March 2010 Meeting Report

The meeting for the month of March 2010 was conducted successfully.

Following is a brief snapshot of the meeting.

Date: 28-03-2010
Time: 2:30pm – 5.30pm
Venue: Internet Club, IInd Floor, AMI Trust Building,
Broadway Enclave, Broadway, Ernakulam
Attendance :15

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(  The moderator requested
everyone  to go to  the website,  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.


K.C. Sanjai
Fr.Thomas V Vettical
Amrit Krishna
Anil Unnikrishnan
Muhammed Sabir
Santhoshlal V.J
Vineeth T.V
Raju Ramdas
George John
Jos Collin
Jay Jacob
Sameer Mohamed Thahir
Sanal Kumar
Faisal P.P