Attending HITCON and COSCUP in Taipei
It is my pleasure to attend the HITCON
2013 and COSCUP 2013
conferences in July/August this year. They are both in Taipei. HITCON
is a hacker/security event, while COSCUP is a pure Free/Open Source
At both events I will be speaking at the growing list of GSM related
tools that are available these days, like OpenBSC, OsmcoomBB, SIMtrace,
OsmoSGSN, OsmoBTS, OsmoSDR, etc. As they are both FOSS projects and
useful in a security context, this fits well within the scope of both
Given that I'm going to be back to Taiwan, I'm looking very much forward
to meeting old friends and former colleagues from my Openmoko days in
Taipei. God, do I miss those days. While terribly stressful, they
still are the most exciting days of my career so far.
And yes, I'm also going to use the opportunity for a continuation of my
motorbike riding in this beautiful country.
Rest In Peace, Atul Chitnis
Today, very sad news has reached me: Atul Chitnis has
passed away. Most people outside of India will most likely not
recognize the name: He has been instrumental in pioneering the BBS
community in India, and the founder and leader of the Linux Bangalore
and later FOSS.in
conferences, held annually in Bangalore.
I myself first met Atul about ten years ago, and had the honor of being
invited to speak at many of the conferences he was involved in. Besides
that professional connection, we became friends. The warmth and
affection with which I was accepted by him and his family during my many
trips to Bangalore is without comparison. I was treated and accepted
like a family member, despite just being this random free software
hacker from Germany who is always way too busy to return the amount of
Despite the 17 year age difference, there was a connection between the
two of us. Not just the mutual respect for each others' work, but
something else. It might have been partially due to his German roots.
It might have been the similarities in our journey through technology.
We both started out in the BBS community with analog modems, we both
started to write DOS software in the past, before turning to Linux. We
both became heavily involved in mobile technology around the same time:
He during his work at Geodesic, I working for Openmoko. Only in recent
years his indulgence in Apple products was slightly irritating ;)
Only five weeks ago I had visited Atul. Given the state of his health,
it was clear that this might very well be the last time that we meet
each other. I'm sad that this now actually turned out to become the
thruth. It would have been great to meet again at the end of the year
(the typical FOSS.in schedule).
My heartfelt condolences to his family. Particularly to his wonderful
wife Shubha, his daughther Anjali, his mother and brother. [who I'm
only not calling by their name in this post as they deserve some privacy
and their Identities is not listed on Atuls wikipedia page].
Atul was 51 years old. Way too young to die. Yet, he has managed to
created a legacy that will extend long beyond his life. He profoundly
influenced generations of technology enthusiasts in India and beyond.