There was a Mini Deb Conf conducted in NMIM Institute of Technology, Nitte on 28th, 29th and 30th of October: http://wiki.debian.org/DebianIndia/MiniDebConf2011/MangaloreEdition. This was one in the series of four deb confs that are being held in India this year. Vignesh and I had contemplated on attending it a month back, but as we came closer to the event, we got busy and it was getting increasingly difficult for us to attend the conference.
Vignesh called me on the 27th, Deepavali day and in the afternoon we decided that we’ll be leaving for Karkala the same night to attend the conference. We got the tickets booked online and we were lucky enough to get seats for the return journey too, considering the rush due to Deepavali and the weekend, etc. But we were unlucky that we got sleeper berths in the last row of the bus. The journey was the worst part of the whole trip. Ghat section + Bad roads + Last Seats proved to be a deadly combination and we found it difficult to hold on to our seats most of the time! The return journey was even more horrible as there were no racks to keep our luggage too.
We over-slept and found ourselves in Manipal and when we asked the driver, he said we had already crossed Karkala, from where we should have taken another bus to Nitte. He told us to get down at Udupi and take a different bus. We took a bus to BeLmaNNu and from there another one to Nitte. NMIM was a great host, providing us with good food and nice rooms in their guest house. The hospitality was incomparable to anything I’ve seen in any other college so far. One of the volunteer students also got his car to pick us from the bus stop to take us to the guest house!
There were a few talks and a few hands-on sessions on packaging and localization. I was new to Debian. I only knew that Ubuntu is a derivative of Debian. We got a nice introduction to Debian, its philosophy and how we can contribute to the Debian project. We enjoyed the technical talks and it was nice to interact with Jonas Smedegaard on a lot of topics including a small hack that Vignesh, Chandan and I developed in a night’s time without internet (but with some help from Debayan on phone)! We got a lot of direction on how to take it forward and make it a great utility and we also got help on some of the libraries we could use. I got to meet a lot of other debian contributors including Praveen. We had a great time with Sandesh, Shashikiran and Karthic Rao. There was a Diwali celebration in NMIM IT on Friday evening which we all attended. On Saturday morning, we visited the Bahubali Jain Temple in Karkala and after we were back, attended more talks.
On Sunday morning, Vignesh, Karthic, Sandesh, Chandan and I took off in the morning. We visited Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt, went to Vignesh’s house and then left for Mangalore. Vignesh took us to an ice-cream joint called Pabba’s and from there we went to Sultanbatheri, KudloLi temple and Venkateshwara temple. Our return bus was from Lalbagh and we reached Bangalore in a single piece on Monday morning.