Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The rest of FOSS.IN (and some of noname.conf)

Last you heard me talk about day 1 at FOSS.IN, while day 2 was in progress.

Now I will talk about Day 2 and Day 3 and noname, way after they all got over.

Morning I was feeling fit and I found myself at FOSS.IN just in time to catch href="http://0pointer.de/blog">Lennart talking on Open Surround Sound and href="http://www.pulseaudio.org/">PulseAudio. After that we went Upstairs (that's the phrase I will use for each time I had no interesting talks to attend and I would sit with the others, laptops open and chat[i.e. not over network]). Oh wait, no, we set up the Fedora Booth, and were clicking pictures there, of the booth, and media, and buttons and the White Fedora Table Cloth and us. Two things which I noticed at the Fedora Booth:
1. Media was more popular than the buttons.
2. x86_64 media was in high demand, and we did not have any (maybe next time [not next FOSS.IN though{as maybe they wont have it next year}]).

Post lunch I went over to Hall 3 where the Fedora MiniConf was running.

While I was blogging about the previous day, Amit Shah talked about Virtualisation in Fedora, Aditya Patwari talked about Fedora Summer Coding and his experiences of it, Arun SAG talked about Emacs, its plugins and how to get them packaged, then he announced that he was doing the packaging workshop upstairs and he took most of my audience away with him(despite my protests), I talked about Four Seasons of Code(that went fast as there were very few people and I did not want to linger as they showed no interest), Neependra talked about using ftrace and Suchakra talked about using embedded linux via a web-browser(he mentioned he was a Soft Hacker). There was half an hour left so Rahul started with his famous Fedora Packaging from Scratch workout. All was well.

After that I went Upstairs. I guess.

No, I was in James Morris' talk on Linux Kernel Security. Later in the evening Fahrenheit (with guitarist being Gaurav Vaz's brother) performed, some covers and some own songs. I enjoyed the show.

After the show me, Saleem, Sheela and the group of foreigners ended up at a lounge called Don'tRememberWhat. Had fun talking to Olivier Crete of Collabra. The best part was when he asked me why weren't they playing Bollywood music and that he likes the song and dance sequences, and I told him those don't happen in real life. Suddenly the DJ started playing Bollywood music and then the family at the other table got up and started dancing. Sheela joined in, and so did the rest of us. Lennart preferred to remain seated though.

~ * ~

Next day, Day 3 I was early to catch Dimitris talking about scaling web apps. It was informative, I took a few notes (just a few?). For the next hour I was Upstairs though I managed to peek into Mahendra talking about CouchDB apps.

Post lunch I was generally lost, maybe Upstairs. I realised something must be happening in the Wikipedia miniconf, so I dropped in. Erik was talking about intresting wikipedia stuff, I was feeling drowsy, so I went to get a cup of coffee. By the time I returned, he was over with the talk. I went back to being lost, Upstairs. I was waiting for Aanjhan's keynote.

His keynote was titled "A Hackaer's Apology". It was an interesting collection of stories and stuff from Aanjhan's stint with FOSS. Atul Chitnis took the stage next. He talked for a long time and (among other things) thanked all the people associated with FOSS.IN over the years.

The Raghu Dixit Project came next with an awesome and mind-blowing performance. Having heard them for the first time last year FOSS.IN, I had listened to their songs over the year. I enjoyed the show a lot.

Me, Saleem, Rahul and Ram had dinner at Subway. We spend the entire night discussing about FOSS, Life, God, Human Beings and among other things, concluded that I was an anarchist. :-O

~ * ~

Next day I was at noname.conf at Jaaga. The place is a bit strange looking with plants growing on watery rotate-able walls, a metal structure with hardware hanging in a bunch in the middle. I met Roshan and Vignesh there. It was pleasant to see them. Saleem was also there. For the time I stayed at noname.conf, it seemed like a Barcamp of sorts with mainly startup crowd. I left with Roshan and Vignesh, had coffee at Cafe Coffee Day and visited UB City, with all it's grandeur. There I had the idea of XKCD on your wallpaper and dicussed it with Roshan and Vignesh. It works now.

Night till the next afternoon I stayed at Souvik's place, and met up with Gaurav, Rangeen and Saikat. By Sunday mid-night I was home.

Monday, December 20, 2010

XKCD on your GNOME background


I wrote this little script which would download the latest XKCD comic and put it centred onto your GNOME Wallpaper.

It screenscraps the latest XKCD homepage and looks for the image URL, it then downloads it to /tmp and uses gconftool-2 to set it as your background.

Try it out and lemme know if you like it.

I have put a cron like
0 15 * * mon,wed,fri /path/to/xkcd.py
That will update my wallpaper at 3 p.m every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

* Would like to make it Desktop independent.
* Would like to have the mouseover text below the comic.

Thanks to andy(see comments) this script uses JSON to get the data, and avoid screenscraping.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 1 at FOSS.IN/2010 (and maybe some of Day 2)

(Yes, I am blogging after a long time.)

And I am blogging about FOSS.IN, Day - 1, while I am almost halfway though Day 2. Well that I because I am now sitting through Aditya Patwari's talk on Fedora Student's Contributing a.k.a Fedora Summer Coding, and waiting for my talk which would start soon. Yes, I am nervous, as I always am before my talks, and I wanted to do something to take the pressure off. ;-)

(Aditya is a surprisingly good speaker.)

Coming back to yesterday, I was sick. I took some medicines in the morning which kept me going through the day and I did enjoy a lot yesterday. I went in and met old friends from last FOSS.IN, and Ramkumar with his huge desktop-like-laptop with the heavy-expensive-doubleUSB-nonprinted-keyboard. With a cup of coffee we went to attend the talks.

(I see people leaving.)

Kishore Bhargava kicked-off with the opening ceremony (read lighting of diyas). Danese Cooper had her keynote on Wikipedia technologies. She started off with "Wikipedia != WikiLeaks". The talk was a good insight into the tools and practices that wikipedia uses to manage its backend. I took a few notes, for later reading.

(Arun SAG is telling the audience how to package emacs plugins. Arun is an engaging speaker.)

I had lunch. The queue was long, for the lunch and outside the men's. I had less food because I wasn't well. After lunch I went into Balbir Singh's talk on Operating System Caches in a Virtualised Environment. I wasn't very interested in the talk, I was waiting for Lennart's talk on systemd, hear from the horse's mouth. The talk was good (and the confetti dropping from the ceiling), I could understand most of what he was saying, and I even managed to ask a question. ;-)

(The hall always starts getting empty before I am to talk.)

I didn't want to know about hacking LibreOffice. So I spend the hour chatting. Next I went into Philip Tellis's talk on Boomerang, which was a client side JavaScript code that measured latency on the client side and send it back to a central server. The software looked good, but fishy.

(Arun is still going strong with the specfile for emacs-identica plugin)

had his keynote next about the Failures of Fedora, and I was looking forward to that. It was informative, interesting at parts. After the talk they were starting off with a video interview of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. We the Fedora Public decided to skip that and do a dinner party of our own.

(My talk of Four Seasons of Code is next, and I'm nervous)

The dinner party went good. Food was nice with all the beer (I did not drink) and the drunk brawls about git behaviour with pipes. Back at the hotel it was another war to get the wireless running with one faulty router.

(That's all, Arun is done with his talk, I'll go up now. Bye!)
(My talk's over, I'll just add a few links now and submit this.)