Day 1: /etc/init.d/freed.in2008 start

Day 1 begins at the guest house with parathas – hot, spicy and fairly fast moving. We pack ourselves into the vehicles provided (thanks Tirveni) and make our way to the venue. The overnight arrivals – Gopal, Samiah trundle along with us, others take the next car.There are barricades in front of the registration area – someone from the securtity does the usual needful and in order to prevent trespass. Kishore works his magic, gets those removed. Inside there’s Rajesh trying to wrap his head around the huge banner of the event that has landed up and no one really has a clue what to do with the branding.

Is it past 1000 already – oh then we have lit the lamp – OldMonk. Haa haa, we are still waiting for crowd to trickle in. They do, in batches and this is a crowd that I haven’t generally seen at conferences. So, the lamp is lit – Shireen, Samiah, Runa and Krishnakant do the needful. The rich voice of Andrew kicks off the event with a mindmap (fairly apt for an event that is traditionally untraditional). Raj, Gora, Kishore, Niyam and Raj, Gora again get to piece together the underlying theme of the event – the why – the how and of course the whereto. We start off a bit later than expected, but nothing is actually critically lost.

Samiah takes the stage with her “All work and no play” talk and after taking us through the pedagogical systems that are used to teach, she provides an insight into “Game Based Teaching” model that when effectively used for kids would be providing visible improvements.

Lunch is an interesting experience talking with Sanjeev who explained in a bit of detail about the Agile based project NRCFOSS is undertaking and raised a need to re-use the existing code bases present on to estimate FOSS software projects. A curious view point and I don’t recall having heard about this earlier. Lunch is good, but the gulab jamuns are sinfully delicious.

Valsa goes up next with her talk on “Maximising creation and access to content” – by asking “what’s the use of the content if access to them is denied, and what’s the use of the hardware if there is no content to use it to access”. Let knowledge flow freely. Four pillars of the World Ahead Program – Accessibility, Connectivity, Education and Content.

In parallel start off the conclave aimed at arriving at some sort of alignment and agreement around the concepts and implementation of them for a world where knowledge does set one free.

Sajan Venniyoor talks about “Access Denied” or a short history of the community radio in India. Starkly driving home the points around: legality, cost, technology, copyright, spectrum (or lack thereof) and the royalty charges he ends with the stern prophecy that all this is going to impact how we access our knowledge bases sooner rather than later.

Atul’s up next with his view on “Open Mobility” where the concept is not themed around the “computer” but around the designs and innovations that make it possible to use and consume services while being on the move. With gadgets coming up from various era to explain what mobility means – he hammers home the need to create a community of developers around mobility devices which enable them to be “open” – enabling creating of applications and content.

I am sleepy and I go out for some super sweet coffee. The caffeine kick gets me worked up enough and I return to a really well covered talk by Krishakant Mane on GNU/Linux and a11y.

Photos are being put by Jace here and I put up a few ones here.