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  • Akarsh Simha 11:20 pm on October 28, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Hello (KDE) World 

    This is (hopefully) my first post on Planet KDE! I didn’t know that we could have ourselves aggregated on Planet KDE with an svn commit until I “accidentally” stumbled upon the “Add your blog” link while adding Planet KDE to the RSSNOW plasmoid. I wish to introduce myself to Planet KDE through this post.

    Yes, I hadn’t been in touch with the KDE world for long and only lurked in #kdeedu or posted on kstars-devel@kde.org, until I made it to the last 2 days of aKademy 2008 (thank you Bart, Kenny, Wendy, Pradeepto!), which I thoroughly enjoyed!

    So who am I? Not getting philosophical, I’m called Akarsh Simha in the real world, kstar on IRC, and asimha on the SVN, and am a student pursuing the BTech programme in Engineering Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (“IITM”), India. I have currently finished two out of four years of my course and am running on the third. I plan to pursue a career in Theoretical Physics. Programming / Software Development is one of my “primary” hobbies, the other being Amateur Astronomy.

    I develop for KStars and was a Google Summer of Code (2008) student under KDE, mentored by Jason Harris. I’m a not-so-active member of the KDE India community.

    • Socceroos 3:37 am on October 29, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey mate,

      You guys are giving us a good thrashing at the moment in the cricket….. =(

      Nice to hear from you!

  • Akarsh Simha 4:19 am on October 26, 2008 Permalink  

    Interesting post on Google: 

    Interesting blogpost by Ameya which I found off my friend Samarth’s blog

  • Akarsh Simha 3:45 pm on October 23, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: Genius MousePen, , , WizardPen, Xournal   


    It was relatively very trivial to get the Genius MousePen 8″x6″ tablet working with Linux. Google gave me a result from the Ubuntu Wiki. The driver built with no trouble and it worked.

    Well, that’s because I checked up on google before buying the hardware and favoured a Genius MousePen over some iBall foo because it had a (“sureshot”) Linux driver. 😀

    The tablet works pretty well, but there are some problems. It’s hard to use it as a general purpose mouse, but it works correctly when it comes to dragging, which means it works well for drawing and writing.

    I found a software called xournal [Grr… it is a GTK app] in my APT cache. So I just did apt-get install xournal and I could comfortably write down stuff and export to PDF!

  • Akarsh Simha 1:51 am on October 16, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Memories of aKademy 2008 

    I was browsing through Flickr photostreams tagged by aKademy2008. Finally, I found, what is currently (till Anurag uploads all the photos he shot) the sole photo of mine from aKademy.

    Here’s a photo by Mr. Park (Korean KDE Developer, from his photostream) at Brussels Centraal Station, where we parted. Left to Right are Me, Pradeepto, Anurag and Mr. Park.
    Returning from aKademy 2008
    [ (c) 2008 Mr. Park “segfault” Joon-Kyu. ]

    And this is possibly the only “proper” photo I have on the internet. :D. Thanks Park!

  • Akarsh Simha 5:59 am on October 11, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: HD Catalog   

    Search by HD number for KStars 

    Trunk now has a not-so-intuitive search-by-HD-catalog-number feature.

    Fire up the Find Dialog, type in ‘HD’ followed by the catalog number, hit enter. [Nothing will appear in the filtered list]

    Please do report any bugs.

  • Akarsh Simha 5:49 am on October 11, 2008 Permalink
    Tags: , Shaastra 2008   

    FOSS @ Shaastra 2008 – Satisfaction at last. 

    It is really satisfying to see people enthusiastic about developing FOSS, about submitting patches, people who stayed up till the wee hours of morning looking into code, trying to hunt down bugs. We had this satisfaction at Shaastra 2008.

    Although nothing went ideally, the proceedings left us with some sort of satisfaction and joy at the end. Although coordinatorship and participation in other events were clearly mutually exclusive, I am completely content with this Shaastra. We had a whole bunch of folks really really excited about FOSS contribution at the end of the day, and the bunch is still in touch with us. The excitement are sustaining.

    Shreyas’ talk was simply amazing. I appreciate it thoroughly. Truly spoken out of experience. I’m pretty sure everyone agrees with me. I was late for Dr. Kapil’s talk because I was preparing the systems at the lab for the evening’s hackfest. Again, one more excellent talk. Lots of learning.

    The first Hackfest session was a complete demonstration of unplannedness, disorganization and disaster. We were never prepared for that kind of crowd, that too with a good percentage of people with no FOSSy backgrounds. 1 PM, people got bored, walked out. Now, we had a _working_ group. 5 patches to KStars.

    Hackfest session 2 – seemed like a success. All the 1337h4x0rs went to one side of the lab while the non-FOSSy / non-developerish but really enthusiastic folks gathered on the other end. Demonstration on how yours truly added DBus functionality to MCabber with logical reasoning that was feigned out of a 1 hour practice session before the demo. Seemed to be good. 1 Debian package in the meanwhile, but that was a ‘pilot’ package.

    Guido van Rossum’s videoconference (?) ended up being an audioconference. Murphy once again. What worked perfectly well in the dry run did not work in the big show. Guido’s message for the student-dominated gathering was (if I have, as I hope to, interpreted it correctly) that one must try things that he wouldn’t normally do, things that have no reason to be done, because they are learning experiences that enhance the spread of your knowledge. Guido uses EMacs 🙂 🙂 🙂 but recommends that others use vim because EMacs has saturated. We’re going to put up the audio recording of the Q&A session on the net, and I’ll link it in here.

    My talk was a not satisfactory to me, mostly because it was KDE-specific. I think I must’ve done a hack-demo like the one at the Hackfest, but in the KDE Kontext. The audience was most probably not apt. But a lot of people did meet me after the talk, and that was a productive session. Maybe we’re going to see a strong FOSS team from the Vellore Institute of Technology. Sudharshan’s talk was a brief 45 minute one where he demonstrated DFeet, DBus and told us why the FreeSmartPhone.org project was important. Interesting talk. Followed by GSoCcers talking about their projects (Madhusudhan, Arun and I) and subsequently about The GSoC programme.

    At the end, we’ve learnt a LOT. I hope the FOSS events are going to be better next year. We could pass down the wisdom we gathered to the coordinators, so that they could do a better job. Negative feedback here again, which I cannot forget to mention after all those Analog Circuits classes! It’s thanks to a NITTian’s feedback about the FOSS Workshop at Shaastra 2007 that these events could take good shape.

    Lastly, 😛 to all those guys who missed it, Pradeepto being at the top of the stack. I must at this point appreciate Pradeepto’s enthusiasm. He was considering booking his tickets on the day before the event.

    I’d like to ACK a lot of people for the event’s success (as we’d like to project it):

    • Pradeepto, Shreyas, Dr. Kapil, Arun Raghavan, our “mentors”;
    • the NetApp folks, our sponsors;
    • Vikram S V, Sanjeev Sripathi, Arun Chaganty (almost), my co-coordinators;
    • Pranesh, Kirtika, Naveen, Prasanna and Prakash, our organizing volunteers;
    • Rakesh Misra, the guy who enforced our planning and made the event a success, a.k.a the QMS coordinator;
    • Nachiketas, the enthusiastic contributor and also the facilities chap
    • Midhun S and Raghav Iyengar, the guys who brought us the sponsorships;
    • Madhusudhan, Santhosh, Sudharshan, Vaidy, our co-contributors;
    • Avinash, Suvinay, Immanuel, Ajinkya, Kshitiz, Harpreet, Vaibhav, Vineeth, Krishna, Rehman… the list goes on : the budding contributors
    • Akarsh Simha 5:52 am on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oh yes, we did miss KMap, Varun, Ganesh…
      @: It would’ve been so much better with you guys around!

    • Kumar Appaiah 7:29 am on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Great work, and it’s FANTASTIC that you made this Shaastra a FOSSy success. Hope this becomes a yearly affair, and evolves into a big FOSS affair every year in India.

    • Rakesh Misra 9:11 am on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      First: I doubt if I have done enough to deserve a place in that list.

      Second: I believe my vol, Srivathsan (a.k.a. Vatsi) deserves a place. He did a lot of figures/feedback collection on-the-spot and helped me in all my documentation tasks pertaining to your event.

      Third: I have figures to support your statement that the talks at the FOSS Conference were quite a hit among the audience. More around 70-80% of them acknowledged in their feedback that the talks were indeed quite entertaining and useful.
      (You can refer the details of audience feedback from me)

      Fourth: In the course of my association with you all, I have developed an interest in FOSS. 🙂 How do I move ahead?

    • Aanjhan 1:08 pm on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Freak! I missed this one and I am missing a lot of sch nice small scale hack fests! great going.

      – tuxmaniac

    • srikanth 1:30 pm on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Last year I had a bowl at IITM FOSS workshop. This year I truly miss that tech fun!

    • Gopala Krishna 8:16 pm on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Too good man.. I really missed it..
      Anyways i repeat my comment to arun’s post, “Awesome work by awesome pancha fossavas!!”

    • Pranesh Srinivasan 7:34 pm on October 12, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Er.. I dont think I did enough to be mentioned in that list.

      I sorely miss helping out, because of the (infinite) math modelling work, I had to do. 😦

      But yeah, from the parts I was there for, it looked very succesful. 🙂

      Great going. 🙂

    • Akarsh Simha 9:29 pm on November 14, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the encouragement, everybody!

      Hope our juniors carry this forth in future.

    • some monk 7:36 pm on November 18, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Satisfaction to you guys and ballz to us for working hard for the contests :X
      the prize distro system was too fast to fill pockets of organizers instead of participants.
      its evident from the fact that it used to open for very short intervals… while for hackfest there were dedicated ppl to wake up till morning hrs but sadly not so for distribution of prizes.
      so we went to eat on our last day of stay at shaastra and guess what we missed a prize… and guess what they told us to go, n wait for a mail… and guess what, ppl in d hostel told “forget it dude.. d prizes hardly get mailed in reality”… and guess what.. we haven’t got an iota for the nights we spent developing stuff for the contest.
      ballz to satisfaction…
      ballz to shaastra

    • some monk 7:37 pm on November 18, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      hope juniors carry this trend in future too… 8x

    • Raghav 5:35 pm on November 22, 2008 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well, I’m def grateful for being mentioned in this blogpost although I would rather prefer that our luck be thanked more than us 🙂 And oh, yes – Midhun and BMX got you the sponsor, I was just a facilitator in between ( for want of t-shirts 😛 )

      May the FOSS be with you ! 🙂

      ( I came across this when I was arbitly googling my name to check whether my blogpost was the first site to hit the user or not ! )

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