Pick a Free OS

Report from Bang!inux at India’s Silicon City, Bangalore

Moving on to the talks, which were very informative and some of the speakers certainly made things very interesting. There was Damian Conway's talk titled "Perl Quantum Superpositions & First Virtue", where he looked at Quantum mechanics and how the same concepts could be used when programming using Perl. Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP was also there for a series of talks from basic to advanced PHP (Note: Our CEO didn’t recognize him and asked him whether he had done a lot of PHP development!). Some GNU/Hurd fans were around, with tips on getting involved in the development and how to install the GNU OS that was Stallman's goal. Martin Konold of KDE was great to talk to and interact with (we will put up an interview soon). His presentation on KDE/Kdevelop was well received. Michael Meeks of Ximian came with Bonobo. There was no rivalry here between the opposing camps and it was a very friendly atmosphere.

One promising development was the Simputer prototype (www.simputer.org), designed by IISC professors. This device lies somewhere between a PDA and a full-fledged computer. The idea is to put computing in the hands of most of rural India and those that cannot afford a full-fledged computer. The device offers Internet access through a 2.4kbps modem, local language support, text to speech and a new IML browser that forms the interface for users.

But in them midst of all this, the Linux community was not forgotten. The Linux-India LUG was given a separate hall for some free sessions. These covered Linux applications, solutions and were rather informal in true LUG fashion. There was a help-desk where you could go and ask for help and support. Some of these sessions were very informative and helpful too.

At the end of three very full days, we came back wanting more. What was exceptional about this event was the accessibility and willingness of the speakers to interact with everyone. You could grab a speaker after the session for a one-on-one. You could ask questions, doubts and argue with them. The organization was very good and Wrox has done an excellent job yet agaub. We hope they will be back with a bang for next year’s event. Thanks guys!