Each time being at that college among those students, you really feel rejuvenated.
On September 29th, MatriCS, the association (an awesome one at that!) under the Computer Science department at MES College of Engineering had it’s inauguration as well as was the host for the SMC annual meet. These two days are those that I don’t want to forget in a hurry. Hence, I thought I’d just write down about how it went so that next year when we meet, we might be able to have a nice laugh at what all happened this year.
I was not actually expecting a formal event and as such when I suddenly came to realize that the event was at the auditorium, it felt a bit weird. However, the moment I met Riyas, the third year CS student there who was extremely enthusiastic about getting things done, I knew things were going to get better. He had this friendly way of welcoming people and getting them to fit in without any trouble. I hope he keeps that spirit up because the society needs people like him. There was Hiran ettan (met him for the first time) and some other lady and Riyas took all the three of us into the hall.
I could sense the tension of the organizers to get things started in time, realizing at the last moment that certain people who were supposed to talk at the event, were not going to show up (Boy, I really hate when people do that). I had myself been in similar situations before and it was heart warming to see everything, more or less, going smooth. Shamsir, the current chairman of the association was getting everything together with an air of command. A jovial, innocent fellow who is as much enthusiastic as Riyas in getting things done.
My wishes and prayers to both of them.
I’m not going to go about describing each and everything that happened. You can find the itinerary of the event over here.
It was an awesome auditorium and there was a small session regarding OCRs, which were helpful for the blind people to use computers. I marveled at how the organizers thought of incorporating such a talk into the event. To know that the time had come where Computer Engineers had a real part to play in the society, gave us a feeling of responsibility.
29th of September was a special day because it had been exactly a year since Jinesh had passed away. The SMC members did an excellent job at collecting all the articles and blog posts written by Jinesh and compiling them into one single book under the name of “Logbook of an observer”. A hard copy of the book was handed over to his Father at the ceremony and people who knew him personally as well as through the net talked about him. Another person named “Shyam” was also mentioned who had this sincere love for our mother tongue. Knowing that people like them existed and how much they had influenced the world around them in the short time they were here, was really inspiring.
One of the other mention worthy (really mention worthy) things about the event was to get to see people in real life! And that is awesome. I mean, a few days ago, a guy called Ani Peter asked for help regarding translation on the SMC mailing list. I decided to help him out and with my inexperienced typing, helped out a tiny bit.
I was looking forward to meeting him at the event. With this thought in mind, I was sitting there in the second row of the auditorium pretty much alone. The speeches were going on and when it got monotonous, I happened to get a glimpse at the laptop of the lady who was sitting beside me. She was the one who was with Hiran ettan earlier. Her laptop booted and displayed the login screen. Just above the login screen was written “Ani Peter”.
The point being, it is nice (and necessary!) to meet people in real life. Hrishikesh (a really jovial and friendly guy), the artistic Ark Arjun, Hiran ettan, Manoj, Rajeesh ettan (An ultra cool guy with an awesome attitude), the sisterly Ani Peter, Adhil (whom I had briefly met for Chakkakuutaan), Manu (the renowned MES geek) were the ones among the newly-seen-in-real-life people.
It was heart warming to see Praveen ettan, Ershad, Nakul, Musfir, Sadiq, Anish, Kiran (well, I’ve been seeing this guy everyday for a month now, but still I was glad to see him at MES). Also the guys from MES itself. I’ not that good with names, so forgive me if I have accidentally left someone out. Yahul, Rahul, Navin, Sohail and the other young hacksters there who all added to the bright and wonderful atmosphere there.
The afternoon sessions of the first day were informal ones and I felt right at home. Anish talked about the Free Software philosophy and Hrishi came forward with introducing Diaspora and the free movie initiatives. Well, one of the troubles that the speakers always face is the problem of making the session interactive. When they ask something and the audience sit as if they had no clue what was going on, it usually becomes a bit depressing. However, little did they realize Musfir was one among the crowd!
He just would not sit taking everything that the speakers said for granted. He shot out with his questions and the whole session was completely interactive. It was nice to discuss and talk about philosophies. The Open movie initiative was really interesting and we all sat and saw the movie tears of steel.
However, there was something that bothered me with the whole ordeal. I was quite worried about the message that was reaching the students. I mean, the people who were giving the talks were really good programmers and developers. They gave talks on the matters that affected what they were working on. I felt that the technical part of the message was not getting through to the students. The feeling that the free software community was growing as a political party based on ideals and philosophies without the hacker spirit actually being there was somehow becoming more and more evident. I’m sure there might be an alternative explanation to this, but I’ve been seeing this trend (with me too!) growing up.
As if to counter my thought, the second day witnessed two wonderful workshops. One was on Shell scripting by Rajeesh ettan, which was extremely informative as he explained in detail many aspects of how the shell worked and its configurations along with the basic, practical funda of how to use the shell to script something. It has ticked me off into learning it and I’m sure be giving it a shot now.
This was followed by Ershad’s workshop on git, which was superb as usual. The sessions were wound up at about 1.30 with trophies being awarded to the SMC people who helped out with the events and sessions. We all had a few informal chats and I bid my farewell to everyone then.
I missed the hacknight on the first day which, as I was able to gather from the people who attended it, was extremely fun. I also missed the afternoon session on the second day which was on Remote Desktop and Networks. Hoping to read the details of both from some place else.
All through the event, I really missed Sajith sir. I’m sure all the students there missed him too. Here is praying and hoping that he will have his troubles settled and his wishes granted.
A heart warming experience. Something that students of MES can be proud of. I hope that they keep the spirit and enthusiasm flowing in the future as well.