(TL note: nareshov's diary)

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Updates as of 27th March, ’09

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Nothing much. Mundane. Lethargic. Hopeful. Bleak.

A few days ago, the Students’ Gymkhana in the campus came up with a somewhat “April Fool’s Prank”-like decision when they were serious about dropping Techkriti and Megabucks from the Gymkhana calendar and introducing a “techno-entrepreneurial” festival. Now, don’t ask me what “techno-entrepreneurial” is. At the moment, it sounds like certain people in the campus are catching the Capitalist world’s bugs or something. It’ll probably be a techfest like usual with some gambling in the name of “business”, perhaps. What is sad is that the name “Techkriti” shall no longer be in active use. The Gymkhana President has called for an Open-house meeting on this. I can only hope that those in power don’t kill off Techkriti so easily. Megabucks has been disappointing to some no matter what people claim and Techkriti was just hitting the popularity charts among the technical college croud in this part of the country. Sub-events like FOSSkriti have made a huge mark in the past two years and several corners of the planet recognise FOSSkriti as part of “Techkriti – IITK’s premiere techfest”. Afterall, Megabucks, too, started off as part of Techkriti back in ’98 (approx.) – if reducing the number of events per Gymkhana term is a concern, merging Megabucks back into Techkriti should surely cause less harm than blowing the daylights out of Techkriti itself?

Speaking about the number of events that are organised in the campus; IITK, primarily, is an institute of technology. Some bright young ones recently claimed that so is MIT- and yet, MIT doesn’t restrict itself to activites purely technical in nature. Sure, MIT is a huge place with a large faculty in various fields and all – and more importantly with geniunely interested students. Unlike the scenario in our campus – where research isn’t really a flagmark these days (mind you, we’ve got some excellent professors here and yet most theses or undergraduate final year projects aren’t as awesome as they are elsewhere), the activities in other larger institutes that seemingly betray their name have a good reason to be doing so – there are *people* who’re not, say, selfishly looking for personal gains alone. The local newsgroup has been pretty active at discussing these outright Talibanistic decisions that were made in the present Gymkahana’s first meet. I hope this doesn’t cause too much of a damage in the long run. Slow Talibanisation has been happening right here in the campus for a while and very few seem to notice it. Also, I seriously suggest we drop NNTP altogether and switch to reddit’s code – unless there’s a sizeable population still stuck with console-based nntp-clients.

Galaxy – a controversial event in its own right has been resurrected. Well, it’s good and all. But hey, the end-semester exams are right around the corner. But last night’s “Naruto Fan Quiz” was a welcome addition to the set of mundane events that happen in any cultural fest up here – dancing to crappy tunes, lame drama, etc. About half of L1 was filled up last night. It was a good surprise. But the anime community as such exists in fragments. Could be a good thing if the junior batches put aside differences and for a single community. Oh, but wait, I think they’re mostly fragmented because there hasn’t been enough interaction across batches in the past couple of years (thanks to anti-ragging policies which hasn’t really helped those who actually require it). Meh, whatever.

Apparently, Galaxy was resurrected in the hope that Hall days of respective halls would be put an end to. I mean, honestly, they were all a waste. Cheap, half-assed entertainment, the same old standard party food (various kinds of Indian bread, some panneer, you know, the exact same old food which people never seem to get bored of), obligatory invitations, general noise pollution, and so on. One Galaxy for a few days, in several venues throughout the academic and Outreach area, fought between teams made up of members from a bunch of halls, may not be such a bad idea.

I happened to notice a particular feature of Google Chrome (yes, I haven’t looked up the list of features of Chrome yet, and I believe that good interaction design is when one doesn’t need to go through a list or read up plenty on – at least on a browser, duh). So, here it is. You may have visited several websites that have a general search box in them. The next time you want to search something in such a box, don’t visit the site as yet. Type the URL, for example: “” and notice what appears on the right-end of the address bar.

Google Chrome search

Google Chrome: enter search keywords and hit enter

Google Chrome: enter search keywords and hit enter

Now, press TAB as it says, and enter your search keywords. Hit ENTER. Voila. Beat that fat-fugly-browsers.

Updates as of 31st October, ’08

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Been a while since I last blogged and several things have happened meanwhile including intervals of idleness.

First, getting back on track with my final year project. I was given a last chance and I took it. Although, after having started watching Kaiji I feel like I should get really serious about it. It’s mostly system integration work and addition of a layer of easy configurability. Java work and it’s pretty interesting stuff going by the underlying technologies that are involved and why it sets itself apart from the smaller ones as an Enterprise-level software. /me points to Alfresco.

For two weeks, I’ve been suffering from an upset tummy. It’s a sad thing. Due to which, I couldn’t even attend the events at this year’s Cultural Festival (don’t ask my why “.org”, I don’t know) in my campus. Synchronicity, my favourite event in Antaragni, is a rock fest. Of course, there’s metal too \m/. This time around, around 25 bands showed up for round one preliminaries and 8 (or 9) managed to go upto round two. The finale had the best 5 from round two perform first followed by the main show by Irish band Glyder. And, yes, my stomach stopped me from staying back for Glyder and I don’t really feel like I missed it. It’s not the genre I’m into. But those two days of preliminaries and the pre-Glyder performance was something I was very satisfied with.

Antaragni is over, and so is Deepawali, the festival of lights. I had a good time that eve in my Advisor’s house. Fireworks with kids, prepared our own food, discussed some Philosophy – that was a nice family evening. Too bad I caught a cold while returning to my hostel.

Written by Naresh

October 31, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Sad state of affairs in IITK

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This institute’s administration is as pathetic as it can be. Most people in the administration work without thinking even a little about what they’re doing. They give you the “I was told to do so by my superiors” line even when it is clearly visible that they don’t understand why they’re doing it. Let’s start with something as useless as the SiS. SiS is a private security organisation in the campus. They do some of the most stupidest things possible and whatever they do, the thefts continue to happen. A week ago, in a neighbouring wing, 3rd storey, a theft occured late in the night. Sunil was sleeping with his door open (the weather is very hot and humid these days) for the cool air to drive out the heat and humidity from his room. He didn’t expect a thief to go all the way up to his room in the 3rd storey and steal his whole wallet (maybe a cell-phone was lost too). His wallet not only had money, but his institute ID-card. Yet again, the SiS fails.

If you happen to have a laptop and use a typical long-strapped laptop-bag, you’re in bad luck. You’ll be asked to enter your name, time of entry and exit, and sign in a worn-out register every time you visit your lab or leave/enter your own hall. God only knows if those guards make any sense at all of what you’ve written with your hands which are more used to computers than a pen. The funny part is here: carry your laptop in a backpack kind of bag and they won’t ask you a thing. Carry even an empty laptop-bag and you’ll spend two minutes explaining to them that your bag is empty.

Hall 1 has three gates. One of them is open round the clock, the other was sealed off by the Director some years ago during a summer (no idea why it was done even though it’s the closest gate to the academic area) and the other one, that is closer to the CSE lab area, is closed after 22:30. Now why does this happen? I don’t really know. Many of us who leave the lab long after 22:30 are out of luck, we simply have to walk all the way to the gate on the other side of the Hall. Back in my old school, we had security cameras which could rotate in any angle and monitor movements. I wonder why a “high-tech” institute such as ours never considered that over the mostly useless SiS.

Let’s get to the UG office now. Nobody can be more annoying than these pricks here. They fail at even counting the number of backlogs you have. This particular “Programme Advisor” (yeah, right) of the Y4 batch who even signed my manual-registration form last summer for a science-elective now claims that SEs aren’t offered during the summers and therefore I’m considering this SE as an OE(!). I’ve tried explaining to him that I don’t have any OE backlogs and his stupid decision (which I think he made by himself) is shoving another OE down my throat. He refuses to talk anymore about it and asked me to get (yet another) letter from the DUGC.

I haven’t registered for any courses this summer, I didn’t want to go through this confusing, pointless exercise with these morons again. I decided to stay for another year and take it slow and easy, without having to deal with these monkeys. I really think Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi’s tenure as the SUGC was the best. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t mind thinking a bit, even if it breaks a little sweat. During his tenure, we could easily swap future courses from our template to-and-fro and do it the way convenient to us (very handy when your programme is a bit screwed and time-clashes or pre-requisite conditions doesn’t let you follow the prescribed course-structure). This time, the current SUGC (sorry, neither can I spell his name nor pronounce it, I just remember a “Ghost” in his name) refuses to think even a bit and let the students with backlogs do future courses from their templates that are offered during the summer. Roughly 40 students went empty handed because of this on the day of registration. Oh, and courses mysteriously pop out of nowhere at the last minute. One of my friends who spent the whole duration for which registrations were open running around never realised that a course he had a backlog in was offered in the last minute. By total chance he stumbles upon it from a junior whom we met when we were heading towards the CR for lunch the next day. More nonsense: instructors are supposed to evaluate the end-semester answerbooks and give out the grades in a time-frame of 72 hours after the end-semester exams. They do come up with grades and submit them to the UG Office and the Counseling Service. It’s been over a few weeks now and I still don’t know my grades. Only the ones I got an F in (I got one this time) were informed to me through my DUGC a few weeks after the end-sems. Thankfully, that was before the summer registration day, or people wouldn’t know if they could re-take those courses in the summer term. Couple of my juniors have a skewed programme ahead of them simply because they weren’t allowed to take a future course in the summer. The things that happen when the authority refuses to think and simply take the easy way out by following the rule-book or going by what their superiors say.

Talking about superiors, the Director is somewhat like a little Hitler here. There have been about 5 to 6 suicides (sense the apathy here?) in the campus during my stay here (4 years now). The Director has formed committees over committees and so has the Students’ Senate to come up with steps to take to curb these mishaps. The Director isn’t happy with any of them after the latest suicide (a few weeks ago, during the end-semester exams) and has taken decision making into his own hands and poof, no internet for you after 00:00 in the student dormitories. No internet – yes, no LAN – no. Although inter-hall LAN doesn’t work, intra-hall is still lively and dare I say, the gaming and late-night movie watching has increased! And, yes, most halls have their own direct-connect hubs now that function during the 00:00 to 06:00 internet curfew. People continue to watch movies, play games, whatever. It’s people like me who aren’t really into movies or games and use the internet for, again, dare I say, useful purposes that suffer. More on this at Arun’s post here. Sigh, all this makes me just as sick (or more) than it makes Arun. Even my friend from NIT-Suratkal who’s here for the summer doing a project says that his campus’s internet policies are way better. Heck, I don’t get it one bit, what is our adminstration thinking? They recently upgraded the internet bandwidth to 100MBps, removed the HTTP proxy accounting (you can download as much as you want! – it used to be 500MB per month, which was increased to 1GB and then 3GB and now -infinity-). Pirated movies, tv-serials, music, games, software continue to pour in in such quantities that there are two internal torrent trackers (and three main direct-connect hubs) in our LAN.

It’s a sad, boring, lazy life here. Most seem to have gotten over the internet-curfew already.

Written by Naresh

May 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm