Karma ’14 – Day 1

Taking sessions is fun. When Amjad first invited me unofficially on January 2 via facebook to speak for Karma – the cultural cum technical fest of KMCT College of Engineering, I was really excited because talking on a stage of a technical fest is really an experience. It’s not like I haven’t got on stage before, but this was going to be my first professional stage talking to a professional audience (or so I thought 😛 ).

Amjad informed me that my session would be on the first day right after the inauguration, and that I’d have eKuttan to accompany me for a 2-hour slot to talk about something related to Mozilla. Other speakers for the day included Sunil Rao, Country Head of Google’s Outreach Programs ; Tessy Thomas, Project Director of DRDO‘s AGNI Missile Project ; Bibin Parukoor Thomas , CEO, Avacado Duku ; Meera Radhakrishnan, Curator of Startup Village ; Jeevaj Raveendran , Film-maker among many other eminent personalities. I thought this was an elite platform to be on and I was honored to be getting this opportunity to speak on the same stage as these personalities. Hey, I even got featured on their “Speakers Galore” (don’t ask me what that means though 😛 )

I reached the place around noon with eKuttan who picked me up from Calicut Medical College. We checked-into our rooms (which was essentially an ayurvedic hospital), freshened up and reached the college. We caught up with Amjad, who was busy ‘finding audience’ for our talk. He dropped us off at the guest room and left us waiting there unless he arranged for an audience. That is when I realized that our session was not on the main stage of Karma, but in a small seminar hall with a audience of ‘god-knows-what’ people. That shattered all my dreams of a ‘professional’ talk. 🙁

We were then informed that what was considered to be a parallel session was now a back-to-back session (we were actually scheduled the slot for 01:30PM-03:30PM). We had to continue behind Meera‘s talk on ‘Startups & Startup Village’. The audience hadn’t had lunch before the session, so as soon as Meera’s talk was over, the audience went for having their lunch. That left me and eKuttan with a few of my friends from IEEE. As is eKuttan‘s nature & personality, he’s a lovable and friendly soul who is easy to get along with and get acquainted with. He quickly got along with Jibin Sabu (FISAT), Susmi (CEC) and another 3 people from College of Engineering, Chengannur. He started discussing about Privacy, the Web, IEEE and many other topics.

It was around 04:00PM when some of Jibin’s friends from FISAT came in. None of the people who went lunch returned. We had quite a good number of people to talk to and they became our audience for the day. Abid was very busy discussing with the little group that he didn’t even notice there was a crowd around him now. I finally suggested that instead of sitting in circles, it’d be better if Abid came up to the front and talked. So then started the official talks for the day. It was around 04:15PM when eKuttan started his talk. His idea was to convey the concept of Web Privacy in the nut-shell of a story of a King. He started of with some general topics about FOSS and related stuff. By the time he started his King’s story, it was 04:45PM. And then he went on and on and on… not about the King, the king’s story too got lost at times. He talked about Privacy, Why is it important, etc. But he never lost track of his King’s story either. Anyways, he probably had prepared for an hour’s talk and a full hour did he go on talking.

Well, he finally decided to conclude at around 05:15PM. It was already too late, there was the college’s arts festival going on in the cultural center, nobody would want to miss that. So, I was thinking of dropping my talk and leaving the audience to their interests. But then, when we asked them if they were bored, they weren’t, so I went up to do my talk. Since we were already short on time, I had to rush through my slides. My topic for the day was FOSS & Mozilla. I started off by defining the terms ‘free’ and ‘open’. I explained the 4 rules of ‘free’ software, explained ‘openness’ and moved onto ‘FOSS’. I gave a brief description about FOSS, talked about how FOSS came into being, it’s history, etc. The I talked a bit about GNU/Linux and its various distributions (distros). From there, I moved onto my main topic – Mozilla. I explained how Mozilla is not just Mozilla Firefox, how vast the Mozilla Foundation is and its various products. Then I moved on to how easy it was to become a Firefox Student Ambassador (FSA) and how to become FSAs. Then I went to talk about the different kinds of events that we have at Mozilla and how could one participate or organize an event in their respective colleges. I also gave a briefing about Mozilla Jetpack and how to use it to make Add-Ons for Mozilla Firefox. I also talked about Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) and how to use MDN to learn anything related to the web.

By the time we wound up all the sessions, it was around 5:45PM. We interacted with the participants for a few minutes and then wrapped up. That concluded Day 1 of Karma 2k14.

We have an AppDay coming up on Day 2. Praveen, Vipin and Vigneshwar will be arriving to handle the AppDay.

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