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pravi.a@gmail.com pravi.a@gmail.com
Wed May 25 20:08:30 IST 2005

   Teenager Develops User Friendly GNU Linux OS

   Obstacles such as financial constraints, very minimum PC resources,
   did not in any way deter the grit of Kerala-based, 15-year old Sarath
   Lakshman from developing SLYNUX- a highly user-friendly GNU/Linux
   operating system designed for beginners. A completely self-taught
   person, who has never stepped into a computer-learning institute in
   his lifetime, his tale is one of guts and more guts.
   Speaking to CXOtoday, Lakshman recollected, "I had first heard about
   GNU/Linux when I was a computer (Windows user) from standard eight.
   However, I was advised by tech-savvy people that only experts could
   use it. This inspired me to collect a Linux distro. I collected Redhat
   9.0- the only Linux distro known and available in my locality and
   installed it in my system (128MB Ram and Celeron 1Ghz processor).
   "That was my first brush with Linux; its basic features impressed me
   though the OS was not user friendly as I could not understand the
   program names, commands since I was a fresher to Linux. This paved the
   seed of a user friendly Linux in my mind," added Lakshman.
   The main feature of this operating system is that, any person who is
   familiar with Microsoft Windows OS can handle this operating system
   very easily. The desktop of this operating system is arranged so as to
   make it friendly to the user. It comes with a wide range of
   application programs, which are pre-installed. It can be run
   completely from CD without installation with options of installing a
   hard disk.
   Speaking further he said, "I have written many shell scripts, though I
   have not counted the same. I have done little C++ compilations and
   codings too with some kernel modifications too. (The base of every
   GNU/Linux is shell scripts)."
   SLYNUX is a live Linux distribution, which includes content of about
   2GB made available by using transparent compression. This is a debian
   based GNU/Linux developed from Knoppix (credit of most features of
   this Distro goes to knoppix). 256 MB Ram is recommended to run SLYNUX
   Live CD for good performance.
   Describing the challenges he faced, Lakshman stated, "The first
   problem I faced was lack of Internet facility. I currently use a BSNL
   dial up connection with about 44 Kbps speed since I cannot afford a
   broadband connection. Because of this, I could use the Web only for
   browsing purposes. All resources related to GNU/Linux are available
   for download, especially source codes, which were of huge sizes
   (around 20MB, 50MB, 600MB etc)."
   The second problem was lack of help. "At the place, which I reside
   there are no Linux users until now. But in places like Ernakulum and
   Trivandrum, in Kerala, Linux is gaining momentum. I later met an IT
   consultant at the Kerala legislative assembly who helped me a lot by
   giving me some GNU/Linux distros, (especially knoppix 3.6.)," said
   Describing his struggle further he said, "Thirdly, the PC (Intel
   Celeron 1Gnz, 810E motherboard), I currently use is unfit for
   development activities and many Linux distros cannot support my
   configuration for graphics. This resulted in long hours for cloop
   compression (a process in SLYNUX development, which used to take about
   2 hours for compression every time. A good configuration system would
   have take me only about 8 to 10 minutes."
   Lakshman rues the fact that he does not even posses a Web space for
   hosting his site. He has currently hosted it in a free domain.
   He insists that [1]SLYNUX is especially for newbies of Linux. "Using
   SLYNUX every Windows user can migrate to the GNU/Linux. Meanwhile,
   SLYNUX 1.1, 2.0 can also be used by enterprise users as I plan to
   shortly release SLYNUX 3.0 with kernel and other Apache server
   tools, MySQL etc. (MySQL is already there with SLYNUX.)," stated
   A science and technology enthusiast from the age of 10, Lakshman has
   just appeared for the SSLC (Kerala state syllabus) public examination
   and waiting for the results. His other achievements include developing
   an e-periodic table with basic knowledge of Visual Basic programming
   when he was studying in the ninth grade. The Executive Director,
   IT@School, Thiruvananthapuram demanded the copy right of the software
   to include it in the X standard resource CD to supply to all High
   schools in Kerala.
   Speaking about the road ahead, he has no clue about how to go about
   marketing his product, though he hopes to be approached by genuine
   companies who would be interested in marketing his product, although
   in the same breath he states he does not have a profit motive, (he
   follows the philosophy of free software).
   While it is indisputable, that India does possess the talent, brains,
   and the determination, efforts such as these often go unnoticed due to
   lack of a strategic marketing plan and direction. Meanwhile, any
   takers for SLYNUX?


   1. http://www.slynux.co.nr/

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