Imagine Cup, National Finals, 2013

So finally after this long wait, after three months of long brain-storming(not to mention the fights and arguments we had) and lots of code, we are finally here at the Imagine Cup National Finals, 2013. Right now we are sitting at the cafe of Microsoft India Development Center, Hyderabad(food is really cheap here!), and it’s been a while now since everyone passing us has been staring a lot at us(probably wondering who these kids are). This is a view from the cafe, I wonder why these guys just don’t sit here all day and make it there workplace.

Microsoft India Office Hyderabad

The journey to Hyderabad so far has been memorable with our Abhinav coming up with his usual round of antics. Do I need to say more? Well, I loved Hyderabad a lot ‘coz it’s a lot like Ahmedabad. We have good food here and not to mention the good people here (And yeah, Jaydeep ate a lot last night, can’t guess what’s wrong :D). Also a bit about out app. We have developed something that would enable the visually impaired to read texts from books, visiting cards, etc using their phones. So basically it involves the phone capturing a text on its own and reading it aloud. No demo videos yet, we haven’t released them, but expect them soon. We also had a chance to actually test the app in a school for visually impaired in Gandhinagar. Here’s screenshot of our app’s splash-screen. Credits to Anuj for the wonderful design.

Read For Blind Splash

We had lots of fun last night with the presentations coming up. We have one day to go before the final presentations tomorrow. Now I guess we might have to do rounds to check out our T-Shirt sizes. Hoping for the best and keeping our fingers crossed for tomorrow’s presentation.

KDE, FOSS and me

This might be a little late for blogging about the KDE Meetup(after 3 days or so!), but then my memory is not so poor. This was the first KDE event I was attending and so I was bound to be excited. After all it was being held in our very own campus(DA-IICT)!

So a bit about my initial story with KDE! It all began in September last year when I read some guy trying to compile a browser using something called kdelibs. Curious I began reading more as I had only compiled some silly programs till then but never a whole browser. I always thought that compiling your own software is cool. So that’s where it all started. I installed Kubuntu, explored more and more about setting up kde development environment and there, I had my very own KDE workspace set. I cloned the source code of the browser which was(is still) called rekonq and started building it. All this cloning and building stuff took me two days to figure out, but finally in the end I had a built software at hand! I then tried to figure out the huge codes and tried my hand at modifying some bits of them myself. And so the hacking began.

So back to the KDE Meetup! The Meetup saw the presence of experts like Pradeepto Bhattacharya, Vishesh Handa, Shantanu Jha, Rishabh Arora and Rohan Garg(forgive me if I missed a few names!). Day One saw our Lecture Theater full(I have never witnessed our LT so full) of an enthusiastic bunch of participants ready with their laptops and eager to start with open source software development. Pradeepto introduced us all to the wonderful world of Open Source and KDE. Suddenly with his talks a line struck me: “From Freedom comes Elegance”(The tagline of Linux Mint). As the session progressed the participants became more and more enthralled by open source and KDE. Next, Vishesh introduced everyone to Qt and everyone wanted to ‘get-set-code’. After lunch, the real fun began when we started writing our own codes on our machines and building them. It was a real fun to go around with people coming up with unusual errors and warnings. Also not to mention the really cool funky ideas. Day 2 was entirely devoted to KDE projects where Rishabh gave a talk about KdeEdu Suite followed by Vishesh talking about Nepomuk. Also we were shown how to build huge softwares ourselves. After lunch, we had a session where people built Rekonq themselves and tried to get their hands dirty in the codebase. The two day meet saw people learning lots of amazing things and coming out with their own cool ideas.

My story with KDE continues and I have now started contributing to Krita, the beautiful digital painting software, a part of Calligra suite. Only yesterday I got confirmed(thanks to the wonderful people in KDE) that I will be attending the Calligra Sprint to be held in Bangalore on 8th to 10th March. So I am looking forward to 3 days of code and fun in the sprint alongside the wonderful KDE community!