The Archives

A New Site Theme, and more...

Thursday · 6 Nov 03 · 08:59 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

As I already mentioned, my brother Varun created a new theme for my site, which I liked so much, that I made it the default!  So it is probably what you are looking at right now, and for those of you who have already chosen a site theme before, you can try the new one by clicking this link.

For those of you who are new to the site, let me explain what I mean by site theme - you see, on this site, you can pick the way the pages look.  Just go to the Customise page and you'll find a set of links that change the look of the site.  You can choose the one you like best, or just choose Mixing Things Up... The Varun Way, which is the default theme.

Oh and some breaking news, just this afternoon I got an email from Curt Roff, of a heavy metal band called Anternicy.  It seems they are working on a demo and for the cover of this, they want to use my Nasty Little Thing drawing!  I think that's pretty cool, eh?

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The Movie Update!

Thursday · 6 Nov 03 · 08:13 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

This is the update where I will write about the movies I've seen between the last update and now.  Without any further ado, let's go to the list!

  • Hannibal (14 Oct): I watched this movie already a couple of years back, but that was on a just-about-decent videotape.  This time I watched it on HBO and enjoyed it.  Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is living a peaceful life in Italy, when a series of events involving his 4th victim, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) gets him back to the U.S. and back in contact with Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore).  A superior, stylish movie, directed by Ridley Scott.  I personally think the movie looked gorgeous.
  • Fight Club (18 Oct): This is already one of my all-time favourites, so why am I mentioning it?  Well, because this time, I got to see the complete version on CD, not a censored TV version.  Amazing film with Edward Norton as a man who's fed up with life, and finds a way to change it all when he meets the unusual soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (19 Oct): Actually I watched this just after watching Fight Club.  There is only one word I have to describe this movie: disappointing.  The Enterprise crew under Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) must stop a group of Remans, led by Shinzon, who plan to take control of the Federation.  The music was great though, but the entire thing seemed like a "normal" story - only with the Star Trek characters put in.
  • Identity (26 Oct): Ten strangers end up at a motel on a dark and stormy night under different circumstances.  They start dying one by one.  Just when you think this is a normal mystery thriller, it develops into something completely different, and saying what it is would spoil the movie for someone who hasn't seen it.  It's a well done movie, written by Michael Cooney and directed by James Mangold.
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 (30 Oct): The 4th film by Quentin Tarantino!  As I am a huge fan of this writer-director's movies, I was anxiously awaiting this movie, and I absolutely loved it when I got to see it!!  Uma Thurman is The Bride, who was betrayed and left for dead by her former group, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and her boss, Bill.  When she wakes up from a coma 4 years later, she makes up the "Death List Five" and proceeds to take revenge!  Armed with Hattori Hanzo's (Sonny Chiba) finest blade, she sets off to kill O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox).  The movie has a cliffhanger ending, preparing us for Kill Bill Vol. 2 which will be released in February!
  • Scary Movie 3 (5 Nov): A Hot Shots!-style spoof movie, with The Ring, Signs and 8 Mile as the primary targets.  Reporter Cindy Campbell's friend just died after watching a strange videotape and there are crop circles indicating an alien invasion.  The plot is very thin, just an excuse for the funny spoofs throughout the movie.  Not bad.
  • Ring (5 Nov): The 1998 Japanese film on which the American remake was based.  A journalist investigates a mysterious videotape that causes the death of anyone who sees it, within seven days.  Directed by Nakada Hideo.  Very creepy movie, the remake is a very close adaptation of this movie.
  • The Firm (5 Nov): Tom Cruise is Mitch McDeere, a Harvard graduate who gets a high-paying job at a law firm in Memphis, only to later discover that they've got links with the mafia.  Well-done movie, based on John Grisham's book.  Directed by Sydney Pollack.

Oh, and as promised last time, there's a new addition to the Movie Reviews page.  It's none other than the 2nd film from writer-director Quentin Tarantino - Pulp Fiction - one of my all-time favourite movies!

The Matrix Revolutions was released worldwide yesterday, and my parents and brother are going to see it on an IMAX screen on Sunday!  I'll have to wait a while to see it though!

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The Doom Update!

Thursday · 6 Nov 03 · 08:02 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

I got to play several good maps in the recent few days.  Like Quick and Deadly by DooMBoy, FBase 6: Remanasu by Boris Iwanski, Heart by Nanami (didn't play this one fully though) and Not Another E1 Wad by Kaiser (very cool one).

Like many Doom mappers, I discovered this amazing editor called Doom Builder (by Pascal vd Heiden a.k.a. Gherkin) recently.  And I've switched completely to using it for my mapping!  It's a great piece of software, and it has inspired me to do some more work on the maps I started a couple of months back!

So what's going on with this as-yet-untitled project of mine, which will feature an as-yet-undetermined number of levels, to be released on an as-yet-undetermined date?  The first map which I started (the Plutonia/E1 style one) now has a lot more detail and areas added (still perfectly compatible with doom2.exe), and I'm really happy with it.  I think it's got the right balance between being a complex level and being a MAP01 for an episode!  I thought of a name for this, it's going to be called We've Only Just Begun.  I added a couple of rooms to MAP02 (the Wolfenstein-style one), but nothing major on this map.  This will be called Get Them Before They Get You!, after the name of the Wolfenstein music track which I've chosen for it.

Doom Builder's 3D editing mode doesn't work on my computer, but even without that I'm finding it a great editor to make maps in.  I am still working with v0.09 build 113, I need to get some more floppies to transfer the recently released v1.1 to my computer!

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The Usual Update

Thursday · 6 Nov 03 · 03:45 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Once again, here I am after about a one-month gap!  The Second Term here at TAPMI is halfway through, the Mid Term Exams got over just yesterday.  My friend Guru tells me that there are 44 days left for this term to get over completely - after which I will be going for the Outbound Programme, and then I'll get to visit home again!  Well, here are the updates, week-wise as has become the norm for this kind of thing -

  • Sat-Sat, 4-11 Oct: Well, after Homecoming 2003 got over, an important event took place on 6th at 6:30 PM - my computer got fixed!  I'd had a problem with my display - it was stuck at 640x480x16 and wouldn't change!  But on 6th I called some service people and they fixed it.  So the next day, Ramakrishna, Jayesh and me watched Pulp Fiction!  That Monday, I also played the Stock Market Game at Indiabulls.  My brother Varun also created a new theme for my site, about which there is another post.  On 10th, STAR Movies showed John Woo's A Better Tomorrow and I got to see it once again!  11th was my mother's birthday.
  • Sun-Sun, 12-19 Oct: I bought three blank floppies on Sunday morning, using which I was able to transfer some Linkin Park images, Doom Builder v0.09 (there's much to say about this, in another post), ZDoom 2.0.47i, and Tobias Münch's test map with Doom Builder, to my computer.  Well, on 14th, I watched Hannibal (for the second time) on HBO.  18th was again important because I got to see the complete uncensored version of Fight Club, after which I watched Star Trek Nemesis.  On 19th I downloaded posters of The Matrix Revolutions.
  • Mon-Mon, 20-27 Oct: More The Matrix Revolutions downloads: got a PDF comic, the trailer and more posters from the site.  Transferred them all to my computer using floppies (except the 14 MB trailer of course, which I've never seen with sound on).  I also got to see the new Placement Brochure of our institute and took part in the Prelims of the TechFest Quiz.  On 21st, Guru, Ramakrishna and myself took part in the "Quiz in the Dark" organised by the HR Forum at our institute.  And surprise, we won the finals!  I am going to get Rs. 300 for this (hopefully soon)!  On 23rd I tried out using Doom Builder, on 25th we had a Diwali party, after which I chatted with my friend Ganeshan (who is in Kansas now) after a very long time.  Watched Identity on 26th, and worked on some ASP on 27th.  I also took an online test to determine my personality type according to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) after studying about it in my Organisational Behaviour course.  The MBTI puts you into one of 16 possible personality types, based on the dimensions given by Carl Jung (1924).  I am an ISTJ (Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging).
  • Tue-Wed, 28 Oct-5 Nov: TAPMI's site was redesigned sometime ago, and the new site came online on 28th.  The address is of course  On 30th, I got to see a movie that I'd been waiting to see for a very long time - Kill Bill Vol. 1, the fourth film from Quentin Tarantino!  Over the next couple of days I worked on some Doom maps, and then the Mid Term Exams started on 3rd.  On 3rd it was Operations Research and Management Accounting, on 4th we had Financial Management, Written Analysis & Communication 2 and Macroeconomics.  And yesterday, it was Production and Operations Management, Organisational Behaviour and Marketing Fundamentals, after which Ramakrishna and me watched THREE movies - Scary Movie 3, Ring (note the absence of "The" in the title - this is the Japanese original) and The Firm.

I have got more things to say in the next few posts...

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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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