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Today, I migrated the blog to new server. It was earlier on a free account at Though it was easier to manage, I was unable to make changes with the theme and there were restrictions with using PHP and other codes. Hiran, who setup his blog a few days before was my inspiration to move my blog to the new server. Also, my friend Krishnaraj, who designed a wordpress theme for his blog(not yet published) inspired me to have a self made theme for my blog. I haven’t messed up much with wordpress theming in the past, but managed to create a simple theme, yesterday night.

The whole theme is based on the colour brown(similar to what Ubuntu have). Though its not my favorite colour, I liked the look when implemented and settled with it. The layout of the site was based on a free HTML template, which I downloaded from net somewhere in the past. I forgot the site from which I downloaded it and so, I couldn’t give a back link. I’ll always be happy to give credits to the designer who basically designed the layout.

Still there are much more to improve. So, if you find any bugs with the site, please report. Comments about the site theme are always welcome.

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The first thing related to todays workshop I heard was that Mahesh is having fever and he won’t be coming and his session will be handled by Shyam. We really missed you Mahesh…

During the starting, there were a few problems with registration of students from ECE, EEE and AEI, as the HOD’s allowed a maximum of 5 per class to participate, but there were more than 15 from some classes willing to participate. And because of that, the participation was more than what we hoped and we had to go in search for more chairs.

Writing down the registration details was another problem. Writing down the name and roll number is not at all convenient(Its from my experience), especially after the students enter the auditorium. So, for next time, its better to find an alternative way for recording attendance, may be it could be computerized(hmm…. Another topic for time pass programming).

Anyway, a few of us including me, lost the first two sessions due to the rush and confusion. So, no comments about the first two sessions. In the introduction, the only thing I heard was “GNU is not UNIX”, not once, but more than thrice. Can someone tell me what was going on there?

Among the other 3 sessions, Hiran’s was the best(According to me). The tool, Inkscape attracted many and some were asking us for Inkscape software CD’s. We somehow managed to convince them that it is included in the Debian and Ubuntu DVD’s and made them buy those. Also, it was new to me that Inkscape could generate XML codes, which will be much helpful during web designing. So, now onwards, I am going to spend some time on it…

The unconference session was also interesting by the participation of students, even though the number reduced to 1/4th of those present during the starting. Everyone really enjoyed the videos shown, especially the animation movie made with blender.

Among the distros for sale, Debain Lenny recorded the most sale and there was hardly a CD of it left after the workshop. The cost was RS 20 per CD and RS 40 per DVD. I wonder why students brought it for that price; even though its available in the digital library.

A few students asked me how to change the interface to Malayalam. I think it was not explained during the workshop. So, here is how to do it in Debian.

1) Downloaad a Malayalam Unicode font. Its available in the SMC wiki.
2) Copy the font to /usr/share/fonts/truetype/. Suppose you downloaded “Meera_04.ttf” and you have it in your desktop, use the command “cp /Desktop/Meera_04.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/
3) Now, you have to change the permissions of the font file. For that, use the command “chmod a+rwx /usr/share/fonts/truetype/Meera_04.ttf
4) Take Root Terminal and type: “dpkg-reconfigure locales“. You will get a screen as below:

5) In it, select “ml_IN UTF-8“, using arrow keys and by pressing space, so that a “*” appears on its side. Then press OK. Use ‘Tab’ key to navigate. You will get a screen like this now:

6) Select “ml_IN” and press OK. The locales will be generated.
7) Now restart your system. All the menu’s will be in Malayalam after restart. It can be changed back to English by selecting the Language option in the Login Screen.

Today, I also got a few new distros including Fedora.

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Today S1S2 CSE batch jointly had planned to have a Christmas and Eid celebration at 12.45PM. We have invited all our teachers and other staffs from the CSE department. Due to the function by MATRICS, we are advised to stop our function by 1PM. Being our first function and due to the lack of time, we couldn’t work it out better as we thought. Head of CSE Department Anil sir introduced all the teachers to us. Later we presented Anzab sir, who took Basic Electrical for us with a momentum as he was leaving the college.

The function of MATRICS(MES Association for Technical Research In Computer Science), the association of CSE department in MES started by about 2PM. There were speeches by Principal, Vice Principal, Head of the department and the former Head of the department. The first ever magazine by MATRICS, “THE TECHNIK” was also inaugurated. There was a flash presentation about the contents of the magazine too.

In the last, we had an interactive session on one of my favorite topic “Free Software” with the technical team from focuz Infotech, Kochi led by Hiran Venugopal. It was really informative and helped to clear few of my doubts.

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