MozCoffeeBlr is on cloud 9!

What started as sessions primarily to energize the Mozilla developer community and update each other as to what works each one is involved with in the beginning, has now grown to become extremely purposeful in Bangalore.

MozCoffee Logo by Cosmin Stahiescu

What is MozCoffee? “This is a small scale informal meetup of up to 20 persons where a report is given of recent activities and upcoming projects of a community as well as get ideas and feedback from the general public. The idea for this event is to be easily reproducible and as frequent as possible, serving as a meeting point and reference event for local communities.” says the official wiki page. MozCofeeBlr v7.0 Well that’s exactly what happens at MozCoffeeBlr. This time around, we had a special surprise. For those who came in for version 7.0, it was a dream come true. Well for those who didn’t, hard luck. Three brand new Firefox OS keon devices (popularly known as geeksphones) were unboxed thanks to Galaxy who has been a constant Santa-Claus (though not yet Christmas time) for all of us!

Unboxing the devices!

Un-boxing the devices

“Ah, the smell of new phones!”, you must be wondering. I was particularly ecstatic because until now I had to run all my apps and never had tested an app on an actual Firefox OS phone. Now I had the chance to really understand how my app’s users feel. We all sat together and immediately started hacking on the three available devices. Kaustav  and Deb showed us the trips and tricks about how to push our apps on the devices.

Can't get enough of the new phones. ;)

Can’t get enough of the new phones. 😉

We went on to discuss about the various plans for the launch of Firefox OS in India which is anytime soon.  Considering that the Web Maker month has officially started, plans were made to conduct maker Maker Party in Bangalore.  All in all, it was a great MozCoffee once again and every time such events happen, it feels great to be a Mozillian and renews hope in the entire FOSS culture.

Getting my hands on the new device

And yes, I finally got my hands on it!

 

PS: For more pictures, click here. A word of caution, they might make you jealous!

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Boot Camp to Mozilla

It’s been a while. But like they say, “Better late than never!”. The concept of the Mozilla Foundation has always fascinated me, in terms of it’s approach to make the “web” more open and friendly to both developers and users. My first interaction with the Moz community  was at the FSMK’s Summer Camp at JVIT(Maker Party). There were couple of interesting things that struck me, one was the FirefoxOS device and the other was that the whole community was a huge open source enthusiast.

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Poster. Courtesy, Sandesh Gade

Can you believe almost 40% of an actual phone’s operating system being written by developers and volunteers like you and me? Mind-boggling, right! It was then that the idea to boot a Firefox club at college took shape in mind. After a good round of discussions with the interested lot, we thought the time had come to join the party.

It was on the 28th of February and with a whooping registrations of about 150 people, we were ready to host the show on the big day. I have no doubt that the amazing poster for the said event had a huge role to play in gathering people. Frankly, it was my maiden attempt to cater to such a huge crowd and without the help of Sadesh Gade and Arjav Jain ( co-club leads) it wouldn’t have been as cool as it was.

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Mr. Galaxy’s talk on Firefox and FSA

Let’s get to the specifics then. We were honored to have midst us, Mr. Galaxy Kadiyala a Mozilla Rep Mentor who gave us a brilliant insight into Mozilla Foundation as an organization. About the FSA( Firefox Student Ambassador Program), the various Webmaker tools and it’s activities, his presentation was brilliant. There were a lot of questions about why Firefox, and what’s there in it for grad students which were answered with much passion by him.

That was followed by a presentation on FirefoxOS by Sandesh and Abhiram.  It included an insight into the basic structure of a Firefox App, it’s architecture and applications. There was a huge round of applause and enthusiasm when it was announced that people were eligible to get a Firefox OS device if they successfully push an app to the marketplace. By the way, the Firefox Marketplace is the one-place store for all apps for the FirefoxOS device. Next was the App-demo of TRVLR, a simple travel app so as to show the various features provided by the OS.

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Sandesh and Abhiram’s app-demo of TRVLR

Like any Mozilla event, swags were given to all those who took part. With the PESITBSC Firefox Club, officially booted looking forward to many more events in the coming days! And I’m sure each one will be unique.

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Mozillians!

Like the Facebook page here for all updates.

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Adios from the organizing team! From left to right: Arjav , Siddharth, Galaxy, Sandesh and Abhiram

A *spark* has ignited! [Re-post from abhirocksvb.blogspot.com]

My first association with open-source software, though unknown was in the summer of my 7th grade. I was spending my summer holidays in my cousin’s place. At a time when smart phones weren’t so popular and Pokemon cartoons were still a rage, my knowledge of the computers was minimal. My cousin, who was doing his engineering at that point had this archaic desktop at home and I wanted to catch up on my favorite songs over the internet. So I thought it’s just another PC and powered ON the system. Well, what happened next was the shock of my life!

Kubuntu

Courtesy: KLab

Instead of the traditional Windows symbol and its trademark start up sound, there was some weird purple color text saying “Kubuntu”. And on the desktop, there was nothing. No icons, no task bar, literally nothing. Most importantly, no start button either. I had no idea what it was ! Moreover I thought I had messed up with the system and entered my panic mode. I didn’t know what to do, whether to tell my cousin about this or just let it go. Like most of us in our pressure situations, I took a deep breath, switched OFF the mains and returned to my room. Later in the night, I peeked into my cousin’s room. The comp geek was coding away. I was relieved that I hadn’t messed up with his PC! Well that was my very first peep into the world of FOSS. though I didn’t know it then.

UbuntuCourtesy: wikiUbuntu


Time passed and I never bothered to ask my cousin about what Kubuntu was or to look it up on the net. On the third day of my 2nd semester at college, I was in for a huge shock. It was my C language lab session and I was expecting the blue Borland Turbo C compiler in my lab which I was very fond of! I power on the my PC and it gave me 5 versions of Ubuntu to boot up with. I was completely lost. Then started the barrage of terminal commands, vi editor commands and the like which mostly went over my head. Even then I didn’t understand the essence of open-source software and took it as another bag of load to learn! I wanted Ubuntu on my laptop and was very apprehensive that Windows7 might take a beating if I didn’t install it properly. Then there came up the *Ubuntu Installation Fest* in my college, organized by Plug-In. Trust me, before that I hadn’t even heard of the glug in my college. It was the day when I was exposed to Free Software Movement Karnataka and about FOSS in general.  The event was a huge success and Ubuntu 12.04 was finally up and running on my system. So far, so good! That day was just the start for many more good days to come!


I was curious to know more about the FSMK and free software technologies in general. The opportunity presented itself in the form of Swataha – 13 (a national level fest) in the month of April this year. I attended the inaugural sessions where people spoke with passion and I could see their commitment to the cause. They were truly inspirational I should say. And the activities undertaken by the GLUG-PESCE within 3-4 months was remarkable and surely deserves an applause. The Drupal workshop I had registered for was my first software related workshop and it was really interesting and inspiring to work on. Well, we don’t really like to do the hard work do we? After the workshop, I wanted to set up Drupal on my laptop but failed to do it. And thus my experiments with free software were shelved for two months. Nevertheless I was still using Ubuntu, exploring and compiling my lab programs.

FOSSCredits : LinuxForum

One fine day I got an update from FSMK saying there was a Summer Industry Orientation Workshop during the last week of my second semester holidays. Since I didn’t have any plans and was genuinely interested to learn something, I signed up for it! This was before the exams began. During the exams I got a reminder call from Raghuram saying that I’m yet to pay the fee.  All my friends were making vacation plans – tours, movies, sleepovers what not! I called up a few of my friends to see if they’d be interested in attending and thank god, one of them readily agreed. I needn’t really tell what happened at the workshop cause some of my new-found friends have illustrated that very well on their own blogs. But I will say this one thing for sure – The 9-day session literally changed my perception of life! I learnt what it means to share, to help and contribute to something worthy not just because you gain money out of it. There are more important things than money, and I’m pretty sure money can’t buy you that. Credit, selfless service and recognition are some of those. I needn’t mention the dedication of the core members and the volunteers over there. The energy they bring into the movement deserves a standing ovation. When I look into each of them, they give me hope to achieve something worthwhile in life. Moving further, I’ve become an integral part of Plug-In GLUG in my college. Meeting like-minded people, putting forth your ideas, sharing them, and in the whole process, learning again! The start to this journey has been incredible!

Yes, the *spark* in me has ignited and this time I’m very sure it won’t die.