Software Freedom Day is the worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software. Sun Microsystems has been sponsoring SFD celebrations for the past few years. Also Sun supports SFD activities through its numerous Open Source University Meetup (OSUM) clubs worldwide. The OSUM clubs are provided with Sun merchandise, software CDs/DVDs, posters and banners to celebrate the event. All of these activities are co-ordinated through the OSUM site http://www.osum.sun.com .

We celebrated SFD at SVNIT on 18th September, one day earlier, because its Navratri time and most students were about to leave that evening. Posters and banners were put up at the departments and hostels. I also designed a custom A3 poster for SFD. Apart from this SMSes were sent to students who had attended previous Sun Tech demos.

The topic on 18th was OpenSolaris and ZFS along with OpenSolaris installation on Virtual Box. I had done an OpenSolaris intro last year too but decided to do it again because an 1. entirely new batch of students have come this academic year 2. got feedback during my last talk that everyone wanted to learn OpenSolaris 3. the last talk on OpenSolaris saw very poor participation as it clashed with a singing competition where half the college decided to participate and the other half decided to cheer the participants. So with this OpenSolaris intro I want to start off with a long series of workshops on OpenSolaris and its related technologies.

The talk began with the usual on how Sun OS became Solaris and Solaris has become OpenSolaris. I like my talks to be free moving and at times wander off to parallel areas. Also I prefer not to stuff my slides with too much of information. I generally have one big heading per slide and 4 lines(preferably words) of text. I expect my audience to look at me and not the slides. I talk, the slide doesn’t. Also I make my slides visually appealing. For me a presentation is a work of art and I am learning to improve my craft.

So yes, we discussed a lot of things like why no Free OS can play MP3 and many video formats out of the box and the workarounds to those problems. Why OpenSolaris matters and where it stands vis-a-vis other OS? The future of OpenSolaris post Oracle-Sun merger. Why OpenSPARC is better than Intel x86 and yet why it does not sell as much? Why Apple decided to switch to Intel processors etc

During my intro of OpenSolaris ZFS, I also talked about the recent intrusion at apache.org and how the sysadmins managed to save a lot of data and effort as they were using ZFS at various places. The students were also fascinated by the concept of Zones and lots of questions and doubts were fired on this. Due to time restrictions I could not talk in depth about Crossbow and I had to move on to the installation demo. Nevertheless, I will be talking about all of the above in great detail in future sessions.

Also there were goodies for asking and answering most questions. The guy who asked most questions got a Sun USB stick and the next three got OSUM bags. In all it was a fruitful discussion and will bring in more people next time.

Some more tech demos are planned in the next few weeks. Wish me luck.


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