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A Barcamp Experience

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Barcamp Bangalore

Barcamp Bangalore

Just thought it would be a good idea to blog about my first time experience of Barcamp. Barcamp Bangalore was held on March 7th and 8th. After missing several barcamps, I finally attended it with the company of Anand and Nishant.

The event was conducted in Yahoo cafetaria at EGL. We reached the place quite early and after registration, we surprisingly found ourselves helping out in carrying the projector screens. Wi-fi and coffee/tea was available all the time. There were also other shops where you could get any snack you need. A kick-off meeting was held and it was surprising to everyone that almost majority of them were first-time barcampers and I’m quite sure the total number of people on the first day was more than 100. In the kick-off meeting, a 30-second intro about the topic was given by those presenting it. Moreover, there were many stickers available, where you can write your name, twitter ID etc. and stick it to your shirt. It was so cool and I took some 2-3 stickers, put it on my shirt and felt so proud of myself :D . Also, there was a board with sticky notes containing schedule of the sessions, which is called as “Paper Wiki”.

Now to the real game. There were 5 parallel tracks, where each one presented their topics. Almost all sessions lasted an hour. One problem that many faced was the presentations were not audible and since all 5 tracks are on the same hall, it was noisy. Most of the time we were guessing from the slides about what the speaker was saying. One more problem was that, topics which I was interested in attending were scheduled to be presented at the same time and hence I had to choose one between the two. Apart from this the sessions were all great and I got to hear some really good speakers who have lots of industry experience. Day-2 started a little late and less number of people turned up compared to day-1. This day I was surprised to see so many stress balls. I could see almost everyone having the yellow ball. Whether it reduced the stress or not, it really was so much fun. After attending so many sessions continously for the 2nd day, I felt I was kind of overloaded, so I din’t stay till the end on the 2nd day and had to leave early.

Here are some topics which I found very interesting:

Overall it was a great experience and I enjoyed every moment at the barcamp. The organizing team did a great job and I feel it was well worth travelling from Chennai to Bangalore for the barcamp. Looking forward for Barcamp Chennai.

Written by lokesh

March 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Posted in BarCamp

Tagged with , ,

Twitter communities come together for charity: water

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Twestival - Feb 12, 2009


Right now 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. That’s one in six of us.

When I started using twitter just a few months back, I had the thought that twitter is just a micro-blogging tool. Eventually I figured out that it is a great tool to find people with similar interests, get to know what famous personalities are doing etc. and with the search API, one can find out what is the hottest topic/news in the world right “now”.

Today I’ve witnessed yet another great use of twitter – Twestival, an event where twitterers around the world will be meeting to raise money for charity: water

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need

charity: water’s various solutions include hand-dug wells, boreholes, rainwater harvesting etc. which comes to 1,247 water projects in various countries, including 38 water projects in India. Out of earth’s overall water content, with just 2.5% being fresh water and with the higher costs for water-purification in developing nations, this is a huge problem.

I had no idea such an organization existed, and it is great to see that twitter is used for spreading the message to millions around the world. The Twestival event is organized 100% by volunteers in many cities (checkout the twestival.com for details). If your city is not listed, you can register your city and become the event organizer for your city. As of now, the various events to be included in Twestival is left to the organizers of the respective cities.

In order to raise funds, I think the event will facilitate options to donate. Moreover, there is a T-Shirt design event which is open till 5th Feb, 2009. These T-Shirts will be available for sale and will directly fund charity: water projects.

Written by lokesh

January 31, 2009 at 7:29 am

Workshop on Ethical Hacking

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Recently I attended a 2-day workshop on ethical hacking, conducted by Infysec – a security services organization. The workshop covered various topic related to hacking such as footprinting, enumeration, session hijacking, web application vulnerabilities, viruses, botnets etc.

The session was like this: before explaining each topic, proper introduction would be given as to what is the topic all about, why is it necessary from a security point of view, then slide based presentation on the topic, and finally a live demo on that topic. Apart from this, the instructors who were highly experienced in almost all aspects of security, also gave many valuable inputs which you may not find in books. Although I’m not preparing for CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), it seems this program will really be useful for clearing it.

As the event was called a workshop, I expected that everyone would be provided with some systems or may be asked to bring their own laptops and gain hands-on experience in the workshop by working out the various scenarious along with the instructors. The organizers were happy to have this feedback and assured they will consider this, as almost everyone expected the same.

Moreover, it seems Infysec is organizing “Capture-the-flag” contest next month. A server will be open to hacking by various teams and the first team to hack it, wins. I’m sure events like this will surely gain a lot of popularity.

Written by lokesh

January 26, 2009 at 8:36 am

Posted in Events, Security

Tagged with ,

Choosing the right Reporting Tool

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Our project is based on the struts framework and we were very successful in making the application go live. We just got new requirements for the next phase of the project and one of them was reports. We were in search for the right J2EE reporting tool. Some of them that we considered was Jasper Reports, Open Reports, Crystal Reports and BiRT from Apache.

Crystal Reports is actually a product and also it is not free. It does have a very user-friendly report designer and it is very easy for any non-technical user to get started with Crystal Reports. But our requirement was something more, like we needed to generate reports in various formats such as PDF,Excel etc. and we were not sure whether crystal reports could come in handy. So we scrapped it off.

Next we were looking into Open Reports, which is actually a front-end to Jasper Reports, in the sense it acts like a complete admin module for creating reports. It is a complete application with all the reporting tools integrated into it. With open reports there is nothing much left to do other than DB configuration and parameter setting. Although it comes for free under the GPL license, we din’t want to take the risk and hence we scrapped off this too.

Finally we decided to go on with Jasper Reports. It is open source and has all the necessary tools to generate reports in various formats. There is a report designer named iReports which can be used to create the report templates to be used with Jasper reports. Although it is not as user-friendly as Crystal Reports or BiRT designer, I’m sure we’ll get used to it eventually. There is a good comparison here between Jasper and BiRT. After reading it, there is no doubt Jasper is the best for our requirements.

Written by lokesh

October 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Posted in J2EE

Anti-Reservation Protest in Chennai

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Its time to wake up Chennaiites. If you ever felt sad that you were not able to join in the protests against reservations, then here is your chance. Anti-reservation protest has been organised in Chennai on May 25th at 4:00 PM.

I think its the right time that decision has been made for protests in Chennai, as the exams for most of the final year engineering departments is getting over on May 24th.

Here are the details ::

DATE : 25th MAY 2006 Thursday
TIME : 4-6 PM
PLACE: Government Guest House, Wallajah Road, Chennai.



Permission has been granted by the police.

Participants include IITians, Medicos and working people.

All are Welcome. Let us show what we feel to the government.


BLOG SITE: http://yfechennai.blogspot.com/

YAHOOGROUP: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chennaiunited/

e-mail: chennaiunited@yahoogroups.com

All-India contact: youth4equality@gmail.com


Rama Subramanian:9840284781 nvsriram@gmail.com

Written by lokesh

May 23, 2006 at 7:06 am

Anti-Reservation Protests All Over The Nation

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The protests against reservation has been going around for quite a long time and no luck till date. The speeches given by Arjun Singh is making the protesters even more fierce and problem is getting big day by day. As an individual I also feel the same as the protesters feel. There shouldn't be any reservations.

Ok, coming to the point…there is going to be protests in most parts of the country on 20th and 21st.

Check out http://protestcentral.blogspot.com/ for information about protest activities in your city and how you can join in the protests.

Its better to let know the visitors of this blog about "Why Anti-Reservation"

Why we oppose reservation?
1) It is going to kill meritocracy, and hence destroy India's image as a technology hub.
2) It is dividing India into caste lines which our freedom fighters and social reformers fought so hard to eliminate.
3) It is against the fundamental right to equality as safeguarded by the Constitution of India.
4) The benefits of reservation have been denied to really deserving people by the rich and powerful in their own classes.
5) Reservation is just a populist measure used by politicians for electoral gains.
(Taken from http://www.youth4equality.org/)

Written by lokesh

May 19, 2006 at 5:22 pm

AJAX Activity Indicators

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 When any AJAX operation is being performed in a site, the user doesn't quite know that process is being carried out in the background and sometimes it so happens that the user either keeps clicking the button again and again or leaves the page thinking something is wrong. Whether the AJAX operation is small or big, its always better to have activity indicators so that the user knows his/her request is being processed in the background.

While designing my AJAX applications I was looking out for some nice activity indicators and so I stumbled upon these sites which host some of the sexiest activity indicators.




Written by lokesh

May 14, 2006 at 1:03 pm

Posted in AJAX


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