Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SFD 2009 - Competitions & Presentations

This year, as a part of the Software Freedom celebrations, we hosted a few competitions and gave a few informative presentations. Here is a quick overview of them -

Essay Writing Competition

The competition was primarily to encourage participants to explore various Open Source topics - technical and non-technical, and come up with innovative articles. We had a huge response for this and had a tough time selecting the best entries. We had various topics covering different perspectives of the Open Source world. Below are a few of the articles which were really good.

Open Source - The article covered the basic philosophy of Open Source and gave an insight about the economic perspective of OSS. It also emphasized the innovation which drives Open Source products.

VirtualBox - The article covered the salient features of the VirtualBox OSE. It gave a bird's-eye view of VirtualBox, with a focus on the technical strongholds of the virtualization package. It also briefly described the advancements planned in the development of VirtualBox.

Open Source in the Cloud - This article merged the philosophy of Open Source with the innovative paradigm of Cloud Computing. It gave an overview of what Cloud Computing is and highlighted the contribution of Sun Microsystems Inc. to the cloud.

Google Chrome - The article was primarily about the Open Source web browser from Google, Chrome. It focused on the prominent features of the browser and gave a description of features like speed, stability, security, etc.

Top Ten Linux Distributions - The article was mainly a mash-up of the Operating Systems built on the Linux kernel. The author reviewed various Linux in the article. Several flavors like Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Gentoo, LinuxMint, PCLinuxOS and the CentOS were covered in this.

Open Source Quiz

This was one of the most exciting events of Software Freedom Day this year. We wanted more participation of the audience this year, so as to achieve this and bring up the spirit of Open Source in the audience; we planned an Open Source Quiz.

To accommodate the entire audience, the quiz was conducted in two stages - there was a preliminary round which had a questionnaire of around 20 questions. Almost everybody in the audience was interested in the quiz and came forward for the prelims. After the prelims, the top 6 teams were invited for the final round. The round had an oral questionnaire and consisted of around 6 sub-rounds.

Finally at the end of the final sub-round the highest and second-highest scorers were declared the winners. There was a neck-to-neck competition between the teams till the end and had the pulse of the crowd running.

Overall, the quiz was the show-stopper of the day. Hats off to the quiz-masters! - Miss. Devika and Mr. Roopak Bhartee.

Software Freedom Day and Open Source

In order to convey the philosophy of Open Source and the importance of Software Freedom Day to the audience, Mr. Vishwak gave a presentation titled "Software Freedom Day and Open Source".

The presentation emphasized on various concepts like -

  • What is Open Source?
  • Free Software
  • Why the move to Open Source?
  • Perception and participation
  • Software Freedom Day
  • Contribution of Sun Microsystems Inc. to the Open Source world
  • Sun’s Open Source strategy
  • Overview of the Open Source technologies of Sun
  • The session was very informative and the audience had a through insight about the OSS world

Sun Academic Initiative

To help the audience realize the importance of certifications and inform them of the wonderful discounts available on various Sun certifications, Mr. Laxman took up a presentation on "Sun Academic Initiative".

The presentation focused on various topics like -

  • Introduction to SAI
  • Benefits of certifications
  • The Java certification hierarchy
  • The Solaris certification hierarchy
  • The MySQL certification hierarchy
  • Various certifications available as a part of SAI
  • Registration process at SAI
  • A step-by-step explanation of how to purchase a voucher and avail the huge discounts

The session was inspiring and there were several students who were keen on taking up a certification exam. The various tutorials and the learning programs of SAI were highlighted which created a confidence in the interested students to pursue the certification.

On a whole, Software Freedom Day 2009 was a huge success wherein the participants and the organizers enjoyed and learnt a lot.

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