Sunday, September 30, 2007

A day of catastrophes

The day before yesterday, at 11 PM, Visu, Vinod, Sunil and I at last reached at a consensus and decided to go to Hindustan Engineering college to attend their CSE symposium. The next morning we had two bikes amongst ourselves, and we were four in number, so off we went. Vinod went off on his bike taking Sunil along with him, while I drove Visu on Sunil's bike. This rather complicated arrangement came into being because Sunil does not have a license, and had lost his LLR. Bravo!

And so it was that I found myself on a Pulsar, barreling down the Medavakkam-Sholinganallur connecting road at a 100kmph, when suddenly the machine started making funny noises, Thwack, thwack, thump, clump, kwoing, vrooooom, dzzzz..., pitched back and forth and stalled. Presto, we were left in the middle of nowhere with a bike without petrol, 7kms from any civilization, and 11kms from the nearest petrol bunk. So much for Sunil's promises claiming that the bike had enough petrol to last the distance despite being in reserve. And so, Visu and I started pushing the bike, while Vinod and Sunil went off in search of a petrol bunk ahead. We'd trudged along for nearly three kilometers and the Mohammed Sathak College buildings were just peeping up above the horizon, when Vinod and Sunil returned with a bottle of (life-saving) petrol. We poured it in using our hands as a funnel, and at last the bike started up. Phew.

Again we started off, and the rest of the drive was uneventful, and we managed to reach the place in one piece. There we found that the opening ceremony was only now winding to a close despite a major part of the day having gotten over. We registered, waited out the boring speeches to end, and made our way to the auditorium where the quiz was being held. The prelims involved a powerpoint presentation with 30 questions, and many of the questions had options and stuff like that. Not only that, the prelims were conducted in batches, all of them having the same sets of questions. Brilliant. A couple of teams wrote the prelims twice, and yet only one of them managed to qualify. The other team managed to get into the finals by replacing another team that'd gone off to do the debugging finals. We got into the finals pretty much legally, having written the prelims only once. The finals were crappier than the prelims because we were needed to debug programs, write code, answer questions from documentaries on operating systems, and asnwer rapidfire technical questions. Well, they are perfectly justified in asking questions of their choice, its their show. But there shouldn't have been so much disparity between the type of questions asked in the prelims, and the finals. If we'd known, we'd have forfeited the quiz and walked out, and would have attended the other events, for whose finals we'd qualified without any hassles.

Ultimately the quiz involved a tie for the first place between the Sairam team and the Loyola team, and things nearly broke out into fistfights, what with the Loyola team not understanding the tie-breaker's rules that were being held, and when at last a tie-breaker was held that was acceptable to all parties was held, the Sairam fellow won it, and we had a clear winner, with the Loyola team leaving in a huff. Earlier Visu and I had lost in the finals of the networking challenge, and while I was in the quiz finals with Sunil, he and Vinod lost the debugging. They managed to salvage a third place in the web-designing, for which they received 300Rs worth gift voucher giving you treatment at some beauty salon, and no certificate.

And so we screamed back into Tambaram and gate-crashed into Krishna's home and bugged him till it was pretty late, and then we all went home.

Yours catastrophically,
Sundar.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I conducted a quiz!!

I just returned home after conducting a quiz at college. It was um... not a success, but an average performance...

17 teams had registered, out of which only 5 turned up. Our college showed its brilliance by sending two classes to an IV on the day of an intra college cultural. Meanwhile we received news that each event should definitely have 6 finalists. We were at a loss as to what to do. We tried going and calling those buggers from their respective classes, but the guys had all common sense and had stayed at home, while an all girls team claimed to be working for the symposium, while all they were doing was staring at the windows desktop.

So, ultimately we ended up calling a few of them furtive second years who'd cut class and were roaming around, gave them answer sheets, and started off with the damn prelims thing. I think I set it a little too easy, having underestimated my college.

We selected six of them buggers and conducted the finals. Raja Deepak and Navneeth and Rafi were among the finalists. Finals went well, except for that part were we forgot to call the staff incharge to the event, and actually called him only halfway through. Luckily he happens to be a really nice and easy going person, and he didnt hold anything against us. This man is an example of a really educated person...

The Mech guys came first, IT second, Raja and Co. third.
A few people said the quiz was good with a grimace. Most others averted their faces.
Not bad for the first time eh?

Credit for my quiz must be given to Krishna, Vinod, Visu, Hari, Harish, Sriram, Seshu, Mahesh, and Vijay, from whose quizzes I stole questions. Well, ordinary artists copy, great artists steal.

Credit must also be given to Prashanth, who was invaluable in his support he rendered to me. We both sat and finished off the quiz without even meeting up once. Hail internet! Sathish also deserves mention for being my faithful powerpoint operator.

May the Force be with you.

Sundar.