Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I did not understand the storage of float in C/C++ until I have executed this program by accident.


void main()
int i;
float f=0.7;


Now I understand the program

printf("I love you");
printf("I hate you");

The output is I hate you. I was under the false impression that it was due to the size. but it is not. It is due to the precision actually.

0.7=0.7000000000 which is not equal to 0.7f=0.6999999881!

Now it makes sense. I prepared so many questions like this for my Cognizant interview. But this is the only one that I remember now.

What will happen after 3 yrs from now if cognizant, infosys, tcs keep on recruiting at the current pace in India?

I got placed in Infosys yesterday. It was the day when I understood the true power of fate! I understood it on Feb 24 2008. When I fractured my hand after a series of coincidences. Yesterday was one such day too. But the good thing is that I ended up with a job!

December 7, 2009

Me and Karthi had planned to under-perform in Infosys. To get into Accenture. Karthi woke me up at 7:00 AM. Then I was exploring my new Nokia 5800 Xpress Music set and it became 7:50. I started to get ready in a hurry. It was 8:15. My mum scolded me for not having the breakfast and packed the breakfast into my lunch box. I took it and then left to college. It was 8:28 AM when I reached College. I entered the auditorium by 8:32 and the pre-placement talk of Infosys began at 8:40.

All I can say was, Sharanya who was from Infosys, gave a better speech to that of Mr. Vishnu of Cognizant. And Infosys's campus was like a five star hotel. Or some Sahara project. But I was not really impressed with the growth of the organisation when compared to Cognizant it was pretty low. Though it has more employees and is older of the two.

Then the test began. There was an application form to be filled. The designation was System Engineer. And the hall incharge was giving too many instructions to fill out a simple application form.

The test began at 11:00.

The test began. I got the information that the cut-off was 50% of the marks. So I marked 10 to 15 right and 5-10 wrong. In english. The exam was damn easy. If I had solved them seriously, I would have scored lot of marks for sure.

Then came Maths. There were 30 questions and time was 40 minutes. And all the questions were a real cakewalk. Here too I did the same(left few as I did in English). But for time pass I solved all the questions in the rough sheet.

After the test I called my dad. He said that since you marked 10 right, you have a chance of clearing the round. I was afraid whether I would clear. And after lunch Me, Karthi, John and Aravind Babu met our staffs and informed about our Cognizant placement. Then the results were announced. My fear became true. I was selected for the next round. I was confused whether I should perform well in the interview or not. I spoke with my parents and took a decision that, I should perform well in the interview.

"Fate only takes you so far, then it's up to you to make it happen"

All the persons were interviewed one by one. And I was the last person to be interviewed. I was initially in panel 7. Deja Vu of Cognizant. But then changed to panel 3. My interviewer was a lady who was about 45 years old.

It was the first time I was being interviewed by a lady. My guess is that she is a brahmin. She atleast looked like one :-)

Interviewer: Good evening. Take your seat.
Me: Good evening Ma'am.
Interviewer: Think you must be tired waiting so long.
Me: Not really Ma'am. I had a hearty lunch. And was just relaxing after that.
Interviewer: Did you perform well in the test?
Me: No ma'am.
Interviewer: Did you prepare well for the test?
Me: No Ma'am.
Interviewer: Then you must be lucky enough to attend this interview.
Me: Yes Ma'am. But I had been preparing aptitude since my semester holidays began on November 24. Too much of anything is good for nothing. So I stopped preparation on Friday and took some rest. Probably a weekend off.
Interviewer: Hmmm. I had gone through your resume. It appears that you have done lot of projects.
Me: Yes Ma'am. I am very interested in developing projects, because I like to explore different technologies and different domains.
Interviewer: Are they part of your academics.
Me: No ma'am. Developed them out of own interest.
Interviewer: You have consistently scored scored 90+ in tenth and plus 2. But it seems that you have lost around ten % of your marks in College. Do you think 81% is good or do you repent that you could have done better?
Me: Ma'am I am interested in projects and devote lot of time to that. But that doesn't mean I have had a serious dip in my marks. I want to maintain a balance. Where I learn technologies, domains as well as my syllabus. I planned to maintain a decent percentage and I hope I am doing that.
Interviewer: Other than Projects, what do you do?
Me: I write novels.
Interviewer: How many have you written?
Me: Two.
Interviewer: Best of the two?
Me: Mystic Murder.
Interviewer: Mystique or Mystic
Me: Mystic the one with the C.
Interviewer: Interesting. Any sports?
Me: Chess.
Interviewer: Anything outdoor.
Me: I play table tennis. Oh thats indoor too. Hmmm. I play gully cricket once in a while.
Interviewer: Tell me about any hurdle you faced during your projects.
Me: Spoke about PEARL. The requirement problem. Waterfall model, Win-Win Spiral model, importance of documentation and lot of such stuff.
Interviewer: How did you source this project?
Me: Spoke about my fracture and how I got this project.
Interviewer: So you source your projects out of accidents?
Me: Yes. But it would be better to say. I source my projects even out of accidents. I believe in the philosophy- All is for good. So my accident too was good. Because I learnt lot of things in that project. And even when I was being administered with local anesthesia. I was observing how an instrument was fed with data. The nurse was entering as Deepak Senthilkumar RTA Male 18 in my first name. Though there were text boxes provided for the entry of gender and age. And a checkbox for Road Traffic Accident (RTA). That's when I understood the use of data mining! And how the operators feed the data.
Interviewer: Are all your projects Software.
Me: No Ma'am. I had developed a project called Informative Bus Details for Public Transport office. Normally in any bus station, the driver has to get out of the bus, sign a register enter the in time and out time manually. but in this project, the driver would possess an RFID card. And the details would be detected when the card is in the proximity of 2 metres.
Interviewer: Seems like a novel idea. Have you applied patent for it.
Me: No Ma'am. I got that idea by browsing through internet. It is not my idea. I developed the project just to explore the possibility of COM port communication and interaction with hardware. But I have presented a paper called Graphentication of passwords. Explained it to her. Said, her that she could remember the figure 5 better than the letters 'five'. She agreed. And said that I am planning to implement it as a part of my final year project and planning to apply patent for this project.
Interviewer: Do you know how to apply patent?
Me: Yes Ma'am. In Government College of Technology Coimbatore, there is a department called Intellectual Property rights. I have to apply it through them.
Interviewer: Are the technologies .NET, J2EE part of your syllabus.
Me: No Ma'am. I have had C# .NET in my syllabus. But the projects were in VB .NET.
Interviewer: Did you attend any class for that?
Me: No ma'am. Google is my tutor. I download the tutorials and learn the language.
Interviewer: What about SEQUEL?
Me: Ma'am I have not heard the term. I dunno what it is.
Interviewer: You have mentioned the back end as My Sequel for couple of your projects.
Me: Oh! MySQL. Fine. I dint know that it was called as Sequel ma'am. I have learnt a subject called Database management Systems and in that I had a lab session. I learnt oracle there. MySQL and oracle have similar type of queries. But I prefer mysql because it is free and it can be easily integrated with PHP.
Interviewer: Did you do any project in that Database lab?
Me: Yes ma'am. It was a mini project. Where I had four members in my team. Since the time was less and everyone had to participate in it. It was a simple vb application to conduct a quiz.
Interviewer: You have decent percentage, develop projects, write novels. How do you find time for all this? You spend 8 hours in college. And you have to commute from your home to college.
Me: Ma'am most of the projects were developed on weekends and Semester holidays. Regrading the novels. I work with the plot during the semester and write it in the semester holidays. I have 40 days holidays usually. That's more than sufficient. And for academics, there are study holidays. And during internal exams itself I would have finished around 80% of the subject. So that's easy too.
Interviewer: You have mentioned three memberships. What have you done.
Me: I have been part of an event called Virtuoso 2008. I was part of the organising team for the events Best Manager and Software Presentation. Other than that, in the last semester we have conducted Intra Virtuoso an event for our juniors in IT and Computer Science.
Interviewer: This interview is about you. What's that we?
Me: Ma'am. We means, Me, and couple of my friends called Arun and Karthikeyan. To make a good cup of coffee we need three key ingredients, Milk, Sugar and the Coffee powder. Each one has it's own part. And to make that event successful we were the key ingredients. Each one had his own part. But because of the effect of synergy our collective effort was amplified much higher when compared to our individual efforts. There were totally nine events and we were part of all the nine events.
Interviewer: Name few events.
Me: C-Debugging, Cyber Cipher, Technical quiz, Web Desgining
Interviewer: Leave alone that we part. What was your contribution?
Me: In the past, there was lot of paper work involved in the event C-Debugging because all students would be interested in that. There will be lot of participants. hence more photocopies of the question paper. Further the correction was time consuming. To reduce all that, I developed a simple application in VB.NET for the prelims of that event. I took five days to develop it and two days to test it. Around 200 people participated in the test and the it was a success. Other than that, in an event called Cyber Cipher, my friend developed the application and I developed the Content for the application. Explained the Donald Duck level in Cyber Cipher and said there were totally 15 puzzles like that and I developed them.
Interviewer: I think I am done with you. Any questions?
Me: Yes Ma'am. I spoke with my seniors and my relatives before attending Infosys. They said that the training was over six months. But it was the best company to work for if you need immediate-onsite opportunity? In the pre-placement talk it was mentioned that the training was for just 16 weeks. Is it true? Is there some fast track to quickly finish the training and enter into project team.
Interviewer: Regarding training, it is for 28 weeks. 16 Weeks was before 2 years. And regarding fast track. Yes, you can enter into projects if you perform well during training, may be within 3 to 4 months. And regarding on-site opportunity, you need to be lucky to get. It depends on the business requirements and your luck. Any more questions?
Me: No Ma'am.
Interviewer: All the best Deepak. I had a very good time interviewing you.
Me: Thank you Ma'am. I had a good time too. May I know your good name Ma'am?
She thought for a second.
Interviewer: It's not the part of my protocol.
Me: Fine Ma'am. Thank you.

I don't remember how long the interview went. When I came our of the interview room, time was 7:12. From my classmate Gayathri Lakshmi's information, it seems that she went in at 6:40 PM. I was called within a minute she was called. So my guess is around half an hour. i still can't believe that this interview went for so long!

I didn't prepare a second for this interview. But may be because I was really relaxed for this interview, I think I gave my best ever performance in this interview. I have attended two mock interviews and Cognizant. I don't think I have ever spoken this much in any of the other interviews. May be my friend Gokul Krishna's words sub-consciously had an impact. After Cognizant interview I was speaking with him. I said that his English is better than mine. I usually think something then think the suitable words and speak and it results in a split second gap. Its not in case of Gokul. He said, "It's because you think and speak. I just speak". The split second gap was not there this time around.

Coming back to this interview, I thought I had given a really good performance and was confident of getting it except for the last part where she refused to disclose her name.

But she didn't refuse to pick me. After two hour wait my name was announced in the list of people who were selected.

Two placements in my hand. This was the day in my life I became really happy after 3 and a half years (After getting Admission into Kumaraguru College). 2009 is turning out to be a fabulous year. I was quite worried that I couldn't clear the Subex written round. I started to doubt on myself and my luck. And I was under enormous pressure of getting into Cognizant because, I was worried that 'if Cognizant doesn't pick me who's gonna pick me?' After that, Infosys happened like magic. I didn't comb my hair properly, my face was oily. I didn't wear my sentiment green socks and my sentiment white shirt :-( But my confidence level was pretty high.

When fate has decided to give something for you can't change it. Its all written already!

In the film-Matrix, there is a dialogue:

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Knowing about Infosys interviews and attending it did have a difference!

Alas! Forgot to mention that this interview happened on December 7 and my lucky number is 7! Coincidence may be!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I got placed today. Yesterday to be accurate. Only five hours and ten minutes have passed since my placement in Cognizant. But appears like it has been ages!

I wanted to share my interview experience with you. December 3 was announced long back as the first round date. My semester exams were over on November 24. And I relaxed for a couple of days. Then downloaded Vidathu Karuppu (Marma Desam) series and watched it. It was Saturday, November 28, 2009 and I was watching Vidathu Karuppu still. Sunday morning I woke up at 9. I planned to start with aptitude. I was trying out the cube sums and syllogism rules. And I watched the film departed once again(I have so far watched it 4 times). I have developed a strong liking towards that film! The day was over. I received a mail from the placement cell that there was a pre-placement talk from Cognizant on December 2(2:00-6:00 PM).

November 30, 2009

The next day I planned to go to hostel and prepare the technical stuff along with my classmate John(he is THE technical wizard of my class). Karthi was to join me as well. There was an interesting question in the model question paper that the placement cell had mailed us.

Why result is different for:

int x=5;
int y;
y=++x + ++x + ++x;

int x=5;
int y=++x + ++x + ++x;

In Type 1: Line 3 is treated as an expression, and based on the “Operator Precedence” the increment [ ++ ] operator takes precedence over summation [ + ] operator. Hence in the expression, the increment operation is done first, and then the summation operation is done, thus the output of the expression will be "24".

In Type 2: Line 2 is treated as an assignment statement, and is hence evaluated from left to right. Thus the value of ' y ' in this case will be "21".

We started by discussing this question. Then we moved to data structures. When we were half way through data structures me and Karthi left for lunch. And though we retuned to the hostel by 1:15 itself, it took us another one hour to start again. We finished Data Structures and then moved to Computer Networks. In CN we brushed up the concepts like OSI layer, Topology, and other important concepts from Wikipedia. Then we started Operating system by 6:00 and finished it by 7:30. I was feeling very tired. But was glad that I learnt lot of stuff that day.

December 1, 2009

Then on Tuesday, I was just maundering over Database management system concepts. And resumed with aptitude.

I was searching for different formula and successfully stumbled upon this,
If a cube has n sides and all sides are painted and if it is cut into (n*n*n) identical cubes, then it has:
cubes painted on 3 sides: 8 ((n-2) power 0)
cubes painted on 2 sides: 12 ((n-2) power 1)
cubes painted on 1 side: 6 ((n-2) power 2)
cubes painted on 0 sides: 1 ((n-2) power 3)

Probably this was the only new thing I learnt that day.

December 2, 2009

The next day, I spent on my projects. Browsed through the code of all my projects. Fine tuned my resume and left to college. I reached at 12:30 in my college. Had lunch and was chit-chatting with Karthikeyan, Sathish alias(Sathish alias is his nickname) and Arun. The pre-placement talk was scheduled to begin at 2 'O' clock. But it never really began until it was 3:15.

There was a video display about Cognizant and Mr. Vishnu, the Vice President and Head of Coimbatore division of Coimbatore gave his speech. He was speaking about Cognizant, their policies and stuff like that. I don't know if it was the acoustics of the hall or the time. I was feeling damn sleepy. But tried with all my concentration power to focus on what he was speaking. After he finished his speech, there was a Q and A session.

I felt that my college mates posed senseless questions. Few like...
1. Is there a rejection panel during interview?
2. What do you provide for recreation to your employees?
3. Do you really recruit non-technical(OMG!) students?
and many more....

But Mr. Vishnu answered them patiently! This man has amazing patience.

Then there was quiz session, where there were questions about Cognizant and people got caps when they answered it right. I knew the answers for couple of questions. But never bothered to stand up and give the answer. A munch or perk would have motivated me. A cap? no way! Finally there was a passion video, shown about Lance Armstrong, a gymnast and Kapil Dev.

It was 4:45 when the program was over. I reached home and started preparing the aptitude question from TIME book. I really prepared well. I prepared 4 books of TIME. It was really easy.

December 3, 2009

The next day morning, I woke up, brushed through different coding problems and binary problems. Went to Arumugam Student's centre(in my college), that's where the exam was scheduled.

I had to fill out a form(much similar to my resume, except for the projects section). It had questions like what would be the qualities of a good software engineer? How do you think you would be a good software professional? etc.,

The test began at 10:00 and ended at 11:10.

There were three sections. Quantitative aptitude(25), Verbal(25) and Logical reasoning(20).

The test was very easy and there was no single question from what I had prepared!

I performed well in the first and the last sections. English was always a doubt. It depended on the cut-off. I knew I can make it if the cut- off was around 10 to 12.

I heard from Arun that the cut-off was 7. I was quite confident of clearing the round but never admitted it to anyone!

The results were announced in mic. and it was quite a long wait before my name came up. It was second in panel 7. Panel 7... Ah! May be luck is in my side, I was born on 25, my lucky number is 7 and my panel number was 7. Coincidence may be...

I came home. Watched the highlights of Indian innings where Sehwag was rocking with a double century. And then slept off by 8:00 PM itself.

December 4, 2009

Woke up early in the morning(4:00 AM) and prepared Object oriented Programing, revised operating system, networks, data structures, database management system, checked out my project codes and modules, and finally studied C.

I left to college. Interview began at 10:10 for me.

My interviewer was a very warm person. He greeted me by standing up from his chair, walking towards me and giving a firm handshake. And the little nervousness I had while entering the hall had vanished completely. I was feeling very comfortable. He resembled my friend Vikram's(thenga) brother and was a left hander.

Interviewer: Introduce about yourself.
Me: I am Deepak. blah.... blah... I have developed 9 Projects.
Interviewer: We'll go into projects later. Tell me about your family, hobbies.
Me: I am the only son to my parents. Hobbies...hmmm... I write short stories, novels and poems.
Interviewer: Novels... Tamil?
Me: No sir, in English.
Interviewer: Oh! Have you published.
Me: Should search for a publisher. But one novel is ready for publish. Planning to publish soon.
Interivewer: Whats the name of the novel? What's it about?
Me: Spoke about Mystic Murder
Interviewer: Why Cognizant?
Me: Mainly due to a senior, a super senior actually... She gave very positive feedback about the work culture in Cognizant and her experiences. And ofcourse the growth curve that I saw in wikipedia and during the pre-placement talk. Where it moved from 1 billion to 2 billion and so on exponentially. Other than this the enormous customer-base that Cognizant has is amazing sir.
Interviewer: That's cool Deepak. What's the name of that senior?
Me: Sowmya.
Interviewer: Where does she work?
Me: Chennai.
(All the while the interviewer was looking at my resume. Thank God! He read through all my projects)
Interviewer: Seems like you have done a pay roll software.
Me: It started off as a pay roll software sir. But with 6 iterations and 6 versions it has now become more of a HR software.
Interviewer: HR?
Me: Employees joining, leaving, attendance management, Performance appraisal, salary, leave, rating of employee...
Interviewer: Oh! Thats great! What language did you choose for this application?
Me: VB .NET.
Interviewer: Ok! Then tell me the difference between VB.NET and VB.
Me: Spoke about CLR for sometime. Then suddenly realized that I needed to give the simple answer- VB---> Component oriented, VB.NET---->Object oriented. When I was about to start with exception handling....
Interviewer: Fine Deepak. What do you know in DBMS? Just write down in this sheet of paper, he said, handing a sheet of paper.
Me: Started with files, tables.
Interviewer: Fine Deepak. Just write two tables, fill it with data and show a primary key and foreign key in those tables.
I started explaining as I was filling.
Interviewer: You fill and explain Deepak. Meanwhile can I have a look into your file?

I understood that he wanted to occupy me with some work while he was skimming through my file.

I started explaining the tables I had written. He said, just tell me the primary key and foreign key. I replied.

Interviewer: Deepak. You say a good software professional must be innovative. Can you give an example where you have been innovative?
Me: Explained about my paper called Graphentication of passwords, where i had proposed Google earth to be the password!

Interviewer: What do you think about recession? How it affects student community?
Me: Spoke everything I knew about it from banks, companies to Anna university Counselling!
Interviewer: Deepak do you know what SDLC is?
Me: Yes sir, SDLC means Software Development Life Cycle Process.
Interviewer: What are the SDLC's you know?
Me: Waterfall, win-win spiral, Spiral, Iterative, Prototype
Interviewer: What SDLC do you think Microsoft would have used to develop .NET?
Me: Iterative.
Interviewer: Reason?
Me: Explained the logic behind versions, bugs, problem with sun and such stuff.
Interviewer: Would Microsoft be tempted to use waterfall model for .NET development?
Me: I don't think so. Waterfall model is not for complex projects. It is for simple projects.
Interviewer: Where can you use Waterfall model?
Me: I had developed a project called ICAL(of course with Karthi and Arun). Which is a simple internal mark calculator with a relative booster like if the top mark is 15 then it gets boosted to 20. 10 gets boosted to 15. In that, the requirements were 3:

1. Collection of the internal assessment marks
2. Calculation of the total internal marks
3. Relative boosting

And I submitted it to a Microsoft contest called S2B. Where I had to develop it using Waterfall model. And all the phases were finished at one stretch.

But when I was developing a project called Pearl (Payroll management and Employee ARchivaL), I collected requirements from a particular person, who had given me the requirements but resigned when I next went there. Then explained certain nuances of the project where I was unable to implement waterfall model and instead I had to work on Win-Win Spiral model and it wasn't a true Win-Win Spiral model either. I had to mix it with Prototype model. For faster delivery of the software.
Interviewer: You say that you are the only son to your parents. I cannot guarantee you a job in Coimbatore. Would you shift your base?
Me: Definitely sir. That wouldn't be a problem at all.
Interviewer: Ok Deepak. I am done with you. Do you know whether Sehwag scored a triple hundred?
Me: No sir. Yesterday evening he was 284 not out. That's all I know.
Interviewer: Thought you would be knowing it. Didn't your friends message you?
Me: I had my cell phone switched off sir. I hope Sehwag scores another triple hundred and adds a really expensive dish in the menu card of his hotel :-)
Interviewer smiled.
Interviewer: Do you have any question for me?
Me: Sir? If I join Cognizant? How would you like me to spend the next six months? Should I learn something? Like I have heard that Cognizant works on mainframe?
Interviewer: Just continue your routine activities and enjoy your college life. Eh Deepak! I have the form that you filled yesterday. That's enough for me. You can take back the resume you had given me. I will place it in your file. It was nice talking to you Deepak.
Me: I had a very pleasant experience too sir.

After a firm handshake I started to walk back. I turned back and asked him.

Me:May I know your good name sir?
Interviewer: Shyam.
Me: Thank you sir.

My interviewer was the kind of dream interviewer I could ever imagine off. He was very friendly always smiling at me making me very comfortable.

I left the hall. I was confident of getting placed except for the one incident of him returning my resume. It was sowing some doubts in my mind.

Interview was finished in 22 minutes for me. I came out at 10:32 and nearly after a nine hour wait, I heard that I was selected.

My friends Karthikeyan and Johnson were selected too.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know.

“The words we suggest,” says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, “are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language.”

The following is the entire list of 100 words Every High School Graduate Should Know:

laissez faire

It's a pity that I didn't know many of these words!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kung Fu Panda

Mr. Ping: C'mere, c'mere. The secret ingredient is... (Pause) nothing.
Po: (Completely surprised) Huh?
Mr. Ping: You heard me. Nothing. There is no secret ingredient.
Po: Wait, wait... It's just plain old noodle soup? You don't add some kind of special sauce or something?
Mr. Ping: Don't have to. To make something special, you just have to believe it's special.
(Po takes the Dragon Scroll out of the cart, looks at the blank surface and sees his reflection; he now realizes what the scroll really means)
Po: There is no secret ingredient. (Turns back towards the Jade palace)

Fight Club

Tyler Durden: You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake.

Narrator: [about the soap] Tyler sold his soap to department stores at $20 a bar. Lord knows what they charged. It was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.

Narrator: When people think you're dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just...
Marla Singer: - instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?

Tyler Durden: The things you own end up owning you.

Tyler Durden: Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.

Narrator: Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter. The microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos, sample-packaged mouthwash, tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight? They're single-serving friends.

Narrator: I'll tell you: we'll split up the week, okay? You take lymphoma, and tuberculosis...
Marla Singer: You take tuberculosis. My smoking doesn't go over at all.
Narrator: Okay, good, fine. Testicular cancer should be no contest, I think.
Marla Singer: Well, technically, I have more of a right to be there than you. You still have your balls.
Narrator: You're kidding.

[Poem on Narrator's computer]
Narrator: Worker bees can leave. Even drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.

Skin Deep

Dr Westford: A scorpion who couldn't swim asked the frog to carry him across the river on his back. The frog said, "Do you think I'm crazy? Halfway across the river, you'll sting me and I'll drown." "That's not reasonable," said the scorpion. "If I sting you and you drown, I'll drown too." Frog thought about it, he said, "Climb on." Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog, and as the frog was drowning, he said to the scorpion, "But now you'll drown too." The scorpion said, "Yes. I know." "That's not reasonable," said the frog, and the scorpion replied, "Reason has nothing to do with it. I'm a scorpion. It's my character."
Zach: "What the fuck does that mean?"

Angels and Demons

Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: Do you believe in God, sir?
Robert Langdon: Father, I simply believe that religion...
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: I did not ask if you believe what man says about God. I asked if you believe in God.
Robert Langdon: I'm an academic. My mind tells me I will never understand God.
Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: And your heart?
Robert Langdon: Tells me I'm not meant to. Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.

The Davinci Code

Robert Langdon: Why is it divine or human? Can't human be divine?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If your name is not there in the list then don't get disappointed. The inner satisfaction that you get after completing any version of Klueless is unparalleled. So, start playing!!!

This is what the klueless team says in their hall of fame. Infact, I was very happy too, though I didn't make it to the klueless 4 Hall of fame, last year, finishing it gave me an inner satisfaction. But this year, I wanted to make an entry into hall of fame. I was often googling about klueless 5 from August. Then in October, the klueless guys started the count down for Klueless 5.

Klueless 5 started on November 5,2009 9:00:00 AM IST. I had my semester exam(UID) on November 6 :(

I have not posted explicit hints. Its just a memoir on how I solved Klueless 5. It may still help you to reach the solution.

Level 1:
Knowing that I was playing Klueless 5 aka K5 took me past that level.

Level 2:
There was a picture from which I was slowly removing the tangles, Arun came up with the solution.

Level 3:
There was a word Will. So, Arun said that it must denote William Shakespeare and we were exploring on The Tempest story, about Prospero and the Angel. It was all waste of time. My intuition said we were wrong. And I remembered reading an Island story during my childhood. And the solution became evident.

Level 4:
Aah! This was the level which took lot of our time. Karthikeyan joined us here. There were numerous options. Arun came up with a way of reading between the images. Then it seems he found the wiki page which contained the answer. But he didn't try the answer :-(. I was taking a little break at that time. When I came back, Arun had left due to power shutdown in his home. I found the wiki page and the solution too.

Level 5:
It was a very simple level. Needed just a couple of minutes. Just checked out on the ROFL part.

Level 6:
There was a button, click me. But when I tried to click it, it moved. So I tried using tab. A message box appeared saying "You cheated! Use the mouse." I checked the source code. The Klueless team had played prank on us. In the source code, they moved the button on mouse over. So it is impossible to click the button with the mouse. I ignored it and concentrated on the picture. Oh! There was a box. I thought may be Pandora's box? Then I googled the source code. Answer was available immediately!

Level 7:
Since I used to make lot of mistakes while typing messages in my mobile. Like, "Has the cup come?" instead of "Has the bus come?", this level was a cakewalk for me. The answer was spot on! The level's name was Texting on the sly! It was apt.

Level 8:
Leytonstone is a place which I knew for only one thing. And that was the answer too!

Level 9:
Here too the klueless team had played a prank. The :P from horse was well thought out. But it wasn't that tough.

Level 10:
I was searching about the passage everywhere. But couldn't find anything :( I was discussing in the blog of klueless 5 for the first time. Then suddenly I remembered that this was lvl 10 and not level 10! There was the solution!

Level 10b:
Level 10. Didn't seem to leave me. There was a detective story over there. It was 2:00 PM. So I went for lunch. Coming back I could see Karthikeyan online. He was good in detective stories. He gave me the idea of who it could be and since it was an extension of the last lvl,solving this level was not tough anymore.

Level 11:
It was very simple. The poem in that level meant an incident, reading Digital Fortress really helped me. And what can one ask more than the picture present there.

Level 12:
This was a level that was very hard for me. I am not a master of vocabulary! There was an India-Australia match running and the Indian bowlers were thrashed to all parts of the ground :-(. And it was really tough for me because I was watching match, I could not focus my attention completely to klueless. I was trying strange methods, I went to the extent of trying all the words ending with 'ly' :-O. Thats when a guy called Aditya, sent me friend request in yahoo. I must thank him for telling me the answer to be an adjective!

It was 5:30 PM. Arun and Karthi were sending message to me, close Klueless and goto study, which . Last year I nearly flunked(somehow escaped) in a subject called Theory of Computation because of playing Klueless 4 without studying! This year was no exception. I had my semester exam(UID) and I was focussed more on klueless 5! Then I had to go out. I returned home and the Indian innings had began. Sehwag was rocking as usual and Tendulkar was playing sedately. But after crossing 17000 runs, Sachin played a pull shot. When Sachin plays pull shots, he is in mode-ATTACK. I love to watch Sachin when he is playing the pull shots. He is one of the best. But he doesn't play them often :(. Sachin played one of his best knocks, 175, while chasing was a great innings. But he couldn't finish off the match which he did so well in the CB series final! He played a crazy shot and got out. Match was lost by just 3 runs. It was Jadeja who surprisingly gets run out because he runs like a mad hare when his partner shouts "NO!NO!NO!" who lost the match single handedly! Pathan would have handled pressure situation well. It was 11:00 PM when the presentation of the match was over.

OMG! I hadn't studied a word for my exam :-(

Slept at once and woke up at 3:30 AM next morning. Was studying, till 9:59 AM, with my pals Arun and Karthi. Exam began at 10:00 AM lol :) But exam was quite easy. So it was not a problem. After this exam on Novemeber 6. I had one week leave for my next exam. I knew I could pull klueless 5! Came back to home had lunch and started playing klueless once again!

It was 3:00 PM...

Level 13:
Ah! You know how I solved the level, i saw an image map. Saved the web page in my system. Opened it in Microsoft expression web, then found the exact location of the image map. Clicked it to find a superb clue which directed me towards the answer! I don't watch Jeff Dunham shows and it actually cost me some time.

Level 14:
I knew the answer immediately after reading the word verbose. I wasted time on typing the answer in the wrong place. Then remembered how I chat. It helped me solve this level. Karthi was with me in this level. But he had some problem with his net connection. Arun called me up and we were discussing on this!

Level 15:
It was nearly 4 in the evening. I loved this level. I would rate it as my most favorite level in klueless 5 for the sheer brilliance of the level. I was blind over what the solution could possibly be. Then when I saw what the dice meant, I was blind-folded. One clue that really helped me was from the forum. It said, 'Find the rhyme!'

Level 16:
It was 6:00 PM. Arun and Karthi joined me. But now my net had some problems. Found that it was related to a comic. And by the time the wiki page loaded for me, they had found the answer.

Level 17:
Oh! This level was brilliant. We thought too much actually because of the clues in the blog stating that we needed to be tekhie buff and movie buff. It was actually misleading. Then I took a break from those guys and went to watch tv. Resumed klueless at 11:30 PM. And I was able to solve it immediately. Taking break between the levels definitely help. After all, I am playing Klueless and not Clueless!

Level 18:
It didn't take more than 30 seconds. Boom! Playing games do help!

Level 19:
There was a poem in that level. And I immediately decoded what it meant. After that it was just simple googling.

Level 20:
Change the perspective or expand your horizon. The level says.I tried lot of things read lot about a game called BINGO. Which was not necessary at all. It was November 7, 1:00 AM. I thought of taking a break from klueless and was watching Lord of the Rings. it was 4:00 AM in the morning. So slept off.

When I woke up, I found the time to be 2:00 PM. Oh! I had slept for 10 hours while playing klueless. The biggest crime in my life... lol :).

I decoded the poem. But I was making mistake on a line reading them as two numbers instead of a single number.

Aditya pointed out my mistake. Then it was simple march to the answer.

Level 21:
The powerpuff girl was easy. But the other part, I would not have solved if Aditya did not tell me about recession.

There was power shut down and my UPS had drained out. So I forced to shut down my computer :(

I again slept off. From 4:15 to 6:30 PM!

Level 22:
Woke up. Then this time I had to connect the dots and find company! It was easy!

Level 23:
I was thinking on a method to solve it. Aditya said, he can't help me because he himself didn't know the method. Some guy had posted a spoiler which made Aditya''s life really easy. But the moderators had deleted it! Then having so many doors reminded me of a Tamil film, 'Kaasey thaan kadavulada' Manorama uses a method to enter into her safety vault! I tried that method and it actually worked out :)

Level 24:
It was 8:00 PM. Arun joined me. He actually thought too much. Found that in medieval period, S, N etc., were roman numerals. He left for dinner and never turned up. (For the rest of Klueless :-(...Sob...Sob...). I too left, was watching tv and resumed klueless at 10:30 PM.

I read about Cleopatra, how she died, all that coupled with the rules of klueless 5 helped me to solve this level. But I was having a small problem. If I was in north pole, how could I travel north. I posted in the blog and got a reply that, the journey from start should carry on. And I was able to solve this level. I liked this level!

Level 25:
This could be compared with the 15th level. It was too good too! But being a Computer Science student, I was able to solve the RGB stuff in real quick time. Writing down the colors in a sheet of paper really helped me ;-)

Level 26:
Here again, I was thinking too much. Thats when Hema had posted her email-id on the page. I sent her request in gtalk. And she told I should think less. I understood what is to be done. All I can say is it was an A-1 level!

Level 27:
Posting anything on how I solved would be a spoiler. But all I can say is, I solved it really fast because I had been watching lot of movies for the past two years!

It was Novemeber 8 12:30 AM. Hema left. I lost my net connection. Watched Angels and Demons once again. It was 3:00 AM.

Level 28:
Found the song required and used photoshop. I didn't spot any difference. Then I remembered the rules page once again. It helped me to solve this level.

Level 29:
I knew what the image meant. Wikipedia provided the solution!

Level 30:
Ah! I focussed on one single line. It was the last line. Then connected it with clue. Tried trial and error method to connect to the answer :)

Level 31:
It was 7:00 AM in the morning. I had breakfast. It was raining and I was enjoying the rain. India Australia Match started at 8:30 AM :O. And wickets were falling like 9 pins. I knew no miracle would happen with the stupid Jadeja batting! Surprisingly Jadeja made a fifty. And Praveen saved the day with a good knock (ofcourse with lot of luck). I resumed klueless 5 at 11:30 AM. I interpreted the notes. I fought hard for 3 hours in interpreting and then left out. The rain and winds had made banana plant in my backyard fall. I never knew banana plants were so so heavy :-O. It was 5:30 PM when I resumed after lunch, rest,tv. Hema joined me at 6:00 PM. She had no clue on 31 what so ever. She gave me a different set of notes. Thats when I realized, I could have read the notes wrong. I read again slowly. Found that both our interpretations were wrong. After getting the right notes, it was just 2 mins to solve the remaining. Because I had spent lot of time already on devising it!

Level 32:
The Greek sculptor was the obvious one!

Level 33:
Hmmm. I liked this level and its connection with level 32. A number helped me solving this. But its simple even if random tries are made from the source code hints!

Level 34:
It was 8:30 PM and I went for dinner, returned by 9:30 PM. Hema had marched to 36th level, in that one hour! 34 was easy once I found the bearded man and MIT was a reasonable clue.

It was 10:00 PM my net connection was totally out! ADSL light did not glow at all :(
I had an alarm for every one hour and slept off.

It was November 9. Till 6:00 AM in the morning, the net did not work. There were offline messages from Hema, like 'Are you there?' 'Damn with your internet connection!'

Level 35:

The net connection was highly unstable. The first thing I did was checking the hall of fame. I had a heart attack when I saw the Hall of fame. 90 people had finished and Hema was there too! I was cursing BSNL, my ISP.

I figured out what was meant of the tables. Then it was really easy. But I should have remembered that people call me Deepak and not Deepak Senthilkumar. Somehow managed to solve the level. Wiki really helped me.

Level 36:
Ah! this was the level for which I troubled the moderators too much. I must really thank klueklutz for patiently replying to me! I thought too much and connected Rafael Nadal to the level when even Roger Federer was not needed :-( But its a simple level of googling the right stuff.

Level 37:
Net connection was still unstable. I got as much information as possible in the short span of time when my net works.

It was 1:00 PM.

When I saw tintin in this level, I remembered a level and figured out on what had to be done. I was making a simple mistake with my logic which was spot on! Klueklutz and Curses, the moderators of Klueless 5 clarified me and suggested a break. I had lunch, returned by 2:00 PM and found the solution immediately!

And only the final frontier had to be conquered!

Level 38:
I was feeling exhausted because of my damn internet connection and working alone. Was trying some fishing from the forum & relaxing, Curses detected it. He suggested me to play the game than hanging in the forum. I started the last level and figured out a way to solve the final level. It was pretty odd but it worked out. The final level belongs to the Lord! It was 4:00 PM and Klueless 5 was conquered.

Actually it was finished in 4.4 days. But 0.6 of that was dedicated towards my semster exam and the cricket match. So 3.8 days ;-)

And on my quest of reaching Hall of fame, yes! I did make it... 115 is my position. Could have reached a far better position had it not been BSNL's fist of fury on me.

BSNL broadband-Come rain and connectivity drowns. Just like our roads!

Had a lot of trouble posting this here too :-(

It did help me actually on not working with Arun and Karthikeyan. Because, I had a unidirectional thought, which helped me actually.

Had a great time playing it! Hope you have a great time too!
Link to play: Klueless 5

Thursday, November 5, 2009


A great deal of fuss over nothing of importance.


This phrase is sometimes shortened just to 'much ado'. It is of course from Shakespeare's play - Much Ado About Nothing, 1599. He had used the word ado, which means business or activity, in an earlier play - Romeo and Juliet, 1592:

"Weele keepe no great adoe, a Friend or two."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And the winner is
INDIAN National Highway Department (Painting Division)

One summer day in France in 1826, Joseph Niepce took the world's first photograph. It's a photo of some farm buildings and the sky. It took an exposure time of 8 hours. Voila! It had to feel pretty incredible, like magic.

No one's exactly sure how he did this or what chemicals were used. All that's known for sure is that the photo is on an 8"x 6.5" pewter plate. It's so faint it has to be tilted in order for the light to catch it just right, to see it. The Getty Museum in California did two weeks of tests in 2003 in a joint project involving the Rochester Institute of Technology and France's Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques (try saying thatthree times fast). Then it went back on display at the University of Texas in a new air tight case, where it's been on display since 1964. I'm not sure why we have it and the French don't, but "hah".

The current theory about how the photograph was taken is that Niepce coated the pewter plate with bitumen, a petroleum derivative sensitive to light. After it spent those 8 hours hardening, he washed the plate with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum. This dissolved the portions of the bitumen that didn't 'see' direct light, so didn't harden. Pretty damn clever. Niepce called his work a "heliograph," in a tribute to the power of the sun.

Article Source:World’s First Photo. Really?!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The My Recent Documents folder on the Windows XP Start menu displays a list of files and documents that you most recently used.

Removing the Recent Documents link from XP Start Menu

To remove the My Recent Documents folder from XP Start Menu, try this:

  • Right-click Start, and then click Properties
  • Click Customize
  • Click the Advanced tab
  • Under Recent documents, uncheck List my most recently opened documents
  • Click OK, and then OK.

Equivalent registry value

  • Open Registry Editor and navigate to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced

  • Backup the key to a file. See Backing up.. article
  • Set the value of Start_ShowRecentDocs accordingly.

Value of 0 - List my most recently opened documents is disabled
Value of 2 - List my most recently opened documents is enabled

Automate the above with REG file

Download this REG file sets Start_ShowRecentDocs registry value to 0
Undo REG file which sets Start_ShowRecentDocs registry value to 2 (default)
Different setting for the Windows Classic Start Menu

For the Classic Start Menu, set NoRecentDocsMenu to 1 in this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer

NoRecentDocsMenu value may not exist by default. If so, create a new value of type REG_DWORD and set it's data to 1

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Software bug

A software bug is the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made by people in either a program's source code or its design, and a few are caused by compilers producing incorrect code. A program that contains a large number of bugs, and/or bugs that seriously interfere with its functionality, is said to be buggy.

Common types of computer bugs

Conceptual error (code is syntactically correct, but the programmer or designer intended it to do something else)

Maths bugs

  • Division by zero
  • Arithmetic overflow or underflow
  • Loss of arithmetic precision due to rounding or numerically unstable algorithms

Logic bugs

  • Infinite loops and infinite recursion
  • Off by one error, counting one too many or too few when looping

Syntax bugs

Use of the wrong operator, such as performing assignment instead of equality test. In simple cases often warned by the compiler; in many languages, deliberately guarded against by language syntax

Resource bugs

  • Null pointer dereference
  • Using an uninitialized variable
  • Access violations
  • Resource leaks, where a finite system resource such as memory or file handles are exhausted by repeated allocation without release.
  • Buffer overflow, in which a program tries to store data past the end of allocated storage. This may or may not lead to an access violation. These bugs can form a security vulnerability.
  • Excessive recursion which though logically valid causes stack overflow

Co-programming bugs

  • Deadlock
  • Race condition
  • Concurrency errors in Critical sections, Mutual exclusions and other features of concurrent processing. Time-of-check-to-time-of-use (TOCTOU) is a form of unprotected critical section.

Teamworking bugs

  • Unpropagated updates; e.g. programmer changes "myAdd" but forgets to change "mySubtract", which uses the same algorithm. These errors are mitigated by the Don't Repeat Yourself philosophy.
  • Comments out of date or incorrect: many programmers assume the comments accurately describe the code
  • Differences between documentation and the actual product
How about some bugs for snacks?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

void main()
int a;

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

void main()
int a=3,b=2,c;

To understand more about this printf, Click here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kakuro puzzles resemble crosswords which use numbers instead of words. The aim of the game is to fill all the blank squares in the grid with only the numbers 1-9 so that the numbers you enter add up to the corresponding clues. When the grid is filled, the puzzle is complete. Sometimes called "Cross-sums" or "Kakro", Kakuro is Sudoku's bigger (and harder) brother.

Kakuro puzzle grids can be any size, though usually the squares within them have to be arranged symmetrically. As a rule of thumb, the more blank squares a puzzle contains, the harder it is, however this isn't always true, especially if it is a good quality puzzle.

NOTE: It is very important to note that a proper Kakuro puzzle has only 1 unique solution, and it will always have a logical way of reaching it, there should be no guesswork needed.

An easy Kakuro puzzle

Solution for the above puzzle

In discussing Kakuro puzzles and tactics, the typical shorthand for referring to an entry is "(clue, in numerals)-in-(number of cells in entry, spelled out)", such as "16-in-two" and "25-in-five". The exception is what would otherwise be called the "45-in-nine" — simply "45" is used, since the "-in-nine" is mathematically implied (nine cells is the longest possible entry, and since it cannot duplicate a digit it must consist of all the digits from 1 to 9 once). Curiously, "3-in-two", "4-in-two", "5-in-two", "43-in-eight", and "44-in-eight" are still frequently called as such, despite the "-in-two" and "-in-eight" being equally implied.

Solving techniques

Although brute-force guessing is of course possible, a better weapon is the understanding of the various combinatorial forms that entries can take for various pairings of clues and entry lengths. Those entries with sufficiently large or small clues for their length will have fewer possible combinations to consider, and by comparing them with entries that cross them, the proper permutation — or part of it — can be derived. The simplest example is where a 3-in-two crosses a 4-in-two: the 3-in-two must consist of '1' and '2' in some order; the 4-in-two (since '2' cannot be duplicated) must consist of '1' and '3' in some order. Therefore, their intersection must be '1', the only digit they have in common.

It is common practice to mark potential values for cells in the cell corners until all but one have been proven impossible; for particularly challenging puzzles, sometimes entire ranges of values for cells are noted by solvers in the hope of eventually finding sufficient constraints to those ranges from crossing entries to be able to narrow the ranges to single values. Because of space constraints, instead of digits some solvers use a positional notation, where a potential numerical value is represented by a mark in a particular part of the cell, which makes it easy to place several potential values into a single cell. This also makes it easier to distinguish potential values from solution values.

I find this game to be more interesting than Su-do-ku. I had never been interested in Su-do-ku though I like number puzzles in general! This game is a perfect replacement to Su-do-ku!

You can play this game online at http://www.kakuro.com/playonline.php

My First Kakuro puzzle (Took 19 minutes 32 seconds to solve this puzzle!)

Proud moment for me. So soon, it has become two years since this blog has been started. This blog was the first useful thing I did after turning 18 and it is growing old along with me! This is the 279th post in my blog. I planned to touch VVS Lakshman's magical figure of 281 to make this post memorable. But couldn't do it. Because I can't post in my blog just for the sake of posting. One kind request to my readers is that, if you want to comment on a post of mine, comment it here rather than mailing me or scrapping me in Orkut. Anyway, thank you for your support without which this milestone would have never been reached.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This post is called ‘The Drop’.

Internal exam was a cakewalk for me. I had time to study from 8:30 to 10:45. I would study and then write exam from 10:45 to 12:45. Then after noon exam would be 2:00 to 4:00. I didn’t even go to my class during the internal exam. I studied with Raj Kamal in Mechatronics. I performed really well. Only a girl named Gauthami performed better than me. I was quite happy. I also noted that Johnson, Arun, Vimal Kumar were the other guys in the top ten. I took notice of them. Karthikeyan did reasonably well too; think he got the eleventh rank.

And then the classes went on for a month. Here I should mention about three staffs, Vijayanandhi Ma’am (Electrical Engineering), Sengodan Sir (Engineering Physics) and Velmurugan Sir (Engineering Drawing), next to my school teachers, these were rocking. They were giving their very best. I did exceptionally well in the second internal exam where none performed better than me. Till that, I did not make any serious friendship with any of my classmates. Johnson and Vanavan still were the only people I spoke with. Other than this I used to speak with Karthika, Kalyani and Jinju mostly to get the notebooks and observation works from them. He he. What else to speak? :-P.

Karthikeyan used to call me up once in a while. We discussed nothing but the subjects. Life was monotonous.

After the second internals, there was an announcement about a National Conference called Confluence and students could present paper in that. I did not know what a paper was not had idea of presenting a paper. Karthikeyan asked me whether I was interested in presenting paper. He informed me that Arun was already in the team. I thought for a while on the possibilities and replied positively. Karthikeyan became Karthi after sometime and I noticed that Arun was Arun Kumaar. The double a in his name was to be noted. Karthi suggested Solar Cell as the topic for our paper. We discussed with Sengodan sir on this. On a Sunday noon, Arun and Karthi came to my home. Arun was using computer at a rapid speed. Infact I noticed that during an English lab when, he changed the Show Hidden files from the folder option. But his speed was very much evident.

That day was like a training period with Arun and Karthi. Those guys taught me the shortcuts and I had never used Google images before that. That was also taught by those guys. Arun was using MS-Paint and Print Screen like magic. I had never seen such stuff before that. We used to get OD (On Duty attendance) for works on this paper. We later changed the topic as Solar Photo Voltaics. Prabu later joined our team.

Preparation went smooth. Meanwhile I joined Orkut and was introduced to chatting. Well, it was a kind of distraction to me. To be honest, I spent lot of time on this. But it helped me to get new friends. Especially, Deepa. I used to write my fan fiction work of Harry Potter in J K Rowling community. Deepa liked my work and sent me her friend request in Orkut. We used to spend lot of time chatting in Yahoo messenger. From being unknown strangers, we became very close friends. And due to excessive Internet usage (initially I had bandwidth restricted to 250 MB). I got a pretty fat bill! So I switched unlimited bandwidth. So I started downloading lot of movies.

I didn’t spend enough time on studies. In the third internal exam, from 1st rank I dropped alarmingly to the 11th rank. But the convincing part was that my performance was the same except for Maths. I still remember my mark. I scored 58. Karthi and Arun flunked but requested for marks from Sivasakthi Ma’am and cleared. So I wasn’t very much worried about my drop.

It was confluence day

We presented the paper. I don’t remember presenting it with flying colors. But we did a good job. Arun and I presented the paper. Karthi and Prabu took care of the slideshow.

Surge-2007 was an event organised by my seniors and the placement cell. I attended the Mock Press prelims. I had some ten GK questions and dialogue writing between Bill Gates and Lalu Prasad Yadav. I tried to be funny, by making all replies of Lalu in Hindi (I managed with the few words I know in Hindi). So I was able to clear the initial hurdle. And reach the finals. In the finals, I did pretty bad because I got the role as James Bond and I was against Vadivelu. So obviously I didn’t win the event. But, my schoolmate Gopalakrishnan who was studying IT in my college made it to the debate finals. Along with him he brought his friend, Gokul. He was into debate finals as well. They did really well in the finals. But there was one IT senior called Priyanka who stole the show. It was a wonderful evening. It was so late in the evening. I was waiting for my dad to come and pick me up.

Devaki Ma’am finally taught Linked Lists, Queue and Stack. I feel that it was an important phase in my programming career. Learning this stuff was very important.

It was the last week of the semester.

Semester was to be over.

I was not absent even for a single day in that year.

It was a Monday. I had to submit my mechanical lab records. So I took three hours leave. (3, 4, 5)- 6th and 7th hour was Mechanical lab, went to Vanavan’s room in hostel and finished the record. In the same week I had taken another couple of hours leave on Friday to finish Electronics lab record.

Those were the 5 hours; I was totally absent in that semester.

Top ten students from each class were given a scholarship of Rs. 10,000 by my college. Having performed well, I was an instant choice to that list. Unluckily, Johnson missed out. Arun and Karthi got it too.

I feel that, it should have been based on merit. But it had reservations.

1. OC-3
2. BC-3
3. MBC-2
4. SC/ST-2

If OC was 3 then BC, MBC, SC/ST all had rights to compete in OC and their reservation. But it was not the case.

Even when it was based on reservation, the reservation was not well-organised.
In my opinion, Arun was the only OC category guy to deserve it. In my class, there are only 3 OC students who joined through merit:

1. Arun
2. Karthikeyan
3. Kalyani

So naturally what happens is that, every year they would get it.

If it was similar to counseling, only Arun had the chance. But it was not the case. I do not know whose mistake it was. But it was a mistake.

Then the semester exams started. I did well in all the papers, except Engineering Drawing where I made 2 big blunders and knew that I would lose 30 marks in that paper for sure.

Overall I was happy with my performance in the semester examinations. In came holidays. I was glad that I would be entering my department the next semester!

The drop in academic performance was not hurting me because, I always believe, “Form is temporary and Class is Permanent”. I knew I could always bounce back, if I wanted to.

Journey will continue…

This post would be called Fear.

Yes, fear because I was afraid of the persons who had taken up the same course as me. I picked up when there were 5 seats remaining. Which means that there were nearly 30 people who had far superior cut-off to me and they should be more intelligent than me. So I should work really hard to compete with them.

I had never been industrious in my life except for my eleventh standard and brief period in twelfth standard.

Till tenth, I had never understood the Chemistry equations. What the principle was? Thanks to Chemistry teachers - Suresh Sir, Sekar Sir and Chandra Sekar Sir (It might be odd for you to refer so many persons as sir, but this is how I call them. Habits are hard to die!). I clearly understood the fundamentals of Chemistry in my eleventh and twelfth! Only when the fundamentals are strong, it serves the purpose of being industrious!

Well, there was a bit of selfishness from my side too. I learnt chemistry well because it could come handy for bio-chemistry in first-year if I pick medicine. But learning Chemistry was off no use except that it helped me fetch a seat in Computer Science and Engineering in Kumaraguru College of Technology.

Ok coming back to fear, I enquired to my family members and relatives on what College was about. They said that, I had to learn everything in advance and during lecture hours should get the essence of what the professor or lecturer teaches and get clarity by posing queries.

So, I planned to study the subjects in advance. I studied few chapters from a subject called Electronic Devices and Circuits because I already had that book borrowed from my uncle. My best friend Raj Kamal had joined Kumaraguru College too. He took up Mechatronics course. Since he joined under Management quota he had 3 weeks of bridge course. I enquired him what was taught and how the college was. He was giving positive reviews about the college. I was happy on picking the college.

My First day in College

It was August 31 2006, a Thursday. In the morning there was a meeting for the parents which I attended with my mother and grandfather. A person named Kavidasan gave a wonderful speech.
He told that, days when the proverb applied “Slow and steady wins the race” were bygone and gave a new proverb “Fast and perfect wins the race!” My mother and grandfather left the college after the lunch which was provided by college.

A new life was about to begin.

I was surprised by the fact that, all First years will be in a separate block called Science and Humanities and I Shall enter computer science department only in my second year. I entered the science and humanities block. I quickly skimmed through the notice board. I saw that my Physics teacher was my Class Advisor and his name was Sengodan. I had never heard that name in my life before. There was a teacher in my school called Senram, which was the closest name I could remember.

When I entered the class, the first person I met was a guy called Suresh.

In our lives we don’t like few persons from the first sight. This guy Suresh was one such person. I didn’t like him from the moment I saw him. He introduced to me another guy called Johnson. You know what? I had never been a first bencher in my entire school life, probably due to my height and my talkative nature. Staffs would not prefer to have me in the first bench during school. I was a standing a example to what people call “Chatter Box”. But I planned to take the first bench in College.

And there was a guy called Vanavan who came to the first bench because all other benches were pre-occupied. One major question which all staffs asked during the first class of theirs was, “how many of you are from biology major and how many of you are from computer science major?” My heart would start beating a little faster whenever I see the huge crowd of computer science students (they had computer science as their major in twelfth). I was afraid of them. I feared that they knew the programming languages like C, Java, Visual Basic, HTML etc., which I had seen my school mates studying. I knew nothing!

My dad arranged a person named Kamalakannan he was the nephew of my dad’s colleague.
He taught me looping, arrays and pointers. More than what he taught, I must thank him for introducing me to Yashwant Kanetkar’s book titled ‘LET US C’. I already had a book called ‘Projects Using C’ written by PVN. Varalakshmi. I read ‘LET US C’ like a story book. Tried out few programs and compared my logic with the one in Varalakshmi book. This was how I spent my first two weeks in College. Computer Programming was a paper for me in the first year. It was taught by Prof. Devaki. She was initially teaching the basic computer terms, generation of computers and such theories. Other staffs had entered into the syllabus as well.

I had eight theory subjects:

1. Computer Programming
2. Engineering Physics
3. Engineering Chemistry
4. Engineering Maths
5. Engineering Drawing
6. Electronic Devices and Circuits
7. Electrical Engineering
8. Technical English

Couple of practical subjects

1. Basic Engineering Lab
2. Physics & Chemistry Lab

I had two more labs viz., Electronic Devices and Circuits Lab and Computer Programming lab. But there were no exams for that lab!

Couple of weeks passed. As I hated Suresh at the first look, I liked Shiva Guru at the first look. Since, I was travelling to College by bus, I made few friends in the bus. Shiva Guru, Sriram Ayyapan, Arshad and Prahadeesh.

I used to go to Mechatronics class for lunch with Raj Kamal. So I was not maintaining a great rapport with the day scholars of my class. In fact, my term with both day scholars and hostellers was very bad mainly because of Electronic Devices and Circuits class. Since I had already prepared for that class, I would be able to follow what Sasikala Ma’am teaches. But none in the class except me and Johnson would follow that class completely. Johnson and Vanavan were my only pals in the class. In my Electronic Devices and Circuits Lab, my batchmates were Dinesh and Divya. Though they were not as close as calling pals, atleast they did not stare at me as the other classmates. Raj Kamal introduced to me a guy called Arun who was Raj Kamal’s entrance classmate. When that introduction took place, a guy passed a scorning look at me. I acknowledged it with another scornful look. I later learnt that his name was Karthikeyan.

So far I had spoken to only 5 to 6 odd persons in class. By now, I had known every person in the class by name mainly because of the attendance that is taken once every hour in college. In my school it was one-time attendance in morning and one-time in noon. Every hour attendance was pretty strange for me and it took some time to get used to it.

One day, there was an ellipse drawing exercise in engineering drawing class. I had completed that drawing. During break couple of girls, introduced themselves as Priyadarshini and Ramapriya and asked few doubts on drawing the ellipse. I had been wondering, whenever any person spoke to me, either Johnson or Suresh, it was for asking doubts to me. There was no discussion on movies or Harry Potter or any other book to which I was used to in school.

During bus travel, I used to read some book. So my bus mates that thought I was a nerd :-(. A misconception, most people tend to get when they see me.

The same day, after lunch there was a computer programming class. Devaki Ma’am asked a question on a simple assembly language program. My brain was working slowly; listening to a computer programming class after lunch was daunting task. Arun answered it, before I could get hold of what the question was. I was surprised, but fear factor was more than the surprise factor. There were people in the class who had better knowledge in computer than me.

And a week passed. Devaki Ma’am sent us an alternate in the form of Mr. Sivan Arul Selvan (he looked a perfect person to be cast as Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter), who did not teach us anything but questioned us on the computer configuration. Karthikeyan was called on to the stage and questioned on that. He said, he had a computer at home but did not know about configuration since he was a biology student.

There is a scene in Tamil film Vaali where the younger brother Shiva explains that his brother Deva is a deaf and mute person. But he hides that he is a dumb person by chewing a bubble gum. And since he can lip-read, nobody would detect that he his disabled.

Same applies to me as well. I was never proud of calling myself as a biology student in my class. Now that I have picked computer science, I like to address myself as a computer science student. I felt bad whenever biology was used as an escape route just as few Tamil medium students take that as an escape route in English classes.

I admired Sivan sir for the lively way in which he took the class. And two more weeks passed away, Internal exams were about to begin. Now I was feared of performing well in the exams.

Fear of losing makes you win. Fear of winning makes you lose! This was the lesson I learnt during this phase of college life!

Journey will continue...