Saturday, February 28, 2009

What is FOSS? Why FOSS?

FOSS is 'Free & Open Source Softwares.'
After reading about this, the question arises : What does this 'Free' means? and What is Open Source?
This 'Free' is not 'Free' as 'Free Beer'. Free means Freedom. There is a person called 'RMS'( Richard Stallman) idol of all free software people, who has defined four types of freedoms for softwares.
  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study and modify the program.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

Freedoms 1 and 3 require source code to be available because studying and modifying software without its source code is highly impractical.

Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose: this means the software could be run for training purpose, educational purpose, commercial purpose or just for R&D purpose. There is no restriction on this.

Freedom 1: The freedom to study and modify the program: this means that, one can study the program flow, can study the logic & can also add some piece of code to make it better. Can add more functionality into the program.

Freedom 2: The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor: this means, we can share the program with our friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors etc.

Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits: this means, after studying & modifying the program we can release the improvements for other people to make use of it. This will improve the quality of program, also we'll get credit for the piece of code that we have written, at the same time, the person who has written original code will also retain his credits.

Open Source, is business model of Free Software, where we can charge the customer for some service or customization of the software.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Why Should I Use Linux?

Every human being has its own existence in this world !!!

We have curiosity about life, we want to know things..
Remember when we were child, or just watch a child playing with his/her toys. What does it do?? Suppose you gave a toy-car to a boy no doubt he'll be happy, he'll play with it.. But for how long? Within 2/3 days he wants to know more about the car.. He is never happy with just sliding the car to you, thus .. he adds some obstacle to its path, he'll through it (in IT our language he'll test the car to the best of his knowledge). Then one day he'll broke the car & see exactly what is there inside it!!!
Isn't this true?
Consider a baby girl playing with her barbi doll.
She'll play with her for few days, then she would like to change her gadgets. She'll change her hairbands, handbags, shoes, cloths etc..

Imagine of a company who says "You cannot make changes to the toy purchased from us without our permission". Would you ever buy any such toy to your kids??

We purchase bike or car of our choice. Then we add reflectors, seat covers, horn, indicators, numberplate, side stand, side guards etc. of our choice.
Why do we do these things?
- Because we are humans, our natural tendency is to learn the things, experience the things. We are not donkeys who do not bother of whether 50 kg of mud it is carrying or 50 kg of gold!!!
We want to know about things around us.
If we stop a kid from breaking its toys & asking questions about it, the kid cannot gain knowledge.

Suppose one day i am driving on a highway with my friends & my car tyre bursts!!!! What are my immediate action?
  1. Search for a garage nearby
  2. if no garage available take help of your friend to change the tyre
  3. if friends cannot help take help of some vehicle passing nearby
  4. in worst case try to change the tyre yourself.
If a company says i cannot/shouldn't change the tyre (because i have signed such license when i purchased my car) instead i should call the company, who will attend the call as soon as they finish their current task (serving other people in queue)..
Would i wait for them to come?? Don't i have something meaningful to do rather than waiting for them? So would i ever want to purchase a car of such a company again???

But why are we forgetting same things when we become mature??
Why do we not want to break our operating system & see what is exactly inside it??
Why do we not want to solve small bugs ourselves rather than waiting for the company to release next patch??

Or some of us want to do this.. but they are caught into licensing!!!!!!!

If you are one of these unlucky people caught into licensing of your operating system,
PLEASE use Linux!!!!!
This is the reason I AM USING LINUX!!!
This is the reason why You should use Linux..

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gmail was down for 2.5 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it guys????
Many would say am i kidding or what.. But this is true.

Gmail went offline for 2.5 hours on Tuesday, around at 2.00pm(Indian time). 'Gmail' one of the most popular email service in the world which has 110 million users.
"The outage itself lasted approximately two and a half hours from 0930 GMT. We know that for many of you this disrupted your working day. We're really sorry about this ... our engineers are still investigating the root cause of the problem," said Acacio Cruz, Gmail site reliability manager.

This affected most of the gmail users throughout the world, especially users from India & Europe.

Google has apologized for this mess. Many users reflected about this mess on twitter

For more information click, here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar & Indians

“Slumdog Millionaire” won 8 Oscar Awards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jai ho!!!

The Indian king of music has won 2 Oscars.. One for original score and Another for original song..

The another Indian Resul Pookutty won Oscar for the same movie in ‘best sound mixing’ category.

This is really golden day for Indian Film Industry!!

But.. the controversy is with the word “Slumdog”, many people many views.. Everyone has a different angle to look at things. What i think is: people living in slum area are not dogs.. If the intentions of the writer are not to call them dogs but to show their problem & the treatment they are getting, then we all should be Ok with it.

Laptop in Rs.1000/- ????

Does it look possible?

At least not to me, until i read this news.

Government of India has allocated Rs 5,000 crore for education mission through ICT, so that students of all professional-science programmes could own their own laptops.

Later after few days i heard that these laptops are having only few files in it, which will be used by students for their study purpose. If this is true then its just a calculator with some memory…

I am waiting for real news to come & also waiting for actual price & configuration of laptop..

I remember something like “Desktop in Rs.10,000/-” project Indian government, that was really BAD..

It was a p3 computer with over-clocked processor

Mark Cuban is Funding Open Source Entrepreneurs

I think, this is right time to start any business because you don’t have anything to loose. Whatever customers you will be getting is your plus point & of course if you can survive in this recession period you’ll definitely bounce back with next boom..

I came across this great blog regarding Funding for Open Source business

So, if you think you have some idea which can be transfered into a big business go ahead & put you business plan to Mark’s blog.

There are certain conditions like

  • Business should be Open Source
  • Break even in 60 days & profitable in 90 days
  • Mark keeps all rights to fund a business or stop funding at all etc..

There are some more conditions, which you’ll find on his blog. Obviously there are hundreds of people submitting their business plans. I am waiting to see how many of them actually get funding & whether this creates some good companies.

Steve Jobs on leave..

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is on sick leave till June 2009!!!

What could be impact of this news in such a critical time??
Will this affect share market of Apple & all dependent companies?
Will this give a new leader to Apple??
Can he increase iPod sell? or increase desktop market for Mac?

BJP uses Open Source Softwares

This is a very good move by Bhartiy Janta Party in India, that they have started using Open Source Softwares in their party office.

Even they have decided to implement wi-fi connectivity & IP video telephony for their offices. They are using ubuntu desktops in their Delhi headquarters. I was in Delhi with my friend Amit from 3rd to 9th Jan, that time we heard of this news & planed to visit BJP office, we even got permission to visit the office using some of Amit’s contact, but at the last moment there was some urgent meeting in that office & due to security reasons we could not visit the office.

But i must say Mr. L. K. Adwani’s IT-consultant is a wise man, who has saved a lot of software money for BJP. Also they have got better quality softwares than proprietary ones.

With this BJP has surely one step ahead of all other parties in catching attention of IT community of India. I am a Linux user and i frequently get a link to Mr. L K Advani’s website whenever i am accessing mails related to FOSS or Linux, from my google account (sponsored link).

I think, each and every political party in world should take some tips from Mr. Obama to make effective use of internet for gaining popularity over internet. I am looking forward to see all the political parties in India start using & promoting FOSS.

Here the list of softwares used by BJP :

Function Chosen software
Server Virtualization OpenVZ and Vtonf
Router + Firewall + VPN Vyatta
Unified Threat Management Untangle
HTTP Accelerator Varnish
Proxy Server Squid
Digital Repository ePrints
Email Qmail, Courier Imap and Squirrelmail
Instant Messaging OpenFire plus Spark
Video and Voice Telephony Asterisk, Hylafax
Mailing List Ezmlm
Security Camera Management ZoneMinder
Identity Management Fedora Directory Server
Web Content Management Joomla!
Remote WAN-based Backup VZDump and rSync
Storage Area Network OpenFiler
Network Management Zenoss

Its About Recession Again….

In my previous blogs i have mentioned about some points regarding recession from industry point of view..
But what about Freshers (Students)?
Some of them even don’t know understand seriousness of this whole thing?
For those who understand this, What i think they should do is… try to grab any job opportunity comes in front of them, try to get maximum knowledge & experience they can.. So that when market will gain its good position again they’ll be position to negotiate hard with companies.. Also each fresher/student must do something ‘Extra’ to get in focus.. If they have something ‘Extra’ than their colleagues, they are through else not.
Generally what IT students lack is “Domain Knowledge”. Most of them do not have Domain Knowledge of any industry, this is where non-IT people with good logic get jobs in place of a better skilled IT person. Many IT students think that they would be hired because they have Good Marks in exam & Good Coding skills.. But they should understand that coding is just one stage of SDLC(Software Development Life Cycle)..
I have seen many mechanical & production engineers getting jobs only because they have domain knowledge of their field.
So, be aware IT Student.. instead of enjoying your holidays this year make use of them to get some domain knowledge & ’something’ extra than your colleagues.. Otherwise you’ll not be a part of race..

Linux For Education

Linux is the best thing to be taught to kids while they are into schools. Specially children between 5 to 18 years.

Linux is very logical in operating, has very meaningful GUI. But still people find it difficult to use Linux.. Why?? The reason is they are habitual of using Windows for years, they expect certain buttons & windows at certain places which is many times not at all relevant.

KDE has taken a step forward to this & has launched a education project “The KDE Education Project” ( Ubuntu also has “Edubuntu” (Educational ubuntu as a special distro.

Here parents, teachers, students can use the softwares, copy them, distribute them, modify them & thus make most use of the IT. Modifying & distributing the software increases confidence of all of them, plus it is good diet for brains of children. This does not kill the curiosity of kids in their early age by not modifying the code & playing with it very roughly..

In India, Maharashtra Government has made a very wrong decision by making a course MS-CIT compulsory for all government jobs. With this they are helping a company to build their brand which is of no use, also the course fees & royalty to the company is another issue.. Instead they should have gone for Open Office which is a Free & Open Source software, much more powerful than MS-Office.
All of you do have a look at “Edubuntu” & “The KDE Education Project”. Edubuntu has a Gnome GUI whereas KDE project has a KDE GUI.

But both the products are amazing & very useful for students.

How to tackle cost-cutting in IT due to Recession..

Whole world is facing problems due recession in IT field. IT companies, IT professionals, IT students, share brokers, investors, IT dependent services & industries are going through hard time. Everywhere we can see cost cutting these days.

In India, things are better in product companies than service companies. I heard there is cost cutting in all possible things like employee salary, canteen, AC, electricity usage, extra resources(human), hiring freshers instead of high paying employees, unproductive people, stationary usage ( even i heard some companies are doing cost cutting in toilet papers ).

But what is the way to do tackle this problem?? Is this type of cost cutting is the solution to tackle this problem..? of course not.. What companies should really do is to start using Open Source products, which will save lots of money forever.. There are very good Free & Open Source products available in market which are better than proprietary products & still much cheaper than them. Only thing is people either do not know about these products or they have some misunderstandings about them. e.g. Linux (a Free & Open Source Operating System), people still think that Linux is very hard to use, it does not have a good GUI etc.. but fact is Compiz & Beryl (3D Desktop) in Linux can do many more things than other operating systems in its class.

There are many other Free & Open Source softwares which can be used for PMS (Project Management System), CRM (Customer Relation Management), CMS (Content Management System), Office suite, Email Clients, Messengers etc. These are available for free, they can be customized with respect to requirement & industry type. They are Free to distribute, tied under GPL licensing.

There is ample help available over internet about this, there are lot many consultants who can help in using and implementing Free & Open Source softwares.

So, if Companies, Educational Institutes, Banks, Government, Schools etc. in a developing country like India can switch to Free & Open Source softwares, a large amount of money can be saved & invested into some meaningful R&D.

Job Loss in US…

A report says, approximately 159000 jobs were lost in US in a month time. Which is worst scenario in last five years. We know about Lehman bros.Economic recession is continuing in every vertical these days. Many developing countries will be facing economy crisis due to this.

In India freshers (specially computer students) have a hard time these days. Fresh graduates & post graduates have a hard time in finding the job. Because this recession has caused slowdown in recruitment of freshers drastically..

T-Mobiles launched G1: The Google phone

T-Mobiled launched Google phone G1 in September 2008. It’ll start a new era of mobile technology. i.e. open source mobile phones.

It has many cool features like HTML browser, 3mega pixel camera, compas view etc. I am waiting for this phone to be launched in India. Its price is much less than i-phone

You can go through following links for more info.