Press Club Programme

  • Date : 14th March 2009, 2.15pm – 4.15pm
  • Venue : Press Club Ernakulam
  • Attendance : ~25
  • Audience : Journalists, Reporters, Press Academy Students,
    Free Software Community Members

Report in The Hindu

Press Club, Ernakulam had organized a workshop on Free Software for the people working in Newspapers and other Media ILUG Cochin was invited to handle the workshop by the Press Club, Ernakulam. This in fact was due to the good relationship maintained by the group with the people in the Media.

Free Software Movement by Jay Jacob

The session started by talking about the Freedoms that form the foundation for principles of Free Software. The speaker explained with examples the concept of Free Software and how the community worked together to create technology for the benefit of mankind.

The talk turned towards the history of the Free Software movement and about Richard Mathew Stallman, the founder of the GNU Movement. The speaker then explained the series of events that lead to the birth of GNU/Linux.

The importance of Freedom was explained by comparing the situation to “India’s Struggle for Freedom. The audience were subscribing well to the important aspect of the speech.

The talk then explained the basic copyright concept and how the copyleft concept created by the Free Software movement helped protect the Freedom of users.

As the talk was winding up, lot of questions we raised, especially on Licenses, copyright, sharing and distributing free software for money. The ambiguity in the term Free as in Freedom was also clarified.

Demonstration of a Free Software Operating System : Debian GNU/Linux by Sreenadh

The demonstration started with the basic login screen of the OS. The speaker touched upon the basic aspects of a Free Software Desktop Environment . He explained the fundamental concepts behind a Desktop Environment He then proceeded to explain a few basic applications for daily use belonging to the following categories:

Iceweasal, Pidgin,Empathy
VLC, Totem, Kino
Office/ Productivity
Openoffice, Abiword
Desktop Publishing
Inkscape, GIMP

There were lot of questions on using Malayalam with OpenOffice. The speaker explained the answers in a very efficient manner, thereby satisfying the audience queries.

Free Software in Schools and Malayalam Computing by Sanal Kumar Sir

Sanal Kumar sir touched upon the importance and relevance of teaching Free Software in Schools. He talked extensively about the present level of implementation and the problems faced. He delved deep into how the community can find solutions for the issues faced and how they can effectively work with the teachers to improve the present curriculum so that it can bring out the true power of Free Software.

The speaker next explained the importance of the Malayalam language and how free software and projects like “Swathanthra malayalam computing” have enabled the language to reach leaps and bounds. The talk also touched upon the possibilities of Malayalam blogging and how the Internet was a new arena that was allowing the language to expand its horizon.

Concluding Session

The concluding session saw Sameer finally explaining the name change of the group and the vision and future of the group. The press club secretary thanked the ILUG Cochin Members for their cooperation with the Media and concluded the session.

ILUG Cochin thanks Anand Haridas of “The Hindu” for having taken the initiative to bring the Free Software Community closer to the Media by conducting this event, and hope that more events of this nature happen in the future.

Participated ILUG Cochin Members

  • Sreenadh
  • Binny V A
  • Jay Jacob
  • Sanal Kumar
  • Kevin Sha
  • Sameer Mohamed Thahir
  • Hari
  • Bilal
  • Prinson

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