From Hanthana Linux with Love

With the arrival of the magic tool computer to our society, we could accelerate our day today events in an unexplainable way and a speed. We slowly but surely discarded our long standing hard working type writer from the type write table , gave a temporary halt for writing letters and kept away papers from our desk. The computer started to dominate the life in every avenue. Every father and every mother , specially the teacher parents wanted to have their sons and daughters to arm with personal computers. So the hunt began for the magic home partner the computer.

When we order a home computer from a vendor we have to name the configurations or else the vendor does give his. After the agreed price and conditions like guarantee or after sales service, he packs the company made genuine machine within a half an hours time. If not, if my request is for an assembled low cost machine , he might take a day sometimes to install the software and most probably the next day the buyer takes the machine home. How the machine works, its is immaterial for the user as his machine is fully armed with an operating system and other software which the user asked.

As the time passed by the user, the schoolboy gets more and more software from his peer groups in different versions and different trade names . He gets copies of expensive software or games copied at a very cheaper price from a communication centre or from his own machine, or from a friend cheaper than a short eat or a bun !

Not only he uses these software but he exchanges and share and passes copies of that software among his friends irrespective of its value or validity. A single copy of such is enough for the whole community. Without knowing he violates the copyrights of the knowledge of the creator of such soft ware. As the piracy is common, specially in the world of information Technology, we do not understand the gravity of the crime we commit. Since the software is very very cheap and the cheapest commodity in the market when we compare the other day today commodities, we tend to buy them at any place or any vendor. Most of us are not aware of what the process or what crime we commit when buying an illegal knowledge of somebody. Of course if we do not have such copies how can we buy a computer hardware for around 50,000 of rupees and another 50,000 of rupees for a licensed copies of software ( Operating System and the Office package) ?

We slowly are looking for a permanent solution for this unanswered problem. Now gradually the users have understood that those so called high prices software is not available in the market free like in the past decade or two. The laws have come into full operation to stop piracy in software selling and copying. Yet, still the schoolboy is clever enough to sneak into such activities. But it is time to have some alternatives for this process and to find an answer. There are open source software around the market yet the young user thinks the are not attractive and they can not match the taste of those so called pirate software. Listen to my story with the experience of teaching IT for around 15 years

How I had an affair with Hanthana

First when I received 10, very big number of computers to my computer unit in the school way back 2001, I got the complete unit with the Genuine Windows 2000 installed and the genuine windows and the office Cds. We did not mind how they came as the process was organized by the ministry GEP 2 Project. For another 10 years our school IT unit did not get any machine and with the SEMP Projects we were isolated and totally neglected.

Yet with the requests and the total identification of the problem Mr Upali Chandrarathne the subject coordination AD has allocated a sum of almost 1.1 million of rupees for us the buy our own machines. But we are bound with the problem- we have to buy software if we are going with windows. I personally decided neither to buy windows nor to use pirate copies and to go with Open source. Luckily I got an accident unexpected call from the IT Hardware Unit of the Ministry of Education, Isurupaya for a special workshop for our new machines. It was a blessing in disguise, a Two Day workshop with Danishka changed our philosophy , love and worship we had from the world famous rich software to our local made Hanthana Linux.

This is how we welcome the new software HANTHANA LINUX into our machines. With Hanthana “you ask for anything it has already got”. We started the teaching sessions with the new baby. Attractive and easy no hassle and trouble . With no time we made the software and the OS popular with the students and the teachers. They wanted to have their personal machines to be converted into Hanthana and the workshop began copying Hantahana LiveDVDs free for all. For the first time we started to copy true and genuine DVDs in our machines.

The content available in that DVD is immeasurable in value. It has years of knowledge to day diverted into the students. Lessons for the science teacher, maths teacher, social studies teacher and the teacher of aesthetic subjects are plenty and attractive. The most special feature of Hanthana it is totally immunized for Virus.

I lost my data in my Pen drive one day with an attack of a virus,I madly wanted to get my pen healed

But I failed and with some pains I formatted it and lost my data. The same has happened to my student and he said Sir I got my data saved because of Hanthana Linux. It is immunized for Virus !!!

Some visuals of Rupavahini  “Jathika Pasala” (http://www.rupavahini.lk/jathika_pasala/) program can not be watched by the Windows but the visuals of the lessons are rightly working with our Lovely Hanthana. An additional qualification , isn’t it ?

Thanks Danishka and his team for the genuine effort he trying to save our computers from the virus and saving our money which we have to spend for high priced software.

Triple gem bless you and your effort.

 

Sunil Chandraman

Mr. Sunil Chandraman
Wickramabahu Central College, Gampola, Sri Lanka.
sunilchandraman AT gmail DOT com

Linux empowers computer laboratories at schools !

Hanthana Linux project, founded around two years ago is now reaching it’s basic objectives. School computer laboratories were equipped with operating systems which require license and most of the installations were pirated copies. Things began to change recently.

The pilot project of nine computer laboratories with more than 200 computers, recently facilitated by the Ministry of Education entirely operate only on Hanthana Linux. Several other schools having grants from the world bank to better equip their laboratories have decided to shift to Linux operating system. They have the advantage of saving money spending to buy licensed software unnecessarily and from thus saved money, complete the computer network of their laboratories.

Dharmashoka College, Ambalangoda, Richmond College, Galle, Sujatha Balika Vidyalaya, Matara, Ferguson High School, Ratnapura, Sahira College, Gampola, Udayagiri College, Ampara and Maithreepala Sirisena College, Madawachchiya have received with computers by the Ministry of Education with Hanthana Linux as the only operating system. Wickramabahu College, Gampola and several others have started using Hanthana Linux in their computer laboratories.

At this point of writing, number of computers running Hanthana Linux as the only operating system in school computer laboratories exceeds 250.

 


Hanthana Linux deployment at Bandaranayake College, Gampaha.

Training sessions for teachers on how to use Hanthana Linux to fulfill the educational needs have already started. Coordination of those sessions are done by the Information and Communication Technology Branch of the Ministry of Education. Selected teachers from education zones are trained at the National Institute of Education.

Issues that Linux address

Although at times a school receives a licensed copy of an operating system as a donation they hardly can install a newer version later of it since the school has no money to pay for the license.

Though it is a licensed operating system, threats from viruses remains the same. To keep them away, new software has to be bought and installed. With Hanthana Linux there is no hassle from viruses since the threat from those are minimum and the latest security updates are available on the internet to be downloaded for free.

In general there comes a bundle of useful software with a Linux system and they all are installed in less than a 30 minutes time.

The finance for basic laboratory infrastructure for most of the laboratories are as foreign debt. With licensed software what happens it that we have pay the foreign for licenses. Further the quality of the software which comes free with Linux operating system are in good standards.

Sri Lanka is a developing country depending highly on foreign debts. In such a scenario projects like Hanthana Linux saving the flow of money to multi national companies and selecting qualitative options are of national importance.

Hanthana Linux workshop @ NCOE, Dharga Town

A two day Hanthana Linux awareness program was held at National College of Education (NCOE) – Dargatown, Aluthgama on the 11th and 23rd of February, 2011. Twenty students (trainee teachers) from Jaffna, Ampara, Batticaloa, and Dharga Town as well as from the National College of Education itself and several teachers of these students participated in the program.

This program was especial because this was the very first such program conducted for the Tamil medium students (trainee teachers).

In this program more focus was on introducing Linux, installation, using office packages and software development. Creating C++ programs and Java, HTML web pages on Linux and using the Apache web server, which is very popular in the world was discussed. Other than that, network management and user management was also thought in the program.

On day one there were two teachers in the staff that inquired about the content to be thought on day two. They self studied the content such as MySQL and enthusiastically thought the students these topics.

Rizkhan, who organized the event and Ms. Asuka Tomiyama who is a representative of the JICA institute that provides service to the National College of Education were present Throughout the program and provided invaluable help. Due to this and the enthusiasm of teachers and students alike, it was possible to cover a wide range of topics in this program.

At the end of the program, Rizkhan Basheer gave an assignment for the student which will help them gaining further knowledge of the subject matter presented on the two days. These students are supposed to attain residential training in 2012 and receive appointments to teach in schools in 2013 and there is lot of hope that they will spread the message and knowledge of free and Open Source software in remote areas of Jaffna, Batikaloa, Ampara and Ptlam. At the end of the progam we were invited to conduct programs on free and open source software (FOSS) in Jaffna was a sign of understanding the value of FOSS software.

We wish all the participants a brighter future!

Minister of Education admires

Hanthana Linux was introduced by the Information Technology Unit of the Department of Education at the education and development exhibition, Dayata Kirula 2011, which was held in Buttala for seven consecutive days from the 4th of February. The Chief of The Information Technology Unit, Director of Education, Mr. Niel Gunadasa explained to Hon. Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena, how the Hanthana Linux operating system is useful for education purposes, .

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Senior Advisor of The Education Ministry, Ven. Oomare Kassapa thero, who was engaged in a long discussion with the Assistant Director of Education Mr. M.D.R. Amaranayake, about the need of free and open source software, also said that attention should be paid to this project.

This exhibition stall was organized by the Information Technology Unit of the Department of Education. There were many valuable exhibits useful for students and teachers including the OLPC laptop (One Laptop Per Child), which is provided by the said unit to primary school children, interactive white-board, a collection of computer hardware as well as a wireless network.

Folks from many fields such as education, engineering, agriculture, marine and management were very enthusiastic about Hanthana Linux. It was also interesting to see some people visiting for the second day as well, with their friends who doesn’t know about Hanthana Linux, to introduce it.

Hanthana Linux 14.5.2 was distributed in this exhibition stall.

In addition to this, a hands on program for the IT teachers of the Buttala and Monaragala education zones is also planned to be held on a future date.

Girls of Southlands College join Hanthana Community

Latest release of Hanthana Linux (Gagana – 14.5) was introduced to the public at the educational exhibition conducted to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Southlands College, Galle. Students of the IT unit of the college successfully carried out the stall and had delivered more than 300 DVDs free of charge among the visitors.

Students, employees from both government and private sector, foreigners were among the visitors. It is notable that Mr. Helmer, one of the Dutch visited the stall the very first day, stated that he will ship 8 computers with Hanthana Linux installed to a school in Sri Lanka.

The ten presenters (college girls) at the stall who had no prior experience with Hanthan Linux were armed with the required knowledge in a one day workshop conducted by the Hanthana Linux team. It should be mentioned that they did their best to spread the word of freedom among the visitors.

A school making the public aware of Free and Open Source Software and Hanthana Linux adds more and more strength to the Hanthana Linux community.

We, the Hanthana Linux team, pay our sincere thanks to teachers and students of the IT unit of Southlands College for their commitment to make this event happen. May they have strength and courage to conduct similar events successfully in future!

Hanthana Linux 14.5 is released!

Latest version of Hanthana Linux operating system, a milestone of the project, was officially released today, 10th January, 2011. The first awareness session regarding the release was successfully conducted at the headquarters of Police, Colombo with the precedence of Mr. W.F.U. Fernando, deputy of Police of the Information Technology Division.

Get Hanthana 14.5 today!

This release is a DVD version facilitating the users with a number of applications by default.  The applications inside the DVD will serve you with your office, graphics, multimedia, education, financial, electronics, games and computer programming needs. The capabilities of these software range from simple unit conversions to advanced system security systems and system management applications.

It is notable that documentation like installation guide and FAQ are already included in the Desktop for the convenience of the newbies. This documentation is also viewable via the Firefox web browser.

New features

Most featured and popular applications for audio and video editing such as Audacity, Pitivi, Me TV, RecordMyDesktop are included.

GIMP, Blender, Inkscape, Shotwell, Scribus, 2D CAD and QCad are there for graphics, photography and for other digital creations.

gPodder is there for you to download and manage your favourite podcasts.

For the convenience of the users Skype comes by default while TeamViewer will support you to control systems in remote making you life easy with remote desktop and remote system management needs.

For web development there is mysql database server, apache php and phpmyadmin included. IDEs such as Kompozer and Geany and NFS (Network File Sharing) will ensure that your work will be done with ease.

Not only the Firewall [1] but also SELinux [2] will safeguard your system from acts such as unauthorized access.

Hanthana Linux Screenshots

Hanthana Linux Launched

After what was more than a year of trials and experiments, Hanthana Linux completed its first phase recently. Now Hanthana Linux is available for everyone to download from the Internet. Those we are unable to download can request physical media from the Hanthana Community Media Contributors.

What is Hanthana? Who is it for?

Hanthana is a remix of the popular Linux distribution Fedora. Hanthana was built with the aim of easily fulfilling the needs of people who don’t have consistent Internet facilities, people with minimal computer experience, school students and teachers alike.

Hanthana include all the software, services and facilities you get from the standards Fedora system. In addition, Hanthana includes a number of software to cater your office, educational, multimedia and graphics needs. You can try all of these great features even before you install by using the Hanthana Live CD for generic PCs. Just pop the Hanthana Live CD in the tray, boot your system and enjoy.

Apart from the excellent set of features inherited from Fedora, Hanthana ships with a load of multimedia codecs. So MP3, other media types and VCD/DVD playback just works without any additional configuration. In short Hanthana will just work for all of your office, educational, multimedia, graphic and entertainment software needs!

The default desktop environment of Hanthana is the lightweight XFCE. This means that Hanthana will run well even in your under powered, old computers.

Better than all, Hanthana is brought to you free of charge and without any license restrictions. So you are free to share and redistribute Hanthana as much as you like. In fact, you are encouraged to do so.

Hanthana Community

The Hanthana Linux Operating System is a 100% community based production. It’s main strength is the community who generously contribute their time and efforts in technical, documenting, artwork effort and in a lot of other ways. You are always welcome not only to use and benefit from Hanthana Linux, but also to join the community and be a part!

When you need any help with Hanthana Linux, support of only a click away. You can ask for help in the forum or join the chat at IRC channel #hanthana.

To learn more information about Hanthana and the community head on to the main web site now.