Friday, October 31, 2008

National Conference on Free Software

The National Conference on Free Software is scheduled on the 15th & 16th of November, 2008 at the campus of Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi. The theme of the conference is "Free Software, Free Knowledge, Free Humanity".

The organisers of the conferences are,
  • Cochin University of Science & Technology (CUSAT) the premier University in Kerala dedicated to Science & Technology.
  • Open Software Solutions Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd (OSSICS) which owns one of the largest client base in Kerala in the Free Software sector.
  • Appropriate Technology Promotion Society (ATPS), a social organisation registered under Charitable Societies Act which has been functioning for the demystification of IT through publications and workshops.
  • IT @ School Govt of Kerala project which personifies a committed State policy and has drawn wide appreciation world wide for use of Free Software in education.
Conference will be a milestone in the history of the Free Software movement in India. The event will comprise of Plenary Sessions, Seminars, Open Forums, Workshops, Demonstrations, Exhibitions, and Souvenir Publication. More details will be available at

Inaugural Session will be held at 10 AM on 15th Nov '08. Chief Minister of Kerala Sri. V S Achuthanandan Inaugurates the conference.

A Plenary session on “The Global Financial Crisis and its Impacts on IT sector” will be held at 6 PM on 15th Nov '08.

Yet another plenary session will be conducted at 11 AM on 16th Nov '08 on the subject “Social relevance of Free Software”.

The concluding session will be held at 5 PM on 16th Nov '08, where the concrete programs that are suggested in various sessions and taken up by the concerned organisations will be declared. Such program will include the Free Software based knowledge hub being established in CUSAT. Yet another may be establishment of a forum for fighting out the move for making patent law applicable for software.

30 subjects related to free software and free knowledge will be deliberated in 6 seminar venues each having 5 sessions spread over the two days of 15th and 16th November. The sessions are classified into Social, Technology, Knowledge, Institutional, Entrepreneur and software to enable the participants to select the sessions relevant to them.

10 open forums by different organisations and institutions will be conducted in 2 venues each having 5 sessions.

12 workshops on various free software platforms, packages and tools will be conducted. They will be spread over 3 venues in parallel. Out of the above 2 workshops on Linux installations and localisation will be continuous ones, which the participants can go through at any time on these two days.

FREEDOM SHOW” an exhibition of various Free software platforms, tools, packages and services along with their applications are also arranged from 12th Nov '08. IT @ School trained High School students will be exhibiting their learning process for the advantage of those who are not introduced to it so far. This will also demystify the Information Technology.

Registration was started three days back. 140 participants have already registered. Registration will continue till 5th Nov '08. Those who wish to register can do so on the site directly on phone number 04842862104 (10 AM tp 5 PM). A nominal delegate of Rs.100 will be collected at the time of issue of reporting which starts at 0900 am on 15th Nov '08. Students will be exempted from payment of this registration fee on production of a certificate from the head of the institution in which he/she studies.

All who are interested to participate may register on or before 5th Nov '08. Certificate will be issued only for the registered delegates on request. University community including students, teaching and non teaching staff are welcome to register.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The BSNL has launched EV-DO based wireless broadband all over India and become the first EVDO service provider in India.

I have successfully connected GNU/Linux system to Internet using this service. The system used is a laptop Acer Aspire 5573 with Fedora core -8. The procedure is described below. The procedure given is very brief, I will expand it once time permits.

  1. Ensure your EVDO connection is activated by BSNL. You will be provided with a user name of 10 integer size and a password of 4 integer size.

  2. Connect the EVDO data-card to one of the USB port of your system. You can ensure the device availability by the command

    $ lsusb

    The EV-DO USB data card provided by BSNL is manufactured by ZTE Corporation. However when this device is probed using lsusb command, the device vendor will be shown as Qualcomm.

  3. The device file of this card will be ttyUSB0. It this device is not created automatically, you can create it with following command with root privilege .

    $ modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x6000

  4. You can verify the success of the operation usin g

    $ dmesg

    If device is detected properly, the output message will contain some thing like following line

    usbserial_generic 2-2:1.0: generic converter detected

    usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB0

    usbserial_generic 2-2:1.1: generic converter detected

    usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB1

    usbserial_generic 2-2:1.2: generic converter detected

    usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB2

  5. Now you EVDO set-up ready. You can connect to Internet by setting up a ppp dial up connection with following details. (I have used kppp)

    Modem device : /dev/ttyUSB0
    Connection baud rate : Up to 921600
    Dail to : #777
    Username and password : As provided by BSNL.

  6. To automate the device detection add a new udev rule to your system.

    Open a file ‘70_bsnl_evdo’ in /etc/udev/rules.d directory and add following content in single line.

    ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="05c6", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6000" RUN+="/sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x6000"

For further details, post your queries as comments.

- Anil