Scrollback and SCA

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The Scrollback Campus Ambassador (SCA) program was introduced to me (and few of my college-mates) in the FSMK Summer Camp. Scrollback was the camps official messaging client. I used it extensively when I found any of the sessions boring.

Initial Expressions:

Plain and minimalist approach towards the user interface, a clean-cut win-win situation. The user-interface(both onsite and embedded) are most easy to get used to. Knowingly, I’ve never used IRC before in my life. scrollback was the first and aesthetically pleasing one. They do say that Scrollback works on mobile browsers quite smoothly. But on a 2G network where carriers don’t give more than 15kbps of bandwidth, Scrollback is not the best online web messaging platform to use. To our luck, the founders have confirmed that, there are native apps(Android and iOS) already in the works.

The Scrollback Campus Ambassador Programme:

I was probably one of the most inactive member of my college’s GLUG. Unlike others I wasn’t in any full-time project or something that was beyond my (outdated) engineering circularum. The moment this programme’s was announced by Vignesh(from FSMK). I was obviously attracted by the offerings. We were supposed to fill some sort of application form. I was one of the lucky one to be selected for this program (though I had this feeling that the application was not the most attractive one they would ever read). Later stage we were notified to select the sub fields we wished to work in. To my comfort I choose PR and Marketing, with Blogging. I skipped coding and 

What Scrollback means to me:

Since day one, scrollback remains to be a better looking IRC. How it is different from IRC? I’m convinced that it is a Micro-Forum(a new segment in community communication), that will soon replace Forums type of community communication. Personally I like the fact that one can embed a scrollback room to any website. The best of all, Scrollback is Free and Open Source. Repository to which is available on github. Hence doesn’t interfere with the Free Software Foundation’s philosophy.

Current Activities:

The reason this post was late, was simple troubleshooting with Scrollback and WordPress.com. After a lot of research I realized that WordPress.com doesn’t allow javascript within the HTML code. So plans for having a chat-like interface is postponed till this blog becomes self hosted. We(me and my fellow SCA’s on campus) have decided for a chat room for our college and one for my blog. Further I am planning to introduce Scrollback at a GLUG event “IGNITE” (On 18th August 2014). To give everyone a glimpse of what Scrollback is, and what Scrollback means for the FOSS and FSF.

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FSMK Summer Camp 2014 #FSMKSC2014

The Official banner!

19th July – 27th July 2014 is marked as the most memory consuming period of my life. Be it the fun or the fun involved in the learning process. Never knew informal learning could be so superior to the boring formal format of mugging up – and “ctrl + v” on the pages of VTU answer sheet.

St. Aloysius Pre University College ’12

Day 0, 18th July

Unlike other participants I had to travel ~1300km to reach the venue (Surat-Mumbai-Bangalore). I like road transport over any other means. I reached the FSMKSC2014 venue at around 7 pm . Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE) is no doubt one of the most auto-workout friendly and clean campus. The stay was the college’s own Sardar Patel Hostel. I was welcomed by one of the students of the host college Abhishek Jain. While being directed to the temporary room I was allocated, I found four of my 11th and 12th grade classmates. My first day at any hostel was ‘not so bad – not so awesome’.

Day 1, 19th July – (Introduction Ubuntu Sciences and Shell Scripting)

After the usual inaugural ceremony. The schedule for the camp was shared. Everyone was sorted into group of 20’s and our in charge was Abhilash Gupta.

The First day was about something which I was familiar with, Shell Programming, Ubuntu. Basic commands by SysAdmin Rameez. It was fairly ok to deal with.

Day 2, 20th July – (Mozilla webmaker party)

Mozilla team showcased their online web development tools. personally I liked thimble and x-ray goggles. After lunch Mr. Modak gave us a quick intro on HTML and CSS.

Also from a tech enthusiast point of view I had the privilege to have hands on experience on a Mozilla phone by ZTE.

Day 3-4, 21st July – (Extended CSS and Javascript)

This most resourceful session was taken by Jnaapti’s founder Mr. Gautham Pai. He was probably the most efficient guide than anyone else in the entire camp. He also gave everyone good set of tips that is required to enter the IT space.

Day 5, 23rd July – (NodeJS and the Scrollback team)

The camp’s communication platform was arguably the most sophisticated one could ever think of. Instead of relying on Telegram or other open source mobile platform, FSMK instead decided to opt for Web-based aesthetically pleasing IRC replacement, Scrollback.io . Since Scrollback itself is open source and uses NodeJS for its backend services, Scrollback’s co-founder Arvind took up this session.

(P.S. : Scrollback also has one of the most awesome looking Tee’s reserved for themselves)

Day 6, 24th July – (MongoDB)

At the end of the learning process, One of the most active FSMK volunteer Karthic Rao gave us surface level introduction of MongoDB. Honestly speaking, with no knowledge of DBMS or MySQL, I didn’t find MongoDB interesting.

Day 7, 25th July – (Cryptoparty)

Leaving Mozilla security oriented ad-ons aside, Aaron Swartz was the star of the show. The Internet’s Own Boy (Kickstarter Project) documentary on Aaron is a must watch, for anyone who is involved into Free Software or someone who is into publishing or some one who is annoyed with Section 66A (IT Act) of the Indian Constitution.

Day 8-9, 26th -27thJuly (Cultural Day, Adieus #FSMKSC2014)

Needs no description, The day when we were “Supposed” to finish our project on building a functional website for the FSMK Sunday School.

And everything else:

Of course FSMKSC2014 was not just about learning new technologies. The experience itself explained us that there are more possibilities than the useless VTU syllabus and there is an IT world beyond the scorecard you get at the end of every semester.

Personally my “wish it could happen again” experiences would be:

First attempt of being outside the luxury of my home. This was the first time I tried to stay on my own with my friends. (Still have to figure out why my bag was 6 inches thicker when I was heading back to Mangalore.)

Meeting new people. And so many of them, Luckily I could remember 99.9% of the names!

The After 11 pm atmosphere at the hostel corridors, Specially the #Pirate_Party or Operation: Counter Counter-Strike #Who_Knocks.

The most hilarious of all, VCET student’s performance on the cultural day.

That’s all folks! Eagerly waiting for the next Summer Camp.

Comments are most welcomed.

Picture Book : FSMK Summer Camp 2014 (Google+ link)

Full Gallery : FSMK (Google Drive link, Available for download)

GLUG-PACE @ FSMK
GLUG-PACE @ FSMKSC2014

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