Software Freedom Day @ TCE for the fifth consecutive year! FStival 08

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Ever since SFI started celebrating Software Freedom day every year in 2004, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, has been celebrating it as FStival (Free Software festival). This is the fifth straight year that FStival has been conducted in our college, which is a Free Software hub in southern Tamil Nadu.

As a part of FStival, we organize demo stalls on various Free Software tools and people from various walks of life from in and around Madurai visit and get benefited. This year we had demo stalls on:

  1. Free Software philosophy

  2. Emacs

  3. Vi

  4. LaTeX

  5. OpenOffice

  6. MySQL

  7. OpenSolaris

  8. PostgreSQL

  9. LAMP web stack

  10. LAPP web stack

  11. Drupal and Mambo

  12. GIMP

  13. Blender

  14. GTK Glade

  15. Live Distros

  16. GCC

  17. Debuggers

  18. Subversion and Trac

  19. Compiz-fusion

  20. Multimedia and Games

  21. Ubuntu installation

  22. Bluefish editor

  23. Distro burning

  24. TCENet portal

  25. *nix commands

  26. Linux day to day

  27. Internet tools

I conducted a stall on OpenSolaris and handled a couple of installation sessions of Ubuntu Linux. My friends S.Anugraha, G.R. Karthik and Venkatachalam helped me a lot. A million thanks to them.

We had Mr. Kamesh Jayachandran from CollabNet who works on Subversion. He is the first Indian full committer to the subversion code base. He played a great role in the development of the ‘Merge tracking’ feature included in the latest Subversion 1.5. We also had the esteemed presence of Mr. Joe Steeve, an alumnus of the college and a passionate free software enthusiast. He is the founder of Free Software clubs in the college. Both these distinguished guests enlightened a packed auditorium on Free software and Subversion. Mr. Kamesh Jayachandran inspired us by telling us about his growth in the Free Software industry.

There were about 400 visitors from various walks of life including students from various academic institutions in and around Madurai. They were very much impressed by what they saw and learnt a lot so that they can create an awareness about Free software in their places.

The surprise guest who visited FStival 08 was Dr. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller of DRDO, who was very much impressed with FStival 08 and had words of praise and encouragement for us.

We also played throughout the day, a video of Richard M Stallman, the man who started it all, talking about Software Freedom. That enigmatic and inspirational video would have surely converted many into Free Software users.

FStival 08 was a grand success and left the visitors, participants and organizers craving for more of it and looking forward to the next FStival.

The complete set of snaps from FStival 08 is available at

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