What's New? - November 2000

Thu - 30.11.00 - 23:50

Not much to update today.  But after writing yesterday's update I went to a Doomworld hosted site, 5 Years of Doom.  This site is a really good one and has a lot of information, interviews about id Software and Doom, and the game's history.  I found out some nice things fom this site -

Right now I'm downloading Vavoom, a source port for Doom/Heretic/Hexen.  This port has client-server architecture, and many new features.  Looks like the download just got over, let me see how good this is.  My favourite Doom Port so far is ZDoom.

Speaking of other things, Varun told me that AXN is showing The Replacement Killers this Sunday.  The movie stars Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino and is directed by Antoine Fuqua.

My Guestbook from htmlGEAR was inaccessible for the past two-three days because they were doing some maintenance work.  They've now redesigned the look of the guestbook, and it looks great.

Thu - 30.11.00 - 00:17

[Written with reference to 29 Nov.]

Another update to my SNIST Page with my MEPA marks I got today.  I also updated my Hollow Man review.  This time I rewrote parts of it, maybe I'll even add pictures to that page later.  I didn't do any designing on my Doom level Demonic today...  Ganeshan's been telling me to finish it fast and put it up on the site soon.  I hope to finish it in a couple of days.  This weekend I'm going to be busy the whole of Saturday - I'm attending a workshop on Personality Development at our college, conducted by the IEEE.  It will start at 9 AM and go on till about 6 PM.  So I think I'll be working on the level on Sunday.

This time there are quite a few good movies on TV, let me list the ones that come to mind immediately -

I also went to Yahoo!'s Astrology Site at http://astrology.yahoo.com.  I'm quite interested in astrology and keep visiting Astrodienst and Astrocenter to check my horoscope everyday.  Why I do this is because their computer generated profile of me (based on my birth information) was so accurate!  It's surprising how much they can tell about you just on the basis of your sun sign.

Tue - 28.11.00 - 23:15

I updated my SNIST Page with some of the marks I got in the Second Internal Tests.  I should be getting all the marks in a few days.  Today the last two periods were free, so I came home from college earlier than usual.  Ganeshan gave me the February 2000 PC Quest CD today.  That CD had 101 themes on it, and I copied them all!  So now I've got a folder full of zipped themes that's 170 MB in size.  I had a look at a lot of them.  The theme on my desktop right now is one of The Matrix.

After that I did some more designing on my Doom Level, "Demonic".  It's now a bit more trickier than before.  I'm hoping to wrap it up in the next few days, so that I can finally release it.

Pavan (a.k.a. The Rock) sent me a nice game called Hallow Meenies through email on 24th.  It was a nice game that I enjoyed playing.  I also got a few pictures from Hollow Man, and some more details on the film - cast and crew lists.  I'll be adding this soon to my review.

Tue - 28.11.00 - 01:08

[Written with reference to 27 Nov.]

I found out more on tagging linedefs and sectors - and it's made a world of difference in the way I design levels for Doom now.  I was supposed to study for the MEPA exam on Sunday morning, but I thought I'd make a small Doom map showing off the new things I'd found out.  As it turned out, I spent most of the afternoon on the map, and I studied only in the evening.  Anyway, the test was today, and I did quite well.  With that, the Second Internals are over at college.

After coming back from college today, I had made up my mind to do one of two things.  One was to take out some old photographs of mine, get them scanned and put them on the site.  Or, I could do some more work on my Doom map.

I ended up spending most of the evening today, working on the Doom level.  I've actually got TWO levels in progress now.  The one level I've been talking about all this time, putting up screenshots of, etc., is temporarily in "suspended animation" which means I'll resume work on that after I finish my smaller level, which I've decided to call "Demonic".  Demonic is nearing completion, and I haven't yet put up any screenshots from that on the site.  Probably when I do, the map itself will be finished (a couple of days should do it).  Demonic is a small map, but I've had fun designing and playing it, and this time I've incorporated some puzzles into it.

Today Ganeshan gave me some programs that he'd written in Visual Basic.  One was a compact Multimedia Player, another was a Picture viewer, and the third was a nice Picture Browser.  He gave these programs to me mainly to beta-test, before he actually puts these up on his site.  Well, he gets to play both my Doom levels (Demonic and the other one, still without a title).  I haven't allowed anyone except my brother Varun to play these maps, because they're not finished yet.  Anyway, wait for Demonic, I WILL finish it soon.

So what about my photos?  I'm planning to put photos of myself as a baby :), some early school photos, and more recent ones.  I also want to have some more photographs of myself taken.  And then I'll have to take them all for scanning, and then I'll put them here.

Sat - 25.11.00 - 23:53

This morning I tried to book tickets for Hollow Man on the internet from the Sangeet Theatre website http://www.sangeet70mm.com but tickets for that weren't being sold on the internet.  So I had to go there myself and get them.  Anyway, after I did, this afternoon, I spent some more time on my Doom Level.  I found out some new things to implement in the level.  Technically, what I found out how to do was to tag a linedef to a sector, but what that means in terms of actually playing the level is that you'll have some puzzles to solve!

That was what I spent most of the afternoon doing, and then in the evening Varun, his friends and myself went to see Hollow Man.  This movie was really good, and if you want to read about why I liked it so much you can read my review.  We came home at around 9:20 PM, just in time to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (no, not the TV series, the 1992 film starring Kristy Swanson) on STAR Movies (9:30 PM).  My Movie Lists Page for 1999 tells me I'd last seen this movie on 21 August, 1999.  The 6/10 rating I gave for it last time says it all - though it isn't a bad movie by itself, it can't compare to the vastly superior TV series starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Something else I've been forgetting to write about is Doomworld's 10 Sectors WAD being released.  Doomworld, the ultimate Doom news and information site, had a contest in mid-August to mid-September.  What you had to do was simple - build a Doom level that uses just 10 Sectors.  The more inventive and fun to play, the better the level's chances of making it into the final 32-level megawad.  138 levels were submitted, and the judges included Andrew Bassett, Matthew Dixon, Martin Friberg, and Gaston Lahaut (Mordeth).  Doomworld's Andrew Stine (a.k.a. Linguica) was the one responsible in most part for the whole thing.  The first prize was a Voodoo5 5500 AGP Card!  The results were announced, and the WAD was released on November 19th at 6:30 PM.  The uncompressed filesize of the WAD is a huge 9.14 MB and it contains 32 levels for Doom II.  Unfortunately I can't play this (I've only got Ultimate Doom), but anyway Varun downloaded it today.  The winner of the contest was Michal Mesko (for "Last Call") and in the second place was NokturnuS (for "The Black Wind of Mayhem") and the runners-up were Lee Szymanski (for "Eviscer-Station") and Jonathan Rimmer (for "Gas Panic").

Fri - 24.11.00 - 23:56

I've had tests at college the past week - so I couldn't do any updating on the site for some time.  I still have one left - Managerial Economics - but that's on Monday.  As I'd decided last week itself, as soon as I got home from college today, the first thing I did was to go straight to the computer.  I spent about three hours working on my Doom Level.  It takes a lot of patience to design Doom Levels, but it's a lot of fun to do.  But after spending three straight hours, even I was tired.  Anyway, you can have a look at what I did today with the level as usual - on this page.  Ganeshan's been telling me to finish it soon.  Well, you're all going to have to wait a bit longer.  I'm going to make this a very large level.

Today's Goodness Gracious Me episode on STAR World was good as usual, so was Blackadder Goes Forth, the episode "Goodbyeee".  I updated the Black Adder Episodes Page, and while I was at it, I also moved information on the site pertaining to my college to a separate page.  The SNIST Page will tell you all about what's going on at college, and I'm also going to put up my marks in various tests there.

I've got the application form for my membership into the IEEE Student Chapter at our college, and so have some of my friends, who have also decided to join.  It's thanks to our seniors, the Third Year students who are also IEEE members, that we were able to get this opportunity.

I also forgot to mention this last time - last Saturday morning I finished the demo of AbuseAbuse is a game that was released in 1996 by a company called Crack Dot Com (which I think is no longer in existence).  I had this game on one of the old Dataquest CDs.  Although I've had this demo for a couple of years, this was the first time I actually played through the whole thing.  It was a lot of fun, I must say (the game has excellent music too).  I got some screenshots from that, I'll put them here on the site later.

Srikanth, I'm waiting for you to put up your website.  You better do it soon!  Now I'm going to check my mail and upload files to my site.  Maybe I'll catch Srikanth for a chat now if he's online..

Sun - 19.11.00 - 00:46

[Written with reference to 18 Nov.]

Last night (or should I say this morning) at around 2 AM I found a very nice picture of Sarah Michelle Gellar on a website, so I made a wallpaper out of it, and came up with a colour scheme.  Before I knew it I was putting together icons, sounds and cursors, and by 3 AM I had with me a new Sarah Michelle Gellar Desktop Theme.  It's been a long time since I made a theme.  This one was packaged using Desktop Architect.  Today I started up DoomCAD because I thought I'd work on my Doom level for a while.  I ended up spending most of today adding a lot of new rooms, monsters, etc. to the level.  I've put up screenshots of the work in progress as usual here.

Sat - 18.11.00 - 00:34

[Written with reference to 17 Nov.]

Well, today's episode of Goodness Gracious Me was one I'd already seen before.  Anyway, that didn't make it any less funny, and this was the episode with the spoof of the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs.  You might call this Reservoir Dogs - with samosas!!  Today's Blackadder Goes Forth episode, called "General Hospital" was very good too.  I've added a summary of that to the Black Adder Episodes Page.

I installed Valadeo LiveSite 2.0 from the CHIP CD (November 2000) and also went to the website and registered it.  The version of Internet Explorer I was using was 5.5 (from an older CHIP CD), but it was a customised version provided by ZDNet India.  The November CD had a version with none of the customisations - so I updated the browser with that.

I got a Yahoo! Instant Message from Sravan that went like this:
Hi man, come on Karthik start ragging someone from tomorrow :)

Fri - 17.11.00 - 20:40

The last few days I didn't log on to the internet because I had some college work to do.  For some strange reason I seem to be sleeping earlier than usual nowadays, at 12:30 AM!  Anyway today being the day before the weekend, it's going to be the usual "Stay awake till at least 2:30 AM". :)

I have my Second Internal Tests at College starting from Monday.  This is the schedule -

So again, in the next week the site updates may be a little infrequent.

STAR World didn't show an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Wednesday, instead there was a special, An Audience with Tom Jones.  Very nice songs.

Yesterday we had a short seminar by the Third Year Students who are Members of the IEEE Student Chapter of our college.  I've decided to join as well.  The fee is $14 (Rs. 658).  I will be getting the application form, etc. on Monday.  The advantages of joining a student chapter of a Professional Organisation like the IEEE are something I know about, thanks to my Semester A ISAS (Information Search and Analysis Skills) at NIIT.

Yesterday I was taking some printouts for my friends, so while I was at it I also printed out the transcript of the Powerpuff Girls episode "Los Dos Mojos" which I found at PPGWorld, and the first scene from Scream.  Today I took these to college and during lunchtime actually read the dialogues out, describing camera angles, and such, to Nagesh.  It was considerably more enjoyable than reading about Astable and Monostable Multivibrators, which we also did go through later.

Well, that scene from Scream is now up on my site - it's on the Movie Transcripts Page and was taken from Kevin Williamson's screenplay dated July 31, 1995.  Be warned, it contains profanity and descriptions of violence (what else would you expect from a slasher movie?).

I also added a couple of new Wallpapers to the site.

Later on tonight I'll be watching today's episodes of Goodness Gracious Me and Black Adder Goes Forth on STAR World, and after that I'll be installing LiveSite from the November 2000 CHIP CD which Ganeshan gave me today.  That CD also had some other good stuff, like a Friends Screensaver, some nice themes (a great one on Beethoven and a good Quake theme), some very nice Winamp skins (Collosvs, Alien Area, Britney Paradise, Paladin from Diablo II, Alpine, etc.).

Tue - 14.11.00 - 23:20

I did quite a bit of reorganising on the site today.  First of all, Ganeshan gave me a screenshot of my site demo running in Netscape under Linux (as well as some shots of his desktop!).  I've put up that screenshot on the Siteshots Page.  It looks almost the same as the Windows version.  When I changed the site design I didn't have Linux installed, so I couldn't make sure everything looked alike in Linux browsers.  Now I'm glad my site is both cross-browser and cross-OS compatible!

The Games Page has changed!  Doom now has a large section all to itself (it's my favourite game after all!).  I also added a couple of pages there, and I had to modify the navigation links for all the existing ones.

At college our Second Internal Exams will be starting on the 20th of this month.

Changed my password for this site today.  The freshers have come!  Today there was quite a bit of ragging in the Station Bus - but I didn't rag anybody much.  smal_wonder (remember?) is actually Mira from Shanmugha College, Thanjavur, II Year ECE.  Yesterday I got another instant message from jani_lj_2000 who has added me to her friends list.  I have no idea who she is.

Mon - 13.11.00 - 23:39

Today I got home from college at around 6:30 PM, and soon after that I saw The Cable Guy (which I had recorded a few days earlier from HBO).  The Cable Guy is not at all the usual Jim Carrey slapstick comedy - it was a very strange movie that had some very serious moments apart from the funnier ones.  Written by Lou Holtz, Jr. and Directed by Ben Stiller (who also appears in brief scenes), it also stars Matthew Broderick.  In the movie Jim Carrey plays a cable TV installer who is obsessed with making poor Steven Kovacs (Broderick) his friend - because he never had any friends when he was a child.  A nice movie.

Aside from that, nothing much to add, except that I will soon be able to put up some screenshots of what this site looks like in a Linux browser (courtesy Ganeshan).  The screenshots will be from my site's demo version.

Srikanth also signed my guestbook on Saturday.  Thanks, Srikanth!

Today I had a long, palm-reading session with Prasanna.  It's amazing what the lines on the palm of your hand can tell you!

Sun - 12.11.00 - 23:51

Yesterday I was up till around 3 AM, so I woke up very late today.  Anyway I got around to adding a Scramble that I had written in December 1994.  You have to see this page to find out exactly what Scrambles are and to read the one I added now.  I will be adding more.

I also compiled a list of all the Doom Cheat Codes.  It covers every single Doom and Doom II cheat, describes their behaviour in detail (this is something you won't find on any other site).  Also, this page is probably the most comprehensive and complete page on Doom cheats available on the internet, because I've also included new cheat codes that were introduced in ports for Doom like Boom, ZDoom, etc.  I've also explained the differences in the behaviour of the Doom Cheats in different ports.

I couldn't come to the Fete at St. Patrick's High School in the afternoon today, but I did go at around 6:45 PM (same time as yesterday).  I met some more friends and teachers there today.

Sun - 12.11.00 - 00:22

[Written with reference to 11 Nov.]

Today was a very busy day!  This morning Ganeshan and myself went to Srikanth's house - and we spent the major part of the morning and afternoon installing and experimenting with a lot of software (games, utilities, etc. from all the magazine shareware/freeware CDs) on his new hard disk.  We also tried installing Linux, but Srikanth and me seem to have the same problem - Red Hat Linux just refuses to allocate a boot partition, saying that the size requested is too big.  Well, 4753 MB might be a little big, but I definitely don't think a 1 MB boot partition is "too big" (I've tried all sorts of weird settings trying to get it to work).  If anyone knows how to solve this problem, could you please email me?  I've already ruled out the possibility that it's a problem with installing it at the end of the drive, and other such things.

There was a little delay in getting home because of a bus problem - I reached home at about 6 PM (almost like a day at college!).  Just sometime later I was at St. Patrick's High School for the "Millennium Mega Gala Fete" that's being held there today and tomorrow.  I got to meet some of my old teachers and friends.  There was a very large crowd of people, both old students and others.  The response was very good - it seems about 80,000 tickets to the Fete were sold.  I will be going there again tomorrow (12th), probably sometime in the afternoon.  Varun is a volunteer at the Fete, and he's helping out with running the "Hoopla" Stall - so he'll be there the whole day (like today - very tiring, but fun).  Today was also Mr. Janardhan Reddy's birthday (my English teacher for two years in school).

After I got home my parents and myself watched Jerry Maguire (a very nice movie, starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renee Zellweger and written and directed by Cameron Crowe) on HBO.  It got over just sometime back, and now here I am, typing this.  I wonder whether Srikanth will be online for a chat now... maybe not, because he's probably too busy exploring and experimenting with all the software that we installed.

Fri - 10.11.00 - 23:56

Today I added a book review of 2001: A Space Odyssey and a movie review of Bloodfist II.  Just some minutes ago I watched today's episodes of Goodness Gracious Me (new episodes) and Black Adder Goes Forth.  I updated the Black Adder Episodes Page with the summaries of this week's and last week's episodes.

Aside from that there's nothing really to write, except that I got more MIDI Files (which I really must get around to uploading) and today Varun downloaded some nice MIDI songs, including one absolutely great song that is a sort of remix of some Doom tunes, along with it's own original music.

Tomorrow I'll be at Srikanth's house in the morning, and I will come to the "Millennium Mega Gala Fete" at St. Patrick's High School in the evening (around 6 PM).

Thu - 9.11.00 - 22:58

I was planning to add a movie review of Out For Blood (which I saw on Tuesday, and added now to my 2000 Movies List) and a book review of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I had some college work to do, so I'll write those and add them next time.  Yesterday I saw the season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on STAR World, the episode "Graduation Day Part 2", written and directed by Joss Whedon.  It was a very good episode.  I don't know yet what STAR World's going to show on Wednesdays now - maybe they'll start repeating episodes.

After returning from college today I spent three hours working on my new Doom level.  It was mostly adjusting things here and there, adding a few monsters, etc.  I've put some screenshots from what I have at this point on this page.  I also got to see my first glimpse of Varun's new Doom level, The Anomaly: Part 2.  I must say, it looked excellent.  I'll be putting new screenshots as and when they're available on the Anomaly 2 Page - right now, you can take a look at the very first screenshot anyone has seen from that level.

Some of my marks in this time's internal exam - LDIC 15/20, COBOL 18/20, Mathematics II 20/20 and MEPA 19/20.  Marks in other subjects still haven't been given.

Tomorrow, November 10th, will be the day the new batch of students (2000 batch) - the freshers - will be starting their courses at our college.  Last year, the batch I belong to (1999) started only in December, and we had trouble completing the syllabus in our subjects on time.  Atleast our juniors are starting off a month earlier, so they're better off.  Anyway, it should be interesting to see what happens in the next few days...

St. Patrick's High School is organising a "Millennium Mega Gala Fete" on the 11th and 12th of this month.  All St. Patrick's students who are reading this - you must come - all our old friends are going to be there!  The tickets cost Rs. 10.  I've got some to sell - so you can buy them from me (meet me at college!) or my brother.  I'll be there definitely - it's a chance to have a lot of fun, and meet old friends and teachers I haven't seen in a long while, plus there are many prizes to be won.

A pain in my right leg's been troubling me for the past few days... I had an X Ray done - but it shows there's nothing wrong... looks like I'm just going to have to wait for it to go.

Mon - 6.11.00 - 19:51

It's been a busy weekend - I didn't get the time to properly update anything here.  Anyway, I've got quite a bit to write about in this update, so here goes...

I forgot to mention last time that after the last test (MEPA) we also had a test in English Proficiency.  This was organised by our college for the purpose of giving the students a taste of what TOEFL will be like.  I got 61/70 in this test.  That day Doomworld also announced that the judging for their 10 Sectors Contest was over, and the WAD containing all the levels that won would be out soon.  I also updated my Yahoo! Profile with a "remastered" picture of myself.

I really enjoyed Saturday's online chat with Srikanth, Sravan and Ravi.  It went on till about 1:30 AM and after that I downloaded a number of MIDI Files which I'll be putting on this site soon.  I've also posted a demo version of this site which is a 32 KB download.

I finished reading Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey yesterday.  A really, really good book it was (it's thanks to Ganeshan I got to read it) - so I'm going to have to write a review for it soon.

I also got to see Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (directed by Rakesh Roshan, starring Hrithik Roshan and Amisha Patel) yesterday.  So I added this also to my 2000 Movies List (as the name suggests, a list of all the movies I've seen this year).  The movie was three hours long (171 minutes on tape to be precise), but an entertaining three hours certainly!

Today I got to play three of Ganeshan's Doom WADs.  They're his first three WADs, so I'm the only one he's allowed so far to see those levels.  I know how difficult it is to get started making Doom levels, so I appreciate the effort that he's put in.  The levels were mostly interconnected rectangular sectors that used default textures and lighting levels.  There were no exits in any of them.  Anyway, this was mostly experimental, and I'm sure he's going to put some real WADs on his site later.

I've temporarily removed two Javascripts on the site that I suspect are causing it to slow down.  The BeSeen.com Quizlet - which asked the question "What kind of books do you take from your college library?" was an interesting poll that got amusing results.  It seems most people who visit this site, like me, prefer to read novels and comics rather than books related to studies!  As I said, I've removed it for now, so if you prefer to have it back, just tell me.  I've also removed the TheCounter.com code from the main page for the moment.

And finally, for those who are interested, I got 19/20 in that Managerial Economics Test I was talking about on Saturday.

Sat - 4.11.00 - 15:24

First Internal Exams at college are over!  I did well in these exams.  I didn't have the time to update the site in the last few days, but I did create a demo of my site.  If you're a bit puzzled by what exactly a demo of a site looks like, you can download it from here - it's not yet on the site, but I will be adding it a few hours from now.

Okay, now for something important.  There's going to be an online chat tonight after 11 PM, with me and some of my friends.  We'll be using Yahoo! Messenger, and we'll be online between 11 PM and 1 AM.  So if any Yahoo! users are interested, you can join us - I'll be starting the conference, so all you have to do is to add me to your friends list.  My id is karthik_abhiram.

I also found out who vs18_2000 was - none other than my friend Viswa Sravan.  As for smal_wonder, I still have no idea who she is.

On STAR Movies this week, they're showing Out For Blood on Tuesday at 11:30 PM.  It stars Don "The Dragon" Wilson - which is why I'm definitely not going to miss it.  It's one of the few films of Wilson's I haven't seen yet, and it should be good.  And at 4:15 PM today, The Fugitive is on HBO - this is a really good movie and if you haven't seen it yet you should.

Another update coming soon in a few hours from now, and Srikanth, Sravan - be online tonight!