Monday, August 10, 2009

Ping !

Ok, so I decided to break my 'Bloggers block' again.. Loong time no see, everyone :).. There's been lotsa stuff keeping me away from blogger, but one of the main culprits is - u guessed it.. right here..
Here's how Gtalk changed my life in the past one year.. You'll know you've fallen prey to the Gtalk-olism, like me, when :


1. U get up in the morning after yesterday's late night chat, and the first thing that comes into your mind is "Oh, I gotta sign in !..."

2. Ever heard of the phenomena of 'phantom rings' ? Those mobile vibrations u imagine in ur pocket, even though its not ringing.. yea, that was once upon a time..

Well now its 'Phantom Pings'.. U imagine you heard that ever-inviting gtalk 'ping' sound even though its never there.. Yea, I even hear it in between songs and normal conversations :) ..

3. Your latest hobby is collecting cool Gtalk Status messages.. and building a collection of profile pics to put up too :) ..

4. You g-chat for hours with people whom you never even spoke to in school or college.. and they keep saying "Its a wonder I never knew you well back then..".. :)

5. You come to know about incidents in your hometown/country/other places even before your own folks back in India hear of it..

6. When you're 'invisible', it means 'busy' to ppl.. when you're 'busy', it means 'available', and when you're 'available', all you hear is a bunch of 'ping' sounds every 2 seconds :)

7. While multi-chatting, You are used to multiple emotions at once - you cry in one chat window, press tab and laugh in the next chat window, press tab and get serious in the next one..

8. In real life, you tend to say 'Lol' and 'Rofl' and forget to really laugh sometimes :).. (To be frank, I use np, ty, k and all the other crap too)

9. When you enter lab, you prefer to ping your labmates 'GM' instead of going around saying Goodmorning yourself..

10. You tend to make short forms for every single usage u use more than 2 times a day..

11. You update ur status messages on a minute-by-minute basis.. using 'brb', '@Lab', '@Room', 'out for tea', 'out for lunch', 'sleeping'.. etc.. (yea my gchat buddies wud know :) )

12. Ppl prefer to chat to you on gchat than in real life !

13. When ppl ping u on gtalk and dont find you, they worry that something has happened to you ! :)..


Hmm.. like i saw on a status msg sometime ago, PHD seems to have given me a P(ermanent) H(ead) D(amage) by now :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Getting 'High' in S(w)ingapore..

Lately, weekend timepasses have become addiction for us.. Part of life.. No, probably the only things in life..

Few weeks ago we went to Clarke Quay, probably the entertainment hub of Singapore. There was an adventure sport : an 'Extreme Swing' that everyone was waiting to get 'high' on. 5 of us were taken in a seat-cage taken to extreme heights, and then released downwards.. Yea no more description - the video is here..

video

Yours truly was the 'pilot' of the swing.. meaning I was the guy seated in the swing, who would pull a lever that releases the swing downwards. Yea, like the 'lives' of 5 lay in my own hands (chuckle and grin)

So.. You can hear the countdown initially while we're up there.. 15..14...13.. till 3, 2, 1..

Then the 4 losers with me looked at me, expecting me to release at 0.. (I esp remember Naren's face :P ).. and then I say "Now, its MY suspense.."..

And while they're thinking about it.. in the split second, yours truly releases the lever :).. (You can see the gap between 'Zero' and swing release in the video)

Later on we went on exploring other venues to get high again :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Blogger Stereotypes ?

Was ROFL after reading RC Balajee's (aka Red carrot Jalebee's) post on Blog titles. It was then that it reminded me of another discussion I'd with Venky about blogger stereotypes.

- This may be too much generalization, but it struck me how quite a number of Bloggers are into Free and Open Source Software. Dont think I need examples : about half my blogroll is testimony to this.

Attempted explanation :Maybe FOSS enthusiasts are generally ones who spend quite some time on the internet, and hence invariably end up on the blogosphere too (! ?)




- Then there's the connection between people who blog, and are also into Freelance photography at the same time.

Attempted explanation : No surprises. The freelancers are bound to post up their photos simply because they find no better way to publicise it :).





- This one must be the weirdest. There are a number of Bloggers out there who Run. Yea, run - marathons, half marathons, awareness runs, social runs, jogging, the type. (Run for fun? :) ) You can find quite a number of bloggers posting that they're going for so and so run next week.

And for the love of blogger, I cannot even attempt a reason for this correlation :)




[ I'm still gearing up for 4-80 run next week.. but I assure you.. the decision for this run had nothing to do with observation 3 :).. it's just going to be an experiment as part of my, er, Underwater Acoustics research :P .. ]

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Run for the Fun..

One fine day, a bunch of guys and girls here at NTU became health conscious and started jogging, gymming and swimming (and eating ;-) ) on a regular basis..

That fine day was about a month ago.. Now, we're going to put it to the test :) .. A mini-run race.. 8 km and 27 stories..

Some people run to make a difference.. spread a message.. make a stand.. or simply for health reasons. We're a bunch of 8-10 amateur runners.. So, our aim is more about surviving the distance than winning the 300 bucks :) ..

The 4 - 80 challenge : http://www2.ntu.edu.sg/ENewsreader/Announcement/4-80+Challenge.htm?wbc_purpose=Basic

Yours truly has been attempting the treadmill for some days now with no hopes of reaching the 8 km mark anytime soon :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The time-less VS The jobless

The other day I got into a usual bout of work-cursing and cribbing over chat with a friend. I then realized he was out of a job, and in quite the opposite situation as me. So, well, we had a 'discussion', (probably a competition :-) ) to prove who was worse off. But after I was done with the chat, I was convinced that in these economically desperate times, it is much better to be in my situation than his.. ie.. - more work to do is probably better than no work to do :).

A comparison of the lives of the time-less guy VS the jobless guy

- Timeless guy : Wakes up in the morning, thinking "Oh, I wish I could sleep more.. but no.. this cursed work reckons me.. When do I get to sleep as much as I want, ever ?.."

Jobless guy : Gets up.. realizes he has no reason to wake up.. nothing to do.. but feels wasted going back to sleep.. so what to do ?


- Timeless guy : Has not enough time to complete work, socialise, take care of health, etc. 24 hours just isnt enough in a day.

Jobless guy : 24 hours is too much time in a day ! Wish I had something to do in these 24 hours... Wish life could go faster than this..


- Timeless guy : Always thinking about changing career track.. looking for new job.. change of field.. grass is always greener on the other (company's) side :)..

Jobless guy : Worried about never even having a career at all.. Believe me.. some grass(job) is better than no grass(job) at all..


I seriously pity the jobless. They end up losing self-confidence. Then hope. Worries about future life are constantly hitting them. And since they have too much time, worrying takes up a major part of life for them sometimes. Atleast the timeless ones dont have much time to even worry !

If, by some cruel twist of fate, you find yourself among the jobless, please find something productive to do.. (sorry, I really cant think of anything else to say). And if you're timeless, well, be happy you have a job atleast :) ..


(PS : Ppl, I have NOT been snoozzzing away on blogger :).. looks like it was a bit of 'bloggers block' that hit me.. hopefully im back on a posting spree now :) )

Sunday, May 3, 2009

SnooZZZ..

Ookay, here I am, back to the b'sphere after a nice long period of exams and deadlines. Back to the 'high life' for me. Not much of work pressure now, and waking up is getting so hard because I have been infected by the 'Snooze-flu' (Its more of a mind game than a disease :)). So often here's how a typical day starts for me :

8:50 am : Alarm 1 rings

"Whats that irritating sound? Oh, alarm 1 ofcourse. Purposely selected as the most annoying piece of 'music' among the available list of cacophonies in my cellphone... (Quickly switching off alarm 1) .. The limits of self-torture on myself I have to endure to wake up myself sometimeszzzz.."..

9.20 am : Alarm 2 starts blaring away

"Heey.. its barely 5 minutes since I stopped that last one.. (Take a look at watch) ... Ok maybe more than 5 mins, but too little anyway.. (Eyes barely open, hands working dextrously to disable A3) Anyway, my roomie Ravi is sleeping too, I think I should wait to see if the next alarm ringszzzz..."..

9.30 am : Alarm 3 shouts into my ears

"Ooh Gaawd.. Cant a man sleep in peace.. 5 more minutes.. Just 5 more minutes.. I think I'll sleep for 5 more minutesszzzz"..

|
(1.5 hours later)
|

11.00 am : Ravi shouting the time into my ears (along with a most unparliamentary choice of words that never fails to wake me up)

"What the $%@ is that !@#$ shouting?.. 11 ? What 11 ? (One eye opens to steal a gaze at the clock)

OH MY !@#s.. When did a 5 minutes nap turn into 1.5 hours ! Meeting deadline missed, I am soo screwed.. "



And there starts off my day :)..

Monday, April 6, 2009

The green post :)

This is a 'green' post that has been in Draft for long. Finally with Earth hour the environmentalist in me decided to publish it :)

On 28th of March the worldwide event called Earth hour was 'conducted' at 8.30 over several cities all over the world. An alien viewing the earth from a distance would (hopefully) observe a dark belt of 'lightlessness' moving across the globe from Japan to US. Many countries, notable India and China, lended support to the movement in terms of publicity and awareness. In India Aamir apparently campaigned for the movement in a big way. Infosys and some other firms had an earth hour at their offices. In Gods own country even, Trivandrum and Kochi apparently had a lot of EH support (though everyday in Kerala is practically an Earth hour day anyway :) )

EH is just a symbol. A gesture. And a warning. Wake up, humans.

Yes.. you.. who ridicule the guy out there who switches off lights because he's worried about the human race and you're not..

You, who dont give second thoughts about turning off your computer simply because its too inconvenient for you to reboot the comp the next day..

You, who wont speak out against unnecessary usage of plastic or paper because it seems unfashionable to be environmentalist..

You, who think the world is too big to run out of oil anytime soon, so why worry about the energy crisis or renewable energy?..

Theyre all among us. I may be one of them. You may be. Well, its time to change , to speak out and tell others too. Lack of awareness is often what leads people to being complacent when in comes to taking a bold step in saving the environment.

I have sometimes found myself ridiculed when I take a green step. 'What change could it make if you did this?' is what people may ask. So much that often I hide the raging environmentalist inside me who is actually longing to shout out loud "Losers.. dont you see.. its not just me who should be doing this.. its everyone of you.."

So here is the cliched part of my blog. Here are a few simple steps that we all can take. We've heard of some, not heard of some, yet we dont follow any of them. Maybe considering them a second time wont do any harm :-

1 Monitor at a time

Change the power settings in your computers to automatically switch off your screens if you're not using them for, say, 15 minutes or so. Make it hibernate or sleep if its not being used for a longer time. Monitors consume so much power that saving the power on monitors itself could bring down your bills by a lot.

2 Cycles is better than a car

Use public transport when possible. Dont be the lone guy taking the car out, treating yourself and yourself alone to gallons of petrol every year. If possible, switch to cycling or walking for smaller distances. Not only healthier for you, but for the environment too.

3 R's

The golden words. Reuse, reduce and recycle. Minimize your ecological footprint

4 my shopping, use my bag

Carry your own plastic bags or jute bags when you go for shopping somewhere.

5 star appliances

Heating and cooling appliances take up a lot of power that can be saved by a few simple steps. Make sure it has more energy stars so that it is energy efficient. Use sun-drying if its possible, try to insulate your heater to save on heat, and try to use your ACs only as much as needed and avoid overcooling or overheating.

6 CFLs make a sun

Wherever continuous usage is needed, replace an incandescent bulb with a CFL. A CFL may not be as durable as the normal bulb, especially if you turn it on and off more than 4 times a day. But the power saved is enormous, and the light quality is not too bad either.

7 (sorry, cant think of any ideas :) )

Start shifting to renewable energy slowly. In cities, Solar energy maybe our only option, and currently, may just be catching up in terms of price with the other power options. But this is the only way we can encourage renewable energy to come up, and the only way the economics of renewable energy can improve.

(Please excuse the really really really corny catch-lines. Results of a brain gone crazy in the night)

And last but not the least, be aware of environmental issues around you. Happenings and events. Try to help out at plant-a-tree sessions or the like. Or even if you dont, atleast dont discourage one from doing it :). What is needed for us to make a change is fear. A state of fear of our own extinction (ironically, the controversial Michael Crichton book deals with another view on the environmentalist issue :).. its truly worth a read)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ragam through blogs..

Ragam '09, my (ex)college cultural festival, ended yesterday with a bang. 3 big pro-shows, more events, and .. well.. sorry, I dont know any more stats :). Truly having lived upto the motto : "Every Ragam is the best until the next one"..

So the NITC blogosphere is springing to life with Ragam blogs everywhere.. the whole place is flooded with them.. heres a link to the ones I've read so far.. Should give anyone a better idea than a post by myself.

http://ragam09.blogspot.com/ : The official Ragam blog

http://angadsarena.blogspot.com/ : A good photo walkthrough

http://vinithavasanth.blogspot.com/

http://nitlife.blogspot.com/

http://harshaddesai.blogspot.com/

http://life-in-nitc.blogspot.com/

Woooah.. what just happened to the NITC blogging community, eh !

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth hour !

http://www.earthhour.com/

Today at 8.30 pm, you can vote Earth by switching off your lights, fans, ACs, Computers and whatever is possible, for one hour.

Sure, this gesture may not save us so much energy enough to save the world from impending doom, no. EH is more of a symbolic event than an attempt to save energy for an hour. You can save energy practically all throughout your life. By simply taking care of those small things that you often forget in your haste - turning off monitors.. putting your comps on hibernate.. switching off lights and fans..

Earth hour is more about the awareness. The faster we humans realize that we need to take bold steps before we become extinct altogether, the better.

So dont forget to turn off your lights at 8.30 !

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pre-Friday syndrome


In between catching my own zzz's at the back benches of another sleepy Probability class, I also manage to pursue my favorite classtime hobby : Sleeper-spotting.. On mobile blogger now.. Here are 4 of them caught fresh on cam :-)..

Thursday, March 19, 2009

And now, Open Knowledge !

Any one out there depressed you couldnt get an education at a reputed IIT or IISc ? Or for that matter, foreign world class universities like the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) or Stanford? Wait no more ! The concept of Open courseware coming up now is ensuring that the word 'Open' can be applied not only to software or hardware, but even academic knowledge.

Here are a few links for Open Courseware from some of the topmost universities in the world ! Apart from normal Engineering topics, even as diverse topics as languages, pure physics, modern physics (relativity, quantum mechanics), astronomy, geography, politics and humanities have been covered.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology : http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm
For specifically the Audio-Video courses, you should follow
http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/av/index.htm

The MIT ones are particularly good because of the video lectures available.. some of them are really great courses.


http://see.stanford.edu/see/courses.aspx



University of California Berkely : http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php

Yale University : http://oyc.yale.edu/


And last but not least, some of the best courses I've seen are from our very own

Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institute of Science Bangalore : http://www.youtube.com/profile_play_list?user=nptelhrd

All of the IIT courses are Video lectures and worth a watch if you're looking out for some course to learn more.


(Ofcourse, those of you who have escaped from the academic field and are enjoying life in your respective jobs now.. I think you'd better be looking at some sites like http://www.watch-movies.net/ :) )

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Greatest secret in the history of the world...

... has been revealed !

http://www.nitc.ac.in/nitc/Convocation_09/Final_Convo_Ad_6th_Feb_09_WEB_only1.pdf

NITC announces its convocation.. that too on a working day ! Voila !

Notice that they used 'Final Ad' for convo.. seems like theyre pretty sure of themselves this time.. what a joke :)

Whats more, its right after our Cultural festival Ragam, which means half the crowd will probably still be 'high' (ahem.. Chathamangalam is at a high altitude u know) when we reach there to grab our degrees...

(courtesy Brittz for most of the observations)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lingo or redefined language ?

We're entering that stage now, where we can truly be called 'Net'izens. We live on the Net. A daily dose of Google, Wikipedia, Youtube, and most importantly, Chat. 8 months ago, I used to chat like once every 2 weeks or so. Now I need a daily dose of G-chat, much to the point where I heard a joke the other day and said out 'LOL' instead of laughing !

Now you must be thinking, ROFL, right ? Or am I the only crazy one here?

A standard chat text might be like something below :

Me : hi man.. ssup.. u in lab nw?
Friend : s.. ssup..
.
.(a long chat ensues)
.
Me : k thn man, gtg
Friend : k.. cya l8r :)
Me : K, bye, gn, tc, sd :)
Friend : gn

Ok, I found just THREE normal English words in there !

Now I really wonder.. is this lingo? Or a whole new language by itself? We could name it Internet English, or 'Intlish'. If the Net is a place where we live, then this bunch of 3 lettered words are surely a language. A language that is now permeating everywhere. A language that I live on so much that my thought process tends to follow Intlish now. And dont u ppl rofl out there.

And not to speak of smileys. They are a whole new different story. I cant resist putting a smiley after every single sentence now, be it a :-), :-P or :-/.. that i get so tired of it. I even use it in blogposts nowadays ! :). No wonder all Chat messengers keep introducing new smileys, environments, themes, and what not.. New ideas towards the makings of a true customizable cyber chat world.

Well I'm not really happy or sad for it. Chat has allowed me to socialize beyond my wildest dreams. I wont say close friends shouldnt chat, but they definitely shouldnt replace face- to- face conversations with chats. Chats bring a sort of 'Internet distance' that can never replace the closeness of a face to face conversation.

So lets not forget the good old and more human way of 'speaking' to communicate :)

Neways.. Signing off.. cya ppl l8r.. bfn..

Monday, March 2, 2009

Going Mobile !

My first post on my Mobile! Im totally jobless in a boring desolate class of adaptive signal processing.. Moody Monday strikes again..

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting a tan at Bintan...

Bintan Island a small island in the Indian Ocean, one of many that make up Indonesia. Cheap, exotic, lots of water and located outside Singapore. More than enough reason for 8 of us jobless souls to choose Bintan Island for the weekend.

So we decided to set out in the morning (yes, we do see mornings sometimes :) ) of Saturday. It was a rush from NTU to catch the Ferry to Bintan from Tanah Merah terminal. The ferry ride in itself was beautiful and worth it. We had our own space on the open upper deck with the sea around us and wind in our faces, the smell of salty water combining with cigarette smoke from those around us. The 2 hours flew by in talk and smoke, and before we knew it, we were in Tanjung Pinang terminal in Bintan.

'Immigration' was not more than a girl in a cubicle stamping our passports without giving a second look. We got out quickly, where our transportation took us to Nostalgia Yasin Bungalow, our base and place of stay for the rest of the trip.

Nostalgia was a simply beautiful place. Placed right by the beach side, and right next to its sister resort Agro Bintan resort, Nostalgia gives one the full freedom to enjoy cheap accomodation rates and access to wonderful water sport activities from Agro at the same time. The bungalows were spacious too, and had a beautiful view to the sea.

After a heavy lunch (buurp) we immediately jumped into the water sports. A boat from Agro Bintan took us to a nearby island, where we went into the surrounding sea with our snorkels and lifejackets. The surrounding sea was comparitively shallow, and had a lot of coral reefs which were a beautiful sight to behold as we went snorkelling deeper into the sea, apart from occasionally spotting rare types of fishes and sea plants. The island itself was nothing much to explore except its jungles (which we dint dare delve further into). After rounds of beach volleyball and taking pics, after the sun had tanned us several shades darker, we decided to head back to Nostalgia.

In the evening we decided to explore the city of Tanjung Pinang. Unfortunately, it was'nt much of an exploration. After going through Ramayana Mall and Bintan Mall, we just drove along the busy streets. The streets, shops and general city structure reminded me greatly of India, especially Kerala.

We got back to have a 'high' dinner at Agro Bintan. Lost count of the orders(well who can count when you're flying sky high). That bill also went equally sky high, by the way. Walked (staggered) back to our resort and had a nice lie-down by the beach, before we retreated back to our 'bungalows'.

Sunday was also full of water sports. The 'Flying fish' and 'Banana boat' kept us roaring on the top of our lungs while we were pulled through water at super high speeds. Kayaking was also an adventure, especially when a few kayaks capsized and we had to push the kayaks all the way back and then it got tiring :). Few more rounds of beach volley. Then it was back to resort to freshen up before lunch. The lunch was truly a phenomenon. Indonesian seafood cuisine, not only does it taste good, they do know how to make it look that way. Coconut water was literally flowing over the place by the time we were done. I even found a satisfying vegetarian item called Cap-Cay(on left) which towards the end I realized was not exactly vegetarian :(.

Shopping at the souvenir shop was a marathon. Settling the bill was even worse. Ultimately we forced ourselves out of the shop with stuff worth a few million Indonesian Rupiah (the Rupiah is highly inflated, so u end up talking in millions most of the time). Finally it was time to bye bye. We settled the bills (which has still not settled into us yet) and went back to catch the ferry to Singapore.

2 days later, we settled the accounts. It took 3 hours, 20 phone calls, 3 excel sheets, 4 accountants and a lot of 'approximations' to do. After all, we're all Engineers. By the time we looked at the total amount though, a Doctor is who we needed. Well, so much for a 'cheap' holiday :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Naan Kada-fool ?

Ok, so I made one more mistake that was worth it. I watched it - the Bala film that everyone was apparently talking about. As expected, 'Naan Kadavul', the latest 'hot movie on the stands', was not upto my expectations (was that self-contradictory?). Plot? What plot? It was'nt exactly the kind of movie that leaves you with the satisfaction of having finished a book, or seeing an action movie in which the hero kills them all in the end and saves the heroine (pun intended, for those who have watched the movie)..

But all that said and done.. So what? If you're looking for change, I say go watch it ! Just make sure you dont come out shouting 'Kadavuleeeee' at the end of it :).

'Disturbing' is how Naren described it first to me. And that.. what I felt throughout the movie.. was the biggest enjoyment. The scenes with the beggars - the suffering of the poorest level of society - was truly path breaking, and what one should expect of a director who dares to explore. The new faces in the cast - the disabled, deformed, impoverished and I should say, scary new faces - they have really done it. Whether it came from the bottom of their heart because its what they live out or not, the beggars in the movie truly bring the emotions on. And let's not go back to the 'Slumdog millionaire' debate of denigrating India's status or anything now. Cos those guys deserve the kudos.

Ok, then what is 'Naan Kadavul' really about? Aghori Hindus? I dont really think so. The lead character comes out more as a madman to me than representative of a sect. (You should check out the loincloth scenes, they might actually leave u laughing in the most serious part of the movie). A confrontation with the 'Religion' question ? Not really.. As everyone else before him has done, Mr. Director is going around the question, rather. Safer option for him. Showing the plight of the poor? Sorry, this wasnt exactly a documentary. No wonder Arya himself had to stand on top of his head, figuring out what his role was all about :)

So NK is just about the scenes. A set of awesome scenes that unfortunately do not make up a whole. Beggar girl Puja's amazing performance. Arya's ganja puffs and occasional Blah-blahs in Hinskritamil (combo of all the languages as and when he chooses to) that are delivered as if to imply a deeper philosphical meaning attached to them. Ilayaraja's beautiful music, both foreground and background, that give a, shall we say, doomsday feel to the movie. And as I mentioned before, the well depicted plight of the underpriveleged, if you're not sick enough of seeing it already. And somehow all these are mixed up somehow in an unrealistic way to bring together a plot.

So after all that review, if you ask me "whats the point of watching the movie", I'll reply with a PJ. No point. A point is an intersection of 2 lines. NK is just a bunch of parallel lines that are never supposed to meet. But if u enjoy seeing the lines go to infinity, well watch on.. (Kadavuleee.. Kaapaathungo..:D )

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brief History of Assignment-writing

After Hari Shankers release of the Bootstrap Video (worth a watch), I couldnt help but revive some of the old college memories again. An NITC version of how the Art of assignment writing has evolved through the ages.

Year : 1
Scenario : Any assignment

Anyone knows that the students are at their most dumbest studious best in the first year at college. Thats when the teachers scares of "No copying..." and "Plagiarisation will be severely punished" are at their most effective. The select brilliant few, who realise that assignments are just another useless routine in Engineering, wait for the remaining to toil it out and make their original copies.

Original copies are about 40-50 % of the total submitted. The remaining 50% even is well-modified by the poor copying soul who imagines what his life will be if a professor sits and compares his assignment to that of the class topper. Sometimes, grammatical mistakes are purposely introduced to make the paper look like a genuine copy (excuse the pun)

Year : 2
Scenario : ECT assignment 5

The whole class is dumbfounded on how to attack the assignment. Original copies are so far zero. The only hope is the God of S3 EEE, Sheddy (expanded as S.Kumar Reddy), who is rumoured to be the only one who understood Electric Circuit Theory after Einstein and Newton. The submission date is 24 hours away.

Unknown sources rumour that the God has come up with an original creation. Photostats are flying around B hostel, with a familiar neat and clear handwriting that could only belong to Him who hath understood all (in ECT). Soon a tree structure of copying is developed - the original, situated around the B-220 area, spreads its copies through multiple individuals, whose assignment copies (literally, copies) are then taken to rooms B-218, 312, 304, and and so on. Some of the copy centres are located in the common room, where 6 people at once can copy an assignment.

Next day : No one missed the submission. 67 guys submitted the exact same copy of Sheddy's assignments in their own handwritings, without understanding a shit in ECT. Abru, truly desperate, submitted a Xerox copy of the original Sheddy assignment and added his own name!

Result : The professor sure as hell found out. He knew where the original was, that sly fox. A mention was made in class, but the true revenge was taken in the Sessionals exam, when most of the questions came from the assignment mentioned.

65 guys failed the sessionals, with the class average 4 out of 20 (thats 20%). The only one (apart from Sheddy ofcourse) who managed to rummage a double digit figure was Naren (11 on 20). Myself hit rock bottom with life's worst performance ever : 2 on 20.

Year : 3
Scenario : Control systems assignment

The protocol of assignment copying has been established. The mechanism is now almost polished. Originals for the CS assignment come from 3 sources : E-hostel (where God resides), LH (where the second topper Donna resides), and one from anywhere in C tops or D bottoms.

My (and Donnas) job as Class Reps, meanwhile, is to extend the deadline by any means possible. Not so easy. Techniques ranging from Oscar award winning acting performances to short story telling has to be employed.

Next day : First 2 hours in S5 EEE class are exceptionally silent. All the students seem to be studiously taking down notes. Only a closer observation by a prof would reveal that the 'notes' were being taken down on sheets of A4 paper, and had the curious words 'Assignment' written on them . Luckily, the deadline is extended by a few hours (whew) to 5 pm. By 4 pm, the whole class is busy writing away whatever sheets they may find. Needless to say, there are a lot of submission entries at 5 pm.

No one missed the deadline, again.

Year : 4
Scenario : Instrumentation Systems (IS)

IS (no pun) was truly the most useless subject in EEE. The IS assignment deadline is on Friday, but not a soul is aware of it, including the (ahem) supposedly-well-informed Class Rep, yours truly.

9 am : News arrives from prof that the deadline is Friday(today) noon 3 pm. Number of original copies in EEE: One.

Technology is immediately put to use. The branch scanner, located in F-318 (Burghu's room), is used to scan Donna's original assignment onto F-Lan. Thereby, the procedure is simple. Download from Burghu's comp (which also stores other, ahem, interesting stuff). Copy onto A4 sheet. Meanwhile, my job is to inform the branch that an original has been scanned onto the LAN, and all students in S8-EEE are to immediately copy the assignment before 2.50 pm and submit to my room.

2.55 pm : There are 67 copies of the same assignment lying in my room.
3 pm : I rush. Assignment deadline is met.

No one missed the deadline. No one ever does. And yea, anyone mention the word Plagiarism ? Where would we 'Engineers' be without it ?

(PS : The 'GOD' of original sources, S. Kumar Reddy, went on to top the All-India GATE examination later that year. After helping 67 electrical engineers pass out of NITC, he is currently churning out assignment originals in IISc Bangalore. )

Friday, February 6, 2009

This Link had come some time ago on Wikipedia..

An appeal from Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales

Now thats some not so good news eh..

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(Mis)adventures at Thenmala

Here's a misadventure of a trip that came to pass in the middle of my short break in God's Own Country. [Coudl'nt resist putting up a photo walkthrough with my own pics either :P]


So 5 of us cousins set out to Thenmala, an eco - adventure tourist destination somewhere in Kollam. We were inspired by the beautiful pics on the website and an article in the Yaathra magazine that fired us up with enthusiasm about adventure laden treks and activities. Little did we know that Kerala tourism is sometimes a bigger letdown than even the worst Mallu movies.


The information counter was pretty informative, allright, except he failed to mention that the only 'adventure' in this place would be trying to find anything adventurous at all. So, grabbing a few tickets and thanking God we were not 'international tourists', we set out for the 'adventure' zone.





The 'walkway' was a beautiful sight, in fact it was a pic similar to the one on the right that started off the Thenmala plan.


When we reached the 'rock-climbing', unfortunately, we received our first shock.A small 10 metre rock stood in front of us, with a signboard saying

"Feeling adventurous? Try this.. You are safe in professional hands.. " .

Yaa right ! It was safe allright. 10 metres. If its safe, then wheres the adventure, dude ?

Anyways, enthusiasm unbeaten, we proceeded through the 'natural trail' (a small kachcha road through the woods) to a small lake, which was supposed to be the centre of the remaining 'adventure'. The lake was beautiful allright.


But the rest of the let-downs came quickly in succession. The 'ropeway' was nothing but a small piece of rope around 20 metres long for people to hang on and cross. The 'spider net' was a rope net that we used to play on as kids, or find in theme parks. 'Flying fox' and 'freedom fall' were worse than they sounded even, you dont even want to guess what they really were.

After the adventure zone letdown, though, the 'leisure zone' turned out to be better. It was a beautiful area. The view of the dam and the river was breathtaking.There was a trail through the small forest area, with all sorts of 'modern sculpture' in between. The 'modern art' was so abstract (read as 'corny'), they had to give us a pamphlet explaining what each one meant. Some were as foolish as a man holding a ball, and a long crappy explanation to follow it. The type of bullshit we write in our History exams. Probably some engineer after 4 years of bullshitting in his exams, decided to find a job in tour-packaging instead of coding in C++. The pic on the right though, was one of my favorite ones. Its called Meditation - it signifies that man should 'keep aside' his 5 senses to attain salvation (and u can see how the 5 'senses' are 'kept aside' in the sculpture, literally)

More sculpture photos follow.
















That last one means "Why try to attain pleasures you cannot reach (the moon on top) while you have simple pleasures of life within your own hands (the moons reflection in the girls hand)".

The rest of the story was scenery. The walk along the dam and river, the garden and the 'boardwalk' (we prefer to call it bored-walk) are better seen through the pics than words.












Finally, wondering whether to kill the Yaathra magazine writer, bomb the Thenmala ecotourism society, or sue Kerala tourism authority for what they'd done, we were on our way home faster than we hoped to be. And that signpost. Theres one that will still leave me in splits of laughter and anger together.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy blogday to me!

Looong time no blog.. so this one is out of pure desperation to blog.. in the last 2 weeks I've been over thousands of kilometres, home, college, relatives, friends, and back to Nanyang tech. In 2 weeks I've been through so many different worlds that sometimes this world seems completely out of place to be. And now, finally, somehow it seems dramatic that the first time I get to blog in this year should be on my birthday too !

Had a nice celebration, thanks to a great bunch of loving friends here. My mind really went back
to my 21st bday 2 years ago. 2 years ago, I started this blog. That was Calicut. And now here I am.

Celebrations... make u feel happy for living. I wonder how would it be if everyday was a birthday for me. If everyday I could wake up feeling happy for having lived and still going on.

After all the usual birthday dose of kicks, cakes and calls, I came back to my room and comp, to good old G-chat, and I saw this on my friends status message :

"You are dying slowly... If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain. If you do not go after a dream. If you do not allow yourself, atleast once in your lifetime, to run away from sensible advise..."

So I've decided. Time to fix some priorities. Take decisions about things I really wanted to do. Photography, music, travelling, exploring.. the list may be impossible and endless. But theyre MY dreams.

So time for me to go after my dreams. And let the 'sensible' advise go to the trash can...