This is a Doom-related update, but I'm writing it here since I don't want to wait till I update my Doom site again to mention it. Today I started making a new E4M3 for The 9th Gate! After a few months' WADster's block (well, 9th Gate block anyway), I was really inspired today, I came back from class this morning, and by afternoon I started work on the new level. I made the mistake of biting off more than I could chew on the older one actually. Worked most of the day on the new E4M3, and I'm really happy with the way the level's coming along. I've already sent what I've made so far to Tobias and Damian, anyway I will write more about that the next time I update my Doom site.
Sites that were updated -
- Karthik's Doom Pages was updated yesterday, nothing much added; thanked all the people who were kind enough to record demos and give me feedback on my recently released Doom II level Out of Phase II. Thanks Albert Valls, Opulent, Wim Vanrie, Tobias Münch, Pablo Dictter, Joe Pallai, Richard J. Sham. Oh yes, the site also crossed 6000 hits :). That was on Jan 6. Actually I was the 6001th visitor, I don't know who got #6000.
- The Worlds of Toby M. was updated too, there was a minor problem with the frames which Tobias got rid of. And he also made some small enhancements to the graphics on the page. The layout looks stylish and nice. He also added his Manga drawings (they're really good). Of course, you can grab all his Doom and Doom II maps (including his latest, Steel Conquerors) from there because he has a temporary version of his Phobos Wad Lab on the site.
- Fehler 404 was updated as well, there's an article called "What is so hard about HTML?" that Tobias wrote after issues like cross-browser compatibility started troubling him :). He's also added a GREAT picture of a box of tablets. You'll know why I'm talking about it when you see it. It's really funny.
- After some time of non-updates, Kalpana's World (my teacher's personal page) was updated. There are a couple of interesting new articles to read.
- Galaxy Quest (1999) - Directed by Dean Parisiot. Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub. Allen plays Jason Nesmith, star of a Star Trek-type TV series called Galaxy Quest. The cast of this series are now struggling actors, reduced to making appearances at openings of malls and at conventions. At one particular convention, Jason is approached by a group of people who claim they're aliens - "Thermians" - and that they need the help of the courageous Captain Taggart (which is Jason's character in the show). Jason doesn't pay much attention to this, but he soon finds out that those people ARE actually aliens, and they've been receiving our TV signals for a long period of time. Unfortunately they think the the TV show is REAL, and they think that the Galaxy Quest stars are real heroes! Soon, Jason and his "crew" find themselves aboard the Thermians' ship, and on a REAL adventure, where they have to save the Thermians from the evil Sarris (an insect-like alien, who wants the "Omega 13" device that the Thermians have aboard their ship. No one knows what the device does for sure - but it's a source of energy that just might destroy the entire universe when activated!). What an entertaining movie. It's not often you find a movie that you can enjoy this much. While basically a comedy, it has great action sequences, and awesome visuals (like the rock monster). There's even a breathtaking "crusher" scene at the end. Excellent acting from everyone too.
How time flies! Has it already been a week since I updated last? It appears so! This time I don't have a date-by-date list of updates. Anyway, the past week has been mostly about writing tests, Management Science on 7th, Computer Graphics on 8th, Computer Networks on 9th, Artificial Intelligence on 10th, Language Processors on 11th. I did well in all these - I could have done better in Networks though. And on 10th, I showed up ten minutes late for the test (first time I'm doing something like that) - and that's a big deal since the test is only twenty minutes long! Fastest test I ever wrote :). There were 15 questions and I didn't have time to answer 4. Well, I didn't know them anyway.
But forget about that test, I'm pretty proud of what I did in the Language Processors Practicals class that day. Remember I said I wrote a program to split up an arithmetic expression into tokens? This new program goes one step further. Oce you start the program, you are allowed to declare variables (yes!) and then you can use those variables for writing arithmetic expressions (multiple lines). Then when you type end my program analyses whatever you typed and prints out the analysed expressions (reports undeclared variables too) and a symbol table. The program is buggy and doesn't work for all inputs, and attempts to analyse even wrong expressions (for example, if you type a + b + c = c * * / d; it will simply output id add id add id assign id mul mul div id semi). Still, I'm happy I got as far as I did. That's one step closer to making an actual compiler :).
On 11th, Friday, I saw Galaxy Quest on STAR Movies - great movie. Review is on this page.
On Saturday, I woke up at 6:20 AM. Why would I, of all people, do something like that? Because I've joined a coaching class for the CAT Exam (which I will be writing in December 2002 so that I can do my further studies in Management at a good business school in India, like the IIMs - the top institutes in the country!). The institute is called TIME and this is a weekend batch, only Saturdays and Sundays, 7-11 AM. The class is fun, there are old friends and new, in fact the only downside is getting up early on weekends... but it will be worth it.
Well, look at all the classes I'm attending - college is 5 days a week, three of those days I also have classes at NIIT (this course came as a scholarship to me, and since it's all about computer subjects, it's interesting... plus there are some great people in my batch). And now on weekends these classes too. Inspite of all this I still will make time for everything I usually like to do, my site updates are not going to suffer.
Let me make one thing very clear - I am NOT the kind of person who likes studying, in fact I always write my most of my college tests with very little studying. I DO study seriously for the finals however. But I have one advantage - because the subjects we have in college and the stuff I have in the NIIT course are mostly computer related, they're interesting, and I don't need to do much reading to learn them. They're fun. It's not studying in the actual sense. That's why I have no problems with it. Coaching classes for getting into the IITs are horrible however. Which is why I quit one of those a few years back (long stories all that). I'm glad I'm past that stage (worrying about getting into a good Engineering College) now.
Enough of that stuff, not the kind of thing that I like to talk about.
A number of sites (my own and sites of people I know) had interesting updates recently, I've written about that in a separate update on this page. Also, today I was really inspired to make a new E4M3 for The 9th Gate. That too, is discussed in a separate update. All that's left to say is that it seems Cartoon Network has decided to discontinue Dragonball Z - how unfortunate. Now there's practically NOTHING on TV that I'm watching. If anyone knows that it's coming at another time, please tell me!
We haven't been having classes at NIIT for the past week or so, don't know what is happening. Anyway, they're organising a big rock show tomorrow and I've got tickets. It's at 5:30 PM.
Well, this was a big update! Tomorrow is a holiday, so I can sleep till 11 AM... or later...
This was actually part of the previous update, but I moved it here because it'll be easier to read. And I also added a review for an episode of The X Files.
- Snake Eyes (1998) - I saw Snake Eyes on STAR Movies on Friday. Nice suspense movie, with Nicolas Cage as detective Ricky Santoro, who is at a boxing match along with his friend, Kevin Dunn (Gary Sinise), a Security Chief, when the Secretary of Defense is assassinated. Soon the entire arena (with 14,000 eyewitnesses) is closed off, and Ricky and Dunn have to find who the killer is, and why the Secretary was killed. But that is definitely not as easy as it seems. There's twist after twist in the movie. You have to admire the way director Brian DePalma made this movie - it really MOVES! You never know what or who to believe - just when you think you've got the plot figured out, there's another twist thrown at you. Lots of style too - for example, the same boxing match is shown to you from different camera angles as different people tell their side of the story, there are split-screen sequences, and one of the first sequences in the film is a long scene in which the camera follows Nicolas Cage for about ten minutes without cutting away! Unfortunately I felt the ending part of the movie didn't match up to the pace of the rest, anyway, this movie is really fun and well worth watching.
- Predator (1987) - This is a movie I must have watched more than FIFTY times, I know most of the dialogue by heart :). One of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best movies. The reason for this review is that they showed both Predator and Predator 2 on AXN Action TV last night. Predator is a terrific action/science fiction film. Major Alan 'Dutch' Schaefer (Schwarzenegger) and his team of commandos go into a thick Latin American jungle along with Dillon (Carl Weathers). They soon exterminate an enemy camp there. But on their way back, something starts hunting them and killing them off one by one - an intelligent, humanoid predator from another planet - attracted to hot climates and good sport. Of course there is not much more plot than this in the movie, but it's always tense (what an atmosphere - and there's GREAT music by Alan Silvestri to support that), with fantastic visual effects by Stan Winston. I liked the character of the alien too, because it's different from the normal aliens as portrayed in other movies. This creature is here on Earth for a good day's hunt! Written by Jim and John Thomas, directed by John McTiernan. If you haven't seen this already, don't miss it - it's one of my favourite movies.
- Dragonball Z - Saturday's two episodes (Episode 27 and 28) of Dragonball Z on Cartoon Network started the Namek saga. After the alien Vegeta left Earth, Goku and the others head back home. The battle with the Saiyans left many of the Earth's bravest warriors dead (Yamcha, Tien, Piccolo). To wish them back to this dimension, Goku and friends need the Dragonballs, and since there aren't any left on Earth, they decide to go to the planet Namek to get some. But how to get there? According to King Kai's information, Bulma calculates that they'd take a little over 4339 years to get there! Krillin has an idea, why not use Nappa's spaceship (which can get there MUCH faster)? Later, Goku, Gohan and Krillin go to the hospital. There, Bulma tries fiddling with the remote control for Nappa's spaceship, but by mistake she activates the self-destruct button! Kame's assistant, Mr. Popo, arrives at just the right time. He takes Bulma to the end of the earth and shows her a ship, a Namek ship that is operated by voice commands. Bulma learns the Namek language from Mr. Popo, and later figures out how to operate the ship. So Krillin, Gohan and Bulma decide to journey to Namek in that spacecraft, to get some Dragonballs! Soon after they take off, they encounter a large alien spaceship, which they try to dodge. Unfortunately, they are captured. Next episode...
- The X Files: First Person Shooter - Not watching much of TV nowadays. Anyway, I did watch today's episode of The X Files - First Person Shooter written by William Gibson and Tom Maddox. I read the script already, months ago. This one was about a corporation called FPS that develops a virtual reality game (The Lone Gunmen are consultants) - that starts causing trouble when a female character called Maitreya (who wasn't even programmed into the game) manifests herself and starts killing the participants! Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate. Interesting episode.
A couple of days back, Tobias Münch and Pablo Dictter put up a New Year Message at Fehler 404, a very nicely written article. Pablo works on his songs, and he recently started a new Episode 1-style map for Doom, which you can read about at his place. Speaking of Doom levels, Steel Conquerors has been released, at the temporary location of Tobias' Phobos Wad Lab. This is just one section of The Worlds of Toby M., Tobias' personal site which is back up after his earlier provider, NBCi, closed down their member sites. The site has a nice design and currently has the Doom section and the Guitar Tabs section, but soon, all the content from the old site will be back (his drawings, and levels for other games!). I also watched some movies these days - Snake Eyes on Friday, and Predator yesterday. After the Saiyan saga in the first 26 episodes (1996) of Dragonball Z got over, yesterday's two episodes started off the Namek saga (1997). There are reviews.
I wrote half this update (and most of the reviews) in the afternoon. It's now past midnight, and I've been feeling sort of dull all day. Don't know why. Anyway I watched two episodes of The X Files today, last week's one (which my mother recorded for me) was about a Necromancer, a guy who resurrects dead FBI agents. All these dead people were former members of the Millennium Group, this man is resurrecting them because he believes that will allow him to bring on Armageddon. That's what brings Mulder and Scully to Frank Black! Yes, this episode was a crossover between The X Files and Millennium. Good episode, ended with the New Year Celebration of the year 2000... and Mulder and Scully actually kiss! But today's episode, First Person Shooter, was better, and there's a review.
Sites I've been going to recently - The Official Nelly Furtado Site (I got all the lyrics of the songs on her album Whoa, Nelly, though I don't have the album :) ) and the official Dragon Ball and Dragonball Z sites. There are 222 episodes of Dragonball Z apparently. Only 28 have been shown so far :). I think the music in the background of the Dragonball Z Flash Site is terrific (I've saved the Flash file and I'm listening to it now).
Hey, go to Doomworld and see, my Out of Phase II was reviewed by AndrewB. And I got one more demo of Out of Phase II MAP01 today - Wim "The Mole" Vanrie beat his earlier time of 1:10 by 11 seconds in his improved 0:59 maxdemo.
The first set of tests at college start tomorrow with Management Science. So what am I doing typing all this? It's almost 1 AM now. I better study.
Thanks everyone for all the New Year Greetings you sent, thanks Joe Pallai for sending me a demo of Out of Phase (Part I), featuring an invulnerable, no clipping cacodemon (that was a couple of days back)! Today, I got two demos of Out of Phase II, thanks Albert Valls and Opulent! Both demos were of MAP01. Albert Valls ran through the map in a mere 30 seconds, and Opulent did a 100% UV demo in one minute flat!
Also watched a very nice Star Trek: The Next Generation episode today. I missed the opening credits, but according to what Ganeshan told me the episode was called I, Borg. The Enterprise crew picks up a young Borg who was injured at a crash site. Initially, the plan is to implant a sort of virus in the young Borg's memory, and then send it back. This could possibly create a total systems failure for the Borg collective! However things change when the Borg starts becoming conscious of his own identity, and makes a friend in Geordi. The Borg, who Geordi names 'Hugh', decides that it would be too dangerous if he stayed on the Enterprise, so he chooses to be assimilated back into the collective. But he promises that he would try to remember that he is an individual - and that he would try to remember Geordi.
Well, that's all the news I have for you this time, tomorrow I have to go to college so I'd better sleep soon :). Anyway, there's just one more thing before I go... I was looking at the Movie List 2001 I compiled - for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a list of all movies I've seen this year (there are also lists for 1998, 1999 and 2000, by the way), and I thought I'd write a little bit about that. I have seen all these movies at least once, but remember that I've seen some of them more than once, because of which I might like them more than the others :).
Anyway, in my opinion, the BEST among all the movies I've seen in 2001 are... drum roll...
- Fight Club
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Other terrific movies I saw this year include...
- The Silence of the Lambs
- Ring of Fire II
- Star Trek: First Contact
- Cast Away
- The Devil's Advocate
- The Last Boy Scout
- A Better Tomorrow II
Some disappointments were there too, in fact probably the biggest one was The Blair Witch Project. And I didn't really like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as much as everyone else seemed to.
Speaking of movies, STAR Movies has an interesting line up for January - I want to watch Snake Eyes this Friday. Tim Allen's Galaxy Quest is coming soon also. HBO is showing The Mummy and Desperado.
Here is the update I promised yesterday...
- Fri/Sat/Sun, 28/29/30 Dec - Went to college, and after coming back started working on my New Year's Day surprise (go to my Doom site, it's been released now :)). Saturday was a holiday, of course, and I did more work on the levels, and went to NIIT. VC++ hasn't started yet, it will start on 3 Jan. Varun also recorded Dragonball Z for me. More work on Sunday on the Doom levels! And at night, on STAR Movies, they were showing Fight Club (9:30 PM), but my parents, Varun and me saw it again at 8:30 itself, because I'd recorded it earlier. Great, great movie.
- Mon, 31 Dec - On Monday, I went to college, and after coming back in the evening, I was tired. But I did get to finish my level set, only some minor changes were left to make. Watched Dragonball Z. These two episodes were great - look what happened! Last time, Vegeta had turned into a giant ape, and was ready to crush Goku. Krillin and Gohan tried to help, but they couldn't do much. Surprisingly, Yajirobi, the short fat guy came to the rescue at the last moment, cutting off Vegeta's tail turning him back to Saiyan form! More fighting. Vegeta turned his attention to Gohan. And then, Goku summoned up another Spirit Bomb with the strength he had left, and gave it to Krillin. Krillin launched an attack, and Gohan bounced the bomb onto Vegeta, who received a mammoth blast! But he was still alive after it all. When he came back to Earth, however, Gohan transformed into an ape and after all the fighting, Vegeta managed to cut off Gohan's tail. But he was almost dying, and he brought back his spaceship, ready to go back to where he came from. Krillin could have killed him, but Goku told him to show mercy. Vegeta said he'd be back! Anyway, one part of the Dragonball Z story got over with that episode. Listened to Nelly Furtado's I'm Like A Bird. Beautiful song. And I got THREE more Pablo Dictter MP3s! Pablo has moved his site to this new location. Anyway, the three new songs of his I heard are - The Land of Goo (a futuristic song, with a nice beat), Express to Goo Land and She's Got the Jimmy Legs. Both these had a similar beat, and I liked all three of them (in fact, I'm listening to those three songs - and Nestrarra - right now as I'm typing this).
- Tue, 1 Jan - New Year's Day! I guess you'd have seen the card I made on the previous day. If you haven't yet, here it is. Finally finished my Out of Phase II - two levels for Doom II, with some new graphics this time! Uploaded it to my Doom site, along with two new Winamp skins too. Go to Karthik's Doom Pages to see the New Year update, and if you're interested, see the Screenshots and Info Page for Out of Phase II. Well, that was a hectic day - big release for me, you see! This is the first time I'm making a WAD with two levels and new graphics. There's some cool music in it too.
Happy New Year everyone, here is a card for you. I don't have the time right now to make a bigger update (because I'm releasing Out of Phase II at Karthik's Doom Pages!). I'll make the usual news update tomorrow.
That was the shortest update on this site, I think :). Anyway, I wish you a very happy 2002, and please come back tomorrow to see the regular news.