Indian tech world mourns death of open source software guru Atul Chitnis

Highly respected technology consultant and evangelist Atul Chitnis, hailed by many as India's 'open source guru' passed away due to cancer this morning.


Highly respected technology consultant and evangelist Atul Chitnis, hailed by many as India's 'open source guru' passed away due to cancer on Monday morning.

Chitnis was a Consulting Editor for popular tech magazine PCQuest from 1996 to 2002.

Indian tech world mourns death of open source software guru Atul Chitnis

Screengrab from Chitnis' blog

"He was responsible for the PCQuest Linux Initiative, an effort to introduce FOSS and Linux to readers of the popular magazine. He also served as a faculty member at the National Resource Centre For Free/Open Source Software", wrote India Digital Review.

And his contribution to Indian tech was not just in teaching people how to use Linux. According to Ed Nair from Dataquest, he was also the man who taught the country how to use a modem.

"He is the man who demystified data communications in the pre-Internet era. He taught India how to use a modem. I remember the early days when he enthralled a roomful of audience in various cities and in true Steve Jobs style, he demoed the modem and hooked up two computers to exchange data. The moment seemed magical."

In a moving obit, Prashanto K Roy from NDTV Gadgets writes,

"Nothing excited him like a new piece of tech. One of his last acquisitions, his MacBook Air 11, a gift from friends and family, got him kick-started into writing again - in between chemo sessions. He was all set to get back to serious writing.

A month after diagnosis, Atul wrote on his blog, atulchitnis.net:Cancer is a terrible disease, and it will take a lot to fight it - physically, emotionally, financially - but it is a battle that I am going to fight - and fight to win.

That he didn't, is our loss. It's the Indian tech media and user community's loss.

His last blogpost where Chitnis talks about his cancer and how it has changed his life, is also making the rounds on social media. You can read it here.

Twitter was also flooded with tributes. We reproduce a few tweets here:

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