The Archives

TAPMI Shortlisting, GD and Red Dragon

Thursday · 27 Feb 03 · 01:27 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

It is late and I am supposed to send out some emails now, which I will do... anyway I just wanted to write this update because it contains some important stuff.

First of all, I am happy to say that I have got a shortlisting for the Group Discussion and Interview of T. A. Pai Management Institute, based on my CAT score.  So, I have started going to TIME for training for the GD and Interviews.  It is in the evenings at 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  Today was my first session.

I also saw Red Dragon tonight (night show, just returned home about an hour ago).  It was an excellent movie, about FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) on the trail of a serial killer called The Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes).  Graham turns to his old friend Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for help in profiling the killer.  Graham was the one who was responsible for capturing Lecter several years earlier.  It's an intense movie, which I thought was handled in a refined manner, with lots of atmosphere, by director Brett Ratner (there are hardly any scenes of violence actually being committed - though the ones that are shown are strikingly powerful), and it was very well acted also.  I also thought the excellent music score by Danny Elfman was quite different in style from his other scores.

On Friday I have two tests at college, and after that, in the evening I'll go to the TIME class, and then, at 9:30 PM, I'll watch Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on STAR Movies.

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The Hunted Review, CAT Scorecard, MySQL in India

Sunday · 23 Feb 03 · 02:04 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

I wrote a review for The Hunted, the movie that I saw yesterday.  You can find it on the Movie Reviews page.

There are two more things I wanted to write about in the last update.  First, I grabbed a screenshot of my CAT 2002 scorecard when I got it.  If you want to have a look, see here.

And finally, I read at the MySQL website that the company, MySQL AB is going to come to India.  In fact, they're coming right here to Hyderabad, to conduct seminars and to officially announce training programmes, certifications and the like.  The relevant article is here.

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CAT 2002 Scorecard and other news

Sunday · 23 Feb 03 · 12:44 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The people to whom this bit of news will have importance already know about it - but anyway, I'll repeat it here: the CAT 2002 scorecards are out.  You can check it at the IIM Calcutta website (that's where I saw mine).  The scorecard lists out the percentage as well as percentile scores for each section of the exam.  Now a few weeks back, I was talking about how all my management exams results so far have been disappointing... well, this one was encouraging.

Know what my overall percentile is?  It's 93.47%.  I got percentile scores of 66.06%, 89.39% and 96.80% in the logic, quantitative and verbal sections.  I probably missed out only because of that Section I score.  I was really very happy just looking at the scorecard.

As for other things going on, our project documentation is almost done, and that's what we were working on last Thursday at ROC (also following the India vs. Zimbabwe cricket match scores while doing that).  We just need it okayed by our Professor before we can print it.

I watched The Hunted on HBO yesterday and had fun with it.  The first half is in my opinion, what a good action movie should be - exciting, stylish and violent - but the second half was a descent into silliness.  Next Friday on STAR Movies, I am going to watch Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.  I saw it many months back on video, not a very good print.  That's why I'm waiting to see it again.

Red Dragon and Spy Kids 2 are both currently in theatres.  I would like to see both!  And later, when and if they get released here: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Daredevil (saw a feature about it on TV today), NarcThe Matrix Reloaded also (which has it's U.S. release on my birthday, May 15).  Daredevil seems very good, but apparently they toned down the violence and trimmed the movie so that it would get a PG-13 rating.  I absolutely do not like that sort of thing.

172 ZC3f bognvarq, sebz T.

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City Hunter, Bloodsport and The Running Man Reviews

Wednesday · 19 Feb 03 · 01:42 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Finally, after a gap of nearly two months, there are some new movie reviews on this site.  The three new additions are

  • the Jackie Chan comedy City Hunter,
  • the Schwarzenegger starrer The Running Man, and finally,
  • the Jean-Claude Van Damme action movie Bloodsport.

Go read them at the Movie Reviews Page.  I am now going to upload the files that may be needed for documentation work at ROC tomorrow.  In fact, I was waiting to see if any additional stuff would come to me by mail, that's why I spent the time writing these reviews.

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TMNT, Documentation and Bloodsport

Tuesday · 18 Feb 03 · 11:35 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Yesterday evening, I went to The Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Website, and downloaded some cool stuff from there.  I used to be a huge fan of the Turtles many years ago (I watched all the nearly 200 episodes of the cartoon show which they showed on STAR Plus several years back, and before that, I did so many drawings of them), and the reason I happened to go to the site was because, I had gone to a Duke Nukem site called MSDN sometime back, and they had a poll asking "were you a Turtles fan when you were young".  Anyway I read a detailed explanation of how to do a daily comic strip, saw examples of Peter Laird's unpublished artwork, and to top it all, I got the whole first issue of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic from the site!  And at night I watched my video of the first TMNT movie.

Today I spent time working on my part of the project documentation.  I wrote the chapters on Testing, Results and Conclusion.  Earlier, I wrote the Implementation part of the book.  Tomorrow at ROC, we will finalise the report, and print out a copy of the book.

At 9 PM tonight, I saw Bloodsport on STAR Movies.  I thought it was a very good movie, with a fast pace and nice action scenes.  I actually want to write a review for it now.  Let me see.  I'll check my mail now and depending what I find in there I'll see what to do!

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The Running Man, Brain Damage, The Matrix Reloaded

Monday · 17 Feb 03 · 02:56 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

On 14th night, I saw a movie I hadn't seen in a long time - The Running Man, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Although this movie is not as well known as some of his others, it is still a good one and has lots of violent action!  Yesterday, I got seven posters of The Matrix Reloaded from  They look awesome and I combined them into one picture to make a wallpaper - which is on my desktop right now.  This morning at 11 AM, I saw Brain Damage on Zee MGM.  This is a strange horror movie with lots of blood and gore, and some comedy thrown in.  It is written and directed by the maker of Basket Case (which I haven't seen), Frank Henenlotter.  A young man, Bryan, is forced to kill people to feed a worm/leech-like parasite that sucks brains - so that the parasite may inject a pleasure-producing drug-like substance into his brain.  It reminded me of the classic The Little Shop of Horrors, and it is a well done movie though the creature effects looked cheap.

Yesterday I also spent some time on documentation work for our Final Year Project, and watched an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called Preemptive Strike, in which Lt. Ro Laren is sent on an undercover mission to infiltrate a Maqui cell, only to have her loyalties challenged.

Also spent a lot of time on that Other Stuff™.

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The Tobysite v3.2

Monday · 17 Feb 03 · 02:24 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The latest incarnation of Tobias Münch's The Tobysite is online.  The new design is an extension to the previous one, and there have been some enhancements to the good-looking colour scheme.  I like the presentation style - there is a top navbar which opens a page with the submenu on the left - allowing you to choose pages of interest.  Content-wise, lots has been added - all of Toby's Doom, Doom II, Unreal and Unreal Tournament levels have been uploaded (each with nicely-designed information pages), and there's also his pixel artwork, plus a nice site history.

Instead of reading about it, why don't you go have a look?

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A Programming Contest

Monday · 17 Feb 03 · 02:12 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Like I said in the previous post, I took part in the C programming contest at Adastra 2003 on 14th.  Now I wasn't actually planning on taking part in it, in fact, a few days before, the thought wouldn't even have come to my mind.  But just about 15 minutes before the contest began, I decided to give it a shot, and walked in.

The question was a logical one, and went something like this.  There is one Professor Bumstead who has to get dressed in the morning.  There are nine items he has to wear.  Certain items, like (socks, shoes) are related, which means they have to be worn in that particular order.  Unrelated items can be worn in any order.  This way, the sets of items were (socks, shoes), (undergarments, pants, belt, jacket), (shirt, tie, jacket) and (watch).  When a random arrangement of these items is given, the task is to sort them so that related items always appear in order.  Technically, this is supposed to be called topological sorting.

I thought about this for a little while and came up with a quick solution (though not optimal).  In my program I had a function which would give out the priority of each item (socks = 0, shoes = 1, undergarments = 0, pants = 1, belt = 2, and so on, you get the idea), and then I took in the input arrangement and did a bubble sort on the priorities.

On 15th, I was the one who was supposed to announce the winners of the various competitions, so I saw the results.  I had come second in this contest, which is pretty good because I've never considered myself the "programmer" type (this problem was basically a logical one though, so it doesn't actually rely on programming).  Too bad there was only one prize for this contest!

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Adastra 2003

Monday · 17 Feb 03 · 01:47 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The IEEE Students Chapter of our college organised a two day technical event called Adastra 2003 (To the Stars) on 14th and 15th.  I was there on both days.  The event went well, with the usual technical paper presentations and the new contests - website design, C programming and poster presentation.  For the very first time in my life I took part in the C programming contest - and came second!  More about that in another update.  I wasn't involved in the organising this time, but on 14th and 15th I helped out a little.  On 15th, I announced the prize winners.  All the organisers did a very good job in conducting this event, and they even had official Adastra 2003 T-shirts made.

From now on I will have some free time on 4 days of the week, no college and no project work.  I only have to go to college on Fridays and Saturdays!  So as I said before, I have more time to spend on The Other Stuff I Have Been Working On™!

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MCB Lyrics, Chinese movies and some good FX

Thursday · 13 Feb 03 · 11:39 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Sometime back, I wrote that I downloaded a song called Doom (a.k.a. Blood on the Walls) by Manny Charlton Band, from the website of Doom co-creator John Romero.  This is a terrific song that I keep listening to many times.  Well, yesterday I found the lyrics as well!  So if you have downloaded the song too and want the lyrics, you can find them at this place.

On the Chinese movie channel (Mei Ah TV) that I talked about earlier, a lot of good movies are being shown.  A few days back, they showed John Woo's Hard-Boiled.  English subtitles weren't great ("My life is unimportant anymore") but it is always nice to watch a movie in it's original language (I have the English dubbed version on tape, which is missing some footage and is not of very good quality).  I watched the last half hour or so here.  Some of the bloodier moments were censored though.  Yesterday they were showing a Ringo Lam movie called Full Alert, which I saw part of.  So far, I haven't still seen an entire movie on Mei Ah.

Last night Zee MGM was showing F/X 2: The Deadly Art of Illusion, and this is a movie that I haven't seen since a few years time, so I saw the whole thing.  Movie special effects wizard Rollie Tyler (Bryan Brown) is requested by the NYPD to use his F/X skills to help them nab a serial killer.  Things don't go as planned and his friend dies - but Rollie soon gets involved in a deadly cover-up.  Fast-paced movie with nice F/X (of course) and a great music score.

Today's episode of Roswell (I haven't been following this series that closely, but the last couple of episodes were very interesting) on STAR World had a guest appearance by Nelly Furtado.

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Project Work, Linux, Technical Event

Thursday · 13 Feb 03 · 11:17 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The project work that I was doing along with my friends officially got over today.  We made two large directories with all the files we had worked on (since December) at ROC - now they are going to give us all the stuff in them on CDs.  I will be uploading the final executable application and the insertable (?) device driver module on this site, and I'll have a page with a few screenshots of it soon.  I had a fantastic experience at ROC working on this project, but I'm also glad it's over because I can spend more time on The Other Stuff I Have Been Working On™.

Ganeshan told me about this new magazine called Linux For You, which is India's first magazine entirely dedicated to Linux.  Now this first issue is on sale for just Rs. 50 (US $5), and it comes with a CD which contains Knoppix - a Linux distribution (based on Debian Linux), which can be used DIRECTLY off the CD (no need to install)!  So I got the magazine today, and unfortunately when I tried to boot from the CD, it said "Failure".  Pity, because this CD has 2 GB worth of applications and packages (completely usable Linux with KDE, KOffice, GIMP, PHP, Apache, MySQL, the list goes on and on) all stuffed into it!  I really want to use Linux more, but I guess I will have to clear up some GBs of space on the hard disk for that, which is easier said than done.

Tomorrow and the day after, at our college, our IEEE Students Chapter is holding a technical event called Adastra 2003.  I will be going there early in the morning (I'll be at college by 8 AM or so), and I am really looking forward to attending the various contests, etc. in it.

V nyfb SGCq gjb fbatf (Tva Fbnxrq Obl, Url Zna) sebz EBP gb guvf fvgr, tbvat gb qbjaybnq gurz abj.  Jnfa'g noyr gb svaq gurfr naljurer!

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Doomed Downloads

Sunday · 9 Feb 03 · 05:57 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Metabolist has released Mortiser 5: Toxic Waste Dump at his site.  Varun downloaded it this morning and I played it later.  It is a pretty cool map.  I also got a few other WADs from this week's edition of The /newstuff Chronicles at Doomworld.  One interesting level is called Doomworld Forums, a ZDoom based level where you have objectives to complete - register yourself as a Doomworld forums member, become popular, and eventually proceed to take over Doomworld!  Deliverance is another good detailed level, and Hell-o was absolutely horrible.

Unrelated to all this is that I changed my Windows desktop colour scheme to something that imitates the colour scheme of the later Windows operating systems (after 98).

I also got the Quake and Quake II texture packs from Afterglow's site.

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PNG, M A, Flats!

Sunday · 9 Feb 03 · 05:46 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Yesterday was an interesting day at college because I was there for just a couple of hours - classes were very abridged and I was home by around 1:15 PM!  There is now a new channel we are receiving on TV - this is called M A TV and is a Chinese channel.  (Srikanth had told me about it in the morning).  Many of the shows and movies on the channel are subtitled in English, although some of them are in Chinese only.  I still haven't watched a whole movie on that channel, I am waiting for a nice martial arts movie...

I also went to the PNG Home Page yesterday.  PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is an image format that I make use of extensively on my site, and many people have asked me why I use PNGs and not the more common GIFs and JPEGs.  I do use those two image formats for certain things, but I have found PNG to be superior for almost all other purposes.  The official page has lots of interesting information about PNG.

One more important thing I did yesterday evening is to find out how to use new flats (floors and ceilings) in Doom levels.  Of course, this is not something new, but it is the first time I am doing it.  I use a combination of my regular editor, DoomCAD, and Csabo's excellent multi-purpose tool XWE for this, and I also made some nice new flats yesterday.

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Nasty Little Thing

Saturday · 8 Feb 03 · 01:49 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

Yahhh!!  I inserted a row into my database's drawings table at home, and then loaded up the page in the browser (IE6) to view it.  And all of a sudden, Windows hanged for no apparent reason.  And it messed up said table, because of which I had to take a dump of my entire website's database, pull out the statements pertaining to the drawings table, and recreate it.  Thank God for phpMyAdmin!

Anyway, there's a new drawing up.  It's called Nasty Little Thing and I drew it in college today.  During classes.  Sitting right in front (no one noticed me though).  The actual drawing is rather small, but the image I've posted is a large size one that shows off all the detailing.  If I ever have a company that makes horror movies, this would be the logo for it.

Anyway while updating this I had to connect to the net, and I noticed that has just put up an Interview with Chris Hansen, which made interesting reading, most interesting part being where he said that he would have a few more screenshots from his upcoming Doom II level, on his site very soon.  That is one level I am waiting to play!

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Three movies

Saturday · 8 Feb 03 · 12:24 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Since the last time I updated the site, I watched three movies.  First, I finally saw the live action comic book City Hunter properly, and enjoyed it.  It's a very good movie, the only downside being some of the offensive humour - which is present I guess, because of the source material.  On 4th, they were showing Mission: Impossible on STAR Movies, and I watched the last 15 minutes of it.  The next movie was BASEketball, which I also saw (11:15 PM).  This was an OK movie, I didn't find it that funny, but it did have two good characters in the lead.

Finally, comes the movie that I saw today - The Others (STAR Movies Friday Night Premiere, 9 PM), starring Nicole Kidman.  This is one of the few horror movies I've seen that is actually scary - it maintained a very creepy atmosphere throughout, and was beautifully shot.  The performances were all brilliant, the music was very effective (music is used sparingly - there are lots of scenes with no music at all), and it had a very interesting, original story.  The best way to watch this movie is to know as little as possible about it before you actually see it.  The movie was written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar, who also did the music.  It was filmed in Spain.

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CAT Results

Saturday · 8 Feb 03 · 12:09 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

The results of CAT 2002 came out some days ago, and each of the IIMs (A, B, C, I, K, L) posted the list of candidates shortlisted for the group discussion and interviews.  I didn't get through in any of them, in fact, I didn't get through in any of the management exams I wrote so far!  Now this was pretty disappointing but I guess it means that I'm not ready for that just yet.  So now I will be working for one or two years, and after that I'll write the CAT exam again.  There are three more institutes whose results still haven't come out, but they take students based on CAT scores - so I'm not expecting positive results there either.

I suppose this means that no further studies for me, for some time in the future - I'll get to earn money instead, which is good!  Management courses also are supposed to be better appreciated by people with work experience, so that's one more plus point of doing the course later.

Whatever the result, I'm glad the wait for them got over.

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Get the Megasphere, Nelly Furtado Drawings

Monday · 3 Feb 03 · 02:09 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Art

Two new drawings have been added to the Drawings page.  The first one is a drawing of Nelly Furtado that I did some days ago, after watching the music video of the song "Breath" (which she collaborated on along with the group Swollen Members).  It's an OK drawing, but since I did it directly with ballpoint pen, in just about half an hour, it didn't come out as well as I would have liked it to.

The second drawing is a Doom-based one called Get the Megasphere.  Some weeks back, I quickly scribbled a drawing of the Doom marine from the Doom CD's cover.  I had this idea to make it look like as if he was reaching for a megasphere, so I drew that in too.  But today, I had a sudden bit of inspiration, and I made an actual, serious drawing out of the same idea.  I used elements from the Doom and Doom II CD covers, and added a couple of my own ideas in, and finally I had in front of me, a drawing that I was really proud of!

Quickly, go to the Drawings page and have a look at Get the Megasphere, it's really good if I do say so myself!

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City Hunter and Romeo Must Die

Monday · 3 Feb 03 · 02:01 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

STAR Movies showed City Hunter on Friday at 7 PM, and I recorded it.  The tape that I had earlier was missing about 20 minutes of scenes, so I was happy to finally get a proper version.  I couldn't watch it with full concentration though, because of phone calls and other interruptions... also, Varun was preparing to host a farewell party for his seniors at his coaching class the next day.  Anyway, I am going to watch it again later, properly, at night with all the lights off.  The movie itself, stars Jackie Chan and is directed by Wong Ching.  It is based on the Japanese comic character Ryo Saeba, and it is one of the craziest movies I've ever seen!  Good one, recommended watching.

Yesterday evening HBO showed Romeo Must Die at 9:30 PM and I watched it.  It was an OK movie, though I thought it was a bit too slow moving in the first part.  The action scenes were nice, and I loved the X-Ray special effects showing bones breaking - but the martial arts sequences seemed TOO "wire effect"-ish.  Nice hip-hop soundtrack though.

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Opera 7 is awesome

Monday · 3 Feb 03 · 01:51 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

On Saturday, Ganeshan told me that he had downloaded Opera 7, and that it was really good.  So I downloaded it that evening.  And it is simply amazing.

Now as you all probably know, Opera is the browser I primarily use (I use it more than Internet Explorer) - I was using 6.05 until now.  I liked the browser because it was lightweight (approx. 3 MB download, 12 MB if you also want to download Java with it), and it had so many user friendly features.  Also, it had an inbuilt popup killer, and most of all, it felt more secure than using Internet Explorer (now don't ask me why).

The new version has a more graphical and aesthetic interface, and they now don't have separate modes of opening the browser (tabbed, MDI or SDI) - it's all integrated into one interface now.  There's intelligent popup control now (you can set the browser to refuse all popups except for the ones you click to open), auto-filling of logins, a small-screen rendering view (shows how websites would look like on cellphones, and other such devices), improved mail client, etc. and as always, it's fast.  When I installed it, I actually felt like staying on the net for a while longer just to use it.  Now that's great.

By the way, I genuinely appreciate this browser, no one paid me anything to say all this (heh).

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General News

Monday · 3 Feb 03 · 01:27 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Ah, it's late at night and I probably have a presentation tomorrow...

Since yesterday, the news channels have been showing clips of Space Shuttle Columbia's explosion - it's sad what happened.  I am uncomfortable with writing about this kind of thing, so I'll stop saying this much.  Ganeshan has updated his site with a short message on the home page about what happened, and he also has another article called "Guardian or Slayer?".

By now, all the students who are doing their projects at ROC have almost completed them.  Tomorrow, our college lecturers will be coming there to have a look at what we are doing.  And we are supposed to make a presentation to them.  Our team is ready to give it, but the problem is we're not sure when and whether the professors will come.  Anyway, I've made the PowerPoint Presentation and the OHP slides.

I've also updated the Daniel Movies page with a new video clip that Daniel sent me.  I've removed one of the older ones, of course, you can always email Daniel if you want to see it.

Disappointment of the day: The FMS results have been announced and I didn't make it through.  Maybe I should have not written the exam.

Made a lot of additions to the Brad-Karthik map today, also made a resource WAD with new sky and music!

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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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