Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Trip to Sastra University – Trichy

February 6, 2012 1 comment

I was invited to visit Sastra universityTrichy for a workshop on Free Software. I joined with Aditya and Srishti at KPN office bangalore. We boarded an air-conditioned  sleeper coach by 11.30 P.M and reached Trichy by 6 AM. The road was bit bumpy, i couldn’t sleep much.  As expected Trichy was much warmer than Bangalore in the morning. Trichy main bus stand has couple of Kamaraj statues. Sristi was surprised to see the ‘Golden’ statues of kamaraj.

While we were discussing about kamaraj, our cab arrived. The Sastra university is 45 minutes drive from Trichy. It is located between Trichy and Tanjore. We were asked to stay at the Guest house.

By 10 A.M i started my session on Free Software at one of their ‘smart classrooms’. I explained students about free software and its importance. My second talk was on GNU/Linux Commands, the talk was based on Stanford universities open classroom session on PracticalUnix. Students tried various commands on their laptops as i explained them. Aditya introduced python and  Srishti introduced QT to students on the first day.

We  had a good dinner at ‘Canopy’ Sastra’s canteen which is being managed by students. We finished the dinner with a tasty creamy cold coffee sponsored by Srishti. I was very tired after travel; so i went to bed early.

After a good sleep, I started the second day by introducing Django to students. I explained Django by creating a small blogging application. Many students tried to follow my instructions and came up with the small blogging website (Yay!). Next I joined with Sristi and introduced git revision control system to students using Shakthi‘s ‘di-git-ally-managing-love-letters‘ presentation. The students loved it! Aditya did a workshop on puppet on the second day. We also met the I.T department professor and had a little talk. She presented us with a memento .

By 6.30 P.M we left the college by saying good bye. We had to board the bus at Tanjore. Tanjore is famous for its Brihadeeswarar Temple. It was built on 11th century. We visited the temple and spent some time there. After dinner , we boarded the bus back to Bangalore. Srishti took lot of pictures during the visit (will be uploaded soon)

I am going to FUDCon Pune 2011

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: conference, fedora, foss, fun, Linux Tags: , ,

New package: Sqlninja

September 4, 2011 Leave a comment

sqlninja – a candidate for Fedora security spin is now available in updates-testing repository

yum install –enablerepo=updates-testing sqlninja

The package currently does not include any payload binaries, they can be downloaded from

Categories: fedora, foss, fun, Linux, Packaging Tags: , , , ,

New Package: Python-requests – HTTP for Humans

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

According to

Most existing Python modules for sending HTTP requests are extremely verbose and cumbersome. Python’s builtin urllib2 module provides most of the HTTP capabilities you should need, but the api is thoroughly broken. It requires an enormous amount of work (even method overrides) to perform the simplest of tasks.

Things shouldn’t be this way. Not in Python

Sample code

>>> r = requests.get(‘’, auth=(‘user’, ‘pass’))
>>> r.status_code
>>> r.headers['content-type']
>>> r.content

The same sample , without using requests would look like Requests library indeed reduces the lines of code we have to write to set up HTTP requests.

The new library is available as python-requests in  Fedora. You can test the packaging using the following command

yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install python-requests

Have fun!

Categories: fedora, foss, fun, Packaging, python Tags: , ,

Django , Interpolate two strings in a template

April 15, 2011 Leave a comment

While i was working on my weekend project,  I had to concat  interpolate two strings inside a template,  first string was hard coded in the template and another one had to be passed from the view. Initially i tried something like

<a href="/view/logs/?page="{{ page }}> next </a>

That resulted in <a href=”/view/logs/?page=”>next</a> .  Django completely ignored the {{ page }}. After scratching my head for a long time i removed the quotes and rewrote the code into

<a href=/view/logs/?page={{ page }}> next </a>

That worked as expected.

Categories: django, fedora, foss, fun, python, webdev Tags: ,

Behaviour of – Python

February 7, 2011 1 comment

I am playing around with python for a while. My code uses ConfigParser to parse a piece of configuration file. Now the documentation says accepts list of file names as an argument and tries to read them one by one and returns the list of files that are read successfully.This behaviour is helpful when you have multiple configuration files all across your system.

what the documentation doesn’t tell you is, which configuration file it will use for further processing in case of multiple successful reads. ConfigParser actually uses the last read file for further processing. So prioritize your  configuration files accordingly

import ConfigParser

config_parser = ConfigParser.ConfigParser()

filenames = ['low_priority_file','medium_priority_file','high_priority_file']

Categories: fedora, foss, fun, hack, python Tags: , ,

Yet another reason to use duckduckgo

January 15, 2011 1 comment

I started using duckduckgo after heavy lobbying from the LUG folks . It is indeed good. They are very open to feedback and change. Take a look at the below conversation


Now searching for “BIL” in duckduckgo shows up info about BIL conference on the first page Day 2 and 3

December 26, 2010 1 comment

I have been little busy with work lately and was not able to write a post. Day 2 at started with lennart’s talk on Open surround sound.  We had Fedora mini-conf sessions in the afternoon, so after the talk i went to the workout area to prepare for my talk.

In the afternoon, after rahul’s introduction amit started his talk on kvm. Then aditya shared his experience on  Fedora summer coding and creating KDE Netbook remix. As his talk was short , i was asked by rahul to take my own time and explain more about packaging. I tried my best :-) Here is my presentation

After the talk we went to the workout area to start Fedoraforkids packaging sprints. We managed pull a  decent crowd for the workout. In the evening rahul tried to do a packaging session in Hall c as we had time and people. After finishing the session we went in for the key note address by james morris. Hiemanshu joined us for the dinner , we went to chandni chowk an exotic Indian restaurant in bangalore. After having icecreams with juan we went back to our hotels.

The next day, started with an awesome talk my Dimitris glezos on transifex. After the talk we went to Fedora booth and spent some time with the visitors. we clicked a  team photo too.  People were pinging us in IRC about packaging sessions. After sensing the interest, we announced and conducted  packaging sessions in the afternoon.

I had booked my return flight ticket on Friday, so i had to leave the venue by 4.00 PM to catch my flight! was fun! Sadly it is going to be the last. It was a great experience to meet community members and red hat folks. Big thanks to Fedora community architecture team for sponsoring the whole thing.

Categories: emacs, fedora, foss, fun Tags: , , , ,

I Voted

October 31, 2010 1 comment

I just voted for the release name of Fedora 15

  • Asturias
  • Blarney
  • Lovelock
  • Pushcart
  • Sturgis

If you haven’t do it NOW!

Categories: fedora, foss, fun Tags: , , ,

SchoolOS @ Outreach

October 29, 2010 21 comments

I am one of the member of cognizant outreach council (CSR wing of cognizant) . From cognizant we donated refurbished computers to schools. All the computers had pretty decent hardware configurations – mostly they are P4 processors with 256MB of RAM.  We donated 15 computers to “pallikaranai – Govt higher secondary school” and 2 computers to “Kannaginagar – Panchayat union primary school”.

Most of the computers didn’t have any operating systems installed. Some had Windows XP with no applications not even MS – Office. At the end of the day kids are not going to use P4 processors and 256 MB of RAM. They are going to use the applications and content inside the computer.

I learnt about School OS a Linux based operating system, built on top of ubuntu. It is a joint initiative by IIT-Delhi and NCERT – National council for Education Research and Training.  The creators of this operating system integrated lot of applications that targets students in schools.

Some of the applications worth mentioning here are,

1. Open Office – A software which is similar to Microsoft office.

2. Stellarium - A desktop planetarium

3. TuxPaint - A award winning drawing/painting program for kids

4.  supertux -  Addictive super mario type game

5. CodeBlocks - C/C++ IDE which is a better replacement for Turbo-C

6. Gnuplot, Octave- Math and plotting tools

and lot of programs related to maths,puzzles,chemistry,planets.

After getting approval from Outreach folks and my boss  i went to  ‘ pallikaranai’ school with a  bootable usb key  and my personal laptop. None of the computers had CD/DVD drive, so i had to install everything from usb and network.

When i was installing SchoolOS. A science teacher came inside the lab. She wanted to type something in Tamil and take a print out of it for the upcoming science exhibition . The computer teacher was using a Tamil Onscreen keyboard in Windows XP. It took her almost 30 minutes to complete typing a sentence in Tamil by clicking the onscreen tamil keyboard. The Geek inside me woke up!  I offered them to use school OS.  There is something called IBus in Linux , which helps people to type in almost any Indian language.  I enabled Tamil- Phonetic keyboard. With Phonetic keyboard if you type ‘amma’(mother) it will be converted into tamil equivalent to the sound  ‘amma’ .  I know know, with third party software you can enable this feature in windows XP :-) . With GNU/Linux it comes by default. Also  the whole SchoolOS user interface can be changed to use Tamil as the default language (Localized desktop).

It took 5 hours to install 10 systems with SchoolOS. I then spent some time with the teachers who used to manage the lab. I asked them to work on the operating system. They picked it up very easily. The teachers were amazed by the stellarium and  celestia. I showed them how to use codeblocks IDE to compile and run C/C++ programs. They agreed that it is better than Turbo-C.  I had to modify the C++ programs in the book a bit to make it work with the standard GCC compiler.

We are also planning to conduct events/training to students once in a week. To provide content and learning material for students, with the help from  Tamil Wikipedia community we started a mini project to download selected articles from Tamil wikipedia and make a CD out of it. Hope everything goes well :-).

Categories: foss, fun, install, Linux, work

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