The Archives

Linkin Park Drawing, New Feature, and Scream Reviews!

Saturday · 30 Nov 02 · 01:27 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

There is some pretty cool new stuff on the site now!  First of all today, I did a drawing of the album cover of Linkin Park's album Hybrid Theory.  It came out nicely, and I've added it to the Drawings Page.  While I was at it, I also added two more drawings, one RoboCop drawing (which I did back in 1994 - making it the oldest drawing of mine on this site!), and a Jackie Chan drawing.

A new feature on this site (which I've wanted to implement for a long time) is that, like each news post, each drawing now can be opened in a separate page with it's own URL!  In fact, that's what will happen now when you click on a link on the Drawings Page - a new page will display the full size image and also details about that picture (previously it was a bit rude, it would just show you the image in a new window).

I'll let you in on a small secret, this page that shows each drawing in a new window, is actually modified from the page that opens each news post in it's own window, heh.  I tweaked the code of both, so these pages now have links that allow you to go to the next and previous item directly, which makes things more convenient!

Last night, I watched Scream on STAR Movies and tonight at 9 PM, I watched Scream 2.  Both are excellent movies, a great combination of mystery, thriller and horror!  And while I've seen them before, it made a difference watching both movies close to one another.  Today's Scream 2 print was apparently uncensored too, which is just terrific - I should have recorded it!  Anyway, I've written reviews for both movies, which you can find obviously, on the Movie Reviews Page.

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Faith in Chaos

Wednesday · 27 Nov 02 · 02:21 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

I woke up at 5:15 AM today!  No I'm not kidding, it's true.  The fact is, I had a class on Group Discussions at TIME today, from 6:15 - 8:15 AM.  I wrote about the CAT Exam a few days ago.  The people who get through that will have a Group Discussion session and a personal interview, based on which admission into the management school will be decided.  It's like "Level 1: Written Test Completed!  Now Entering - Level 2: GD and Interview!", heh.  These classes are training for that.

So thanks to this class, I got those extra few hours in the morning during which I would be sleeping otherwise!  I sent off a few emails and then this afternoon, I spent about 30-45 minutes and I read the whole screenplay of Pi (remember I wrote earlier that I downloaded the screenplay from

To me, Pi is a very unique movie.  I first heard about it because it was Movie of the Day at the Internet Movie Database one day in August 2000.  I read several reviews of the movie after that (all of them praised the movie VERY highly) and I also got the awesome trailer from the movie's site.  I never thought I would actually get to see the movie, but STAR Movies surprised me by showing it on one of their late night slots in November 2001.  Naturally I recorded the movie that very night, and since then I've seen it a number of times.  The movie presents some abstract ideas so I had only an interpretation of the ending.  After reading the screenplay though, things became clearer.

Anyway.  It is now the latest Movie Review on my site.  So, do you want to read my review of Pi?

I also added one more MP3 to the MP3 Page.  This one is my smallest MP3, it is only 2 seconds long and has me whistling the first part of the theme from Ed, Edd n Eddy.  Since the MP3 list is sorted in descending order of filesize, this one will be the very last one on the page.

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The Umbrella Corporation Has You

Tuesday · 26 Nov 02 · 03:19 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

I added three new movie reviews to the site yesterday.  All of them are good horror movies, and recommended watching!

  • Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight - A couple of weeks back, I wrote that I saw this.  Here's the detailed review.
  • Event Horizon - A very well done horror movie from director Paul Anderson.
  • Resident Evil - Another Paul Anderson movie, his second videogame adaptation since Mortal Kombat.  Very cool movie.

I didn't mention this earlier, but on 23rd, I read my first H.P. Lovecraft short story.  I was given a link to an ebooks site, so I downloaded a ZIP containing several stories by him.  The one I read was Dagon, and I picked that because I'd heard of the movie adaptation of this by Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon.  I also want to read Lovecraft's other famous stories whenever I have the time.

I also downloaded a program called Trillian after Ganeshan told me about it.  This is an integrated chat client and allows you to use services like Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, ICQ, IRC all through one interface.

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CAT 2002 is done!

Monday · 25 Nov 02 · 10:53 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

It seems sort of strange for me to write about what an exam is AFTER I am finished with it, but I just realised I never properly said what this exam is all about.  CAT, or the Common Admission Test is a two hour exam that is conducted yearly by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), for admission into their Post Graduate Programmes in Management.  This test is much more interesting to write than any conventional test.  Here, it isn't knowledge that is tested as such - rather, how good you are at keeping your cool and working under pressure!  The questions are all multiple-choice type, four choices per question, and the areas tested are mathematics (which even a 15 year old student should be able to do), English, Logic.  Seems pretty easy?  Yes it does, until I tell you about the constraints!

There is negative marking first of all.  You get 1 mark for a correct answer and -1/3 for a wrong one.  This choice of -1/3 is probabilistic - if you answer the test totally randomly, you will get a score of zero!  Secondly, the number of questions will be more than 150 (sometimes 165, 185, etc.) which makes it absolutely impossible to answer everything in 120 minutes.  And to top it all, there is a mix of dead simple questions, difficult ones, and questions that are easy but take a lot of time to do.  Everything depends on HOW you pick questions to answer, and your accuracy under those conditions!  If a CAT paper has three sections, you will have to get a minimum expected score in each section to qualify (that means, you cannot just focus on an area you are good at and leave the rest!).  Also, nothing about the exam is rigidly fixed - the number of questions, sections, etc. can all change.  The passages given for the Reading Comprehension part (5 or 6 passages) can each have upwards of 700 words (sometimes 1000 word passages are given)!

Since you cannot write this test without any preparation at all (atleast I can't), I went for classes for CAT at a place called TIME.  I've mentioned Mock CATs several times on this site - well, you see they conducted tests based on the CAT pattern every Sunday, and it's because of this that I got practice in writing a CAT Exam.

So after that introduction to what CAT was, now let me talk about CAT 2002!!  CAT 2002 was held yesterday, November 24, 2002.  There were three sections in this paper, and 150 questions.  Two days before the CAT, I just had a glance at TIME's course material - basically the logic and the mathematics part.  And the night before the actual exam, I watched John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (terrific movie, I recorded it in 1997).

So how did my exam go?  I think it was quite OK!  I was worried about two things - first, I did not want to mess up the time management part of it.  On more than one occasion in the Mock CATs, I would spend more time than planned on two of the sections, thereby spoiling the third!  Second, I also hoped I would be able to maintain my concentration and keep my cool in the two hours.  I was extra careful about time, so that part went off without a hitch, and there was no problem with the concentration part either.  I am really happy about that.

Finally, I answered about 85-90 questions out of 150.  I think that is a pretty good number of attempts.  The only thing that will make a difference now is, how ACCURATE I was, and how all the OTHER 100,000 students performed (CAT is totally relative)!  This is totally out of my control now, so I don't think about it, and I hope for the best!

I was so happy and relieved when I came home yesterday though, because a major weight on my mind was lifted - CAT was over!  So afterwards we (parents, brother and me) all went to see Resident Evil, which was released here on Friday.  A very cool movie, with a continuous supply of scares (which is what I wanted), and gore (although I felt they could have piled on a bit more blood and icky stuff)!  Best scene - the grid lasers!!  And my brother bought Linkin Park's Reanimation album and I finally got to hear all the songs!  Good stuff, my favourites are FRGT/10N and ENTH E END.

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Doom Comic Feedback and another Out of Phase 3 Demo

Friday · 22 Nov 02 · 02:11 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Thanks to Virgil the Doom Poet for sending me a demo for Out of Phase 3.  This was a UV maxdemo in 4:32.  He said that it was only his second time playing the level, and I thought the style of his playing was different from others!  He is the only one who grabbed that supercharge in my map SIDEWAYS, while strafing!

I've got some nice feedback for One Doomed Day in the Base!, my Doom comic.  Of course, it's my first one ever, and it is not, nor was ever intended to be a fully professional piece of work.  Anyway, thanks Albert Valls, Joel Murdoch, Ismaele, Pablo Dictter, Brad Spencer, Chris Hansen and Wim Vanrie for their feedback!  Wim said that he liked the drawings, but if I had a writer too then we'd make a great team (heh).  Brad liked the UAC Gloves™ (heh) and Ismaele said that I could make better comics.  Pablo said the comic was "Karthish" (heh again).  The general consensus seems to be that the comic is pretty decent, so I'm happy!

Albert told me that it is theoretically possible (according to documents on to kill a cyberdemon in ONE (yes, one) BFG shot, but to do that would probably take a lifetime!  So I went and read the BFG FAQ a little closer!  And that was really interesting.

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Java Exam, Movies and Scripts!

Friday · 22 Nov 02 · 01:42 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

My 4th Year 1st Semester Exams are officially over!  My Java exam was the last one and the question paper I got was #1, which was an easy one.  So that was a good thing.  Problem was, the questions were as mundane as you could make them ("What are Applets?", "What is portability?"), resulting in this being quite a boring exam to write!  Anyway I'm not complaining, exams are over after all!  On 24th, though, I am writing the CAT Entrance Exam, so I will be very happy when THAT is over.

On ZEE MGM they showed Traffic today.  I recorded this, I will be watching it later.  Those guys are also showing Get Shorty on 24th at 9 PM.  This movie channel is a little strange.  They do show good movies now and then, but a lot of the time they've got some vague movies on!  Also, every movie they show has a weird look, picture quality isn't as sharp and clear as the ones shown on STAR Movies, HBO or AXN.  Anyway, what I like about ZEE MGM is that they apparently do not censor movies, which is excellent.

I read the script of Bones today.  This is a movie with Snoop Dogg in his first starring role as a godfather-like figure, Jimmy Bones, who is killed off in 1979 and resurrected 22 years later to wreak revenge.  The director is Ernest R. Dickerson, who made Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, which I really enjoyed.  So I suppose he would have made a good movie with Bones, but I didn't like the script that much.

Wow, I just got my hands on the script of Pi, by Darren Aronofsky!  Just a few minutes back I downloaded it from, this is one movie that I have to read the script to fully understand!  It was a very unique movie, a thriller filmed in black and white, involving mathematics, religion... excellent stuff.

Oh, and on a side note, today's episode of Roswell had Linkin Park's song With You playing in the first scene.

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My First Comic: One Doomed Day in the Base

Wednesday · 20 Nov 02 · 12:33 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

Hey, today I drew my very first comic!  It is related to Doom and is called One Doomed Day in the Base!, and I took just about 15 or 20 minutes to draw it this evening.  After all, I am studying for my Java exam on 21st in a calm cool manner, heh.

I've put it in the Drawings page - I don't have a separate section for it on the site, because I don't think I'll be making more of these.  That is, unless I suddenly get the inspiration to do so!

For those of you who are non-Doomers, there are two things you need to know -

  • The BFG 9000 is one of the most powerful weapons that you get in the game.  BFG stands for Big F***ing Gun.
  • The Cyberdemon is the meanest, baddest monster in Doom.  You can kill him with three direct BFG shots if you are lucky, but there are those players (the people who record demos, the "speedrunners") who can do it in just two shots.

Well then, have a look at the comic and tell me what you think!

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New Photos

Tuesday · 19 Nov 02 · 05:51 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I have finally added a couple of photos of myself.  These photos are on the About Me page.  There are three photos there now, and I scanned them yesterday.

Two of the photos of me were taken by Varun on 4th November.  I am sitting in front of the computer in them, and though the screen looks blank, I was actually working on Out of Phase 3.  The third picture has both Varun and myself in it.

I also updated the Out of Phase 3 page today with information about the demos and reviews that people did for the level.

Resident Evil releases here this Friday!  And that is one movie I want to see.  So I will probably be seeing that on Sunday, after my CAT exam gets over.  Today I thought I would start studying for my Java exam on 21st.

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Who Dares Wins

Monday · 18 Nov 02 · 08:52 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Yesterday, on AXN, they showed the first in the series of The AXN Who Dares Wins India Special.  Now this Australian TV Show has been a huge hit in India, so AXN got hosts Mike Whitney and Tania Zaetta to come to India and film a new set of episodes in different states - Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi (they didn't come here though, heh).  The first episode was very funny, it looked like everyone was having a great time.  Good stuff.  It's on AXN, Sundays at 8 PM.  Now I am going to put a link here to the Who Dares Wins Website, which curiously, I have never got around to visiting.  Maybe after seeing the link on my own site, I'll finally go there!

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The Big Brawl and Mimic

Monday · 18 Nov 02 · 08:37 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

On Friday, STAR Movies showed Jackie Chan's Battle Creek Brawl (a.k.a. The Big Brawl).  I had an exam on Saturday so I recorded it.  I watched it this evening.  I thought it was a very fun movie!  So it may not be as good as Project A and Operation Condor (my two favourite Chan movies), but I liked it.  It is set in 1930s (I think) Chicago, where a gangster wants Jerry Kwan (Jackie) to fight in the Big Brawl, held at Battle Creek, Texas.  I liked the look of the movie, it had comedy and nice action scenes as well.  It is from the director of Enter the Dragon, Robert Clouse.  I also liked the music by Lalo Schifrin a lot - simple whistling tune but very catchy.

I also watched Mimic on Saturday night.  Now I was really tired that night so I had a hard time concentrating on the movie.  I thought the first hour or so was very well done, but then I started to gradually get bored.  Anyway, the story is about two scientists, played by Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam, who develop a special sort of bug (which they call The Judas Breed) to kill disease carrying cockroaches.  But three years later, these bugs have evolved into nasty and huge killer creatures, populating the sewers/tunnels/underground railways of New York City.  The movie looks great (in the sense that they made the underground locations look dark, grimy and icky), but overall I thought it was a good movie, nothing more.

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More Demo Action

Monday · 18 Nov 02 · 08:05 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

It may be difficult to believe but Varun has improved his time in the Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon demo by two more seconds.  The new demo he made on 16th is 1:57 long.  This demo will appear soon at Opulent's.

I also downloaded The Official 2002: A Doom Odyssey Demo Pack (featuring Chris "Ryback" Ratcliff, Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore and Doug "Opulent" Merrill of the Doom Speedrunners Forum) yesterday and I've watched some of the demos.  My favourite demo sets from the DSF are still the Alien Vendetta and Slayer ones though (probably because all those are Doom II levels, they have Super Shotgun action, and the DSF guys show off their insane skills at handling those awesomely tough maps!).

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Out of Phase 3 /newstuff Review

Monday · 18 Nov 02 · 12:04 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Doomworld's latest edition of The /newstuff Chronicles (#104) was posted yesterday.  The reviews this time are by Dean Joseph a.k.a. deathz0r.  My latest Doom II level, Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon was reviewed too of course, it's the last review on the page.  Thanks deathz0r for the review!  Ismaele also wrote a short comment on Out of Phase 3 at the "Other Levels" section of his site, Outpost of Doom II.

I downloaded Cyb's The Adventures of Massmouth Do Over!, which is an updated version of his level set which I downloaded about a year ago I think.  Now I played this one yesterday, it is very cool.  The thing I liked about it most was that it was totally original, it wasn't even like playing Doom, rather it was like a different game by itself.  You are Massmouth, a zeebloid who is hired by The Worm (an intergalactic collector), and you have to go to various planets, collecting artifacts for him (like the most priceless thing on Earth - the Windows Source CD).  I liked the levels too because they are short and don't get too confusing.  All the scripting (did I mention that ZDoom, latest version only is needed), graphics replacements, etc. are nicely done, and I thought Cyb's voice acting was great too (especially the Worm).  A very unique WAD indeed!

By the way, this is the 100th Post on my site!  If you open up this post in a new window though, it will say that the number is 105 or something.  That's because I have had to delete some posts on occasion (because they accidentally got posted twice), and since the post numbers are automatically assigned, they're offset by that amount.  But trust me, this IS post #100, heh.

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Coffee is the best!

Saturday · 16 Nov 02 · 08:03 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Aaah!  Coffee!  I have a cup of that every morning in college.  For one reason, because nowadays, during exam time, I sleep at 2 AM and I get up at around 6 AM.  So when I reach college at around 8:30 AM or so, the first thing I do is to get a cup of coffee.  Now I don't think that it really has any effect of "shaking me awake" or anything (for me, that is a state of mind), but I still drink it because I like it!

I got two new Guestbook entries recently, the first was from a person called Ramesh.  Now from his email address I guess he is studying in Arizona State University?  Anyway, I will send him an email later.  The second one is from my friend from NIIT, Jai Kirdatt.  I left NIIT in March, so it has been quite a while since I've been in touch with my friends there.  So it was nice to hear from him.  Always nice getting new entries in my Guestbook!

Also, I must mention this.  On Channel [V] nowadays they're playing this new Kylie Minogue song Come into my World often.  And the video for it, (directed by Michel Gondry) is great!  Lots of Visual Effects trickery in it, because you see many "copies" of Kylie Minogue (and other characters) all walking around in the street!

STAR Movies has also started showing horror movies every Saturday in the late night slot (hopefully they will continue that) - tonight, it's Mimic at 11 PM.  I want to see this movie, it seems nice.  It stars Mira Sorvino and what seems to be a giant bug like creature (heh), and is directed by Guillermo del Toro (director of Blade II, which I would like to see sometime!).

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Toby's Update

Saturday · 16 Nov 02 · 07:34 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Tobias Münch updated The Tobysite a couple of days back.  I liked the way he started the update -

Karthik obviously has a lot of free time. I'm going to steal some from him, and leave some of my work for him. Hehe. Fact is, he just released yet another new level for Doom 2.

Of course, I had a smile on my face when I read that, but it also got me thinking.  I often wish that I had more time to do the things I like to do (work on my site, make Doom levels, draw, watch movies, etc.).  I often feel like I'm fighting to get some time to do all these things.  After reading what Toby said, though, I realise that I should probably be more optimistic!  I DO get time to do the things I like, and although it's not as much as I would like it to be, it isn't too bad!  Not everyone is that lucky!

I think of my brother, who has so much to study always, that he doesn't get the time to do the things that HE likes to do (hey, leave that alone, he doesn't even get time to sleep and relax much).  He is doing his Junior Intermediate and he has this exam called EAMCET that he will be writing the next year.  Now doing well in this exam will get you entrance into a good Engineering college.  The thing is, the exam is being made more tougher every year, and I feel that is just TOO bad!  In fact, I think that this whole system of making students work harder than they need to and want to, is just **fill in your favourite swear words here**!!  But, like I've said before, no one will listen to me, will they?  I'm just glad I got through all that stuff back in 1999, for me EAMCET and everything related to that is dead, buried, resurrected, vampirified, slayed and sent back to wherever it came from!  And that's where it should stay.

Speaking of Tobias, I was just listening to some songs on my Winamp playlist here, and his Moments of Despair is playing now.  Nice song.

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Demo goodness

Saturday · 16 Nov 02 · 07:01 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Some cool demos were recorded for Out of Phase 3 recently.  I already mentioned Simon Broadhead's Legacy maxdemo, which was about 4 minutes long, and my own 3:00 maxdemo as well.  You know, I improved that to 2:42 later that night.  This one was a pretty fun demo, where I happened to telefrag a Baron of Hell at the end.  He was the last monster left in the level, and he happened to go to the outside area (the final secret area).  And he was walking about there when I teleported in at his exact location!  When I landed there I was wondering where he was, when I saw his corpse.  Heh.  Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!  Yesterday, I also got two demos of the level from Ganeshan, recorded on Skill 1 and 3.

And today, Varun decided that he would beat everyone's time, and oh how he did!  He took 43 whole seconds off my fastest demo, completing the level in just 1:59 (of course, that's no big surprise, I expected nothing less from him)!  Terrific demo with him playing like a madman at the beginning, with lots of clever optimisations - it's all well-planned strategy throughout!  There was one VERY close shave with an Archvile in the end too.

Hey, thanks everyone (of course, except myself) for recording!

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Another one bites the dust

Saturday · 16 Nov 02 · 06:55 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

My exams are almost over!  Well, I might even say they ARE over, because the next exam is Java and that's a nice one, and it's on 21st.

Today's exam was Neural Networks, which I studied nicely for, yesterday and today.  Unfortunately the questions (paper #4 for me today) were sort of vague, and really didn't have much of a relation with what we actually studied for!  Anyway, I did OK in this one, I hope I get decent marks.

There was an interesting question in the paper today.  "What is a Chester and what is it used for?"  Heh, how should I know?  In the textbook I read, there was absolutely no mention of anyone or anything named Chester.  The only thing that came to my mind was Chester Bennington, Linkin Park vocalist, but I couldn't have written that there could I!

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Well, allow me to retort...

Thursday · 14 Nov 02 · 10:13 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

...what does Marsellus Wallace look like?

Oh, this is not going to be an excerpt from the Pulp Fiction screenplay, rather, I just wanted to say some things about Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon.  Somehow, I have a sort of affection for this level, and I like it!  The texturing in some places may be a little strange, but overall, I thought everything went well together.  The funny thing about this level is that I actually had to do very little texture alignment.  In the indoor areas, most of the walls were made with the METAL texture and they just had bits of other textures in them, which didn't need alignment at all.  There was just one wall (the one with the STARG3 texture) that I aligned, and I now think it looked better without aligning!

As for the outdoor areas, the walls are all at 90 degree angles, and the textures are not aligned in all places.  This was done intentionally.  You know, the day before I released the level, Varun suggested that I curve the walls in the outdoor areas and smoothly align the textures, and so I did.  That is usually considered a "professional" thing to do, but in this case, it just didn't feel right to me.  Don't ask me why, even I don't know.  So I reverted back to the older version of the level, made a few enhancements (just aligned the linedefs which would have looked ugly otherwise), and released it.  If that looks unprofessional, then it was just the kind of look I was aiming for, and I'm happy with the way it turned out!  In fact if I had to go back and make changes to the level now, I wouldn't like to change anything about it.

I like the level because it's more true to classic Doom II than my other levels.  And I like the secrets in it too (especially the megasphere one).  So for a future level, I want to make a good, large sized level that follows this style of design.

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Out of Phase 3 Feedback

Thursday · 14 Nov 02 · 09:21 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

My latest Doom II level, Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon, has been getting some good feedback, so I thought I'd summarise what people said about it over here.  Of course, thanks go to Bloodshedder and FACE.UK for posting news about it at Doom Center and NewDoomSgtCrispy commented on it at Doom Center, and in his latest Doom Radio Episode 11.  I also got emails from Chris Hansen, Simon Broadhead, and Ismaele.

Chris and SgtCrispy both liked the map because it was fun and hectic, but they said that the use of textures could have been improved.  Ismaele said that he liked the detail and the challenge of the level, and Simon liked the megasphere secret (heh, that's one of my favourite things in the level too).  Simon even sent me a demo of the level recorded with Doom Legacy (for recording a demo with a port, Legacy's very good).

Thanks to all of them for their feedback, and for taking the time to play and give comments on the level, I really appreciate it!  By the way I really like getting feedback and criticism on my levels (in fact on any of the stuff that is on this site), so feel free to send me a mail anytime!

This afternoon I also recorded a demo for Out of Phase 3 myself.  Finished the level in Ultraviolence skill in 3:00.  It's been a long time since I made a demo for the DSDA, and today I finally had something to send to Opulent!

I also downloaded a few WADs today.  I came across this site called, and on this page, there were four Doom II WADs, which I downloaded.  I actually did a search on Google for the words doom wads to see if my site would show up (it did), and that's how I found this page.  These WADs were small ones, apparently intended for DM play.  A couple were modified from Doom I levels.  Overall, I didn't think these levels were anything special, but I loved the name of the first level - Shotgun Espresso (say the word coffee nowadays and you'll see my eyes light up, heh)!

From Chris Hansen's site I also downloaded Fiffy Remix by Stphrz.  This is one gorgeous looking level (for Doom I, E2M1)!

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CAT Stuff

Thursday · 14 Nov 02 · 09:08 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

In the last TIME All India Mock CAT that I wrote (last Sunday), there was an interesting question in the Data Interpretation Section.  The question went something like this, there was supposed to be an institute called JNT, which conducts a test called the Sham TAC.  And to pretend that they have lots of students writing their test, they adjust the ranks.  For example, if the rank was between 50-100, the Sham rank would be 1.25*(actual rank) + 50 or something.  There was a table of numbers like this, on which the questions were asked.  In the next question they said that JNT decided to conduct another test called BEST - Biggest Ever Sham TAC, where the scheme for assigning ranks was slightly modified.  Correspondingly, there were a couple of questions on that data.

I later realised that if you take the word IMS, and increase the letters by one, you get JNT!!  It happens that IMS is another institute which offers CAT coaching and they had actually conducted a free test sometime ago, and the hype was that about 30,000 students were writing it, as compared to 6,000 or 7,000 in the TIME exams.  Apparently, the TIME people were making fun of them!  Heh, high-class fun!

I have my CAT Exam on November 24th...

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And now, for a lesson in Rhythm Management!

Thursday · 14 Nov 02 · 08:18 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

This is an update about some of the stuff that I have been doing in between studying for my exams.  I've been listening to that song Adrenaline by Gavin Rossdale, and Rammstein's Feuer Frei (from the XXX soundtrack).  And as you may have guessed by the headline, I have been listening to Linkin Park songs too.  Great songs, all of them.  And some days back, in a mail to Tobias Münch, I happened to write a portion of it in the style of Paper Cut.  Tobias had sent one mail to me and the word paranoia came up in it.  So in my reply, this was there -

It's like I'm paranoid, looking at the 9th Gate mail
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what Outlook's showing me
It's like the mail inside is right from Toby!

On 11th, they were showing Saving Private Ryan on HBO.  I wish I could have watched the whole thing, but I had to study for 12th's exam so I watched the first half hour.  I saw this movie a very long time back and I want to see it again!  On 12th, though, after writing the exam, I came home and watched The Little Shop of Horrors.  This is the 1960 movie (directed by Roger Corman, written by Charles B. Griffith) that was made in just two days and a night!  I recorded this from STAR Movies back in 1996!  And yesterday's episode of Titus on STAR World was great too.

Some days back, I also happened to catch the video of Nelly Furtado's I'm Like A Bird on Channel [V].  I had only seen this video in a tiny Real Video Clip so far, and it was nice to "actually" watch it!  They also show the video director's name in each video, and this one was directed by Francis Lawrence.  Turn off the Light was directed by Sophie Müller and ...On the Radio (Remember the Days) was directed by Hype Williams.

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Icky, Sticky, Gooey Gel

Thursday · 14 Nov 02 · 08:02 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Uh, sorry about the possibly disgusting sounding headline.  Hey come on, there are almost a hundred posts on this site, and I've got to think up headlines for them, you don't expect each one to be exactly bursting with wit, do you!

Anyway, I wrote the last two exams of mine with a Gel Ink pen (you know, those pens which run out of ink before you can say "gel ink pen"), so that's why I mentioned it.  These pens write well though, and the blue colour looks great on paper.  OK, so how are my exams going on?  Quite nicely, I'm glad to say.

On 12th, I had my Visual Programming exam (Visual Basic and Visual C++).  The question paper set number of mine was #3 this time.  I like this subject, so I wasn't worried about it.  And fortunately, for that exam all the papers were of the same difficulty, which was good.  I was worried about today's exam though.  This was Advanced Computer Architecture, a subject which I really don't like that much, and which I'm not that good at either.  Anyway, my question paper number was #4 today, and it wasn't very difficult.  Finally, I did OK in this, I was very relieved to get this exam over with.

Hey, I have just two exams left!  16th is Neural Networks, and after that, 21st is Java.  I am waiting for 16th to get over.  I am not worried about Java because I like it a lot and because of that, it is not really a problem studying for the exam.  Good fun.

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Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon Released!

Sunday · 10 Nov 02 · 03:40 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

There is a new Doom II level available for you all to play!  You're surprised?  Well, I am just as surprised as you are, I never thought I would be releasing a new level so fast after my last one.

Anyway, this new level of mine is called Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon and it is one of the quickest levels I have made.  I made it in just two days - on 4th and 7th.  Yesterday I touched it up a bit and it's all ready and waiting for you now!

And just because it was made quickly doesn't mean I have been negligent about anything.  No, this level has a high level of detailing, full skill settings, music replacements, a new intermission picture, the level name graphic replaced, and a sky replacement, made by my brother Varun.  The sky is the same one he made for his level Short 'n Quick (which is a cool map he released a while back, you can get it from his site), and it's the reason why my level is called One Cloudy Afternoon.

The level has a sort of classic Doom II style mixed with my own style.  It's colourful, has a nice layout and is small.  I'm proud of this new level, I really like the way it came out.  Hope you like it!

This is the important part isn't it?  Yes, here's the download and screenshots page for Out of Phase 3: One Cloudy Afternoon.

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Ready for a Deadtime Story?

Sunday · 10 Nov 02 · 03:29 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Yesterday I had my exam in Distributed Systems.  In a previous post I was talking about the new scheme of our University - they give us one of four sets of Question Papers.  The number of the paper I get also changes (unlike what I said before).  Yesterday I got paper #1.  The one I got was OK difficulty-wise, and I think I did it OK too.  But one of the questions was sort of, uh, too general - so I don't think I answered it as they expected.  Anyway, that doesn't matter now, the next exam is on 12th, and it's Visual Programming.

Yesterday, I watched two movies.  I saw John Woo's latest movie, Windtalkers, in the theatre.  I liked this movie, I thought it had nice characters, good acting and some great war scenes.  And then at night, that is, at 10:45 PM, I watched Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight on STAR Movies.  Now this movie was terrific!  It reminded me of the style of The Evil Dead movies, which I like.  The only problem was that it was censored for TV (as you might expect), but good thing they left a lot of the violence and gore in!  It was a lot of fun, believe me!

Oh, and my site also crossed 2000 hits yesterday!  As always, thanks to everyone who visits this site!  I don't suppose anyone has a screenshot of it for me?  I was only able to capture it at 2017.  But I did catch The Tobysite's 2000th hit.

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Feuer Frei

Thursday · 7 Nov 02 · 05:28 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

On 4th (Diwali festival day), I downloaded quite a few MP3s.  One of them is a song called Feuer Frei by Rammstein.  It is the song that appears in the first scene in XXX, and the band themselves are there in the movie.  I liked this song, and that's why I downloaded it.  It's also interesting for me because it is the first German song I'm listening to!  I got the lyrics as well and it was interesting to see how they sang it, even though I couldn't understand the words.  By the way, I also downloaded Adrenaline by Gavin Rossdale, which is the song that appears during the end credits of the same movie.

On that same day, I did something unusual, I made a Doom II map!  Now it is not complete, but in the afternoon I just opened up my editor and made a few rooms, and I had a very small map in front of me!  It is a very cramped level, just like my original Out of Phase, and it has just 4 or 5 rooms.  That level was also built very quickly, just in two days I think.  So this level, if I get it done and released, will be called Out of Phase 3 probably.

And finally my site is appearing in Google.  All this time, if you searched for the word karthik, it would show my old Doom site in the list.  Now this site appears in the search results, and last time I checked, it was #4.

I just had a look at my hit counter (which, if you didn't know, is at the bottom of the main page) in the afternoon, and it is showing 1950, which is a cool thing - whoever is visitor #2000, see if you can send me a screenshot!

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Life is just a mixture of...

Thursday · 7 Nov 02 · 05:14 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

My friend Nagesh has been using a phrase often - and recently I found myself thinking about it on more than one occasion.  So I thought I'd mention it here.  The phrase is, "Life is just a mixture of...".  The beauty of this is that there is no particular ending for it, you can fit in anything you want!  So you can say this phrase in just about any situation.

For example, when Nagesh signed my Guestbook recently, he was asking me why there wasn't a facility to leave private entries in it.  I told him that I'd disabled that on purpose.  And then I said "Life is just a mixture of public and private entries".  So that may not be the most profound usage of the phrase, but well, I never was that philosophical anyway.  If all this doesn't make sense to you, just ignore it!

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One Down, Five to Go

Thursday · 7 Nov 02 · 04:54 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

My final exams for this semester started today, and the first exam, Software Engineering went well!  I'm quite happy about it, and I will talk about that a little later.

This set of exams is going to be a bit different from all the exams I have been writing these past years in Engineering.  This time, the University has come up with a scheme they call EDEP (Electronic Distribution of Examination Papers).  The conventional method of sending printed question papers to all the colleges on the day of the exam is over - now things are more hi-tech!  The details of all this is available at the JNTU website.  But in short, this is what it means.  The University prepares four question papers for each subject, and all these papers are sent to various colleges on a CD in encrypted form.  One hour before the exam starts, they'll send the password to decrypt them, to the colleges, then the colleges have to print out the question papers and give them to the students.

As a result of the new system, not everyone gets the same question paper!  Depending on the seating arrangement, you get either paper 1, 2, 3 or 4.  The problem is, that the questions in these papers are not of uniform difficulty!!  Someone might get a paper that's dead simple, some will get a paper that is very troublesome!  And also we are all supposed to be present in the college by 9:15 AM.

Now why I am relieved today is that inspite of all this, things went smoothly.  I had to get up at 6 AM today (and I went to sleep at 2 AM), but there was no problem in going to the college.  And I'm the second person seated in my room (my roll number is 2), so I will get the Paper numbered 2 always.  And paper 2 today happened to be an easy one compared to the "deadly" paper 3 and 4.  So I'm happy!

Anyway I hope I'm lucky in the other five subjects too, and I hope I get good marks.  You see, no matter how you think you did in the exam, you can never predict the marks.

Coming up next - Distributed Systems on 9th!

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New Site Theme!

Sunday · 3 Nov 02 · 09:28 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I've been looking at the same theme for my site for a while now, so for a change I made something new.  This new site theme is called Mixing Things Up, and is basically inspired by the colour scheme I had for my drawings gallery on my older site.  Now I like this one, and I've currently got it set as my own theme.  This one is a bit different from the other site themes in that it strives not to look completely professional.  It's got shades of pale pink in it, as backgrounds for the headlines, and it uses the Comic Sans MS in blue colour, for the text.  The background is white.

From the description I don't know what opinion you've formed of this theme, but I personally like it!  You can try it out by clicking this link.  Of course, you can always switch to any theme you want, through the Customise page.  Including the new one, there are currently five different themes available for you to choose from.

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New Site Features

Sunday · 3 Nov 02 · 07:16 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

There are a couple of new features I've added to this site which you will probably find useful.

  • First of all, I've added a page for first-time visitors to this site, which attempts to give a quick overview of what goes on here, and also tells you about a couple of useful features of this site.  Even if it's NOT your first time here, you might want to have a look at it!
  • Now this new feature I am particularly happy about.  I mentioned this earlier, and I've implemented it now.  You can now view each one of these news posts in it's own window!  How do you do this?  Simple, just click on the headline of any news post.  Go ahead, why don't you try it out with this one!  How does this help?  Well, each one of these posts has it's own URL now, which makes it easy for you and me to talk about them in emails or wherever else.  And in case you should ever want to take a printout of one of these news posts, you can.  These pages are presented in a format that's perfect for printing.  Besides that, there are probably a few other applications this feature could be used for!

Oh and of course, don't forget to read those new movie reviews I was talking about!

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New Movie Reviews

Sunday · 3 Nov 02 · 06:04 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Go to the Movie Reviews page and have a look - I've added two new reviews.  The first one is of the elegant thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I watched a few days back on STAR Movies.  The second one is of the very entertaining Tales from the Crypt, which I watched just last night (11:30 PM) on STAR Movies.

I also watched The Sixth Sense on Friday night.  Now here is a movie worth seeing several times!  Didn't watch Scream yesterday, though.  However I watched the last ten minutes or so, before Tales from the Crypt.  HBO is showing Gladiator on 5th November 9 PM.  Now that should be interesting too, I watched it long ago in the theatre and I don't know how it will be on TV.

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Congestion Control Reviewed

Sunday · 3 Nov 02 · 02:23 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Ismaele has done a review of my Doom II level Congestion Control at his site, Outpost of Doom II.  You can also check out the other reviews he has on his site, he has a good style of reviewing - he gives each WAD points on the basis of Playability, Graphics, Difficulty, etc., and finally an overall score.  The overall score my level got was a good 8/10.  Thanks Ismaele, for the time spent on my level, and for doing a good review!  There is also a generous number of screenshots to go with the review on a separate page.

I've now updated my Congestion Control Page to include a link to Ismaele's site, Ultimate DooMer's /newstuff Chronicles review, and I've also mentioned Magikal's demo of the map and SgtCrispy's Doom Radio commentary.  While I was at it I also updated my older map's (The Other Side of Phobos) page, mentioning Sarge Baldy's review.

Christian Hansen has added six screenshots of an upcoming Shores of Hell style project (which will comprise two levels) at The DooMer's RecesS.  I'm waiting for him to release... no, not more screenshots, the maps themselves!

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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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