The day i was supposed to go to Dharan, it was terai bandh and i was at Biratnagar. Really got numb on how to reach Dharan. But fortunately, Prahmod (of PUSET) managed a bike. Dilip (also present at FOSS Orientation Program) dropped me upto Itahari. From there took a bus to Dharan.
Coming from a week long stay at Biratnagar, Dharan was a heaven for me. Clean and cool. Abish and Tushar had managed me a room at BP Koirala Institute of Health Science (BPKIHS)'s Boys' hostel. Again impressed by the size of the college. And another impressive thing: no mosquito!
I'd already met with Tushar and Abish previously in Biratnagar and had infact known Abish since a long time, so no introduction required. During dinner we talked about the FOSS Training to be conducted the next day. I kept babbling about FOSS and stuffs. Tushar was especially interested on LTSP and Freedom Toaster. These guys were already making up their mind of taking LTSP to schools and cyber cafes.. Especially i found Tushar to be hyper-excited about all these stuffs.. We all stayed late night preparing for the training the next day.
BTW, one thing about Abish. He's a medical doctor and a computer geek. Multiple personality disorder, as he admits.. haha. We've been online frens since quite a while and even if there was no FOSS Training program at Dharan, i'd have gone there to meet him.
Well, about training, it was supposed to start at 10am, but there was power cut-off. So had to get a generator. And then again a voltage stablizer. The program finally kicked off at 11:30am.
We were to cover the following topics:
- Introduction to FOSS
- FOSS in Nepal
- Linux Installation (Ubuntu, using Wubi)
- Linux Desktop Basics
- FOSS Softwares
- LTSP Introduction
- Shell Basics
The linux distro for installation was Ubuntu and it was done through Wubi. Previously we also had plans to teach partitioning and other hells but later thought it'd jus scare the newbies. We also demonstrated the whole installation process and it went smooth. Nobody even had a hint of how hard it used to be to install linux couple of years ago..
Linux Desktop Basics basically dealt with general functionality of Linux Desktop (Gnome). It was fairly easy for the trainees to grab the concept. Not much different from Windows when it comes to GUI. Jus point and click. And we should really appreciate the latest distros, who have worked hard to make the shell as obsolete as possible.
About FOSS Softwares, almost everybody were familiar with Firefox and VLC. Few of them also had used Openoffice.org before. Lots of them seemed to like Disk Usage Analyzer (baobab).
Each topic was followed by a query session. There were questions regarding security of FOSS to how to hide files in Linux ;). Each query session went soo long, we had to cut off the final topics on LTSP and Shell Basics. Everybody were so hyper-excited! There were just one or two guys who knew about FOSS before, but i think they are pretty much ignited now..
I think the training went pretty good. Everybody present there got a copy of Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 -- the CDs we'd burned during Ubuntu release party. Some of them took Fedora 9 CDs too. And ofcourse, i strongly encouraged them to SHARE the software and the CD.
During evening, the organizing team also had a meeting on forming a FOSS Dharan Community and they are going to register it very soon too. We at FOSS Nepal, Kathmandu now need to discuss on how to give affiliation to FOSS Dharan (and others that may form in near future) in a legal way..
In overall, i should say that FOSS Training at Dharan totally rocked! Finally, thanx to Dharan FOSS Team for the beautiful token of love.. Special thanx to Tushar's mom and sis for the wonderful food!
More photos are here.