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Free Software and Open Hardware talk on Chelakara

Published on: February 20, 2009

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Brief report on the talk conducted at Government Polytechnique college, Chelakara

Yesterday (19-02-2009) Krishnan Unni and I went to conduct a talk on Free Software, Python Programming and Open Hardware. These talk’s were conducted as the request from students of poly technique.

I and unni reached the college almost at 10.00 AM. There was a small inaugural session. After that we were asked to start the talk . The morning session was on Free Software Philosophy, GNU/Linux installation steps and general GNU/Linux doubts. this was handled by Unni.

All the students were eagerly hearing the talk. There was a very good response from the  students. And the important thing is that all the students were very interactive. Questions were coming from all sides on general GNU/Linux tools, virus removal methods, installing games, accessing internet….. This session had an end at 12.30 PM.

The afternoon session was split into two, the python programming and the other was Open hardware. Python Programming was handled by unni. There was a small programming contest on python. He also showed how to develop software’s using python.

My topic was Open Hardware. Actually what I had in mind was introducing what is open hardware, common electronic designing tools and programming the AVR microcontrollers using GNU/Linux. But everything changed after seeing their syllabus.These guys had to  study about ATmega128 and also about ARM processors. I was shocked seeing it. Even the calicut university Electronics Engineering syllabus didn’t have these latest topics. I introduced about open hardware. But programming the AVR microcontrollers was not that much nice. There was a parallel port failure and the other fact was that the students knew how to program all these . What I showed was LED blinking. But they had studied blinking LED’s in their 6th semester itself. Anyway I could have made it more fun if  I knew about the syllabus by adding some superb videos like Big Buck Bunny :(

Now I am in a shame to say that I am learning Electronics engineering because a lower course like the diploma had a lot more to study than engineering course…. these students were more practical.

Anyway the response form the students were fantastic. Thanks to Yamini Madam and all the computer science students of chelakara.


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