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I'm forwarding this newsletter from another mailing list I'm
subscribed to. It has a lot of interesting information on efforts
in India to get Linux into the schools. I'm going to have to try to
get Frederick to post them here too!
_ _ _____ _____
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| | _ _ __ _ ___ __ | | _ __ | | _ __ __| (_) ___
| | | | '_ \| | | \ \/ / | | | '_ \ | | | '_ \ / _` | |/ _ \
| |____| | | | | |_| |> < _| |_| | | |_| |_| | | | (_| | | (_) |
|______|_|_| |_|\__,_/_/\_\_____|_| |_|_____|_| |_|\__,_|_|\__,_|
CopyLeft2002 GNU/GPL v2 OR LATER * ISSUE03 *
Co-edited by Frederick Noronha and Parag Mehta <pm at linuxindia dot
In this issue o Linux... and the (Indian) languages (Yudit,
document, linguistic info)
o Reports from the regions (Calicut-Kozhikode,
o Ingenuity from India (GNU software for libraries,
qmailtheeasyway, Newbie's Guide to Linux,
suggesting for Indian accounting, thinclients at
NevyOS, GLUE, mailinglist for PHP, MP3player, etc
o Events (Lineo, Exocore training in Bangalore July
o Linux goes to school (updates from Delhi, Goa...)
****************** LINUX...AND THE (INDIAN) LANGUAGES
YUDIT... GOES MALAYALAM, KANNADA, TELUGU: Gaspar Sinai
<email@example.com> announced recently that Yudit 2.5.4 has been
released. As Raj Mathur noted: "The current version of Yudit has
complete support for Malayalam and other indic languages. It can
also use Opentype layout tables of Malayalam fonts. I think Yudit
is the first application that can use opentype tables for Malayalam,
as MS is yet to release it's engine for Malayalam."
Yudit 2.5.4 can be downloaded from:
Changes: o Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu support o Software
o iso-8859-15, iso-8859-16, koi8-c, koi8-u, ncr and rovas converters
GNU/LINUX'S FUTURE... IN INDIANISATION: Ankur <firstname.lastname@example.org>
mentioned some weeks back about work on Indianisation of GNU/Linux
This is the link to that Indianisation document:
And, a few relevant exchanges on the Linux Kernel mailing list:
Says he: "One thing especially that I am not very clear about is,
what should be the priority for Indianisation: Transliteration (for
people who can think in English) or pure ground up IndiX type of
effort so as to replace English as the language of the system."
INDIC-COMPUTING WORKSHOP, STILL AT PLANNING STAGE: This is an early
announcement from Tapan Parikh <email@example.com> Please check with
him for final details, dates could change due to the early nature of
The Indic-Computing workshop is being planned for its core
contributers of the Indic-Computing Project at sourceforge.net at
the end of August, either August 24-25 or 31st - Sept. 1st. It will
be held in Bangalore in association with Hewlett Packard.
The main purpose of this workshop is to bring together young and
energetic developers working in the space of developing local
language development tools, applications, and content. It would be
a small and informal workshop, with 20-25 core participants,
including a lot of free discussion intended to spur creative and
passionate thought about the future of local language computing
The agenda would be two days in length. There would be a few
presentations on each day to seed discussion, but these would still
allow ample time for discussion, consensus building and group
At the end of the meeting, organisers hope to have assembled a
community of technically informed and motivated people to organize
and lead the indic-computing development effort into the future.
The leadership of this community should be individual driven,
technically motivated, and entrenched with youth, vitality and a
By building a community of practitioners, developers, linguistic
experts and organizers, they hope to share ideas and experiences,
facilitate broad discussion about the issues involved and discuss
future directions for the field.
"We also hope that this broad coalition would play in faciltatory
role in helping local language groups interact more effectively with
international standards processes and forums, such as the Unicode
Consortium and W3C," say the organisers.
"By the end of the meeting we will also talk about the future of the
indic-computing project, how we can broaden it's impact and
membership, and how it can be sustained, developed and expanded in
the future," a concept note says.
LINGUISTIC INFO FOR INDIAN LANGUAGES: Tapan S. Parikh
<firstname.lastname@example.org> says he is working with Koshy to pull together
some linguistic info for Indian languages, document that and post it
to the handbook on their web page.
Says he: "Basically the idea now is to put these guidelines out
there and solicit a lot of feedback on this info from the general
community for each language, from which we can collate the best
results and publish in the handbook. So we dont want so many
questions that people will be overwhelmed, and we should accept
partial responses and the collate the best answers to each area on
our side, but we still want to be comprehensive."
Contact Parikh for more information.
Email email@example.com http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/tapan/
*********************REPORTS... FROM THE
MAILING LIST FROM DOWN SOUTH: Baiju M <firstname.lastname@example.org>
tells us about the the Calicut (Kerala) mailing list, which welcomes
all useful GNU/Linux related information.
Self-description: "Free Software User Group - Calicut has one
mailing list to discuss various topics related to free softwares and
freedom of users and devlopers. We are promoting free software use."
To subscribe mailto email@example.com
with a subject of 'subscribe'
MAILING LIST FROM MUMBAI: Check the Linuxers mailing list on the
Send Linuxers mailing list submissions to
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
You can reach the person managing the list at
INITIATIVE IN PUNE: Ignatius Nayan D'Rozario <firstname.lastname@example.org> who
has been associated with the ILUG Kolkata Chapter from the time it
was formed in St Xavier's Kolkata, is currently in Pune. He's
student Sys Admin of Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication.
He is in the process of setting up an intranet and linking up their
website www.simc.edu as a central portal where all the students and
staff can log into the institution. He hopes to cash-in on his
earlier experience with GNU/Linux.
Says he: "I have been reading a few scattered articles on how Red
Hat has partnered with Goan educational institutions in the
propagation of the Open Source movement. I was hoping that
association with a major like RedHat would strengthen my case when I
present my proposal for setting up the intranet. Also I would need
info on any Indian successes both corporate and if anything like
this is up and running based on a Linux server anywhere in India,
especially in the West so that the "see-and feel-factor" would be
ILUG-DELHI, KEEPING IN TOUCH: To subscribe, send email to
email@example.com with subscribe in subject header.
To unsubscribe, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in subject header
Archives are available at
GNU/LINUX SOFTWARE FOR LIBRARIES: Check out the software package for
library automation created by three young men when they were
engineering students in Goa. Sharmad Naik <email@example.com>
says the software is available
for download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/glibs
QMAIL, THE EASY WAY... COURTESY TREVOR: Trevor Warren
<firstname.lastname@example.org> of Mumbai is behind the project called
www.qmailtheeasyway.com, which is "within the top 200 projects" in
the Free Software world on Freshmeat.net. Says he modestly: "Of
course, the major success of the project goes to DJB on whom my
software is based." Warren is the Project Manager for Linux/Unix at
ZCL, Zenith Computers Limited and works out of Mumbai.
GUIDE... FROM INDIA... ON GNU/LINUX:
Check the "Newbie's Guide to Linux"
Also the SGML sources are available at the following location
It comes to us from Sameer D. Sahasrabuddhe <email@example.com>
of the Reconfigurable Computing Lab, KReSIT, IIT-Bombay.
FEEDBACK ON ELX-LINUX (HYDERABAD): Delhi-based journalist Jal
Khambata <firstname.lastname@example.org>, an old-time friend, writes in to
say that he has been using elx-linux "by a Hyderabad team" for quite
some time and "find it very well configured to easily work in the
network environment". As he puts it, his friends and colleagues
"still refuse to migrate from Microsoft and I can now network to
them through Samba on elx."
WHAT ABOUT INDIAN ACCOUNTING? Saswata Banerjee
<email@example.com>, who heads a cost accounting firm,
recently had this to say on ILUG-BOM: "I think if you want to do
things to make Linux more popular with corporate users, we will need
more of common office use software. If you wish to add an
"accounting software" to your list of projects, I will be willing to
put in time to coordinate it (of course, someone here will have to
tell me how this coordinating is done)."
THIN-CLIENTS, PALMTOPS... AT GOA: Arvind Clemente of Controlnet, Goa
<firstname.lastname@example.org> has announced plans for a live demo of
thin clients to be given by Yunus Shaikh, who was working on this
type of an environment in Norway and Goa.
This will be demoed at the next Margao ILUG-Goa meeting on Saturday,
July 20, at Adarsh Vidyalaya High School, Margao, South Goa at 4 pm.
Arvind will himself also show a demo of how to connect your Palm OS
based PDA to a standard D-Link 56K modem and configure the same for
dialup to ISP and get mail/browse the Internet.
To join ILUG-Goa send a blank email to
NEVYOS: Check out Mayuresh Kathe's site and work on the NevyOS
GLUE, A USEFUL COMPILIATION OF LINUX IN EDUCATION: baiju m
<email@example.com> comments on the GLUE CD compiliation
"I think this GLUE CD will be useful for all category of students
especially Engineering. I am a Civil Engg. student. I had an
experiance during my 7th semester, our B.Tech project requires on
Project Management software. The commercial non-free softwares like
Primavera was very costly. At last we only got a demo version of MS
Project and Primavera. Later I found that there are some free
softwares available for this, but those projects were in the initial
"Now MrProject, a free Project Management Software is available with
GNOME office. Redhat 7.3 has included this package. If this utility
is not included in GLUE; include this one in the next version. link:
"Recently, one of my junior asked whether there is any Visualization
toolkit available along with GNU/Linux, for his project work. Mayavi
is a good choice for this. It is a Data Visualizer from an Indian
hacker. Link: http://mayavi.sourceforge.net/ "
TRAINING FOR STUDENTS IN PHP, A MAILING LIST ON PHP: Dr Tarique Sani
<firstname.lastname@example.org> the medico-turned-GNU/Linux guru from Nagpur,
says his firm SANIsoft is "going thru what has happened to good
companies which were left after the dotcom bust -- we are busy with
our commercial projects...." But if this trend continues, he hopes
to hire more programmers and put in at least "thirty per cent of
total man-hours" into Open Source-related work.
Says he: "Yes my *free* PHP courses are continuing -- every month
for three weeks, six days a week for 90 minutes each day I teach a
batch of six choosen students about PHP". Keep up the good work Dr
PHP Applications for E-Biz: http://www.sanisoft.com
Indian PHP User Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/in-phpug
SIMPUTER APPS... ARE YOU INTERESTED? Simputer (www.simputer.org)
prototypes are ready and this GNU/Linux project is expected to go in
for commercial production shortly.
One suggestion that came up recently was for the need of a volunteer
team to help build Simputer-applications, that would make this
'commonman's computer' even more useful.
Sandra Morgan of GraffitiWorkz, Inc. says they already have an
active website under development and are partnering with both Encore
and PicoPeta on the manifacture and distribution of the Simputer.
Says she: "We will certainly be happy to supply space and the
development of the portal under discussion."
Vivek K S <email@example.com> of Picopeta says: "I already have a
Simputer project registered at Source forge; If there is a basic
idea about what one wants to do; I can create a module under that
name and give CVS access for the same. There should be one person
who will take personal responsibility for the module; I can help in
initial coordination; till the person can completely handle the
module by himself. Also all developer discussions should be made on
the simputer-devel mailing list; to ensure that non-technical
subscribers of this mailing list are not affected."
Check PicoPeta Simputers Pvt. Ltd., for interesting updates on the
GNU/Linux-based Simputer http://www.picopeta.com
To subscribe from the Simputer group, send an email to:
WHAT IS IMLI: IMLI is a browser created by the Simputer Trust, and
it uses the IML markup language. It is designed for easy creation of
Indian language content and is integrated with the text to speech
Engine. It is a choice for the implementors of the Simputer, to
decide whether the IMLI browser is included in a standard
distribution or not.... The HTML browser on the Simputer will always
support HTML browsing irrespective of the presence of IMLI. IMLI can
be indepently installed on any Simputer, irrespective of any
existing framework. The PicoPeta Simputer comes pre-installed with
IMLI, however, IMLI can also be downloaded and installed
independently on any Simputer. Transferring data to the Simputer can
be achieved via serial, USB, IR or modem. More information from
SPECS OF THE (ENCORE) SIMPUTER: The Simputer uses a built-in modem
to dial into an ISP and then browse the net.... For connectivity you
need access to a telephone line. The modem is built-in. You also
need an account with an ISP. You do not normally use GPS. But is a
GPS Receiver is incorporated, your positional information can be
recorded. This information could then be used in conjunction with
GIS maps of the region where you might be travelling. "Considerable
progress" has been made in the development of a new version of the
Simputer which has several interesting features that help in product
expansion and connectivity. Encore has added a CompactFlash socket,
through an optional Docking-Cradle, that could be used for CF-II
compliant cards such as a Flash card or a Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi)
They also offer a choice of Colour or Monochrome LCD displays. Their
new Simputer will now be available in "atleast four" different
standard configurations described in the attached
Encore's current plan calls for launching 200 Simputer Evaluation
Kits by the 1st week of August, and a subsequent launch of 1000
Simputers, before large scale production starts. "We are now
accepting orders for the new Simputer Evaluation Kits, with delivery
within 10 weeks of receipt of orders," says Encore.
The following 4 standard models of the evaluation kit are planned:
ESKIT-3216M Monochrome, 32 MB RAM, 16 MB Flash
ESKIT-3216C Colour, 32 MB RAM, 16 MB Flash
ESKIT-6432M Monochrome, 64 MB RAM, 32 MB Flash
ESKIT-6432C Colour, 64 MB RAM, 32 MB Flash
Further technical and pricing details from Shashank Garg VP -
Product Development Encore Software Limited 6F Leo Complex 44
Residency Cross Road Bangalore - 560025 [India] Tel: +91-80-5593182,
5593174 Fax: +91-80-5587690
WHAT IS ANJUTA? Anjuta is a nice IDE (integrated development
environment) which combines the power of GLADE (a tool which creates
the graphical front-ends for your GTK programmes) to create
excellent iterfaces and its own code editing abilities to give the
user a power-packed tool for creating apps on the fly. It has Glade
integrated within it such that Glade creates the interface and
Anjuta edits the code and builds the projects.
Check the article in the July 2002 issue of DeveloperIQ
(www.developeriq.com) by Ishan Chattopadhyaya, a Class XI student of
St Joseph's College in Allahabad. For the past year, he has been
engaged in Anjuta and Glade's documentation. He is also responsible
for the creation of the easy-to-install wGLADE and winGTK ports of
GTK and Glade to the windows environment. "Although they are in
testing stage, they work quite well," comments DeveloperIQ.
Anjuta is a creation of Delhi-based Naba Kumar (23), who hails from
Manipur. He named this software after his girlfriend! Explains Naba
Kumar: "(Anjuta) is an integrated development environment. Or, in
short, an IDE. It's a platform where one gets all the tools for
developing software. You could call it a factory to develop and
PROJECT FOR A MP3 PLAYER ON LINUX: Siddharth Desai
<firstname.lastname@example.org> tells us details of a recent project:
The MP3 player that we made was based on a P166/200 MMX with an
addon that we made that connects to the parallel port. No keyboard,
mouse or monitor needed. Hard disk could be used to speed up the
system and store MP3's else CD-ROM drive for MP3s. Floppy drive (or
hdd) to boot. OS + program fits on a floppy. Program reads parallel
port and runs mpg123 which plays MP3s. Also modified the power
supply to run of a car battery. The keypad (connects to parallel
port) has 5 keys -- play/pause , next track, previous track, eject
and one key which selected between songs 0-99 or 100-199 (since the
LED display on the keypad could show only 2 digits). We entered the
contest in the software section at the CIIILP exhibition of
BHARAT MEDIRATTA, GALLERY PROJECT ON SOURCEFORGE: Anyone trying to
track Indians contributing to GNU/Linux globally have a tough task.
Are these names from India? Could they be from the subcontinent
outside of India (e.g.
Sri Lanka)? Are they part of the Indian diaspora that settled in
countries like Malaysia or Guyana generations ago?
Ravi Rao <email@example.com> draws our attention to Bharat Mediratta,
one of the creators of the Gallery project on sourceforge --
"I'm wondering if he's Indian," said Rao.
Hari Nair <Hari.Nair@jpl.nasa.gov> who's name is prominently
mentioned on xplanets, writes in to say: "My family is from Kerala,
but I was born and raised in the US."
See also http://nagendra.com/
WORK FROM GAURAV VAISH: Check out some work from Gaurav Vaish:
*****************EVENTS, EVENTS, EVENTS, EVENTS,
LINEO, EMBEDDING LINUX TRAINING IN BANGALORE: Two-day technical
training workshop on Lineo Embedix SDK will be held on July 22-23 at
the Leela Palace, Airport Road, Bangalore from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
This is the first Workshop on Lineo Embedix SDK in India to provide
in depth complete training. This two-day intensive course promises
theory as well as hands-on training.
It will makr the launch of Embedix SDK. Lineo India will host the
workshop by Lineo USA personnel.
Embedix SDK operating system configuration tool is a powerful
development environment for configuring, customizing and deploying
Linux embedded software solutions. Embedix SDK 2.4 is a
comprehensive solution that leads developers through the key steps
of the application development and deployment process, including
target configuration, user application development, automated
deployment, debugging, software license review, and integration of
new software and patches.
Rs 6500 per head. Registration via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or,
register online www.gtcdrom.com/lineo.html email@example.com
EXOCORE PROGRAMME FOR LIN-ADMINS IN BANGALORE: The Exocore
Professional Linux Administrator Workshop is being held on July
18-19 at Hotel Le Meridien, Bangalore It will take participants from
ground-up (installation and configuration of Linux) through network
services (deployment and managing of Linux based services) to
management (securing and maintaining Linux), according to its
It also covers the deployment of Linux based desktops. This workshop
is not a "What is Linux" kind of seminar -- it is aimed at practical
deployment of Linux in a corporate environment, drawing on the years
of experience that Exocore Consulting has in this field, says its
"The course is conducted by Exocore Consulting - the people behind
the well known PCQuest Linux Initiative, which has over the past 6
years been responsible for thousands of people across India
successfully deploying Linux in their organisations," says the team
organising it. This course is designed by Atul Chitnis and Gopi
Garge. Supported by Shankar Balan, Vaibhav Sharma, Sony Philip and
Course Fees Rs.9,500 per participant.
***************LINUX GOES TO SCHOOL... AND
DISCUSSING GNU/LINUX IN SCHOOLS< COLLEGES AND VARSITIES: LIFE is the
Mumbai-based mailing lists that looks at GNU/Linux in education
issues. It is run by Nagarjuna G <firstname.lastname@example.org> More
details about him from from his website
About LIFE: LIFE is a mailing list for discussing and posting
information related to the use of GNU/Linux and other Free software
solutions to education in schools, colleges and universities.
SINGLE CD ON ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS: One of Nagarjuna's recent
ideas: "I am presently planning a single CD distribution containing
the applications and goodies requiered for a regular engineering
college student. I would like to keep in mind the syllabus and
projects students do. Can some of you tell us what kind of
applications are used/needed by students? We can build the list and
sit on one sunday and make the distro. Debian GNU/Linux has special
scripts to make custom CDs from their original master distribution.
I am planning to use this." --Nagarjuna
LINUX TERMINAL SERVER SYSTEM, SOLUTION FOR SCHOOLS? Ajith in New
Delhi <email@example.com> recent wrote in to say that he is trying
to propose the GNU Linux Terminal Server System as a solution to
schools and colleges. He's doing so after testing it at Nuclear
Science Centre "for nearly one year on around 100 terminals".
Writes Ajith: "(There are now) several GNU/Linux Terminal Server
Installations. At University of Calicut, CEDT, IHRD computer
training centre and some other places. The Skill Development Centre
at district panchayat office, Calicut, also has one with 10
terminals and giving training on Linux based office automation
He argues that the cost of a good color terminal (diskless) will not
exceed Rs.13,000/- . You can also configure an old P1 or 486 as a
graphics terminal. (The GLUE CD he recently put together contains
the software and instructions to setup a system.)
This, he calculates, a 20 terminal system + server + network will
cost less than Rs 350,000 (approx US$ 7000). The Free Software User
Group, Calicut, has a group of volunteers trained in setting up
Terminal Server System and offering help."
REDHAT... IN ONE CD: Supreet <firstname.lastname@example.org> who's working
on the GNU/Linux-for-schools project in Delhi says in mid-July: "I
have modified the redhat 7.3 distro and it ships in one CD.
Installs kde desktop, grub, timezone by default asia/calcutta. Has
mozilla 1.0, openoffice 1.0. If anybody is interested in testing the
CD can contact me. There could be a 10-20 minute demo of the CD in
He also needs to add basic and logo packages because he could not
find stable release of bwbasic or ucblogo. "I am also looking at
packages like xbasic and yabasic. If anybody has prior experience in
compiling and running any of these packages should inform me with
details," says he.
GNU/LINUX IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS TOO?: Linux in schools... what next?
Linux in primary school? Lawrie <email@example.com> has been
working on a plan with a primary school to shift over to Linux. He
hopes to guide the school and train the teachers too... Adds his
sig-line: "The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt
the one who is doing it."
LINUX ACCESS PROJECT IN DELHI: Sarai <www.sarai.net>, in association
with Linux Users Group, Delhi, recently initiated the Linux Access
Project. This project attempts to generate awareness and use of Free
Software in schools in Delhi.
As a first step the Free Software team at Sarai is creating a Red
Hat-based distribution network that will be easily available on a
CD. A few schools willing to start using Linux-based systems have
been identified and a series of workshops are planned through the
year to introduce and familarise students to Free Software programs.
The Free Software Kit prepared by Supreet Sethi and Pankaj Kaushal
at Sarai will be distributed. Members of the project will also
extend technical support.Details from: firstname.lastname@example.org
DELHI PARCELS OUT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR SCHOOLS PROJECT: Prateek
Khanna <email@example.com> lists the responsibilites being
parcelled out to various individuals to take the Linux-In-Schools
project ahead in Delhi:
* Proposal to be prepared for IDG for mutual dealing (Tripta)
* Syllabus: what is the current class XI-XII CBSE syllabus (prateek
khanna to arrange a copy); is the syllabus and texts OS-neutral; if
not good enough make courseware which is relevant; analysis of
* Issues on CVS to be dealt with by Sandip, Karan, Pai and Supreet.
Not a matter of much concern for the time being
* Quizes on linux and talks on open source to be held in the
Software competitions organised by the schools.
* The talks with the schools should not just be on pragmatic points.
They should talk about freedom of software; open source; the fact
that you can learn more from free source... the implementation of
what they study as a part of programming
* No commercial organisation be brought into picture as far as
possible. Red Hat will be the favoured distribution. Still, an
evaluation is being done for a better alternative for schools.
* Mailing list has been set up.
* Key responsibilities: Project management (Sudheer Gandotra),
presentation (Prateek/Tripta), Write ups and manual (Dhurv/Supreet),
Distribution (Raj Mathur), Tickets (Raj Mathur), CVS (Raj Mathur),
Central Support (Sarai), Machine for testing (Tripta), Software List
(Leo Fernandez), Syllabus (Prateek).
There's a new mailing list for the Linux for Schools project
initiated by ILUG-Delhi. Please send subscribe in the Subject
header to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=subscribe to
subscribe; send mail to mailto:email@example.com to post to it.
Non-member posts are disabled by default. If you wish to post
without subscribing, please send the mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and
he'll forward it.
GLUE, GETTING LOT OF UNADULTERATED ENTHUSIASM (ALREADY): Ajith Kumar
<email@example.com> put together GLUE, what some are already
callling an "excellent resource" of GNU/Linux resources for
education. Says Prof Rayudu of the Goa Engineering College: "First
let me congratulate all of you involved in compiling the CD. The CD
is an excellent resource."
NOTHING OF MINE, SAYS KUMAR MODESTLY: When asked for permission to
post it on a site, Kumar says modestly: "There is nothing much of
mine in it, except a little bit in the physics, php and device
driver sections. You can do anything with that internally. External
hosting we cannot do with things like StarOffice 5.2 that is
included in it. it is not much of an issue since we are not selling
it. Try to utilize it any manner you find suitable. Try to
distribute copies to anyone interested. Print the file gluecover.ps
to make a paper cover for the CD if you like."
FOR DISKLESS TERMINALS: "(For diskless terminals) the CD contains
most of the stuff needed, I hope. LTSP is very significant for us.
NSC is using it on a large number of machines," says Kumar.
TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS OF GETTING GNU/LINUX INTO GOA SCHOOLS: Tom
Fernandes, working amidst trying and difficult circumstances with
others like Ashley Delaney and a few other volunteers, for the Goa
Schools Computers Project, has something to report. Recently GSCP
opted to install GNU/Linux in schools, with some support from Red
Says Tom: "There is a project in Goa /India
(www.goasudharop.org/gscp - sorry not much usefull information YET)
where we distributed around 350 machines (Pentium 1) to schools all
over Goa. Around 100 were sent out configured with LTSP.... We used
RH 7.2. Servers are 166-200 MHZ with 96-128 MB of Edo RAM. Clients
are 66-166MHZ, 16-32 MB of RAM."
They're using Gnome and additionally windomaker. To make things
easier, they customized the installation procedure and are writing
some script to automize some things.
The problems so far: * A lot of hardware probs (old buggy, hardware
in a very tropical country (as Tom, who's of German-Indian origins,
puts it: "At the moment my t-shirts are rotting.") * Gnome crashes
sometimes (the server is just too slow, but what to do -- six slots
for edo ram only and edo ram is not easily available or cheap *
People mess up the settings (panel mostly) -- need some recovering
scripts for the teachers to refresh some configs or create
user-accounts anew * Not too much educational software (that might
be your second biggest problem - support is your biggest...
In addition, some other issues faced: * Many programs don't run in
640x480 proper and some teachers insist on it... on the 14" to 15"
monitors * Some of the programs being used are gnumeric (sometimes
buggy and limited-functionality), abiword (teachers are okay with
that but now complain about missing tables), xpaint (ugly, but
nothing better's available... couldn't get gpaint running yet),
opera (ad-version), xwc ("llllighter than bloody Nautilus"). They
still need to keep Mozilla (for helpfiles, etc) and Nautilus as it's
backend for Gnome). Eager to replace it with gmc; suggestions for
how to do so would be appreciated, as Nautilus is too slow for the
machines being used.
Mail software was still be searched for (something not heavy on
resources). "The only time the (school) teachers have to use the
console is to mount... will try to integrate supermount, which
doesn't seem to be too easy and use the scripts we built," says Tom.
In Goa, Arvind Yadav <firstname.lastname@example.org> customized RedHat 7.2, to
create a CD that would allow for easy install on the school
computers. There are about 15-20 volunteers to support some 20
schools. But something more is needed, suggests Tom. Much depends on
the teachers and their attitude.
Says he: "If you want to spread linux widely in schools (and want
the teachers to really use the systems and not leave them getting
dusted) you have to teach them proper (not only linux BUT WHY linux)
. Here we told the schools: we can give you six slower systems where
six kids can learn at the same time or we could have given you one
new fast system where you can have linux (we paid 40$ for each
system -- shipped and packed from the US to Goa -- all non profit
"Perhaps somebody should open a website
www.reasons_for_linux_in_schools.org :-)," says Tom.
CDC LINUX, CSIR SIGN PACT: This report appeared in the BusinessLine
commercial daily dated April 17, 2002 - the Bangalore-based CDC
Linux has been signed on by the Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR) to develop portable software for bio-informatics on
the GNU/Linux platform and the establishment of high performance
supercomputing infrastrucutre for research organisations in
bio-informatics, according to the company.
The company will be an industry partner, under the CSIR's New
Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative. As part of the
project, CDC-Linux will be collaborating with the Centre for
Biochemical Technology on the development of software applications
in the area of comparative genomics and proteomics.
The products developed by CBT and fine-tuned by CDC Linux include
the Genedecoder, a gene prediction tool, the Proteome Calculator, a
comparative protein sequence analyser, and the See-Path, an
intelligent protein classifer, according to CDC Linux. These
products would be available for the international market, according
to a press release. ENDS
WHAT'S NEW -- ASIA'S FIRST LINUX CD-ROM MAGAZINE: Linux Magazine on
CD has just been announced by IQ Techmedia Pvt Ltd. The monthly
CD-ROM magazine will focus on GNU/Linux, Free Software and the Open
Source world. It is scheduled to be available as a five CD
starter-kit on the stands "across the country" from June 16, 2002.
The retail price of the kit is Rs 1500.
DeveloperIQ will provide a CD-ROM of all updates and upgrades of
more than 70 popular products in Open Source every month, for one
year. That means 17 CDs in a year plus a bonus CD, almost 10 GB of
researched content in a year. For the equivalent of US$30 (within
India). Also round-the-clock six-days-a-week email support from Deep
Root Linux Private Ltd.
The starter-kit will contain RedHat 7.2 (2 CDs), applications
(Openoffice 1.0, Galeon 1.2.1, KDE 3.0, Mozilla Internet suite
1.0rc2, Netscape 6.2.1, Acrobat reader 4.05, Gimp 1.2.3, Ximian
Gnome 1.4, Kmail 220.127.116.11, gqmpeg 0.12.0, Etherape 0.8.2, Kyahoo
0.7, Image viewer 0.1.9, Qcad 1.4.7, Blender 2.12, Cross Artist 1.1,
sfront 0.70 and more... a number of development tools, and an
entertainment CD with over two dozen programmes.
For GNU/Linux and BSD CDs check out http://www.linuxcampus.net This
note came to us courtesy Prakash Adnani
WROX... ROCKS?: Shivanand Nadkarni <email@example.com> informs
that Wrox India has set up a full-fledged editorial office in
Mumbai. "Wrox India will emphasize on open source technologies. Till
now Wrox India has produced books on PostgreSQL, MySQL and PHP4,"
says he. Great news...
Wrox is also very much interested in Indian talent pool. They are
trying to seek as many Indian authors and reviewers. Recently, they
were on a look out for technical reviewers for Apache 2.0.
Contact details Shivanand Nadkarni Technical Editor, Wrox Press Ltd
http://www.wrox.com or http://www.p2p.wrox.com
NEWS FROM THE UNDP IN KUALA LUMPUR: Shahid Akhtar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
of the Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme, a programme
of the United National Development Programme, says APDIP is thinking
seriously about organizing some kind of a consultation on open
Says Akhtar, who's headquartered in Kuala Lumpur: "We want to see
how we can further this cause in the region. What would you say are
the most important questions and issues that are require discussion?
Who are some of the key players (institutions and individuals)in
this arena in the region? What are some of the things that can be
done at a practical level to get the open source research and
development moving in the region? Who can do this best? Are there
any present seminal studies, reports, efforts in the region that
should be taken into account before one develops a plan of action in
this area? Are there any other bodies out there who might wish to
partner with APDIP-UNDP in this area?" Anyone with suggestions,
please contact Akhtar.
OPEN SOFTWARE: "Open Standards and Open Software in South Africa",
discussion paper. In January, South Africa's National Advisory
Council on Innovation (NACI) published a discussion document called
"Open Standards and Open Software in South Africa: A Critical Issue
for Addressing the Digital Divide". It "discusses the nature and
impact of Open Software and recommendations for South Africa to take
full advantage of this rapidly growing phenomenon in IT." The
document is licensed Open Content, and there is a space on the NACI
web site for public comment. http://www.naci.org.za
OPEN PUBLICATION LICENCES, A NEW LICENSE: A new public license --
the Open Publication License -- promises to bring the power of the
open-source software movement to video, audio, and text while still
preserving authors' rights to profit from the calluses of their
GNU/LINUX... IN THE TRIBUNE OF CHANDIGARH: One recent article on
GNU/Linux in the Third World, carried in Chandigarh's The Tribune:
SHROFF GETS THE BOOKS ACROSS: From Mumbai Vikas Kasalkar (91 22) 763
4290, 768 9126 - ext. 120/121 or e-mail at
email@example.com announces popular GNU/Linux books that
Some of the books he listed recently included Bill McCarty's 'A
Guide to Red Hat Linux for New Users' Rs 450; Building Linux
Clusters Rs 350; Linux Device Drivers Rs 375; Linux in a Nutshell
3/e Rs 300; Linux Network Adminstrator's Guide Rs 350; Running Linux
Rs 500; and Understanding the Linux Kernel Rs 450. These books are
between 376 pages to 824 pages thick.
Some come with CDs. Good value for money, at affordable Indian
prices, it seems! Details from firstname.lastname@example.org
HAVE YOUR SAY ON THIS FORUM FOR GNU ISSUES: Please check
http://forum.gnu.org.in which is a forum to discuss GNU issues.
LINUX ON IDGNET: Journalist John Ribeiro <email@example.com> has put
out an interesting article recently, linked to GNU/Linux and India.
Check http://www.idgnet.com/ic_829012_4394_1-3921.html Ribeiro is
based in Ashok Nagar, Bangalore. P; 91-80-5533341
LINUX DOC PROJECT TURNS 10 THIS YEAR: From: Sayamindu Dasgupta
<unmadindu@Softhome.net> spares a thought to remember that the Linux
Documentation Project turns 10 this year.
YOU CAN POST YOUR GNU/LINUX ARTICLES HERE: Please visit
http://opennews.indianissues.org. Our dream is to make this a modest
site reporting on GNULinux issues in India.
For posting GNU/Linux information in this e-zine, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org and send the details in plain-text format.
* FOOTNOTE: Frederick Noronha <fred at bytesforall dot org> is a
Goa-based freelance journalist, who writes on IT-for-development and
GNU/Linux themes regularly. He is currently working on a print-media
fellowship from www.sarai.net to study the Indian contribution to
GNU/Linux and is cofounder of BytesForAll <www.bytesforall.org>.
Parag Mehta <pm at linuxindia dot org> is webmaster for Linux India,
listadmin for Ilug-bom, Country Manager of India for Linux Counters.
Visit his personal site at: http://pmehta.org
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