Wednesday, November 26, 2008

FOSS Nepal wins best SFD '08 event for consecutive year

Today, it was a day of wonderful surprise for the FOSSians here.

The results of the best SFD (Software Freedom Day) events was announced and guess what we have managed to stand one of the best SFD events team for the second time in a row!

Thanks to the effort put by together by the collective effort of volunteers. Bibek Paudel ensured that our effort were properly logged in a report to be submitted. And here we are!!!

SFD announces three best SFD events team every year (in no particular order). The other two teams who managed to tell precisely how they managed the event were: SFD Nicaragua and DabaweGNU. The information is available at :

FOSS Nepal was declared one of the best events even last year ('07) along with SFD Nicaragua and Beijing SFD.

SFD was celebrated throughout the world on September 20 this year. You can find a post about activities in this year's event in Nepal on Pravin Gautam's weblog

Everyone is enthralled and we will soon be having party to celebrate this victory!!! And, now that we have tasted the fruit of success, we are looking at making a hattrick. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

A week long journey to hightech rural Nepal

It was unexpected but very pleasant surprise for me to receive a call from Basanta Dai ( asking me if I could manage time to go to Nangi for follow-up training of PAN localization, a project by MPP (Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya: I needed to teach the trainees about Blogging and CMS.

But then I was a bit hesitant since I needed to miss college for at least 10 days. I talked about this to Suraj, Manish and Shishir Dai. Everyone said that I should go. And so I was ready for a lifetime experience.

We started our journey from Kathmandu on Nov. 17 and had a night stay at Beni. The next morning we had to trek for 10 hours to reach our destination, Nangi. It has been the most difficult trek of my life till date but such a beautiful place is worth every pain.
The view of Annapurna South, Annapurna II, Dhaulagiri, Gurja Peak all make you feel like a heavenly creature.

While you trek, you wonder if you would even find salt at such a place, you will be amazed that most of the villagers use VOIP as the sole telephony medium. Most of them are good at emailing, chatting and you would find most of the communication in the neighbouring villages taking place through forum on a local webpage. What more, they have a tele-medicine centre.
I was really stunned to see this hightech village. And despite this all, they are so friendly to you.

The training was arranged by ENRD (E-Network Research and Development). Uttam Sir and Ambika Madam from ENRD accompanied us.

While Basanta Dai needed to discuss the new features in Nepalinux 3.0 like Text-to-speech, Nepali Sabdakosh, Nepali spell checker in Open office as well as GIMP, English/Nepali Wikipedia, Web Domain Registration, I was assigned the task of teaching Blogging and Website building using CMS. I chose Drupal (

From the next day, we had to start the training session. And, it was supposed to be a 9 day training session.

The trainees (or probably I say trainers since it was a Training of Trainers programme) were from 5 different locations namely: Krishna Sir, Kishan Sir and Boj Sir from Nangi (Myagdi), Sete Sir and Yamshree miss from Shikha (Myagdi), Narayan sir and Amrit ji from Tolka (Kaski), Shivaram Sir from Dandagaun (Rasuwa) and Chhanu Sir from Jhuwani (Chitwan).

In these 9 days, we got along very well with everyone and it was all fun inside and outside the class. We would take classes from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM with an hour break and would then go for walk around village.What more, we also got to participate in the traditional Magar dance. I am glad that I got to experience all this.

In the meanwhile, Amar Sir from MPP joined us on training on 8th day while on his way to Ghorepani with his friends. We organized a small feedback session. And it was pretty good that we received good remarks about the training from the participants. Only the complaint that the participants had was that the curriculum in schools had to be Vendor independent so that they themselves had the opportunity to use Nepalinux regularly and teach their pupils. We assured that we would do the best we can. By the way, let me bring it to your notice that we are already putting the curriculum issue before CDC (Curriculum Development Committee) and I am taking charge on this front on behalf of FOSS-Nepal.

By the end of the training, the participants from the centers had developed the center's respectives sites. The following are the links to the sites:

Dandagaun --

Jhuwani --

Nangi --

Shikha --

Tolka --

Well, I have a lot to say, but let photos express it in a better way.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

GMail launches themes

Just today, when I was about the check my mails, I read the feed of GMail blog that talked about launch of Themes in GMail. I was so excited by the thought. I signed in to find no 'Themes' tab under Settings.

I went through the whole article to find that Google was updating each account and the process may take some time. And hence, it was a long long day for me. Then, finally, I got to see 'Themes' tab in the Settings which looked like this.

Themes tab with 'Mountains' Theme activated.

What more, some of the themes work with your local time. Like the 'Beach' theme would change the appearance of your GMail to simulate the look of a beach at your local place.

There is a theme for everyone. Even a theme called Terminal for console fans and geeks!!!

So, I am a much more happy GMail user now :)