I have been living in Chennai, without a smartphone, for 3 years in a row. Most of my friends are wondering, how can I manage to live with normal feature nokia phone? I can live. Just like how we lived some 10 years ago.
Slow and Peaceful life
I managed to get a slow, joyful, peaceful life throughout 2018. There are very little few moments where I lost my peace, that too due to my laziness only.
Bad things first
The year 2018, started for me at a hospital, due to food poison. It took around 10 days for me to recover. Realised how health is important. Started to build good habits like avoiding outside food, exercise etc.
Loss of Gopi
Gopi is one of my great inspiration. He had contributed to tamil computing via making fonts and various tamil computing tools. The sudden death of him, taught me tons of things on life. We miss him a lot still.
Realized that more than our work, our contributions to the society, our passions, the important things to our family is our existence and good health.
I dropped cycling to office, Stopped Zumba class and Guitar practising. But stopped these to focus on few good things. Still I want to continue these. Will plan and do in 2019.
Now. Good Things
This is showered be tons of blessings, with great achievements.
I love travel. This year, got opportunity to go the the below places.
Delhi – My brother Arulalan lives in Noida. We had a family trip to delhi and visited Delhi city, Akshardham, Madura, Taj Mahal, Gurukshetra. We went to Taj Mahal in hot summer. Cant forget seeing the cool Taj mahal in hot fire like summer. Dont go there in summer or day time. Akshardham is a wonder. Dont miss it if you go to delhi.
Madurai, Kodaikanal – My friend Praveen got married. He had the reception at Madurai. We went to madurai and explored nearby hill temple Alagar Koil and Pazhamudircholai. For next two days, we spent at Koidaikanal. Had long walks with Nithya and Viyan, nice viewpoints and nice food.
Pondicherry – We went for a relative’s birthday party.
Yercaud – This is a small hill station near salem. We went here and met my beloved writer Yercaud Elango. He is contributing most of his books to FreeTamilEbooks.com and donated 13,000 Botanical Photographs to Wikimedia Commons. Had nice discussions with him and his wife. Wondered to know that she is a social activist there.
Hyderabad – one of my mentors, Mr. Shanmugam of SAEISS, asked me to come to Hyderabad to be a as Judge in a college event. I met him after many years. I have learnt many organisational things from him. Still learning more. I immediately agreed. Went to Hyderabad, Helped for the event. Stayed at Dr.Parthasarathy’s home. Learning a lot from him. We had deep discussions on Free Software, maths, life etc. Then explored Charminar with my friend Srikanth Logic.
Amritsar – Indic Wikipedia Community is awesome, always.
Recently, Wikimedia Foundation, Google and Center for Internet Security – Access to Knowledge jointly executed a competition on Indian Wikipedia Communities to bring more new articles.
It was a tight competition. Punjabi and Tamil wikipedia communities were leading. Finally Punjabi won.
Wikimedia Foundation wanted to conduct an advanced training on wikimedia projects and activities. It asked the project tiger competition winner, Punjabi wikipedians to attend the training. But the Punjabi team invited the Tamil Community, to attend the event, along with them.
This wont happen anywhere, in general. The winners treating the runners equally. But this magic happened.
The training happened in Amritsar, Punjab. I participated in this event. Notes are here.
We all read daily. What we read is changing for each one. Most of read text on newspaper, blog, whatsapp, facebook, other social media etc. I stopped reading social media. Tried to buy newspaper daily. But dropped it due to seeing not read papers piling up.
I always prefer, long form reading. Long articles or books give some immense thoughts. they seek more attention. It is worth to give the time and attention.
Just like some of you keep on reading something on social media, always, I try to keep on reading books, mostly in kindle, daily.
Here is the list of books I have read in 2018
- பூனைக் கதை – பா ராகவன்
- நகையலங்காரம் – பா ராகவன்
- 14 ஆம் லூயியின் பாத்ரூம் சாகசங்கள் – பா ராகவன்
- வலவன் கதைகள் – சுதாகர் கஸ்தூரி
- கவர்னரின் ஹெலிகாப்டர் – எஸ்கேபி கருணா
- பனிமனிதன் – ஜெயமோகன்
- புக்மார்க்ஸ் – என் சொக்கன்
- அடுத்த கட்டம் – என் சொக்கன்
- நகுலனின் நாய் – அரவிந்த் சச்சிதானந்தம்
- தட்பம் தவிர் – அரவிந்த் சச்சிதானந்தம்
- கண் தெரியாத இசைக்கலைஞன் – விளாதிமிர் கொரலென்கோ
- கோடிட்ட இடங்கள் – சித்ரன் ரகுநாத்
- அமிர்தம் மின்னிதழ் -1
- என் பார்வையில் கலைஞர் – சு சமுத்திரம்
- எம்ஆர் ராதாவின் சிறைச்சாலை சிந்தனைகள் – விந்தன்
- தீராக் கானா – தமிழ்
- சிரம் தர விரும்பு – சென்பாலம்
- ஏ தாழ்ந்த தமிழகமே – அறிஞர் அண்ணா
- ஓகே கூகுள் – இரா சுப்பிரமணி
- ஜென் கதைகள் – கௌசல்யா லாரன்ஸ்
- ஷெர்லாக் ஹோம்ஸின் சாகசங்கள் பாகம்-1 – சந்திரசேகரன்
- ஷெர்லாக் ஹோம்ஸின் சாகசங்கள் பாகம் 2 – சந்திரசேகரன்
- ஒரு பக்க கதைகள் – சுஜாதாதாசன்
- வாழ்க்கை வினோதம் – அழ வள்ளியப்பா
- நவகாளி யாத்திரை – சாவி
- பாரிசுக்கு போனேன் – ஞாநி
- பணம் பத்திரம் செல்லமுத்து – குப்புசாமி
- ஒற்றன் – பூபதி கோவை
- பாற்கடல் – லாசாரா
- காரல் மார்க்ஸ் – அஜயன் பாலா
- சயனைட் குறுங்கதைகள் – அராத்து
- உயிர்மெய் – அராத்து
- உயிர்மெய் பாகம் 2 – அராத்து
- என் சரித்திரம் – உவேசா
- Forging python – Miki Tebeka
- Docker cookbook – S. Goasguen
- Flask by example – Gareth Dwyer
- Code Swaraj – Carl Malamud , Sam Pitroda
- Ionic Framework: Building mobile apps with Ionic Framework – Michael Bohner
- Build your first React Native app for iOS or Android – Web Dev Guy
- Django Cookbook: Web Development with Django – Beau Curtin
Python Machine Learning – Sebastian Raschka
Thanks to free ebooks from amazon and Packt Publishing. I could not read these books, without these schemes.
If I see the list now, all the books are ebooks only. I did not read a single paper book. I can hear the “grrr…..” sound from the paperbooks in my bookshelf. “I will read you all this year, darlings.”
- Kaniyam Foundation
Started “Kaniyam Foundation” with friends – Anwar, Khaleel, Arunachalam, Lenin, Karkee and Nithya.
We started it to accelerate the open source contributions for tamil computing and to bring more creative commons/public domain content in tamil.
Thanks to Ravisankar, Natkeeran and Ramanaish for brainstorming and encouraging for this big step.
2. We got Tamil Text to Speech system
IITM and SSN College of Engineering developed a TTS Engine for Tamil.
Few friends, myself, padmakumar, mohan in CC went to IITM and learnt
how to build the TTS in linux and automated the install process, so
that it can run as a command line tool.
Khaleel in CC helped to find few issues and provided fixes for
preprocessing the text before giving input to tts.
And finally Balaji made it as a web application. Will release the web application soon for public access.
3. No smartphone
I am using a normal nokia phone only. Living with no smartphone gives me tons of time and great peace of mind. Though I miss many of my friends, I am away from many things like torturing fake news, questions on linux servers, help requests to answer how to setup an DNS server (I have to teach on whatsapp itself) etc.
I have friends, with whom I make calls. I email them, chat on hangout and in telegram. Whenever my computer is on, I can read mails. When It it turned off, I am completely available for myself only. ( Can hear Nithya saying as “Thats why I ask you to turn off the computer”)
I have to reduce the computer usage and give more time for family, health and reading. Will implement new rules for computer usage at home.
Open Source Contributions
pdf2text – Script to get text from PDF using google OCR
Tamil TTS – Install script for Tamil Text to Speech
Create Ebooks – Automation script to create/publish ebooks for FreeTamilEbooks.com
OpenStreetMap.org – With my bicycle, I covered most of the Tambaram area and added the important places and Point of Interests to the openstreetmap.org
The year was full of events. I decided to miss many and attend only few. The events I attended are
ILUGC meets – This is my homeland. I try to attend it every month. missed for 3 months.
Software freedom day – FSFTN organized SFD at Chennai. KanchiLUG organized at kanchipuram. Attended both.
GNU Linux InstallFest at Tambaram
ChennaiPy – attended 2 chennaipy meets.
PySangamam – A Python conference at Chennai. Attended it and presented about open-tamil. Notes here.
INFITT Tamil Conference – Attended at Coimbatore.
AMACE – Went to my college with my classmates.
I am working for TVFPlay.com
I have my friends as colleagues here. Doing AWS management and DevOps things here. My mentor Navin here is teaching me tons of things.
Learnt Docker, AWS, Rancher, Flask, Django and few self organising skills this year.
Nithya’s Video tutorials
Nithya is becoming a rock star in Tamil Video tutorials. This year she had good video tutorials on Big data and machine learning. See her videos here.
She released a book on Bigdata in Tamil. She wrote 9 ebooks so far. All her books are available here. I ? hehee. Zero. Lazy me. May be this year, will try to bring atleast one book.
We had great fun times on shooting outdoor and indoor. More videos will come this year.
She created Sandhi checker for Tamil and presented as birthday gift.
She got best working women award from oorunifoundation.com
- Give more time to Family
- Learn Guitar
- Learn Car Driving
- Do exercise Daily
- Write daily expenses
- Write one book on DevOps in Tamil
- Get more contributions done by Kaniyam Foundation
- Be focus on the tasks
I thank Nithya, Viyan, brothers Arulalan, Suresh, Mentors, Friends, Office friends for making 2018 a grand year. Hoping to be more humble, more friendly, more peaceful in 2019.