Yesterday, I attended the LINDEC 2004 or "Linux Desktop Conference 2004" organized by gnomebangalore.org backed by Novell. The chief geek was none other than Nat Friedman.

It’s interesting to note that the conference was held at PESIT, yep, my alma mater. We never had these kinda things w.r.t. open source when we were in college but I’m glad to see that changing!

There were interesting talks by Nat and we learnt about some cool stuff such as the Linux Desktop Testing Project – it’s amazing how the testing of GUI applications can be automated and the results verified. I must dig more deeper into it some time.

Then, of course was the presentation and demo of Beagle by Nat and John Trowbridge – this software can really change the way we use computers. I don’t think I had ever imagined searching for stuff in the computer in such a simple way. When we are searching for something, we usually know where we have to search such as in our email application or use a search engine for the internet, but to combine all of them in one is something really worth looking forward to.

At the end of that session, Nat and Trowbridge were handing over copies of Mono: A Developer’s Notebook to the first people who answered their questions. They were having a hard time thinking of a question for the last book, and so I shouted to Trowbridge, "Just give it to me!" and everyone burst laughing :D , then Trowbridge immediately asked who said that and just gave it to me! This was such fun and I heard people saying "Very clever…" , ok, ok, back to the book – I had looked for this book before in Book Paradise but apparently no Indian edition was available, and so I am really happy to get my hands on this book and that too directly from Nat and Trowbridge! After that, me and Uday attended the Glade session which helped me refresh my memory (I have given a talk on Glade at BLUG before!)

And I had great company throughout the day as well! A few of the BLUGgers planned to meet up at LINDEC and so that we can get to know each other (Thanks to Manish for the initiative!) this way as well. The guys who had met up were Manish, Uday, Tejaswi, Srichand, Arun, Shyam, Ashish and myself. Manish has put up some snaps as well.

Manish, yet again, took another initiative to have a BoF session today in Jayanagar but unfortunately couldn’t go coz I got to fulfill some deadlines at work, but I’ll surely make it next time.

All in all, open source and great (new) friends and Mono…. makes a great day!

I’m doing a late-nighter at work today… so I thought of listening to some music while doing the hackathon, but I’ve got bored of the ones on my hard disk. So, how about internet radio? Well, I switched to FC2 on my office box, so I can’t use Yahoo Messenger 6 Launchcast radio, but wait, there is an alternative, Shoutcast! So, I go there, click on one of the stations that suits me and listen to great songs in XMMS! Now, ain’t that nice? (And yes, you can use Winamp too :-) )

And… thanks to the IPv6 disabling tip, browsing is now several times faster on Fedora!

It’s such a gloomy weather here in Bangalore… sigh. It’s been raining cats and dogs and as a result I got cold, cough and fever… and I’m just recovering now.

However, I did manage to read ‘Ignited Minds’ by Abdul Kalam over the weekend. All I can say is wow. I’ve been inspired by Kalam. He puts things across in such a simple yet remarkable manner. He does get into preach mode many times but I do agree with him that most Indians have a defeatist attitude and is exactly one of the reasons that India is not already a developed country.

I think we should make ‘Ignited Minds’ as compulsory reading for anyone who stands for election. ;-) Well, aah, I can dream….!

On the Bytes side, I got good news. Ibiblio has agreed to host my book on their servers and will help reduce the load on my website :-)

Another ‘Byte of Python’ related news is that I’ll be shortly announcing a mailing list exclusively for the book. Readers are encouraged to join in to discuss the book and help me make the book even better!

So, I finally upload the new version of my website. It has taken a long time and I’ve stopped blogging quite some time ago as well. Now, my website and blog are "coming back to life"!

I had originally planned to use WordPress, I had even hacked it up and got the perfect look for me. But alas, I realised it is very good as a blogging tool but it is not meant to be a CMS. I ended up editing php scripts by hand and making changes to the code which was what I wanted to avoid in the first place. So, I finally got back to my original choice – Drupal – after making many customizations, here it is! It is not perfect and still some changes need to be done, but I didn’t want to delay things further.

Also, the nice pic on the top of the page is a snap taken during the Mullainagiri trek which me and my Pesit gang went to. But that’s another story… :-)