Oh God!What a day it was....
On Sunday the 26th of November 2006,I and Nikil went for our first ILUG Cochin Chapter meeting.I had raised great objections to this meeting from the start as our exams were set to begin by 5th dec and I haven't covered portions enough.But by Nikil's pressure I accepted the offer and we met at Menaka by 2 pm.
The it was a tough job to find the old building in which the meeting was held...
When we entered it,what I saw was an old fashioned building housing an internet cafe` with many old furniture and wooden roof.The lighting suggested a kind of intellectual workplace,which actually it was.Two guys looking like nerds,one bearded and the other with a kinda stressed look were talking.We introduced ourselves and entered and took our seat.We had expected a large hall with lots of tech enthusiasts of our age asking doubts and solving tech problems..but this was too different.
I tried to observe the surroundings and the atmosphere...Many empty packs of AMD processors and graphics cards were stacked at one place and the cafe` was like a club with many machines strewn along with lots of cds,books..posters ....all such stuff.Then entered Jay Jacob(the Cafe` is named Jay's Internet Club),the co-ordinator.
He looked intelligent and techy with his stout and fair face.He was a very lean guy but his eyes had the glow of an intelligent person.
That day's meeting was important as I later came to know that the Asst. commissioner of Kerala Police was visiting them to talk about the transfer of all computers in the police dept to Linux OS.
Then came the most astonishing and different person,Balakrishnan sir.He was a old person(maybe in 60s)with thick white beard like that of a saint.He entered with two packs one which he revealed to be Ubuntu cds.He seemed to be the intellectual lighthouse of the ILUG cochin chapter.
Two-three more guys entered the room and took their places.We were quickly introduced to them and the matters in the agenda were put forward to discussion.The first one was the transfer of JAVA to GPL.I didn't understand much at first,but soon I was in the stream.According to them,it was a reason to celebrate also...so I feel I am getting into the mainstream linux discussion now.That is fine and I am happy about that.I was really enthusiastic about the ideals and the methodologies they discussed though the technical parts were not all too easy.But we two didn't open our mouths in the meeting,it would be too early.I wanted to wait and know each of the members and then start working actively by S4.
Then came the tea break,when tea was ordered for all and the second pack from Balakrishnan sir was opened.It had cream biscuits.We all ate it and soon we two were mingling with the team.
The next topic was quite sticky and tough to understand.Through his meticulous explanation Jay sir made the history of things clear with frequent clarifications from Bala sir.It was the possible inclusion of MS coding into Suse linux.This is seen as a serious threat by the community.They were holding many hypothetical situations to suggest foul play by MS.But I didn't think like them.MS may have a foul play int he deal with Suse,but then it can't be as serious as they were suggesting.Well,my inexperience in this field could be the reason for such judgements..so I decided to keep quiet.
Anyway by 4.00 the commissioner called up to inform that he would be there immediately.Me and Nikil felt that we had enough for a day so he was pricking me for some time.Many other members were outside talking in their mob phones,and 2-3 were inside discussing about their suspicion and contempt of MS and its tie up with Indian Govt(donno why this ppl 'hate' MS).Their attitude seemed to hostile to any corporate..(so I even doubted their communist side of thinking)
I got a call from home and had to go.So I went inside and told Jay sir that I need to go.He inquired whether I could be available for the expo on 30th.I informed him of our tight exam schedules due to which we couldn't help him and made our way out.
The stress of all that made me sleep for long and I studied ET(alternators,1phase induction motors) at night and went to sleep.
Edited note: These r my feelings of the first meeting at ILUG, which I soon began to respect and co-operate with.Now we are in good contact with many active members.