The IT bitmap

March 13, 2009

The Final section

Filed under: Branch Diary — itrags @ 12:08 pm
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Things we will miss

All the impromptu screaming of the words Sen , Baba, Kote, Proxy (Darshan is his real name, folks), Salsa, GPL, Kerala followed by Yeda etc that generally left the teachers quite nervous.

The Management Theory classes.

DK

The general lack of classes

Getting away with abysmally low attendances.

Bheem boy being greeted with applause whenever he decided to grace the class with his presence.

The incessant spamming in the group. But maybe we will never miss it. We pretty much expect it to continue happening with people posting from the comforts of their homes and offices.

Status messages ranging from arbit to condescending:

Aks – I wish I had a clone.

The hallowed Bhatta after 4th semester – Metamorphosis of a 7 pointer into a 9 pointer

Things we look forward to,

ND, Lal and Bheem boy taking Naabo to greater heights.

The department getting that coat of paint it so badly needs.

A elevator for the new building that HOD is lobbying so hard for.

Some AL beating Ms.Gangotri’s record for longest service period.

OC beating arbit Chinese dude to become the ultimate coder in the world.

Finally, to round up, some quotes that we won’t forget in a hurry:

Bubu the OS Goddess:

If you didn’t understand today, you ll understand in the next class.

I’m confused. I’ll explain in next class.

Go and stand on the back.

I don’t know how it is a stack but it is given that way only in the book.

I know your answer is right but I won’t give you marks. <Evil grin>

The man who knew too much:

Go to police station to lodge a complaint about your lost book.

I know how to clip your wings

You waste my time by asking doubts

(After 2 hours in a lab exam)”It’s not my fault that you sat on a faulty comp.”

I will definitely give 2-3 FFs.

Its because you wrote a faulty program that the server is crashing again and again.

I have done 2-3 Trees as well as optimal BST in just 2 hours during my college years.

To a colleague after his usual stint with hapless students: If u don’t screw them they ll sit on your head.

PJ Thatha:

I see romance in all your eyes. You are all very romantic people.

To Ramachandra Shenoi: Are you related to the great actor MG Ramachandra?

We are most of the time pathetically clueless. A message to the group by the ever messaging CR went like, “ Hi frens. Time table… 9 to 10 eco.. 10 to 11 ads… 11 to 12 dbs…”

The replies that followed went like this

Reply one: “Hey dude, is 8-9 free?”

Reply-two: “Hey dude, is the afternoon free..?”

Reply-three: “Hey we have only three hours tomorrow?”

Ok this one is by an endangered species. They generally tend to be pretty much reclusive. But they do have come up with the occasional gem.

CR: “Hi. Syllabus is only till lexical analysis. Parser is not coming.”

A very concerned student: “dude. It can’t be this less. How can she put such a small portion for the test.”

Four years have passed by in the blink of a eye. Probably many years down the line when we reminiscence of this time we spent together we will realize how special it was. As our lives as students in this college draws to a close, we will take back many fond memories with us, especially of the department that made the last four years the experience it was.

Cast:

Lal, Abhishek, Baba, Adi, Sen, Psyche, Aks, Akshay, Tima, Khati, Anusha, Arine, Bhatta, Ashwin, Bala, CKBV, Rao, Holla, Dibya, Dillu, Balti, Ganesh, GB, Harjot, Yatin, AK, Aimol, Kushi, Praveen, mtg, Salsa, Nish, Nitin, Yeda, Pondy, Prashant Mohan, CR, Asha, OC, Rajarshi, Rajat, Rama, Abhi, DreamKote, Roger, Trehan, Mehra, ND, Shashank Shah, Shayak, Sivakumar, Sogy, Shiny, Surya, Tariq, Arun, Vasu, Viju, Vikram, Darshan, Veee

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The Branch Diary, Final Year

Filed under: Branch Diary — itrags @ 12:07 pm
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Year, The final – “ Needing a bailout”

OC finally became the CR and well, got right down to business. There were very few courses to be handled as everyone clamored to find the easiest course on the pile to fulfill the minimum credit requirements. Final year will always be the year you wanted to be in.

The placement season was finally upon us. There was a new guy at the helm and he was learning the ropes. But the stormy weather and general stubbornness to learn were proving quite a hindrance. There were many a frantic post in the group expressing a general sense of annoyance and dismay. But despite the hiccups it finally got underway. The PCs OC, Abhi and Anusha paid more visits to the ATB than they ever did through all of first year. Oracle took away the cream of the class (at least the cream that was interested) with Dillu getting the top job at the server technologies division. Netapp and D E Shaw got Sagar, CKBV and CET #1 while Madhava got into the troubled realms of Yahoo ( with Jerry Yang leaving them, he may be their only real catch in 2008). But these were troubled times and we were feeling the pinch.

When finally Symbian and ZS were done in September more than half of the class was placed. But the general slowness of the offers coming forth and with many companies deciding to play it safe there was an air of disappointment and discontent. By this time last year most of the branch had been placed.

Life was teaching us what it meant to survive. But if life was being an ass, we didn’t let it bully us. There was very little we could do about it besides enjoying whatever time we had left together in the branch. After many false starts and threads in the group fanning out into indecipherable spam we finally got together for a class trip.

The trip was to the sita falls. It was grueling trek (for some of us) what with the recent monsoons making the trail not run of the mill. The leeches had to be warded off with pinches of salt every 5 minutes. But I guess, it was all worth the effort when we finally got to the falls falling off the cliff in all its majestic glory. For once we could forget all the placement woes and live life like it was meant to be lived.

The morose placement season continued with offers slowly trickling and by the end of the semester a significant majority had been placed.

By the end of the semester we had our project proposals ready. None of them would have won any major award for extraordinary researches in computer science. But we did come up with catchy titles. We are good at that.

The next semester dawned on us with hectic preparations for Engi and Inci (For people who are into such things). For the rest of us it was a very dry and boring semesters with the department being kind enough to provide courses with credits so that they conveniently let us fill the minimum quota for the semester (come on, 4 credits for IS? get real for once!). Life was very slow. Some of us indulged in incessant spamming in the group. Each thread generally ended with CKBV giving some arbit Linux fundae and Siva pleading innocence and claiming that someone else must have used his id. Some of us tried to be funny and made videos ridiculing the system, kannada actors and everyone nobody really cared about. Some of us went to exotic locations trying to understand the meaning of male bonding and incentives that come with such an endeavor. Some of us prepared for the technical seminars and gave speeches regarding the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or about human cloning. Holla decided that it’s never too late to start and had his first joint venture with Abhi, only to spend the next day dozing on the last bench and leave the teacher wondering if he was alright.

Over the course of this, we have had a few new entrants into the department in the form of permanent staff (finally). They are god level qualified and we are kinda thankful to have missed them and their scrutiny for all those semesters we successfully conned our way through. But it is heartening to know that IT was finally getting some real good stuff where it mattered.

I guess its time for farewells though there has been no word about a party. We should start giving the juniors a few gentle reminders. There will be many a tear shed.

The Branch Diary, Third Year

Filed under: Branch Diary — itrags @ 12:07 pm
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Year, The Third– “This is IT?”

Where did all the fun go? If ever there was a time when we doubted our very essence of existence, it was now. There was no free time. Okay there was free time, but by our standards we might as well have been in a concentration camp. But Of course here we had classes, and more classes and nobody starved us.

First up Harjot trumped OC winning the CR elections quite comfortably (I think OC lost his deposit). The ‘hallowed’ Bhatta climbed out from the depressed abyss that he had found himself at the end of the 2nd year to become campus ambassador for a certain company. Everyone wondered how. He took to the job quite well with his unabashed embracing of every software that came from its stables. The goodies were simply annoying.

The HOD was back and so were the projects (please note the plural). The classes were piling up one over the other. We had guest lecturers coming all the way from exotic places teaching us the ways of the Zen (But why the marathon classes?). The ALs were there trying to hog the limelight in their own little ways.

One of the teachers crossed the line and tried to hammer some sense (the profs definition) into us. But sensitive beings that we were it was not long before we decided we couldn’t take it anymore.

In a generally muddled affair with a lot of histrionics thrown in we took it to its logical end (The general opinion is that Madhava challenged the lecturer to a duel). Though I would have loved to have stuck the IT flag up this incident. You know like the time India conquered the Tiger hill at Kargil and we had contented soldiers sitting around the flag laughing nervously for the cameras. The girls also had finally broken their general apathy towards the proceedings of the class by actively taking part in this ouster.

The semester was largely uneventful after that. The generally wary and distant teachers saw to it.

Most of the non-HOD classes had abrupt ends that left us pretty happy and confused. Operating systems was a con and we saw through most of it. Networks was, well, different. For some reason, the prof assumed that the class was seated 10 feet above ground level. He will also be remembered for crushing Abhi like a fly when the poor fellow asked for a break seconds after he had announced one. Economics classes were more of handwriting practice than studying statistics and figures. In the end the projects were done and submitted. Most of them looked eerily similar. The evaluation was a long con for most groups. See in IT you do learn some skills.

The sixth semester was more hectic than the previous one. Afternoon naps had become a luxury.

There were more clueless ALs joining our department over the course of this semester (Where do we find them?). Also the new building had been constructed (finally). So our department had finally found its rightful place. Though the building was yet to be painted and had a general unkempt look about it we had come a long long way from the days of calling L109 as our department.

Math was back in a big way. Graham and Knuth, with their liking for footnotes and side notes provided the needed distraction for those who decided to give the text a pass. Then there was compilers. No one got beyond analyzing and parsing lexicons. Some of us drooled with excitement at each new problem in these subjects. Others looked at them with deepening sense of dread, incredulity and hopelessness. To the rest, the subject was just a set of weird symbols. Seniors added to our general state of haplessness by taking care of the networks lab. Playing tic-tac-toe and chatting were no longer a piece of cake. The seniors were pretty enthusiastic about it. We watched them with nervous concern.

The Humanities class was a riot. The friendly teacher’s feeble attempts to get some sort of order in the class were met with respectful banter and more chaos. She was brilliant for it.

Helpless AL : “Who is the founder of Microsoft?”

Class : “Bill Gates ma’am”

Harassed AL : “Wrong! It is William Gates”

Professional practice was always there to keep us interested. The strict attendance requirements meant we hardly missed any. But some of the presentations just weren’t worth missing. Aimol (lecturers still fumble with his name) decided since he had been feeling extremely nervous the previous night he would speak about the nervous system (Trust me, those were his exact words). Prashant’s general concern for the welfare of women in India (Or was it the world) were met with deep sense of skepticism by the concerned lecturer.

In the meantime the new lady in charge of engineering software was causing quite some flutter in the ranks. Many a mail in the group was replete with cryptic wordings that were deeply debated across the board.

Also for the first time ever we were beginning to get together outside and do stuff that didn’t involve the college or the department. Harjot’s desperate thread the previous day had finally worked and we, for some weird reason, had a lunch out. Although it was sparsely attended, the lazy bums that we were any activity that wasn’t routine was really some progress.

Then we went a step ahead and organized a cricket match. Surprisingly we had enough turnout for two teams. Kote finally decided all that chanting of his name in the class really needed some substance to stick to and carted the bowlers around. Yeda (who had exhausted every possible video on the LAN by now and, so was playing cricket) got hit on the face with a vicious rising delivery but he went all Graeme Smith on us and ,despite his life threatening injury, continued his labored batting. One of the writers of this memoir capped of the proceedings with continuous beamers that generally put to rest any chance of victory for his team and his general bragging regarding how the only thing he was good in life was cricket.

But it was the 6th sem. Our final frontier before we crossed onto the calm waters of the final year. The depressed banter and wailing over cold lassis at the samudra darshan were slowly being replaced by the hope and freedom the new dawn (read semester) would bring us. We were ready to walk on burning cinders for what the future promised us.

The Branch Diary, Second year

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Year, The Second – “Learning the ropes”

We at IT are a very generous bunch. We gave away our class topper IT Mata to continue her reign in higher circuits. Vishwas moved in from Civil. Meanwhile Deepika left us to pursue darker arts at the NLS.

Third semester ushered us into our ‘branch’. DSA and DIG proved to be two of the most interesting subjects. Under the able leadership of ND, the newly elected CR, we learnt the most important subject – the art of dealing with ALs. This was quite a task as we saw in the days that followed, since each AL simply disappeared without a trace just when we had gotten around to remembering her name. Ms. Gangotri still holds the record for the longest tenure, three entire semesters. The highlight of the DSA course was the Freudian slip by the AL while writing the evaluation scheme on the blackboard which read as follows:

20% – Tests

30% – Mid <beep>

50% – End <beep>

The hysterical laughter that followed, when the embarrassed lecturer tried to rub the profanity of the board, must have caused quite a lot cracks in the walls of that class.

Probability theory was quite a pleasant surprise for most of us as we had one hell of a fresh face teaching it to us. By this time, Yatin was showing us all what a brilliantly interesting personality he was with all his desperate attempts at trying to tickle our funny bones. Here’s a sample:

Q: Why did the lioness become beautiful suddenly after sitting on a stone?

A: Because she became sher-on-stone (Sharon Stone)

P.S:AAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Freshers was just around the corner. Every club in college was holding a dance workshop around this time and it became absolutely essential to attend at least one. Manohar tried his luck with IT’s dancing queen only to end up with a broken heart and the Salsa tag. At the freshers, Praveen CR a.k.a Jumping Jack left us wondering which African tribal dance workshop he attended. He could’ve given a chimpanzee a run for its money.

Fourth semester brought in its wake a second dose of ALs. You see some of them were good (at least they thought they were). Take this enlightened teacher for instance. She thought that coding binary search in Assembly level language is a perfectly reasonable question for a lab assignment. Just about 300 lines of code and 3 consecutive night outs, no sweat.

The most intriguing subject this semester was of course, CG. We were having our first dose of the HOD and his classes were eagerly awaited (by some) everyday. The mini-project gave many of us sleepless nights as deadlines approached, but was a learning experience (again for some) nevertheless . Throughout the sem, the IT junta were busy trying to draw, translate and rotate rectangles, polygons and spoked wheels that were supposed to intersect and cross paths but simply wouldn’t.

At the end we had this as the question for the semester lab exam: Simulate the flying motion of a stick figure bird. The bird must first run a few steps, flap its wings up and down and then fly across the diagonal. As it flies higher up, it must decrease in size.

‘What!? No thanks, I think I’d rather watch real birds do the same and save myself some trouble.’

We sat there completely dumbfounded realizing how hopelessly inadequate all the coding had been. Most of our final simulations would have put any self respecting bird (and for that matter nature for how the birds looked) to shame.

Yet these painful inflictions couldn’t keep IT from being ITself. By the end of the semester, more than three-fourths of the class had attendance shortage. The generous hearted MP teacher salvaged their records – by taking extra classes! Afternoon siestas only became more pronounced with the droning of our ancient MP teacher. With the semester actually being a busy one what with more credits allocated and the torrent of club events to organize, it slipped away quietly.

However, we at IT always manage to find something to make some noise about. The class decided to chant Subhash Kote, Cres Kote, Seek Kote or Dream Kote depending on what our ‘leading lady’ was clad in. Dillu and Balti, meanwhile kept themselves busy ‘connecting’ to each other with patch cords in the DIG lab. We were eagerly looking forward to interesting developments in third year, little aware of what else was in store for us.

The Branch Diary, First year

Filed under: Branch Diary — itrags @ 12:04 pm
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Day One. Amidst relentless downpour and grey skies, a troop of fresh faces ambled into ATB 2.2. Most of us were in a confused daze, what with the orientation taking us on a tour of a department that didn’t have Information Technology written on any of its hallowed halls. Where exactly was our department? Over the week many left us, many joined the crowd. Over the course of next two semesters this was going to be our abode, our base where we would discuss, debate and try to understand a department that wasn’t a department and how we could define ourselves in the mess the rains had welcomed us to.


Year, The First – “Searching for the Department”

The first semester witnessed the Great-Board-Yatra with the (mostly) undernourished students lugging a bulky EG Board all the way. Once they got there, their anguish was only amplified by incorrigible instructions to draw lines, lines and more lines. To complement this sad state of affairs, sweaty workshops with a great deal of banging (no pun intended) made its way into our lives. The heavens took pity on us and introduced us to our all-powerful workshop instructor whose entertaining tales were the highlight of the season. Lurking around was another veiled terror – The Surprise Test! Beginner’s luck was highly evasive in this case. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, enter negative marking. It was the age where getting zilch was no longer an evil. Attendance got a makeover with the revolutionary concept of ‘half-an-attendance’. So you are in class and yet you aren’t…It’s a matter of perspective, after all, isn’t it?

Elections came along and so did some award-winning oratory:

Praveen CR(who went on to become the CR, duh) : “My brother is in final year in this college so I should become CR.”

IT mata (who left us a year later to solder circuits) : “I got classes canceled last week so that people could go home.”

Mata, we’ve been doing that for four years now.

For most of us, getting into an IIT is an unfulfilled dream. But some people work in quite a different way. Take DK for instance. It was one year of engineering physics at IIT Madras, then a stint at NITK, Surathkal and then (which we were to find out after he left us) a stint at a local college. His thought provoking arguments with most instructors was quite a sight and we enjoyed every bit of it. Even the profs were intrigued.

Physics teacher: You haven’t attended lab exam. Do you know who is your lab instructor?
DK : No.
Physics teacher: Am I your lab instructor?
DK : Maybe.

CP Sir to DK: “Why didn’t you attend the CP Lab Exam?”

DK: “I didn’t feel like attending it”

Come to think of it most of us don’t feel like attending exams. If only we had the guts to act on those feelings we wouldn’t have to sit through those sweaty hours. DK was to continue his antics with an enlightening talk on the appropriate fitting of underpants for jogging – an art that could improve your stamina for… er… lets just end the sentence right there.

This diary entry would be incomplete without the mention of academics.

A chemistry Report by Dillu , a whopping 103-pages colour print out, is something the class will never forgive him for. This year also saw the emerging of the class toppers Sagar, CET #1 and Subbu(though she protests she actually emerged only in 2nd year). Funny how the only A’s anyone else found in their grade cards were the ones with A’s in their names.

The year finally drew to a close with us homesick freshers hurrying back home and yet breathlessly (some of us suffered strokes) awaiting the onset of Year 2!

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