Last Saturday, /me and Ani headed off towards Abeda Inamdar Senior College in the morning, for a session on Linux Desktop basics. The session had been organised by Ms. Malika Siamwala, a teacher with the Department of Mathematics in the college. Its located within the Azam Campus, a beautiful location that houses about 10 institutes and playgrounds. Ani and I walked through the sprawling campus, trying to locate the college and exchanging anecdotes about our own college days.
The session was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM, but we started a little later. (Ms.Siamwala welcomed us with roses too :O ) We were told that the students from the mathematics department were not familiar with Linux at all, however they would be using it in their labs (which recently underwent an OS change) pretty soon. I started by showing off the desktop features like the log-in screen, user accounts, file browsers etc. A quick straw poll revealed that most people in the room used their computers to write documents in a word processor, surf web pages in a browser, make presentations, draw, play music, watch movies etc. The OO.o writer, OO.o impress, gimp, firefox, xmms, xine impressed them pretty much. A small introduction to community-based collaborative participation in Open source software development followed. However, imho, it might need another complete session to pass on the message and to give them a relatable picture. Next up was Manjusha with an introduction about the Pune Linux Users Group. She also spent some time answering questions about Open source software for Mathematical and Statistical analysis. Smriti, Shruti and Rashmi – students at SCISR shared their experiences from GNUnify. It was really nice to see them again. By this time, there were close to 60 people in the room. Some goodies (read LC stickers and gnome badges) were handed out. I also handed Ms.Siamwalla a copy of the Fedora 8 CD set, Fedora 8 LiveCD, printed copy of the Fedora Installation Guide and Desktop User Guide and a CD containing a set of screencasts gathered from the links collected by Nirbheek, Ankita and Gayathri. Thanks a lot. 🙂
After the discussions ended, the students trooped around us for a better look at the applications as well as the localized desktop on my laptop. Ms.Siamwala later took us to their Department room and we had yummy samosas and sweets. Later we went to meet the Principal of the College, Mr.H.Khan. He invited us to have more sessions at the college.
An enriching experience for all of us and I really hope to be back there soon.
A few images here (the lights were a little dimmed out and I messed up with the camera settings):