Manu K. Mohan

MaNU – MaNU's New Universe

Return to blogging.

It was almost 1.5 years ago that I posted in my blog. Meanwhile I was too busy with my personal and professional life. If you ask on professional life, I was improving as a web developer.

Started with HTML, CSS, Javascript, learned and worked in many web frameworks like Django, Ruby on Rails, CakePHP, etc. Apart from these as a web developer I learned jQuery which eased many things in developing web applications. Now doing AJAX with jQuery is my favorite stuff.

In between I also put my hands in learning Android development, but concentrated more on web development.

Also learned what is a pragmatic programmer, leading to Agile methodologies, Extreme programming, etc. Test Driven Development changed my quality of code a lot. Writing test cases for different scenarios using Selenium was fun. Little bit knowledge on vulnerabilities improved my thinking on secured applications.

Most of the application I worked stored its data in MySQL. But now working on an application which interacts with MySQL, MongoDb, Hadoop and Solr.
Versioning systems like git and svn always save your back.

Finally Vim and Eclipse are the editors used to write code. Well Vim is always my favorite.

I always liked to work in Python which finally demanded to train some testers in my firm. Now continuing the work in Python 🙂

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Articles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Struggle of FREEDOM for India : Follow Gandhiji

“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

This particular quote by Gandhiji is highlited in Richard M. Stallman’s blog, which shows RMS admires Gandhiji. Gandhiji who fought british for the freedom of India. British ruled many nations in this world for centuries which include India. Gandhiji with his non-violence methods and love for the nation compelled British to leave India. Similar way RMS is fighting for the freedom of software users. In todays world its proprietary softwares who restricted the freedom of software users. He is leading us for the freedom of the use of a software. Today it is succesful in most parts of the world. In India also it is successful in most ways.

This particular link shows how much it is successful in India But it will be completely successful when there comes a time where a new kid looking at the computer first time is using free software. What happens now is that when a father bring a PC to the home and the child is delighted to see it for the first time, but he is using proprietary software. This binds his freedom of using it and is bound in chains when he just enters the computer world.

India can be free again but this time it will be from proprietary softwares. For that we should fight for the freedom, just in a similar way Gandhiji fought with British. Following Gandhiji and his works other countries too got the idea to fight with British.

Press and other media played a major role in spreading Gandhiji words. RMS has already started the great revolution now we should follow the movement. Today there are lots of groups in India who are following it. Gandhiji BOYCOTTED foreign goods and worked for common man. Similarly we should boycott proprietary softwares. There are people in India who had already done that. There are many people already supporting the movement. But some are there who claim to support Free software but are using closed formats to present their ideas. This should be stopped. This is not the fault of these people, they are the kids I mentioned before who are now grown.

There are journals, mailing lists, irc’s which spread the Free word to each and  every user (hacker/developer), but not to the common man (normal user). These are the users who dont have internet, have seen only proprietary softwares, might have seen computer only in cafes or college/school labs or offices. These normal users must be targeted. For that media or press has to spread it to common users. Posters, newspapers, radio and TV are the traditional sources which is still followed by normal users. This can show a large difference. Common man of India would have never known the meaning of freedom if Gandhiji and other freedom fighters woudnt have told them. But the question is ‘who’ will do this, spread the Free word to common user. Is FOSS movement mentioned in TV or Radio or Newspapers? So that they uderstand the meaning of freedom, and support the Free movement which will lead to the elimination of proprietary softwares from our country. So that the ‘new kids will be free even after they enter the computer world’.

October 2, 2009 Posted by | Articles | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Women in Linux

Modern women are always considered equal to men in each field and they have proved it too. But there is one field of this technology or we can mainly target on Linux that there is lack of women contributors. During my college days, I was once a project leader with a team containing 4 ladies and a guy (that’s me) in that team. I found it very difficult to teach them about our project along with Linux, but finally I was succesful atleast for gaining highest grades in the class for my team. Recently I was there in an open source camp called OSScamp, where I was amazed to see about 30-40 women out of 200 as audience. Also one of the main volunteer was a busy lady who was taking care of everything in the camp i.e from registration and food and even the setting of stage.

But what about the core department of linux, yes women have reached there too. After reading this article I found that women are there in this field too. This article contains a list of women have contributed in Linux. I hope after reading my article soon there will be Indian names too.

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Articles, News | , , , | 1 Comment

OSScamp : Day 2

Sunday morning, holiday for everybody at home. Mom preparing breakfast for me and I was wearing free OSScamp T-shirt and Black jeans. While having breakfast I was explaining about day 1 to mom. It was 9:00 A.M and I went for day 2 in Osscamp. This time in rickshaws I was concentrating more on protecting my head. Well everything was fine this time and I was hurrying to auditorium because I was a little bit late. I have no idea how it happened but when I was entering auditorium it’s 10:10 A.M on my watch.

Surprise, there’s nobody in the hall only a guy and a lady who where setting table and projectors. I went inside and the guy with specs asked me if I am the volunteer or speaker. I corrected him by saying I am a listener. Then we introduced each other, he was Tarun Seth from OSScube and was going to talk about Phing. He continued with his work and I seated myself in the second row.

I was looking around and some guys were coming in. Tarun was asking them and they were replying that they are also speakers. When I looked back at the screen shocked again. There, again windows system is set for presenting their slides. These guys where from an open source company right? I have no idea what’s going on? Soon I saw Narendra coming in and he was looking busy. While settling himself in my front row he said hi to me and giving a quick handshakes. After a moment he left his seat again and then came back to me asking if I have bought the laptop. Well I was not having it, he left by saying he have some work on his slides. After a while Tarun was asking if anybody here who are not speakers. Only I was there to put my hands up and everyone else looking at each other and then everyone broke into laughter.

It was 11:00 A.M, but Kinshuk, Lalit and some people have already come in. They are ready to start now, while I asked Narendra about the Windows system and he answered that “we cant do anything about that”. I realized that the people were interested in free and open talks (‘talk’ actually means “speaking openly and freely”) more than using free and open software’s.

Finally they started soon with Tarun’s talk about Phing which was very nice. Next talk was by Romil Mittal presenting Adobe Flex. Yup, you read it right. There were three Adobe guys out of which Romil Mittal, who was very soft in his appearance and in his talks. He started saying Adobe Flex supports open source, but he continued talking all about Adobe products (C’mon everyone know all these, what is the need and use of promotion specially in this camp) and I was feeling sleepy now. And finally at the end he said something about Flex. He said he will now distribute some Free Flex Software Cd’s to students only. Someone corrected him that its free-ware not Free Software. He was confused and Lalit defined Free to him. Immediately he apologized to everyone. Then someone asked why Adobe is not releasing products for Linus OS, the guy who asked was interested in buying the Adobe products if it is released for Linux. Romil promised that he will take it forward to Adobe people. A small talk by Anil Yadav on ‘Database Migration to MySQL’. Then it was lunch time, this time giving pizzas.

After lunch, a very good session by Ankur Bannerjee on ‘Creative Commons’. Then it was ‘Introduction to Scala’ which was another functional programming language with capabilities of OOP’s also. Amit Sethi a guy sitting next to me was interested in listening to my argue of using Scheme or python instead of Scala. Although I confirmed it from the Scala speakers, and they accepted the better options from me, but defended saying its mainly for Ruby users who can shift easily to Scala, like the Twitter did. Next was a quick introduction to ‘Five Foss tools and Web Services’ by Vishweshar Jaitan, who was a funny guy. He was making fun of his long name and was sharing some funny experiences with the tools. Then there was a small break. I talked to some of the guys. Here I met Nalin Savara, CEO of DS TECH, he was advising me to learn computer architecture. It was nice talking to him, this is what I actually like about these camps. We can get some good advices from these people.

There are less people now in the auditorium. Next was Open source quiz by Ankur Bannerjee. The first question was about Debian package names, I immediately answered “Toy Story character names”. Hurray! I answered the first question. Then there were lots of interesting and funny questions. After the quiz they were calling names one by one who won the prizes. I got some Ubuntu 9.04 CD, Firefox logo laptop stickers and tattoos, and a small firefox labeled band. I was happy. Then the last session was by Manu Goel on JQuery which was another interesting session, but there were less people to listen that.

And everything ended with a small photography session. Everybody walking out of auditorium, while I was talking to Nalin, Narendra and Pranab is also among us. Everybody said good bye’s and Pranab have to go to Jaipur and we both left to Metro Station.

At the end there were lot’s of learning’s, sharing, fun and I got some new friends also. So there is good OSS community working in Delhi


September 9, 2009 Posted by | Events, FOSS, News, OSScamp | | 2 Comments

OSScamp : Day 1

After waiting for a month finally this special day arrived. I have attended some of the Foss events in Kerala. But I have no idea how much active it is in northern India. After visiting Linux Kickstart camp in IIT Delhi a couple of weeks ago, I got to know that there is a community working here. At 9:00 A.M, I went to the nearby bustop from my home and board bus to Tilak Nagar Metro Station. From there I went to Dwaraka Mor in Metro train, one of the reasons why I love ND. Took a ride in Cycle-rickshaw to NSIT. The rickshaw driver was in a hurry, he took a sharp turn and instead of going to main road he jumped into a small street, which is a shortcut to NSIT. I noticed all other rickshaw’s were racing towards NSIT. The street road contains a large number of holes, that driver was escaping each hole by taking very sharp turns. Suddenly he jumped his vehicle into a hole, that my head smashed to the cabin’s roof bar. Damn it was paining a lot.

Soon we reached NSIT after a Fast and Furious ride in rickshaw. Wov! What a nice college. It made me remember NIT Calicut, I went there for FOSS NITC’08.

I saw a bunch of guys standing near notice board. The notice board lead me to the college auditorium in 2nd floor. I saw Narendra and some guys where trying to put OSScamp banner outside auditorium. Oh! Narendra Sissodiya is one of the guys who is very active and passionate in spreading the FOSS knowledge. I know him through ILUGD and IITDLUG mailing list. He is the one who introduced FOSS to IIT guys in Linux Kickstart Camp. I noticed that he was wearing the T-shirt(with a Tux image in the front and the back says “I chose the Red Pill, Now I have Free and Open Source Software”), he mentioned about in the mailing list. A guy with his right hand plastered and wearing OSScamp T-shirt was guiding others to set the table and taking it inside the auditorium. I went inside after them, the time is exactly 10:00 A.M. there were people already waiting for the event to start. The auditorium was really good with good seating arrangement and a stage in the front. Some guys putting another banner on the stage wall. Another bunch of guys setting laptop and projector on the table.

I seated myself in third row near a lean looking guy. We said hi to each other and introduced ourselves. He was Pranab from Jaipur a final year engineering student. My eyes were looking around for Lalit, who called me a couple of days ago and was interested in me for working in his project. I saw a guy at the back who was little different from the Lalit’s linkedin profile image. Suddenly Pranab asked me if I met Lalit or not, as if he know that I was looking for him. I looked at him surprisingly, then he continued saying that he is meeting everyone and introducing himself individually. I excused myself and went towards back to meet Lalit. He was talking to some other guys, I went to him and with a shake hand said I am Manu. He said hi and said he will be talking to me after sometime. I seated there itself and saw Pranab was coming to me and seated near me.

After a lots of chatting with Pranab, they decided to start the event and its already one hour late now. We saw a screen showing the image of  Tux throwing stones on Windows logo which is broken, everyone enjoyed that. Lalit started with a cool introduction and asking everyone else to introduce themselves one by one, in between I also introduced myself. He was giving ‘Jadoo Ki Jhappi’ (which means a tight friendly hug in a Hindi movie ‘Munnabhai M.B.B.S’) to some of the guys. Then he continued talking about the OSScamp unconference. By the side what was that?, a windows laptop was set for presenting the slides and they are projecting that in an OSS event. There where a bunch of guys in front of us who were hooting on that.

After that right hand plastered guy introduced himself as Kinshuk, he is the OSScamp guy who organized this wonderful unconference where different people who were developers, programmers and students all came together to spread and share the knowledge. He talked about what is Open Source and then talked about licenses, copyright etc. In between free OSScamp t-shirts were distributed along with identity tags with firefox logo along the tag ribbon. Then sessions continues with Nirat Bhatnagar’s Technology led Social Innovations. Followed by Swagat Sen, a documentry film-maker, took a session on Open Source Education Model. Then Lalit came again with an interesting topic of Open Source Employabilty. Now it was about 2:00 P.M and I am feeling hungry, they declared it as Lunch time and told the lunch will arrive shortly. I have no idea why it was delaying. I went down again and talked with Lalit and Narendra and some other guys also. All of them where sharing something to each other. Everyone was cool and talked without showing any kind of difference.

Some guys where trying to set linux system and I saw another guy explaining about the use of Drupal. This was a new thing to me. Pranab was also helping that guy in explaining Drupal, I enjoyed that part. Then Aman Aggarwal took a session on ‘Introduction to Grails’, Aman was talking about its advantages over Java. But he was covered by a lots of questions by a Singh guy sitting near me who compared it with Python. He was another cool guy who really know the power of Python and there is no way you can beat him. Lalit also questioning Aman comparing grails with rails. Well I talked to the singh guy a lot about python. But soon he was covered by lots of other people. The lunch arrived and I cant stop myself, even though unhappy that I was not able to introduce myself to Singh. Well I took my lunch and seated myself again. Along with lunch another session was going on about ‘Building Twitter’ which was again an interesting session. The food was very good and more than enough for me.

Then after Lunch a small break going on with people sharing talks with each other. I was again talking to Lalit outside auditorium. He talked lot more about his project, after a long session with Lalit. We peeked inside auditorium and the Gaming session was going on. We skipped and went for home. I was happy with today’s session and decided of attending the next day.

A rickshaw standing outside, we went to metro station in that. This rickshaw wala was slow than the morning one but still have the same skills of taking sharp turns and jumping to street holes. And again he jumped to same morning hole and this time my head smashed to right side of the rikshaw cabin. Ouch! Great, was that necessary twice a day?

END of DAY 1.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Events, FOSS, News, OSScamp | , | 2 Comments

OSScamp Delhi : Great Weekend with a Short Story

Last Saturday I went to my first OSScamp in Delhi. Those two days were really great. I wanted to post about it from that day itself.

But I was tired on both evenings of OSScamp. Then I was talking to my friends about this camp, but calling each of my friends in Kerala and telling all the story will not be good for my phone bills. While chatting with one of my best friends Sreejith also suggested me to post about it in your blog. Then I came to know that OSScamp is organizing a competition for blogging about the event. Also there was a discussion in a couple of mailing lists, questioning about the success of the event. So I thought this short story might be a solution for them too. Finally I see no negative points in posting about OSScamp.

So this is a short story posted in different posts for each day.

OSScamp DAY 1
OSScamp DAY 2

Hope you guys enjoyed this small story. Pardon me for the mistakes.
Please dont forget to post your comments.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Events, FOSS, News, OSScamp | | Leave a comment

FOSS meeting with Secretary, School Education, Government of Maharashtra

After Kerala its time for another Indian state to enter FOSS world. Soon the whole India will accept it and our country will be free again, this time it will be from proprietary softwares.

A delegation of seven educationists and activists from Mumbai met the Secretary, School Education, Government of  Maharashtra, Shri Sanjay Kumar, at the Mantralaya on 2nd September at 3pm. Their aim was to express their critique of the proposed agreement between the state and a multinational corporation in the area of ICTs in education and to offer an alternative based of Free and Open Source Software.

The attached representation (PDF) was submitted to him by the group, who consisted of :

Nagarjuna G., Free Software Foundation, India
Padma Sarangapani, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Ravi Subramaniam, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR
J T de Souza GNU/Linux Users Group, Mumbai
Chandita Mukherjee, Comet Media Foundation
Sridhar Iyer, IIT Bombay and
Sahana Murthy, IIT Bombay.

During the meeting, the Secretary informed the delegation that the State government is aware of the pitfalls of working with corporates and is willing to consider alternatives approaches to introducing ICTs in education on a large scale, if any group proposes them. The Govt, he said, will work with all interested parties and will be inclusive in their approach.

When told that in the current Maharashtra standard 8 text book, for example, there are brand names mentioned in the text and logos shown in the illustrations, he said that their department does not interfere with textbook content, since that is looked after by the experts of the Maharastra Text Book Bureau. When we suggested that it was the Education Department’s role to set policy guidelines, such as not to carry brand names, the Secretary agreed with this in in principle.

We suggested that we can help in
(i) designing a curriculum for students that focusses on broad concepts from ICT that help develop thinking skills, as well as specific usage skills,
(ii) writing books that can implement this curriculum, in a vendor-neutral manner,
(iii) designing curriculum for teachers and
(iv) implementing teacher training programmes

After listening to the delegation, the Secretary asked us to submit a proposal to contribute to the effective dissemination of ICT kills within the school system in Maharashtra . The team agreed to do this within two weeks and to subsequently explore possibilities of reaching an MoU with the Government of Maharashtra. We will keep you posted as the story develops.

Dr. Nagarjuna G.
Chairperson, Free Software Foundation of India,
Reader, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education,
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research,
V.N. Purav Marg, Mankhurd. Mumbai India, 400088

Link to attached PDF :

September 3, 2009 Posted by | FOSS, News | , | 1 Comment

Saving a Billion Using Open Source

A leading bank in India saved Rs 100 crore by moving from MS Office to Open Office. It is simple mathematics—if MS Office costs Rs 11,000 per user, and the organization has 1,00,000 desktops, the company would save a cool Rs 110 crore on licensing costs if it moved to Open Office. Even if we budget Rs 10 crore for training and support costs, the company would end up saving Rs 100 crore.

The actual cost of training would be much less. But we don’t want a company to come up with a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study to prove that the TCO will be higher in Open Source. It never is and never will be, especially in India where the labor costs are low. Even if you were in a western country, where the labor costs are very high, the Linux/Open Source TCO would be still lower. TCO has to be calculated over a period of time and that’s when you start seeing savings. Yes, there are initial costs involved and we need to budget for these initially. Also, organizations often compromise on service costs such as training and support. Most organizations assume that these come for free. The reality is that you do need to budget for these as well.

Further, how do you calculate TCO? Many companies with vested interests will put forth studies to show that their cost is lower, but who knows the TCO better than you do? So my suggestion is that it is best not to rely on these studies, but to do your own calculations. Also, when budgeting, calculate all the miscellaneous costs as well. Many people don’t calculate the cost of upgrading or maintaining a proprietary system. The cost of upgrading and training people to use a new version of the same OS could be higher than replacing the OS with an Open Source alternative. The cost of acquiring a completely new server with Linux pre-loaded may be lower than the maintenance you would pay for your existing proprietary Unix/Mainframe systems. Not to mention that your Linux server will outperform your existing server.

The table compares the licensing costs of commonly used applications. You can do the mathematics on your own to see how much you can save.

Have a look at the table:-

September 2, 2009 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Remove viruses from USB in Linux

Whenever I insert my USB pen drive in any Windows System from other institutions it gets viruses. But I never worry too much since I am using Linux in my laptop. But still I dont have any hobby of collecting viruses in my USB.

Usually I just plugin the usb to my Linux Laptop and I simply delete each viruses one by one.

How did we recognize they are viruses?

They are the extra files which can be visible in linux, also they are not executable in Linux OS. There will be a file called autorun.inf which can be opened using text editor. You can see the list of virus names in this file. If you feel any file suspicious, google the filename, you will soon confirm it. Delete all these files one by one including autorun.inf.

Most viruses will replicate itself as an executable files in the existing folders. They will be having the same name of the folder in which it is contained.
For eg: If your USB contains a folder ‘My Folder’ then the virus will replicate it into the folder ‘My Folder’ and the virus will acquire the name of folder, that is ‘My Folder.exe’ in our example.

So remove all these duplicate files and your USB is free again.

Coming Soon…..
Prevent your USB from viruses in a simple way… It will be as simple as creating a Folder……….

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Tutorials, Ubuntu | , , , | Leave a comment

Use Twitter from terminal in Linux

Even though GNU/LINUX has a good GUI. There are people who like to use it from terminal. So can we use twitter as a command in terminal? Yes.
All u have to install curl, and follow the steps.

The first thing to do is to install curl if it isn’t already installed

sudo aptitude install curl

Then we need to make a file which we will make executable, and store it in /usr/bin

sudo vim /usr/bin/twitter

and place the following code into the newly formed file

curl –basic –user “yourusername:yourpasswd” –data-ascii “status=`echo $@|tr ‘ ‘ ‘+’`” “” -o /dev/null
echo Message Sent!

You will need to replace “yourusername:yourpasswd” with your twitter username and password, save the file, and exit the text editor.

Then you will need to make the file executable by placing the following code into the command line terminal

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/twitter

To use the newly created command you can type


if your using a gnome desktop, you can press ALT+F2 and in the Run Command Box that appears type


August 28, 2009 Posted by | Tutorials | , , , , , | 1 Comment