[2004] Newsgroups, CVS and Link Management

How do you help a BPO continue operations when Internet fails?

A solution that we are still proud of till today is a Internet Link Management tool we developed for SLK ITES - a BPO company here in Bangalore. Like with everything else, we tried to productise it and called it (very unimaginatively) LinkSwitch.

Very simply, the goal was to ensure work and business continuity in the event of an Internet link failure. We built bash scripts to shift Internet traffic to spare links when a link failed, apart from also rebuilding VPN IPSec tunnels that they used for all their work. They continued to use our solution till around 2006.

Newsgroups and CVS for Aztec

Another solution we are proud of building was for a software product services company called Aztec Software. They needed an organisation-wide discussion group and we did two things: a) We leveraged NNTP newsgroups for their discussions by integrating it to their user directory and b) we built a complete GUI tool to build fine-grained access control for the newsgroups.

Similarly, we also built an authentication and security system for their CVS repositories. This authentication system too was integrated with their existing user directory and it was the first time they had 1 single organisation-wide CVS server that had access control built into it.

Move to MG Road

2004 was also the year we moved our office from Yelahanka to MG Road.

deeproot.co.in in 2004

Here is what our solutions page looked like in 2004:

A few things of note here:

  • This was the first website that used Drupal - everything prior to this was build using handwritten HTML with Apache SSI support.

  • It was the first time we modified our slogan to use “GNU/Linux” in text.

Customers in 2004

We had quite a few customers by then:


  • The aminated gif was made using Gimp in 2004.

  • It was retrieved from archive.org today

  • Then:

    apt-get install photocollage
    mkdir customer-images
    cd customer-images; convert ../customers.gif %0d.jpg

Then the rest was done by photocollage.

Shipping labels for the hardware