BarCamp MU 3

I missed most of the morning show of BarCampMU3 because I had to rush to college to pay the exam fees that would allow me to sit for the exams for my sixth semester.

 The first session post-lunch was on Photovoltaic technology for cost reduction. This was presented by Gaurav Shah, who is about to register a start-up soon called Electrik Solutions, which is hoping to dabble in the photovoltaic (PV) technology markets. He tells us that while manufacturing costs are about to be lowered with the coming of the third generation of PV cells, India is still stuck in the first. So, Electrik will first concentrate on building the second generation PV cells in India. He’s looking for electric engineers who would like to dabble in PV technology.

Amit Gogna gave the second talk on the first implemented pilot projects of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme in India. The Indian Government refused to backup the OLPC programme, when it was offered the deal that was also offered to other governments, thinking it might produce a less than $100 laptop in India. Reliance ADA is the one that is stimulating this pilot study in a village called Khairat, near Mumbai. The best part of the presentation was probably the photo-op session that the laptop got after the presentation. Everyone has heard of the laptop, no one has actually seen it. According to Amit, the laptop, if brought to India today would cost about $205 [≈ Low-end bicycle]. He also called for more help on developing the applications for the laptop based on the Indian scenario.

The third talk in the afternoon was given by a Swiss travelling to Mumbai for one of his projects, Renaud Richardet. He gave a presentation on the community aspects of open source. He talked a lot about how to select mailing lists and on looking at the reward systems. He’s working on an CMS project called Apache Lenya

The last presentation of the day was given by Rahul Gupta, an IIT-B alumni, working on a start-up – Vakow! The name is inspired from a R D Burman song. It is something you should check out yourself to see how it works. He probably put it best for the people who were around there, when he said – “Vakow is for SMSs what Flickr is for photos”.

The last major announcement was about the BarCampMumbai and the first BlogCampMumbai being held in the IIT-B campus on 29th March 2008.

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