[gnulinuxinasia] INDIA: GNU/LinuxinIndia * April 25, 2004

  • From: "Frederick Noronha (FN)" <fred@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: gnulinuxinasia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 14:30:50 +0530 (IST)

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   Formerly LinuxInIndia * Compiled by: Frederick Noronha * Apr 25 2004
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        Patents and copyrights are totally different, and the way to help
        people understand them is never to mix them up or lump them
        together.... Software patents bring nothing to our community except
        danger. I am glad that Red Hat is getting some patents to use to
        defend against Microsoft's patents.  (I hope Red Hat never turns
        around to use them for aggression.) But the only help these patents
        give us is to block part of the danger of patents -- and only part
        of it! They have no positive effect. Taken all together, the patents
        do not play any role in the vitality of our community. Most patents
        threaten us, and a few may partly defend us from the threat of the
        rest.  We would be much better off if nobody had any software
        patents.

        India has wisely refused to allow software patents.  Every supporter
        of free software in India should be helping to support that policy. 
        Would you please help?  Please don't invite people to lump together
        a hypothetical future Indian law (software patents) that can kill
        our community and an existing Indian law (copyright) that has no
        such power.  -- Richard M Stallman <rms at gnu.org>

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FROM BANGALORE, Kartik N <kartikn79 at symonds.net> sent out a recent
reminder about plans for April's BLUG (Bangalore Linux Users' Group) meet,
which was held on April 23. The agenda focussed on talks on filesystems in
GNU/Linux (by Arun) and the CD file system features (by Sreekiran). BLUG
meets usually take place between 6 to 8 pm at Hotel Ashraya International
Infantry Road, Opposite Police Commissioner's Office, Phone : +91 (80)
2262921. Map - http://linux-bangalore.org/images/ashraya-map.png

Cover charge is Rs.100 per person (includes dinner). More details at:
http://linux-bangalore.org/meetings/200404/
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LOCALISATION LIST from Bangalore is at http://lli.linux-bangalore.org
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GNUS GRAZING @ BANGALORE: Fans of the Free Software movement meanwhile
announced a meeting at Bangalore. It was called on Sunday, April 18 at the
unearthly hour of 10 am (no offence meant, I'm usually fast asleep by then).
The rendezvous-point was in front of Gangaram's Bookstore on MG Road.
Difficult to miss. You could get more details via Fsf-friends mailing list
Fsf-friends@xxxxxxxxxxxxx http://mm.gnu.org.in/mailman/listinfo/fsf-friends

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AFFORDABLE CDs ARE AVAILABLE VIA MAIL-ORDER FROM swathantra software
<s2s2@xxxxxxxxx> One recent email announced that available CDs included: *
CD with more than 2000 HOWTOs just for 100 Rupees (Learn more about server
setup, programming, kernel, network, installation, adminstration,
troubleshooting, and more.) * Other popular distributions also available
RedHat 7.1(2 CDs), 7.3, 8, 9 -set of 3 CDs Rs 120 Redhat 7.3,8 single CD
with autoinstallation (GLUE CD) Rs.60 * Fedora Core 1 set of 3 CDs Rs 120 *
Mandrake 9.2 set of 3 CDs Rs.150 * Mandrake 10-set of 3 CDs Rs.180 * K12LTSP
(a popular distro with terminal server and a lot of educational softwares)
set of 4 CDs Rs.250 * GISMorphix Rs.100 * Knoppix 3.3 (Debian) single live
CD Rs.70 (HD installation possible) * OpenOffice 1.1, Mozilla 1.5, Mozilla
Firebird 0.7 (Linux/WIndows) Rs 80. Shipping charges extra as applicable.
(Rs 20 by courier, Rs 10 by ordinary parcel). 

Send demand draft in favour of Swathanthra Software Solutions and Support
payable at Kannur (Kerala) or money order. Or contact by email or phone
Sujeevan, Swathantra Software Solutions & Support (S2S2), 33, Brigade
Center, Gr Floor, Nr Prabhat Building, Fort Rd, Kannur 670001 Kerala Phone:
Off 0497-2761182 Res: 0497-2790811 Cell :9447449107 Email: s2s2<at>linux.net
Web site http://www.s2s2net.netfirms.com
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        GET A FREE linux.net email address: http://linux.net
        Powered by Linare Corporation http://www.linare.com/
        Check the Chennai link...
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CONGRATULATIONS, CRV: Radhakrishnan aka CVR <cvr at river-valley.org>
recently announced his marriage to Vidya, "my long time friend and colleague
for a decade". The big-day was April 18, 2004. The marriage was marked by
what CVR calls "a very simple function attended by our family members and
closest friends alone". Take a peek at http://tug.org/~cvr/knot/
Congrats to this longtime champion of TeX and the Tug User Group down south.
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FROM THE PHILIPPINES GNU/Linux mailing list (see details or subscribe at
http://lists.q-linux.com/mailman/listinfo/plug-misc ) Holden Hao <holden at
philonline.com.ph> writes in to say: "Linux For You is a great magazine. 
Anybody know if this is already available in the Philippines?" Here's hoping
India can meet the potential when it sees it!
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KDE, KPPP AND INTERNET DIALERS: Guntupalli Karunakar <karunakar at
freedomink.org> is working on the KDE live CD, and is planning to have kppp
("the cool KDE Internet dialer") to include some prominent ISPs across India
configured for it -- e.g. VSNL, BSNL (Sancharnet), Satyam, etc. Says he: "I
need their dialup numbers and any other setting that are used for them.
Ideally you one could just send me /home/user/.kde/share/config/kppprc (of
course with the username / password removed ). We will have an internet
dialup icon on desktop or panel, clicking which will make the kppp dialog to
come up. All the user would then need to do is select his ISP number and
give the username and password, and dial. At present it would work with
external modems only." Please do help, if you can!
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THIS NOTE IS FROM INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST Frederic Dubois <frederic at
cmaq.net> of Montreal in Canada who says: " I have written an article on
free software in India and Canada. You can read it at:
http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.shtml?sh_itm=3d9755aef06d3654ab98d07488
e37a5a&r=1 There is also a discussion happening in the babble section:
http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=31&t=000211 "
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WANNA BUY A SIMPUTER? Check this note from S D Sudarsan, a member of the
senior research staff at the CRL-BEL in Bangalore <sudarsan_crl@xxxxxxxxx>
who informs: "I've been receiving enquiries on buying Simputers from BEL.
The contact details are as below:

  Deepak Kumar MMF Division Bangalore Complex Bharat Electronics Limited
  Jalahalli PO Bangalore - 560 013 Tel: 080-23618184 Cell: 98800 88396

As I understand the lowest model is below 10K and goes upto 20K for the
Amida Simputer. You can contact Mr Sudarsan at crl-bel bangalore - 560013
tel: 080-28381125/26/27 fax: 080-28381168 sdsudarsan at crl.bel.co.in or
sudarsan_crl at yahoo.com
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        QUOTE... UNQUOTE: We in India have a Vision 2020... Can we reach
        there by keeping security holes in the armour? Don't we need to have
        some IndLix, Bhartix or Tricolix, duly certified by (computing
        institutions like) NCST, C-DAC etc that will work for the whole of
        country and sort out the interoperability issues also along with it?
        -- J.S. Sandha CEO Jagriti e-Sewa (www.jagriti.com) Jalandhar
        098141-84878 <jsandha at vsnl.net>
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HERE'S SOME MORE GOOD NEWS courtesy Tarun Kant <tarunkant at linux.net> who
says: Mandrake Linux is available in 66 languages and Hindi is one of them.
Check out the following link and you will be pleasently surprised:
http://www.mandrakelinux.com/l10n/hi.php3 To know about what other languages
are supported check out: http://www.mandrakelinux.com/l10n/translations.php3

[ Dr Kant is a scientist at the Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding Division,
Arid Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur http://www.geocities.com/bobkant/ ]
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THREE CHEERS TO KERALA: This input is from linux_schools at yahoo.com
(Herald), who writes: Kerala is leading in Free/Libre and Open Source
Software front. 200 schools multiplied by 100 students on an average gives
20 thousand GNU/Linux users. Children are very curious and fast in
experimenting and learning new things. When they go home and talk about it,
the elders also will be automatically interested in checking what this
software is. Similarly the Engineering students will start getting interest
in Free Softwares.... In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh there are only the
private schools to harvest as the government ones have been captured by
Microsoft. Check  http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/linux_schools/

MAHESH T PAI added earlier: About  200  schools in  Malappuram  district
installed GNU/Linux. The driving force behind this initiative, AFAIK, is one
Mr. Sujeevan P, of an organisation called IIRC, S2S2.
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CHECK OUT THE linux-india-programmers mailing list
linux-india-programmers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/linux-india-programmers
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READER-RATED WEB-PAGES From Arun Sharma <arun at freebsd.org>, a message
that came in via the FreeBSD list: I've been experimenting with a new way of
separating the more interesting content on the web from the less interesting
ones. Mainly by using human intelligence.
http://www.sharma-home.net/software/vote/vote.html
If you find this interesting, you're welcome to download this small piece of
open source software and try it out. The more users there are, the more
useful this tool will be. The mozilla firefox extension requires you to
customize the toolbar and manually add the new button to the toolbar. It
takes about 5 mins for a new submission to show up on the results page.
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INTERESTED IN FREE BSD? Check out 
        http://www.bsd-india.org/mailman/listinfo/bsd-india
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SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVING GNU/LINUX: Shrave <shrave1 at yahoo.com> who does
much to keep active the mailing list
http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/blore-linux/ comments:

The following I feel are the top three areas that need to be addressed for
moving Linux into the massive consumer and small office markets.

        1) I would suggest students to try and target one critically
        important piece of the Linux desktop puzzle: USB synching of
        OpenOffice documents and a cross platform PIM such as Chandler. This
        would allow Linux notebooks and tablets to be deployed en masse in
        most Windows based offices. Market share would then likely be built
        very rapidly as the case with Palm Pilots and their USB connected
        strategy. With market share, follows developer support, and a
        relatively quick destruction of the Microsoft desktop monopoly.

        2) Adding a GOCR module to OpenOffice should be another high
        priority goal.  GOCR is the open source optical character
        recognition project (OCR). For those that are not familiar (with the
        concept), OCR is used to convert paper based documents into editable
        word processor documents using a scanner.  GOCR is currently command
        line-based, but works very well. Developing this into a GUI version
        that could become an optional add on module for OpenOffice would be
        very useful for small offices and home offices considering a Linux
        desktop. Unlike developers, most end users live in a sea of
        paper-based documents and adding a bridge to access these documents
        digitally allows businesses to go to Linux desktops much more
        confidently.

        3) Adding a photo-editing module to OpenOffice similar to Apple's
        iPhoto.  This would tend to really help in promoting uptake of
        OpenOffice and Linux desktops in consumer market.  Digital cameras
        are now outselling film cameras and this is going to get even more
        important in the next few years.
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INTERESTED IN FLOSS in Mangalore (coastal south-western India)? Find more
about us at http://www.linux-mangalore.org
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LOCALISATION NEWSLETTER: G Karunakar <karunakar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> who is the
IndLinux.org coordinator, says: 

        On behalf of the Localization community in India we are happy to
        bring out the first issue of the Localization Newsletter. Aim of
        this newsletter is to highlight localization activities based on
        Free/Libre and Open Source Software, present a complete picture, and
        to serve as a mouthpiece for all localization teams and their
        volunteers.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS ISSUE: * Headlines : Bengali, Punjabi supported languages
in Gnome 2.6, Hindi and Tamil supported in KDE 3.2
* In News Bits : PCQLinux2004 with Indic support, Devanagari & Gujarati
Opentype fonts, Mozilla build with Indic support.
* In Team Watch : Sayamindu Dasgupta speaking on Ankur Bangla project.

Read complete issue at http://www.indlinux.org/nl/nl150404.html A pdf of it
is available at http://www.indlinux.org/nl/nlvol1.pdf (238KB) Comments are
welcome, and can be mailed to the editorial team or posted on
http://www.indlinux.org/wiki/index.php/NewsletterFeedback If you would like
to recieve copy of newsletter regularly you can subscribe to the mailing
list http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/indlinux-news
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SOME MORE ON LOCALISATION: "Arky" <rakesh_ambati at yahoo.com> says:
Perhaps being children of lesser god we don't have such resources, yet
localization work is going at a good pace (see
http://www.indlinux.org/wiki/index.php?LocalizationNewsletter )

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        MADE IN INDIA, WELCOMED IN THE GULF: A comment from the Gulf region,
        where Manoj Menon <manojcmenon at yahoo.com> recently commented on
        the Linux-middleeast@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx newsgroup: 

        Linux based PDA for less than 1000 AED ... and best of all, its made
        in India.  http://www.amidasimputer.com
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QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ASSAMESE LANGUAGE: Jyotirmoy Saikia <jyotirmoy_saikia at
yahoo.com> of Picopeta, the Simputer guys in Bangalore, asks an interesting
query:

Can I type Assamese from Yudit using Inscript? Assamese and Bengali scripts
are same except two consonants: (i) Consonat RA (this is character U09F0 in
Assamese and character U09B0 in Bengali) (ii) Consonant VA (this is chracter
U09F1 in Assamese, which is equivalent of Devanagari character U0935). As
far as I know, there is no consonat VA in Bengali.

I have looked at the Open Type Akaash bengali font and found that the
characters U09FO and U09F1 are present in the font. But using the Inscript
keyboard layout for Bengali, I can't type these characters. I believe we
need a seperate Inscript keyboard map for Assamese. What is the suggestion
from other people in the group? Similarly, we'll need a Assamese keyboard
map for the Milan release also; am I wrong?

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OFFICIAL SUPPORT FOR LOCALISATION WORK? Jitendra Shah <jitendras at
vsnl.com> reports that it is now "certain" that he will be working from
C-DAC Mumbai (formerly NCST) on a Central Government Localisation project
with the objective of localising Free/Opensource (GNU/Linux) in indian
languages with three angles: development of localised software (OS and some
applications for SOHEdu), deployment, and building a community of developers
and users.

Says he: "I think the objective is broad enough." Sometime back, Shah
started the work with a volunteer team. "It is heartening to see that there
are souls in the government who can identify and support such noble causes
too. While I believe such work will have to be done by dedicated people
without a pre-condtion of government support, there can be no doubt that
progress can leapfrog when there is official backing, particularly when such
support includes support for community participation rather than excluding
it."

Shah has a team of "good people who may want to contribute". But he's also
looking out for others who could get involved and help. He adds: "Since the
work is at all three levels -- system level, application level and (only to
some extent) content level, many people can contribute." Shah and team have
also been working on the conversion of legacy documents to Unicode. 

He adds: "I am trying to convert the silos of legacy data from
ISFOC/Akruti/ShreeLipi/whathaveyou to unicode. This has been welcomed by the
(Maharashtra) State government as well as Central government and corporates.
I propose to use the programs to help generate sustainance for the
developers through services rendered and eventually all programs will be
free/open source. I have now converted the Rajya Sabha webpage into Hindi
and also IITBombay pages."

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  • » [gnulinuxinasia] INDIA: GNU/LinuxinIndia * April 25, 2004