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Thursday · 31 Oct 02 · 08:29 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Tech

I got a pretty cool little feature working today for this site - now I haven't implemented it yet, but I tried it out on my server at home.  This is the ability to view each of these news posts in a separate page.  This is useful for two things, first of all since each post has a page dedicated to it, it's URL can be given to others.  Probably you might want to send an email to me or someone else mentioning one particular post that I've made.  Now you can refer to it by it's own address.  Secondly, these pages are also printer friendly - which means they don't have the menu and all the other components of the page, and they're presented in a large, nicely readable font size.  The layout, therefore, is ideal for printing.  I think it's a nice feature, and I'll add it here soon.

PHP is really awesome, this is actually a pretty powerful feature (if you think about it, the moment I add this feature to the site, there will immediately be about 80 new dynamically generated pages available!), but it was almost ridiculously simple to write!

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The Sixth Sense and Scream

Thursday · 31 Oct 02 · 08:21 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

They're showing The Sixth Sense on STAR Movies at 9 PM tomorrow!  I have only seen it once in the theatre (and this was way back in December 1999), I can't wait to see it again!  They also have another treat in store for me, because they are showing Wes Craven's Scream on Saturday at 9 PM.  I actually have this movie recorded on tape, but I am still going to watch it on TV.  It's a fun movie.  They are also going to show Scream 2 later in November, which is good.

Now both these movies were released by Dimension Films, and hopefully this means STAR Movies is going to show more of their releases.  Specifically, I really want them to show From Dusk Till Dawn, which is one of my favourite movies!  The tape that I have of this movie is of really bad quality, so that's why I want to get a good print of it.  Unfortunately they will censor the movie heavily if they do show it, but at any rate I would still like to see it with good picture and sound.

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My very own ODBC

Thursday · 31 Oct 02 · 08:02 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Some stuff that I downloaded recently: I got MyODBC yesterday.  ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity, and is a technology by Microsoft which allows you to connect to a variety of databases from Visual Basic or Visual C++.  MyODBC is a set of ODBC drivers for a MySQL database, and once you install it, you can interact with these databases through your programs.  Now I got this mostly out of curiosity (it was a small download, too) but it means that I can now connect to my website's database with a program.

Ganeshan also told me yesterday that he recently installed AVG Anti Virus, which he said was good, so I thought I'd give it a try myself.  So this is the anti-virus software I am using at the moment.

I also went to Elbryan42's Doom Depot today.  He's got MP3s of all the music from Doom II GBA, so I got a couple of them.  And I also downloaded a ZIP file of music from Doom GBA in MIDI format (sequenced by Michael Barrette), which were awesome - they sound just like the Gameboy Advance's music (now I don't have a GBA, but I've heard MP3s of them - from the Doom Depot of course).

Tobias Münch also updated his site (on October 20th actually, I missed it), and this update was mostly about Doom, because as he said, he was "In the mooD" for it!  He mentioned my new level in there too.  Recently I've been watching the official demoset of Slayer (a Doom II episode by Richard Wiles).  These levels are way too tough for me, but I have fun watching the demos.  The demos are awesome (they are done by the Doom Speedrunners Forum guys), and the levels themselves are extraordinary!

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It's the End of the World as we know it (and I feel fine)

Thursday · 31 Oct 02 · 06:57 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The headline for this post is the title of a song by R.E.M. and it has something to do with my Visual Programming Practical Exam, and I will talk about that a little later.

Anyway, yesterday I finished my Visual Programming Practical Exam successfully!  I am happy of course, since it went well, but also because it is the last practical exam I will be writing in this Engineering course!  After all, there is not much of it left, only one more semester in which we have only two theory subjects.  OK, so what did I have to do in the exam?  I had to do two programs, one said Design and implement a fully functional Web Browser application and the other, Design and implement a menu driven MDI application.  The expected thing is to get one program to do in Visual Basic and the other in Visual C++, but here it wasn't specified.  So I made the browser in VB and the MDI program in VC++.  The MDI program in VC++ is so simple to do, everything is done automatically by the AppWizard if you select the base class as CEditView in Step 6 of the AppWizard!

When I showed it to the teacher he said that it was actually meant to be done the other way (browser in VC++ and MDI in VB), but since I had already done this, he said it was OK, but he told me to just do the MDI Program in VB and show him, which I did.  So that was what happened and that wrapped up the whole thing!

After I got home I wrote a few emails, drank coffee (Karthik's espresso mix, heh), watched Titus on STAR World.  Then I slept for a while, watched Desperado at 11 PM (what I had recorded from AXN in 1999).

OK, now the explanation of the headline.  You see, whenever I stay up late studying for an exam (as in this case - I was awake I think till around 3 AM the day before this exam) I usually take breaks at random intervals.  And I scan the channels on TV for about 10 or 15 minutes.  This time when I stopped at Channel [V] the R.E.M. song I mentioned was on.  It's the first time I'm listening to it fully, the only time I have heard a portion of it is in the beginning of Independence Day.  The video said that the name of the album was Document, which is interesting since that word has quite a bit of significance in VC++.

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Daniel Movies

Thursday · 31 Oct 02 · 06:45 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Some days ago, I got an email from one Daniel, who is from Romania.  He told me that he had seen my site and drawings and that he liked them.  He said that he does drawings too, and not only that, he makes horror scenes, cartoons, and horror movie effects.  The thing is, he said that he was looking for a job (and that he could not make a living with what he does, in his country), and he asked me if I could help.  I told him that I was only a student and whatever I was doing on my site was not to make money.  I said the best I could do was to write about him on my site, and so I've put up one page about it here.  He sent me a couple of pictures that he had drawn and I've put them up on that page too.  Let me tell you, these drawings are incredible!

So take a look at the page, and if you think you can help him out, then contact him at

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Getting Through

Monday · 28 Oct 02 · 01:00 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I managed to get through to my site this morning, so I updated with the recent news posts.  On 30th, I have a practical exam in Visual Basic and Visual C++.  So today and tomorrow, I will be studying for that.

I got to watch two new demos of my latest Doom II level Congestion Control.  First, Magikal did a maxdemo of the level in 6:11.  You can get the demo at his site.  And I also got a Skill 1 demo from my friend Ganeshan, who by the way has a new article about The Lord of the Rings on his site.

Speaking of demos, I know I promised to upload my Commentary demos some days back.   I'll do that now.  I only need to access my FTP to do that and since that's working properly, the demos will be up in a while.  They will be on my WADs Page.

Yesterday on Sony TV, I watched Lagaan: Once upon a time in India.  It was this year's Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film from India, and for good reason too!  I think it's one of the best movies I've ever seen.  The final hour of the movie, with the cricket match, was especially terrific - although there is no doubt what the outcome will be, it was still gripping.  The advantage of watching it on TV yesterday was that it was a very good print - clear picture, excellent sound.  The only problem was that they had so many advertisements during the movie, they interrupted it every 15-20 minutes or so!  As a result, the 3 hour 45 minute movie ran nearly for 5 hours, from 7 PM to midnight.  And I actually watched the last two and a half hours AFTER midnight (recorded the movie), so I slept at 2:30 AM.  But it was definitely worth it!  The Sony TV people also showed trivia about the movie at the beginning of almost every break, which was really interesting (for example, it seems the initial cut of the movie ran 5 and a half hours, and was later edited to it's current time).

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Shadow of the Vampire

Saturday · 26 Oct 02 · 07:49 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

I saw Shadow of the Vampire on AXN on 24th.  Now this is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen.  In 1921, German filmmaker Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau made Nosferatu - a vampire movie based on Bram Stoker's story Dracula.  This movie is basically centered around F.W. Murnau (here played by John Malkovich) and his film.  It's actually a horror movie, because it suggests that the actor who played Count Orlock in Murnau's film, Max Schreck (played here by Willem Dafoe, who is fantastic) may have actually been a vampire himself!  Like I said, very strange!  I didn't know what to make of this movie.  It is written by Steven Katz and directed by E. Elias Merhige.

I felt like kicking myself (no wait I did) after seeing my AIMCAT 314 results.  My All-India Rank was 44 (yow!) but I got a score of 7.00 in Section 4, where the cut off mark was 7.33!!  If I had just NOT ANSWERED a couple of questions in that section which I had got wrong, I would have cleared the cut off!

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El Mariachi

Saturday · 26 Oct 02 · 07:07 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

I downloaded a few screenplays today (from Drew's Script-O-Rama) and I actually managed to read one of them!  Before I come to that, let's see what scripts are sitting on my desktop now.

  • There are two versions of Jim Uhls's Fight Club script - one is supposed to be the final draft, and the other the shooting script.  At first glance there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between them.  And I'm sure I have already read one of these before.
  • I also got David Ayer's Training Day screenplay.  Now this is one fantastic movie (it got a rating of 5/5 on my Movie Reviews page), and I gave a quick glance to the entire script.  Maybe I will get the time to actually read it properly one day.
  • I also got what is supposed to be the script of The Matrix Reloaded, by Andy and Larry Wachowski!  The page says that there is no guarantee that this is going to be the final script, though.  I haven't read it yet.
  • And finally, I also got Robert Rodriguez's script for El Mariachi.

I read the whole El Mariachi script this afternoon.  If you have seen Desperado, then this is the movie that came before that.  This is where the whole story started - if you remember there is a flashback scene in Desperado where Antonio Banderas's character remembers how the woman he fell in love with was killed, and how his hand was shot.  In El Mariachi we get to see how these events came about.  It has a simple story, a wandering Mariachi (guitar player, musician) who carries his guitar, looking for work, is mistaken for the dangerous Azul - who has escaped from prison, and is also carrying around a guitar case - only this case is loaded with weapons!  Azul is actually after Moco, a vicious drug dealer who double crossed him.  And Moco's men want Azul dead, but all they know of him is that he carries a guitar case around!  So they go after Mariachi too.  Lots of bloody action ensues!  I would like to see this movie sometime, Robert Rodriguez is the man behind both Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn (two awesome movies), so I will obviously like it!

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Flay the Obscene

Saturday · 26 Oct 02 · 06:39 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that Christian Hansen had commented about my latest Doom II level, Congestion Control, on Doom Center.  Now I have been reading Chris's reviews and playing his levels for a long time, but I somehow never got around to actually sending him an email!  Well, the positive comments I got from him gave me an excuse for it and I finally did get in touch with him.  Going by his reply, it seems that he was in a similar situation as well!

Anyway the final result of all this was that I played his Flay the Obscene levels again, on 24th.  And yesterday I got a number of demos for it from Opulent's too.  I watched them in between studying for my Java Practicals Exam, and also used screenshots from Flay the Obscene Part II in one particular applet I was writing (heh).  The applet was basically an image swapping applet - you would insert two instances of the applet in an HTML page, and they would be displaying two images on themselves.  They would each have a button, and when you clicked one of them, the images shown on the applets would exchange.

If you haven't played his Flay the Obscene levels (for Doom II) already, you don't know what you're missing out on!  The architecture and gameplay of these levels are terrific, and I really love their style.  They have basically an earthy-type look, with brick, wood and marble constructs, but also there are demonic, hellish and tech elements.  And he has used the Episode 1 sky in these levels, and with just the right lighting, every scene in these levels looks great.  And there are also lots of visual effects and gameplay tricks in them.  There are different versions of these levels floating around, but the Flay the Obscene Compilation, which has updated versions of all these levels in one WAD, is the only one you will need to download.  Of course, you know where to find it - at Chris's site The DooMer's RecesS.

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Big Bad DNS II: The Attack of the DNS

Saturday · 26 Oct 02 · 06:19 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that something strange was going on with my internet connection.  I have not been able to access my site for the past several days.  Internet Explorer tells me, "This page cannot be displayed" and Opera tells me "Could not connect to remote server".  All this time I thought it was just me and my site, but a couple of days back my friend Nagesh also told me that he wasn't able to access the JNTU (my college's parent University website) site also.  And his ISP is the same as mine, so I am not able to access the site either!  All other sites work well, and by the way, the sites that I am not able to access are actually working perfectly.  I hope something is done about this situation soon.  In the mean time, I will keep looking for an opportunity to get through to my site and make this update (like I did for my last couple of posts).

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A nice cup of Java

Saturday · 26 Oct 02 · 06:07 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The headline is a desperate attempt at making a Java joke, anyway... I had my Java Practicals Final Exam today.

So what program did I have to do?  The question was ambiguous and when I read it I had no idea what it meant!  It simply said Create a dialog box of user choice type.  Once I clarified it with the lecturer, I knew what it actually meant.  What I had to do was to give the user a choice and depending on what he chose, I had to pop up either a modal (a dialog box that doesn't allow you to click on the window that popped it up, unless you close it) or modeless (that which is not modal) dialog box.  I had never actually made a dialog box in Java in my life, but I had an idea of how to do it.  So with a little bit of "thinking on my feet" I made a window with a menu and depending on what the person clicked I would show an appropriate dialog box.  I was done with it quite soon, and I came home by 2:30 PM.  Now the nice thing about all this is that on 30th, I have another Practical Exam (that's on Visual Basic and Visual C++), and it will be the LAST Practicals final exam I will ever write in Engineering (because in the next semester we have only two subjects and they're both theory subjects)!

Since we're on the subject of coffee (what with all the talk about Java), I have started making espresso coffee at home again.  I usually make a cup of coffee for myself in the evenings, and for a long time now I was just mixing all the stuff together and heating it.  But recently I have become a bit more patient and I'm making it the way I used to - the reason I started liking coffee in the first place!  Surprising what a little beating of coffee, sugar and a bit of water will do!

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The Nexus of the Universe

Thursday · 24 Oct 02 · 02:30 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Yesterday I watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on STAR Movies.  Now it was obviously censored in places for language, but they also seemed to have cut out other bits of the movie, somehow it didn't seem proper.  I had earlier seen this movie on AXN and I think they did a better job of preparing a TV version of the movie.  By the way I believe movies shown on TV should NOT be censored, but then no one will listen to me, will they.

Also watched today's Titus episode on STAR World.  Apparently, the show is based on the real life of comedian Christopher Titus.  Some of the things that are portrayed in the show (mainly the emotional scars of Chris and his brother, caused by their alcoholic father) are actually very sad, but this show manages to take those situations and make fun of them.  I think it's well written and really funny.

Today I tried out phpBB by installing the files on my web server at home.  Well, like I mentioned before, it is a full fledged forums system.  But it was very slow for me.  If it is that slow on a local computer, I don't know what it will be like on the net!  I'm a bit hesitant in trying it out on my actual site now.

Oh by the way that headline is from something Pablo said to me in a recent email.  He said, "When you think that you are standing on a street that intersects with itself, then you know you are standing on the nexus of the universe".  I haven't got the slightest idea what that means.

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Big Bad DNS

Thursday · 24 Oct 02 · 02:17 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

OK, something very strange is going on.  Since Sunday, I haven't been able to access my site at all.  I thought the problem was fixed on Tuesday morning, but no it wasn't.  I am able to access all other sites except mine!  At first I thought there was a problem with my hosts, and when I contacted them they said there was no problem from their side.  And for everyone else the site works perfectly.  So now I thought my ISP had something to do with it, and when I contacted them, they told me to make some changes in the TCP/IP DNS settings and stuff, and that didn't help.  Apparently, they are able to view my site perfectly as well, and they can't figure out what is wrong either!  Ultimately I'm guessing there's some configuration setting that mysteriously changed itself, and that is what is messing things up.  I am the only one who isn't able to access my site, and I need to do that if I want to update it!  What a predicament...

Anyway the ISP people said they would get in contact with me tomorrow, hopefully with a solution to this problem.

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Doom Radio Episode 9

Thursday · 24 Oct 02 · 02:02 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

SgtCrispy released Episode 9 of Doom Radio today, and this afternoon, I downloaded it.  This time it was a half-hour show (and 14 MB in size), in which he discussed some of the latest Doom news as usual.  I especially liked the way he started the show off, very funny!  Now he also talked about the WADs released in The /newstuff Chronicles #100 this time, and so he mentioned my Congestion Control level in the show!  He apparently liked the map a lot.  He said it was "very cool", and "a f**king good detailed map"... and I can't really complain about that can I!  Thanks SgtCrispy, for those comments!

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Repairing Tables

Tuesday · 22 Oct 02 · 04:30 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Tech

No I don't mean the tables that you write on, I am referring to MySQL database tables.  A couple of days back, there was some voltage fluctuation at home due to which the computer got shut off several times (besides that, it hanged on a few other occasions as well).  And because of this one of the tables in my database got corrupted.  This has nothing to do with the database I am actually using on the site, it happened to my database at home.  I am writing about it here because it might be helpful to somebody.

If you get strange errors when you try to execute select queries on your tables, then first you have to check them.  In your bin directory wherever you installed MySQL, you will have a program called myisamchk.  First stop your server properly, then run the program on your table like so - myisamchk ../data/databasename/tablename.myi, and if it finds any errors (caused because the server may have been abruptly shut down), you can use myisamchk -r -q whatever.myi for a quick recovery, or if that doesn't work, myisamchk --safe-recover whatever.myi.

This is all thanks to the MySQL User Manual, fortunately I was able to restore my table easily.  And I was thinking of doing something drastic like dropping the table, getting a dump of all my queries from phpMyAdmin, and repeating them all again!

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Congestion Control and The Other Side of Phobos Commentary Demos

Tuesday · 22 Oct 02 · 04:16 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Inspired by all the people who recently sent me demos of my level, I decided to do some recording.  But not the usual type, I decided to do something I call a commentary demo.  You all must have watched John Romero's demos, in which he played the full Episode 1 of the original Doom and also typed his comments while playing.  I've done something like that too.  I played Congestion Control and The Other Side of Phobos this afternoon and I made commentary demos for both of them.  They run about 15 minutes each, and were recorded with ZDoom v1.23 beta 33.  OK so I haven't posted them on this site yet, I will do that later.

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XXX and other stuff

Tuesday · 22 Oct 02 · 03:14 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

On Sunday I watched XXX, which I thought was a good movie.  Vin Diesel's presence, the Xtreme action and the Xtraordinary stunts made the whole thing worthwile.  But I would say the movie falls short of being Xcellent because of the thin plot and the stereotyped villains.  It is good fun though.

HBO is also showing The Matrix many times these days.  In fact they were showing it yesterday night and I watched half of it before I went to sleep.  Today on STAR Movies at 9 PM a very good movie is on, it's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which is one of my favourite movies.

I would have updated about all this earlier, but a strange thing happened.  From Sunday evening, I was not able to access my site at all!  And since I update my site using phpMyAdmin (fantastic software), I have to access my site to do that!  That's why there were no updates for the past two days.  Strangely, I could connect to the FTP, and I was also able to see other sites, but mine wouldn't work.  So I sent a mail to the Tech Support people and got a prompt reply - there was nothing wrong from their side.  Ultimately I realised this was caused by my ISP, I don't know how the problem came or how it fixed itself, but things are all right now.

Yesterday was the last day of college before exams start (practicals on 26th and 30th, theory exams on 5 November).  I finished all the formalities yesterday (getting signatures on record books, submitting the exam application form, etc.) and came home early.  I played Chris Hansen's most excellent Retro Episode in the afternoon.

Recently I downloaded phpBB, which will allow me to run a full-fledged forums system on my site.  But just because I can do it doesn't mean I should do it, because I don't know how many people will actually use forums if they are there on the site.  I would definitely like to know what you think of this, please email me and let me know.

Recent entries in my Guestbook came from Rajeev, Sampath, R. Srinivas, Srikanth, and Pablo Dictter, thanks all!

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Congestion Control Reviewed

Tuesday · 22 Oct 02 · 02:41 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

On Sunday, Doomworld posted the latest edition of The /newstuff Chronicles.  This time, Steve "The Ultimate DooMer" Clark took on the task of reviewing the 14 latest WADs produced by the Doom community.  This was a special issue of this regular feature for more reasons than one!  First of all, this was issue #100, and it was also Steve's 500th post.  And of course, for me it was special because my latest Doom II level, Congestion Control was reviewed!

My level got a good review (thanks Steve for the concise but thorough write-up), and also good feedback.  Apart from the demos that Joe Pallai sent me (I mentioned this earlier), I also got a demo from Brad Spencer.  Unfortunately I couldn't watch the demo because it went out of sync for some unknown reason.  Opulent and Ganeshan also sent me demos.  I got comments on the level from Sgt. Crispy on Doomworld, and Chris Hansen on Doom Center.  Thanks to them for playing the level, and thanks also to Scott Wall, Manoj Nair, Albert Valls, Tobias Münch, for their emails.

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Two Smoking Barrels

Sunday · 20 Oct 02 · 01:37 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

There have been some good movies on TV recently and some more nice stuff to come!  The first important bit of news is that STAR Movies is showing Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on Tuesday 9 PM.  This is one of my favourite movies and I would HIGHLY recommend you watch it if you can!

They are also showing Stigmata on Friday and it seems like a nice movie.  I actually have the screenplay of that movie somewhere, and I read a bit of it sometime ago, but never got around to finishing it.  Last night, they were showing Men in Black.  I thought this movie was far better than the sequel.  Maybe because in the first movie, the whole MIB concept was new and they were introducing us to the characters.  Men in Black II was lots of fun, that I won't deny, but somehow things didn't seem original to me anymore.

Oh yes, and in a couple of hours from now I will be watching Vin Diesel in XXX (it was released here this Friday).  I'm looking forward to this movie, it seems very good.

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Downloads and Music

Sunday · 20 Oct 02 · 12:03 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Today I downloaded some interesting stuff.  First of all, I got a game called Zool 2.  It's been years since I played it and it was nice to be able to play it again (also, the music is very good).  I got it from an abandonware site.  Then I went and downloaded Quake Done Quick With a Vengeance, which is a 12:23 run of the ENTIRE game on Nightmare skill!

I also got three MP3s (got them yesterday actually) of a band called The Phoenix Revolt.  Now the lead singer of this band is Doom mapper (that's how I know him!) and 9th Gate Team member Damian Lee.  Their music is the Industrial Metal type, which I don't usually listen to, but I still thought these songs were good.  You have probably already read about the band at Tobias' site because he mentioned them sometime ago (I only got around to downloading the songs now).

Come to think of it, I am really lucky to know these guys (Damian, Toby and Pablo Dictter) because I have gotten to listen to a lot of music that I would never have been able to otherwise.  First of all, I have about 20 songs in all by Pablo Dictter, about 5 or 6 songs by Tobias, and again about 15 by Damian, and now four new ones by The Phoenix Revolt.  And Tobias' latest song was one called Moments of Despair, it's a song which features his own guitar composition, and he also added background music.  I like it!

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Saturday · 19 Oct 02 · 08:57 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Last night (midnight) I watched the last Star Trek: Voyager episode, Endgame, Part II.  I've recorded both the episodes, they are probably two of the best episodes I've seen!  The last time I saw the Voyager finale was on 29th and 30th April, and since then I've seen the whole series on Hallmark Channel.  Tonight they're going to start off at the first episode, Caretaker Part I, again.  But I'm not going to watch it everyday from now on, probably if there is a particular episode that I want to see again, then I'll watch.

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CArchVile* pArchVile = new CArchVile(); pArchVile->StartlePlayer();

Saturday · 19 Oct 02 · 08:19 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

If there was something called Visual Doom++, there would have probably been a class in it called CArchVile.  The reason I am mentioning this is that yesterday, we had four different tests at college (I am not kidding), including a practicals test in Visual Basic and Visual C++.  While I was reading the book for VC++ the moment I saw void CData::Serialize(CArchive& ar) I immediately thought of the Archvile from Doom!

Anyway the programs I had to do were something like this.  In Visual Basic I had to make an ActiveX EXE with some private and public variables and procedures and demonstrate it using a normal EXE.  This was quite easy.  For the Visual C++ part, the statement was very short - create a new menu and toolbar and attach it to your application - which was easier said than done, because I'd never done that before!  Anyway I experimented a little there (an adventure in the IDE) and I was able to do it, thanks to the list of functions that pops up immediately when you type objectname-> (heh).

I was at college until 8 PM that day because we had the last session of our IEEE Students Chapter.  It was fun and informative - we had two presentations and a quiz, and after that all of us had a party (hosted by Tarang, who had won a prize in the Paper Presentation Contest a while back, and Kiran, because it was his birthday).  Got home at around 10:30 PM.

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Insert Clever Headline Here

Thursday · 17 Oct 02 · 12:07 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

In case you haven't read about it yet, Congestion Control, my latest level for Doom II has finally been released, so click that link and download it.

Anyway since that has occupied much of my time for the past few days, here is an update with some of the other things that happened during that time.

  • I noticed an update on Tobias Münch's Tobysite a couple of days back - he has written a review for Minority Report!  Which is a cool thing, because I think it's the first movie review that he is writing (Toby you should do more of these), and he also picked a terrific movie to write about!
  • Sgt. Crispy recently released Episode 8 of Doom Radio (he is now hosted at The Phobos Lab), which again had some cool stuff in it (and besides, he mentioned Congestion Control, heh).
  • There is also some interesting stuff on TV these days.  So far, I have watched two episodes of this new show on STAR World called Titus (Wednesdays 11 PM), and I'm really liking it.  It's a very funny comedy series starring Christopher Titus.
  • Also yesterday (it was actually midnight, 16 October) I watched an episode of The Hunger on AXN.  This one seems like a more adult-oriented version of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, atleast from what I have seen of it.  It's got style and I especially like those end sequences (directed by Tony Scott).
  • STAR Movies is going to show The Sixth Sense, Scream and Scream 2 in November.  I thought they were going to show Memento sometime?  I hope they do soon, I really want to see that.
  • Tomorrow I will be watching the finale of Star Trek: Voyager on Hallmark Channel.  The two awesome episodes Endgame Part I and II are next!  I guess they are going to repeat the entire show again after that.

And finally I want to say thanks to Joe Pallai - he is the first person to send me comments on my new level, and it was nice of him to send me not one, but three demos of him playing it!  For level authors, these "first look demos" (as the DSDA's Opulent calls them) are very helpful and they offer a unique insight into the way someone actually approaches your Doom level.  So thanks go to Joe for his time and effort!

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Congestion Control Released!

Wednesday · 16 Oct 02 · 01:17 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

How are you gentlemen!!  All your base are belong to us.  You are on the way to destruction.  You have no chance to survive make your time!!

I just wrapped up production on Congestion Control, my latest level for Doom II - and it has been released!  Quick, go here and download it!  So what's in the level?  Everything I promised and more.  It may be a couple of days late but I assure you it was worth it.  I would like to say thanks to my brother Varun for testing it out for me, and also for making some nice new textures for the level.  Yes, there are new textures in this level, and also new music.  I've also written a short story for it, and I have thrown in a couple of additional goodies in the package as well.  Hope you like it!

What are you waiting for?  Go take care of that congestion problem!

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And for some more news now...

Friday · 11 Oct 02 · 12:20 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

After writing this I'm going to have to write three Star Trek: Voyager episode reviews.  Anyway, there are a couple of things that I wanted to talk about.  First of all, at college, we are almost at the end of yet another semester!  Which means, pretty soon, my final exams for the IV Year I Semester are going to start (I believe it's on November 5).  On November 24 I will be writing a very important exam, the CAT 2003.  And after that I will have a few holidays (actually come to think of it, I suppose I will have some other exams to write in that time - for the other Management schools I am applying to).  A couple of months after all that, my entire engineering course will be over!  Wow, time goes by so fast...

Nowadays I'm taking a copy of The Week magazine with me to college everyday.  During the half-hour bus trip in the morning I spend my time reading.  I'm liking this actually, it's a very good way to spend my time.

Kalpana's World (my teacher's site) was updated today and she's mentioned my site there.  And Ganeshan updated his site with a page about Dragonball Z.

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Congestion Control Status

Friday · 11 Oct 02 · 12:05 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

There weren't any updates on the site for the past two days.  Why?  Because I have been working on my Doom II map Congestion Control any time I could spare.  And the good thing is that the level is almost done!  If you want a numerical estimate I would say it is 95% complete, and I think I will be able to release it sometime this weekend if all goes well (you will be able to get it from the same page that the screenshots/info are currently on).  And believe me, there is going to be a lot of cool stuff in this level!

I downloaded Sgt. Crispy's Doom Radio Episode 7 yesterday and in his news section, my site and Congestion Control both got a mention.  This time, the episode was 10 MB in size (as compared to the 23 MB Episode 6 - which I did download by the way) and it was pretty entertaining.  I actually listened to the whole thing three times, once after downloading, and the second and third time, while working on my level!

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1000 Hits!

Thursday · 10 Oct 02 · 11:58 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

It's now one month after's launch, and today my site has crossed 1000 hits!  This evening after coming home from college I checked the page and the counter's value was 1001!  Thanks everyone for visiting, needless to say I'm really happy and grateful to all of you.  Do keep coming back, there's plenty of good stuff to come...

It's also my mother's birthday tomorrow (October 11), so I would like to wish her a very Happy Birthday!

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I'm Doomed

Monday · 7 Oct 02 · 10:29 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Managed to get quite a lot of stuff done today, mainly because I did not go to college.  For the past week there were tests and stuff and I didn't get any time to relax.  So today I decided to take the day off.

So what did I do last night and today?  Well, I worked on my Doom II map Congestion Control.  I've even put up a page for it on this site, so if you want to have a look at some screenshots from the level as it looks now, see here.  The level is coming along really well, and I hope I will be able to finish it soon.

I've also added several WAD Reviews to the site.  They are all actually the older reviews that were there on my previous Doom site, but now they've been updated and added to the database over here.

That's basically all I have to say for now, I am going to have my dinner now and then I am going to watch today's Star Trek: Voyager episode.  And then I will try to spend some more time on Congestion Control.

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Congestion Control

Monday · 7 Oct 02 · 12:47 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

We learnt about Congestion Control Algorithms last semester in Computer Networks.  Well, I personally thought that was a great name for a Doom level, and so I've tentatively decided to call my upcoming Doom II level that.  What upcoming level, you ask?  Remember back in June I posted a screenshot (and a drawing of the map's layout) on my old Doom site?  That's the one.  I've not had any time to work on it in the past few weeks, but I resumed work on it today, and I managed to get some good work done on it.  The map is actually quite close to completion and I really like the way it is coming out.  I just hope I will be able to finish it soon.

By the way, like my other Doom levels, this is going to be for standard doom2.exe, but this time it is going to have a better amount of detail, and is also going to have a few new graphics (a couple of original textures, and some borrowed from The Plutonia Experiment).  The level will also have some of the musics replaced.

0 comment(s) for this post. Fan Art

Monday · 7 Oct 02 · 12:41 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

I don't know whether you remember this, but sometime back I mentioned that I submitted all my Nelly Furtado drawings for the Fan Art section of the Official Nelly Furtado Fan Site,  Well, it has been a long time since I went to that site, but I checked the page today and my drawings have been added!

Thanks to Cathy Bourgeois (she is the person in charge of the Fan Art section of SOTR) for featuring my drawings on their page!  By the way, you can also go to my own Drawings or MicroDraw Gallery to see my Nelly Furtado pictures.

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A Little Bit of MP3 in my Life

Monday · 7 Oct 02 · 12:34 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Go to the MP3 Page, three new songs have been added!  They are the same ones I said I would add before - and remember these are all my own homemade MP3s.  So there you have it, the new additions to the album MP3 are, the Popeye Theme, a short clip of I Just Can't Wait to be King, and the full song Clint Eastwood (by Gorillaz).

Download the new songs and let me know what you think!

The page also looks different now, because the MP3 file details are all stored in the database, and that's where they're coming from.  For the record, I am using THREE tables to store the MP3 Page information!

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Tests and Movies

Monday · 7 Oct 02 · 12:27 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Saturdays are supposed to be holidays at college, but since in the past few days/weeks we've had many holidays and other activities, they decided that for this month, they would have classes every Saturday.  That's unfortunate, but what was really painful was that on this Saturday, we had three tests on the same day!  Advanced Computer Architecture, which I did pretty badly, Neural Networks which was more or less OK, and Java Practicals, which went really well (I had to write a "Billing Applet").  Anyway I was really fed up with all these tests and I was glad when they got over.

After coming home I watched about 45 minutes of I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, which I had recorded the previous night.  And then at 7 PM on STAR Movies, they showed a movie I never expected to see on TV, American Cyborg: Steel Warrior!  This is a low budget movie that I saw several years ago, and I believe it was 1995 when I bought the video!

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Movies on TV!

Thursday · 3 Oct 02 · 07:47 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

You probably might not have noticed this, but for the past two days, a few updates that I made on this site in various places had disappeared!  But now it's been set back to normal, thanks to the Technical Support team at Net4Domains.  This is one of the biggest advantages of hosting my site with this company, support is accessible through phone and email, so any problems will be fixed fast.

There are some good movies being shown on various TV channels -

  • End of Days - October 4, 9 PM STAR Movies
  • Memento - October 13, 9 PM STAR Movies
  • Saving Private Ryan - October 5, 9 PM HBO

Memento is one movie I have heard a lot about and I am waiting to watch it!

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More MP3s Coming Soon!

Tuesday · 1 Oct 02 · 12:23 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Hey, all of you who liked (or at least, were interested by) the MP3s that I uploaded earlier - now you have some more to look forward to!  Yesterday I recorded a few more songs and I converted them to MP3 today.  The three (yes, three) files which will soon make their appearance on my MP3 Page are

  • Popeye Theme - I recorded myself singing this.  I never thought I'd be able to duplicate that Popeye voice but the MP3 came out sounding surprisingly good!
  • Can't Wait To Be King - I didn't sing the whole song.  This is just a short clip, and has about four lines from the song (from the soundtrack of The Lion King).  But I did two voices in this one.
  • Clint Eastwood - A full length song!  This song by Gorillaz is one I like a lot and I tried singing it.  It came out well.

If you haven't already looked at it, check out MP3, download my MP3s and tell me what you think of them!

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Going Around

Tuesday · 1 Oct 02 · 12:07 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I downloaded Opera 6.05 yesterday.  As you may or may not already know, I use Opera as my browser most of the time.  I prefer it to Internet Explorer because it's got a lot of convenient, user-friendly features, and when it comes to displaying webpages it's almost like Internet Explorer in terms of CSS support, etc.

This morning I got a couple of calls from the people at V-Can Interactive (the people who came and filmed the documentary at our college).  Apparently they required some of our students for one more shoot session, and I was one among them.  So after writing the tests at college today we all were taken to the V-Can office and later to the shooting location which was in Madhapur (really far off).  And after we got there the director wanted us all to go back home and change into different clothes.  By this time it was around 2 PM.  We all had to come back to Secunderabad because of that.  Rajeev and me went home and I later decided not to go back to the shooting location.  Anyway I did get home early from college, at 3:30 PM, which is far better than the time I usually come home!

I played Damian Lee's new level Realm of the Green Soul, and a little bit of Heretic in the afternoon.

This whole documentary thing has really tested my patience, I don't like missing classes when nothing happens!  Today especially was a colossal waste of my time.  Next time someone says V-Can, I'll say I-Can't!

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Dark Fate 2 is a singleplayer level for Doom II, replacing MAP01.  It's a small-sized hellish level — and there's a walkthrough video as well.

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The Author

Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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