What's New? - July 2001

Mon 30.07.01 News

Today's News - 31/07 00:59

Well, today was the first day of III Year I Semester Computer Engineering!  We've got some really cool subjects this semester.  We have Theory of Computation (Dr. Kumar Eswaran), Systems Programming (Prof. D.N.M. Rao), and then Principles of Programming Languages, Data Communications, Interfacing with Microprocessors and finally Operations Research.  We'll get used to the abbreviations soon, so I'll tell you about that later, but right now there's one thing I found amusing.  Interfacing with Microprocessors has the code IMP ... heh - our old friend from Doom...!

I came back from college at around 3 PM.  Well, I had two virus emails in my Hotmail Inbox, and I've just written about that a little below on this page.  Read it for important info.  My friends from NIIT and me again practiced our songs today.  Well, now we can't really call ourselves a "rock band" because we're not singing any rock songs!  Anyway, we've got to think of a name for the band.  I came home at around 8:45 PM with Vivek, and we were talking till about 10:30 PM!  Always nice, these discussions - ranging from TV shows to Doom to Javascript to Search Engines to Web Design to ... all kinds of stuff!

Speaking of Vivek, he's got the lyrics to Savage Garden's Truly Madly Deeply on his Savage Garden Website.  And the MIDI File too.  It was helpful for me today because I got the lyrics and played my MIDI File and sang along to it this afternoon - nice practice!

And oh yes, Varun set up an official Project Website for The 9th Gate.  Even if you're not interested in Doom or our project, you should still have a look at this site, it's got a terrific design and plus, one of my drawings (original artwork created for the project) is there too!  The address is http://9thgate.tripod.com.

Virus Alert - 31/07 00:35

Looks like this virus has been causing a problem to lots of people.  I'm talking about a worm called W32.Sircam.  I read about this in the newspaper a few days ago, and my father told me about it too.  Pablo Dictter also sent a mail saying that he'd got this virus and pointed us to this site, which has information about the worm.  Doom Center also had made a post about it.  Why am I talking about it?  Because I got two virus emails in my Hotmail Inbox - and it's because I knew about it that I was able to recognise it right away - and thus, I avoided getting the virus!

This thing is a worm written by a guy from Mexico.  If you get a mail with an attachment that has the same filename (the ones I got had a .zip.lnk extension) as the subject line, and has the words "I send this mail in order to have your advice", DO NOT open the attachment and delete the mail immediately.  This thing reportedly has both Spanish and English versions, and the body of the mail actually varies, so you should see the page Pablo told me about for more info (thanks for the mail, Pablo!).  The two virus mails I got both had attachments about 210 KB in size.

See a screenshot (GIF image only, don't worry) of the virus mail I got (hey, I don't know who this Joseph Schanken is, he doesn't know me either... the other virus mail I got was from someone called Rachel).  I'd like to tell everyone just be cautious while opening your attachments!  When it's from people you don't know, you can easily spot it out, but when you get a mail from someone you know and trust, you should still be careful.  It could be the virus impersonating them!

So this time's quote is the virus mail's line - "I send you this file in order to have your advice".

Sun 29.07.01 News

Featured Quote - 30/07 00:37

Another quote related to a game this time.  I chose this because I downloaded Mortal Kombat the other day, and it's a good game.  The quote I chose this time is actually taken from Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which is the sequel to the 1995 movie Mortal Kombat directed by Paul Anderson.  Actors were chosen very well in both movies, they really look like their game characters!

Winamp Skins for download! - 30/07 00:29

What was I doing today?  Well, remember I told you I would add some Winamp skins to the site?  I had a couple of them, but today, I made more!  So there's now a lot of stuff for you to download!  I redesigned the Downloads Section, it's now a lot better than before, and more organised.  There are Winamp Skins, Desktop Themes, and other general downloads.  The Winamp skins you can currently download include Quake II, Ace Ventura, The 9th Gate, Dexter's Laboratory, Dumb & Dumber, Jackie Chan, Kiss The Girls, and Millennium.  You won't find these Winamp skins on any other site!  So go to the Downloads Section and start downloading!

News - 30/07 00:04

Well, my exams got over on 27th - Electrical Technology was the last, and it was supposed to be an easy exam (at least, some people told me that).  But still, I didn't do that well in it, I certainly would have liked to do better.  Anyway, I was glad the exams were over, and after that I went to NIIT again to practice for the rock band!  I have to learn Savage Garden's Truly Madly Deeply now - but I guess it will be easy because I already know to sing most of the song.  At NIIT on 27th I met Mr. Nilesh - who was my faculty one year ago when I was in Semester A!  It was really nice to meet him there after a long time.  At night, I was expecting to see Face/Off on STAR Movies, but they showed The Parent Trap instead.  Well, here is important information regarding that, Face/Off will be shown on STAR Movies, it will be next Friday, that is, August 3, at 9:30 PM.  I don't know why they announced one thing and did something else, but anyway...

Yesterday, I went to NIIT again to practice.  It was the last day at NIIT Secunderabad for Mrs. Kalpana - she will be teaching at NIIT Basheerbagh from Monday.  All of us from Batch B013 will miss her a lot.  She taught us very well, and it's all because of her support and help that this rock band thing is going along so well.  Practice was fun that day, and after that, my parents, Varun and me went to see Moulin Rouge at Sangeet Cinema.  Directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.  This was a good movie set in 1899 in Paris.  Christian, (McGregor) a young writer, comes to Montmartre and soon joins a group of performers.  They plan to get Christian to write a new play called "Spectacular Spectacular" that will be performed at the Club Moulin Rouge.  Christian falls in love with Satine (Kidman) a performer at the club who aspires to become an actress.  There is a powerful, jealous Duke who stands in between their love - and the movie is about how the writer and Satine find love inspite of all odds.  Well, I liked the way Luhrmann made this movie, it was very unusual, and I have two words to describe it, "Spectacular Spectacular"!

Well, so on 27th my II Year II Semester of Computer Engineering got over, and tomorrow, 30 July, my III Year classes will start!  But I will be going to NIIT by 5:30 PM to practice, so I have to come home early.

Before I forget.  This morning, I went to another Abandonware Games site.  This one is really good.  It's called Lost Treasures, and it's a French Site.  They have all the Doom games, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake also!  Downloaded Final Doom - The Plutonia Experiment yesterday, and this morning, I got Final Doom - TNT: Evilution!

Why didn't someone tell me they were showing Last Action Hero on AXN tonight?  I only saw the last half hour or so, but it was great fun.  I also forgot about The Untouchables which was on HBO tonight.  Daft Punk's new video - One More Time - from the album Discovery, is directed by Toei Animation Studios... they're playing it often on the music channels.

Wed 25.07.01 News

Featured Quote - 26/07 02:44

"I may have to donate some blood... someone else's" is a line that your character - Caleb - in the game Blood, says at the beginning of level 4 of episode 3 "The Sick Ward".  Blood, of course, is a terrific, beautifully designed horror 3D game with a very twisted sense of humour.  Blood comes just after Doom in my list of all-time favourite games!

Music stuff - 26/07 02:20

I added some new things to this site which has to do with the band that I am in with my friends at NIIT.  I have to thank my faculty, Mrs. Kalpana, for everything, because it was she who told me to give this a try.  I have the lyrics for some of the songs that we are going to sing (and some other ones too).  The list below has some new and old content.

This Week (Almost at the end of exams!) - 26/07 00:26

This is going to be another long update!  As you might expect, I've been busy with exams and other things... that's why I didn't update.  Anyway, here is what I have been up to for the last 10 days (has it really been that long!) -

Tomorrow I have to study for Electrical Technology, which is on 27th.  This will be my last exam for II Year II Semester, so I'm looking forward to finishing it!  You can expect to see some new stuff on the site then - some Winamp skins too!

Sat 14.07.01 News

B.Tech. II/IV - II Semester Exams!! - 15/07 01:52

July 16 is the day that our II Year II Semester University Exams are starting!  Forget about all the laws that I postulated earlier (about not studying, etc.).  We have the exams on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (inspired by NIIT, you think?) and they go on till the 27th of this month.  Well, like last time (remember February 2001?), I sent a mail to a long list of friends wishing them all the best for the exams.  Some messages bounced back, and I didn't have everyone's email address, so in case you didn't get mail from me personally, here is the mail wishing you all the best for your exams.

And in case you didn't see it already, I've uploaded my Marks Memo for the last semester to the site, you can see it here.

I'm also very happy that Cartoon Network has become a 24-hour channel, so whenever I feel bored, there's always something nice to watch.  All the good stuff - Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Powerpuff Girls, etc. are on in the nights too!

ISAS at NIIT, Featured Quote - 15/07 01:30

Information Search and Analysis Skills (ISAS) is one part of every semester at NIIT, where a team has to make a study on a particular topic and then present an analysis on that.  This time, I had Sudarshan and Sunny with me on the team, and our topic was Wireless Applications.  We had our presentation today, and yesterday we met at NIIT at 5 PM to prepare.  Then we made our final documents and the PowerPoint Presentations.

I had a lot of fun today.  Some mischief too.  The presentation was in three parts.  First, Sudarshan spoke about the different Wireless Devices, Sunny spoke about WAP, and then I spoke on WML.  I couldn't resist mentioning Doom... so when I came to the <select> and <option> tags, I gave an example of a selectable list as... "Which game do you like - Doom, Quake, Quake II, or all of the above?".  This is something I came up with this afternoon, and it's the featured quote on the site this time.

The final thing which everyone liked was the surprise presentation at the end - with screenshots of me checking and sending mail through wap.yahoo.com (thanks to gelon.net - remember you otherwise can't see Yahoo!'s WAP site if you don't have a WAP enabled wireless device!).  Thanks to Sudarshan and Sunny, and also special thanks to Mrs. Kalpana, our faculty, for all her help, guidance and encouragement.  My father helped me with the presentation and the document, and Varun listened to me when I was preparing!  And Jai, thanks for the ties!

Tomorrow (and next Sunday) at NIIT there are a number of competitions and events - which seem really nice.  I would have really liked to take part in them, but the only problem is that my II Year II Semester exams are starting on 16th!

Buffy, Millennium - 15/07 01:15

This time I watched STAR World's Monster Thursday Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Millennium.  The Buffy episode this time was a great one called "Hush" - a spooky episode with 27 minutes of absolutely no dialogue!  It had some fairy-tale characters called the Gentlemen coming to Sunnydale.  These creatures steal the voices of the whole town, so no one can speak, shout or scream - and then, they come around at nights and take people's hearts!  It's up to Buffy to find a way to stop them - because according to the Fairy Tale, no sword can kill them - only the princess' voice.  Written and directed by Joss Whedon.

Can't even shout... Can't even cry... The Gentlemen are coming by.

I watched Millennium after coming home from NIIT (in that class we learnt about DHCP and DNS in Linux).  This episode had James Marsters (Spike on BtVS) as a Gulf War veteran named Eric Swan a.k.a. Thomas Paine.  Swan kidnaps Peter Watts' daughter, Taylor Watts, and holds her at his house, exposing her to some very dangerous chemicals that were used in the Gulf War.  His motive for doing this is to make the Millennium Group admit their involvement in the War.  This was a good episode, with some terrific (but very unpleasant and gruesome) make-up effects.

Thanks Tobias Münch for the nice mail he sent on 12 June - he liked my KWC program and it's the first time I'm getting a compliment like that for a C++ program that I've written (I'm da man)!

Thu 12.07.01 News

Featured Quote - 12/07 14:34

Yesterday at Rediff.com I happened to see a headline that said "Zaphod Beeblebrox is God".  I didn't read the article, but that reminded me of Douglas Adams' "wholly remarkable book" The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  One of the funniest, weirdest books I've ever read.  In short, the book has an Earthman, Arthur Dent, going on a wild adventure with his alien friend Ford Prefect in the galaxy (after Earth is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic highway!).  At one point in the story, Ford and Arthur are caught on a Vogon ship, and the Vogons have such terrible poetry that they torture people by making them listen!  So this is the beginning of a Vogon poem that I have as a featured quote this time - "Oh freddled gruntbuggly... thy micturations are to me / As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee"!

Karthik's WAD Changer and other stuff - 12/07 13:49

My first "useful" utility!  KWC (or Karthik's WAD Changer) is a C++ program that allows you to change the episode/level number of a WAD directly.  It opens up the WAD and modifies two bytes to make this possible.  I tested it and it works without any nasty side effects.  It does not mess up the WAD!  Thanks Tobias Münch for the idea, both him and me wanted a facility that our editors didn't provide - so I came up with this program.  I suppose it would have taken me about two hours to write.  I'll put it on my Doom Site soon.  Also beta tested Brad Spencer's Rubicon.

I also cleared all the 47 messages (which took more than 1 MB) in my Yahoo! Inbox that I'd got in the last 10-12 days.  And last night, I also cleared all the 71 messages in my Rediff Inbox (that I collected from 9 December 1999!).  I copied all the mails into HTML documents as usual.

Speaking of 1999, I remembered this site that I was supposed to make, but never got around to finishing.  In December 1999, I set up a few pages at FortuneCity, pages of a site called Karthik's Games Web.  The site never went beyond those couple of pages, but I still like the layout.  I am not going to work on it any time in the future, but if you want to have a look, here is the link - http://www.fortunecity.com/westwood/highlight/246.

Harry updated his site, and this time he added his own personal chat room to it - and whenever he's online, you can find him in the chat room!

On Saturday, I have my ISAS at NIIT - it is on WML, and I will put my final document on this site when it is over.

On Tuesday, I also saw T-Force on STAR Movies again.  I have this movie on tape with me (Gypsy Home Video), but the print has a very washed out look - devoid of rich colour!  STAR Movies' version was really nice, great picture and sound quality, and it also had additional footage that was not there in my print!  Fun movie, lots of action, starring Jack Scalia, written by Jacobsen Hart, directed by Richard Pepin.

And my text file note tells me that I downloaded two MP3s on 15 June, which I may not have mentioned, this was from Bobby Prince's MP3.com site, and the songs were Hiding The Secrets and Sweet Little Dead Bunny (links point to MIDIs on this site).

Marks memos, and other additions - 12/07 13:40

Yesterday at college, we got our marks in the II Year I Semester exams that we wrote in February.  This time, it was surprising, everyone got much less marks than they expected.  I got a total of 499/700, which is just 71.28%.  I know, this might look bad, but I think I am in the top ten in my class (atleast I hope I am).  The score is relative.  I wasn't too bothered about it for just that reason, and also I was very happy that I had done well in my C++ Practicals.

Well, I have uploaded my marks memo on this site, you can see the list of all the marks memos (10th class to present) on the Other Content Page (scroll down to the bottom), or you can see my B.Tech. II/IV II Semester Marks.

And on the Other Content Page, I also made my Fortune Teller Applet link more prominent, I kept it at the top.  For those of you who haven't seen it before, this is a Java Applet by me that tells you your future.

/exams/practicals/oops/what.happened - 12/07 13:29

I had my C++ (Object Oriented Programming Lab) Practicals yesterday morning.  In the morning, a lot of my friends were telling me that all the programs they were asking us to do involved data structures - like dequeues, circular queues, etc.!  Help!  But fortunately, this was not the case, everyone got proper C++ programs.  Just wait till you hear what I had to do.  I got two programs, they were both very easy!  First program went something like this, I had to define a function called power() which would take two parameters, double m and int n, and calculate the nth power of m.  And if the user didn't give the n parameter, it had to take 2 by default.  I had to write a main() program to demonstrate all of this.  The function that did all the work is just this...

double power(double m, int n=2) { return pow(m,n); }

That's all - just one line!  OK, I included math.h, but anyway, this was a very easy program.  The second question simply said, Write a program to illustrate template classes.  Total flexibility!  For simplicity, I defined a class (class Sort) to hold an array and provided functions to get elements, display elements and also sort the elements - in both ascending and descending order.  Since this was a template class, I also allowed the user to choose whether he wanted an int, float or char array.  The whole program had menu and submenu screens and you could explore all the different options easily.  This was a nice program, and the lecturer told me that it was very good.

Mon 09.07.01 News

/exams/practicals/os/what.happened... and the Featured Quote - 09/07 23:47

The more I use file and directory names in Linux, the more I like them.  There's something nice about the way they're written - all in lowercase and with slashes - like /usr/games/lxdoom.  Anyway, until I get tired of them, you'll keep seeing references to them on the site.

Today I had my Final Practical Exam in Operating Systems!  I was worried about this yesterday, because the programs we have to do are complicated.  We have to do simulations of things like CPU Scheduling, File Allocation, etc., and in this case, even if I know the concept well, the implementation can go wrong sometimes.  In our simulations we use arrays, pointers, linked lists, and if you have lots of these, it can get tough to keep track of where every pointer is pointing.  Sometimes, I've made computers hang because of this.

I was so relieved when things went well in the exam!  The program I had to do was, Simulation of Indexed File Allocation.  Since I hadn't done a program on this earlier (only Linked Allocation), I was a bit worried, but anyway, once I started, everything came together nicely, all the functions worked well, and the program was a good one.  This time, 327 lines of code in C++, in two hours or so!  On Wednesday, I have Object Oriented Programming (C++) Practicals, and on 16th, the theory exams start.

The featured quote this time is something that was there in my program today, and something Prof. D.N.M. Rao found quite amusing.  In today's program I had a structure to represent a disk block, and I had an array called hard_disk which was an array of type struct block.  When initialising all the blocks to FREE and making them non-index blocks, I had messages appearing on the screen like - "Formatting hard disk... Finished formatting.  Press a key to continue", after which I'd let the user proceed with using the program.

Well, after I came home today I watched John Romero's Episode 1 Demos!  Really nice to watch one of the creators of Doom play the game himself!  The demos are, obviously, for Doom Legacy only :).  I searched java.sun.com also, and found this page with the download of HTMLConverter.  Later, I also made some subtle changes to the site - the font is now Arial - it's better.  The heading size on each page is bigger, and appears the same in Netscape.  Speaking of Netscape I also made an addition to the style sheet so that the <tt>...</tt> tag works properly there too.  If you see this text in a fixed-width font, it works!

And today I missed Simply Irresistible (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, on STAR Movies), but tomorrow I don't want to miss T-Force!!

Sat 07.07.01 News

/logs/bigupdate/karthik/http/latest.news - 08/07 01:39

I haven't had any time at all to update in the past week.  We've been having so many exams at college.  Things are happening so fast that sometimes it's difficult to even keep track of the date of something I was going to write about.  Luckily, I made short notes in my usual text file, and this update is based on that.  Well, here goes - this is all the news for this very busy week (01/07 to today, 07/07).  After that there's also a note about the things to come.

Well, that's what happens when I don't update for a long time.  Anyway, what's going to happen in the next few days?  I have my Final Exams starting soon.  Practical Exams are on Monday and Wednesday.  Theory Exams start on July 16.  I'll also have my ISAS at NIIT.  The Module Test there will be on July 26.

I guess that's it for now, and if you had the patience to read all this, I'll tell you that it is now 3:32 AM, and I have to connect to the internet now to upload all this...

Featured Quote - 08/07 01:32

I have a BIG update to write this time, so I thought I'd explain the quote first.  This is one of my recently formulated laws, which states that, the amount of studies done is inversely proportional to the number of exams you have on any given day.  Not only that, this is totally independent of the marks you actually score.  Observations taken in my case have proven this law in the past week.  If there is one test, I read the book for about 20-30 minutes.  But take today's case, when three exams were there.  Yesterday, I didn't study for ANY of them.

This observation is of course, only applicable in my case and for some of my friends' cases - and dependent on time and the situation.  Remember that Universal Generalisation is a dangerous thing.