2010 in Retrospect.

I suck.
Even though I thought that this time I would keep blogging, I again failed to keep the promise to myself. So I should repeat .I suck. Anyway it's been eight months since I blogged last time and I hope I can break the curse this time for sure. Before that I should at least keep a log of what did I do in the past eight months, or I should have a retrospect on 2010. So I thought of writing this yearly roundup before the New Year begins. So here goes...

After the last post, which I did bought some goodies; I kept going on my dreams throughout for this year. On November 2009 where I graduated from Open University, I thought of doing some stuff for the next year before starting a new job which wants me on 24 hours a day. So I came back to the University for a Research Assistance Post, which I got some kind of a freedom over my previous job @ Virtusa. Even though the salary was not that great (Hey, where is?) I had time to do some stuff that I was longing for several years.

Goal 1: More FOSS work, more community work
In working with the university, I got a chance to work with several parties which were also had the same idea in intellectual property rights. Neglecting my co-partner Vajira, who worked with me in the university in most of the below events, on front, was Mr. Janath Geeganage, which was my direct supervisor in the research at university. His eagerness in this area helped me a lot to work seamlessly on FOSS work throughout this year. And also the backup from Dr Udugama, eventhough hes not a FOSS geek, helped us a lot. In the starting of the year we did an Ubuntu repository installation for Ubuntu 10.01 within the university premises to be used within the university network. And with the equipment that we had in the research lab, we started to experiment with distributed environment with the FOSS. In the mean time, even though it’s not much, I did some community work myself. Attended to Openoffice 3.2 Sinhala QA day @ ICTA was one of fun events we had.

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at the end of Hard days work
In the same time I managed to get to know with Mr. Dileepa from the Mathematics and Philosophy Department. Even though he’s not a tech person, he was and is more motivated than most of us. And with his and Janaths immense help, we did several events within the university. First one was an IPR+FOSS workshop for the university staff. It went smoothly and we had lots of good comments on that.
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Hands on workshop
Then with the request of Dr Delkumburewatte, Myself and Vajira did two workshops for the Colombo divisional IT teachers and this was a great success with lots of comments and I personally loved it.
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Checking some Hardware specs
Then came the Open University 30th anniversary. As with the request of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, myself and vajira with Janath, we organized a department stall for the exhibition that was held in every regional Centre of the university. As usual, we did manage to include Foss in the content of the exhibition and where ever the exhibition was held; our stall did attract lots of attention. And also in most of the centers we did get lots of help from the regional Linux User-groups. My heartfelt gratitude goes to all of them.
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Group demonstration
Then comes the most eventful event of the year, The Software Freedom Day 2010. In collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, we organized a Software Freedom day full day event at OUSL consisting of Lectures, Quizzes and lots and lots of events. Even though we initiated it, we had lots of help (Actually they did the hard work) form our junior batches from the university (Great to see the new batches are starting to contribute a lot for the university work).Thanks Manoj, Naveen and all others who made that event a success. With the funding from ICTA (Athula), we did a successful software freedom day which we had lots of fun and it was a great event.
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Software Freedom Day 2010, Most attended event in auditorium for a long time
also in the end of the year we did a presentation on FOSS  to the global head meeting of the NGO, Practical Action. Same as always it was also a great success. So that was the summary of the FOSS and Community work that I participated in 2010. Generally I’m happy about my contribution.

Goal 2: Trip to India, (Himalayan)
In all my dreams I never thought that I would be able to run for this. But I did. I finally had a trip to Himalayan, in a hiking style. Myself and my friend Kasun had a 17 day trip to India, which basically covered at least 2/3 of Indian subcontinent. When I say covered, I mean just gone through: D. So in end of July we started by going to Chennai from a flight (We wanted to go from a ferry, but it was not available @ that time). Then the same day we took the Thamilnadu-express train to New-Delhi that almost took us 3 days. Then from New-Delhi to Manali, which was damn beautiful and after a day there, we took off to the Himalayans, from Manali-Leh road by a two day bus. It was amazing. The best time of my life. Everyone should @least visit there once. When we finally reached to Leh (Near Tibet- in Himalayan  ) I got sick due to reduced oxygen concentration on my blood. After a night @ hospital and a tank of oxygen I was dispatched, but I never recovered until we again came back to Manali after three days. Then from Manali we took some amazing train routes back to New-Delhi and to Agra and finally after 17 days back to Chennai. The tour was damn hard as we only ended up 3 days in hotels from the whole 17 days (All the others we were on the go. :)). But it was a lifetime experience and it worth every damn penny.
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on the top of the world
Goal 3: Gadget of the Year 2010: Home Satellite system
From the start of this year, I was eager to get a satellite TV system to my home. I was stuck between Dialog-TV and Peo-TV as they were the only providers in srilanka. I never wanted to watch movies, as I knew the shows that runs on TV stations are pretty old compare to what we download. But I wanted some documentary channels such as Travel and Living, NATGeo, Discovery, History Channel, etc... But Dialog or Peo never gave me a good package and at that time I met Wanigasekara who was already a satellite expert in my opinion and he gave me the virus of getting my own satellite system which we can use for FTA or subscription based. So I started my new goal. Even though I wanted satellite system I didn’t had a good TV, so I wanted to buy a new one. As CRT is not a option now, I wanted to go for a HD LCD, LED was too much costly and didn’t thought it will be useful as we didn’t had much HD content either. So after several months of planning and research I bought a 40" Sony EX400 LCD panel. After it, myselfI and my father did some work and we came up with a TV stand to place it. Then with the help of Wanigasekara I bought a Satellite system and finished the full system. So now I have a full multimedia home theater system with me. Frankly if you ever watched a full HD content like NatGeoHD or Discovery HD world, you will find the whole expenses is full worth.
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HDTV, HD Satellite receiver, Wifi router, PC, DVD player
Even though they are not serious ones that I needed to complete in this year, there were several other things that I wanted in this year. I wanted to get a permanent job in the end of this year and in this December I got the job of Network Manager in OUSL, so it worked out well too. The only thing I couldn’t do was my MSc. I wanted to start my MSc in this year and I tried both moratuwa and Colombo universities for their MSc. But from both I was never short listed due to lack of experience. But no regrets as I didn’t really tried hard this year for a MSC, (even though it would have been nice to get one). That is due on 2011.

So basically Year 2010 was a really good year for me. most of the things that I wanted to , I did. what else can one asks for. So 2011 will be whole new year. Basically I don’t have anything that I wanted to do which was due on 2010.

Thank you 2010, I enjoyed every bit of you .
Finally there is one thing that I learnt from 2010,
“Dreams are free, if you don't even dream, why do you live?”