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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicago Linux User Group

I used to participate in Chennai LUGs way back in India. We used to have LUG meetings either @ IIT, Chennai or MIT, Chennai.

For quite a few months, I was watching the activities in Chicago Linux User Group (LUG) community http://www.chicagolug.org/. (On to the right is my blacky glossy GNOME desktop in my Zion (my laptop) :D)

A decent number of GNU/Linux fans gather @ Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago every two weeks to discuss about a couple of technical topics based on GNU/Linux.
This time, here @ Chicago LUG, it was Gabriel Burt (Novell employee) who gave the speech.

It was about Banshee (http://banshee-project.org/) the music management and play back application for GNOME. He is one of the main developers of it and he has been employed by Novell for that! He was cool, calm and modest. Banshee was even cooler with a plethora of features. The way they have designed is by placing all the core features with Banshee and all the extra features come as modules/plugins. Some of the coolest features worth mentioning are
  • Search feature - Fast and Furious! It even supports searching audio files using expressions based on the rating (rating > "2") or played time (played < "2 hours")!!
  • Manage ipod WITHOUT iTunes
  • Mirage - Music recommendations of new artist, album & genre based on the playing track's artist :)
  • Internet Radio
  • ShowtrackonChange - Displays a configurable pop-up above all your windows when a new track begins playing. The popup then disappears after a while automatically.
The next seminar was on RockBox which is an open source firmware for a variety of mp3 players including iPod. That presentation was good too.

One thing I noticed in everyone there was - Everyone blamed and yelled on Steve Jobs though the rest of the world praises him for his ipod, itouch, iphone, iTunes and blah blah. I will sooner let you all know (what & how Steve has done) in my forthcoming posts. But, to tell the fact, he is simply a bastard!

I liked the way the Linux meetup happened. Everyone was jovial and everyone was a huge fan of Rock and metal music. Here, I have a question.. What is the relation between GNU/Linux & Rock? I don't know :) But most of the GNU/Linux fans I have met, are rock/metal fans. Everyone had their laptop connected in the nicely designed seminar hall. Wi-Fi too was there. Some took notes, some took videos, some took photos, some were drinking Sam Adams. Totally, the meetup was hi-fi and informative. Also, I happened to meet quite a few US GNU/Linux fans :)

I met a Mallu guy (the only other Indian guy @ Chicago LUG) there. Learnt that he is one of the main developers involved in the translation of GNOME & KDE to Malayalam language project. We both went for a lunch after the LUG meet. The surprising thing he revealed was that he knows well about Anna University KB Chandrasekhar research Center (AU-KBC) @ Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai though he never worked or involved with any of the activities running there. KBC is so much popular :)

Here are a few snaps of the Chicago LUG meet..

1) Rockbox Lecture 2) Complete Seminar hall view 3) Other GNU/Linux Evangelists.



Blogger KVR said...

Hey, Any 1 can say anything about Steve and his Job. but finally w/o Steve, Apple can't rock like this in Mkt..here everything is Business...he created wealth for all Apple Investors...

10:38 AM  
Blogger Sriram K said...

Its not that they say "anything". Apple has turned around very nicely and Steve has done a marvellous job. He always does that. Maybe, its Mac or NeXT or Pixar or iPOD or ... He is innovative and he is always the best! I have been following him for a long time..
But, the problem now is - he is trying to monopolize. He went a step more than Gates. He wants to wipe off all his competitors. Just imagine - Gabriel (the developer who created Banshee) told me that Apple's firmware design is in such a way that it doesn't allow you to connect the device with any third party apps. If connected and if you fall back to apple's software, then your device is gone!

Apple also keeps on changing its software updates in such a way that if it gets to know that you if you had connected Apple's device with any of the third party apps, then Apple will try to wipe the content off from the device. For eg: If you connect your iPOD with Banshee.. manage music for some time and then go back to iTunes one day.. to manage your music.. then your iPod is gone.. Apple makes the life of third party companies and free software developer's life really difficult thereby forcing the world to use only its software and only its products..

Is this the way you create wealth for Apple's investors??

12:31 AM  
Blogger KVR said...

There are lot of ways 2 create wealth for Investors.. this is 1 of the method koz of this, apple device won't support free source s/w products...Yes..he is on the same line with William Gates...i feel Apple s doing all these stuff's due to unlocking iPhone using it..Apple having some tie up with lots of mobile operators like AT&T. In India you able to unlock the iPhone and using Idea sim card. In tht case, he already having a tie-up with Airtel and Vodafone, so he s lossing a customer due to iPhone unlock mechanisam.Apple want to over write all these issues and want to dominate in this online music sector via iTune. for the same, they have to do all these stuff's if they want to b no#1 in this Field.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Sabarish Chandrasekharan said...

There is a famous line by JRD Tata, where he says something like "..there can be 100 ways to amass wealth, but you can sleep peacefully only and only if you make it the right way...right in eyes of society..right in eyes of your competitors and right in your conscience...thats the proper way to grow.."
Apple products are paving way to a bad era where each competitor will start isolating its product from each other. End users like me and you and other will be affected here, think of a situation after 10 years where you have 10 diff file extension and associated software for a mere '.mp3'

11:12 AM  

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