Event History and Backlog

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Start of Linux and Open Source in Nepal

Chronologically speaking, Linux came in Nepal in 1994 with it cam the Free Software Revolution. With growing Internet came the Internet Service Providers and they used Linux. And in 2000 Kundan Khanal with his friends, he started linuxnepal.com.np for the sake of bringing Linux awareness in Nepal. Later the mailing list for Linux was started for the technical Linux solutions. This group at that time consisted of approximately 100 Linux users and is expanding day by day. And this create a community culture for FOSS in Nepal. And in 2004 PAN LOCALIZATION PROJECT launched and first test release of Nepalinux was launched in 2005 followed by it first release on December of 2005.

Formation of FOSS Nepal Community'

With a stable localised distro in hand, the developers of Nepalinux with other FOSS enthusiast started a community named the "FOSS Nepal Community". And with mega events such as Celebration of Software Freedom Day, the small group turned into a great Free Software Community in Nepal. And into one of most active advocates of free software in the world. Awarded with two pretigious award for best team in Software Freedom Day FOSS Nepal still grows with Free Software.

Celebration of Software Freedom Day (05, 06, 07, 08)

Software Freedom Day 2005

The first Software Freedom Day celebrated in Nepal was in 2005. With around small participants and a few number of organisers the event was a great milestone for Free Software in Nepal. With sponsorship form Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya and Silicon Village the event collaborated the early advocates of the Free software. Around 500 Open CD were distributed in the event. Many engineering colleges came up for volunteering which includes Kathmandu University(KU), COSMOS and CIT. As scheduled the event was started with introduction to FOSS and SFD, importance of FOSS in Nepal, demonstration of opensource software, migration notes and tips, localisation, and KU volunteers demonstrated the installation and uninstallation process of Windows Apps in Linux along with sharing of workspace using samba and printing system using cups. And a Nepali Messenger and a game Spacejam by KU students attracted the event. And few FOSS Goodies were also in the sale at the event. Overall, the event was a major success for FOSS Nepal at it's first Software Freedom Day.

Software Freedom Day 2007

Over 330 groups from over 90 countries participated in the fourth annual Software Freedom Day (www.softwarefreedomday.org) on September 15, 2007 to showcase the excellent range of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and demonstrate how it can be used to save money and gain freedom in every sector of the information society. In Nepal, Software Freedom Day (SFD) was celebrated for the third time with the theme 'Linux for Desktops'. FOSS Nepal Community and High Level Commission for Information Technology,Nepal Government jointly organized the event at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka with the support of various educational institutions, government body, civil society, media and FOSS IT communities. The non-profit organization Software Freedom International provided guidance in organizing SFD and some material support. The event included FOSS Documentary Show, Distro demo, Freedom Toaster, FOSS Socials for volunteers, Live Tux Show, FOSS Drills, FOSS Project Demos, Signature Campaign, FOSS Solidarity eve, CDs/Flyers distribution and various other events. Apart from the main SFD Event on September 15 th, FOSS Nepal also organized an event to light up candles on the eve of SFD for 'FOSS Solidarity'. It had the highest number of participants and visitors till now. Since the event was jointly organized by HLCIT, the event also got huge media attention.

Software Freedom Day 2008

Over 500 volunteer groups in over 120 countries all around the world celebrated the fifth Software Freedom Day (SFD) this year on September 20. Software Freedom Day is an annual grass roots event to showcase the excellent range of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and demonstrate how it can be used to save money and gain freedom in every sector of the information society. In Nepal, Software Freedom Day is being celebrated since 2005. The Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Community Nepal (FOSS-Nepal) organizes several events to mark this day. This year, the theme of the celebration was “Create, Share, Collaborate.” The events organized at Yala Maya Kendra, on 20th September 2008 Patan Dhoka were supported by various educational institutions, government bodies, civil society, media and FOSS IT comminities. The non-profit organization Software Freedom International provided guidance in organizing SFD and some material support. This year, for the first time, SFD was also observed outside Kathmandu, in Dharan and Bharatpur. FOSS Nepal community has issued a “Kathmandu Declaration”, that can be considered an important milestone in Nepal's free software movement. A collection of free softwares named “Nirvikalpa” and a web portal named “Prasfutan” were two products launched by FOSS Nepal on the occasion of the SFD. Other events included FOSS Documentary Show, Apps demo, Live Tux Show, Experts' Sessions, FOSS Project Demos, Signature Campaign, FOSS Solidarity eve, CD/DVDs distribution and such like. Apart from the main SFD Event on September 20th, FOSS Nepal also organized an event to light up candles on the eve of SFD for 'FOSS Solidarity'. We had the highest number of participants and visitors till now in this year's event (summing all the participants in Kathmandu, Dharan and Chitwan). This year's event was attended by the Honorable Minister for Science and Technology. He pledged his unfettered support for the free software movement in Nepal. As we were the one of the winners of the best event last year, the events this year drew huge media attention with all major media houses giving generous mentions to FOSS Nepal and the SFD.


FOSS INFO Mela

After establishing its own first ever FOSS Lab in Nepal in Brihaspati Vidya Sadan, Kathmandu. FOSS Nepal in a very short history has managed to flow the idea of FOSS in the country and elsewhere. It has been a leading umbrella body which is responsible for establishing the free and open source environment in the region. And with a prime objective to create awareness about Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) to students and professional community it organized the FOSS InfoMela at FOSS Training and Research Center, Brihaspati Vidya Sadan, Naxal, Kathmandu in February 7, 2009 (Saturday). The single day event of 10-5 also highlighted the FOSS achievements in Nepal and informed the general public about what FOSS Nepal is doing. The Mela made a milestone in terms of issues regarding Free and Open Source Software in Nepal. The need, necessity and the urgency to use FOSS was also pointed out during the mela.

The program included the demo of many popular open source software to public. Many open alternatives to the properitary programs were also demostrated. Distro CDs, nirvikalpa CDs, FOSS T-Shirts sales FOSS materials was sold and distributed in the program. Many Parallel Sessions were ongoing on the day which included FOSS Introduction,Documentaries,Installation Demo,Virus Free Stalls,Power Saving with OLD hardware/LTSP,Open Art and stalls of local Linux Distribution community like Fedora Nepal and Ubuntu-np. Other attracts of the mela was the fun with FOSS Computer Games and SFD Pictures in Display. The was formally inaugurated by the Honorable Minister for Science and Technology. And with hundres of visitors and participants the mela was a great success.

Establishing FOSS Training Center

Nepal's first FOSS Training and Research Center is in use at Brihaspati Vidyasadan School (BVS) at Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal. This Center has been made possible with the financial help from Help Nepal Network and BVS Alumni and technical help from FOSS Nepal, the community involved in spreading free and open source technologies in Nepal. All the machines in the FOSS Training and research Center are running Ubuntu Linux 8.04 Desktop edition. This mainly training facility is opened with the objective of training as many as possible about free and open source technologies specially GNU/Linux. Over the next year this facility hopes to attract and train, mainly younger generation especially students, on the use of FOSS technologies in Nepal. The training and research center is structured to seat 24 participants in one to one configuration for the training. The lab has been setup in classroom style with users facing towards the the white board for a better teaching and learning environment. Each side has two computers in a single table so that while training they can be formed as client and server. Furthermore as the computers are standalone PCs, the lab is connected in bus topology. This will ensure that the lab is optimized not just for LTSP based trainings but also for other medium scale trainings based on FOSS.


Events in Chronology

Media Workshop - February 3 - 4, 2009

On 3-4 Feb 2009 FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) Nepal organized a two day long media workshop for the media perosn.This workshop is mainly targeted for around 25 journalists from Mass Media, especially those who are already working in their media houses for reporting Science, Technology and related fields. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) has the potential to offer journalists more access to information and has become an important presence in the independent media movement. With FOSS, journalists' ability to share, exchange and process information would be increased with no extra costs. The media can play a vital role in promoting the debate on proprietary software/content versus FOSS. In that program the following topics discussed were terminology, Software and Internet Technology,Web 2.0, blogs, websites Nepali language Computing (Unicode, keyboard layouts, etc) ,Political, Social and Economical Impacts (in Nepal's context too) , Privacy, Anonymity and Security Copyright, IPR, licenses, Nepali Context (also P2P, File Sharing etc),Feedback (Bloggers, Journalist, Tech Experts) followed by the formation of a Technology Journalists' Group.

FOSS Nepal @ CAN InfoTech 2009 - January 14 - 19, 2009

FOSS Nepal Community participated @ CAN InfoTech 2009 from January 14 - 19, 2009. And it was an great opportunity to all of us to reach a large mass. CAN InfoTech being the biggest tech fair in Nepal. Thousands of participants were attracted to the FOSS Stall. The stall featured the showcase of Opensource tools along with sale of Free Software with cost of media only(Of course).

2nd LTSP e-Library Training of Trainers - December 13 - 14, 2008

Help Nepal Network (HeNN) along with FOSS Nepal Community and Brihaspati Vidyasadan jointly conducted its 2nd Training for prospective Trainers for Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) based e-Library on 13th-14th December, 2008 at FOSS Research and Training Center (FOSSRTC) @ Brihaspati Vidyasadan, Naxal, Kathmandu.And their were 24 participant in thise program from differnt collegs and university. The sessions on 13th dealt with Linux and networking basics besides the overview of working of LTSP system. On 14th, the participants practiced LTSP system inpair. Then, there were advanced Linux topics like scripting and regular expressions.

AOSS Workshop Participation from Nepal

CICC has been promoting Open Source Software in Asia from March 2003. Human Resource Development has been identified as one of the bottlenecks relating to the wider use of OSS. So, this program has been initiated by the CICC Singapore office with the aim of creating a large number of OSS professionals to teach OSS in South and South-east Asia. The objective of the Asia OSS Workshop was to Develop training material in the areas of OSS application and deployment an to establish networks with OSS community from IT industry in Asia (to increase industry and OSS community participation)and to introduce Japanese IT developments to Asia and improve participation of IT professionals working for Japanese firms or involved in Japanese cooperation projects in Asia. The AOSS Workshop Participation from Nepal was in almost every year which includes5th AOSS Workshop, December 2008 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - Prabin Gautam (FOSS Nepal Community), 4th AOSS Workshop, October 2008 (Singapore) - Shishir Jha (FOSS Nepal Community) ,3rd AOSS Workshop, December 2007 (Singapore) - Basanta Krishna Shrestha (NepaLinux/FOSS Nepal Community) ,2nd AOSS Workshop, February 2007 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) - Subir Bahadur Pradhanang (MPP) ,1st AOSS Workshop, September 2006 (Singapore) - Subir Bahadur Pradhanang (MPP) and AOSS Training Program, July 2005 (Singapore) - Mahesh Singh Kathayat (NITC/Ministry of Science and Technology).

Computer Curriculum in Schools

On September 24 and October 22, 2008 a meeting of the Policy Makers and stakeholders was conducted at Yalamaya Kendra, Lalitpur, PatanDhoka. In those meetings following agendas were discussed Review of the existing school curriculum ,discussion on what is lacking in the current curriculum ,constraints and difficulties in implementing the curriculum in schools ,information gathering about the procedures of curriculum development and revision and How to move ahead?

FOSS Orientation Program - August 7, 2008

FOSS Orientation Program was organise at Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur on August 7, 2008 (Thursday. The main objective of the orientation was to make the new students from different colleges aware about Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and its benefits. Students (especially new to FOSS) from various colleges and universities were given orientation on Introduction to FOSS Philosophy, Introduction to FOSS Nepal Community, Application Demo & Alternatives and Migration to FOSS.

Training on Migration to FOSS - July 14, 2008

This was conducted on Asadh 30, 2065 (July 14, 2008) at the High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) hall. The training was intended to be given to IT focal persons of different ministries. It was coordinated by High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) and conducted by FOSS Nepal Community. The training program was mainly focus on the alternatives available in the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) world and how an end-user could migrate from existing proprietary software.

The one-day training course was intended to to create awareness about FOSS in government sector,to enhance the skills in FOSS environment,to familiarize with FOSS related environment and tools,to prospect the effectiveness and methods of usage of FOSS and to present FOSS as easy, effective and cost-effective tools for productive day-to-day computing

FOSS Training in Dharan

This training was conducted on 5th July, 2008 at Dharan Engineering Campus. As per the request from the student out there we conducted a one day long training in which they were given basic training about he linux and also knowledge about the FOSS Nepal In this event their were almost 100 participants form all around the Dharan. These participant were mostly Computer users (esp. sysadmins) familiar with Windows but not with FOSS alternatives. So, the event was mostly about Easy porting of computer users (esp. Windows users, sysadmins) to Linux / FOSS Alternatives and getting involved in development of FOSS / Linux community.

FOSS Training to Rural Telecenter's representatives at TITI

This event was organised on 3rd July, 2008 by Prabin Gautam and Shishir Jha in two shifts. As the main participants were the representatives from TITI the training mainly focussed on introducing FOSS to them. From What is FOSS to Demonstration of Linux, the training included many topic such as activities of FOSS Nepal, why is it necessary. And all of them the Comprehensive training on Localized OpenOffice.org Package developed by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya was taught. Many resources were also distributed to the participants which includes the TTCS OSSWIN CD, NEPALINUX 3.0 DVD,"OOo Writer for M$ Word users" manual and the OpenOffice.org Installation Manual.


Fedora Sulphur Release Party

The local Fedora Nepal Community with 4 ambassadors in Nepal organised the Fedora Sulphur Release Party in 9th June, 2008 Monday at Raut Complex(Top Floor), Beside Landmark Education Consultancy, Tripureshwor(towards Thapathali). The event was a major success for the Fedora Nepal Community including the FOSS Nepal. Many newcomers enjoyed the companionship of the ambassadors and veterans from FOSS Nepal. The event major attraction was Participants' Introduction, Fedora Sulphur Launch, TUX Dance, Free DVD Distribution and FREE ART. Many discussed the features of Sulphur. And with a some snacks the Party was over.

Fedora 10 Cambridge Release Party

On the release on new edition of Fedora, Fedora 10 "Cambridge", the Fedora Nepal Community organised the Fedora 10 Release Party in 29th November, 2008 (Saturday) starting from 4:10pm in Zero Energy Building at IOE,Pulchowk. This release got a major media coverage as the Kantipur aired more than 2 minutes of special report on this. The event saw a enthusiastic participation from the students of IOE and other colleges. In the event Fedora Ambassadors in Nepal Abhishek, Ujjwol, Shankar and Tushar gave presentations on fedora. The presentation included introduction, features to who use fedora. Fedora 10 CD and DVD was distributed in the event. Other attractions were Guff with da G33k,Tux Racing and of course snacks. The lucky draw for Fedora Live USB, T-shirt and other goodies saw major participation. A big celebration was followed by a formation of Fedora Rangoli; Fedora Logo made with colors in the ground. Many photo were taken with the Rangoli and the event also got appreciation from the Fedora Project. Overall, the release party was the biggest release of any Linux distro in Nepal and was a major success.


FOSS Essentials Training 2007

FOSS Essential Training got underway on the 17-18th March 2007, a two day training organized by FOSS Nepal Community joining hands with NITC and CICC, Singapore. It was a great training that was very helpful and fruitful for all the participants. Madan Puraskar Pustakalya was the major local supporting partner who provided us with logistic and manpower support. MPP also provided with their expertise in Open Source Software as the resource persons.The training was carried out in the Bagikhana Hall of Yala Maya Kendra, Patan Dhoka, Lalitpur. There were altogether 28 local participants and 4 foreigner visitor participants.

FOSS Nepal Community organized the FOSS Essentials Training, 2007, in Kathmandu. The Essentials Training focused on awareness of Free and Open Source software, their uses and development to the participants. 27 participants, both university students and professionals from private, government and non-government sector, took part in the 2 day training program, out of which 9 were females and 18 were males. There were also 4 foreigner visitors who took the training as the guests.FOSS Essentials Training was supported by Center of the International Cooperation for Computerization (CICC),National Information Technology Centre (NITC) and Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP). CICC Singapore provided financial assistance to FOSS Nepal Community to organize the training while Belasap provided partial scholarships to all the women participants. The training consisted of presentations and lectures from experts, live practical sessions in computers, group discussions and projects


LTSP Training of Trainers

LTSP Training of Trainers was held on December 15-16, 2007 at Kathmandu Engineering College (KEC), Kalimati, Kathmandu.FOSS Nepal Community and Help Nepal Network jointly conducted a training for prospective trainers for Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) based e-Library. This was part of a series of trainings to be conducted in the future. To alleviate the inclining trend of 'Digital Divide' in Nepal, e-Library as an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tool that aims to incorporate both 'Health' and 'Education' sector is opted with its viability in terms of technical and economical perspective in reference to Nepal and the Nepalese. With the rising interest in LTSP by different groups involved in rural education, it has presently been a topic of discussion for both national and international donor agencies as well as the community beneficiaries. Due to its growing potential and magnitude, we are in search of technical manpower who would help us deploy LTSP based e-library as volunteers in different parts of Nepal. Hence, this training was an effort to create this manpower from among the students who can devote their time for the training and the project deployments.

The involvement of students in this training provided them with enough expertise to be part of e-Library projects as technical volunteer. This not only helped the Help Nepal Network and FOSS Nepal Community achieve their goal, but, also the students as they get a practical exposure about community work along with a chance of visiting a different parts of Nepal.

To sum it up, the focus of the training is to provide training to prospective trainers which could create a pool of volunteers for deployment of LTSP e-Library all over Nepal. Two-day training covering all the essentials of the LTSP system installation and administration, at the end of which each participant were awarded a certificate for the completion of their training.