Google PlusFacebookTwitter

The Week That Was

By on Dec 17, 2008 in Personal | 11 comments

Am back from my vacation now. From the looks of it, a lot of people seem to be feeling really uneasy over seeing my blog not being updated for a while and / or their email inbox being deluged with feed updates. Past week was quite eventful: Getting attacked by langurs. That’s a first. Bunch o’ them took a fancy to my jeans and started tugging at it. Then they wanted to check out my cellphone (which was in my hand). Fashion-conscious, obviously. Mercifully, dad rushed to the rescue snarling at them to ensure that I didn’t have a wardrobe malfunctioning because of all that tugging-shugging. CORE 2008. DPS VK Code Warriors won the overall runners-up trophy (automatically disassembled itself on-stage). No clue about individual results as CORE’s website doesn’t give it. Intro video was excellent (except for the beginning, where that guy they show thinking about CORE looks like he’s about to burst into laughter any moment, which made moi burst into laughter, which ruined the first time I saw the video…and so on). A lot of homage was paid to CW, and I’m glad that I’ve traumatized those poor chaps enough to make them remember ’42’ for at least the forseeable future. Quiz finals saw significant contribution by mini Ankit Sud; the connect round was superb. Saw the Exun 2008 intro video too. Really good – again, except for the beginning. Why start off with one song, and then switch over to another? Also a break from tradition, with Fatboy Slim replacing Rage Against The Machine. Me prefers the latter. TCS IT Wiz 2008. I’ve heard a lot of feedback which flies right in the face of the official press release. Going through some of the questions, it seems like deja vu – loads and loads of sitters separating loads and loads of quizzers from loads and loads of goodies. More of luck than quizzing prowess. Regardless of that, CW’s performance in TCS and CORE has been dismal, to put it mildly. On some days the guys are real good, on others they totally screw it up. No consistency. I was shocked to hear the teams which beat DPS VK to the final line-up. I dunno why Pickbrain chooses to keep it this simple. Maybe he just underestimates the level of quizzers, because I know that his research team is top-rate and has come up with some really tough quizzes in the past. My Motorola phone has gone for repair two weeks now (it’s motherboard and LCD screen need to be replaced, after it fell down a flight of stairs at Exun Oh-8). Need to live with my old LG phone. One of the biggest problems I’m facing is that I no longer have my phonebook with me. And the fact that accessing Net was a pain in the a** during the vacation. Airtel has removed the monthly rental for its Mobile Office plan. (Vivek found this out after speaking to a female customer care executive named Kuldeep.) 30p for 50kb now, so it’s way cheaper than the earlier plan. Dial *567# from your Airtel mobile to activate. WordPress 2.7 ‘Coltrane’ was released soon after I left Delhi. Oh, the agony I’ve been in to try it out for so many days. Feels nice to a see a lot of the things I voted for in its surveys making it to the final product. No plugins seem to’ve broken – till now. The ability to respond to comments from the admin page itself is a heaven-send. Can’t wait for OpenSuse 11.1 to release on 18th December 2008 to ditch this Frankensteinien monster of Vista+Ubuntu on my laptop. Access 2008 is culminating today. Probably won’t be able to make it to watch, but should be an interesting fight. CW has no hope, given the new rules which prohibit juniors from participating in senior events – which was the norm at Access earlier, and still is allowed in most other events including Exun. By sticking to this rule Modern School is basically handing over the trophy to DPS RKP on a platter since they’re the only ones who’ve the numbers to send members for their respective categories. Phew. That’s the update. Can get back to posts and applications...

Exun 2008 Archive Downloads

By on Dec 8, 2008 in Personal | 7 comments

Exun 2008 got over around a week back (check out some posts on it by other people) and one of the most asked-for things has been the quiz / crossword archives. Gursartaj was kind enough to hand over the printed copies of the material to Vivek, but unfortunately he hasn’t been able to put those up yet because of practical exams and problems with his computer. Vishesh was nice enought to later send over a copy if the archives. So here you go: download the Exun 2008 Quiz and Crossword Archive (ZIP, ~4.1 MB), which contains all the questions papers of the quiz (both senior & junior) and the crossword event prelims and finals. Exun 2008 papers were good and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did watching it. Another thing which people have been asking me a lot about lately is on how to prepare for the TCS IT Wiz Quiz to be held on 11th December at IIT Delhi. (I’d have loved to come down and see this one too, but I won’t be in town at that time.) For starters, it’s essential to know the basics. There isn’t much time until the day of the event however, so the method described earlier simply cannot work within this short space of time. Instead, what you can do is go through Trivial.net’s archive of computer quizzes. Doing that should give you an idea of some of the most basic computer history stuff. Once that is done, spend your remaining time reading up news articles from either of these two sources – PC World or Ars Technica. Go for the former if you aren’t that highly experienced with tech quizzing, since it provides its articles with background perspective required for a beginner. Go for the latter if you already have a base in tech quizzing. Point to note is, Ars Technica will be overkill for the TCS IT Wiz standards, but when you already know a bit of tech then reading through PC World kind of stuff aimed at laymen will quickly induce boredom. TCS IT Wiz is a quiz which has damn simple questions. Your task is NOT to get the maximum number of questions right, but to get the minimum number of questions wrong. It’s about making the least number of slip-ups. Be nice folks. Click pictures and compile a few questions so that I can come back and have a look at...

Exun 2008 – Third Iteration

By on Dec 1, 2008 in Personal | 10 comments

Code Warriors team receiving the trophy (I accidentally hit the mute button) Exun 2008 was held on 29-30 November 2008. For the third year in a row the Code Warriors team has won the Overall Winners trophy at Exun. Thanks to a strong performance throughout the event – especially from the quiz team – the CW team winds up with another trophy is its inventory; moreover, the team has won most of the major events this year. Excellent work! :) I didn’t go on Day 1 (nothing for me to see), but I was free on Day 2 so I went along watch the quizzes. Gursartaj Singh and Akshay Aggarwal were conducting the quiz. First uo was the junior quiz, where we had two teams. Nice to see the quiz being done without any many acronyms. Post victory (our main team won the event), I spent most of the intervening time between lunch laughing myself silly. Food was again from the hostel this time, so I decided to order in pizza for the whole team. Abhimanyu was mentally prepping himself for a repeat of Roboknights 2007 where he had to chase the pizza delivery around Som Vihar to get him to the correct delivery spot, but that didn’t happen this year. Followed by the crossword and senior quiz – which our team again won, both of them. Seriously though, there was no school which put up an actual fight to the DPS VK team (not counting RKP). Conspicous in their abscence were Apeejay Noida – I wonder where their team is this year. They don’t seem to be making any kind of strong presence felt in events this year. Also missing from action was Jimi Hendrix (wonder what happened to him). The quiz(zes) and crossword were nice – Guddi and Akshay has obviously put in some nice work into doing it. They were kind enough to give over the archives to Vivek after the events were over, so Vivek will (hopefully) be putting up his first quiz archives on his blog soon. Haven’t seen the prelim papers too, but yes, have heard that their level was nice too. Coming to the Exun 2008 video, I haven’t seen it yet (still waiting for it to be uploaded somewhere online). And of course, some excellent quizzing performances by juniors like Vishesh Kumar and Aditya Grover – its nice to see some serious competition for DPS VK’s junior team of Vivek and Karthick at last! Overall, must say that I enjoyed Exun 2008 a lot. :) The Exun team put together a really smoothly conducted event – kudos to them! Having a strong quiz team sure does help a lot in winning events. ;) For photos from Exun 2008, check out my photo album on...

Exun 2007

By on Nov 29, 2008 in Personal | 2 comments

I hear it’s been a fairly successful day 1 for the Code Warriors at Exun 2008. They qualified for the senior quiz, junior quiz, crossword events. Got a second in Swat The Bug. Not exactly a rosy picture as of now in the points tally, but CW’s victory for the past few years has been built around the success of its quiz team. For the past two years, our quiz team came up with the numbers needed to make it to the top. Sigh. I still remember going on stage BOTH in 2006 and 2007 for the senior quiz – and both times it was pretty clear to us that we had to get a podium to clinch the overall. Some photos from last year’s prize distribution ceremony. Oh, and the defining moment at Exun 2007 – Code Warriors winning the overall trophy (see the video below). Sure hope to see some scintillating quizzing tomorrow....

soBIG.tough

By on Nov 24, 2008 in Personal | 10 comments

I wonder why I haven’t made this post earlier, given that Code Wars 2008 happened on Friday. I was there to conduct the quiz and crossword, and judge the web designing and digital imaging events. Before I begin though you may want to head to this page for Code Wars 2008 related downloads. We went in for an online submission format for web designing and digital imaging this time. Those entries were judged on 20th. It was more of me cracking jokes with all the Code Warriors gathered around my laptop but we finally got the work done – eventually, when Lord Vader started chanting his mantra. I was highly disappointed to see that none of the web designing participants seemed to have spent much time making their website. Even if you don’t have much time, you can make a website classy by not cluttering it up – or using garish colours. Digital imaging was much better off (you can see some of the best entries here) and saw many more entries. Again, many people went off on the ‘Obama = Osama’ tangent which wasn’t what we were looking for. Quite a few schools went in for totally unreadable fonts. Among the schools which finished first DPS Noida was a strong contender for the second / third place because they had done work with their image, but their entry wasn’t ad campaign poster which we wanted. Points were given for using in-jokes from the South Park universe, mentioning the fact that Butters was the vice presidential running mate (which very few entries did), and displaying the fact that work had been done in making the image. Using unreadable fonts also went against teams. Day of the Event Reached pretty late, and went to our ‘command centre’ in the Internet Lab, only to find nobody there. We didn’t get permission from the police to use walkie-talkies this time because of the ‘security situation’. (Drat. I was planning to hold down the talk button and keep laughing like a maniac so that nobody else could transmit – ever seen Mission: Impossible 3?) Coordination had to be done using cellphones and good ol’ fashioned running around (except that as an alum I could make others run around). Quiz Prelims Went to the mini audi to get the volunteers to start sending people for the quiz prelims. I had an extremely tight schedule to work on and I wanted to start right on time. Started freaking out when the teams were two minutes late and kept calling Karthick to send the participants. Eventually he rounded all of them up and the event started on time. I was perplexed to see that most of the teams could hardly attempt anything even when I believed the level of the paper was quite easy. Ended up giving quite a few clues. The duration of the prelims were for 20 minutes, after which I started checking the papers (I wanted to do that myself). I was trying to wrap it up in hurry and made a mistake while checking a few papers – mostly missing out on the ‘Mac OS’ answer. Thankfully I detected that error early (while trying to resolve a tie), announced it, reviewed all papers and things worked out. Karthick made the tie-breaker questions because we both decided that if I tried making them, it would probably again result in a deadlock. DPS Dwarka won the tie against New Era Public School. (Not writing ’42’ as an answer cost New Era a position in the finals.) Crossword Crossword started immediately after I finished discussing answers to the quiz prelims. This year we went in for a single stage event on paper due to shortage of time. Initially, I made a crossword containing 80 clues – but then thought that would be a bit excessive and cut it down to 55 clues to be attempted in 35 minutes. Maximum points any team got in this event was 13 – maybe they’d have gotten more in case there was more time. Otherwise, the general feedback was that the crossword was quite tough – even though I believe the terms I’d included in the crossword were ones which anyone who’s been following technology closely should have got easily. Discussing this took some time and I almost overshot my deadline for starting the quiz finals. Since a crossword can’t have any ambiguity in the expected answers, these papers were checked by other Code Warriors while I set up the quiz finals. Quiz Finals Setting up equipment for quiz finals took up some time, which was potentially bad news in such a tight schedule. Agrim was shell-shocked to find me using Windows; I had to boot into that one because the last time I tried hooking up the projector with Ubuntu it didn’t work – not unless I manually edit X.org configuration files. To top it of, I was forced to use Microsoft Office 2007 for the presentation. I had started making the presentation in OpenOffice.org 3.0, saved the file, and then closed it. When I went back to editing my slides all my data was gone! Replaced with a blank slide and no text except for the 6×9 logo. Must be a bug in OO.org 3.0. Needed to start from scratch and did it in Office 2007, not taking chances. Anyway, the quiz finals started off a bit...