On August 3rd, 2008 0900 hrs I landed up in Hyderabad, INDIA to attend mukt.in which was taking place at Osmania University. It was v2 for Mukt.in which was started by a bunch of enthusiastic guys in 2007. The event had started two days back (on August 1st, 2008) and from the talks that were going around, it seemed a good 2 days with over 150 participants attending the event. After meeting the SMC gang at the hotel and saying a “Hi! Bye!” to a couple of folks who were leaving that afternoon back, I reached the venue (Osmania University) by around 1100 hrs just in time to see the registration desk being setup. Met up with mbuf, Sup3rkiddo and loads of other ILUGC friends before heading to the hall where my talk on “Free Software Electronics Laboratory” was scheduled. The previous talk had started late, which means mine was half hour late too.
I saw a bunch of students waiting outside the hall and started having a conversation with them. Pleasantly surprised to hear that they were waiting for the electronics talk (yes! my talk, and they didn’t have the slightest clue who the speaker was). Got some “real” feedback on the event which had both positives and negatives from this little conversation I had. Time had come for me to take the stage and these poor fellows were taken aback with surprise as well as shock!! I love to play such pranks! Well, the talk on the whole was attended by a pretty small crowd but the level of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn was high and evident from the interesting questions raised. I walked through the wide number of tools available for students to use right from getting to identify a resistor value (gResistor), simulating simple Digital and Analog circuits (qucs), PCB Design (pcb), learning microprocessors and controllers (gnusim8085) and took them well into the toolchain for coming up with your own chip (iverilog, Alliance toolset, gEDA toolset). The students liked the flow as it started with tools available for simple and basic electronics and ended up in coming out with your own Chip.
Quite a few Fedora Electronic Laboratory CDs were burnt and handed over to the students. Some Ubuntu CDs were also distributed. As it always happens, there was after talk discussions with the students and I had to excuse myself for lunch. Had nice time meeting the other fellow speakers and finally in the evening we had “Lightning talks” by all speakers. The idea impressed me as it gave an opportunity for all other speakers, volunteers, co-ordinators to listen to whatever they had missed in the last 3 days. It was fun reducing a 1 hr long presentation to under 3 minutes.
Time to head back home. Shared a taxi with Sebastien to HYD airport and had interesting discussions on “India – country of contrasts”. Hyderabad airport is freaking good and I had an uneventful, relaxed flight back home to MAA (Chennai). It would be unfair on my part to complete this post without a few big THANK YOUs!!!! Thanks Redhat! Thanks Sankarshan! Thanks FEL team! Thank you Free Software world.
Full Flickr Set here
Random thought: Nice event! Will be interesting to see how it develops in the coming few years.