What's New? - December 2000

Sat - 30.12.00 - 22:53

Today Dipak and Ashwin left for Chennai after a very nice five-day stay here.  Ashwin has put up his Home Page at http://ashwin85.tripod.com.  It's a nice site, so go over there and give him your comments in his Guestbook.  Dipak's new fascination is with PHP, so hope he has fun with that.  Varun also updated his site with a new guestbook design, some more news and new MIDI files, which you can get from his downloads page.

htmlGEAR.com recently upgraded their Guestbook service.  It's now a lot more customisable than before and has a lot of new features.  They've really done a great job with the service.  I also changed the look of my Guestbook, so that it blends better with the overall look of this site.  I also changed the background music to My Name Is by Eminem.  Today I also read a few O. Henry stories from a collection of his works, which my mother bought a few days ago.  This evening after my cousins left, I went to NIIT because I was supposed to start my Semester B today, after a very long break, but they said it would start only on January 11!

I've got my Mathematics test on 1st January.  I should probably finish studying for that today, because I don't think I'll be able to do much tomorrow, because there's so much good stuff on TV!  There's The Terminator at 9 PM on Zee MGM, Tomorrow Never Dies on STAR Movies at 6:45 PM and 9:30 PM, The World's Greatest Magic on STAR World.  This week, there are some Steven Seagal movies on TV as well, with Above The Law on HBO, The Glimmer Man next Friday on HBO, Marked For Death on STAR Movies.  On January 28th, There's Something About Mary premieres on STAR Movies.

So in case I don't update the site tomorrow or the day after, here's wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wed - 27.12.00 - 20:23

In the last few days I got a few MP3 files - two really nice songs of Eiffel 65 ('Blue [Da Ba Dee]' and 'Move Your Body') from an Eiffel 65 Fan Site, and an MP3 of Doom II's Map01 music, "Running From Evil" from Orbit Interactive.  My cousins Dipak and Ashwin came here on 25th morning.  That day we downloaded the Nokia WAP Toolkit 2.0, an emulator that allows you to see what WML pages look like on the computer.  And we also got the latest PHP 4.0.

I got some more of my marks in the previous tests, and I've added all of those to the SNIST Page.  And I got the lyrics for many songs recently, of which I've added Backstreet Boys' Larger Than Life and Snow's Informer to the Music Page.

Varun bought Linda Goodman's Sun Signs on 25th evening (we all went to Crossword, a nice bookstore at Shoppers' Stop).  The book describes each sun sign in detail, and the characteristics that are associated with each sign.  It's surprising how accurate this analysis is.  The Linda Goodman website is at Linda Goodman.net.

Sat - 23.12.00 - 20:02

For the last three weeks, students, volunteers, staff, teachers and the management at our college have been really busy organising the IEEE Technical Paper Meet which was conducted today at our college.  For me, yesterday was probably the busiest, because at around 2:30 in the afternoon, myself, Srikanth, Ganeshan, and other members of the Hospitality Committee made arrangements ready for the lunch hall.  And then we helped out the others in organising things until around 7 PM.  I got home at 8:30 PM yesterday.  Today things went off very well, with a variety of papers presented by authors from various colleges.  We had three parallel sessions, one for the Electrical Engineering, one for Electronics and another for Computer Science.  Our college students won prizes in all three groups (both the top prizes in Computers).  The papers I liked (I couldn't hear all of them because of many arrangements that had to be made, but these are the ones I liked the best among those I WAS there for) were the ones on 'WAP', 'Push Technology in WAP', 'ARGO - Bridging the Gap between Man and Machine', and others.  Many people were asking me why I hadn't presented a paper - the reason is that Nagesh and me (we were planning to do one on Web Browsers) didn't have enough time to plan things properly because of tests - so we dropped the idea.  Anyway, being on one of the organising committes was fun, although now I've got to make up for all the classes I missed.

As for other things, the day before yesterday, I recorded a speed run of Doom Episode I, where I played 8 levels in exactly 8 minutes on skill 1.  (Not counting E1M8 it's 7:10, but I wasted a lot of time on E1M6 and E1M7).  I've put up this demo for download on my Doom Demos Page.  Varun did it in 5:19 as I mentioned before, and you can download that demo from his site.  And yesterday I saw Black Adder's Christmas Carol on STAR World, a really good episode.

Today at 9:30 PM on STAR Movies there's a movie they haven't shown for a very long time (the last 4-5 years, if I'm not wrong) - it's Die Hard 2!  STAR Movies usually censors movies for TV broadcast, so I wonder what they're going to do about the language in the movie... anyway, it's a terrific action movie, and if you haven't seen it before you must definitely not miss it.

Thu - 21.12.00 - 23:35

My LDIC Practicals Internal Test got over today, and I'm really glad for that.  The question was - Design a monoshot and an astable multivibrator using a 555 Timer IC.  I drew the circuit diagrams right, but for some reason I didn't get a proper output waveform.  Anyway, I answered the questions asked to me well.

On Monday (after I wrote the update) - I got a lot of MIDI files (about 40 of them!!), including a MIDI file of the Total Recall theme music, DJ Quicksilver songs, and many many more.  I'm going to have to get around to adding more music files to this site.  Anyway, it looks like I'll be busy until Saturday because of the Technical Paper Presentation contest at our college.

I got some interesting files now, but I still haven't unzipped them.  I got BSP 2.3 (a nodebuilder for Doom WADs), Alley Cat (a game by Bill Williams I haven't played in a LONG while), 99 Ways To Die (a Doom II WAD by Warren Marshall - this is supposed to have some excellent lighting effects), Mamba Snake (a MIDI File of this song from Commander Keen), and right now there are some music files I'm downloading from CDROM.COM.

The Unofficial WAD Designers' Handbook (by Ron Allen and Bill McClendon) has moved to a new site, http://www.newdoom.com/handbook (it was earlier part of Ricrob's Place).  This is something anyone wanting to design Doom levels must read.

My Doom level Demonic remains in the stage of development it's been in for the past two-three weeks.  I'll try to finish it as soon as possible.

I found out today that the CSIT branch at our college have their website at http://csit.itgo.com.  And in January 2001, there are some great movies on STAR Movies, including The Rock and There's Something About Mary.

Mon - 18.12.00 - 23:15

The Third Internal Tests at college got over today.  On Thursday I have a practicals exam in LDIC, and I'll be really relieved once that's over.  On 23 December there's a big event at our college - the Technical Paper Presentation contest organised by our IEEE Student Chapter.  I'll have to be there from 9 AM to 5 PM because I'm in one of the organising committees.

Yesterday we switched ISPs to Satyam Online.  The speeds are nice and fast - so yesterday I downloaded a patch to upgrade our existing Quake II version to v3.20 (a 13.2 MB download).  And because of that I was able to watch Quake II Done Quicker, a Quake Done Quick Production which is a run-through of the entire game in just 21 minutes and 6 seconds.  Varun got some really good MIDIs of Eiffel 65 Songs, and I got a MIDI version of Eminem's 'The Real Slim Shady'.

Varun also has uploaded a new updated version of his site, and he's also put up that Doom demo I was talking about last time.  It's a speed run through the entire episode I of The Ultimate Doom (8 levels) in just a little above 5 minutes.  You can get that from his downloads page.  So go and visit the new http://varun87.tripod.com.

Sat - 16.12.00 - 23:45

I downloaded a number of levels for Doom II yesterday, including The Talosian Incident by the Black Star Coven, Dante's Gate 2.5 by John W. "Dr. Sleep" Anderson.  I also got many levels by Mike Reed - including The Villa of Pain (the first Doom WAD I ever played - sometime last year), Hoover Dam, The Bleeding Tower of Pisa, and Level Uno Redux.  I played Level Uno Redux a couple of times today - what a terrific level!  It's got continuous fights (lots of monsters) from start to finish (in true Mike Reed style) and is very large and nicely designed.  I also rearranged all the Doom files (WADs, LMPs) on the hard disk so that it's easier to -file them with various ports I have.  I also watched Vincent Catalaa's Public D.A.N.G. Demo of 30 levels of Doom II in 25 minutes on Too Young To Die skill.

Varun's redesign of his home page is almost complete.  He'll probably upload the new site tomorrow.  I must say, it looks really terrific, and from now on he'll be putting stuff up for download there as well.  He recorded a speed run of Doom Episode 1 in just about 5 minutes.  That LMP will be put on his site soon.

I also enhanced my site here - I cleaned up one of the style sheets a bit and the index page's frame layout was redone.  It's a bit simpler now and hence, faster loading.

Sat - 16.12.00 - 01:25

If you've been visiting this site for a while, you know what happens when I don't update for a long period.  This time I was gone for about a week - since I've been quite busy.  But now here's a long update detailing what I've been up to in the past week -

Sat - 9/12 - * Varun got Doom II!  Downloaded lots of WADs, mostly from the list found at Ricrob's Place.  I got a lot of really good stuff, including - Tim Willits and Theresa Chasar's Raven, Malcolm Sailor's Chord3 and Quick Is Good, Ola Björling's Tantrum2, some of the great TCs - Mordeth, Memento Mori I and II, STRAIN, Requiem, Herian, and lots more.  Quick Is Good was a really fun map to play.

Sun - 10/12 - Doom's seventh birthday!  I also played Skull Tag - what great fun!  It's just as much fun to play as Quake III is, possibly even better.  Sunday Night Premiere on STAR Movies - Eddie Murphy's Metro - was an average movie.

Mon - 11/12 - Our college is holding a Technical Paper Presentation contest on December 23.  This is beign organised by the IEEE Student Chapter of our college.  We need sponsorship for the event, so me and Srikanth went to about 8 companies asking them for that.  The companies we went to included - NIIT Habsiguda, ObjectOne, NetGSC, VJ Info, Generic Systems, STG, Gatestech and Vajra Information Technologies.

Tue - 12/12 - I pulled out MIDI music from STRAIN, a really terrific Doom II conversion.  The Music, composed by David "Tolwyn" Shaw and Mark Klem is fantastic.  I also played a little of Requiem. COBOL

Wed - 13/12 - I'm on the Hospitality Committee for the IEEE Paper Presentation Contest on 23rd.  Black Adder's Christmas Carol is on STAR World soon.

Thu - 14/12 - Varun downloaded Doom Done Quicker and a couple of WADs, and a video clip called The Blair Imp Project.  Got lyrics for Backstreet Boys' Larger Than Life.  Doomworld posted the Doom v0.99 Shareware on 10th, which I downloaded - unfortunately the EXE doesn't seem to work.  They also had a link to this site, which has a game called Doom Invaders (a Space Invaders clone, but using Doom graphics).  A small download, but worth it.

Fri - 15/12 - Saw the absolutely amazing Doom Done Quicker demos today.  This is a run of all the Ultimate Doom episodes in just 16:05!  Doom Done Quicker is a Quake Done Quick Production.

So after reading all that, how did my tests go?  OK.  As I get my marks I'll put them up on the SNIST Page.  I've also got more modifications to do on the site tomorrow.

Fri - 08.12.00 - 23:07

The last two - three days have been quite busy for me, which is why I didn't have the time to write site updates.  Our college management decided to hold a Freshers Day today, a day dedicated to welcome all the First Year students of all the different branches of our college.  To organise the whole event, we had volunteers from the senior classes - I was one of the volunteers from the Second Year.  We had meetings with the Third and Final Year students to plan the entire day.  The programme was finalised yesterday, and today from 10:00 AM to 4:15 PM, all the seniors and juniors enjoyed 'Bits and Bytes'/The Freshers' Day.  The anchors for the show were myself and Sarala from CSE IInd Year.

We, the CSE group students of SNIST had a really good time today, thanks to our audience (our classmates, our seniors and the juniors) who were very participative.  Second Year students, that is, our classmates, came up with a variety of programmes to keep everyone entertained.  We have a lot of talent in our class, in music, acting, singing, etc.  And of course, we put a lot of questions to our juniors, which later decided the Mr. Prince, Miss Princess, Mr. Spontaneous and Miss Talented of the day.  It's the first time I'm anchoring a programme like this (or any programme for that matter), so although it was tiring, it was a nice experience.  Thanks to Sarala, my co-anchor; the organisers, the management, and the volunteers, and of course, everyone who contributed to making the show so enjoyable, the audience (for their questions too!), and to our juniors.  I'm happy that it went off well - I even got a nice Instant Message on my Yahoo! Messenger now from Ravi about my anchoring!  Thanks a lot, Ravi.

Tonight's episode of Goodness Gracious Me on STAR World was really good too.  There was also a reference to Doom in one of the segments!  That scene is set in a tent where an Indian family who are supposed to be on a camping trip, is interviewed by a journalist.  The journalist is of course quite surprised to see a fax machine and other such comforts in the tent, when the family's supposed to be "roughing it".  At one point she asks them, "How are the kids doing?".  The parents say "Oh, they're on level 5 of Doom" - and we see two children at a computer.  The game wasn't actually shown, but the reference was there.

On Monday the Third Internal Tests are starting.  Monday's test is on Discrete Structures and Graph Theory.

Tue - 05.12.00 - 22:58

There's going to be a paper presentation contest at our college on 23 December, organised by our student chapter of the IEEE.  The topics chosen must belong to the Electrical, Electronics or Computer Sciences.  Nagesh and myself thought we would start preparing for a paper on Web Browsers - so I've got a few sites to check out now while I update my own site.  Sites I'm going to visit are - The W3 Website, The NCSA Mosaic Site, etc.  We thought we'd talk about how exactly a browser works and the technical aspects of it.

Speaking of Web Browsers, Ganeshan gave me the November 2000 PC Quest CD today - it had a Windows version of Lynx on it.  I'd used Lynx on Linux previously, but this is the first time I'm using it on Windows.  The CD also had Sun's HotJava browser.

Yesterday I downloaded csDoom - a port of Doom with Client/Server architecture!  I even saw all the servers available to play Doom on - a pity they were all running Doom II maps.  Anyway, I also downloaded a great level for Ultimate Doom, called Marble Maze, created by Scott Earnest.  It took me 25 minutes to play yesterday (which is why I slept at about 2 AM!), but it was a lot of fun.

Ganeshan also gave me my From Dusk Till Dawn Desktop Theme - which I had created on 13 April 2000.  I thought I had lost this in a hard drive crash.  Anyway, he's also got some of my other themes that got wiped out - Quentin Tarantino Theme and The Matrix.  The README file I had written for that theme had some pretty interesting links - From Dusk Till Dawn With Quentin Tarantino and Mark Stewart's From Dusk Till Dawn Page.  I'm going to see all these sites now.

Corrections to be made - Doom character Bobby Dacote which I had mentioned on November 30th, is actually Buddy Dacote.  And Notting Hill is on STAR Movies, whereas My Best Friend's Wedding is on HBO this month.

Tue - 05.12.00 - 00:40

[Written with reference to Dec. 04]

My Doom level Demonic underwent some modifications on Sunday - I added some new areas and modified the look of the existing ones.  I incorporated my CacoCage idea in this level itself - the idea is to have an area of the map in the shape of a Cacodemon!  Maybe I'll keep it this way, otherwise if it causes some errors that will be done in a later level.  On Sunday I also printed out some scripts that I downloaded early in the morning (2 - 3 AM).  I found some great sites with TV scripts - Dunsel's Black Adder Page - which has transcripts from every Black Adder Episode, and Inside The X - a site which has transcripts from literally every X Files episode.  I also got a few more movie scripts - including The Empire Strikes Back, The Fugitive, The Evil Dead, Die Hard, The Cable Guy and Roger Kumble's Cruel Intentions.  On Sunday Night at 9 PM I saw The Replacement Killers on AXN.

Today at college the last three periods were our COBOL practicals - I had already finished everything I was supposed to do, so I was feeling very bored - until I started writing about Doom on the back page.  This turned out as a short poem!  Once I finish it, I'll put it on the site.  Right now I'm going to The MIDI Farm to search for some nice songs.

Sun - 03.12.00 - 01:17

[Written with reference to Dec. 02]

A tiring but fun day today.  As I had written before, today there was a workshop on communication skills and personality development conducted in our college, for the student members of the IEEE.  It was conducted by Mr. Kamesh of Professional Presence India Pvt. Ltd.  It started at around 11 AM and went on till 7 PM.  I got home at around 8 PM.  Then at around 11 PM Rajeev and me browsed some sites, collecting information on Bluetooth technology for a paper he's presenting.  This went on till about 1 AM.  Just now I started a download of the Quake II Done Quick Demo - it seems to be going VERY slowly, so I thought I'd write this update now.

Today's Communication Skills workshop was really nice.  I didn't even notice the eight hours pass by!  It was very enjoyable and at the same time, all of us who attended it learnt a lot.  Maybe tomorrow or later on I'll put up a page here on the site with some of the notes I made.

Best quote today -
"The mind is a wonderful thing - it starts working the minute you are born and never stops until YOU GET UP TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC."
[Roscoe Drummond]

Today Varun recorded If Looks Could Kill (a.k.a. Teen Agent) from HBO in the afternoon - I'm going to watch it tomorrow.  This is an action comedy starring Richard Grieco and directed by William Dear.  I saw this movie a long time ago, it'll be nice to see it again.  Batman (the Michael Keaton - Tim Burton 1989 movie) was also on HBO in the evening today.  Sunday night at 9:30 PM on AXN - The Replacement Killers is on.

Looks like the 3.49 MB Quake II Done Quick download's taking too much time.  Varun will probably download it later in the morning when the speeds are faster.

Fri - 01.12.00 - 23:27

Today's Managerial Economics class at college was interesting - it was all about equity shares, preference shares, debentures, etc.  I also completed filling out my application for membership in the student chapter of the IEEE at our college.  Tomorrow I'll be at college from 9:30 AM till 5:45 PM (the personality development workshop), so I won't be able to work on my Doom Level Demonic.  Not that I did anything on it today - mostly what I did after coming home from college was play some games that I hadn't played in a while.

I played E1M7 and E1M8 of HereticHeretic is a really good game, and it's level designer, Michael Raymond-Judy really deserves credit for the great job he's done.  It's also got a very nice soundtrack, composed by Kevin Schilder.  Although I prefer to play Doom, I still enjoy playing this game once in a while.  Watching Varun play Quake today was also a lot of fun.  It goes without saying - Quake is a true classic.  The graphics, sound and design all contribute to a great game playing experience.  It can however make you feel uneasy at times because the violence is unsettling - an Ogre got caught by two Zombies in today's game - and was ripping them apart again and again with it's chainsaw.  Unfortunately Zombies will only die when gibbed, so they killed the Ogre in the end.

Then I took a few ZDoom screenshots from the beautifully designed E4M9 ("Fear") of The Ultimate Doom.  I've set one of them now as wallpaper, and created a corresponding colour scheme for my desktop.

Today's episode of The Black Adder on STAR World was the very first episode, "The Foretelling".  After 4 Black Adder series, STAR World has started repeating episodes.  A summary of the entire series is available on my Black Adder Episodes Page.

Coming to the actual updates on the site -

  1. Today being 1 December, there's now a new News Page as usual.
  2. I had many jokes to add on the site.  I finally got around to adding them today.  Go see the Jokes Page for the new jokes.
  3. I also modified the Copyrights Page to eliminate some outdated information.

December 5th is the release date of American McGee's Alice.  This game from Electronic Arts and Rogue Entertainment seems really good, although I doubt I'll be able to play it because of it's system requirements.