Indian Linux Users Group Chennai – december 2017 meet – minutes


We had our last meet of the year 2017 on December 9, 2017 at IIT Madras.

Magesh started the show with his experiences on emacs.
He explored the key bindings, buffers and usage of emacs.

Explained on Emacs plugin system https://melpa.org
and emacs bundles http://spacemacs.org/

Then, Shakthi Kannan explored the NoSQL database Aerospike.
It is useful for faster access and can span upto 128 nodes.
Unlike having a master node, which communicates to other nodes,
it sends info about all the nodes to the clients.
So the clients can directly contact the node where the desired data resides.
It has more optimised for SSD hard disks.

He explained its architecture, how to connect and query, its dashboard,
performance features etc. Get more info here – https://www.aerospike.com/

Then, Siva explained Bitcoin. He spoke about its history, architecture, mining,
wallets, buying and selling methods, advantages, disadvantages and threats.

Senthil joined with him to explain the internals of Blockchain mechanism.

Then, we continued our discussions at nearby cafteria.

Its is good to meet the old friends of ILUGC.
We had Akilan, Mohan, Shakthi Kannan and Shrini.

We discussed about bitcoin, aadhaar, and other social issues.

Thanks for all the 25 participants and speakers.
Special thanks to students of Jaya Engineering College for their regular support.

More Photos are here
https://photos.app.goo.gl/PGOBBqpfnuvXd0aK2

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ILUG-C monthly meet – Saturday, 14 Oct 2017


Hi,

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 14, 2017 at 1500
IST.

Venue: Classroom No 1,
Aerospace Engineering,
Near Gajendra Circle,
IIT Madras.
Link for the Map: http://bit.ly/iitm-aero

Time  : OCt 14, 2017  3.00 – 6.00 PM

Talk Details:

Talk – 1

Topic – Install/demo Tamil TTS

Description :
Recently, we found ways to install Tamill TTS provided by IITM donlab
and SSN college of Engineering, Chennai

Here is the install script  – https://github.com/tshrinivasan/tamil-tts-install

Will demonstrate the install process

Duration : 30 min

About speaker – T Shrinivasan tshrinivasan@gmail.com , Ebooks
publisher at FreeTamilEbooks.com

Talk – 2

Mini workshop using a TelegramBOT to translate strings for OpenStreetMaps.org

We are dreaming about Maps in Tamil, for long time.

Imagine your mobile phone or GPS device, shows the maps in Tamil,
displays the roads, interesting places in Tamil, It shows routes and
says the street names and directions in Tamil while driving.

The dream can come into real as we have most of the required technologies.
OpenStreetMaps to provide maps, many apps like streetcomplete,
osmcontribute to add streetname and interesting places, Tamil TTS to
say everything in tamil.

The major thing we need is we need all the strings in Tamil.
OSM supports language tags and we can give any string in any language,
along with its translation on other languages.

To enable the translation process of existing strings in OSM, we are
working on a telegram bot. Now, it is easy to contribute to OSM via
translation, with mobile or with web browser.

The bot will be released for public tomorrow with its source code.

It will ask for your osm username, and  then for translate or verify.
The strings will be translated by google translator as first step.
That is not perfect fully. so, we need people to verify it,

You can see a string with its translation. Then say it right or wrong.
once three people confirmed a string it as right, it will be
confirmed. The incorrect strings will be displayed for translation.

Once the strings are completed, they will be uploaded to OSM using a
bot account.

Will release the bot tomorrow.

Come with
your smartphone.
Install Indic Keyboard or Sellinam for Tamil Typing.
Register at openstreetmaps.org

Let us have a translation workshop for openstreetmaps.org

Thanks for the team.

Dinesh Karthik – dineshkarthik.r@gmail.com
Srikanth Logic – srik.lak@gmail.com
Syed Khaleel Jageer – jskcse4@gmail.com
Shrinivasan – tshrinivasan@gmail.com

Duration – one hour

Topic – 3:

Any lighting talks, QA session, etc.

Entry Free. All are welcome.

Installation script for Tamil Text to speech System


The Tamil TTS system provided by IITM and SSN College of Engineering, has a lengthy installation process.

I have written them here. https://goinggnu.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/how-to-compile-tamil-tts-engine-from-source/

It may not be easy to follow and you may find some issues. To make the life easier, I have created shell script, to automate the entire process.

Here it is – https://github.com/tshrinivasan/tamil-tts-install

System requirements:

Ubuntu 16.04

How to execute:

git clone https://github.com/tshrinivasan/tamil-tts-install.git

cd tamil-tts-install

Edit the file, install-tamil-tts.sh

Fill the following details.

DOWNLOAD_PATH=/home/ubuntu/tts/packages #to download the required packages

COMPILE_PATH=/home/ubuntu/tts/compiled # to place the compiled files and folders

Register here http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/download.shtml and get a username and password

HTKUSER=htkuserchennai

HTKPASSWORD=sgqY=t=M

Then, execute the file as

bash install-tamil-tts.sh

How to convert a text to audio?

export FESTDIR=/usr

cd COMPLIE_PATH ssn_hts_demo/scripts/complete “தமிழ் வாழ்க” linux

This will convert the text and store as wav in

ssn_hts_demo/wav/1.wav

you can play it with any audio player.

The full details of what is on the compile process is explained here. https://goinggnu.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/how-to-compile-tamil-tts-engine-from-source/

To hear a demo on how the tamil TTS system sounds, click here

Thanks for IITM Team – Prof Hema  and Anju for their great support on helping us to get installed the tamil TTS system.

 

How to compile Tamil TTS engine from source?


IITMadras and SSN College of Engineering team have released a Open Source Text to speech conversion engine for Tamil and other indian languages.

Check their efforts at https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts

In this blog post, let us see how can we compile and install the tamil tts system in a ubuntu 16.04 machine.

 

Go to this link

https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts/voices.php

It will ask for Signup.
Register by giving username and email address.

Soon, you will get an email with the password to login.

If you dont’ get any password, send an email to hema@cse.iitm.ac.in

 

Once you got a password, login to the same link.

Now, you will get two select drop down lists.

Select Language = Tamil
Select Voice type = HTS-2.3

Click “Agree & Download”

It will download a file ssn_hts_demo_tamil_male.tgz

 

gunzip ssn_hts_demo_tamil_male.tgz
tar xvf ssn_hts_demo_tamil_male.tar

cd ssn_hts_demo

Read the README.txt

as step 1, it says as
Step 1: Configure the folder
./configure –with-fest-search-path=/$FESTDIR/examples/ –with-sptk-search-path=/usr/local/SPTK/bin/ –with-hts-search-path=/usr/local/HTS-2.2beta/bin/ –with-hts-engine-search-path=/PATH TO hts_engine_API-1.06/bin/

 

It requires, following software

1. Festival – we can install it using apt-get
2. SPTK
3. HTS
4. hts_engine_api

2,3, and 4 should be downloaded from respective sites as source and they should be compiled.

 

1. To install festival, run the below command

sudo apt-get install festival

 

Install few required packages

sudo wget festival libx11-dev build-essential g++-4.7 csh gawk bc sox tcsh default-jre -y

2. Download SPTK source from http://sp-tk.sourceforge.net/

https://nchc.dl.sourceforge.net/project/sp-tk/SPTK/SPTK-3.10/SPTK-3.10.tar.gz

 

tar xvzf SPTK-3.10.tar.gz

cd SPTK-3.10
./configure –prefix=/home/ubuntu/tts/sptk
make
make install

 

 

3. HTS-HTK
Download from http://hts.sp.nitech.ac.jp/?Download

 

mkdir hts-htk
cd hts-htk
wget http://hts.sp.nitech.ac.jp/archives/2.3/HTS-2.3_for_HTK-3.4.1.tar.bz2

tar xvjf HTS-2.3_for_HTK-3.4.1.tar.bz2

The INSTALL file says few things to do.

let us do them

Download HTK from
http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/download.shtml

it requires to register with username, email, organization and address.
Once registered, you will get password in mail.

using that you can download the packages

http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/ftp/software/HTK-3.4.1.tar.gz

 

wget http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/ftp/software/HTK-3.4.1.tar.gz –user=htkuserchennai –password=sgqY=t=M

 

download HDecode from
http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/prot-docs/hdecode.shtml

wget http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/ftp/software/hdecode/HDecode-3.4.1.tar.gz –user=htkuserchennai –password=sgqY=t=M

tar -zxvf HTK-3.4.1.tar.gz
tar -zxvf HDecode-3.4.1.tar.gz

cd htk

patch -p1 -d . < ../hts-htk/HTS-2.3_for_HTK-3.4.1.patch

./configure –prefix=/home/ubuntu/tts/hts

make

 

Now, I got the following error.

 

(cd HTKLib && make HTKLib.a) \
|| case “” in *k*) fail=yes;; *) exit 1;; esac;
make[1]: Entering directory ‘/home/ubuntu/htk/HTKLib’
gcc -Wall -Wno-switch -g -O2 -I. -DPHNALG -c -o HGraf.o HGraf.c
HGraf.c:118:77: fatal error: X11/Xlib.h: No such file or directory
compilation terminated.
<builtin>: recipe for target ‘HGraf.o’ failed
make[1]: *** [HGraf.o] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory ‘/home/ubuntu/htk/HTKLib’
Makefile:141: recipe for target ‘HTKLib/HTKLib.a’ failed
make: *** [HTKLib/HTKLib.a] Error 1

To solve this, run the below command

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5299989/x11-xlib-h-not-found-in-ubuntu

Thanks to the s.t.o community for the answer.

 

run make again

make

Got another error as below.

 

gcc -Wall -Wno-switch -g -O2 -I. -DPHNALG -c -o esignal.o esignal.c
In file included from /usr/include/string.h:630:0,
from esignal.h:34,
from esignal.c:29:
esignal.c: In function ‘ReadHeader’:
esignal.c:974:29: error: ‘ARCH’ undeclared (first use in this function)
if (strcmp(architecture, ARCH) == 0) /* native architecture */
^
esignal.c:974:29: note: each undeclared identifier is reported only once for each function it appears in
esignal.c: In function ‘WriteHeader’:
esignal.c:1184:25: error: ‘ARCH’ undeclared (first use in this function)
architecture = ARCH;
^
esignal.c: In function ‘GetLine’:
esignal.c:1760:4: warning: ignoring return value of ‘fgets’, declared with attribute warn_unused_result [-Wunused-result]
fgets(buf, len+1, file);
^
esignal.c: In function ‘GetLong’:
esignal.c:1808:4: warning: ignoring return value of ‘fgets’, declared with attribute warn_unused_result [-Wunused-result]
fgets(buf, len+1, file);
^
<builtin>: recipe for target ‘esignal.o’ failed
make[1]: *** [esignal.o] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory ‘/home/ubuntu/htk/HTKLib’
Makefile:141: recipe for target ‘HTKLib/HTKLib.a’ failed
make: *** [HTKLib/HTKLib.a] Error 1

Again s.t.o helped.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37719890/install-hts-2-3-for-htk-3-4-1-on-ubuntu-16-04-has-error

Run the below commands

sudo apt-get install g++-4.7
export CC=gcc-4.7 CXX=g++-4.7
./configure CFLAGS=”-DARCH=linux” –prefix=/home/ubuntu/tts/hts
make
make install

 

Next is hts_engine_API

download from https://sourceforge.net/projects/hts-engine/files/hts_engine%20API/hts_engine_API-1.10/

wget https://nchc.dl.sourceforge.net/project/hts-engine/hts_engine%20API/hts_engine_API-1.10/hts_engine_API-1.10.tar.gz

tar xvzf hts_engine_API-1.10.tar.gz
cd hts_engine_API-1.10
./configure –prefix=/home/ubuntu/tts/hts_engine_api
make
make install

 

Then, few more commands.

cd /usr/share/doc/festival/examples/
sudo gunzip dumpfeats.gz

sudo gunzip dumpfeats.sh.gz
sudo chmod a+rx /usr/share/doc/festival/examples/dumpfeats

Thats all. We install all the dependancies of ssn_hts_demo.
Let us install it now.

cd ssn_hts_demo

./configure –with-fest-search-path=/usr/share/doc/festival/examples –with-sptk-search-path=/home/ubuntu/tts/sptk/bin/ –with-hts-search-path=/home/ubuntu/tts/hts/bin/ –with-hts-engine-search-path=/home/ubuntu/tts/hts_engine_api/bin/

sudo mv /usr/share/festival/radio_phones.scm /usr/share/festival/radio_phones.scm-old

sudo cp ~/ssn_hts_demo/radio_phones.scm /usr/share/festival/

sudo cp ~/ssn_hts_demo/Slurp.pm /usr/share/perl5/File/

gcc scripts/tamil_trans.c -o scripts/tamil_trans

 

Thats all. Done with all the compilation works.

Let us invoke the command to make the tamil text to audio.

export FESTDIR=/usr
ssn_hts_demo/scripts/complete “தமிழ் வாழ்க” linux

This will make audio file as ssn_hts_demo/wav/1.wav

I can now play the file with any audio player and hear a good voice of the text in tamil.

 

I tried with a little huge text.

here is the demo

The text I gave is

என் சரித்திரம், உ. வே. சாமிநாதையர் எழுதிய தன்வரலாறு ஆகும். இதில் 1855ஆம் ஆண்டு முதல் 1898ஆம் ஆண்டு வரை அவருடைய வாழ்வில் நிகழ்ந்தவை பதியப்பட்டுள்ளன. இதில் அவர் தமிழ் கற்ற வரலாறு, தமிழ் நூல்களைப் பதிப்பித்த வரலாறும் பதிவுசெய்யப்பட்டு உள்ளன.தமிழ்த்தாத்தா டாக்டர் உ.வே.சா. அவர்கள் எழுதிய தன் வரலாற்று நூல் இது. இந்நூலைக் கற்றால் ‘பெருக்கத்து வேண்டும் பணிதல்’ என்ற இலக்கணத்துக்கு இதுதான் சரியான இலக்கியம் என்ற உண்மை தெளிவாகும். பேதங்களுக்கு அப்பாற்பட்ட போதம்தான் தமிழ்ஞானம் என்பது இந்நூலின் தொகுமொத்தப் பொருள் என்றால் அது மிகையாகாது. ’நன்றிக்கு வித்தாகும் நல்லொழுக்கம்’ என்ற தொடரை விளக்குவதற்காக இவர் மண்ணுலகில் பிறந்தார் என்று கொள்ள வேண்டி இருக்கிறது. டாக்டர் உ.வே.சா. அவர்களின் என் சரித்திரமும் மகாத்மா காந்திஜி அவர்களின் சத்திய சோதனையும் ஒரேதரம் உடையவை. இவற்றின் ஒவ்வோரெழுத்தும் வாய்மை நிரம்பிய வைர எழுத்துக்கள்.என் சரித்திரம் கற்றால் தமிழார்வம் வரும். வந்த தமிழார்வம் வளரும். பத்துப்பாட்டும், எட்டுத்தொகையுள் ஐந்தும், மூன்று பெரும் காப்பியங்களும், ஐம்பதிற்கும் மேற்பட்ட பிற இலக்கியங்களும், இலக்கண நூல்களும் நின்று நிலவுவதற்குக் காரணம், டாக்டர் உ.வே.சா. அவர்களின் அயரா உழைப்பே என்பதை, இந்த மன்பதை அறியும். அந்த நூல்களைக் கற்கும் முன், ’என் சரித்திரம்’ என்னும் இந்த நூலைக் கற்க வேண்டும். இதனைக் கற்றால் தமிழ் நூல்களை அச்சுக்குக் கொண்டுவர அவர்பட்ட இன்னல்கள் புரியும்.1. எங்கள் ஊர்சற்றேறக்குறைய இருநூறு வருஷங்களுக்கு முன்பு தஞ்சாவூர் ஸமஸ்தானத்தை ஆண்டு வந்த அரசர் ஒருவர் தம்முடைய பரிவாரங்களுடன் நாடு முழுவதையும் சுற்றிப் பார்க்கும் பொருட்டு ஒருமுறை தஞ்சாவூரிலிருந்து புறப்பட்டார். அங்கங்கே உள்ள இயற்கைக் காட்சிகளை யெல்லாம் கண்டு களித்தும், ஸ்தலங்களைத் தரிசித்துக்கொண்டும் சென்றார். இடையில், தஞ்சைக்குக் கிழக்கே பதினைந்து மைல் தூரத்திலுள்ள பாபநாசத்திற்கு அருகில் ஓரிடத்தில் தங்கினார். வழக்கம்போல் அங்கே போஜனம் முடித்துக்கொண்ட பிறகு தாம்பூலம் போட்டுக்கொண்டு சிறிது நேரம் சிரம பரிகாரம் செய்திருந்தார்; தம்முடன் வந்தவர்களோடு பேசிக்கொண்டு பொழுதுபோக்குகையில் பேச்சுக்கிடையே அன்று ஏகாதசி யென்று தெரிய வந்தது. அரசர் ஏகாதசியன்று ஒரு வேளை மாத்திரம் உணவுகொள்ளும் விரதமுடையவர்; விரத தினத்தன்று தாம்பூலம் தரித்துக்கொள்வதும் வழக்கமில்லை. அப்படியிருக்க, அவர் ஏகாதசி யென்று தெரியாமல் அன்று தாம்பூலம் தரித்துக்கொண்டார். தஞ்சாவூராக இருந்தால் அரண்மனை ஜோதிஷர் ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் காலையில் வந்து அன்றன்று திதி, வார, நக்ஷத்திர, யோக, கரண விசேக்ஷங்கள் இன்னவையென்று பஞ்சாங்கத்திலிருந்து வாசித்துச் சொல்வார். அதற்காகவே அவருக்கு மான்யங்களும் இருந்தன.அரசருடைய பிரயாணத்தில் ஜோதிஷர் உடன் வரவில்லை. அதனால் ஏகாதசியை அரசர் தெரிந்துகொள்ள முடியவில்லை. எதிர்பாராதபடி விரதத்திற்கு ஒரு பங்கம் நேர்ந்ததைப் பற்றி வருந்திய அரசர் அதற்கு என்ன பரிகாரம் செய்யலாமென்று சில பெரியோர்களைக் கேட்கத் தொடங்கினர்.(மேலும் படிக்க…)

 

Here the audio now.

 

 

Yes. This is the best open source text to speech engine for tamil, so far.

Tons of thanks for IITM team and SSN College of Engineering for making the TTS engine and releasing as open source and for free.

Working on making the installation easier with a shell script.

Will share once done.

 

 

ILUGC Hackathon – 2 – Wikipedia Hackathon – July 23, 2017


Announcing our second hackathon on July 23. This time it is all about Wikipedia.

Venue :

Hexolabs Interactive Tech Pvt Ltd, Type II/17, Dr.VSI Estate,
Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai 41. Phone – 044 42169699  Near NIFT, Opposite
to Origin Towers.

https://goo.gl/maps/XtTZXXDf3Ku
https://www.openstreetmap.org/node/4978570060#map=17/12.98271/80.25278

Date : July 23, 2017
Time : 10.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Must:

* Bring your laptop
* Knowledge in any programming language

Good:

* To bring any internet device like dongle or 4g smartphone to get your own internet, as there is limited speed in available internet

Pre-Learning:

Exploring these links and installing them is desired.

Installing medaiwiki-
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-mediawiki-on-ubuntu-14-04

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Installing_MediaWiki_on_XAMPP

wikitools – Python Library
https://github.com/alexz-enwp/wikitools/wiki/Documentation

Mediawiki API https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/API:Main_page

Gadgets https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Gadget_kitchen

Hack Ideas:

If you, or Tamil or any other language wiki needs any programming solutions, share the ideas here.

Examples :
1. Report of contributions of all TN school teachers. Usernames will
start as TNSE. Need a report like https://ta.wikipedia.org/s/6s9e

2. Fixing the titles, moving the pages automatically, if they have
errors on page title.

3. Install Tamil TTS – https://www.iitm.ac.in/donlab/tts/index.php
and try to use it for wiki pages.

Registration :

To register, add your name in the following wiki page.
bit.ly/2u5AnT1

If you dont know tamil, just mail me your interest to attend.

Contact:

T Shrinivasan  tshrinivasan@gmail.com 98417 9546 Eight

Meeting Minutes – July 2017 meet


Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai is my homeland. The monthly meetings always give great ideas and thoughts. Most of my project ideas are being initiated here. Kaniyam.com and FreeTamilEbooks.com are childs of the thoughts discussed here.

We meet, every month, second saturday at IIT Madras – 3-6 pm. Last saturday, we had a meet. Here are the notes.

Joshua explained about Yocta project. This is used to build tiny GNU/Linux distributions with only the minimal required tools and libraries. We can create many recipies and use them to design our own OS.

Yocto project க்கான பட முடிவு

He explained the build tool bitbake and demonstrated the processes.

Few links to know more about it.

https://www.yoctoproject.org/about
https://www.slideshare.net/rossburton/the-yocto-project
https://www.slideshare.net/coldnew/build-your-own-embedded-linux-distributions-by-yocto-project

Khaleel explained about OpenStreetMaps.org  . He demonstrated how to add new roads, Point of interests and how to edit other’s works. He explained how the project started, why it exists and why it is important to contribute for it.

File:OSM Logo.svg


We can add missing details about the streetname and POI for chennai.

Use these applications to contribute using mobile.
1. maps.me
2. OSM contributor

Using the app, “StreetComplete” we can add missing street names easily.

We can plan for an online or offline mapathon event to learn OSM
contribution someday this month.

Few links:
http://openstreetmap.org/
https://www.slideshare.net/keng/20130507-opendreamandosmatmekongictcamp
https://www.slideshare.net/ckreutz/maptivism-maps-for-activism-transparency-and-engagement

I distributed few old “Linux for you” books to the participants.


After the talk, few of us went to gurunath restaurant. Discussed about bitcoin, blockchain, chennai colleges, having hackathon and trainings etc. Baskar selvaraj requested to have more offline events like we were doing few years ago. Remembered contributions of our long time members like KG, Raaman, Bharathi etc. He shared all the fun happening at colleges on the events he conducts. It will be really great if we start more events. Let us plan them and start as soon as possible.

Thanks for all participants and speakers.

Here are few photos
https://goo.gl/photos/y7nEuEvoNBGZTBVr9

Minutes – ILUGC Feb 2017 meet


Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai community is meeting every month second saturday at Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras.

Yesterday, we had out feb 2017 meeting.

Ajay started with Various open source licenses available and explored their pros and cons. Explained how the Open Core business model is helping many companies to do their business by open sourcing the core of their software with releasing the other components as proprietary software.

See the slides here

http://slides.com/danatic/licensing#/

 

Then, Viswaprasath from Mozilla Tamilnadu community explained about Firefox’s new web extensions api. Now we can build cross browser extensions using simple HTML/JavaScript/CSS stack. No need to play around with XUL. He explained the architecture of a simple plugin he developed.

Few links to explore on this

http://thehackernews.com/2015/08/mozilla-firefox-web-extensions.html

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions

https://wiki.mozilla.org/WebExtensions

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/09/lets_write_a_webextension/

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Your_first_WebExtension

 

Then, Karthik from Mozilla Tamilnadu, explored webVR. Virtual reality using browser. Now with Three.js we can create 3d worlds that can be viewed on browser itself.

A-frame is a Javascript framework on top of threejs.

Few links

https://aframe.io/

https://aframe.io/docs/0.5.0/introduction/

https://aframe.io/aframe-presentation-kit/

Then, he explained how the mozilla Tamilnadu community is working to spread Free/Open Software on colleges and organizations.

Join the awesome community to learn and contribute for free software.

https://mozillatn.github.io/

https://www.facebook.com/MozillaTN

https://web.telegram.org/#/im?p=@mozillatnc

 

Then, I gave a lightning talk on few projects ideas to do. A firefox plugin to help proofreading tamil wikisource, flipboard alternate in tamil, epub cleaning for FreeTamilEbooks.com, Download report for wikisource ebooks, web application for OCR4WikiSource, Translating city/street names in Tamil for building maps in Tamil. Will write a new post with all the details of these project ideas.

Asked for contributors and ideas. Students from S.Joseph Institute of Tech accepted to help on these projects. We can have a hackathon to do these projects.

Reply here if you know any place to conduct a one day hackathon.

Finally, asked all to join in ILUGC mailing list at https://www.freelists.org/list/ilugc

Our meetings will end on the cafe nearby. old mohan, new mohan, yogesh, myself and other one(sorry dude, still trying to get your name) had great discussions at cafe on building Tamil Text to Speech engine, Advantages of go over python and a lot.

Returned to home by bus with Mohan, discussing various tech, social, academic, industry trends. Interacting with energetic young people makes me feel encouraged to learn new things always.

Thanks for all the speakers and participants for building a wonderful community for GNU/Linux. Let us hope to have more events like hackathon, FossConf etc, this year.

Few photos

https://goo.gl/photos/T3TSFw6vfcMFfwyN8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Home, Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai


After several months, Today attended ILUGC meeting.

Felt like being at hometown. Yes. ILUGC is where I born and  grown in Free Software world.

At todays meet, ShanthaKumar explained about Haskell and its testing methods. Haskell is a functional language. He is using genetic algorithms and AI to parse english text with a POS tagger.

Saai Akash from Jaya Enginneering College explained about Elastic Search Engine.

Both Shantha kumar and Saai are Final year engineering students. It is a good thing that students talk in tech communities.

Then Shakthi Kannan explored about Par Edit is an Emacs minor mode for editing S-expressions. He is living with Emacs. Inspired by regular talks and writings only I started to use Emacs and enjoying its benefits.

Saw three elder people attended the meet and asked good questions.

After long time, met Mohan, Stylesen, Joe Steve. The very long time ilugc friends.
As usual, the stand up meeting after the event was much informative. We went to a nearby canteen and had fun with food.

ILUGC is one of the oldest GNU/Linux users groups in the world. Yes. 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 at IIT Madras, Aero space Engineering Building.

If you are in chennai on second saturdays, dont miss this meetings. You will learn tons of things and meet great people.

Thanks to all ILUGC friends for moving forward on building a great community for FOSS.

 

 

 

 

 

How to get a computer science career?


How students can prepare themselves for a computer career?

 

I thank Mr. Ashok <ashokramach@gmail.com> for translating the article in English.

The original Tamil version is available here. http://kaniyam.com/how-to-get-a-computer-science-job/

 

How students can prepare themselves for a computer career?

 

Dear student aspiring for a computer career,

For those students who have completed a computer science or related course and in the process of a job search or will be starting one,

 

Greetings.

Shall we talk a little bit about your job search process?

 

Each year, about 2 lakh students complete their studies in Tamil Nadu, graduate and start looking for a job in the computer field. Of course, it is not possible for 2 lakh new jobs to be created every year. This is why everyone does not get a job immediately. Only about 10% of the people land a job with large enterprises such as InfoSys, TCS and CTS in the Campus Interview. SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) provide the opportunities for the remaining 90%.

Shall we see what kind of problems arise in hiring freshers in this kind of Micro, Small and Medium companies?

 

1. Training

These SMEs cannot provide the place, trainers and 6-months time for training the freshers like the large enterprises. Even one or two weeks is difficult. Students who are prepared to pay as much as 1 lakh rupees for a 6-month course in large private computer training companies like NIIT, instead if you join smaller companies, you expect to be paid a salary for the same training.

To provide free training, office in central city location, air conditioning, computers, internet connection and uninterrupted power and on top of that to pay a salary, these companies are not charitable organizations. Let us say these students are provided free training for a few months, it takes another 6-months for them to become productive. By then a year goes by.

After the lapse of a year, you compare yourselves with friends working for large enterprises. You say, “He is paid Rs 20,000 per month and gets overseas opportunities. I must have the same pay and overseas opportunities.” and switch to another company. Your company that has accepted new projects from customers, will have to start looking for employees again. As many are doing this, companies are afraid to hire freshers.

If they hire employees with experience of one year or more, they need to train them for only a week or two. They will start being productive from the third week. Companies will also get their work done. Even if they quit in a year, there is no big loss for the company. For the salary paid for the year, they would have got matching output.

Instead, if they hire freshers they have to pay the salary and invest in training. And their output is very low. What solution would you suggest for this?

If tomorrow you were to start a company, you will be facing this same situation. How will you manage this?

I can hear you saying, “This is all fine. But only if we get a job we can gain experience. Without a job we don’t have any experience either.” That is also true.

 

2. Knowledge and skills

Knowledge, skills and experience need not be gained only by taking up a job. We can grow these ourselves, Right?

What do most students say? “Give me a job. Then, I will learn all that is required. After that, I will grow my skills.” True.

Let us say, you buy a car to travel out of town with your family often. You are looking for a good driver. I have come for an interview. I have attended driving classes. But I do not have any experience.

“I have completed training. I have a certificate. But, I do not have experience. Give me employment. Let me have your new car. Give me training for a few months. Once I have learnt it well, I will drive your family wherever you want.”

If I say this, will you hire me? But, this is what you say to the companies.

For learning how to drive a car, you need a car that costs lakhs of rupees. But for learning computer skills you can use the computer you already have.

In cricket, if someone is not scoring runs, even if it is Sachin, we get annoyed. We expect them to score continuously and hit fours and sixes frequently. However, you will not create any software using your computer, but will listen to music, watch films, play games and keep chatting with your friends on social media. How is this justified?

 

3. Interview

 

If I advertise saying that I want 100 freshers for my company, at least a 1000 people apply. Most of these follow the same template. “I know C, C++, Java, Oracle, HTML, CSS, Javascript, VB, DotNet, ASP, Photoshop, Windows and so on.” With freshers versed in all these skills we begin to have confidence that we can develop any software. Let us call some of them for an interview.

 

“Hello!”

“Hello, sir!”

“What are your skills?”

“I have all the computer skills. C, C++, Java, DotNet, Oracle… and so on!”

“Oh, I am happy to hear that. What Project did you do?”

“About that sir! I created the software for the space vehicle that was launched last month. It combines Fuzzy Logic and Artificial Intelligence in Cloud Computing and will run on Android and iOS.”

“Very good! Can you develop a small software program to keep track of receipts and expenses in my small shop?”

“All by myself? That is difficult sir. I have to study more. Give me a job. Then I will study and then complete this work for you.”

“Why not? Did you not do that major project by yourself? You even explained that at length.”

“About that sir…hmm….hmm I didn’t do that project by myself.”

“Then, who did?”

“We bought it from a project center in T. Nagar for Rs. 10,000. However, I know all about that project. Give me a job. I will learn everything well and then complete your project.”

This is what 95 out of 100 people say. Only a very few do the project by themselves and gain the skill and experience of developing new software.

How can anybody employ someone who doesn’t even have such basic skills?

How will you go to a doctor who has completed a medical degree but says doesn’t know anything?

Isn’t computer studies the same?

In education, the lowest level of qualification is ITI. Candidates who have failed in 10th standard can join ITI. We can ask a student who has just completed 2 year welding course in ITI to make a grill gate for us. He will also willingly make one.

A computer student who has completed 12th standard and then studied computers extensively for 3 or 4 or even 6 years is not able to create even a small piece of software on their own.

Companies are not prepared to offer employment to such students who don’t know anything. Only about 10 percent of the students get jobs through Reference, Campus Interview, or Off Campus. The rest have to find a job only through their capability.

 

4. How to gain experience and skill ?

 

The job of a cricket player is to practice regularly and display their talent. Nobody says, “Include me in the Indian cricket team! Then I will learn the game and then I will play well and after that I will win cups for the country.”

To become more skilled in cricket, you have to take the bat / ball and practice. For computers, it is enough if you practice with the computer you already have. To learn software development all you need are a computer and internet connection.

If you do all of the steps below, you will learn automatically:

 

1. Learn beyond the syllabus.

Learn many skills such as GNU/Linux, PHP, Python, Ruby, MySQL.

 

2. Join Tech groups

Join Tech groups in your town. If there are no groups, start one. Meet frequently and learn new things.

 

3. Learn GNU/Linux

The whole world is eagerly taking on to GNU/Linux. Leave Windows and install any Linux distro such as Ubuntu, Debian or Fedora. When you use the Command Line, many things will become clearer to you.

 

4. Study the software source code

You can access the source code of all the software in GNU/Linux. Download them, open them and simply study them.

 

5. Develop software

Create a simple calculator. An address book. A tool for testing the Internet connection, an alarm, a backup software, web scraping software and other software for very small tasks. Each task will take only a day or two.

 

Then ask people around you and develop any software that they need. Shops will need many softwares such as Billing, Accounts, Attendance and so on. Develop them free of charge.

 

6. Learn version control

Version Control System is helpful to share the source code with others and share to do the work as a team. Learn Subversion (SVN) and GIT. Create an account on http://github.com and add your source code there. Also, contribute to software created by others. Your Github profile will determine your growth more than your FaceBook profile.

 

7. Contribute to Open source

Contribute to your favorite Open Source project. Even if you contribute one line of code it is a big thing. In addition to coding, contribute to other things like documentation, graphics, helping in IRC, Forum or Mailing List, packaging, publicity or translation. Search for “How to contribute to Open Source Software?” Contribute to your favorite Open Source project in your favorite language.

 

8. Write a blog

Write about everything you worked on in your blog. Write everyday without fail. Your blog will become your best Visiting Card.

 

9. Add all these things to your Resume

Add to your Resume your blog address, your Github address, the list of Open Source software you are contributing to and all the skills you have learnt beyond your syllabus.

 

10. Don’t ask for a job. Ask for Project Work.

Don’t bug everyone you know to get you a job. Tell them that you will develop any software that they need. Do it as a Project Work.

After completing your education, if you merely keep searching for a job, an year will go by easily. By then the next batch will graduate and will become freshers. You will be in a very confused state being neither a fresher nor having any experience.

In this one year if you do about one project per month you would have completed about 10 to 12 projects. You can claim that as one year experience. You can rightfully claim that as one year freelancing work in your Resume.

Declare that you have one year experience and search for a job. Then see what kind of opportunities you get. Because you have actual experience, your interview will also be easier.

When you do many projects, you may be able to develop commercial software and earn from it. If you develop a good team, you may be able to start your own business.

If you work hard and also have the skills, the sky is the limit for your career.

 

My dear Sachins! Just as Sachin amassed 50’s and 100’s, develop software, contribute to Free/Open Source software and shine like the bright sun with your talent!

 

My very best wishes.

Also, see these links.

 

http://ilugc.in

http://fsftn.org

http://opensource.com/life/13/4/ten-ways-participate-open-source

http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/How_to_start_contributing_to_or_using_Open_Source_Software

http://blog.smartbear.com/programming/14-ways-to-contribute-to-open-source-without-being-a-programming-genius-or-a-rock-star/

https://goinggnu.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/what-to-do-after-learning-python-programming/

 

Give your feedback in the ‘Comments’ here..

 

Regards,

T Shrinivasan

tshrinivasan@gmail.com

Will you buy a Digital Product that allows you to share and remix?


Today, My beloved Tamil author Mr.N Chokkan, asked a question in twitter.

புது நூல் / இசை PDF / MP3 கிடைக்குமா என்றுதான் 99.99% ட்வீட்கள். சும்மா ஒரு பாவனைக்குக்கூட, ‘எங்கே வாங்கலாம்?’ என்று கேட்பதில்லை

https://twitter.com/nchokkan/statuses/399372520245043200

புதுப்பட / பாடல் / புத்தக download லிங்க் பகிரங்கமாகக் கேட்போர் ‘அரிசி அரை கிலோ வேண்டும், எங்கே திருடலாம்?’ என்று ட்வீட் எழுதுவார்களா?

https://twitter.com/nchokkan/statuses/399372850156429312

He asks that

People ask for download link when a new Book/Movie/Audio is released.
99.99% tweets are regarding download links. Nobody asks for a link to buy them.
Will people ask for a how to steal rice, when they need to buy it?

This questions raised a lot of thoughts and sharing them here.

Sharing is a nature of human. When we are kids, our moms asked us to share the foods with our friends. They put extra food in our tiffin boxes for sharing.

She share the food with neighbors even today.

They all know that sharing is caring.

It is not about the cost. I have a thing with me. I will share it with anyone.
Its my right.

It historic days, Ramanajur, the Hindu saint, was asked to keep a secret of god.
He reached to a temple tower and announced the secret to all public, proving that all good things should reach all.

http://srivaishnavam.com/ramanuja_lifehistory.htm
Check Chapter 11

All the world literature is being transformed for ages and ages to next generation just make sure that all the good should reach all. Nobody cared about the copyright laws.

Let us come to the modern era.

There are Analog Products and Digital Products.

Let us compare an Analog Book or Motor Bike.

To make a Motor Bike, the manufacturing company should invest atleast 30-40% of the selling price. For each MotorBike, the company should invest the same 30-40% cost of the bike.

Once I bought the Bike, Its my own property.

  • I can ride it anywhere.
  • I can share it with my friends.
  • I can make it into parts on to know how it works.
  • If I am a mechanic, I can repair or rework on it to customize it.
  • I can resell it.
  • I can donate it.

I can do whatever I want.

Let us come to a Digital Product.

It is a Software/Music/Ebook.

Let us say the Company invests 30-40% of the selling cost to create the first copy of the product.

What is the cost the company invests for the second copy? 0 Rs or 10 Rs for the CD or DVD. But they sell all the copies to the same rate. How this is correct?

Fine. Its their wish to sell for any cost. As a buyer what rights I get?

  • I should not make copies of it.
  • I should not share it.
  • I should not modify it.
  • I should not study it.

When a mechanic can study a Bike, As a software engineer why should not I study the software I buy? Why I dont get the source code?

When I buy a music cd, why I should not share it with my friends, when I share my Bike? Why I should not resell the CD, when I sell my bike?

Business people may come with some weired answers for these questions.

They need to make tons and tons of money with one time effort and to sell million times.

They say with lot of buzzwords like intellectual property, copyright laws etc, just to make sure that the digital products are not copied and shared.

Fine. It will be nice, if anyone replied here on what are the fears of a Digital Product creator to sell his products for a cheaper price with all rights to the buyer?

Do you think that we can not make money when there is no secret?

Take the Food Industry.

Most of us know, how to make Idly, Sambar, Rice and all other delicious Food.
But still there is Saravana bhavan making money. HotChips makes money.
Name a branded hotel. It makes Millions of money, where all the recipe are open to public. They sell the Food with all the rights to the buyer to share, resell, remix, etc.

If they can make money, with open recipe and rights to share, we also can make it. Yes. Need to make a lot of changes in business model and have to reduce the greediness of making million dollar by investing only one time.

Let us think on the other way.

We are living in a era of sharing.
Though there are tight laws, we can not prevent online sharing of digital products.
Though it is illegal, people love to share their contents. Because, Sharing is in our blood.

People will pay and buy any product that is affordable and encourages them to learn it, hack it, share it and remix it.

Still in doubt?

Write a book and release the PDF for 20-30 Rs with all rights to share and remix in Creative Commons license.

Choose a suitable license from here. http://creativecommons.org/choose/

I am sure you will get more money then you get as royalty when you release as a printer book by any publisher.

(Ask your known writers on how much they make money as royalty. They get very less and they even dont know how many books are sold. Publishers wont share any business data with the writers.)

Reply here, If you agree to buy such a Digital Product that is cheap and in Creative commons license.