Wednesday, March 28, 2007

FOSS project: Sahana wins an FSF award!

The Sahana project, a large scale disaster/relief management software developed soon after the Asian Tsunami and subsequently used during several other disasters, has won an award titled "2006 social benefit award", from the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

I myself feel proud and fortunate to have been involved with this project during its inception, and wish it will continue to be useful during unfortunate times. At the same time, I wish, there would be a less need for the deployment of Sahana, as a result of lesser number of devastation disasters. I think those now directly involved with the project wish for the same thing.

More info (with pics at):

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My iPod now runs Linux...

Inspired by my favorite Linux podcast, "The Linux Action Shooooooooow" (thats how its pronounced), where each week Chris would talk about some new cool gadget that supposedly runs Linux. On the same spirit, I'd like to announce, the above.

I managed to install Linux on my somewhat recent 30GB video ipod. While ipodlinux has been around for quite some time now, the newer 5.5G (Generation) ipods weren't supported. Well all that has changed as of late February 2007.

Installation was quite easy, and I didn't even have to backup my data and repartition anything. Installation was actually quite easy due to the fact I had a Macpod (an ipod formatted using iTunes on running on my Mac Mini's OSX) which had put an hfsplus file system. Since hfsplus was a UNIX file system (POSIX compliant), I could just install Linux over it.

In contrast, for the majority of people that are running their ipod on FAT32, the process is slightly more complicated, required a separate ext3 FS to be created.

Anyway here is a video of my ipod booting off ipodlinux



On a similar note, I recently saw a digg post which claimed that someone has figured out how to run PowePC (ppc) Linux on Microsoft's latest Xbox 360. Running Linux on the Xbox 360 was considered quite difficult due to the system being heavily locked down via DRM, but apparently using a game exploit this is now possible.

Just makes you wonder if Microsoft will try to fix this exploit and prevent Linux from being installed or turn a blind eye, just so that they can take away the title from Sony's PS3 as being the only 2nd Gen console that can run Linux, something that Sony's PR engine emphasized.

Oh well, Yet-another-Gadget now runs Linux.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Previously on FOSSEd Kandy ...

Last weekend, we had our first FOSSEd on wheels event in Kandy. It was organized by the faculty of science, University of Peradeniya and was held on the 3rd and 4th (Sat & Sun) of March.

Since I had other commitments, I was only able to attend the event on the 3rd. I did a small presentation on deciding to choose a GNU/Linux distribution, a task that can be quite overwhelming, considering the hundreds of distributions out there. Nevertheless, I think I pulled it off by recommending they initially just try the Ubuntu distro, that was distributed to them at the event.

Just to make things a little bit easier, I demoed a live Ubuntu installation (using VMPlayer), which took only a little more than 15 minutes.

There was good balance in the number of attendees from universities, schools and a few from the industry who participated by asking questions as the event progressed. All in all, I thought it was one of the best FOSSEd events we had in a while.

Check out the following links for more on FOSSEd Kandy: