Kushal Das

FOSS and life. Kushal Das talks here.


How FOSS came in my life.....

Was thinking how I came into this world of FOSS. It changed my look in every way of life. Life really changed a lot in compare to before & after the introduction of GNU/Linux.

My first computer was a Commodore 64 , actually it was my relative’s one, back in 1989. Worked with that up-to 1993 properly. Then Again started using computer in 1999 when my uncle(মামা) went to REC Durgapur. He was in Chemical Department. Used to play games a lot that time. In 2000, one day I saw around 10-12 guys in one room trying to see something, I went inside and asked “what is going on?” . One of them said , someone is installing Linux and the mouse is not working. That day I understood that Linux is something different than what I see generally.

In 2001 I joined my college in the CSE department and got a PIII computer. I asked the vendor to install Linux on it. It was RH-7.3 iirc. I became very famous that time because I knew two commands

  1. mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/c
  2. xmms
Funny isn’t it ?

Anyway, I tried to use it for other works, mainly writing my C codes. Then saw LFY first time after 2 years. Someone used to write regularly that time , someone bengali. Then suddenly one month, saw a report on Ankur Bangla project. I found the same guy’s name over there. I thought there may be a chance of learning something new. So, I mailed him,

Here is the reply:

Dear Kushal,

Thanks for writing in and showing interest in the Ankur Bangla Project. You wrote:

<quote> I want to help the team to distribute Ankur CD. I am from Durgapur.How can i do that? Plz help me. <quote>

By ‘Ankur CD’ I presume you mean the AnkurBangla LiveDesktop v1.0. The said CD is available for download in ISO format from the project development site at sourceforge.net. Thus, if you have access to a high-speed connection then you might download it and burn the ISO. Alternately, if you are coming to Kolkata, alert me beforehand and perhaps I could hand over a CD. Perhaps, the most likely option would be to provide me with a postal address so that I might courier the CD to you.

You will also need to go through some documentation which will also be provided to you, in order to answer and attend to technical issues.

<quote> I also want to become a part of the developing team. <quote>

This is really nice. The project homepage is at www.bengalinux.org and the ‘Projects’ subsection has a list of projects that can be a pointer to the areas of activity. Currently, we are looking for volunteers who can participate in:

[1] localisation of KDE [translation of strings] [2] localisation of OpenOffice [translation of strings] [3] creating localised screen reader and/or Bangla OCR [4] translation of documents/guides/manuals related to Bengalinux activities [5] adding to the Bangla Gutenberg work-in-progress [6] rewriting the Bangla editor Lekho [7] localising other tools

The above set are a very general notion of what can be done, and perhaps you can add more to them. Choose and let me know, then I shall forward your thing to the mailing list and the person concerned

<quote> I read your words in this month’s LIFY. <quote>

I hope you liked them. Talking about GNU/Linux and making it work are some of the very important things we do, contribute your own bit to the effort and you will be appreciated and welcomed.

Happy hacking

A mail that changed my life completely :) I mailed him again asking his phone number, he replied and told me not to call after 11.30pm and in the same night I called him and the first thing I told “স্যার অামি কুশল বলছি, এখন অামার ঘড়িতে ১১.২৯ , তাই ফোন করেছি” (Sir, I am Kushal, it is 11.29 in my clock, thats why I called you). I think he never took that bad. That was first time I talked with the guy, who is one of the favourite guardian/friend in my life. It is not only me, my parents also think in the same way, though they never talked with him. :)

Can you guess who is he? Not yet !! Then wait for few more lines.

He sent me a copy of Ankur Bangla livecd, I installed Lekho in my box and started translating KDE (what I should start doing again, reguarly) .

So, that was how FOSS entered and won my life.

And the answer.