Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ReeTweet : My First PHP/AIR/Twitter ...thing

Well, I am in 3-2 now (thats, IIIyr IIsem ) and its high time that I decided I go "deep", following one of the many paths open to me in the computer field. I can say I am marginally good in many things. Although its "many" its still marginally, I can make a simple webpage for myself, make a poster or two, edit some photos, write some codes, edit videos, mix audio, animate stuff in flash, do some DB management etc.. but nothing did I go too deep where I could actually say I am VERY good at.

My interesting in web-developing started back when I was a 12yr old making websites with flash navigation bars, but it stopped there, afterwards 10th class etc started and it was only curricular learning, extra-curricular things only involved "fun" :P

And seeing that I am very much interested in internet related developments, I thought that it would be better if I did something to expand my knowledge in this field.. So one fine day I asked @aalaap for some suggestions and after hearing what exactly I wanted to do, he suggested I learn PHP, and directed me to a nice learning place for beginners.

And I don't know why, just 5 Days ago it hit me that I should try out Adobe Air too (knew nothing about it till today) and just downloaded the SDK and stuff.

Lets fast forward to today, which after THIS happened, and also when I really started feeling that I should just have one small dabba with me using which I can just keep posting to twitter, not using a browser, so that I dont waste time stalking the timeline :P

So, I set my goal this morning (first "my" day of the holidays) to finally sit and see this Air thing and learn some PHP.


So, I started off the day by reading how I could make my first "HelloWorld" app in Air. As I read on, I realized that the Air is really awesome! I dont know if there are already things like this, but its basically like having a browser window of your own! You just write HTML things like you would usually do for it to appear in a browser, and then you point that HTML file as the source for your app, and then Air creates a window showing that HTML page, making it look like its a standalone App.(FYI uses Webkit engine)

Pretty good it is! This technique of doing things compliments my forte very much!

So, I kept doing things from that HelloWord tutorial and within no time I had it successfully working.. no hitches or anything :D After doing that, I immediately shifted my attention to PHP

Monkeys are your best friend.

You have your code monkeys, greasemonkeys, lab monkeys, and lots more, @aalaap directed me to this "webmonkey.com" which has good resources and tuts for beginners and experts alike.

So I made my way to that place and then started reading the PHP for beginners tutorial. Everything is basically like just any other programming language you've learnt in the past, so learning that part was not that hard. The main thing was knowing exactly how things work, the way communication between HTML and PHP things happen and all that.

And once again, the way PHP and HTML work together seems like MAGIC, i.e compliments my interests :D

After reading the whole article, ( which I say should be THE way anyone should write tuts! ) I did a bit of experiments with Air and PHP.

Now comes Twitter!

So, after making myself comfortable with how all things work. I started looking at how the twitter API works.. its basically just updating a RSS feed. So I started looking up on how I access and update feeds using PHP, and webmonkey lead me to THIS place.

It has links to things that people have already done to use Twitter API, using different platforms. The main aim here is "Dont re-invent the wheel"

I.E. Rather than sitting and writing those codes of lines again just take them from others who are sharing it.. but this, if you're a beginner, stunts your knowledge..so what I did was just sit lookup all the methods and variables that the person used in his small code by going to PHP.net and tried to figure out what how it was working.

After spending a good amount of time I was comfortable with what all of it meant and what was exactly happening. I also realized that there is a looooooot more to learn.. its the just the beginning.

Here comes ReeTweet!

After observing everything, I finally started making the application. I just used the code provided there in the TwitterAPI Wiki, and then added forms in my HelloWorld HTML.

The first build I made had only Username and Password dabbas, along with the tweet area. Basically not much work was needed to be put into it. Just make your text areas, give them ids, POST the values to the PHP script and then update the twitter.com/statuses/update.xml using cURL commands.

So here is the Box you've all been waiting for!

So simple, is it not?

So, after a few hours of reading and trying out various things, I was finally able to get the thing done in the same day!

First I thought only email id can be sent for the authentication so tweeted that.. then I tried using my Userid instead. It works both ways! :D

It echo()s these lines of text after submitting, I guess I can use the information and then render a nice page after submit :D

Afterwards, I realized that there was no point in using the userid and password, as this was something I created for myself.. so made the simple dabba I was talking about :D

So, yeah thats how I am leaving it for today.. will see more next time.

My app Link is where?

One of the main things that I wanted was that I will get "from ReeTweet" whenever I make the post.. I used to think that it was a parameter in the XML file that I should be updating in order to give the name and link.. but after looking around a bit.. it turns out that .. inorder to get "from app" and make it link to someplace, you must "File a request" and it has many constraints set.

It was very discouraging :( I dont see why they should do that, I mean, make it possible via some xml parameters and people who make things can show it.. I dont see how it can be "abused" linking to something there is similar to linking something in your tweet. Well, I guess its them being on the safe side, or maybe doing that to have an "exhaustive" list of all the apps that people are making.

I just hope that after I finish working on the thing I can get permission to mention my app :P

So what's next?

Well there's LOT of stuff to be done! I didnt take any security measures, and neither did I make more "personalized" here is a small list of things I want to do.

  • Look around about what security measure should be taken
  • Go back to main page after successfully posting!! (right now have to restart the app :P )
  • Add script to show remaining characters.
  • AJAXify IT!!
  • Make my own icon
  • Make a nice BG
  • Show @replies in another tab
  • Count number of tweets in current session and show
Well thats only a start, I just hope I learn a lot of things doing that :D

Final Thoughts

There is no guarantee that I will be doing web development in my future, as in, job.. but for the moment, I am loving and will keep doing it till..well.. circumstances force me to do something else... I wouldn't be sad if it had something to game programming :P (comfortable with designing algorithms there too :D )

And as for AIR, I have to say! Its far far FAR better than me having to make those swings/jFrames applets in java, this feels so natural to me, and very comfortable with it! Swings and all feel so scary when you look at them, and doing this in Air is... just so ME.

So.. yeah, thats it about what I did today, Now I will look into where I should go next to learn more about PHP, the exhaustive lists and everything at PHP.net are a bit scary :S

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reetesh's Scheduling Algorithm

Note: Well, no matter how silly/incoherent/unnecesary this felt when I typed, I finally gatehred the strength to post it..

Everyone has stacks of work queued up with them.. and you do them in some order or the other. But it is very important to note that the environment you do your work in, should be such that it compliments your work and method.

Not too long ago, I was happy sitting doing my things and flowing along with the time. I always had notes and a small notice board filled with things that I had to do (on the computer), With not much problem I used to achieve those tasks. But recently, those notes have been piling up and that board hasn't been erased since ages.

The problem here is that, there have been only two processes running when I come home and sit on the computer..

  • Process A : AKA System Idle process, wander aimlessly in social sites and Reading RSS feeds
  • Process B :Help someone with some problem.
Process A

These things have various threads which keep happening in a round robin fashion.. I look at the RSS feeds and read for sometime, then go to twitter and stalk a little, then go to forums and help some one, check my scraps and reply to the doubts, the cycle repeats.

The Blog news sites keep putting news for hits, I get suckered into reading everything because of my thirst for.. well, anything that happens in my areas of interest (One big goal of having a huge encyclopaedia in me head). So that keeps giving new things to read once the cycle is over, then people on twitter keep tweeting and there are so many people with common interests that keeps me watching, to see if they found something interesting that I could probably make use of.. that is another never ending process.

Then there is the forum thing where you periodically go and keep checking if the person asking the question to which you replied has answered back or not..

In this way, time gets wasted, so obviously this way of round robin-ing all these process is a very bad thing to do. Socializing and having connections with people is good, but one should never go overboard.

Process B

Basically, there is nothing wrong in helping others, I actually love seeing that what I know is helping in making others' life easier. But the thing here is that, since the past few months it has gone to such lengths that I get daily 1hr+ phone calls, chatting for an hour (altleast) and then roaming in the forums for another few hours .

The main culprit here is me ofcourse, I can choose to say "I am short on time" or "have to do something else", but I just can't say that, and then again there is thing that, I have my chat clients ALWAYS on, so anyone looking for help instead of googling will ask me first, because.. well, there is a good chance I would know how to help.

The main reason I go online (not invisible) on these things is because, I've been getting calls from people/relatives saying they haven't seen me since so long, etc etc..(all that mushy stuff) giving me a feeling of "loosing your friends". So that the social tie is tied tightly once I go and stay online.

But thats basically "asking for it" Once you go online you are sure to be bombarded with even more people and waste a few cycles there.

What Happened?

Simply put, I got the proverbial "kick in the nuts" all that information junkie-ness finally proved fatal and it went to such an extent that I lost the sense of responsibility, never thinking about things I should actually be getting done. It was, always, the same cycle, repeating. Even sometimes when I decided firmly that

"I will play this game today"
"I will complete this task today"

I would get pings from friends or maybe a call from someone to do/help with something and then keep doing that and then after doing it, go into the system idle process and waste the remaining time.

How bad was it? Simply put, I completed only 13 games last year, compared to 23 from 2007, and most of the 2008 games were rather, short.

This was at its peak in the past three months, with even movie/anime/game activity being close to 0 so you can forget about "learning/studies" etc. And day before yesterday I got my "kick in the nuts" by failing to pass an exam by 2 Qs (which I openly accept, could have prepared more for, even though I did the minimum required preparation)

As they say.. "Its all fun and games until someone looses an eye"

Well, I guess you require something BIG to happen so that you get back intoright track and start doing things the right way...

So... What now?

Well, I guess its time for a CHANGE, and what kind of change?

Everytime I remember this saying from a good friend of mine "Life is all about getting your priorities straight" I always loved that sentence, wanted to follow it, never felt it was that necessary, but I guess it IS now.

So , shifting from my Round Robin ways with no priorities at all.. now on I will be having a very highly prioritized method of scheduling my tasks.

I have plans to learn and do a lot by the time this semester ends, so I guess its time to get my other kind of knowledge's fill and do it in a right manner. Everyday will have its own fresh board/page and will do those first, and only then go to my feeds/twitter etc..

  • WONT start my day with "Lets see whats the latest news at kotaku"
  • Will not keep stalking my timeline on twitter.
  • Apply appropriate Stealth settings on Chat clients
  • Remove all Social Apps from Startup
  • Do atleast one thing that you WANT to do.. not what you HAVE to.
  • Learn to say "NO"
They might sound cheesy and all, but yeah, thats what I am aiming for.. ofcourse at first I will try to completely be away from everything so that I can later manage having limited exposure to them.

Will it work?

You have no idea how many edits, cuts, and modifications this post has gone.. I was going to NOT post this thing at all.. just like 100s of other things that go through my head, but I finally decided that I will make this post and let all my friends know, so that, atleast they will keep me kicking back on the right track.. i.e not just @sadaarjun and @PhaniPS :P

Just writing this is like overcoming a huge hurdle...

Comment on twitter

Basically, most of the people in there are people either working or.. well, not in college like me.. I mean the people with as much activity as mine. All those @SathyaBhat s and @b50 s spamming timelines are happily tweeting along from their office computers when they have nothing else to do...its bad, to try and replicate that part of them :P Its better me, as a student, utilise that time for something better :P

I guess I finally understand the on again, off again, moods of @preshit and also why @xubz has disappeared.@QuizMaster seems to be doing fine.. but has been less active recently because of the exams.. well, just hope @Rockstar_sid and @pcsbox dont get too carried away. @karthiksn seems to be in a similar System Idle process situation though..


In the end, will be tracking my own progress via twitter and blog activity.. let us just see if something happens after I post this thing... I dont want it turn out like all those other times when you get serious and think of doing something but endup being overwhelmed by the wretched System Idle Process.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pickup Mission 2: Package Smackage!

Today was another pickup mission! Another one of the students doing their MS in SIUE (where my bro studies) had come to Hyderabad just the other day, and guess what? My brother sent things via her! Yeah, that's pretty common anyways, people send things for their parents/relatives back in India via friends leaving to India! So what were those things? Where was the pickup point? Read on!

Oh yeah, that's "Reeft Punk" btw.. my avatar when I ride on the bike :P The helmet with no Visor gives the cool, winged helmet feel to it, and the shades block the dust completely (there is a LOT of dust in HYD, eyes get destroyed). Oh and always have my iPod on whenever riding :D

*The Destination!

The destination was also quite far away this time! (it's like a mandatory condition that the friend's house should be really far away) Luckily it was not as far away as the previous one, and this time it was on the opposite side of the city. The complete path is on the Highway!! That's the best part of it, finally got a chance to ride on the Highway (for a long distance) Enjoyed the ride a lot I must say.. but don't get too joyful! Things can get really dangerous. Good thing it was not very deep into the highway, else ultra super fast trucks would have started zooming by.

The house I had to go to was in Chanda Nagar and there were many other nagars inside ChandaNagar, it was a confusing mess! I was going on a straight path and then it split into three. Let's just say that I roamed 3Kms ("gullies" and all), for 15 minutes of every path. AND the last one was the right place :| Ofcourse, it always has to be the last place! (stupid Murphy and his law)

*The Package!

So I finally reached the house, (ofcourse with a lot of assist over the phone from Pratibha didi :P ) and there I was greeted to THIS chunk of awesomeness! Just look at towering package! I put everything into my bag, and also gave the things that I prepared for my brother.. made a complete DVD (along with labels and Covers) Took me around 3 months to edit the 3hr + Video (along with handpicked BGM etc :D ) And another DVD with all the pictures taken when he was not here. I also gave the 1 GB DDr ram that I had lying around here, with no use at all.

Then Sat there for a while talked a bit with Pratibha didi, got to know a few things about how they all saw my bro :P After talking for about an hour or so (and after eating 2 Ferrero Rochers! ) I started the return journey. It's getting dark very soon now a days, was pretty dark by 6PM itself! Reached home in under an hour and was ready to...

*Layeth the SmakethDown!

I guess I already told you all about how my brother is a deal finder and always tries to get things for... not the standard price :P Lemme write down the things with their price and how he got them for that much! Ok, without further ado, here are the things!

As you can see.. There are 4 PS3 games

  • LittleBigPlanet - $39 (Amazon Coupons)
  • Resistance 2 Collector's Edition - $59 (Offer in Amazon)
  • Heavenly Sword - $19 (Amazon again :P )
  • UT III - $19 ( $21 with tax, Walmart )

And then there are two BD Movies too!

  • Hulk Limited Edition - $16
  • TDK 2-Disc Special Edition - $10

Both from Columbia house, don't ask me HOW though :P

What? You thought that was all ? Now have a look here!

The first 3 games are from the buy 2 get 1 free GameStop offer that was up not too long ago. And remaining are form Amazon :D

  • Pikmin 1 - $24.99
  • Pikmin 2 - $39.99
  • LoZ: TP - $44.99
  • No More Heroes - $14.99
  • Wario Land : Shake it - $29.95
  • Mercury Meltdown : Revolutions - $9.95
Yeah! That's 5 Wii/GC games in there! Can't wait to start playing them all, hehe.. just need Luigi's Mansion, SMS, and Eternal Darkness now :P

Here is a panoramic shot of everything in one pic! (two pics stitched together)

Huh? It seems Mr.Ephelant seems to have found something.. what's that? AppleSeed : DuesEx Machina DVD and PURE for PC! (for JUST $5! )

So that's it for this pickup mission! Sure was exhausting! Came home, took pics and then posted the blogs, that's all what I did this day.. now off to sleep!

As a Special gift here is another nice shot of the whole of the whole package!

Check out the Full Album for more pics!

Package Smackage

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wii Music Impressions and Video!

So, I've finally got my hands on the Wii today, but I was not the first one to get their "hands on" it. I made my mom have the honour of being the first to play the game, with me and dad watching as she played.

The game started with no menu's, it had the tutor appear, and teach the basic 4 styles of operating the instruments in the game. My mom did all the tutorials and then played her first song! The rhythm of "twinkle twinkle" is well known to my mom (she is the one who taught me that afterall :P ) She did pretty good in her first ever try at playing instruments using the wii mote (she used to play real instruments back in her days). How did it go? well here is a Video :D

After that..mom and dad, went on playing for hours and ha real fun making music and seeing their music being played on the BG when they were playing the different instruments. (your previous plays add to the whole arrangement, automatically) soon they had done a whole 2x3 person band music of DoReMe (another one my mom and dad know, thanks to "The Sound of Music" ) well, it was good but not... how do I say this... video worthy :P However the amount of happiness and joy my parents had , was more than worth it to give it a 100 popularity points :P

Later I sat and experimented with a few things, wanted to see if I could do some custom changes to songs I know. I acutally wanted to play the SMB 1-1 song.. so to unlock it went on playing, soon I unlocked 47 songs but SMB song was no where to be found :(

One thing Wii Music really helped me in was, knowing the names of all those songs that I liked but never knew the names of. You know, the songs that came in Tom and jerry cartoons and some other merry melodies or Silly symphonies.

Here is a video of me doing that song which comes in that Tom and Jerry episode, you know, the one where nibbler sings the Ferero Rocher song :P

Here is another video of me playing a song that's OUT of this WORLD, and I think I heard this in another Tom and jerry episode :P I used this instrument I like very much, whose name I never knew till I played the game, and also dont know now, only remember that it starts with a "D" hehe.

You wont know the difference unless you've heard the original, tell me how it was :P I know I am no expert and it was just my first try, wanted to see how the whole thing goes.

Cant wait to sit and record some videos of me playing with some beat boxer or maybe doo wopper, but, I want my SMB 1-1 theme! Played for 5h:47m today and it was awesome, unlocked 47 songs, SMB 1-1 not included, played only 4 songs till now though :P

P.S : Btw, you have to hand it to the guys who do the Wii game musics, I mean, everyone of those Menu Musics are so soothing and relaxing, they are some of the best musics I have heard in recent times, the one that comes when you save a video is just too good, there are many in other Wii branded games too, and ofcource SMG also has some good music.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Pickup Mission and Feorgotting

Today was Eid, (Happy Eid to all! :D) Hence a holiday. So I decided I make most of this time and went to my brother's friend's house where he sent things that he bought in US. And these are just not normal purchases, everything was a special Deal...

*Point A to B

The journey was 60KM long and as usual I travelled via my lovely bike. Was happy to see that the traffic was no where near to what you see 90% of times here (and trust me, you'd never want to drive with that horrible traffic ) So I reached there and look at what I picked up!

Oooh yeah! Thats a lotta BDs and DVDs :D lemme list em.


  1. Iron Man Limited edition
  2. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  3. Kung fu Panda
  4. Batman Begins


  1. Predator
  2. Independance Day
  3. The Day After Tomorrow

And theres a PSN card and also a Fischer Price Cartoon DVD, that DVD was free. will see it... justcoz :P

As for the BDs, My brother bought it in a Buy 1 get 1 free offer from columbia house so Iron Man is the one he bought and BB is the free one, and I discovered that KungFu Panda was accidentall listed for "free" and ordered that ASAP, hehe (got a mail saying it was cancelled and then a "sorry, take it" later :P )

And Journey to the Center of the earth, just now I and my parents watched, it was a great movie.. I mean the BD comes with 4 pairs of 3D glasses and Both 3D and 2D versions on the Same disc .. AND a "digital copy" on a dvd, which I guess is a avi version or something of the whole movie. It has a CD key for it and everything, I dont know why it was give, but oh well. thats awesome, its 3 movie versions in 1!

The 3D effects did infact feel 3D-ish, and luckily it was more and better than Superman Returns (yeah, I saw that in 3D... in IMAX, lol)

As for the DVDs. I and my bro have a plan on buying almost all those old movies that we watched and loved. And with our complete Home theater set-up disaster movies with the extra blasts and eveything are top priority :P Ofcourse, its not like he bought all for direct price, my brother being the deal guy he is, always bought em in such a way that theres profits o matter whats, hehe 8)

He IMed me the other day saying he bought Ace Ventura Double Pack! and he wont send it.. that !@#!# :P

*Point B to C

Since I cae oh so far to take those things, I made sure that I made most of the milage and visited nearby shopping areas, so I went to the computer heaven of Andhra pradesh (CTC ) and first visited the Book depot there, its one of the hugest book selling place here.

First thing I saw was a "Guiness Book 2008" book and I immediately remembered this Story in GS (mine is 10th comment) I asked the guy if he had other versions and he said "I dont know" So I went deep into the shop, searching for new MAD mag issues (nope, still no issues, since 2+ years) and looking at various Amar Chitra Katah Books.

and Lo Behold What do I see?

Oh yeah! I got that thing.. I just couldnt help myself, but I just love General knowledge...as I put it

"I am always on a trivial pursuit for trivia"

As much as I love stories, I mostly love books that are information based, than novels and stuffs, have a ultra huge collection of magazines and stuff (8+ years of 2+ mag subscriptions :P ). Once I took a look at the book I saw so many things that I would just eat away, so many things that you wouldnt necessarily find written in articles all around the place, so it was an instant buy!

Official Price 1300 got it for 1100 :D

As for the other thing its a DK multimedia (remember, I hate I love maths?) CD on Human body which I bought for my uncle who runs a big tutorial. His methods of teaching are very homely and unique. He already had an old version of the thing which he used to show to students and teach but the disc got corrupt so I bought this new version (also compatible with Xp! :P )

*Alternate Path

Now instead of going home (Point A) from this place... I took a detour and encountered a shop which... sells games! I just tried my luck and asked them.. "left 4 dead hai kya?" (Do you have l4d?) and BAM... he said yes and got it! Woot! I was waiting to get my hands on this thing since a long time and I finally have it. So yeah.. if you are an indian and waiting for the game, just go and get it.. its out!

Just saw the opening cinematic, sure did describe what kind of experience Valve was planning for gamers to have. Now... I wonder if my first playthrough itself should be on Co-op or SP...

and Yeah my Steam ID is Reetesh. add me if you want to play along sometime :)

*To Point A, and Feorgotting

What? You never heard of Feorgotting? Well.. it could be because.. I made it up :P The thing is that, when coming back, I was wondering if I "put the CD back in after checking it" at the book shop (DK CD) And then I was thinking if put my Card back into the wallet after paying the bill. (even though at one point I remembered doing it) Soon, I started feeling that I checked for it and then removed it and didnt put it back in :lol:

Such kinds of loops went on happening as I rode back to point A, actually, this happens a LOT to me, I keep forgetting such things, JUST so that I can worry about it..its like there are two brains inside me :P

I coined this phenomenon as "fear+forgetting = feorgotting" always forgetting and getting that "fear" inside you if things were done right or not.

perfect example "Did I lock the doors while leaving or not"

*Mission Complete

So yeah, I came back took these pics, emptied around 70GB of HDD space, reorganized a lot of files, installed L4D, saw journey to the center of the earth and then.. wrote this! Thats all for this entry, oh yeah! did I forget to tell you theres a Wii Music there too!?

I dont know about you, but the game sold itself to me the instant I saw that demo by .. no not ravi, but this guy, J.C.Rodrigo Well, to be honest, I bought the game even before I saw the video, I just love psuedo music making games or what ever you want to call it (Passive Reactive Rhythm game etc etc) and I know that my mom will also like it, so why not buy it, and hey it has SMB 1-1 Music in it!!

See you soon then, lets hope theres more coming.. I heard TDK BD has come out today :twisted:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Organizing a Lan Gaming event

Pragnya is the name of my college's "Tech Fest" The story of how this thing started itself is some 100 pages story, so lets not get to it :P At the end, it indeed "started off" and was its 3rd and final day. I am one of the 4 organizers of the "Lan Gaming" event for the fest. Its a 3 day event, being held all day long and that too in a lab of our college.

The games included in the Lan Gaming event are CounterStrike 1.6 (obviously :P ) , NFS MW, FIFA 08, Warcraft III (DotA) , and Quake III. The QIII in there, was there because of my request. I never see UT or QIII in any of the events of other college's, so I just put it there for players like me :) We planned to have Tournaments for CS and NFS, everything else was planned to be a regular "friendly" match which means that we basically set up all the systems in lan and the people visiting could play on Lan connected systems for cheap and have fun (generating income for the prizes)

Out of the 4, I and another person were like the main people handling the games and systems etc etc. I was there helping with all the hardware and networking things, being a college computer lab, we faced bazillions of problems, I was so happy that everyone of those problems we faced was easily fixable for me (not that the problems themselves were not too big :P ) All 4 of us spent the first 3 days of the week assembling, installing all games and stuffs on the systems. When the event actually started one of us was the registrations handler, the other was seeing all formalities and coordinating things, I was the NFS referee the other was the CS referee.

We organizers have "black t-shirts" and the simple volunteers who came in during the events were the "white shirts" once again showing that "Black is 1337 choice" :P So yeah, the white shirts were there to help us monitor the tournament matches, noting down timings etc etc. Really helpful bunch I must say, made new friends too!

On the first day I and another one of the organizers had to run up and down the college building for almost an hour to get the permissions letter signed by 4 different people out of which one was not available for 45 minutes. In The end however, we got signatures of one Associate professor, two Head of Departments and our principal to formally "get permission" for doing the thing and take responsibility for it.

I am trying to start "cut-short"-ing my blogs now, so that I can write things faster.. so lets just skip the majillion points of trivial details (in the inside, I don't think of them as trivial :P ) and skip to the main points!

One small point is that we allowed only the playing people inside the room, so there were 2 CS Clans and 4 NFS players in the room at any point and all others waiting outside in the waiting room, because all responsibility for the things in the lab was on us and we dont want nothing to be getting lost now, dont we?


For the first time in our college's 10 year history a Lan Gaming tournament was conducted and I was very happy to be a part of it, and most of all, I was happy that I was a "big guy" in the whole thing, as I now had a part in making the thing as fair as possible. With no "college partiality", etc etc. I am happy to say that the whole thing went smoothly. Every match was under my observation and I didn't find anything objectionable being done, Its not like I had to go there and tell them to not do something wrong, everything was being done in a very fair manner. I was just making sure everything was going right or not by double checking everyone's stats. (self satisfaction)


I was actually thinking that I would come across a lot of un-sportsman people who would... you know do "un-sportsman" things and complain a lot at the end of the matches, but NO. They understood that we were on college systems, which are not built for total gaming, understood that there was lag and EVERYONE was under the same condition. Also they were very cool about going according to the rules that I set. They were not bothered by the delays and were patient enough to wait till everything was fixed! Its great to see people like that participating. One of the participants is in top 10 of the state, a very good national level player too. He was there helping us , after finishing his matches by setting up some systems and giving bits of info on how other colleges organized things.

*Collision Detection

The only thing that I found wrong in the whole event was that almost every participant in the NFS event went :O after hearing that there would be collision detection in the races. I've read the whole WCG rules and know that its "off" in their games. But I don't see any point in having a "LAN" game and turning collision detection off.

I was telling them "Why not just play on any non lan system without traffic or bots and we will note down your times" it's the same thing as not having collision detection. They were worried about the race start mainly, as NFS puts 4 players in a 2x2 order (hence back people hitting front people etc) but I told that "that's the way it rolls" you can't come all the way and say it's a LAN event and have a sissy "no collision detection" event. I told them its an "underground" event, so forget about world standards.

We had one volunteer observing each of the 4 simultaneous participants and made sure that no one did any intentional crashes.


The whole event was as fair as possible, Out of the qualified Semi-finalists we divided people accordingly, so that we don't see a final in the semis itself, and also such that the least tier people don't play with all the first tier people.

There was no HUGE a gap between people and no one had any complaints :) Due to some technical difficulties we had to make some changes and the competitors accepted without raising a fuss about it.

*The Moneh!

We've had over 100 Participants, with ~65 for NFS and 11 Clans for CS. The participation number was quite good! Not only was this our first Lan Gaming event, but due to some mistake the event was not even mentioned in our event's website or the poster. In other colleges its around 250 or something, so relatively we did pretty good! All registration money was in the hands of the person who handled the registration. I always worry when it comes to money matters. The main thing being the doubt if the person who is collecting is a honest person or not. In almost every event I've seen till now, there were people who kept eating some of the money. I was having my doubts if there would be one now too.

But all these days working with them and seeing how they behaved, I was assured that they are good people and not someone who would eat away the earnings of the event. Not only that, but also the organizers of all the other events and the main co-ordinators are cool people with no intention of cheating out any of the money into their own pockets.

Maybe its because this is the "Tech fest" and not the college's "cultural fest". Why does it matter? Because every event is something related to things like paper presentations, programming competitions Robotics etc. so that means that only geeks and nerds are the organizers :P Not those meat heads, who somehow just by seeing you can say that will do something like that.

*What to DO with the Monnies.

Once everything was collected and registrations were closed, all the money was given to the appropriate authorities. The college decided that they keep 30% of the earnings and we use the remaining for the prize money... we had to reduce the NFS and CS prize a bit because of this (we were giving 1st and 2nd prize ) but the participants were cool with that.

*NFS Rules

The NFS Finals was won by the person in blue sitting on the far left. It sure was a great match, I planned the finals' scores in such a way that any mistake can lead to a total turnover of points and make the one in lead, loose the game. We faced a lot of problems during the finals as one of the connected system was always closing automatically as soon as the match started. We tried several combinations of 4 computers and after a lot of trials somehow got everything working smoothly.

The first Circuit race was 20 minutes long and tested the stamina of everyone, next one was a curvaceous sprint testing the players control and handling, then the third was a traffic filled collision having drag race. Drag is something everyone has trouble finishing, and it felt awesome seeing them play like that, going under the truck and all :P


The CS winners had to leave because they had another tournament, after trying a lot to try and get them the certificate and prize before hand, and not succeeding I gave them the prize money out my pocket and asked them to leave for their tournament (for which they paid a lot to register and were getting late ) I took their prize money for myself :P

The certificates could not be given to the winners as the tournament ended at 2 PM and certificates were written and locked by 1PM. They will however get it on Monday :)

*Other things!

Well, I first of all used one of my designs to make a poster for the Lan Gaming event. Made this in under 20 minutes, and it sure caught everyone's attention :D Other than that, took print outs of tables that I made to note down all the preliminary rounds' timings. Helped in framing questions for the "Tech Quiz" and some general help here and there too. All organizers got free lunch everyday too! The lunch was excellent in our canteen. And it felt great that we all organizers were being rewarded like that.

We spent 3 days installting various games in all the systems, and today when it ended, we spent around an hour deleting every game from every system in a synchronised and quick manner, the work was done leaving now trace of it ever happening, just so that people dont sit and play those games during normal lab sessions, hehe.

Well, I think I am missing some details but I guess this is more than enough, will keep making shorter posts if possible, hehe. All in all, the event was awesome and it had a great surprise in the end which I will save for later. It was the first time our tech fest was so huge (only the cultural fest was a big thing, till now) it did go pretty well, but will surely be better next time! There were many things wrong with the timing and promotion and (lack of) sponsorship for this event.

Any doubts or anything, feel free to ask :P

Heres the poster I made

Check out the full gallery here!

Pragnya '08

Monday, December 1, 2008

New-Gen Polaroid

Before I start off writing about the my 3 day trip to Srikakulam, its various Temples, Araku Valley and Borra Caves, lemme show you something interesting that I found during the trip.

I was here at the APTDC View point in GaliKonda, the highest viewpoint in Eastern Ghats. And obviously everyone (me included) were getting their pictures taken.. Some with their cell phones and others with their cameras.

Here I saw a person roaming around saying "On the spot photo Rs. 30" in the general black ticket seller rhythm. I didn't even look at the person telling myself "Who needs Polaroid pictures now"

So after getting on the Bus and when it was leaving, I saw someone else's picture, it was normal photo size and printed on the regular Glossy paper.. I was wondering what kind of camera it was, then as the bus moved I saw something really unique.

These guys put up a special Laser Printer, powered it via some car battery or some electric line (it was not clear as the bus was moving) and took "on the spot" printouts. I was really surprised after seeing this because we were in a highly remote location with almost no electric towers/lines near us.

Now that's some "new gen" methodology! Bringing a laser printer and then printing on the spot, very economic and profitable!

Later I found people taking power form the electric box of the lights in Borra Caves doing the same thing! This time I got a closer look and everything was clarified!

The printer even had a LCD Screen! Don know, since when they are doing this, but man, no matter what, its really something worth mentioning.

Have a look.

Now thats what I call Resourceful Engineering!