Continuous Learning – Few Thoughts

There were few old days when I felt like I know everything about computers. Soon I realized I was wrong.

When I was a Windows/Visual Basic kid, I felt like I am the master of computers.

At 2004, When I joined the mailing list of Indian Linux Users Group, everything was changed. They introduced me the deep rabit hole of the GNU/Linux world.

One fine day, Mr.Chandrashekar Babu, sent a mail to the ilugc list about his free classes on Shell Scripting.

Read his post here –

Myself and my friend Balavignesh attended his sessions. He showed the wonderland of command line. After that, attended his training on GNU/Linux Administration. From those glory days, I am feeling that tons of new things to learn.

I have seen Chandrashekar sir was reading new things, learning new stuff daily. He can sit for hours and hours to read the books, manuals, practise, practise and master any technology.

Chandrashekar Babu, teaching Concurrency in Python at PySangamam on Sep 8, 2018

He inspired me to keep learning new things always.  Some times, I know things wider, for few things I go deeper.

There is another person who is inspiring me by his thirst for learning new things.

Dr. Parthasarathy. An old retired professor. His first mail to me was on 11 June 2010, querying on how to display Tamil with Latex. On that time we were making a Ubuntu Manual in Tamil at KanchiLUG. It was rendered with latex and he found it interesting.

Being a Math Professor, he knew latex well. But, showing unicode was new for him. He learnt to use unicode fonts in latex and he made few documents in Tamil using Latex.

Dr. Partha explaining Latex at Indian Linux Users Group Chennai on March 10, 2018

He was so happy to know a guy who can give support for his search on new learnings. Being a linux user on those days was to learn tons and tons of new things, ourself. There was no stackoverflow, no detailed blogs, no knowledged persons around us. Linux users group mailing lists, few forums like, man pages, documents, big books were the only source of information.

So helping each other and sharing the knowledge was so precious on those days. I used to ask many questions to him on latex, math, encryption, cryptography etc. He used to ask configuring printers, KDE hacks etc. Being a unix man, he was confused on the fancy GUIs of Gnome2, Gnome3, Unity. KDE is better on keeping a consistency on GUI.

See his plain HTML site I wondered to know about his contributions to TLDP docs and POSIX standards.

Even now, we are sharing long Q/A emails. He is always inspiring me with the learning skills. He often comes to our home with a list of hacks, questions that he want to learn. We both sit together and learn the new hacks.

I am feeling blessed, when thinking on both Chandrashekar sir and Dr. Partha. Both of them are encouraging me, inspiring me to keep learning new stuff.

Nowadays, we have given a great gift called internet. We can learn anything now. There are millions of websites, blogposts, Q/A sites, video tutorials available to learn anything for free.

Ignorance of anything is a choice by ourself.

When I feel, I am not learning new things for a while, a thought about Chandrashekar or Dr.Partha, will ring the bell inside me. Then, I will push myself to sit with my kindle or read my readinglist on the things I want to learn.

I thank both of them for  being my Gurus.



Indian Linux Users Group Chennai – Oct 2018 Meet – Oct 13 – 3-6 pm – IITM

Hello all,

Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai [ ILUGC ] is spreading awareness on Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) in Chennai since January 1998.

We usually meet on the second Saturday of every month, and for the
month of October we shall meet on Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 1500 IST.

Venue: Classroom No 1,
Aerospace Engineering,
Near Gajendra Circle,
IIT Madras.
Link for the Map:

Talk Details:

Topic 1:

Topic : Changing laptop background based on battery status!!!

Description :
I fiddled around with my laptop to try and make the desktop background change based on battery status. The task was deceptively difficult, and is an interesting story to share.

Duation : 20 minutes

About Speaker : I’m Raghuram, a fresh graduate from IIT Guwahati. I
love linux (arch), raspberry pi and python.

Topic 2 :

Topic : “Machine Learning in a nutshell”

Description : Machine Learning Fundamentals, Data Science approach to a problem, Model Building, Model Validation and Data visualisation.

Duration : 45 – 60 min

Speaker : Lakshmikanth Rajamani, Machine Learning Engineer at Tata
Consultancy Services, Chennai

Topic 3 :

Topic: Code Swaraj: Open Source, Open Content

Description: Carl Malamud, from USA, will describe his efforts to make public information public in the United States and in India. Universal access to human knowledge is the great promise of our generation, but
knowledge has increasingly become colonized, cordoned off behind
paywalls, hidden by corporations and governments. Carl will describe
some of his efforts to make government databases and other public
content available, including the current Public Interest Litigation to
make Indian Standards available to all. Carl is the author of 9 books
including most recently “Code Swaraj,” co-authored with Sam Pitroda.
He is the recipient of the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier

Duration: 30 Minutes


1. The Wire, Who May Swim in the Ocean of Knowledge:
2. National Herald, A unique and unlikely ‘satyagraha’ by an American
to free ‘knowledge’ ,
3. Malamud and Pitroda, Code Swaraj,
4. The Hind Swaraj Collection,

About Carl :

After reading Malamud’s call for action, Internet’s Own Boy Aaron
Swartz worked on bringing Court Documents of USA. Carl still
continues to do satyagraha on bringing to Access to Knowledge for all


Carl Malamud is an American technologist, author, and public domain
advocate, known for his foundation Public.Resource.Org. He founded the Internet Multicasting Service. During his time with this group, he was responsible for developing the first Internet radio station.

Malamud is the author of eight books, including Exploring the Internet
and A World’s Fair. He was a visiting professor at the MIT Media
Laboratory and is the former chairman of the Internet Software
Consortium. He also is the co-founder of Invisible Worlds, was a
fellow at the Center for American Progress, and was a board member of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation.
Entry free. All are welcome.

Software Freedom Day 2018 – Tech Talks – Kanchipuram – Sep 29, 2018 – 10-5

Hello all,

Software freedom day is celebrated worldwide every year on September month.

We celebrate SFD at kanchipuram

Date : September 29, 2018 Saturday
Time : 10.00 am – 05.00 pm

Venue : A K T Municipal High School, Thumbavanam street, Near Kotrampalayam Street, Near Rangasamy Kulam, Kanchipuram
Map –

Topic 1 : Introduction to Free Software and GNU/Linux
Speaker : Shrinivasan
Time : 10.00 – 11.00

Topic 2 : Introduction to BigData using Hadoop
Description : Will explore the Bigdata eco systems, Hadoop, Pig, Spark and ElasticSearch
Speaker : Nithya

Time : 11.00 – 01.00


Topic 3 : Handson workshop on Hadoop
Speaker : Nithya
Time : 02.00 – 05.00

Prerequests :
1. Bring your laptops with linux and java installed, for handson
2. Read the below book and watch the videos.
3. Linux commandline, Python knowledge is preferred

Contact : T Shrinivasan 9841795468

Entry Free. All are welcome.

Software Freedom Day 2018 Chennai – Minutes

Our friends in Free Software Foundation TamilNadu organized Softwre Freedom day 2018 in Chennai. I participated and put a stall for Kaniyam Foundation and its activities. I explained on,, Tamil TTS, Ezhil Language, Open-Tamil library etc.

There were around 20 stalls. From Free Software Philosophies, Wikisource, Wikipedia, Privacy, Machine learning, Self hosting, Libreoffice, Olipedia, Libre Library, Games, GIMP, Inkscape, Stelleriam, RISC V, Blue DOT movement, Tamil Computing, OpenStreetMap etc


The stalls are so much informative. The volunteers explained the concepts well. We got around 70 visitors from various backgrounds. They asked many questions and got more information.

We had a QA session before lunch with the volunteers and participants. I answered few questions on Opportunities of contribution for non-programmers. explained about Creative Commons license and how any creator/artist/photographer/musician can contribute to the open world.

Had deep conversations on few new friends on Job opportunities, On creating a social movement on leaving space for ambulances on roads, with a blue light and alert from a traffic police, on contributing to various tamil computing projects etc.

In the evening, got an opportunity to give a talk to the team on the stage. Shared few experiences on mailings lists, how the tamil computing efforts are started and running etc.

It was so enthusing to see the youngsters are working hard to promote the Free Software in all the ways they can. tons of thanks for the Volunteers, Organizing Team, and participants for making the event fruitful to all.

My clicks are here –

Software Freedomday 2018 at Chennai & Pondicherry

Software Freedom day is celebrated worldwide this month.

In Chennai,


Poster –

Date – 23rd Sep 2018
Time – 9 AM to 5 PM

Venue – Madras School of Social Work, Egmore (
Event –

1. FOSS Alternatives
2. Gaming in Linux
3. FOSS & The Universe
4. Privacy Tools for Browser
5. Android Alternatives
6. Science and FOSS
7. Libre Digital Library
8. FOSS & Art
9. Tamil Computing & Contribution
10. Kaniyam Foundation
11. Mapping the Commons – OpenStreetMap
12. Wikipedia & Tools
13. And Lots More


In Pondicherry,

FB event:

Venue: Petit Seminaire Hr. Sec. School, MG Road

Date: 23/09/18 – Sunday
Time: 10AM – 5PM

Stall List:
1.   Why FLOSS today?
2.   Blender – Selva
3.   Women in FOSS – Sindhuja Sundaraj
4.   Hamara Linux & RISC V –  Shivani Bhardwaj, Hamara Linux
5.   Selfhosting,Yunohost – Prasanna
6.   Data processing, visualization & generative art – Suriya
7.   Open Robotics Platform For Kids – Vimal
8.   MIT App Inventor – Sanjivy
9.   Mass surveillance & Indian cyberpolicy – Arunekumar
10. Wikimedia Projects & Tamil Wikipedia Efforts – Dhinesh, Ranjith &
11. FOSMC & FreeCAD – Kamalesh, Sachin, Kavin
12. FOSS for schools – Giri
13. Bitcoin, blockchain & cryptocurrency – Kamal
14. Linux distributions – Ragul


Dont miss these events in you are in Chennai or pondicherry.

PySangamam – Tons of learnings, Happy moments


PySangamam, is the first Python Conference of TamilNadu.
ChennaiPy team arranged for this two days conference.

Conducting a conference is like arranging for a marriage.
It will take all our time and energy, for few months.

I dont know how to thank the ChennaiPy team, organizers and volunteers for this great event. My apologies for not contributing.

I was following up from their initial discussions about the conference. The hard work they put was so fruitful. We had a memorable days at the event.

I liked the below things.

1. Single Track.
2. Poster Presentation after a lunch time.
3. Neat venue
4. Nice Food
5. Enough amount of participants
6. Wonderful Speakers
7. Awesome topics
8. Video Recording
9. Handson Workshops
10. Event on Friday/Saturday – So that we can enjoy the sunday with family.
11. Nice followups on from Call for speakers, Call for booking etc
12. Great updates on mail on the flow
13. Good followups and retweets on @PySangamam twiter handle
14. Nice goodies – IDcards, food coupons, Bag, notebook, pen
15. Neat Simple website

I did a poster presentation on “How Python is helping for Tamil Computing?”


Explained on Ezhil Language, Open Tamil Library, OCR4WikiSource, FreeTamilEbooks automation, Tamil TTS Automation, NLP Tools for Tamil
Many of them wondered to see such things happening in Tamil. Few agreed to check these tools and contribute.

It was a happy moment to see 4 of the open-tamil contributors met on the poster.  ArunRam, Shrinivasan, Nithya and KraceKumar.

Wondered to see a 7th standard kid explaining on how he learnt Python. Will say about him on all my future python sessions and to all who ask for learning python.

Met my old friends Kamesh, Stylesen, Yogesh. Had nice time with them. Arvind from Elastic got introduced. He shared more new things about the Elasticsearch and

For my surprise, My master, Mr.Chandrashekar Babu was handling a workshop on concurrent programming. I always feel blessed to be in his classroom.
He is one of the main causes for me for being myself. He is always inspiring me with his continuous learning and sharing nature.

Learnt tons of new things in this two days. gevents, generators, yield, opencv, class, meta, async, queue, datastructure, xrange, stack and more. Have to digest them by reading about them and use int he projects I am working on.

As on the PySangamam logo, From Thirukkural – 394
குறள் 394:

உவப்பத் தலைக்கூடி உள்ளப் பிரிதல்
அனைத்தே புலவர் தொழில்.
மற்றவர்கள் கூடி வரும்போது, மனம் மகிழ அவர்களுடன் கலந்து பேசி, இனி இவரை எப்போது, எவ்வாறு சந்திக்கப் போகிறோம் என்று அவர்கள் எண்ணுமாறு பிரிவது கற்று அறிந்தவரின் செயல்.

It is the part of the learned to give joy to those whom they meet, and on leaving, to make them think (Oh! when shall we meet them again).
Realized and experienced this with PySangamam.

I dont have words to express my Thanks.

Waiting to see you all again.

My few clicks are here.  No much clicks this time.



One request for PySangaman team and other conference organizers –

Please arrange a play area for kids, so that parents can come as family and attend the events. Our kid Viyan came along with us. We had to keep on entertaining him with goodies, stickers, notebook, drawing etc. It may be tough things to arrange for a kids area. But it will help to being more women speakers and participants .

ILUGC Monthly Meet – August 11, 2018 – 3-6 pm – IITM

Hello all,

Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai [ ILUGC ] is spreading awareness on Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) in Chennai since January 1998.

We usually meet on the second Saturday of every month, and for the month of August we shall meet on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 1500 IST.

Venue: Classroom No 1,
Aerospace Engineering,
Near Gajendra Circle,
IIT Madras.
Link for the Map:

Talk Details:

Talk 1: Introduction to Docker

Description: Docker is helping to containerize the applications and environment. Let us explore the basic operations of docker.

Duration: 30 minutes
About Speakers: T Shrinivasan, A Free/Open Source Software Enthusiast.

Talk 2: Demo of creating custom spins using Ubuntu 18.04 and the use of systemd-nspawn container for chrooting

Duration: 45 minutes
About Yourself: S. Baskar, Another FOSS enthusiast

The speakers are requested to only use F/OSS OSes for their
presentations. The talks will be followed by lightning talks, and Q&A session.

Entry free. All are welcome.

Fix wireless on HP 2000 laptop for LiuxMint 19

Today, I installed LiuxMint 19 Tara on a HP 2000 Laptop.

Everything went fine. Bios was plain old. No issues with UFEI. Mint is supoer cool for newbies. But found Wifi was not working.

running “rfkill list all” showed that there were soft and hard blocks for wifi. running “sudo rfkill unblock all” removed the soft blocks.

Pressing the wifi button on F12 was not working.

Here is how fixed with some searching various forums.

  1. Ran this command.
sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-hp.conf <<< "blacklist hp_wmi"

2. Reset bios with default values

Then, WIFI started to work.

Thanks for the awesome opensource community for all the software ans ansers.

30 Project Ideas for contributing to Indic Wikipedia Projects

Last week, I had an interesting meeting with Panjabi Wikimedian community and CIS-A2K team.

Panjabi wikimedia community is small in count. But each of them are contributing with their best. Many of them doing 100-days-of-wiki, personal wiki edithathon for 100 days. Few of them do in in multiple sites and many times a year.

Their interest on contribution and passion on their language is awesome.

Interacted on wikisource, wiktionary and wikipedia. Shared many ideas to improve their workflow. They are looking for many tools to automate their tasks. Those tools will be useful for all wiki communities.

Then, had some great discussions with CIS-A2K team. We spoke about many interesting project ideas.
Listing them all the ideas here.

1. List down the Top 10 tricks/hacks/must know on any wikisource project

2. Make simple tutorials on how to start contributing to wiki, in all possible languages. Still we dont have an ebook or easy starter guide in Tamil. There may be video tutorials. curate them and show them in better way to find them easily.

3. Telegram bot to proofread wikisource contents. Get a page from wikisource. split it into lines, then words. Show a word and OCRed content in a telegrambot. User should verify or type the correct spelling in telegram itself. Submit the changes to wikisource. Thus, we can make the collaborated proofreading easily.

4. Explore how to use flickr for helping photographers to donate their photos for commons. Flickr is easy for them to upload and showcase. From there, we should move the photos to commons. Few tools are already available. Explore them and train them for photographers.

5. We should celebrate the volunteers who contribute to wiki. By events, news announcements, interviews etc. CIS may explore this.

6. Web application for OCR4WikiSource

7. Make a web application to record audio and upload to commons and add in wiktionary words. explore Lingua-Libre for web app.

8. Make a mobile application to record audio and upload to commons and add in wiktionary words.

9. CIS may ask the language based organizations to give their works/tools on public licenses.

10. A one/two day meeting/conference to connect various language technologies. Each team can demonstrate the tools they are working on. others can learn and use them for their languages. CIS may organize this soon.

11. Building spell checkers for Tamil. Learn how other other languages are doing. Odia seems to have good spell checker. Explore that.

12. For iOS, there is no commons app to upload photos. It was there sometime ago. Fix the iOS commons app and rerelease it again.

13. Build Maps with local languages with OSM.

14. One/Two day training on wiki tech. like gadgets, tools, toolserver, API, etc

15. Tweet marketing to promote the ebooks released in wikisource projects. Measure the downloads.

16. CIS may talk with amazon to release the ebooks from wikisource for free always at amazon.

17. Explore Valmigi project of malayalam, chikubuku of kannada – for their ebooks.

18. Download ebooks from dspace, bengali books – West Bengal Public Library Network – url –

19. Explore paid works for wikisource proofreading.

20. Blog on how ta wikisource for 2000 ebooks from TN government in public domain license. Send to CIS. They may try to do the same for other languages.

21. ASI website has info about all monuments. Scrap them all and add in wiki.

22. Scrap details from tourism sites and add in wiki.

23. Kannada archeology site has tons of images but with 3 seals added in all images. scrap them, remove seal and add to commons.

24. Tool to audit wiki sites. like new users, edits, measurements, KPIs, reports etc.

25. Discuss with wiki writers and help them to automate their tasks. Build new tools to help them. train existing tools.

26. Get existing photos from many photographers. Get license doc. Add in OTRS. Have a team to upload the photos to commons.

27. Find the pages that don’t have images. Search in commons and add 1 image automatically.

28. Infobox in wiki pages may have 1 image. Check for the same page in other languages.. get the image from infobox and use it in missing pages.

29. Tito showed a broken JS script. Explore it and fix it.

30. Discuss with victor and google team to improve the OCR feature and integrating with wikisource. Explore existing tools like and


Thanks to Ravi, Tito, Tanveer, Dan, Charan Singh, Manavpreet, Rupika,Gurlaal, Stain for the interesting meeting and great ideas.

We can work on these ideas and implement them soon.

If you are interested in doing any of the ideas, reply here or mail me on