IdeaMonk

thoughts, ideas, code and other things...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

ILUG Bengaluru August 08 Meetup

Yesterday, I was at ILUG Bengaluru meet! or in other words, in a heaven where some amazing linux geeks sat together. I was there for the first time! and had no idea what we were supposed to do in a barcamp-ish style meetup. But in the end it was fun, though many things went over my head :), but one thing I was sure of is that all that made sense. It was organised by Mr. Manish Chakravarty of ThoughtWorks who seemed to be extremely passionate about linux, gadgets and now Gentoo.
It began, I guess right from the chair for guests where their sysadmin and I had a little chit-chat about each other. He told be about BeleniX, which is an OpenSolaris based distro and it has contributed a lot to Sun's OpenSolaris distro itself. And, then he talked about what they do at ThoughtWorks, and about testing software. I wondered how do they do that... the answer was there in the discussion later. I told him about PyPaste, the recent useful python script I wrote, though such utilities pre-existed it.
We were soon joined by Mr. Ritesh from NetApp and Tejas Dinkar. As the meetup began, we had Kingsly John, Manish, one eclipse commiter and one more fellow from ThoughtWorks joining up. Later we were joined by another Debian geek who happened to be running Debian on his PS3!!!
Seriously, man! those people really did some exciting stuff, right from developing their own distro, to putting linux on ps3, to limiting a wireless router's signal instead of boosting it (that was kingsly :P ) , to extending connectivity by setting a chain of repeaters, to controlling a running app through D-Bus (if i am correct), to I don't know what not.
SHA1, Apple, Google Apps, GNOME, KDE, maemo, Facebook, Email clients, Corporate mail stuff, Ext4, power saving techniques, Firefox, OSX, Qt, GTK, Android, Evolution, Kmail, libPurple, Kopete, Pidgin, Gentoo, Arch... the list of topic goes on.
The application level power saving idea from Ritesh was awesome! You better ask him, I don't wish to put it up here for it is too awesome to be mentioned in detail here. The coolness of the idea lies in its simplicity.
I asked everyone about how to begin contributing, whether making own independent apps is the way to go? talked about a twitter integration idea I had in mind from long and then more doubts like there are so many ways to go, which one to begin with... etc. And they definitely gave some real answers coming out of their experience and expertise of years. Later we went over a nice resto-bar to have dinner, I left early after a beer as dinner was ready at home.
Moreover I realised that linux is a way of life to some! and am deeply inspired. I wish I never lose the enthusiasm they filled me up with :) Seriously, those guys work on FOSS after they get back home in the evening and on weekends.
Meetups are one good place to be, even though you just sit and listen, the point is you get to learn a lot. Truly said by someone, "You can learn a lot more by walking 100 steps , than reading 100 pages of a book"
These days I'm checking out GTK+ documentation and tutorials to get along with it. I plan to finish up the gnome applet before it is lost into oblivion and then would look into contributing to other projects. Applet would be a nice way to get familiar with Glade, GTK+ and Bonobo :)
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