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Indian FOSS Evangelist Atul Chitnis Dead At 51 39

New submitter knwny writes "Atul Chitnis, the man who popularized open software in India, died on 3rd June of intestinal cancer. As a technology mentor, writer and public speaker he promoted Linux and FOSS since the late 1980s through his association with various tech magazines and conferences. He introduced Linux to thousands of PC Quest magazine readers by convincing them to carry the first ever Linux distribution in India on its cover CD in 1996."
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Indian FOSS Evangelist Atul Chitnis Dead At 51

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  • Rest In Peace (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @10:39AM (#43904681)

    Thank you Atul.
    You were a great influence to Indian CS graduates.

    I got introduced to Linux because of you when you gave out Free Slackware CDs.
    Internet Connectivity in India, especially in academic institutions, was too slow to download anything significant.
    You made it easy for our institution (NIT) to switch over to Linux.

    You will be missed.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This was in the later part of 1990s.

    • Does he have any other choice?

    • by mrops ( 927562 )

      I can second that, I was in second year Computer Engg and recall the fan fair when this issue was to be released. Our local shop was taking orders with pre-payment to reserve a copy. Got my first intro to Linux with this distribution, at 100 hr total internet access for the entire year, at 14.4kbps dial up speeds, there wouldn't haven been any other way.

      Introduced Linux to my university as well as had an early exposure of this OS that is still paying the bills today in some form.

      Ironic as it may be, I didn'

  • may his soul rest in peace!
  • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @11:12AM (#43905053) Homepage Journal

    I started using Linux before I got internet or was in a university. I wouldn't have started on Linux (and eventually interned at FSF India) if not for those streams of CDs that were available for a very expensive 100rs (approx 3$ back then).

    This wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of toolz. And several others who were behind the curtain (I remember calling up the Digit phone # to ask for help with my i810 video card).

    The result was a grass-roots up linux community that sprung up all over India, out of curiousity and tolerating lots of lost partitions.

    Both toolz & OldMonk, linux-india old-timers recently lost to us, will not be forgotten (at least by me).

    • Yes, well said. Very sad news. Atul's contribution to Indian Linux community is immeasurable. RIP Atul.
    • I can almost copy word to word there.

      RIP Atul, you were one big soldier on the side of FOSS and hacking! Big - not the least because you needed t-shirts with multiple "x" in the size. You will be missed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Promoting Linux since the late 80's, eh? Somebody better warn Linus that he's a plagiarist, then!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      He also had 40 years of python and C# experience.

  • by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Tuesday June 04, 2013 @11:39AM (#43905335)

    He was also responsible for promoting Java in the early 80s and dotNet in the 90s.

  • As someone who grew up reading your articles, I remember very well your contribution to my interest in PCs, hardware and eventually linux. Too bad and too young to die. RIP Atul.
  • Is my new sig. RIP Atul.

  • I got introduced to Linux at a university when no one even cared about Linux. PCQ with its stream of different distros, blug meets and (was called linux-bangalore when I attended it), and the various people I met, including Atul Chitnis, t3rmin4t0r(Gopal V), LaForge (Herald Welte), Brian Behlendorf.. all helped me mature as a linux user and eventually paved way for a career in Linux dev. Atul, with his team, was responsible for getting all the great geeks under one roof, even if they didn't agree wi
  • Hugh Daniel also died June 3, apparently of a heart attack. Hugh did a lot of open-source work, particularly the FreeS/WAN IPSEC project. He was well-known for being part of the Cypherpunks and Project Xanadu, and also worked on recovering data from old secret police computer records for the recent Guatemala genocide trials.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn