DMCA and Copy
Protection on movie DVDs were discussed.
The conspiracy between the Media companies, how they influence the
Government and how they convert DRM as a law (DMCA) were explained.
The moderator explained what is Tivo and Tivoization. How GPLv3
protects a user’s freedom from the Tivo. Attendees asked doubts about
the digital signature verification in Tivo. The moderator explained
how it is done.
Attendees talked about their experience of DRM in Mobile Phones and
their thoughts about Locked Mobile Phones. The Surveillance and spy
features done by Mobile Phones were discussed.
How can we identify a DRM and the precautions we should take to avoid
DRM, before buying a product were discussed.
The moderator explained about the fight against DRM and the campaigns
organized by FSF(www.defectivebydesign.org). The moderator requested
everyone to go to the website www.defectivebydesign.org, signup and
participate in the protest against DRM.
The session was not so interactive due to the lack of awareness about
the topic among the attendees. The discussion was wound up for tea.
Technical Presentation : Introduction to Latex
– The presenter started by explaining the process used to create a
text document using text editors (unformatted ) and Graphical
applications (formatted) like Openoffice.
– The steps needed to create a small document were discussed in brief
– Then the speaker explained in brief the concept of Typesetting.
– The history of Tex and its author Donald Knuth was also explained.
– The session moved on to explain the process by which a Tex/ Latex
document could be created.
– Concept of a device independent file was mentioned.
– Methods and facilities for conversion of Latex files into PDF and ps
where explained through a sequence diagram.
– The first program in latex was shown to explain the basic steps in
creating a pdf or dvi file from latex source.
– Next some additional features of latex like font facilities , using
tags and declarations etc. were explained.
– The speaker also brushed through the process of creating Malayalam
documents using Latex with the help of the mal package.
– The session concluded with the applications of Latex in daily life,
especially for producing beautiful personal and official documents.
– The session wound up at 5.30pm.
The concluding session thanked all contributors for the meeting. One
of the members highlighted the importance of the Free Software
community and how self sustenance is the need of the hour. He also
explained some projects and initiatives that the community could take
The contact numbers, Email ids, Mailing List Subscription, Post
meeting activities, all of these were shared with the attendees.
The attendees also proposed for “Shell Scripting” as the next meeting
technical presentation, and one person volunteered for it as well.
This meeting wound up at 5.45 pm.
We thank all the attendees for coming and urge them to put their
feedback on the mailing list so we can improve future meetings.
Let us hope that the next meeting will be more exciting.
Fr.Thomas V Vettical
Sameer Mohamed Thahir