Mangalore minidebconf day 1

Hi all,
This would be a slightly longish post about minidebconf1 even though there are many things which I have forgotten already about the minidebconf.

Woke up early morning but didn’t want to disturb Pavi as both of us had slept late. Wanted to explore the place but for some reason decided not to venture too much outside, just did my morning stuff and went early to have tea. Had tea and breakfast and came back to still find Pavi sleeping. Wanted to wake him up but thought better of it as it indeed had been lateish (something like 4 a.m.) when both of us had slept.

Anyways, after Pavi had a quick shower and did his things both of us went to see what was up.In the schedule it was Ritesh Raj Saraf who was supposed to give a ‘Free Software / Debian Philosophy and Design Merits’ -a generic topic but because he hadn’t come due to some constraints Pavi had stepped up with his ‘Openstreetmap’ OSM talk but that would be taking the next day.

Hence didn’t do much that day but attend Jonas’s Freedombox talk. The sense I got from the talk was that Jonas very intentionally made the whole thing about Freedombox very vague. He didn’t want to talk about what ‘is’ than rather ask ‘what could be ?’ which I think was talking too far ahead. He did showcase a plug similar to the sheevaplug or one of the many similar kind of products but didn’t go either into actual details of what it can do or where it could be useful so people couldn’t really get into it.

The plug with freedombox sticker - linuxcandy

I think the big problem is framing what it could do or how it could help in our country. One of the downers is/was that the plug itself costs something around 10k, even with mass production or what not even if it were to be around Rs. 5k/- it still would be expensive.

From my perspective, what would be interesting is even if we could have cheap, easy and open small local intelligent Wi-Fi system for e.g. it would open up so many schools, hospitals, remote areas. It would do everything, right from giving dynamic IP Addresses to routing things, security, everything, a sort of mega-server. Even if it was able to do it for say something like 10-15 computers/dumb terminals lot of people would be in business but that is just one idea.

I do know that in India at least there is scope in the 4k odd villages that we have and its going to take a real looooooong time if we were to attempt to connect them in the conventional way, not to say of vested people and groups who would like the control to be able to shut the information flow off when it suits them.I don’t really want to go into the Kapil Sibal issue but much has been really happening after the IT Act which is NOT nice.

Anyways, going forward the rest of the day was okish, really felt the humidity and the heat but then slowly the evening was upon us and we all were there for mugshots. After that we came back to the guesthouse, had dinner and then me, Pavi and Dominick went for a night out. This was also good for Pavi as he used the time to trace our journey on his phone which he could use for his presentation the following day.It was quite an adventure as there were virtually no lights if what we were on could be called as ‘roads’. Anyways we had fun and went to sleep early around 2 a.m. Thereby concluding day 1 of Mangalore debconf.

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