June 18, 2002

LinuxInIndia Newsletter, inaugural issue

What's happening on the GNU/Linux front in India? Freelance
journalist Frederick Noronha (email: fred at bytesforall dot org)
takes a look. Thanks to www.sarai.net for a print-media
fellowship that supports this work. Please feel free to pass
around this information. If you have other updates that
could be included in future newsletter, please send it
across. Have fun!
FOCUS OF THIS ISSUE: GNU/LINUX IN INDIAN EDUCATION

Raju Mathur (raju@linux-delhi.org) reports on what's happening at a venture
to take GNU/Linux to schools in and around Delhi:
The archives for the Linux for Schools (LEAP) project mailing list
(mailto:school@linux-delhi.org) are now available at:
http://www.mail-archive.com/school%40linux-delhi.org/

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SOME NAMES THAT COME UP: Girish (girish@apnajabalpur.com)has some
suggestions for names for the LinuxInSchools project. How about, he asks,
shiksha-Linux or gurukuLinux or Linux-school..and combinations thereof?

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GNU/LINUX IN GOA SCHOOLS: Ashley Delaney (elaneyashley@softhome.net)
reports from Goa that the Goa Schools Computers Project (GSCP) is going
about implementing LTSP in schools. Some 21 schools were selected on basis
of space, necessity and support to be equipped and networked by the gscp,"
he writes. Goa was one of the early experiments trying to implement
GNU/Linux in schools, after getting support, some amount of free training
for teachers, and a free software offer from Red Hat. Check
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gscp

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GNU/Linux UTILITIES FOR EDUCATION, THE GLUE OF IT ALL: B.P Ajith Kumar
in Delhi has put together the GLUE-CD. It's a "small
collection of GNU/Linux based software on a CD". GLUE comes from GNU/Linux
Utilities for Education. For details, contact Ajith Kumar. If you're around
Delhi Tel/Fax 011 689 3666, Tel/Home 011 689 7867 and Tel/Work 011 689 3955.

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THE PENGUIN AS ENGINEER: Want to contribute to an effort to package useful
GNU/Linux engineering tools (for students) on a CD?
To check out more about this group, visit:
http://mm.ilug-bom.org.in/mailman/search/college-distro/
Check the archives to see what the idea is all about.

Put briefly, the idea is simply to compile a whole range of useful and
'free' software that engineering students from this 'talent-rich,
resource-poor' country of a thousand million-plus can effectively use in
their studies and work.

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LIFE, LINUX IN EDUCATION: First to initiate the above project was Nagarjuna
G, a scientist and keen Free Software proponent at the Homi Bhabha Centre
for Science Education. Working out of the Tata Institute of Fundamental
Research in the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai (formerly Bombay),
Nagarjuna incidentally is also the founder of the Linux-in-Education (LIFE)
mailing list. See details at
http://mm.hbcse.tifr.res.in/mailman/listinfo/life

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CAN FREE SOFTWARE HELP POOR KIDS? David Babington-Smith, the project manager
of Wire the World is on the search for "a portfolio of practical, vocational
training courses for poor kids which can be taught in an open source
environment". Says he: "I am working on a project called 'Wire the World'
(www.wiretheworld.org). We aggregrate vocationally-based IT courses to
retrain poor kids and school drop outs around the world, for the workplace.
There are pilot projects in Bombay and Bangalore currently using MS software
and offering MS and programming courses. We are investigating the
feasibility of a new pilot in a school in a Bombay slum but using open
source s/w. The school would teach its own students during the day, and make
the premises available to the street kids / school drop-outs in the evening.
The obvious advantage of using open source s/w is it strips down the
school's running costs. I am trying to identify a suitable portfolio of
vocational training courses for poor kids, which could be taught on in open
source environment. The idea is to teach courses that could get the kids
into work fairly quickly, though it may be micro-enterprise type jobs such
as computer maintanance, data entry, database design, web design etc. The
profile of students is likely to be 15-25 year old, semi-literate, possibly
non-English medium." More details from: Wire The World Oasis Trust 115
Southwark Bridge Rd London SE1 OAX, UK Direct Line - +44 (0)20 7450 9045
Switchboard - +44 (0)20 7450 9000 Mobile: + 44 (0)7789873540 Fax: +44(0)20
7450 9001 www.wiretheworld.org

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FEATURING ASIAN GNU/LINUX COMPANIES: Martin Seto of Linux Journal
(seto@ssc.com)says the mag is planning to feature Asian companies and
needs "your help". Comments Seto: "I am contacting all LUG's in Asia that
have supported our efforts in promoting Linux worldwide. And I am asking for
some help in our search for Linux based product and services from your
country. In our efforts to promote Asian companies, we invite you to help
spread the world amongst your colleagues and fellow Linux freaks." Any
company can put a free listing in the guide for a whole year. Great products
will be showcased in the 'product of the day' program. See
http://www.linuxjournal.com/bg to learn more about the Buyers Guide.

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LINUX AID SERVER: This is not *from* India, but could be of interest to
GNU/Linux enthusiasts in India. Matthew Grant (rantma@anathoth.gen.nz)
writes in to say that The Linux Aid Server Mailing list is "now running,
after hours of work that also involved a server OS upgrade, and lots of work
reconfiguring the WWW server". You can subscribe to the mailing list by
going to: http://lists.anathoth.gen.nz/aid-server The preliminary file
serving and printer side of the Aid server is almost complete, and work this
week wiill be concentraing on e-mail setup and virus scanning, as well as
smoothing the WWW admin interface.

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QMAILTHEEASYWAY.COM ... FROM MUMBAI: Trevor Warren (revorwarren@yahoo.com)
points to www.qmailtheeasyway.com, the project he's running for the past one
year. It is a "complete mail server based on qmail for ISP's, dialup users
and service providers". Mumbai-based Warren reminds us that he is ranked
within the first 200 on Freshmeat.net. Says he, with understandable pride:
"(I) aint boasted to ny 1 yet but yeh it is in the top 200 of the worlds
largets free software repository...:)" He promises "lot more firewall, IDs
and security projects" coming up. You can contact him via mobile 9820349221

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LOOKING BEYOND INDIA, AND INTO SOUTH ASIA, Ovais Khan
informs us about the recent June 8 advert on 'The
Dawn' about the creation of Task Forces in Pakistan for Linux, secure
networks, e-commerce. See details at www.tremu.gov.pk
Couldn't read the advert, but a friend from across the border had intimated
of plans to advertise plans to set up a Task Force for Linux on the
following lines: "The Government of Pakistan is committing itself to the
reduction of Piracy and the protection of Intellectual Property. In this one
element is the development of open source technologies and LINUX is going to
be the corner stone of this initiative. This Task Force is expected to pull
together committed professionals (e.g. PLUC), Academicians, practicing
software people to set up future directions for Pakistan. This TF will have
meetings, seminars and conferences to propagate and educate the user
community at large. They will also come out with R&D programs for creating
projects to be funded by the Government for the creation of user friendly
Client/ Server software, training strategies, usage in the development of
applications including local language software development, proposal for
induction into the syllabus, etc., as well as focused training programs.
If you are interested n participating please do fill out the requisite forms
on our TReMU website. You can also contact us on: linux@tremu.gov.pk,
however the submission of forms via the website is mandatory."
Keeping conflict aside for a change, let's admit this is interesting...

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CDs... AT A (NOT-SO-UNAFFORDABLE) PRICE: G.T.Enterprises from Bangalore is
doing an interesting job at spreading affordable GNU/Linux CDs across India
K.M. Chidananda writes in to offer their services as a
"one stop shop for Linux/BSD/Solaris". This time's "headlines" are:

Pre Order Red Hat Linux 7.3 & Get Open Office Suite CD.
Mandrake 8.2 Available now - Order Now & Get StarOffice 6.0!
StarOffice 6.0 - Available Soon. Pre Order Now & Save!!
Sharp SL 5500 Zaurus Linux PDA Free with every Lineo SDK bought in June.
Sun Chillisoft ASP 3.6 - Available Now.
Vmware 3.1 - Order Now & Save.
Order Open RT Linux, A Hard Realtime Linux Only for Rs. 3500.
Latest VariCAD 8.2 has been released.
Linux CAD Release 4.3 released with many new Features.
Coming Soon : OpenBSD 3.1, Free BSD 4.6, Win4Lin 4.0..
New on Cheap CDs - Demo Linux, Scyld Bewoulf Cluster CD, LTSP CD...
Linux Journal will feature a Spl section on Embedded LinuxTechnologies.
Free Software Magazine : A periodical to the global free s/w community.

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DOWN FROM THE DEEP SOUTH, TAMIL AND GNU/LINUX: J. Patricia Annie JebaMalar
(pat@lantana.tenet.res.in) updates us on some interesting GNU/Linux
experiments happening down south, in the Tamil heartland. And elsewhere.
Perhaps to call these "experiments" would be unfair... some have already
attained a surprising stage of functionality:

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LINKS FROM AROUND KARNATAKA? Graham Seaman (graham@seul.org) is keen to find
out more details or links about this story, which mentions Karnataka in
India: http://newsforge.com/newsforge/02/05/22/143245.shtml?tid=11 Says he:
"Tried googling and couldn't find anything, and the NIC pages only refer to
Microsoft, as far as I can see..." Please help out if you can.

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IBM'S OFFER FOR DEVELOPERS IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE: IBM offers Third World
developers a chance to get access to software tools as part of their
"Speed-start your Linux app" program. It offers, on free CD to developers,
some versions of WebSphere, DB2 and/or Lotus Domino (licences apply in some
cases). You can get the free 2CD set. "developerWorks is IBM's resource for
developers, providing tools, code, and education for open standards-based
development. developerWorks offers resources related to Linux, Web services,
XML, Java technologies, Wireless, and emerging technologies, as well as
technical information about IBM software like WebSphere and DB2(R).
Developer resources and IBM products are also available on CDs through the
developerWorks Toolbox subscription." ibm.com/developerWorks/linux

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[FOOTNOTE: We request readers to verify claims made by individuals about
their product or services before going in for the same.]

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