Mozilla @ Aurganon2k14

On 21st of February, the Sathyabama Firefox Club organized a workshop at Aurganon 2k14, a symposium conducted by IT department of SRM University, Chennai.

We had around 50 participants for the event.

The session started off at around 12pm in the afternoon. We are thankful to Naresh for believing in our club and giving us this opportunity.

I handled the first session by giving an introduction about FOSS.

Later, moved on to explain about Mozilla-the organization, the products and how people could get involved.

I was amazed to see the reaction of students when I told them that even Non Technical people could get involved with Mozilla.
Since the students did not interact by asking questions, I had to ask them a number of questions and get a count of hands for each question.

The second session was taken by Damini. It was about WoMoz!

Women in Mozilla! The crowd cheered when Damini told them what WoMoz stands for. It was really nice to see all the girls get really enthusiastic!

She asked them many questions like why aren’t women more involved in Open Source, why is there such a big gap between the two sexes, Why does it take this much time for even a small percentage of increase in number of female contributors. All this gave rise to many new ideas and thoughts by the students.

She gave examples of many famous people in the tech world who are women.

Naresh gave insights about Firefox Clubs and FSA’s to the students.

The third session was one of my favorite tools; the Webmaker!
This session was handled by Achyuth and Shashak, two awesome FSA’s.

Achyuth started off the session with a presentation about Webmaker. He covered topics such as why webmaker is important and web literacy. Then he moved on with tools like thimble, popcornmaker and X ray goggles.

He showed them the demos of Popcornmaker and some of the events and functions it could perform.

Shashank took over the session in a while and he demonstrated X ray goggles and Thimble.

He first showed them how to hack and remix and later called a volunteer on the stage and asked him to do it.

The volunteer was really excited to create hacks using X Ray goggles.
Later, he was asked to explain how it was.

The last session was on Firefox OS. Thanks to Naresh for bringing his device so that we could show the students and also pass it to everyone.

The last session was taken by Shashank and Nikhil.

They spoke about what sets Firefox OS apart from the others and what it can do.
They also spoke about its internal structure too.

Students were really happy when they got many firefox goodies and swags.

Post session, we took a group photo with all the participants.

Many approached Damini asking her on how to join WoMoz and all about it.

We winded up and left to the station to board train to go to Khammam for KidZilla.

Event link on reps portal:
Flickr link:
Thanks to Gautham, Sayak and Komal from Mozillia India for hepling us with resources.

MIT Firefox OS Hackathon

On 16th of February, Madras Institute of Technology, Chrompet, celebrated  their Annual Technical & FOSS Festival by Computer Society of MIT. As a part of this, there were many events. They wanted Mozilla to be a part of this. Mozilla conducted a Firefox OS hackathon as a part of Carte Blanche.

The organizing team consisted of 2 Mozilla Reps- Naresh and Viswa, and 3 Mozillians apart from me. The Mozillians along with me who helped in organizing the hackathon were Nikhil Patel, Shashank Gaikaiwari and Satya Krishna. The 4 of us belong to Sathyabama Firefox Club.

At around 9:30 am, we reached Chrompet station where Naresh was waiting for us. We met Naresh and in a short while Viswa also arrived. Since we had never been to MIT before, something that surprised us was the fact that MIT is right under the overbridge that is the exit from the Chrompet station.

We were greeted by Arun, who was the point of contact from MIT. We were taken to the lab where the event was to take place.
The volunteers from MIT, namely, Arun and Harish tried their best to arrange for things inspite of an unexpected power shutdown in Chennai. Eventhough we initially had trouble with internet connection, thanks to the efforts for the volunteers and the technical staffs, it was fixed soon. We really appreciate their efforts.

The session started at around 10:30 am by Viswa. Initially, there were around 10 participants.  After a while, when the Firefox banners and vertical standees were placed outside the venue, we had more and more people interested in participating. Towards the end, we had around 20 participants.

Naresh took over the session and told the students about the internal structure of the Firefox OS. He mentioned about Geko and Gaia. The students were really interested and the session was really interactive even though there wasn’t a big crowd.

He taught them to create the Manifest file and about the Webapp file used to upload to the marketplace.

We then asked the participants to ensure that they have the latest version of firefox  and Simulator. We also gave them a lot of Mozilla goodies.

Naresh showed Demos of the Mozilla Developer Network and the basics of using it.

I told them about the Student ambassadors activity:”App of the month” contest and that if they develop apps based on the theme “Valentine’s Day”, they could participate in that competition too. They were really excited on hearing that.

Soon enough, the students started developing.We were told that we had to shift the venue post lunch at 1:30PM since there wouldn’t be back up power supply in that lab.
The participants departed for lunch at around 1:45pm and we had our lunch too.

After lunch, we walked to another block in search of the new venue that was allotted for the hackathon.
We were lost and entered a different block. We could see lots of kids solving the Rubik’s Cube. Literally, the kid was doing one after the other non stop. He was really fast too.
We stood looking at the group of kids AMAZED at what we just saw.
Each of us had different stats in solving the Rubik’s cube.

We later moved to the venue of the hackathon. It was a normal classroom. Just when we thought we might have some difficulties, the volunteers came in with extension chords and many 3G dongles, thereby solving the problem of charging the laptops as well as internet.

Towards the end, we announced that the time was up and asked the teams to present their ideas and apps.

It was really nice to see the apps as well as listen to the ideas of the teams.
Here are some of the entries which we could get on video:

After all the apps were presented, the judges decided the winners.

The winners were presented with cash awards as well as Mozilla tees.

After the event, all the participants as well as the organizers departed after taking a group photo to cherish the memories of the day.

Flickr link to the images:
Event link on reps portal:

Kidzilla-Teach the Web

After a very successful MozBooth at Silicon 14, the Sathyabama Firefox Club were all charged up for the string of events this month.
This was flagged off by the KidZilla 1.0 project.
Here is a popcorn link about KidZilla 1.0 initiated by Sathyabma Firefox Club: KidZilla popcorn

KidZilla is an initiative which aims at educating school children about the basics of Computers, internet and other similar stuff in a fun and interactive manner. This is also mainly concentrated on small schools with lesser facilities basically in the outskirts of the city.
Since the club and it’s members stay in and around Chennai, this initiative is local to Chennai as of now. We would however, be glad to expand in the coming months.

In my 12th standard, I had taken up an initiative for an NGO called The Golden Bird Foundation. It was aimed at educating poor underprivileged kids about the basics of Computer technology and internet. It was started by a friend and the name The Golden Bird Foundation(TGBF) is for a reason. Below is an advertisement that actually makes some sense and which I feel is very much relevant.

There was a time when India was called the Golden Bird, and now to make our country the Golden Bird it was once, we now need to build the future of our children and younger generation. Educating and empowering them with technology is one of the ways this can be done and this was the aim of the TGBF. I loved computers as well as teaching people about Computers and internet. Due to personal reasons, I had to withdraw my part from volunteering for the NGO.

It was after volunteering for Mozilla, that I now found time as well as ideas on how to start on an initiative that was once left over at some point by me. There formed the KidZilla project.
Me and a wonderful team of 12 other volunteers went to the SFS School in Kelambakkam, Chennai on the 8th of February.

We all reached Kelambakkam by 9:40 am in the morning. There were 13 of us in total; 7 boys and 6 girls.
The team that came along with me are:

Since the initiative is based on schools, there were volunteers in the team who could speak different languages.
We had covered Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi,Marathi and Gujarati.

At around 9:50 am, the Father who was the principal of the school sent the bus to pick us from the bus stop.
We all got in and started discussing about how to get started. Something that bothered me a lot was that I can’t get involved a lot and interact with the kids if they only wanted to speak in Tamil and not English.I do understand Tamil like all other Malayalees, but can’t speak fluently.

As we reached the school, we saw the Father standing there to welcome us inside. He introduced himself as Father Simon. He then took us to the classroom where the students were assembling to attend our session.

As the students got in, I asked the teacher whether they actually had classes on Saturdays and she says that almost all Saturdays they have classes and that it’s a half day till 12:30.

My team tried to get the internet connection working there.

Meanwhile, I still worried about the language.I asked Jerald to ask them in Tamil whether they wanted to be taught in Tamil or English.

Everyone echoed, “ENGLISH!”
That was a really great moment. I immediately started off with the session by asking them the very basics about a computer like Who invented the Computer? What are Computers used for? What is the difference between a Desktop and a Laptop? The birthday boy(one in colour dress) offered to answer.

I noticed that a group of boys from the back were answering really well.

I enquired about the strength of the class and the teachers told me that there were about 100+ students from 5th,6th and 7th grade.
Damini told them about what is Hardware and Software. The students were really interested in listening about the interesting things computers could do.

Later, I asked them about what internet was. One of them stood up and said, “If we don’t know about something, we type it in the internet, it tells us about it.” I was really impressed because for their age, it was pretty smart.
I then asked them another question, “From where does this information come from? Who gives this information?”
This time, they all had their thinking hats on. The expression of a child when you ask an interesting question and the child is like,”oh well,never thought of that” is really beautiful.

They had many computers behind them, so I explained to them about network, types(LAN,MAN,WAN) and then told them to imagine another school beside their school with the same setup.

If they could access the computer in the adjacent school using this school’s computer, it’s called internet. Now I told them to imagine this all over the world and an inter connection of networks. The now understood the concept.
The teacher tells me that they have bookish knowledge and not much practical knowledge because the school doesn’t have that much facilities. So I decide to ask them how do they access the internet?
They all pointed at something on my laptop that was kept on the desk. I took it to them and they touched the Mozilla Firefox icon. Some touched the google chrome symbol.

I was really happy that they recognized Firefox.
I told them that we are volunteers of Mozilla and Firefox is our browser.
They were all wooed to see live something that they had just seen on computers.

I showed them the badges and the stickers and asked them what the logo was and they all said FIREFOX!!
I was amazed that kids from 5th standard also knew Firefox.
After that, it was time for their break. They all walked away row wise in a straight line guided by their teachers.
As we saw them walk out, it was a moment of nostalgia.

The walking out in an unruly manner during breaks in college to this, things were different.

They returned back after a while. Now, we split ourselves in to groups. 13 of us split as 4 4 5 and separated the kids to 3 classrooms. In this way, we could manage the whole strength and it was more interactive.
In the first classroom was handled by myself,Grace,Damini and Jayanth.

Second one had Nikhil,Shashank,Kanimozhi and Monisha

The last one had Achyuth,Anita,Jerald,Jaya and Satya.

The common topics that were covered in all the classes were:
What is a Computer?
What is the difference between hardware and software?
What is a network and what are the types?
What is internet and how is it useful?
What is operating system?
What is email?
What are web browsers?
How to do a google search?
What is HTML?
How do you create a webpage?

All the classes were taught to practically design their own basic webpage within the limited time we had.
We taught them the basic HTML tags using real life examples such as head, body etc.

After teaching them just once, these students were able to understand the concept and create their basic webpage.
Here is the youtube video of them:

I told them about how programming works and what are the different types of Operating systems.
Since my class had students from 7th and 6th, I told them about the meaning of Open Source in simple terms.

I also told them the difference between Firefox and IE, Mozilla and Microsoft.
They also promised me that once they grow up, they too would go to schools and teach what they know.
It was a proud moment for us.
Lastly, we gave everyone lots of swags and firefox and webmaker goodies. They were all so happy.

We had also given special gifts like badges to those who were answering well in our class and they were proudly displaying them. I felt bad for not having enough badges to give out to all the 100 something students.
We also gave some goodies to the teachers and the Principal too. They were all really happy that students like us were taking up such an initiative and told us to come and conduct more activities there. They also invited us to conducted a session in their main branch at Pudukottai.
After the session ended at 12:30, the principal invited us to have some refreshments inside. We all had a good time discussing about the outcomes of the initiative as well as the drawbacks.

We asked the Father to write an honest review with suggestions to improve and mail us when he gets time.
Since it was a very small school, they had only two school buses and we went in with the students.

Father Simon

I was amazed when one of the students in the bus gave me a pen and a book and asked me for an AUTOGRAPH!

Yes! The kid just asked me to give him an autograph! For the first time in my life, I felt that I actually achieved something! I was extremely happy and wrote ” Then they asked the entire team to sign.
It was a moment close to our hearts. We all got down from the bus later and they waved at us.

Flickr link of images:

MozBooth at Silicon’14

The announcement for Silicon 14, a national level technical symposium conducted by IEEE Sathyabama University Student Branch came out to the office bearers of the university. Me being one of them, took pride in being involved with IEEE and having got an opportunity to be an organizer of Silicon 14.
I’ve always envied the seniors when they used to roam around during Silicon wearing white shirt, black pants and blazers. Having the IEEE id cards, they walk around, unquestioned in the whole college.
It’s our turn now.
During the discussion of the events, the CSE department had taken events like Programming contest and Android app development contest. A week of preparation went by. Suddenly I had an idea!
Why not include Mozilla in it!?
It would be a publicity for both I thought. IEEE, the name is just enough to attract professionals, and Mozilla, the name is just enough to attract attention of people in general.
Something that would publicize the other.
The volunteer FSA’s from Sathyabama University met at CCD on Feb 2 to discuss and plan about the event.
We decided to set up a booth for Mozilla and decided to name it MozBooth.
Here is the link to the planning event:
The planning part was done and we decided on the venue as well as how the Booth would function in general.
It would be injustice on my part if I did not mention the crucial role played by Naresh, the Mozilla representative from Chennai, who supported me for all my events and always backed me up with confidence and asking me to go forward. This goes to you Naresh for arranging the swags and other stuff for the booth even though it was at a short notice.
The day before the MozBooth, we were all equally excited! Majority of the planning was done on the day before the event on Whatsapp.

I know I’ve got a really bad handwriting .This one being our first booth, and probably the first one in Chennai that went on for 2 days.

As soon as the booth was set up at around 10 am, we had a large number of students rushing in to know more about what Mozilla was doing there.

The banners and standee provided a lot of visual attention which made people inquisitive of what was happening there.

Naresh started over the session with Firefox OS and developing for Firefox.

Shashank took over the session about Webmaker tools like X Ray Goggles, Thimble and Popcornmaker.

Damini told the girls about WoMoz and how to contribute to Mozilla.

I handled the session about the Mozilla Community, Products of Mozilla, How to contribute to Mozilla and about FSA and ReMo.

WoMoz being a crucial part, was handled by Damini. The main motive of spreading awareness about WoMoz in our booth was to get more contributors to WoMoz and getting Women involved in contributing to Mozilla.

We had many queries related to Localization since most of the contributors who signed up would like to translate to their local language. The others queries were about FSA’s and the ReMo program. Some of the developers expressed their interest in using MDN and trying to compile and develop Firefox on their own.

The team taking a break during lunch.

Apart from students, even some of the professors came to visit the stall attracted by Mozilla.
Here is one such professor.

Here are some of the reviews we got about the MozBooth on the first day.
It was awesome to read everything and be proud that we actually made a huge impact on our very first day.

Here is the team that worked for the success of the event proudly displaying the feedback.

Tired and exhausted Mozillians go back after closing the booth on day #1 with sheer happiness and determined to make it even bigger the next day.

DAY #2
After the success of the event on the first day, we were really happy and had very high expectations the next day.
For the second day, we were told to change the venue of our event because of another event called Brainiac which was organized by CSE Department on the same day.
We shifted the booth to another location the same instant.
We were happy to have a wider range of audience today since we had school kids coming to the university for Brainiac.

The second day,
I handled the session on Mozilla products, getting involved and contributing and FSA and ReMo.

Damini and Shashank explained about Webmaker

Nikhil explained about Firefox OS to the students

Achyuth told about developing for Mozilla and about Appmaker. He also showed them demo’s of Popcornmaker.

Jerald told about SuMo and the Army of Awesome.

School kids who came to know more about Mozilla. They were really excited to get goodies from Firefox especially the badges and stickers.

Thanks to all the people who took time to write a feedback about MozBooth.

Noteworthy mentions:

The volunteers at the booth belong to various states and so it was really easy for us to communicate with the students. Some students had a tough time getting some concepts in English, so we explained to them in their local language.
Mostly it was Tamil,Telugu an Hindi, but we also had explained to some in Malayalam and Gujarati as well.

I stand #5 on the Army of Awesome page and when the students were shown this, they were pretty motivated see that and to learn how easy it is to get started.

Small issue we faced:
Since the booth was conducted during college timing, the students were allowed to go out of class only during break timings. Hence students couldn’t spend a lot of time with us because they had to go back to class.

Statistics and figures:
Day #1:
We had 20+ signups
65+ interested in FSA as well as contributing and volunteering
100+ audience on the first day.
Day #2:
120+ interested in contributing and volunteering for Mozilla.
150+ audience on second day.

What we noticed:
Most of them were interested in Educating and Localization works. This was followed by SuMO and AoA and then comes Development.
Most of those who chose development were PG students doing their MCA or M.Tech.
Everyone had a common interest in knowing about the FSA program.
Some were also interested in the WebFwd program for Start ups.
The WoMoz initiative spread around by word of mouth and it was also a huge success with more and more people asking Damini on how to get involved with WoMoz.

I would once again like to thank my entire team for supporting and helping me make this a reality.
This is one of the best birthday’s I’ve ever had in my life.
7th Feb of 2014, thou shalt be cherished forever.

Event link on Reps portal:
Event photos on flickr:
Day 1:Day 1 flickr
Day 2:Day 2 flickr

MozBooth Planning

The Mozillians from Sathyabama University met at CCD in PTC to discuss and plan about the MozBooth that is going to be set up at Sathyabama University for the IEEE symposium called Silicon’14.
Below is the poster designed for the MozBooth:

MozBooth Poster

We have also designed a Facebook cover picture to our supporters who wish to publicize the event and make it a success:

MozBooth Cover picture

The meeting started at around 11:30 am on February 1st.
The agenda of the meeting was to discuss and plan about the proceedings at MozBooth.

We were informed by the reps helping us (Sujith and Naresh), that we would be given sign up links which would help us analyze the success of the event by getting more contributors.

We planned on where to set up the booth so that we could reach out to more people.
Few slides to be prepared which would serve as an introduction to the Mozilla mission as well as WoMoz.
The most important part being, how can one contribute to Mozilla.

Planned to create a google docs link and provide support and assistance to people who are new to contributing to Mozilla.

We also planned to ask people to post on Sathyabama Firefox Club Facebook page if they have any queries or suggestions and feedback about the event.

We plan to give a small lecture on the FSA program so that students could get to know where to start from .

Some other things that were discussed were:
Creating a Mozillians profile.
Creating a Persona account.
Reporting Bugs on Bugzilla.

We all had a good time with discussions on Mozilla and the food and beverages from CCD.

Thanks to the employees of CCD near PTC-Chennai to have tolerated us and allowed us to sit and discuss for around 3 hours.

We departed by giving them few badges of Mozilla and they were really happy at the unexpected gift.

Hope the event goes well on 6th and 7th of February.

Here is the flickr link to the images:

Event Link on reps portal :