BarCamp Chennai – Day 2 Wrap-up

General | April 11, 2006 | 3 min read

Sorry, this is coming two days late …

Day 2 started with Prathul, a Microsoft Student Partner demoing Office 12, 2007 Microsoft Office System being the official name. There was a nice video capturing moments of Microsoft Office history. Prathul then started with his presentation on Office 12’s Word. The presentation didn’t go as well as he would have wanted it to, as much of the time was spent on showing Word’s evolution from Windows 1.0 when Word had just 2 toolbars, 10 features compared to 31 toolbars & more than 1500 features in Office 2003.

He demoed Word 12’s ‘choose the font & the preview changes below’ feature. Moving over to Excel, he showed the data bars with changeable gradient and how easy it was to change the many chart types available. And in Powerpoint, he showed the different IGX Graphic layouts with each having colors/styles. The publish as pdf feature was something real good.


Next, Atul Chitnis talked on mobile & hand-held computing. He says the current PC is still unusable to many & there is a huge market waiting to be exploited by mobile devices like Origami. There was talk on form factor & why the tablet PC failed (trying to port the desktop onto a smaller device as is & being not so portable). He put his case beautifully with many day-to-day examples like wrist watches (as against wall clocks), video iPods (as against TVs/cinemas), home theatres (as against cinemas) & how our fingers on a touchscreen is more superior than using a mouse.

Inbetween, a gentleman brought the issue of spam SMSes in mobile phones. There were no answers available on how to stop them & sure we will be getting more & more of these unsolicited messages in our mobiles as with email.

Sujatha then linked up from California to give a presentation over phone on podcasts for the South Asian audience & her site Podbazaar. She gave some good stats on the growth in sales of iPods/other mp3 players, how podcasts can provide the new content required (other than music of course) & how podcasts compliment blogs in many ways. She explained on how podcasts can be used like corporates using it as a marketing medium (seems Whirlpool’s ‘The Family’ podcast is quite a hit) & how you can have advertisements in podcasts.

Ashwin & Moyeen presented their college project mSync (short form Mail Sync, I suppose). Signing on to their service would get mails from your Google, Yahoo & Hotmail at a single place. They go one step further & say you can view it in your mobiles. Nice seeing the engineering grads doing such projects. There was some surprise too when they told that the Open Source program that they were using for collecting from Yahoo (yahoo doesn’t allow pop get) was YPOPs & we had a member of the YPOPs project sitting right there among us!
It was time for lunch & as I was feeling much better, could move more freely among the fraternity. It was nice meeting up with Amit Agarwal, who I mentioned in my earlier post as a full time blogger. As Web 2.0 is all about people generated content, it was interesting knowing how Amit generates all those content for his blog. His mantra – Have atleast one very good (search engine optimized!) blog post a day.

The afternoon session had another Amit, Amit Ranjan from Uzanto whose presentation was all about the experiences he encountred with usability & design for their mindCanvas product. “Design is a differentiator” & “UI is the software” were the strong messages he sent across. He finished up with ‘Brilliant Idea & Brilliant Execution’ is what matters. Both the Amits promised to look at Zoho’s products & send their feedback.

Narain presented a demo of TracBac, a Web 2.0 application that is to being developed in Chennai other than Zoho. (are there others out there?) It was Zoho Writer for design collaboraton. As a designer, you can have gif/jpg/png/swf images sent across to your clients & have it all reviewed online (instead of the to and fro flowing of mails). The demo looked pretty promising.

There were presentations by Karthikeyan on how to get VC funding, Adel of Trans India on ‘Designing for the Web’, & presentations on Ruby/Ruby on Rails/Ubuntu Linux, all of these which I couldn’t attend fully (shuttling between Track 1 & Track 2 being the main reason).

The open quiz at the end brought a cheery end to the BarCamp activities. Hats off to Prathul, Aswin & Moyeen for that. And the below photo’s from Adel’s site. Overall, it was good fun for all the 2 days & great knowing so much happening in this part of the world.

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Arvind
Marketing & Business Development, Zoho Reports, SaaS BI, P: +1 408 916 9191 x 8064