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How easy it is to copy and paste!

Sunday · 17 Aug 03 · 03:02 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

There have been some unusual and offbeat Hindi movies released recently (and some more on the way).  One such film is Darna Mana Hai, which I wrote about in the last update, a movie I really enjoyed.

On 15th, I got to see a... shall we say, OUT OF THIS WORLD, kind of film!  Yes, this one was the much-hyped Koi... Mil Gaya, starring Hrithik Roshan, and directed by his dad Rakesh Roshan.  I watched it in a group of around 30 people (our entire TAPMI Episode 2003 Team), and we were really in a daze after we came out of the theatre.  The basic plot is a cross between Forrest Gump and E.T. (and several other movies that the filmmakers probably had DVDs of - they must have been watching them on the set and ripping off ideas directly), where the mentally retarded Rohit (Hrithik) has his life changed when he meets a cute alien, which is soon named "Jadoo".  There is of course the standard love interest - Nisha (Preity Zinta), the jealous boyfriend, the cute kids who are Rohit's friends, the comic relief, the stern cops who want to capture the alien... add in the requisite songs, a few cute and crazy antics by the alien, some melodrama, some so-called "science" and you have the very definition of the word potboiler.  Here are some of the learnings that I gathered from the film:

  • Sound can travel through space (light years, even!) in a matter of seconds.  All you have to do is play a few notes on a contraption that scientist Rakesh Roshan built, and an alien spaceship will show up in moments.
  • Aliens are usually cute little blue things that have a very limited range of facial expression - mostly blinking eyes.
  • It's easy for aliens to learn languages like Hindi and English.
  • By looking at a photograph of strangely shaped footprints, it is possible to scientifically deduce that an alien is running around in your neighbourhood.
  • Wire effects (remember Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?) can be used in dance sequences.
  • It doesn't matter if there are cops looking for an alien that you are trying to protect.  You can always go out to a scenic location to sing a song and dance around.  The alien might even pitch in and contribute vocals to the song.
  • The procedure of copying files in Windows Explorer is something very complex.  Explaining it to someone confirms that you are a genius.

Now this is not going to be the complete stinker of a mini-review that my friends would probably expect.  I can say one good thing about the movie - Hrithik Roshan puts in a lot of energy and work into his performance and tries hard.  Overall, though, I'd say it's a missable movie (though you might read otherwise in several other reviews!).

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The one about Doom!

Friday · 15 Aug 03 · 01:42 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Doom

Some pretty cool stuff has happened.  Firstly, I transferred several maps to my computer when I took the risk of using one of the new blank floppies that I'd bought earlier.  I've looked at the following maps in recent days: Jan Van der Veken's Classic 10: Mercurius Pools (and it's version b), Classic 11: Deimos Spaceport; Nuts3 by B.P.R.D.; Deus Ex Machina by Andy Leaver; Nick Baker's cool hybrid map E1 MAP01; Alexis Neuhaus's Real World to mention a few.

That's as far as playing Doom is concerned.  I'm also looking at Doomworld and Newdoom, and recently I saw the new PlanetDoom (of course that's for Doom III news).  I still need to update my CCT2 and Metamorphism pages, but on the internet connected computers here, there seems to be some restriction on FTP.  When I am able to upload files I can update those pages (I also really must change the news archive index page).

And finally we come to the most important part of this update: my MAPPING!!  What's been going on?  Last time I was quite vague about the whole thing, but the fact is, I'd started building a small level at that time.  By now, it is about 95% complete!  This is going to be MAP01 of a set of maps that I will be working on whenever I have the time.  Still no plans on the number of maps, or a time frame, but I have some very interesting ideas.  If I am able to pull them off properly, this is going to be a very cool levelset indeed.

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The one about Episode and other things

Friday · 15 Aug 03 · 12:03 AM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: General

Okay, so I've been late in updating again, and I'm left with lots to talk about in as few words as possible!  Well, you can't exactly blame me, a couple of weeks back we had an important event at TAPMI, called Episode 2003, and after that came the mid term exams.  So what happened since the last time I updated?  Here goes...

Let's start with Episode 2003.  The preliminary hype for it started at around the time I updated last.  There were posters pasted in the hostel and in the institute as well.  And on 29th I actually got to know the details of the whole thing.  Episode is TAPMI's annual intra-college fest, where all the students (seniors and us juniors) are divided into 5 teams, and we compete in several games organised over two days.

The event unofficially started off on 30th itself.  We made promotional materials for our team (I made a couple of posters) and this went on till about 2 AM.  And this when we had a pre-read to do, a case study, a one page report, a quiz and a speech too the next day.  Things went well the next day as for the classes, and in the evening we had more Episode preparation.  On 1st August, we had selections for the various games.  I took part in 5 games overall, which were the Systems Forum games (Net Hunt and Face Off), Potpourri (consisting of several variations of dumb charades, pictionary and such, for which we practised with seniors until 4 AM) on 2nd, the first day of Episode, and in Whose Line is it Anyway?, Ad Mad and JAM on 3rd.  Episode was a lot of fun, but more than that I had such a great time working with my seniors and people from my own batch (we had really great people in our team), and that is something I am really grateful I could experience.

We had a couple of days of classes after that (no rest), and immediately jumped into the Mid term exams (6th to 8th).  These I did pretty well, they were unlike other exams I'd written (especially the Microeconomics paper which had just 6 questions to be answered in 2 hours - the questions were small but you really had to think to answer each one!), and they were in a way, fun too.  After the exams came Saturday, 9th... that day we had a batch party in the evening.  The next few days we had classes as usual and that brings us to today, when I'm updating my site.

A few other important things:

  • My floppy drive is working now, so I was able to transfer some downloaded stuff to my computer (Doom levels, a song Techead4.mod which I got thanks to Arun, my senior - this is a file that I lost and was glad to get again... I'm very nostalgic about it).
  • My video card is not that lucky.  Screen resolution is currently set to 640x480x16.  I've got to get it changed (the card I mean!!).
  • Ganeshan and Nagesh are in the US now.
  • I got a whole set of photos of my birthday party (15th May) and a couple taken on my brother's (20th July) from my parents.
  • I am going to get to go home in September!  Yes, I'll be able to spend a whole week in Hyderabad, because the first term is ending here on September 13th and after that we have 10 days holidays.  I'm already planning things to do (priority: watch Pulp Fiction again).
  • Before he left, Ganeshan updated his site with our (Ganeshan, Nagesh, Srikanth and me) Final Year Engineering Project - a Serial Device Driver and a Front-End Application in Linux.
  • Tomorrow there is a blood donation camp being organised at our college... I am donating some of my B- blood.
  • One of my professors, Prof. Mohan Kumar, has signed my Guestbook.  There is also one more shall we say, puzzling, entry in there, which I am guessing is my friend Rajeev (he is now at IIM Ahmedabad).  I really must email him.
  • Today there was the first meeting of our SysCom (Systems Committee), and we discussed the things that we will be doing in the recent future.  One of these concerns developing a software that will be used at BrandScan (TAPMI's annual Market Research Fair), which is of course pretty exciting stuff.

Oh and there's still more stuff to talk about... concerning Doom and what I've been doing for it.  That deserves a post all to itself, you should find it just above this one.

Mess bill: 831.00; 5 Aug - press conference on portable biodegradable toilet!  I also got a B+ on a WAC report, Bhavnath Temple.

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The one about the movies

Thursday · 14 Aug 03 · 07:15 PM IST | Posted by Karthik | Category: Movies

Between the last update and this one I haven't watched many movies.  In fact, just one new one.  Last time I mentioned that I was going to watch Bad Boys II.  But it wasn't possible that day.  That night, Ramakrishna and myself finished some of the work we had kept for Sunday, and Sunday afternoon we watched Darna Mana Hai.

I love the anthology format in a movie or TV show, and that's why I particularly wanted to see this movie.  The movie's about a group of youngsters who are stranded in the woods and tell each other scary and weird stories to pass the time... but then there's someone who's killing them off one by one.  The framing plot wasn't all that special, but I really enjoyed the six stories they had in there.  It was overall a well made and well acted movie, I enjoyed it's often demented sense of humour.  Recommended!!

For the record, here are the six stories:

  • Sohail Khan and Antara Mali are a couple who take a scary drive in the dark.
  • Saif Ali Khan is a photographer who stops at the Good Health Hotel one evening and finds the manager a bit too strict about smoking.
  • A teacher punishes a child everyday for not doing homework... and when she starts doing it, something seems to be scaring the teacher out of his wits.
  • Shilpa Shetty is a housewife who buys apples at a bargain... is there something strange about them?  This was probably the weakest story in the whole lot.
  • Vivek Oberoi picks up a hitchhiker while driving.  In the conversation that they have, the man (Nana Patekar) claims to be a ghost.
  • Aftab Shivdasani plays a loser who is suddenly granted a strange power.

The movie, by the way is produced by Ram Gopal Varma, directed by first-time director Prawaal Raman and written by Atul Sabharwal, Rajnish Thakur and Abbas Tyrewala.  I couldn't watch any other movies due to Episode 2003 at TAPMI (I'll come to that in another post) and the midterm exams.  That, and of late there haven't been many interesting movies playing.  A couple of days back, three of us planned to watch Gangs of New York and we even walked up to the theatre.  We then realised that we wouldn't make it back to the hostel before midnight, and if they closed the gates, it would be a problem!  So we returned.  I might most possibly watch a movie this Saturday (or even tomorrow if time permits).

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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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