Yesterday was the last day of COMPASS 2004. After three disappointing days last two days
has been encouraging to the Linux fanatics like me. ILUG-CAL presented linux to this
COMPASS. I must appreciate Mr.Indranil Dasgupta and Mr Shankarshan Mukhopadhya, who
answered the open house. Though participation was very disappointing.
The range of question was very vivid. From one user asking the web address where he can
download these free stuffs to the other user asking whether he can use his old ttf (true
type font) Bengali fonts in this free OS platform. Most of the queries were whether users
could run so-called popular proprietary s/w in GNU/LINUX. Both of them handled these
queries efficiently. My heartiest thanks to them.
Most interesting part was their presentation on Ankur Bangla Project. ( You can see
details about it at www.bengalinux.org
). They presented Ankur Bangla Live CD 1.0. It is a
fascinating idea to make a OS with Bangali messages. People will love to work with a s/w
that they can instruct in his mother tongue (though it will still work in binary). The
basic idea of popularizing GNU/Linux will get a booster dose, at least in Bengal through
L10n(localization) of the OS is very much needed to popularize Free s/w. Various bengali
OTF(Open type Fonts) in UNICODE was also very much needed for easy portability. The
editors are quite good. They have all powerful features that a modern text editor needs,
even a interesting bengali dictionary to check spellings . Bangla Sahityer Sankalan
(Collection of Bengali Literature) is also very unique. The Full Ankur Bangla Linux
distribution is due in April 2004. They are also undertaking Oriya localization project.
It is nice to hear that 15 community centers in USA is using this Live CD to train US born
bengali children in their mother tongue. These children took birth in a country habituated
with computer. So its a nice idea to teach them bengali through computers. This live CD
might be first big step forward to popularize GNU/Linux in Bengal also. We can approach
West Bengal Government to adapt this Bengali Linux instead of proprietary s/w in their
basic computer education
starting from school. May this live CD, not be a collectors item of proprietary s/w
users. I expect this CD to pave a path of using free s/w and LINUX OS in West Bengal.
One very good friend of mine made a good point here. We must make conscious effort to let
people know that there exist a Free Live Bangla OS CD, otherwise there is no point in
making such a good job. It will just be wasted. A grass root level workforce must be there
to popularize GNU/Linux itself, otherwise all their valuable efforts will be in vain.
I found a little boy in this COMPASS saying Their configuration lack enough memory to run
P IV efficiently, after seeing a h/w vendors offer paper. This was fabulous. It shows how
much we are coming of age. But this little boy must also be taught to use FREE GNU/Linux
and s/w so that he will not use pirated proprietary s/w. He should be taught that here he
can put his talent to modify the s/w itself according to his need.
Most of the LUGs have been involved in projects that take the free s/w movement ahead. It
is very much needed. But they lack the urge to popularize it in grass root level. But
Believe me, this is important. There is no point in inventing space ships if common people
are not made aware of their existence. Common people must be heard, they must be informed,
due attention must be given to them to solve their basic problems in GNU/Linux. They must
not thing Linux is very much geeks OS. They must feel easy while using LINUX daily in
May the freedom, knowledge and the Ankur Bangla Live CD 1.0 be with you
You can download this from
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