Basic Computer Demo, Open Source and More
Our recent events have all been related to computer education and awarenes in one form or another which spanned from a small village Sisautiya in Sarlahi district of Nepal to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. At Sisautiya we held three computer demonstration sessions to students ranging from first graders to high school students. When it came to computers, both first graders and high school students fell in same category; they had heard about it but not seen one in real life. This is not surprising since many of villages in vicinity of Sisautiya did not have electricity till last year. These demonstration sessions gave the participating students a chance to see how computers work and also how they can use it. Some of them typed their names and some even drew funny pictures. They were really excited about the event and hoped for more such opportunities.
We held the last of three demonstration sessions during early evening and suddenly there was a power cut. Students had kerosene lamps as back up and it was an interesting contrast: they were watching a demo of Thinkpad while kerosene lamp was source of light. We were fortunate that laptop battery did not die.
Our next two sessions brought us to Kathmandu, Nepal. With help of folks from Janaki Technology, we held an Open Source Software (OSS) awareness seminar to students of Pulchowk Engineering College and few software professionals. All together there were about 25 attendees. This was mostly about describing how OSS works, its relevance in Nepal and how those students can be active members of OSS community. This was followed by another OSS talk at the premise of a software company which is a branch of a US based company. The talk was more interactive here because some people were already using different OSS such as Fedora, JBoss, Apache, Joomla, Drupal etc. Result of this session had an immediate impact. One of the attendees became an OSS contributor and you can see details of that at this blog.