August 12, 2002

LinuxInIndia newsletter #4

This is the August 11 version of the LinuxInIndia newsletter. CopyLeft2002 GNU/GPL v2 or later. Co-edited by Frederick Noronha and Parag Mehta (pm at linuxindia dot org).
In this issue:
  • TUG 2002 comes to India
  • Linking projects to students
  • ELX Linux in the news
  • FSF-India mailing list change
  • Experiences from the classroom
  • Links you could use
  • Solaris mailing list
  • Scripts for a terminal server
  • Kaii Linux PDA

TUG 2002 COMES TO INDIA: Registration is now open for the TUG 2002, the
annual conference of TeX Users Group scheduled for September 1-7 at
Technopark, Trivandrum, India. This is the first time that TUG conference is
being held outside Europe and US.

The TUG conference is one of the worlds leading TeX users/developers
conferences aimed at the experienced developers and at the the same time
novice users as well. One day tutorial for novice users which is followed by
a two-day tutorial on advanced topics, take one to the four day conference
of presentations and discussions by developers in the TeX world. The
conference language is English.

Organized by the Indian TeX Users Group (TUGIndia) in association with
international TeX Users Group, the TUG 2002 will bring together for the 23rd
time. TeX enthusiasts from around the world for talks about TeX, XML,
metapost, multilingual typesetting, non-Latin and Indic scripts, graphics
and much more. You can also join your fellow developers in
birds-of-a-feather sessions, sample the local beer at our social event.

The Organizing Committee Chair is Satish Babu (, Internet
Applications Technologies, Trivandrum, India and Program Committee Chair is
Sebastian Rahtz, Computing Services, Oxford University
(, Oxford University, UK.

The conference takes place at the Park Center, Technopark, Trivandrum
and is co-sponsored by IT Mission Group, Government of Kerala. On
Sunday, September 1 through Tuesday, September 3 there are four
tutorial to chose from. The conference itself will open on Wednesday,
September 4 with a keynote, "TeX, XML and the State of the Art" by
Hans Hagen, Pragma Advanced Document Engineering, Netherlands.

For all the details and online registration have a look at our web page:

Contacts: Organising Committee TUG 2002 (
Thanks to Radhakrishnan ( for these details.

LINKING PROJECTS TO STUDENTS: An attempt to offer students interesting
GNU/Linux projects. Check the following sites.

Suggests Trevor Warren: "Lets get started with volunteers/mentors listing
their names as project guides....And start using Wiki to create a list of
Projects for Students to come and visit. I would humbly request all to get
started on the same ASAP.......which would b in accordance to the spirit
with which all of us are doing our best to get the student community
involved with Free Software."

Contact for Trevor Warren:

ELX LINUX IN THE NEWS: Sunil Rajanala (Economic Times) reports from
Hyderabad that Everyone's Linux (ELX) in association with Maxil Technology
Solutions, US, is gearing up to launch a Linux-based operating system, ELX
Power desktop version across North America, Europe, Latin America and
Australia anytime now.

ELX is India's first commercial Linux-based Operating System, which claims
to match Windows by every feature and provides the additional advantages of
Linux's robustness and security. The Linux operating system has been
developed by Hyderabad-based Everyone's Linux, formerly 3T solutions.

Economic Times quoted Maxil Technology's MIS director, Raj Kosaraju saying
the soft launch of ELX Power Desktop Version 1.0 took place during late June
this year across North America including Canada. ELX also plans to launch
the product in India soon for just Rs 900 for Indian customers.

Kosaraju said during the test phase, the pre-release version of ELX had
89,000 free downloads between April and June 2002, with most of the
downloads from educational institutions, colleges, and universities.


FSF-INDIA LIST CHANGE: Recently a change has taken place in the names of the
FSF lists. fsf-friends is the list to which you need to send the mails (to
take part in discussion on Free Software in India). fsf-india is now the
announcement list of fsf-india, and fsf-friends is the list where
subscribers can post their emails. This tip from Nagarjuna

his recent experience with the Linux-in-schools project in Delhi: "Well,
Monday was my first day in school! Was wonderful to be in the company of
peers in Class 4. I learnt some logo commands. It's a great programming
language! I think I will continue my education....

"So folks, we have passed through the first two days of having a Linux
server in a school computer lab in Delhi for classes 4 to 8. We have RH 7.3
running on a Pentium 4 server with 640Mb ram and 20 diskless workstations
booting off the server into X. LTSP is cool

"Software setup was painless. However identifying hardware problems took 90%
of time and energy. Defective bootroms, network cable probs, mouse probs
etc..etc... We were also hit with DCOPServer errors. Couldn't figure out
what went wrong. We worked around that by avoiding multiple logon with the
same id. However running X with KDE 3.0.0 from 20 diskless stations made
everything crawl -- that's when we upgraded to 640Mb ram. We are looking at
options to improve speed.

"Now the real test begins -- how the students and teachers take to it.

"There's a lot of hand-holding to be done and numerous mundane tasks to take
care of - like web pages with helpful documentation subitable for teachers,
for students at higher classes etc. Some guide to basic operations is very
much needed.

"The whole setup was done as part of the hardware and network system upgrade
that the school was undertaking. So we need to ensure that teachers can
continue with their current work and projects within the framework of the
present curriculum. They are open to new ideas too.

"We have Openoffice for wordprocessing, spreadsheet and presentations. LOGO
programming, and Bywater BASIC. Hopefully teachers and students will be able
to cope with this new environment.

"These initial days are crucial. Any help and suggestions to enhance the
acceptability to this new environment is always welcome.

"I wish to express my thanks to Dhruv, Prateek and Pai for their help and
support. Dhruv and Prateek have been particulary helpful in taking time off
to visit the site and make their contributions. More on this as we progress.

We're all awaiting your updates, Leo. Positive or otherwise. Let's learn
from our own and each other's experiences. (Leo is a great guy, and work by
people like him in the 'nineties helped me to get access to e-mail when it
was still not commercially available in the market...-FN)

LINKS YOU COULD USE: These are some useful contacts one came across during a
seminar on deploying GNU/Linux in government, held in Goa many months ago.
Please check if the contacts still work though...

Shrikant Navelkar, Sales Consultant, Red Hat India

Mukul Mathur, ASEAN/SA Linux Manager, IBM

Ajay M Kapoor, Channels Head, India, Red Hat India

Sachin Dabir, Head-Enterprise Sales, Red Hat India

Info about Red Hat in India.

SOLARIS MAILING LIST: Check out this list. Not exclusively GNU/Linux, but
focuses on IT and development issues. Solaris--independant forum for IT &
development issues. Un/sub info: with the
word "help" in the subject line or in the body of the message. URL:

SCRIPTS TO SET UP A TERMINAL SERVER: Heard about GLUE, the education-related
version of GNU/Linux? Ajith ( writes in to say: "There
are several people (in Calicut/Kozhikode) now who can setup LTSP. The job of
setting up LTS has been made a bit easier now. The new version of GLUE
contains a script that will make the computer a Terminal Server. If the
clients have video cards that are auto detected by XFree86 version 4, you
don't need to do any configuration. It will make boot floppies for the
terminals and, if you are lucky, the terminal comes up with the GUI. Proper
hosts, dhcpd.conf and lts.conf files are made by the script. NTOP is
installed to monitor the health of the network. It also installs the ICE
Window manager and installs a menu with all the software installed from the
CD and other required stuff. IceWM is light-weight, fast and flexible.
Starts much much faster than KDE or GNOME. Installation of other packages on
the CD also done by the script. If you copy the CD to the Web Server
Document root area (no need to run the web server) all the science applets
also can be accessed from the Window Manager Menu. All tested on a RedHat
7.3 installation. If anyone interested in trying it out, let me know."

KAII LINUX PDA: A sneak preview of Infomart's "Kaii" Linux PDA
Rick Lehrbaum (Updated March 18, 2002)

* FOOTNOTE: Frederick Noronha (fred at bytesforall dot org) is a Goa-based
freelance journalist, who writes on IT-for-development and GNU/Linux themes
regularly, and is cofounder of BytesForAll . In
the past year, he worked on a print media fellowship to study India's
contribution to GNU/Linux, from (Sarai-New Delhi) Parag
Mehta is webmaster for Linux India, listadmin for
Ilug-bom, Country Manager of India for Linux Counters (do get counted as a
GNU/Linux user!). Visit his personal site at:


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