Amrita University

Our stop at the Amrita University was the second one our tour. After Nullcon we flew from Goa to Thiruvananthapuram and were driven from the airport to the campus by a local driver. The traffic in India is different to the “traffic” I know. Thus I was happy that we had a driver who knew his way around the streets.

The main building is very impressive. Between palm trees and the backwater is looks a bit like a foreign bodies but a well maintained. The room for the workshop was packed with over 40 people who wanted to get details about the OSSTMM way to do audits. For this sessions we didn’t provide any USB keys with the Fedora Security Lab. It looked like that most attendees were using Linux in one way or another. So, we were fine from that point of view.

This time the main issue was not the power. You can survive a power outage by connecting the systems to the circuit that supplies the projector ;-). In this environment the wireless access point was not able to handle all clients. SOHO units claims to work in small offices. For me a small office is 50 to 100 units. Looks like that Cisco spent more money on marketing than the actual hardware and software implementation of that unit. For the next trip, I will switch back to the APU2 which has proven to be able to work for that. For the same price I have the freedom to run what I want on the device. Sorry, Cisco.

I met the guys from the University’s FLOSS club in their lab. It’s interesting that all computer labs looks pretty much the same across the world. The difference in India is that people are not wearing their shoes or flip-flops. We talked about the remaining topics that we hadn’t had the time to cover during the previous two online sessions about building RPM packages. The call for dinner ended this session.

Due to heavy rain I was a bit late for the second session. I felt a bit like walking through a small river while getting to the lab as my ankles were covered with water. Lucky me that they were waiting. I was nice to see that at the end all students were able to build the demo package and run mock to check it. After the session we had the chance to chat a little about Fedora and other possible ways to contribute. We agreed to keep in touch and that I will support them to find sponsors for the packaging group.

Vipin who is a Professor at the Center for Cybersecurity Systems and Networks was a very generous host. He took very good care about us. The tour over the campus and the beach was so nice that I got a little sunburn on my neck.

The three day at the Amrita University created nice memories and it was very fruitful to meet possible contributors in person. Online sessions are a way to go but the being in the same room with the participants leads to fast results and simplifies the communication.

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