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The Official Computer Bowl Trivia Book

By on Jun 23, 2014 in On A Whim | 3 comments

Stumbled upon this excellent resource for tech quizzers called The Official Computer Bowl Trivia book through Paul Ford on Twitter. Bear in mind this was released in 1996 so some parts of it may be outdated. Can’t wait for the next Code Wars I conduct with questions inspired from here!

Exun 2013

By on Dec 4, 2013 in Tech Takes | 3 comments

This weekend, I was at Exun 2013, one of Delhi’s biggest computer technology symposiums (along with Code Wars). Having been a participant at the event for many, many years it felt nice to be back as a judge at Exun and meet so many bright kids into technology. I signed on for Exun when DPS RK Puram’s HoD, Mr Mukesh Kumar, got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago about conducting the junior quiz, senior quiz, and crossword. I expected nothing short of the best teams at this event, hence why I knew I needed to put in extra effort to ensure the tradition of Exun’s event standards were maintained. It was an amazing – and tiring – experience to conduct the three events, but I loved every minute of it. Raghav Khullar helped me build the question archive for all events, and Exun members / Mukesh sir helped me with organisational logistics at every stage. And with that, I present the archives for Exun 2013: Junior Quiz: Prelims (PDF, ~370 KB); Finals (PDF, ~3.3 MB) Crossword: Prelims (opens in a new window); Finals (opens in a new window) n.b. I’m aware of an error in the one question in the finals, where the answer should have been “SILKROAD” and not “SILKROUTE” Senior Quiz: Prelims (PDF, ~680 KB); Finals (ZIP, ~6.7 MB) n.b. I had to use PPTX for the finals presentation decks because it contains embedded media. Hope the teams enjoyed the quizzes and the crossword. Feedback appreciated! :) This slideshow requires...

Code Wars 2013

By on Oct 26, 2013 in On A Whim | 15 comments

I think one of my biggest legacies in Delhi is that I have gotten a generation of kids into Douglas Adams. That’s 42 in binary, 42 times. I love this idea of sneaking it past the school! After watching ‘Gravity’ with the Code Warriors I went back to my school this week after two years to help out my erstwhile computer club, the Code Warriors, with our annual technology competition Code Wars. The 2013 edition saw participation from 30 schools with over 500 participants. The last one of these that I’d attended was Code Wars 2010, and I had no idea when this year’s event would be taking place. I only stumbled across it by accident on Wednesday this week (the event was on Thursday and Friday) when I saw a Facebook event for it, and got a message from our computer department’s head. Naturally, I signed on right away to help out! I came away very impressed by the quality of the show put on by both the Code Warriors team and the participants. The level of competition was excellent, and indeed, in the few events that I judged and/or conducted, it was often tough to make a decision. Kudos to the participants! What I truly enjoyed, though, was conducting the Senior Quiz finals. This has been my core event for years now, and my philosophy in designing it has always been to create questions where participants might just have the answers on the tip of their tongue – but need to go that extra mile to figure out what the answer is. And you can check out the different events for yourself by downloading the following below: Senior Quiz: Prelims (PDF, ~360 KB), Finals (PPTX, ~12.5 MB; I had to use an Office format as all audio-visual questions are embedded for playback in the presentation) Junior Quiz: Prelims (PDF, ~360 KB), Finals (PDF, ~1.25 MB) Crossword: Finals (opens in a new window) Many thanks to Raghav Gaur, Yash Goel, Tosshaan Thapar, Pulkit Jaiswal for helping out with making the Senior Quiz finals. (Those are the names I know contributed for sure, so in case I’ve missed any name out my apologies!) Raghav and Yash also get full credit for making the questions for the other events available for download here. It’s funny seeing how pervasive Douglas Adams is still in Delhi’s quizzing circles. I consider it my biggest legacy here, but at least I’ve influenced a fair few people into reading one of the amazing series’ of books ever. :D Do give me feedback on what you think about the...

Shoutouts for some lovely people

By on Sep 11, 2011 in On A Whim | 18 comments

I wanted to do a few quick shoutouts for some lovely people, wrap them up in one post. First up is Moazzem, my roommate from last semester who’s participating in a reality show by Bloomberg Television called Techstars about the next big thing in tech and he needs visits from as many unique visitors on this URL to make it on the show. Why him? You need balls to me an mechatronics engineer and still kick ass at programming, like he does. Be nice and click on the link, okay? Then there was Esya 2011 at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Delhi that was held last weekend – oh god Espèra is so going to have my scalp for this because I promised to write about this before it took place – a code jam / tech treasure hunt / quiz. I so wish I could attend this because Espèra (and other friends like Utkarsha) were on organizing committee. Speaking of tech events, last month also saw Code Wars 2011. Pulkit and Aditya upheld Code Warriors tradition by pulling together the best tech symposium conducted this year (from what I’ve heard) with an able and committed as ever involved. I’m proud to look back at these guys and hear about what they have pulled off, because I know how much hard work went into it. This is the first time in five years that I’ve missed a Code Wars event; I feel a curious mix of a sense of loss and pride. Kudos to Arjun, Vivek, Karthick and all other alumni for their contribution too – and they certainly pitched in with crucial inputs on research! NOW LOOK AT COOL VIDEO. I also conducted – with Vivek Nair as co-host – a general inter-school quiz for the DPS Society at DPS Vasant Kunj on the one day I got to spend in Delhi before flying to the UK. This has been in works for a long time and I’m glad to see it come to life, be a part of the first edition. Most of the credit should rightfully go to Vivek who worked on logistics months in advance of the event while I was in Singapore, worked on a majority of research for the quiz, and a charming albeit nervous first-time co-host. On my part, I’m fucking tired of quizzes stuck at 60-70s classic rock and 50s Bollywood with contemporary Indian heritage, so one of my main objectives was to make an ‘international’ outlook quiz. I may have veered a tad too much towards South-East Asia but if in the end it makes more quizzers go back and read about these places, I’d be happy. Along the way we had ‘fun’ moments: my ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when I tried to take my t-shirt off on stage (with Chairman, Director of DPS VK and staff of participating schools in attendance) where I accidentally flashed the audience; gifting a duty-free sealed kaya spread bottle along with a book to ‘Learn Mandarin in 60 Minutes’ stuffed with condoms between its pages (unused packed ones, in case you get the wrong idea); giving out clues that made participants call Dominos Pizza in Bhatinda at midnight…Comprende Nair and I tried to make a quirky event not just with question but by trying to give this a unique, how should I put this, editorial voice. Hope everyone enjoyed the event! Download DPS VK Grey Matters 2011 quiz archive here (~43 MB, zipped). Have a look at the archive, tell me what you think – I’d love to have feedback from blog readers as well as participants from the...

Code Wars 2010…and reminiscing my stint in (tech) quizzing

By on Sep 2, 2010 in Personal | 16 comments

Code Wars 2010, Delhi Public School Vasant Kunj‘s computer symposium, was held on 26-27 August 2010. Boy, and what an eventful two days it has been. There is so much that I want to say that I don’t know where to begin. I’ll walk down the memory lane as to how I got into tech quizzing, but that’ll come later in the post and you can skip it if you aren’t interested. (Or maybe if that’s the thing you want to read, skip onwards.) Let me begin by saying what a pleasure it has been to work with the current Code Warriors team, headed by Anirudh Jain, VS Karthick, Aditya Kumar, and Pulkit Kaushik – and let’s face it, even though he doesn’t officially hold a position in the club, DPS Vasant Kunj’s newly appointed Head Boy Vivek Nair. It has been a pleasure helping out the team conduct Code Wars 2010 with my fellow alumni Abhimanyu Bhardwaj, Arjun Attam, Rachit Agarwal, and Waris Jain. Above all, I wouldn’t be talking about this if it weren’t for each and every one of the 475 participants and 30 schools that participated in Code Wars 2010; your vote for our event by turning up in large numbers is – even when there were clashing events at other schools – is what makes Code Wars special every year. The Code Wars 2010 video was Rachit Agarwal’s brainchild. There was a lot more planned for the video – which will explain the ‘odd’ Star Wars opening title – so maybe one day CW will be able to release an uncut version of the video. ;) (Rachit thinks that the song talks about ‘cheetahs’ and ‘lions’ towards the end, and thus put the teachers’ pictures there. The lyrics say otherwise. Hoo-boy.) Update: Code Wars 2010 video – the uncut version is now online (although not as Monty Python-ish as originally intended), along with VS Karthick’s funneh vote of thanks. For my part, I helped the current team with the junior quiz, senior quiz, crossword (only to a minor extent), N-Crypton (giving inputs in the final stages of paper-setting); judging the group discussion, video editing, and audio editing events. The standard of the participants was, on the whole, exceptional. I’m making available the complete archives here for the events I was involved in. I welcome feedback from the participants of events I was involved in. Senior Quiz – Prelim, Final (PDF version) Junior Quiz – Prelim, Final (note: to play the embedded videos, you need to have system-wide codecs installed. May I suggest K-Lite?) Crossword – Prelim (solution), Final On my part, I apologise to the participants who ended up on the wrong side of my temper. I turned up on both days with about an hour of sleep as I was involved in making event material; still, I could’ve been better. If you’re reading this, my sincerest apologies. There were also a few kerfuffles that were unfortunate and avoidable (just to be clear, since there were so many points of view as to what happened, I backed whatever DPS Vasant Kunj volunteers told me; I have to, they’re my team), which soured up moods – but I hope at the end of the day, everyone who participated had fun and walked away learning something. Congratulations to the Exunites from Delhi Public School (RK Puram) for winning the overall trophy, to eSpice from Delhi Public School (Noida) for winning the overall runners-up trophy (and for giving stiff competition to RKP), and to each and every participant with a podium finish. Commiserations to those who didn’t win a prize, but I hope you walk away with good memories of our event. :) **** I had a long chat with Vivek Nair today about the future of the Code Warriors, and it got me thinking about how I started off in tech quizzing. I don’t know whether there is anything worth learning from my experience, but the chat that I had made me feeling like writing it all out anyway. I find it amusing that many people who I meet think I have been at DPS Vasant Kunj “forever”. No, I joined the school in class 11th. I had a string of achievements to my name at the time – national winner of the CBSE Intel Science Quiz (it was conducted simultaneously with the CBSE Heritage India Quiz, by Pickbrain; thus, I missed out on HIQ stage rounds that year), and long long ago in a galaxy far far away, the Delhi round winner of Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest – but I think it would be safe to say I wasn’t ‘known’ at the time I joined DPS VK. I was mostly into general quizzing and debates in those days; my first quiz ever was in class 5th, as a junior participant prelims of the Discovery Channel India Quiz conducted by Derek O’Brien. I had watched the Bournvita Quiz Contest on television of course – who wouldn’t have, if they grew up in the late 90s in India – and I still remember how utterly excited and mesmerised I was to attend a live quiz by O’Brien. If I had to choose a tipping point that got me into quizzing, that would be it. At the time of my admission interview to DPS VK, the (former) Vice Principal Mrs Rachna Pandit asked me about the things I...