Sunday Dec 06, 2009

FOSS.IN 09 - Abhishek was here!

FOSS.IN 2009 was pinnacle of geekfests and it was after a long time that I saw so many open source fanatics under one roof!! Thanks to Bangalore OpenSolaris User Group (specially Sriram Narayanan and Anil Gulecha) OpenSolaris platform was successful beyond expectations in making hackers heads turn!

Sriram explaining stuff about OpenSolaris to interested participants of FOSS.IN

Everyone was so impressed with our demos based on ZFS, DTrace and Crossbow that I literally lost the count of number of times I heard phrases like "That is so cooool!" Even though we managed to keep just a table and two laptops (one was Sriram's personal laptop and the other one was mine :P ) people kept flocking to us while we demonstrated our simple hacks on OpenSolaris 2009.06.

On the last day, thanks to Joe George from Sun IEC, Bangalore, we managed to get some OpenSolaris T-Shirts and it was a riot! We had around 50 T-shirts and we had kept a condition that anyone who wants a T-Shirt would have to compete an assignment based on either ZFS, DTrace, Crossbow or Zones and we gave different sets of assignments to every participants. People were allowed to use man pages and google and it became such an interesting game that we had a long queue of people waiting for their turn to try their hands out at it.Within 5 hours all our T-Shirts were gone!

Me giving our first winner the opensolaris t-shirt

Me giving a OpenSolaris T-Shirt to our first winner

The most interesting bit happened when one of the participants (who said that he is feeling really out of place because he was very new to the world of computers) walked into our booth and asked if OpenSolaris has got something to do with solar energy. After I had a 15 mins chat, he got so interested and excited that he said even he would like to try his hand at OpenSolaris and by the end of the day, he won a T-Shirt by completing his assignment of creating a ZFS snapshot, deleting the Download folder and rolling back!

One guy trying out his assignment to win Opensolaris t-shirt while others listen to Sriram

One of the participants using my laptop to complete his assignments while others listen are taking their assignments from Sriram

Keynote from Philip Tellis of Yahoo! in FOSS.IN 

A few GNU skeptics who walked to us commenting on the CDDL were sent back satisfied by examples like Belenix and Nexenta. Over all, it was a great event and we learned many new lessons too! I hope hackers who drool on cool technologies will continue to fall in love with OpenSolaris!

Monday Jun 09, 2008

5 OpenSource Goodies to get you going!

There can be many a times when you cannot afford to spend those valuable $$$ to prove your concept or express yourself or give you the start you are looking for ;) Then where do you go?? Now that open source has become such a big thing, that I don't think I need to explicitly answer this question!! But then, identifying what application to use and where can get a bit daunting (As daunting as atleast 3 rounds of googling :-P)!! Anyways, here I would like to recommend 5 open source application which can get you rolling with your concept.... Note that, each of these projects are mature enough that they can be used for every mission critical operations and you can trust them to run your whole business.

    • Netbeans is what you should be asking for if you are looking at creating any Rich Client Application quickly! Be it Database driven applications or a stand alone tiny application, Netbeans is the best choice for you! Anytime you wish to exploit the power of Java Technology then Netbeans is your man ;) Not to forget, if you are planning to create a  nifty mobile application which you can use to adore your cell phone then look nowhere else. Many other things like Ruby, C and C++ etc. runs smoothly!

    • Productivity suites can be really expensive. But is an amazing Office application which is very feature packed and complete. And the best thing is that it comes sans price tag! Direct PDF convertion, native support to the ODF and MS Office formats and hundreds of other features very much make a-must application!

    • Sun xVM (VirtualBox) would allow you to run anything on anything! Run OpenSolaris on Windows, Windows on OpenSolaris, Windows on Linux and Linux on Windows and many such other combinations! VirtualBox OSE would allow you to test your applications on whatever platform you want. With a download less than 25 MB, you are ready to go to install any platform in your system without actually needing to buy any separate hardware for each platform.

    • Now that you have a IDE and Office plus a virtualization application in place, you would need something to run your Website. Drupal is a right choice if you are looking for a contect driven website. Written using PHP and supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL, Drupal can me made as feature rich as possible, using thousands of community contributed module!

    • XAMPP would allow you to install the comple Apache, MySQL and PHP part of the xAMPP platform. Its a simple to use and easy to download!

The beauty of all these applications are that they run on almost all popular platforms! You are free to use which ever operating system you want to run these applications. They help you get off the ground easily. Infact, if you are smart enough, you would take the extra effort to get yourself a copy of OpenSolaris, which would cost you nothing and provide you a reliable, feature full and stable development environment. And if you are considering to do a next facebook or something then check out OpenSolaris Web Stack which would give you a SAMP platform on a platter! :)

 These are some of the applications I like a lot in the OpenSource ecosystem. There are million others and almost any of your needs can be fulfilled in the OpenSource world!

Now tell me, doesn't open source deserve the title of biggest enabler of our century??? :)

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Thursday May 29, 2008

Firefox Download Day!

Firefox has redefined the way we browse the web isn't it! Now if anything deserves a  world record then firefox is ofcourse one of the top ones in the list. With Firefox 3 being released in the near future, Firefox this time is getting ready to set a world record for maximum number of software downloads in 24 hours!

To keep us reminded, Firefox community has setup a pledge and reminder service. You can go and take a pleadge to download Firefox 3 and help Firefox community to set this world record by visiting the Download Day Homepage!

So lets go and download Firefox 3 and set up a world record!! :-)

Tuesday May 13, 2008

And that's how GLOSS celebrates technology!

Everyone was celebrating the release of OpenSolaris on May 5th, and at GLOSS, we have been busy planning the same for quite some time.. It was no doubt one of the most awaited event since Project Indiana was declared. So.. as I told everyone before.. we celebrated May 5th as Opensolaris Birthday... :-) There was cake.. there was decorations.. there were people with celebration mood and there was the latest Technology!!!


Thanks to my folks at GLOSS who made this celebration possible, even though from next day on we were having our final exams! (Now I think you know why this post came so late :-P ) Watch the video and enjoy the power of communities!

Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

This advice you gotta take!! - Joe Hartley to new age students and teachers!

One thing which came out very clearly during the panel discussion held during the Worldwide Education and Research Conference 2008 is that the learning methodologies and principals are changing everywhere in the world. Education is getting more and more into collaborative learning and sharing of knowledge and resources. So to sum it up, I did a quick interview of Joe Hartley (for those who don't know,  he is the Vice President -Government, Education and Healthcare for Sun Microsystems). Even though being hard pressed with his busy schedule took out time for two quick questions at the end of the day. Thanks to my fellow ambassador Sergay, we recorded the interview. And here is what he would advice to the students and teachers of today who would have to take up the burden of transition from the classic style "leacture based, half duplex learning" to "full duplex, community based collaborative learning." Watch the video:

Open up.. or Close down!!

Things are getting good to great at Worldwide Education and Research Conference 2008! I got a chance to interview Mr. Zack Urlocker, (for those who don't know, Zack is the Executive Vice President - Products, for MySQL) the dynamic leader of MySQL! Earlier in the evening, Zack was on the panel of "Enabling Communities" along with Barry Libert, the famous author of We are Smarter Than Me, and Michael Keller who is the University Librarian and Director of Academic Information Resources at Stanford University. For everyone in the hall, the session was so informative that I could as well call it an "Eye Opener".

In the interview, Zack told me many things about the business model around open source. Everyone knows that the best business model is that model in which each of its component are in a win-win situation. Zack very well justified how open source is exactly the same kind of model where every one is in a win-win!


Personally, I always felt that the way businesses around the globe are migrating towards the collaborative model for production and distribution, and with collaboration tools becoming more and more common amongst the internet users, the day is not far when everything will have to move towards the collaborative model. And after talking to Zack I'm even more convinced that if someone would like to remain close and try to make money the traditional way, then for them might be its a good time to take the message - either "Open Up" or, sorry to say but, "Close Down"!

 Watch the video for more!

Monday Feb 18, 2008

GLOSS LAB SESSIONS - Getting the feel!

Feb is a hectic month with so many works to do!! But then, GLOSS is always good at finding quality time with latest technologies! :) So on Saturday 16th of FEB, I organized a Lab Session for GLOSS where the agenda was really tight! OpenSolaris-Netbeans-Web technologies with PHP and MySQL!! We had more 5 hours at hand so I thought we can complete everything but then.. People loved Solaris so much that I had to show it to all for more than 2 hours!! Then we came to using netbeans!! Almost everyone here at SASTRA, who had attended my demo on Netbeans last month was asking for a Lab session on netbeans to get an hands on experience! So when netbeans arrived,everyone was very happy!!

With 50 odd students, that too, curious students, conducting a lab session is never easy! But then we all enjoyed the session. Starting from 9:00 AM (On a Saturday its really early!) we all continued to fiddle with the Sun technologies till almost 2:30 PM!! At the end of all, came the time for the GLOSS monthly awards. This time we had two winners. Harish of first year ICT for making the GLOSS logo and Kishore Krishnan for his participating on the GLOSS discussion forum. Kishore was not there to receive his t-shirt, but Harish got his OpenSolaris Coffee mug!


But in these five hours, we could do only OpenSolaris and netbeans, that too, partly. Web-technologies, which I had to include on public demand, I had to push to next day! And Yes.. folks were all ready to come on a Sunday!! :)

So next day, on Sunday 17 Feb, we all assembled in Chit Vihar classroom 302, for a session to discuss further on Open Solaris and Web-technologies . From 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM, I spoke about how Internet works and the underlying technologies. Then we discussed how OpenSolaris came into being and how and where it is used. Everyone seemed to be impressed with OpenSolaris!! :) At the end of it, I counducted a small quiz. And we had three winners winning the exclusive Sun Pens!




Though it was just a pen which they won (Of course it has a Sun logo on it, and everyone wanted a picture with Sun logo seen clearly in the picture :) ), but the winners were happy! The reason is simple. They were happy because they won! Winners are always happy and Winning is always a pleasure!

 I wish that members of GLOSS continue to win and keep getting themselves deep into the habit of WINNING! :)

Saturday Jan 05, 2008

OpenSource on a new roll!

GLOSS started with a bang in the new year 2008!

We started it with a seminar on C, C++, JAVA, and how to program in these languages using netbeans! And the response was good! We had 60 people coming up to attend the seminar at 9 O'clock in the morning on a Saturday... I appreciate that! It turned out to be a long seminar as I expected it to be but everyone sounded interested! And at the end of it, everybody agreed that Gloss will achieve its target of becoming the largest single student powered developers community in the country!

In the seminar, what we discussed first was what programming is all about, and then we took up C. Moving ahead, we discussed Object oriented programming and then took up C++ and Java. The objective was to let the audience know the basic principles of programming common to all languages. Most of the attending students where first year and second year students, (surprizingly most of them where NOT from computer science or related deciplines!)

And then came mother of all.. I did a demo on netbeans, and the response what I got is best summed up in the phone call which i recieved from one of the students later in the evening. He said.. "From the moment i have seen netbeans, I'm desparate to get my hands on it. Can I have a copy of it please!" :)


I'm sure soon everyone is going to be a fan of netbeans! After all its the best IDE in the world!


And the good news is, from this semester on, we will be making seminars like this a weekly ritual ;) So there is going to be more like this to come..!! :)

Visit the Gloss official blog on 

And.. Wishing you all a very happy, successful and prosperous new year 2008!



I am Abhishek and I work for Sun/Oracle! In this blog, I share my interest in systems, solaris, linux and other technologies :-)


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