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Matrix-Ec(o)mm 2007: The First Trophy Rolls In…

By on Aug 25, 2007 in Personal, Tech Takes | 5 comments

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Mount St Mary’s School held it’s annual tech / economics symposium Matrix-Ecomm 2007 on 24-25th August 2007. Here’s the welcome notice that all the schools got to see for two whole days…


Unlike last time, their shitty one-person-one-event wasn’t there this year. Thanks to Abhishek Nandkumar? Too bad he didn’t do it last year when he himself was the president of Matrix. Anyway, the event wasn’t as biased this year, unlike last year when in the quiz event all the answers had been leaked to Convent of Jesus and Mary. Apparently, I heard from them this year that the guy who leaked it last year was stripped (of his post, that is); so this year since nobody wanted to to be stripped (pun intended), no partiality was done.

In short, the Code Warriors won. Overall winners. Period. Last year, Extras Unlimited were the winners. So here are the trophies we got – one’s a running trophy (‘rotating’, according to Abhimanyu), and the other’s for keeps. With this, the CW opens up their overall trophy account for this year…


Exun’s Code Warriors’ Matrix 07 trophies

Note: The good stuff is towards the end. Scroll to towards the end of the post, the part about the quiz finals if you don’t wanna know the rest of the shit.

Day 1: 24th August
My net was down and out for a few days, so I hadn’t been able to coordinate with the other guys on the symposium team (Vivek and Karthick) on making the presentation. So I did the content stuff, while Vivek was doing the visuals. That morning, we were thus sitting in the Internet lab, furiously putting the final stuff together. It didn’t help that everyone’s chatter around me was getting on my nerves, so a few screams from me and Waris’ cajoling later everyone else except Vivek and Waris were sent off to wait outside. Sorta got the whole thing together, and rushed off to the bus, only to find…[clenches teeth]…the driver had gone off…[breaks pencil held in hand]…to drink tea. He eventually came around, and cheerfully told us to move to some other bus, because this one ‘had a habit of breaking down’. He went off for another cuppa, and some CW folks got down to tracing the teacher who was supposed to go with us. Finally, we set off around 8.30am…

Reached MSM around the time registration was about to be closed down. No bloody unity in CW team then, cuz some shouted ’42’ while getting off the bus, while others said ‘Kevin’. Furiously filling in the registration form, I was asking for someone to hand me over the pen drive we were supposed to submit for the symposium. Nobody did, and with our teacher (and a few from MSM) standing right there, I shouted out “Where the f*** is the bl***y pen drive?”. The teacher(s) seemed to be right on the verge of slapping me right there, but it didn’t happen.

Group discussion, we didn’t qualify. Amritanshu had gone for it, and instead of having a normal GD, they turned it into a debate by giving students specific sides to take on a topic. That’s dumb.

In programming, apparently too many schools had turned up (42? – and ha, take THAT Akshay :p ). They came up with a snap elimination round with two questions for which the teams had to write the logic. Our team wrote the coding for the first one, but quite foolishly, wrote the second one in *plain English*. Bad decision call. But guess what, they’d asked the MSM folks whether coding / flowchart was required, and they’d said no. The same people later disqualified them for the English thing. Then again, I heard some team was disqualified for using the PC, but some other teams were told to use it. Strange. It seemed almost as if they simply wanted to use any reason at all to simply eliminate teams to a number small enough to handle

Gaming – Abhimanyu qualified for the finals. Digital imaging, Arjun and Soumit came up with something good, but a hot chick from Sanskriti walked away with first while we had to settle for second.

Symposium up next – and I hadn’t even prepared my speech. Couldn’t concentrate in the bus. I anyway can’t speak when I prepare – I like to do stuff extempore. Anytime I think up stuff beforehand I screw it up, so I had a bad feeling about the symposium. Tried making something up, but Karthick couldn’t stop laughing whenever I said the title of my first slide ‘What The FUCK Is Social Networking’ (that was the topic BTW, well, minus the WTF). We gave it up, and I decided to go in directly for to the stage.

I was third in order, and since our group had been going around, ahem, observing avians on campus, I hadn’t heard the rules. I went up, gave a pretty good speech when the bell rung after a few minutes. I was gonna start the last slide when it did, and I was like ‘Shit, time’s up’. I wrapped it right there, only to find it was supposed to be a 15-seconds-before-speech-time-is-up warning bell. Strike two. Strike one was when I fumbled a bit on an earlier slide Opened to interjections, and this DPS RKP girl starts off with one on security. I started to reply when she squeaked and said she had more. Ended up giving a speech herself. I responded to her first question pretty well, but by the time I’d done, I’d forgotten her second question. Asked her to repeat, and apparently she’d forgotten it herself, so it was ok. Next was someone from St Thomas’ who didn’t know that people are supposed to speak loudly even when using a mic. She practically gave me the same question, which I answered well again. I happened to be the only one who mentioned Web 2.0 though.

Pathetic setup though, because economics and tech topics were mixed in the event? So how can a judge who doesn’t know a field mark participants giving a presentation in a field they don’t know? Beats me.

DPS RKP came up with this shitty presentation in PowerPoint with action buttons (ugh!) and a ‘home page’, to which they had to go back to after every slide. They came up with something on social networking and security. They also thought social networking only meant ‘Orkut’ – because that’s all they spoke about. What’s more, he was *reading* the stuff out! Sheesh! Here’s the sorta stuff their speaker said:

I went on to Orkut one day, and found someone had created a fake profile of me.

What does he think he is? Tom Cruise? Why would anyone make a fake profile for him? It was obviously
made up, and gimmicky. RKP then moved on to their screenshots section.

As you can see here, and as I was shocked to see, these social networking only have a drop-down box to choose age. No verification at all!

What does he want? That social networking sites should only activate accounts after people go their head office and display their passport / CBSE Board marksheet?

Other Web 2.0 sites like PayPal and eBay have better verification procedures.

PayPal and eBay are Web 2.0? Isn’t that stretching the ‘user-generated content’ definition of Web 2.0 too far? And someone tell him that PayPal and eBay are NOT, repeat, NOT social networking websites.

For example, eBay has defined procedures on product returns – there are strict policy guidelines returns that are implemented. This is not so with social networking sites.

I’m not giving this out of context. That’s what he said. What does he want? That if he finds a date on Orkut (that’s the only networking site, apparently) and she doesn’t turn out to be hot enough, then he wants a refund / compensation from Orkut according to ‘strict policy guidelines’?

Pretty bad stuff actually. I respect RKP for the amazing show they put up at all places, but this one was pathetic.

Day 2: 25th August
Left late from school, because there was a tiff between Govinda and a hosteller of ours who was going for an eco event. Of course, I mean ‘school library assistant’ when I say ‘Govinda’. Others had already reached, and were getting hysterical that we hadn’t. Rushed off for the quiz, hadn’t started. There were 30 questions, tech stuff was pretty easy, but the eco parts were good. Except for paper formatting, where they got all lowercase / uppercase / punctuation wrong. There were a few questions in which we gave funny answers, although I’ve no idea whether the paper checkers got them or not. Sample these:

SEBI puts restrictions that anyone holding a 15-75% stake in a company can only increase this at a small pace. What is this called?
Our answer: The 42th Rule

Who was Hewlett-Packard’s first customer?
Our answer: Jenna Jameson Abhishek Nandkumar (www.xabhishek.com)

Which company planned to sell items for 5 cents to soldiers around the world during World War II?
Our answer: Pfizer (to sell Viagra) Kendriya Bhandar

Anyway, we had fun. Music event, they’d given a song rearranged and it had to be put back together in the right order. Eeshan and Vivek didn’t win in that. Logo Quiz, again, we didn’t win. Economics crossword, same, no podium. We WERE dejected about our overall chances then though.

Gaming, Abhimanyu came second. It was either that or first – because in the final round there were only two people. FIFA in the finals, and Abhimanyu isn’t a guy who plays that game much – lost 6-2; but we got a trophy to feel cheerful about.

And then, we got to know we’d come second in web designing. Arjun made the site, and Feroze had presented it. Might’ve come first, except for the fact that the site logo, a PNG file, didn’t load on their ancient IE5.

Quiz was the best. We were second in the prelims, second behind DPS RKP (Manas Gautam’s team). The other teams were New Era (Prateek V’s team), and Montfort (Mridul’s team). On stage, we had some good AND bad questions.

What are PowerPC, Itanium and x86-64 types of?
Correct answer (which Montfort gave): Processor architectures
Quizmaster (QM): No, it’s supercomputers.

I knew from that point on that they didn’t know their tech. Here’s another one:

Connect: Alienware, Turbo PC and Ubonto Linux

A surprised quizmaster was later asking me why I was laughing like made then. BTW, the above question was for DPS RKP, they didn’t get it. The answer’s Dell. Can someone tell me the download site for Ubonto (NOT Ubuntu) please?

Eco questions were damn good though. Then Manas got a question.

QM: Which corporation made the game Half-Life 2?
Manas: Valve. Valve! VALVE!!!
QM [fumbling with quiz cards]: [Repeats question]
Manas [flustered]: Do you want the developer or the publisher?
QM: I want the corporation.
Manas: Sierra Studios
QM: Wrong answer. It’s Valve.

That got Manas pissed off a lot. To put it in his words, he looked as if he ‘wanted to bash up that guy, and then shoot him dead, all while eating lollipop ice-cream with one hand’ – except for the fact that he never does that stuff. He was reduced to bunching his eyebrows together instead. End of the quiz, we came first. There was a tie for second, so they came up with a bloody 20-line long tie-breaker question that we couldn’t help but say ‘Pardon please’ for fun. In fact, me and the team were laughing throughout the quiz, me doing it into the mic and providing a background soundtrack for the audience. The guy holding the mic told he’d disqualify us if he kept on laughing. It didn’t help, and broke out into another round of hyena-mirth from us. Montfort came second, BTW.

Manas’ MY quiz trophy

Prize ceremony started, we went on stage and took our quiz trophies; they turned out to be the ones for second position. Meanwhile, Montfort had gone on stage and there was a major fiasco with them looking frantically stage. We finally sorted that out by telling we had it.

Time for final results. After bagging quite a few trophies, DPS Vasant Kunj was called on receive the overall winners trophy. All of us went on stage, chanting ‘Valve. Valve! VALVE!!!’ the whole way. Even on stage. Manas’ face changed color to match that of his green shirt. Then we were getting off…and the announcer started calling out:

Now we have the overall runners up. I call on stage DPS…[Manas gets up]…Mathura Road! [Manas turns into a deeper shade of the color]

It’s a running trophy, and guess what we find inside – a form of the DPS RKP Estate Office describing when they they got it, when it was to be returned, etc. We all took that along to Manas, who was fuming at the back of the auditorium and gave him that chit.

Manas, you seem to have lost something. Here it is. It’s all right, you can keep it, we don’t need it.

To be fair, Manas Gautam is a really good quizzer and I’m sure he’ll be an amazing Exun president. What pissed the CW team off though has been his excessive arrogance at earlier events – boy do I remember his PJs after MINET 2007. No hard feelings dude, if you’re reading this – cuz I’ve nothing at all against you. Just wanted to remind you there’s no need to be nasty at events.

Ah well, so the Code Warriors get their first overall trophy at Matrix 2007. Funny that it should be at an event Anshul (our ex-Pres) never wanted to come for again because of its partiality towards Loreto / Carmel / CJM / St Thomas. This year though, I’d have to say Matrix was pretty good (even their refreshments).

PS – You might want to read Arjun’s post about it, or Vivek’s (day 1day 2)



5 Comments

  1. Abhishek Nandakumar

    August 25, 2007

    Post a Reply

    Ok, now I feel like kicking the guy who made those banners.

    That really spoilt my day.

    What happened to all those banners we’d spent thousands on?

    I don’t like modern art, specially in such formal events.

  2. Abhishek Nandakumar

    August 26, 2007

    Post a Reply

    BTW, my surname is spelt “Nandakumar” and not “Nandkumar”.

    You made a typo too!

  3. Prateek

    August 26, 2007

    Post a Reply

    Congrats to the CW Team!!!!!!!!
    They really did well……And congrats to u for winning the quiz – Ur post said it all……U shud have looked at Manas – when they said and the runner’s up trophy goes to – ……….DPS…….Mathura Road….
    Anyways, lots of drama in the quiz finals…and it wasn’t very well organised – Though some qns were good…

    Prateek

  4. Arjun Attam

    August 26, 2007

    Post a Reply

    ‘wanted to bash up that guy, and then shoot him dead, all while eating lollipop ice-cream with one hand’
    LOL.

    And we should have added ‘se’. I hope you get what I mean.

  5. GQ

    August 26, 2007

    Post a Reply

    @Abhi: Hey, told ya. And there were no proper banners, all this handwritten stuff only. And oops, sorry for the typo! :) I guess me and MSM are level then, eh? ;)

    @Prateek: Thanks. Yes, the quiz was good only in bits and pieces.

    @Arjun: LMAO

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