It was a dynamic decision to deliver the keynote address on 24th December at PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, on the second day of NCAC-2005 held on 23-24 December 2005. Entire journey happened in a hacky fashion. Yes, the topic for the keynote address was Open Source. I was supposed to board the train on 23rd night, but found out that the train was running 1 hr late and fortunately, Saravana Prabhu had a bus ticket booked for himself to participate in YAM (Young Alumni Meet). I boarded the bus, (heh?, yes, I exchanged my train ticket for the bus ticket) to Coimbatore hoping to influence few of the best minds to join the Open Source Hackers league. Due to recent heavy rain, the roads were not in good shape and the journey was (huh?) comfortable.
Arul from PSG was very cordial to me and he took me to their guest house. The event started around 9:30 AM, with my laptop not able to adjust itself to the configuration of the projector. The hall had almost every seat filled with students and lecturers. The presentation was originally targeted for students with a little knowledge about Open Source (assumption was made after the inauguration of Open Source Lab happened just few weeks before). The 100+ participants in the hall were completely Microsoft users and hardly know anything about Open Source. I presented them a different view of Open Source, which left the audience wanting for more. The participants were very responsive and the quality of questions that they asked about Open Source amazed me. It showed their interest and passion towards open source. Also, not to forget, the quality of the content delivered by the speaker, which is me. (The authors views are the authors only !) At the end of keynote, I was presented with a nice memento.
My return train to Chennai was around 9:00 PM, so, after lunch, I met one of the Professors, and discussed with her on how to bring Open Source as a method of Study by Research. Later, to some pre-final students, I demonstrated about few keys to the open source world, viz., IRC, mailing-lists, bugzilla and CVS, with my very own Mobile-internet. At the end of the day, I had few friends which was by far the best thing that happened all day. I bid farewell to those students at 8:00 PM and boarded the train around 8:45 PM which was relatively comfortable.
Kudos and Open Source ki jai :-)
To get through the hardest journey we need to take
only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping