Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dare to Wear

All I can say is that this was a dare....











And to describe the shorts to you, it looks exactly like the new uniform in the Indian Prisons.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Think different.

Life has been good and lazy since my last post. No exams, no study pressure, I have a decent attendance record… so a few bunks didn’t hurt at all. One of the best things that have happened till then is that the elections are over. I had already told you about my friends being directly involved in the elections, as either a candidate or helping them out with the campaigning. Being in second year, elections have been an entirely new experience. Till last year we were facing the music, on one had we were taken to movies and disco, on the other hand we were kidnapped and had to spend out nights elsewhere. This year there were two set of people, those who were involved in party politics and the others (including me) who were totally out of it. The former category had their own set of problems. Firstly they had to spend out nights trying to please the first year students. Taking them out to movies, giving them a gala dinner party (My god!! One of the nights, they had unlimited supply of chicken!!), taking them out to Kasauli etc etc. They even arranged for some booze and cigarettes for the drinkers and smokers!! All in all they tried out all the tricks to please the freshers. And since there was no kidnapping this year, the freshers must have had a lovely week. No kidnapping?? Why so?? Because this year all the first year students have been allocated the hostel no 7 which was highly guarded by CP….(Chandigarh Police). Last year we were the unlucky ones to be allocated hostel no 6 which has always open for anyone… So it was easy for some of the guys to come to our rooms and take us with them. So coming back to the former set of people, they really had a bad time visiting the freshers to convince them while missing their classes, and bypassing the “general college discipline”. At the same time they had to receive lots of threat calls from the opposing parties. That was the attraction of this year’s election. My close friends and classmates had received a few threat calls, and we all knew, it could be a serious threat. One of my classmate had always been associated with the SOPU party till the election time. He always took help from seniors of SOPU party since most of the residents of his hostel supported SOPU. At the very last moment he openly started supporting and campaigning for PUSU party. He received lots of threat calls. So he temporarily shifted to a different hostel, and visited his room only when he required a different set of clothes. He was really enjoying this, his comments were.. “ Ab zindagi jeene mein asli mazaa aa raha hai, bohut saari threat calls aai hai”. Some of the others were really scared and never moved in the campus alone. The other set of people had a much better life. Just had to face a little bit of campaigning and some of your friends wanted you to join them and help them out with campaigning. I was cleanly out of it. Neither do I wish to face threat calls nor do I wish to deviate from the “general college discipline”. There were also some new twist and turns in these elections. Everyone has to vote for 4 department representatives (DR) and 4 main members of the students’ union, namely the President, the Vice-President, the General Secretary and the Joint Secretary. This year there were only 4 valid nominations for the post of DRs by PUSU party. All the 4 nominations for the post of DR by SOPU party were cancelled because they filled up the nomination forms incorrectly. Apparently the teacher who assisted them in filling up the forms gave them incorrect instructions, and as usual PUSU partly was blamed for it. On the day of voting, I was amazed to see the amount of security in the campus. There were 2000+ policemen in the campus, water cannons, and teams of Rapid Action Force, Quick Reaction Teams and Riot Control Police. The campus looked like a protest venue.
Eventually SOPU turned out to be the winner this year.

Meanwhile we had another set of birthday party… we celebrated 3 birthdays together and had a combined treat at a grand restaurant: Mehfil, Sector 17 Chandigarh.

Triathlon


At the dinner table


Now that was just a pose, I never moved closer...


Real Fun, we had


This weekend we had an inter-class football tournament (a very informal one). Our first match was the weirdest I have ever witnessed or played in. Have you ever faced such a situation?: A handball offence was committed by one of the opponent defenders. We were awarded an indirect free kick. Our player kicked the ball directly into the goal and it flicked the goalkeeper’s gloves on its way. Now a goal was awarded by the referee. On this the opponents started protesting that in case of an indirect free kick there must be atleast two touches by the attacking team. There was a lot of quarrel on the field (you would have regularly witnessed such situations in a Man U vs Arsenal match). Eventually one of their players who had a laptop opened up the FIFA Rulebook and it stated that if it is an indirect free kick and the ball goes directly into the goal, touching the defending team’s player on its way, a corner is to be awarded. But by then we had a point that once a referee’s decision is made it is final. I further checked out the rulebook and found out another point in our favor. In case of a handball offence, a direct free kick is awarded. Eventually after all the confusion, quarrel, protest…. the decision was changed to no goal and we eventually won in the penalties. Now that is something you will never see in a football match….. kya situation tha!!

I have started creating my own desktop wallpapers….

Till the time I had no Mac I used this:


And now that I have mac installed and working, I use this in windows:

Monday, September 04, 2006

I feel… Mac-ish….

My new session as a second year student has really been very boring till last week. Although I had many things to write, I could not end up writing a post and going up to the café to post it. I expected my second year start to be as good as the first one, but till last week it only had been an extension of where I had left as a first year student. Well the first thing that you think of when you are in second year is that you are now a senior and now is the time for you to rag the freshers. But I have been really lenient till now, no ragging, no pdp. As a result I hardly know any of the juniors, and hardly any of them know me. Well at this point of time it doesn’t matter. Slowly I will get to know others.

There has been some learning experience in this semester. Firstly I have started with php… sigh… finally. Php seems to be a very simple language till now. It is a lot broader and flexible than C++ language. I have to start with databases, and even that is simple if you are using phpmyadmin. The next thing I learned in this semester is to ride a bike. Bike as in Motorcycle (I know some Americans read my blog, so they should not confuse it with bicycle). Bikes are really an easy thing to arrange. You will always have friends around you who have bikes. And so if you are in the university, you must know how to ride it.

But now since this weekend, everything looks to good. Simply because now finally I have Mac Os X running on my system. Well, I you have been reading my blog, or even skar’s blog you must know what all I had went through last year. I had the worst time of my life, both Karan and me were cursing my computer at the end of a week long of perseverance to install Mac. Now finally this time Karan has brought some nice ‘jugad’ that managed to get the Operating System running on my computer. The ‘jugad’ was VMware. We tried to install both 10.4.7 (which worked for Varenya the other day) and 10.4.6 which has worked on other computers. But with in minutes of the start of the installation, it would stall and ask us to retry. Well things very not very pleasant till Karan pulled out the trick called ‘VMware’ out of his hat. Apparently it set up a virtual machine through my windows onto my other drive, emulation everything apart from my processor. And somehow it managed to install Mac. Now when rebooted using my Seagate HDD, my machine booted in Mac. Wow!! The speed was awesome. It identified my processor as Pentium D 4 GHz…. (although my processor is only 3 GHz in speed). The whole booting took just 27 secs, right from BIOS till a completely started system. But this was not the end of it. The entire process was not that simple. The first problem was that (obviously) it did not support my nVidia graphics card. And secondly it did not support my onboard Sigmatel sound card too (in spite of installing the driver). So we decided to install 10.4.6 instead of 10.4.7 as Sigmatel driver worked in that in one of Karan’s relative’s computer in Himachal (unintentional use of bad English, mind you not wrong English). So we did it, but there were lots of hiccups all the way. Once the installation through VMware stopped giving the error that the workstation got disconnected (or sumthing like that). Well when we checked out on the Disk Management, it did not recognize the second volume at all, as if the disk was physically removed. But no, it was still connected. When we tried to restart, it would boot into Windows (which is in the Samsung HDD, placed second in the Drive order after the Seagate HDD). When we remove the Samsung connection, the BIOS won’t load!! When reconnected, it would load. That was bad. We predicted a Hard Disk crash. But when we inserted the Mac installer DVD, it started with the installation initially, then suddenly Mac OS 10.4.6 started. Strange!! The Hard Disk recovered?? But at the next reboot with only the Seagate connected, it said ‘No OS found’. It was really bad and confusing!!! Thus my PC was termed as temperamental and indeterministic by Karan. After the lunch (delicious Rajma, Parwal and Kofta) we sat down again. Since the sound card did not work in 10.4.6, we decided to properly install Mac Os 10.4.7 slowly, steadily with proper partitions and hopefully for the last time that day. This time everything went on well. I also installed another copy of Windows on the Seagate drive. Now this changed my active partition to Windows and it would not let me boot into Mac. Since Ubuntu did not work on my computer, Karan used some hi-fi commands through the terminal of the installer DVD to change it. Now all was set and running. Applications were installed (or rather copied, Mac does not have anything like installation, just copy the applications and it runs!!). A small problem that the Mac would only start in 1024x768 resolution was easily solved by referring to the internet. Now I have a good Mac, just missing the really awesome graphics effects (like the ripple effect”) and the also the sound (which I guess can be solved using a USB sound card).



Configuration as shown by System Information and cpu-z: Those are true



Apparent configuration as detected by Mac.



xBench Analysis: Only the main ones, omitted Drive, graphics and open GL analysis.


I also got another new stuff from Karan. He got me a new pair of earphones that I badly needed after my Apple ones ‘died’. A new “Sony MDR-EX71SL/WK Fontopia Headphones (White)”. They are an excellent pair of in-ear headphones. Although you need to get used to of in-ear at first, but it won’t take much time. The head phone has really good sound isolation. In the Metro when I was listening to it, I could only hear the loud announcements very faintly. No other chatting, jabbering of the fellow passengers, not even the screeching Metro wheels. In the bus ride to Chandigarh I could peacefully enjoy the soft music of ‘May It Be’. I must say they are a lot better that the Apple iPod’s earphones in terms of cutting down outside noise. The sound quality is far better too.





Finally, some news about the campus. Election is round the corner (coming Friday), and we are already feeling the heat. But until now the experience has been very different from last year. This year many of our friends are a part of campaigning and many of them are candidates for the post of DR. And so this year there has been times when we get our work done through them, and also tell them “You want votes or not? Cause if you don’t help me out you are not getting any votes from our side!!” Last year it was really different, we had to hear them out, all the things they had to say, we had to get ourselves ‘kidnapped’, in short the experience as a first year student has not been very well. I am sure even this year the freshers are facing the music. Police checks at the campus gates have already started. When we returned from Delhi, they thoroughly checked our identity before letting us enter the campus. I guess we are not far from some police raids in the middle of the night….Oh this reminds me…… “Oooooo Aaahhhhh… In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep……….” River of Dreams by Billy Joel.