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TCS IT Wiz 2008

By on Feb 15, 2009 in Personal | 3 comments

“Finally, a quiz archive of TCS IT Wiz 2008”, I thought when I came across Aditya’s post about it.Unfortunately, it isn’t a complete archive but it still gives a good idea of how it is. Karmanya had put up an archive (which I had mentioned earlier) but it seems that the archives are longer available for download. (So I’m uploading the same, without any changes, here.) Prashanth has spoken about the event too. A few of my responses to the notes in Aditya’s archive: It is true that the Toshiba Qosmio series has some laptops which come with the Cell processor. Read a Gizmodo story about it or reviews of it on CNET. It is true, however, that is not the primary processor on the laptop – it plays second fiddle to the Intel Core 2 Duo processor and handles video-related tasks. Pickbrain screwed up big-time when he says Cell processor is used in PlayStation Portable. It isn’t. Lenovo is not a subsidiary of IBM. It bought the rights to IBM trademarks (such as ‘Thinkpad’) and took over IBM’s desktop and laptop division. (One clarification about the first statement in Karmanya’s archive) The ‘Pope’ being referred to is not ‘The Pope’ but ‘a Pope’. Ivan Pope, to be precise. For all those who stumble across this post when searching up about TCS IT Wiz, do you know any other archives on the Web on this? Post them here in the comments section for all to see. PS – Yesterday was special…in more than one sense. (‘Yesterday’ in India, according to Epoch standards, Friday the 13th.) It was the day on which Unix time passed the 1234567890 seconds since Epoch Time milestone. There was a cool countup for this. Click the text ‘Relive the moment’ for some fireworks. PPS – Awesome post by Aditya on Code Wars...

At the NSIT Quiz Fest

By on Feb 8, 2009 in Personal | 20 comments

NSIT Quiz Club’s Quiz Fest was held yesterday. I hadn’t gone for the sports, business, or the MELA quiz; just for general. My teammate was Ankit Sarkar, a DPS VK Quiz Club member from my batch who’s currently studying at IIIT Delhi (note the three ‘i’s) whose campus is currently functioning out of NSIT Delhi itself. Reaching there gave me a scare as I was frantically dashing around all across Dwarka to find where it was. (I had taken a different route than the one suggested by the map to I had.) Rachit had told me that the event was running on schedule so I was apprehensive about missing the prelims. Turned out that it was his usual hard-of-hearing self who mislead me. I finally figured out where it was and located the auditorium near the (non-functioning) fountain. I got to see the final few rounds of the MELA quiz. Soon after I walked in they asked the teams a stage about the Richard Stallman – Harry Potter incident which I had asked in Code Wars 2008. That was the first of the audience prize chocolates that I bagged for answering tech-related questions. I’ve noticed one thing about ‘general’ quizzes in general: they go into excruciating details of lots of things ranging from literature, movies, music, pop culture, history, mythology and whatnot – but computers and technology is something which gets just a passing mention at best or nothing at all at worst. The ones which do get included seem as if they’ve included as an afterthought by embarrassed quizmasters. For instance, at the recent Cradle Sports quiz (Cradle Sports were one of the sponsors at NSIT Quiz Fest) there was just ONE question on tech. (“In which university was Lycos started?” The answer is Carnegie Mellon, but I mostly got blank stares around me – and on stage. Nobody got it on stage either, which stunned me.) Even at Mahaquizzer there are hardly any questions on tech. (Asking who’s the founder of Facebook – Mark Zuckerberg – in a quiz of Mahaquizzer’s level where the other questions are so good is laughable. And not many were aware of this!) Does computers and technology deserve to be treated as a pariah in quizzes. Most definitely not! Given its ubiquity in the current century it deserves more coverage in quizzes. Given the granularity of trivia asked in other topics, technology deserves at least some mention. I’ll give an example of a question from the prelim rounds of the general quiz from yesterday’s fest at NSIT. Connect with one word: A cephalopod, a submarine, an open source file manager, a missile defense system How hard is to crack this answer to be Nautilus? Among alternative distros this has got to be the most famous. (I bet even many tech quizzers wouldn’t be able to name the KDE / Xfce equivalents.) The ‘problem’, I feel, is that quizzing is still stuck in a 60s-80s mindset. That definitely explains the endless amount of classic rock and old movies that gets thrown around in quizzes. The last quiz by Cradle Sports at Siri Fort had teams being unable to identify Coldplay. Seasoned quizzers at NSIT couldn’t identify the rock version of the Simpsons Movie theme by Green Day. Nor could most quiz teams at NSIT answer Nautilus. “Tornado”? “Thunderstorm”? (Actual answers given by teams.) You’ve gotta be kidding me. Maybe this is why many didn’t get Mark Zuckerberg at Mahaquizzer 2008. Maybe that’s why Pickbrain thinks giving a photo of Jeff Bezos and a photo of the Amazon Kindle is “an extremely tough lateral thinking question”. They’ve been hit by a field which evolves at a blazingly rapid rate with so much ‘quiz-worthy’ being generated daily that they choose to deal with it by simply ignoring it. Long digression from the story ends here. My team didn’t qualify, nor did the other team of ex-VK quizzers comprising of Varun VS and Rachit Agarwal. (I told them about the quiz and egged them on to come and participate.) But we had a whale of a time. The standard of the quiz was brilliant, especially some of the connects. The long visual connect round of 25 images with the connect as ‘Absolut Vodka ads’ was superb. That, and the jokes we kept cracking amongst ourselves. I got close to having our group thrown out with my laughing fits. Reuniting with old friends after a long time for event was real fun right down to laughing like maniacs and ruining everyone else’s dinner at Pizza Corner in...

Cradle Sports / Aagman Quiz

By on Jan 17, 2009 in Personal | 49 comments

The school and open quiz to be conducted by Cradle Sports was held yesterday. A brilliant quiz, and my first ‘Parnab’ quiz. I reached in the morning because I wanted to see the school edition of the quiz too (to get an idea about what was to come in the open quiz). At first when I reached the venue I was confused as to whether there was a quiz. I finally found that it was in one of the other halls in the Siri Fort Auditorium compound. The school edition saw a very enthusiastic response, going by the jam packed auditorium. And note this isn’t like Times of India Fun-da-Mental or HT InQuizitive where most of the people are cheering teams; these people in the hall that day were quizzers who wanted to be there. So it’s nice to see such a large turnout. I saw quite a few people I knew there. Unfortunately, DPS VK couldn’t make it because pre-Boards are going on and most of the quiz team is either in 10th or 12th. I missed the school quiz prelims but I got to see the school quiz semi-finals and final. Lots of DPS RKP teams qualifying, apart from the extremely capable team from DPS Dwarka which had Utkarsh and mini Ankit Sud. Also nice to see that Sardar Patel Vidyalaya find talented replacements for Vinayak Sapru and Pulkit Gupta. St Columba’s School is always a force to reckon with, and they proved it by winning the quiz (Chirag’s team). DPS Noida’s team also seems promising with Rishav except that he’s way too cocky to make it to the top anytime soon. Surprisingly, the open quiz saw lesser response than the school quiz! But it was nice to see a lot of school teams stick around and at least try the prelims. I was participating in the open quiz, teamed up with Prateek Vijayavargia, Chandan Shahi (runner-up of Brand Equity Quiz 2008), and Manazir Wasi. The prelims were tough with a large gap between the toppers of the prelims and the ones after them. Our team scraped through onto the finals. We totally got PWND at that stage. Except by the SPV team which didn’t score, but you gotta give them credit that they made it to the finals too. The finals had a lot of old Bollywood stuff which nobody on our team was good at. Between the other colleges teams who do bother to keeps tabs of that kind of stuff, the competition was quite close. That brings me to the question which people interested in quizzing would have been dying to know when reading this article – how was Parnab Mukherjee? I admit, I’ve ‘heard a lot of stuff’ about him in past on many quiz blogs but it was nothing like that! Look, I can’t talk about the past because without having been present at those quizzes I can’t pass a judgment myself. I can talk of what I saw at the quiz yesterday, and what I saw was an excellent quiz. I believe the attendees who were there will also agree with me. The questions were good and didn’t come across anything which was ‘outrageous’ in the sense that people talk of. It was an extremely well-balanced quiz, with no team getting too easy questions. Most of the questions were workout-able, which is the proper style to go for to get students interested in quizzing. Parnab Mukherjee’s feat is even more impressive when you consider that he’s recalling questions from his memory. If you’re a quizzer, you know exactly how difficult it is to recall even ten questions in succession at a moment’s notice. More so when you have to do a balanced quiz. As far as I gathered, the questions were not ‘made up’, as some people have claimed earlier about his quizzes. I randomly checked up a few questions which I remembered and I didn’t find one wrong. So as I said, I don’t know about the past experiences others claim to have had, but what I saw at yesterday’s quiz was a good quiz. After the quiz got over, I got to interact with Parnab a little longer over a late ‘lunch’ (if you can call it that) we had with the Cradle Sports team. (Prateek and Prashanth were there too.) Arindam Bhattacharya of Cradle Sports, himself a quizzer (he competed against Aditya Mubayi in his school days) is a really friendly guy. It’s a good thing that he sought feedback from the student community throughout the quiz. In Arindam and Parnab Delhi has two guys who are truly passionate about quizzing. We had a nice chat where Parnab spoke of how instead of preparing by reading quiz books students can learn simply by knowing more about their surroundings. He gave a nice example of how much history you can associate simply while going from point A to point B in Delhi. Prashanth, who’s from Hyderabad, asked him to show a similar example using a route between two places in Hyderabad – and Parnab came up a perfectly valid trivia question (which Prashanth admits is true). I hope in a future quiz maybe the Cradle Sports guys can arrange for Parnab to have a short talk before / after the quiz. Nobody is saying that you should prepare for quizzes only by zipping through Delhi roads, but the main...

Download CBSE Class XII Projects

By on Dec 20, 2008 in On A Whim | 180 comments

It’s that time of the year when in schools across the country teachers have started pestering students to submit their class 12th Board practical projects. Since I need to do a few good deeds before Christmas, I decided to put my computer science and chemistry projects. OK, not completely mine. Naman made a major portion of the computer project; as for chemistry, I never really did that one – simply ‘slurped’ off projects from others, smacked on my own formatting to make it looks loads cooler than their Comic Sans riff-raff, and submitted the thing somewhere around the very last days before the practicals. CBSE Class 12 Computer Science Project (ZIP, ~619 KB): In the root folder of the archive you’ll find my ‘quizzing software’ (named Jabberwocky). Included is the source code for the text-only and ‘graphics’ version of the software (using graphics.h). I suggest people to show the former, because if you’re unable to answer questions about the Turbo C++ graphics library you’re screwed. I also included the project report cover and body (needed along with the project when you submit it) as a demo on what is to be written. However, I did not include editable versions since, well, you’ve the source code anyway. Also included is the final end-user package of the software which contains a library of quiz questions with the software can use. In the folder Rach’s Project, you’ll find…Rach’s project. I had no role to play in the making of that except for putting it up here. Contrary to popular belief, Rach says that he was not jacking off when creating the project (this rumor started because of the filenames he used). He says it’s because he’s a big fan of Jack Sparrow. CBSE Class 12 Chemistry Project (ZIP, ~131 KB): I’ve included DOC and ODT versions of three different computer projects. The one on conductivity was what I eventually submitted. The one on rayon fibres is Rach’s. Hope people find this useful. There are some other older posts of mine too which you may find useful. Organic Chemistry Test Flowchart Chemistry Salt Analysis Cheatsheet (mobile version of the same for viewing on cellphones): A perennial favorite. After all, salt analysis is a bitch when it comes to chemistry practicals. I hear that students in loads of schools are using this. I also heard that in our school the teachers themselves are distributing this to the students. (I think I should ask my ‘share’ from the school, out of the money it collects from the students for ‘study material’.) Heck, it’s even among the top results on Google for ‘qualitative salt analysis’. Yay me! CBSE Physics Practical data: Missing practical classes is a national sport in schools. This page has data from the demonstration experiments which students are supposed to have...

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...