You are viewing pradeepto

w00t? /me on LJ??!? :O Below are the 4 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Pradeepto Bhattacharya" journal:
May 4th, 2008
10:08 pm

[Link]

Open Technology Summit 2008, Taiwan - Part 4 - The Beginning
recap...

Day 6: The last day in Taiwan!!! :(. I woke up and had my breakfast, checked out from hotel, kept my things there though and went to NTU Hospital station which was 2 stations away from Zongshan MRT. The reason for going there was Taiwan Handicrafts Promotion Center. At the MRT, I asked for directions to the centre and was pretty much dropped at the centre ( lovely Taiwanese people :). The centre was big building with 4 - basment + 3 - floors of goodies waiting to be sold. Paintings, scrolls, gifts, koji pottery, chop sticks, books, clothes, just about everything was on sale. Bought a few things - a scroll painting, a tea set ( wifey asked for something for the first time ;) and some more such things. Oh and I bought chopsticks even, so that I can practise eating with it ;). Thanks to Wendy and Bellring, I always found a fork or spoon when I was in Taiwan :). After all that shopping, I was supposed to meet up with the gang for a "follow up" / "retrospection" meeting. We were supposed to meet up at Mr. Brown Coffee just near my hotel. Bumped into the gang at the MRT itself. Thanks to them for helping me carry my stuff from there. Dropped things at the hotel, Frank kept his newly bought Eee PC ( the latest 900 model with 20 GB SSD ) and headed back to the coffee house.

We spoke about our experiences from the conference over coffee and some snacks. Everybody had nice things to say about. But what is still etched in my mind is what Wesley said and later Marek seconded it - "for its not just a week of experience, its been like a month long venture ...". We could see the satisfaction and pleasure in the eyes of these two brave souls who fought numerous battles to get all of us there, work out the little details, make this conference happen. We went to discuss - "whats next?". How OHI website should be and what can be done about? Joy Tang and Steven Chang ( most jolly and happy person I have ever met ). It was almost evening when one by one people started leaving either to pack to leave or something else. But a final get-together and dinner still remained. So all of us planned to meet at a Sushi place at Taipei Main Station. I picked up my luggage from the hotel and we left for dinner. Marek, Simon, Xavier and Florian helped me a lot. We put my stuff in a locker at the station and went to the Sushi place. This was my first Sushi experience and I can't complain :). Loved the shrimps and salmon. Have to try Sushi again sometime soon. Its quite cheap even, 30 NT per plate you take. Soon rest of the gang joined us. It was awesome that even Brian and Bellring joined us, so I could meet them one last time before I left the Taiwanese shores. I bid farewell to all my new friends from across the world. Wendy and Marec came to drop me upto the bus stop for airport. That was quite nice of them. Finally wished them goodbye and good luck and left for the airport.

TPE Airport is quite nice. I had no problems with extra hand luggages ( all that handicrafts foo I bought ), the checkin executive allowed all of it without any extra charges. I had done a webcheck-in anyway. Btw, I flew Eva Airways ( huge business house in Taiwan, you must have seen those big containers with Evergreen written on them, same group ), which code shares with Air India and has a direct flight to and from BOM. The flight both ways are quite empty :). Tip - select the seats from row 40 onwards, you might get a whole row for yourself. I did. :). The flight timings are odd though - leaves BOM at 5:30 AM and reaches BOM at 4:00 AM or such. Reached home safely, had no issues with customs, didn't have anything worth getting caught anyway ;). The porters of course bugged me to eternity of course about helping me get through the green channel. They do that everytime and to everyone anyway.

Finale: It was a wonderful experience. One of the best meets I have been to. Wonderful and warm people were a huge plus. Thanks to all those involved and made it happen. Made a lot of new friends, learnt a lot from people, saw new places, saw a different culture. I will blog about Taiwanese people , Taiwanese food Taiwanese culture and the some of the gang members separately later.

The End. The Beginning!!! :)

Current Location: New Panvel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

10:02 pm

[Link]

Open Technology Summit 2008, Taiwan - Part 3 - Tall Buildings, Robots, Doctors, Wisemen and Visions
recap ...

Day 4: Woke up and had breakfast. Pretty much everything went according to plans until the rains happened. Anyway, I left hotel on time but had to go back to the hotel because I wanted to check something in my room which meant that I missed the Amarok guys but anyway, we went with our own set of plans anway. I visited the (ex?) World Tallest Building - Taipei 101. It was wonderful being there on the 91st floor outdoor observatory. Taipei 101 has high speed elevators which takes you from 5th floor ( where you can buy tickets to go to the obvervatory for 400 NT ) to 89th floor in 37 seconds :O. When I reached there the 91st floor was closed because of rain etc, but by the time I was done with the 89th floor indoor observatory and the dampener ( a HUGE sphere suspended by large steel cables which provides balance to the building against winds and such ) in the 88th floor, they opened the 91st floor to the public. It was a wonderful experience, standing tall high up there and looking over all of Taipei. There is a nice room which shows a 15 minute movie about Taipei 101 - foundation, construction to inauguration on night of Dec 31st 2007. The indoor observatory has some shops selling everything from food to souvenirs to "certificates" which certified that you have visited Taipei 101 ;). Shops sold even batteries, camera rolls and SD cards - good idea really, you never know when one of those betray you. 1 pack of 4 AA cells ( with 2 more thrown in for free ) were for 129 NT, which should be around 170 Indian Rupees. I bought a few souvenirs from the shops there and left Taipei 101. I had a chicken sandwiches for lunch at Starbucks and finally went back to Zongshan. Met Frank and Lisa near my hotel who were just starting with their touristy stuff. Idea was to go the night market later in the night, but I think I was too tired for it. I slept for a while, walked around for a while in the evening, went to a Japanese food place for dinner and finally went back to hotel.

Day 5: We had to start an hour earlier on this day, it was the second of the university days. The gang met Marek and Wendy at Taipei Main Station from where we took a long distance train to Taoyuan. To bad it was not one of those High Speed Rail (HSR), since they won't stop at Taoyuan. We went to Yuan Ze University / 元智大學. The proceedings started almost immediately after we reached there. After a brief round of introduction, it was a open discussion session / a bof moderated by Kueifong Li ( Thinker )- on how to get involved in FOSS, what needs to be done to attract more people to FOSS projects. After that we went for lunch. After lunch it was the university students who showed us the robots they had built and other stuff as well. One of presenters was Jim Huang - a OpenMoko dev/employee, he also showed his robot. Pretty nifty. There was a repeat of the Intel Moblin talk, I chatted a while with the speaker. After that, Simon and Wesley conducted another B.A.T.M.A.N workshop. Meanwhile, Juergen and I went outside to have some warm tea. Over tea I spoke to Juergen and I learnt a lot from him, the OHI vision in general, about freifunk.net, openstreet maps. I was and am very interested in the whole open hardware idea and vision. However, there is no licensing regarding the open hardware atm and standard GPL won't apply as it is. Even CC licenses ( modified to suit the purpose ) might work. Looks like people are working on these issues. Oh and Dr. Po-Feng Lee, another doctor and M.D. at that and a big time foss enthusiast was making sure everything was streamed live for those who couldn't attend the conference. Finally we were on our way back to Zongshan. We pulled Wendy's legs on our way back and she stopped talking to "certain" people ;). Anyway, I had a long discussion with Hong Jen Yee ( lxde dude ) about using Qt for his future projects. It took us quite some time to decide where to have dinner. We walked from Taipei Main Station to Zongshan through the underground street and the MRT mall. Met Ian who was on his way back to home in US. We finally found a place that was open after 9:30 PM :O. Xavier and Florian joined us for dinner. Xavier told us stories about his hardware shopping stories and how well he can bargain ;). After a few more drinks we left for hotel. Xavier of course went to party some where :).

Current Location: New Panvel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

09:56 pm

[Link]

Open Technology Summit 2008, Taiwan - Part 2 - ASUS Days
recap ...

Day 2: After breakfast the gang went up to meet Marek at Zongshan MRT and off we went Guandu for the first of the ASUS days. The ASUStek Computer HQ was five minutes walk from Guandu. Met Martin Michlmayr ( tbm ), erstwhile DPL over breakfast (btw). After reaching there I met up with some known faces from previous days. Next was meeting the Amarok devs Seb Ruiz and Ian Monroe. This was the first time I was meeting Seb Ruiz in person , though I have met/seen Ian before at Akademy. Ellis Wang the Eee PC product manager started the conference with Juergen and Marek. Juergen presented Bellring Sheng who works for ASUS and was responsible for a lot of support and ground work ( one of them being my visa invitation ) with a nice Tux soft toy :). Many talks followed after this - a talk on OHI by Juergen, how to hack on Eee PC by Brian Rolfe from Xandros. Xavier and his merry men gave a talk about their OpenPattern project, those chaps are *really* intelligent folks. The talks was quite nice. At lunch, where the chicken was quite good :) - Seb liked it a lot afair - we generally chatted over lots of things. Main discussion was between Seb+Ian with the Brian and things they should do to/modify newer versions Amarok into EeePC. After lunch, Seb, Ian and I had an impromptu discussion about this year's KDE SoC. Batman workshops were conducted simultaneously after that.

There were a few short talks after that. Some of them were by Asus devs, I liked the speech recognition talk. Newer versions of Eee PC will have that feature. One talk was presented by Hong Jen Yee (PCMan) ( a intern doctor by the day, a hacker by the night ) and it was about "LXDE - Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment". One of my favorite talks was by Walis Buya about Taroko and Truku. The Taroko people and some other aboriginal tribes of Taiwan have an interesting challenge ahead of them. Their people are quite less and the languages are spoken by quite a few people. There is no locale designated to them so translation / localisation is going no where in their language. Walis along with brave men like Andrew Lee and Arne Goetje who now works for Canonical and is resident of Taiwan since 8 years now are trying to change this and work out solutions for this challenge. Andrew and Arne have travelled quite a lot around Taiwan and met up with these people concerned and are doing a good job at this venture. This was followed by two talks on "free culture"/music/creative commons. MoShang and other artist ( whose name escapes my mind ) treated us with some nice live ( CC-Licenced ) music while we digged into more Taiwanese food in lawns of ASUS office. MoShang's played from his Asian Variations in which he experiments with Chinese instruments. He gave out CDs of this album. I completely forgot to get it signed :/, but I have listened to it couple of times since I have come back, quite nice. After so much fun, most of us we head back to hotel

Day 3: Second day of ASUS Days and the day where we ( I, Ian and Seb ) present our talks. But first it was Martin's talk about Debian. It was an impressive talk, I really liked how he packed in a lot of small and obvious details about contributing to FOSS and being a good FOSS citizen in his talk. Openmoko talk by Sean Moss-Pultz and Open PCD by Harald Welte followed. There was a talk on Open Street Map by Arne, who has done a lot of mapping in Taiwan. Open Street Map is not new for me since I have attended their workshop before at freed.in, Delhi and I must admit its more than just interesting. There was a nice talk on Intel Moblin and the One Village project by Joy Tang.

Then it was my talk on KDE-Edu. KDE-Edu application suite are a part of the ASUS Eee PC, hence the topic selection. I had earlier done a KDE-Edu talk at freed.in, I had updated my slides for OTS and made a few changes with respect to the new conference. The talk went fine, I think. I love giving a demo of Step, it just rocks. Of course I demoed Kalzium and Marble as well. I wish I could have demoed the 3d molecular view of Kalzium but I failed to get it working properly. It had a run time crash. Thanks to Seb for helping me to get it working but in vain. Anyways, I spoke about KDE-Edu in detail - its origins, its objectives, its importance to KDE, its future. You can find the slides here. The slides don't use the regular KDE theme on purpose :). I could use some feedback on the slides surely.

The Amarok talk followed after that,Seb and Ian gave a nice joint talk. They covered Amarok, its development, its future and the online music service. Everybody liked and laughed when they spoke about their "Inspiration" behind Amarok ;)

We went for a awesome cool traditional Chinese/Taiwanese dinner in a nice traditional food place in Danshui. We chatted over dinner. After some group photos, we were all off to a nearby place for drinks and more chitchat. The place was called "Waterfront" because it was facing this river. Quite late in the night, after 3 beer towers ( and some Green Apple Juice for me :P ) and lots of chitchat, we were ready to head back to our respective homes/hotels. One the way back, I spoke to Brian from Xandros about a few things related to KDE. Next day was a off day and everybody planned what touristy stuff to do next day. Seb, Ian and me planned a few things. Anyways reached hotel back and Xavier managed to convince a few to go to some club, some of us went to bed. ( to be continued ... )

Current Location: New Panvel
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

11:21 am

[Link]

Open Technology Summit 2008, Taiwan - Part 1 - One Man, His Vision and Few Brave Souls!
On Thursday I came back from Taiwan.I was invited to Open Technology Summit 2008, Taiwan to represent The KDE Project. So here's a report of the wonderful conference.

Background : Taiwan has a small but active foss activity. They actually have a very thriving Creative Commons ( CC Taiwan, love their logo btw. ) chapter in Taiwan. For some reasons, mostly cultural, foss/community activity doesn't work very well in Taiwan. The reasons are deep rooted into the culture and people of Taiwan. Some brave souls have of course broken the very same shackles and are doing a wonderful job.

The power of one! : One fine day about 3 months back or so, our 25 year old super hero from Germany, Marek Lindner lands up in Taiwan on a personal visit or such and after looking at the situation there in Taiwan decides to something about it. Do you remember the tv advertisement ( maybe it was only on Indian televsion channels )? In that info-mercial they show how "one" individual can be the cause of the change - the inspiration, the catalyst, the one who takes up the challenge in spite of every odd put in front of him. Organising a conference is *not* easy - we all know that. Maybe ask foss.in, freed.in, fossnitc or the akademy gang. So Marek who obviously likes challenges of higher order added a little bit more complication to the conference organising puzzle - organising a conference in different country in which he doesn't know the native language or culture at all. Fun no ? Now once he took up the challenge, a lot many good souls from across the globe rallied around him for this conference. ( these people deserve a separate post, so will talk about it later. ). To quote him, "I am willing to take the headache/trouble if it shows results."

The Conference: The conference was organised by "Open Hardware Initiative (OHI)" who played the main hosts and was spread over 5 days with 1 day break in between. 2 of those days were allocated to local universities and 2 days were termed as ASUS days. ASUStek Computer ( manufacturers of Eee PC ) played co-hosts for the conference. Other organisations also played co-organisers.

Day 0: I reached there on 24th April. It was afternoon when I landed and found Marek and Thomas at the airport who had come to pick me up. I wanted to exchange currency at the airport but the bank executive didnot accept INR. I had a few Euros but I hate parting with my Euros ;). So we decided to try other bank in Taipei later. Airport to hotel was almost an hour drive. After a quick shower, I got introduced to part of the gang in the hotel lobby. Juergen Neumann ( Freifunk founder, OHI Chairman ) from Berlin, Xavier Carcelle,Florian Fainelli and some more OpenPattern folks from France. Juergen was wearing a "Air Jaldi" t-shirt - the Jaldi part written in Hindi :). When somebody asked what it meant, he looked at me and replied - "he will know what it means" ;). From there we went in two groups, met up near the Chang Kai Shek memorial and then went to the "introduction" party. I met a lot of local folks there. Marec proudly wore his shiny new KDE t-shirt ;). Met Wendy for the first time, who was the local contact for the event. She also doubled up as my local food guide later throughout my stay :). More people joined us in a while, Frank Lachmann and Elisabeth Rank ( a journalist, both were Berliners ) joined us. Harald Welte also joined the party later. After some short speeches by Juergen and Xavier, we had many discussions ranging from -inifinity to infinity. Interesting discussion was about Chinese names and how they are derived. Juergen even got one for himself - Leh ( iirc ). Reached the hotel after all that fun and slept like a baby.

Day 1: Had breakfast at the hotel with the gang. It was the first university day at TamKang University / 淡江大學. We met Marek at the MRT ( the local trains in Taipei ) station and took a train to Danshui. On reaching the beautiful campus of TKU, we were greeted by Flora C.I. Chang, the President and Professor at TKU. Flora opened the discussions with her opening address which was followed by Juergen Nuemann short speech. After this a Intel representative presented some of the new things from Intel camp, primarily the Intel Atom Processor. After this, TKU university students presented their projects which were quite interesting. They were sort of shy at first to present them, but Juergen went and talked to them and encouraged them. Soon they were presenting their work. We moved to a smaller classroom after that for the workshops. Simon Wunderlich and Wesley Tsai then conducted a hands-on workshop on Wireless Meshing with B.A.T.M.A.N. Marek and Wendy lend them some help at times. It was a fun workshop. Simon/Juergen had bought a lot of small wireless routers for the workshop. Wendy and me took part in the workshop together. Later the university students presented another of their projects, this was about "A Wall of High Resolution Television base on Embedded System". Really nice work by these students, they really need to talk more about their projects and maybe even release the source code of their work. Between all that, we had some nice food during lunch. There were some nice snacks even in the evening. But food in Taiwan deserves a separate post :). I also got to speak with Andrew Lee who is a sysadmin and a Debian Maintainer. I learnt a bit about debian packaging from him, awesome dude btw.

Lisa, Frank, Juergen and me left TKU together in the evening. I bought pin converters on the way back to Danshui MRT. We were all quite hungry by the time we reached Taipei city, we looked for place to eat and ended up in a friend's bar/coffee shop where we kept our bags and then went for dinner. Came back to the coffeeshop and worked on my slides for sometime. Finally we took a taxi to the hotel. ( to be continued ... )

Current Location: New Panvel
Current Music: Message in a Bottle by Police
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(Leave a comment)

Powered by LiveJournal.com