Monday, May 18, 2009

Unlocking Young Minds - 2009

Our colleagues been able to do it again successfully after 2 years. This time I actually been able to contribute to the exhibition by organizing the Operating system section and helping the Open Source section which was next to our section. I take this opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU for Uthpala, Yoshan and 2 of the batch 7 brothers who did explanations to the curious attendees. Even though Me and Uthpala was supposed to work on OS and Open-source sections respectively, I got a chance of jumping in to FOSS section too. And I gladly remember my friend Uthpala and his great knowledge(Comparatively Superior to most of us) which helped me alot during the event. And so many thanks goes to the other friends(Nadeesha, Hayesha, Indika, Chinthaka, Prabath, Kawthisa, Chamile etc...ect...) who helped us in setting up the environment, spending their time and energy to make our section a success in this Exhibition. Karunaratne sir also tried his best to power up our section by providing extension codes from his room and it's no wonder since he's using Ubuntu in his Desktop. Thank you sir. I should respectfully remember the most dedicated pair, who worked to make this event a success Abekoon and Deneth. Without them it would be a nightmare for the faculty to do this event. And idea of having a section called OS and Open-Source software first put to the table by Deneth and Thanks alot for that too. Last but not least I should show my gratitude towards the people who came to our section asking various questions. Thanks everybody, you encouraged all of us.

So after this thanks giving, it is better to look back and talk about the experience we got, so it will help us to improve our self and others too. The fun part of involving in explaining stuff relating to OS and FOSS was multiplied by having a entire room for Microsoft stuff next to our room. The expectation of having a section called OS was to give a basic idea about Operating Systems and it functionalities. We been able to setup Minix, Solaris, FreeBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu and a Mac book as example of OS. Of course we deliberately drop Windows because it's already available in the preceding room. In FOSS section, the idea was to introduce Free Software and Open Source software which can be used in various platforms for various reasons and we tried to explain the differences between licenses also. For this section we setup three machines, including one XP box loaded with FOSS. Having these sections in one room is not a coincident. What we want was there are some other Operating Systems besides Windows and that is Linux.(Actually we promoted Linux very much rather than BSD or OpenSolaris. Ubuntu was the winning Distro). After these two sections, there were two other sections for examples of Open Source developments. Section for SAHANA project was conducted by Hayesha(one of the commiters of the project and one and only open source developer I personally know in our batch), and there was another project done using WSO2 WSF by two of our juniors.

There were many different people who came to our section after climbing 3 stories and finding our section in a dark corner after the Microsoft room. Before coming to our stall they have to resist the temptation of going to the Game stall, Microsoft stall and Turing back because they are too tired to watch any more. But there were many people who were willing to know stuff. I'm planning to write another post on what mistakes we made, what were most of the people were seeking for. And a comparison of Microsoft stall and our section activities.

Finally one of the great things to be heard after an event like this was heard by Yoshan during the technical session under the Topic of Information Security, which been held last evening of the exhibition.
The Presenter : (Asking from the audience..) You watched the exhibition right..? So which sections you did visit..
Audience : (Most of them had common answer) We went to the OS/FOSS section, we saw Linux, we saw Open Source.

What else you can expect better than this....