September 2007

On 26 September 2007, a Sun workshop was organised by the Sun Club of TCE. I alongwith a few second year friends from my department attended the daylong workshop. Third years from CSE and IT departments also attended the workshop in which seminars/demo/lectures were given by final year CSE students.

First we started with Grid computing and Sun Grid Engine which was presented by Shridhar. Then Balachandran and Nachiappan presented DTrace and DScripts with demos. After this session we had a teabreak and when we returned, we had a session on NetBeans IDE for developing J2EE applications presented by Narayanan.Subramanian and Pradeep with valuable inputs from Agalya. But I found this session very vague and laborious as I was not familiar with enterprise applications and advanced Java programming.

Then we had a session in the evening, during which Krithika presented Zones in Solaris OS which was a novel and a great technology. Then we continued with NetBeans and EE applications, In the end, Subramaniam presented a small demo on J2ME programming using NetBeans which was really cool. In the end we were presented with Belenix cds and Sun pens as souvenirs. Then we left with the satisfaction of attended a great workshop.

(All the persons named in this post are my seniors doing their final years and my due respect to them. Apologies for not suffixing akkas and annas as doing it is laborious.)

Here is the link to the photographs taken during the workshop by Krithika.Photo Gallery

India vs Pakistan Twenty20 World Cup final was the unexpected thing to happen in the T20 World Cup. Both sides had very little experience in this shortest form of cricket and had crashed out of this year’s ODI World Cup in the very first round. But what an excellent cricket these teams have played to reach this far. A millions of applauses!

In the final, India won the toss and as expected, chose to bat first. Their innings was sedate as they kept losing wickets regularly. Gautam Gambhir held one end up and scored his 3rd consecutive 50 of the tournament.In the process, he became the second highest run-getter in the tournament. Towards the end, young Rohit Sharma’s pyrotechnics ensured that India reached 157, a total they had fighting chance to defend.

Pakistan’s chase began with fireworks from Imran Nazir but wickets were lost regularly at the other end. When Imran Nazir was run-out by Robin Uthappa the match was starting to tilt in India’s favour. Shahid Afridi lasted a ball and departed with score at 77 of 11.2 overs. At this point, Indians believed that they had the game in their hands as the asking rate was climbing steeply.But Misbah-ul-Haq, the man in form combined with Sohail Tanveer to clobber 5 sixes in two overs bowled by Harbhajan and Sreesanth to reduce the asking rate drastically. Indians then fought back by dismissing 9 Pakistani batsman for 141.Pakistan needed 13 runs off the last over with the dangerman Misbah on strike.

Dhoni, surprisingly again, chose to bowl the previous match hero Joginder Sharma instead of the experienced Harbhajan. When he started with a wide, Indian fans groaned, and the situation became even more desperate when Misbah pummelled a full toss miles over long-off for six. But with victory in his grasp, his judgement failed him. Moving across his stumps, he went for the scoop down to fine leg. He didn’t connect cleanly, and millions on the subcontinent held their breath as Sreesanth came under the ball at short fine leg. When he held it, the stadium erupted. India had won the T20 World Cup and the world was at their feet. Misbah, meanwhile, collapsed to the ground ruing his judgement to play the scoop shot over fine leg.

Poor Misbah-ul-Haq found himself facing the fire once again in an India-Pakistan match. Like their last encounter, he kept Pakistan in the match by playing intelligently and picking the right balls to hit. A huge six in the last over, which started with Pakistan needing 13, seemed to swing the match decisively in their favour. Then, with only one wicket in hand and fine leg in the circle, Misbah went for that scoop which, not for the first time, ended in tears for the batsman. Sreesanth would have never taken a more important catch in his life. But for Misbah, who has been Pakistan’s surprise star of the tournament, it will take some forgetting!

Indians did a victory lap in the stadium with the Indian flag and there was absolute euphoria all around.The noise was deafening in a packed stadium and even though the Indians outnumbered the Pakistanis by some distance, the shouting match was almost even. The battle cry was similar: every Jeetega bhai Jeetega, India Jeetega (roughly translated to “Brother, India will win) was followed by Jeetega bhai Jeetega, Pakistan Jeetega. But the man who almost stole the applause from the cricketers was Shah Rukh Khan, the Indian film superstar equally adored in Pakistan. Shah Rukh, a self-confessed cricket fan, recently starred as a hockey coach in the hit film Chak De India. He was last seen on a cricket ground in England during the Indian tour, and was now seen standing next to Lalit Modi, the BCCI vice-president, deliriously cheering every Pakistani wicket. When his face was flashed on the giant screen, the crowd went even more delirious.

Irfan Pathan won a deserving Man-of-the-match award while Shahid Afridi was named the Player-of-the-tourament. Lets hope that this great Indian victory spurs a new revolution in the Indian cricket and the Indian team become a group of world-beaters. Chak diya India!!misbahscoop.jpgvictory.jpgt20trophy.jpgchamps.jpg

Fresh from the Yuvraj blitzkrieg against England, India faced a must-win game against South Africa to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup semifinals. India scored 153 in their 20 overs despite some early setbacks. The star of the Indian innings was the promising debutant Rohit Sharma who scored a magnificent 50 under pressure. South Africa were never in the chase, losing too many wickets for too few runs. R.P.Singh was the bowling hero picking up 4 wickets for 16 only! Dinesh Karthik took a stunning catch to dismiss Graeme Smith. South Africa batted so badly that they couldn’t even make the 126 needed to qualify for the finals.Pity that with their first loss, they’re out of the tournament while Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand and India with one or more losses made it to the semis. Poor South Africa keep finding ways to exit a major tournament!

The semifinal against Australia was supposed to be a humdinger and it lived up to the billing. Yuvraj once again was the star, scoring 70 priceless runs in just 30 Australian deliveries continuing his six-hitting spree. India scored 189 runs in their innings.

Australia began their chase earnestly, scoring runs at a rapid pace before Gilchrist played all over a Sreesanth inswinger and had his stump uprooted. Brad Hodge scored some valuable runs with Hayden before he was out. In came Andrew Symonds and both the batsmen started hitting the balls out of the ground almost every ball that the asking rate dropped to 7 an over and an Australian victory was on cards But Sreesanth, returning to complete his quotam had other ideas. He uprooted Hayden’s stump and Pathan cleaned up Symonds. Indians had a chance to win the game. Australia required 30 off the last 3 overs with Clarke on strike.Harbhajan yorked his leg stump and the asking rate was climbing fast. Harbhajan bowled a splendid over and RP Singh bowled a great penultimate over conceding virtually nothing. One over and 22 runs required. Dhoni turned to his most expensive and inexperienced bowler Joginder Sharma. A few eyebrows were raised but Joginder bowled a good over and got the wicket of ‘Mr.Cricket’ Hussey and the World Champions over knocked out. This memorable Indian victory set up a most unlikely and most exciting final between India and Pakistan. Winning is the way to go!

India vs. England Super8 match in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup was very important to India’s fortunes as it was a do-or-die match for the Indians. Indians batted first and Sehwag and Gambhir gave a splendid opening start of over 100. But even after that a score of 180 was unlikely and inadequate as well. After the opening pair, wickets fell regularly and India would’ve been extremely lucky to scrape past 180.But came the penultimate over-the 19th where Stuart Broad was to bowl to Yuvraj Singh who had just arrived at the crease. Yuvraj had been a flop in the tournament falling very cheaply in both the matches played. But after bowling the last ball of the previous over, Andrew Flintoff had provoked Yuvraj with his words and Yuvraj too retaliated before the umpire responded.

Yuvraj played the innings of his life hitting 6 sixes in the next over bowled by Stuart Broad and raced to his 50 in 12 balls-the fastest ever 50 in the history of Cricket. It was vintage hitting and poor Stuart Broad could only watch as Yuvraj’s hits cleared the ropes with absolute ease and after 5 hits, everyone was hoping that he’d make it 6 in a row and when it happened, everyone watching the match went out of breath and applauded Yuvraj wholeheartedly. It was a magnificent batting from this very talented and special cricketer. As a result, India cleared 200 with ease and reached 218. In the end, India defeated England by 18 runs to keep their semifinal hopes alive. The next match against South Africa would also be a must-win game.

Earlier in this summer, Dmitri Mascarenhas of England had clobbered five consecutive sixes in a Yuvraj over of innocuous slow leftarm. What a stage Yuvraj picked to pay back!!It was awesome and Mascarenhas could only watch the ball sail over the fence repeatedly and applauded. Kudos to Yuvraj for his blitzkrieg and a befitting reply to England. Go Yuvi go!!!I luv you so much! 🙂

I go to Azkaban once a week and very surprisingly it is in my college and that too in my department buliding! Everytime on the day i have to go there i go crazy. I’ll have loads of work to do, but can’t do it. Can’t do anything as planned,can’t take leave, can’t have lunch at mess, can’t do anything worthwhile after coming from Azkaban. I can’t even prepare for going there. 🙁

Ok, enough of unnecessary hype. The Microprocessor lab where I go for my Digital Systems lab is the place under questions. There are loads of hidden dementors and a few visible ones in the form of my batchmates, who suck out all the energy, happiness and hope inside me and I’d end up feeling empty.

There are non-living dementors too-the ICs, trainer kit and the bread board, which could’ve performed the Dementor’s kiss on me instead of leaving me in such a traumatic state so often. Whatever experiment is to be done will never happen correctly as if its destiny’s wish. Everyone else would seem to be having patronuses to protect them. They finish all the experiments in a jiffy when my batch couldn’t do it for weeks together.Our group would almost often stand out as the only one, which didn’t finish the scheduled experiment(s).

Even if everything goes well, the circuit is connected perfectly and there are adequate wires, the output would never come for eternity for God-knows-why. The materials and apparatus of all the other batches would seem to be working immaculately. But when we take theirs and try to do something, our Midas touch(??) would make sure that nothing would work. We would dismantle everything and reconstruct the circuit again with a vigour and hope but worse would befall us. The hope, the energy and the enthusiasm would vaporise and it wouldn’t take long to give up.

A couple of good-for-nothing guys in my batch who don’t help a bit but still disturb by talking too much of themselves would add to the misery.The hollow gloating would irritate me like anything. They would also never miss opportunities to make rude comments about others-girls particularly or to film some offensive stuff using their mobile cameras. Gits!!!

With everything against the completion of experiments and such wonderful 🙁 batchmates, often we’ll end up lagging behind by a mile. At times we shamelessly borrow the circuit from the other batches to show the output to the lab sir or even get it signed by a sir who wouldn’t even come near our bench but still would gladly sign our lab observation notebooks.

I don’t know where this will end. With such practice, I doubt if I could clear my semester practical exam. I’m worried about it because i’m in a no man’s land without a bit of my fault.

Today, a soul-wrenching experience hit me. A classmate, a silent and a non-violent one, took a seminar on a very vague topic and subject. He couldn’t even spell common words correctly and all he did in the name of seminar was to read from the book-very poor at it, which was not a problem as Sir was not present in the class and there was a stopgap sir.Neither do I degrade that poor chap, nor blame him. All that I could do was to regret his condition and lament about our education system of which he is a very routine product. 🙁

Our education system emphasises more on marks and knowledge is of zero value. As a result everyone including the teachers, students, their parents and tuition centres become mark-crazy and kill the capacity in a student to learn.

That a 2nd year student in a very reputed institution and highly-valued course can’t even spell a few basic words or read a few sentences continuously and properly is a shame to everyone of us.

He may have got into the college and the course due to his marks earned by rote memory or by the evil reservation. I’m not against reservation but the purpose it is being used these days is evil. It neither helps the students benefiting out of it, nor the other meritorious students who are victims of reservation.

The purpose of reservation is to empower educationally backward people, but even after gaining out of reservation, they make zilch progress. The better idea would have been to raise the educational standards of such people instead of pampering them with reservation and making sure they never learn or rise in their lives. 🙁 .

The political parties have gone overboard with reservation and are over-killing the vote-earning cow. The reservation in Tamil Nadu has exceeded the Constitutional/Supreme Court’s limit of 50%. They’re even contemplating on Religion-based reservation which is unsecular and unIndian.People of many castes want their castes to be included in the Backward classes and even fight and indulge in violence with people of other castes which disturbs the harmony of India.

When will this injustice end? Even God may not know. But it is a pity that such people who benefit from reservation suffer more, failing miserably in the higher levels of education and life. I pray to the Al(l)mighty!

“Early to bed and early to rise” is an oft-quoted virtue but very difficult to follow in the hectic paced life of today. Having a sufficient daily sleep is very essential for everyone to be sane and fresh as well. Sleeping and waking up at odd hours affects the body’s biological clock and as a result you still fall into sleep during odd times-most often in the classroom, when the lecturer’s words seem to be a lullaby.

I used to have atleast the “Early to bed” virtue, but now being a hostel resident and with the hectic life I lead, I’ve shamelessly lost the good habit.

Getting up early in the morning gives more benefits than sleeping beyond the alarm ringing in vain. The day and the activities to be done can be planned and implemented leisurely rather than indulging in bad habits like skipping bath as a result of getting up late. 🙁

Getting up early without adequate sleep can lead to sleepiness in the daytime, so its very essential to have a good sleep which i’m in dire need of daily. Getting up late leads to shortage of time, hurry and unwanted stress which my body and mind cannot afford. It also often makes me irregular!!??!!!(As if I’m regular otherwise!). 🙂 . So “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is not only a virtue to be read, it is to be preached and followed. I hope to be healthy, wealthy and wise! 🙂

Today we celebrated Software Freedom Day in our college. We had a talk on FOSS and GNU/Linux by Mr.Praveen Krishnamoorthy, a FOSS enthusiast and a distinguished alumnus of our college. There was also a demonstration on the installation of Ubuntu Linux by Mahesh of 3rd year and the features of Ubuntu were demonstrated by Mr.Subramani, another alumnus, who along with Mr.Senthil, answered the queries of the audience. We had a T-Shirt designed for this year’s FStival and almost all of the guys involved, wore it.

Then a lot of students from schools in Madurai and the students from the other department visited the halls in the CSE department where there were demo stalls on various GNU/Linux tools. I, alongwith Venkatachalam and Raju, hosted a stall on LaTeX, a powerful typesetting language. It was fun demoing stalls to the visitors. The other stalls were GIMP by J.Aravind, Krishnakumar, Content Management System by K.Manikandan, Vi by S.Anugraha and co., Blender by Deepika and co., Emacs by M.P.Aravinth and co., and so on. The demo stalls were open for about 2 1/2 hours and then we closed them. My only regret was that I couldn’t visit other stalls.I visited the Blender stall i the midst of an explantion and it was very attractive to me as I was already very much interested in 3d animation and 3Ds max.Even when Blessings came to near my stall, it was about to be closed and I was explaining seriously to seniors visiting my stall and when I was done with it, Blessings was nowhere to be found there.

When I went to the Microprocessor Lab, Blessings and co., had closed their stall and were leaving. All the other stalls i visited thereafter were closed and I was a bit disappointed as I had thought that the stalls would’ve been open till evening.

Then we brought back all the computers to the PP lab and connected them. Then we had a photo session with Senthil anna, Bala anna and Ravishankar anna shooting pics with their camera. Then we walked our way out of the college, as a group with a lot of cheerful talking. Today has been an unforgettable day in my life.

The Twenty20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was a spinechiller. Right from the first few overs where Mohammad Asif rocked the Indian batting lineup with extraordinary swing and seam bowling, Robin Uthappa’s cool and clinical hitting, Irfan Pathan’s cameo and Dhoni’s composed innings, it had all the unique flavours of an India-Pakistan cricket match.

Pakistan had to achieve the target in about 15 overs to knockout India, who had shared their first match with Scotland, who lost to Pakistan earlier, due to rain. If they took more than 15 overs, India would be through to the Super8 round alongwith Pakistan.

But a target of 142 is moderate in Twenty20 game and that too against a Pakistani side with a great batting depth and many fearsome hitters like Shahid Afridi. The Pakistani start was cautious and steady. There was never a doubt that, if they batted the full 20 overs, they’d win. A couple of wickets put a brake on the scoring rate and Irfan Pathan,making his comeback, bowled dream over-a wicket maiden,a rarity in Twenty20 cricket. There was a run-out in the first ball of the over due to mixup and excellent fielding by none other than Yuvraj Singh. A couple of balls later, Pakistan received a huge jolt when Younis Khan chopped an Irfan Pathan inswinger onto the stumps. The hostel theatre, where I was watching the match was erupting into joyous shouting and I enjoyed being a part of it. A short while back, there was total silence and a grim mood in the theatre, when India lost too many wickets too cheaply. There were cheers only when Uthappa, Dhoni and Pathan hit glorious shots. Now with Pakistan wickets falling, there was everything to shout out in joy. When it became clear that Pakistan could notwin in 15 overs, India could not be knocked out and everyone was happy that India had made it to the Super8 avoiding a repeat of this year’s World Cup in the West Indies. But still there was a match and pride to be won. India had never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match.

The required run-rate was mounting steeply and “Boom Boom” Shahid Afridi arrived at the crease with about 50 runs required in 30 balls. Harbhajan Singh, who has had nightmares against Afridi, bowled two excellent overs without conceding boundaries. To add to the drama, Ajit Agarkar dropped a skier from Afridi off his own bowling. There was a feeling that he could’ve dropped the match. But Harbhajan snared Afridi in the next over and I was rooting for an Indian victory as the asking rate was more than two runs per ball.

But, to add to the heat, Ajit Agarkar bowled a “characteristic” over giving away 17 priceless runs and Pakistani batsmen made the most of it. Misbah-ul-Haq, a fresher in the Pakistani team benefited out of Agarkar’s generosity. 12 runs were required off the last over to be bowled by Sreesanth. First three balls read 4,1,1. 5 runs of 3 balls and it was anybody’s game. India had to block out the chances of conceding a boundary, as a boundary would be GAME OVER. But Misbah-ul-Haq squeezed out a boundary and the scores were tied. Just 1 run was required off 2 balls and a Pakistani victory was certain. After long consultations with his captain Dhoni and a few field changes, Sreesanth bowled a short ball angling across the righthander and no runs were scored. One ball to go, but still Pakistan’s victory was almost certain. But India and Sreesanth had other ideas. All the fielders were brought inside the 30yard circle to save a single. Sreesanth bowled a similar angling short ball and Misbah-ul-Haq hit it in the direction of the cover and set off for a single. Robin Uthappa picked up the ball, threw it to Sreesanth who dislodged the bails with Misbah-ul-Haq short of his crease and the match was tied. Indian players were overjoyed and everyone watching the match in the theatre.

There was to be a bowl-out to decide the winner. The bowl-out was Twenty20 cricket’s equivalent of a penalty shootout. India had nominated Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth for the shootout, while Pakistan’s nominees were Asif, Gul, Afridi, Sohail Tanveer. Sehwag, Harbhajan and Uthappa hit the bull’s eye for India while Arafat, Gul and Afridi all missed and it was an Indian victory.

What was remarkable was the way India fought back after being reduced to tatters by Asif and when the match seemed lost when Misbah-ul-Haq hit his second boundary off the last over. Their fielding was excellent and their body language was equally good. Pakistan too fought back very well when the chips were down and almost won the match before India spoiled their party.

This match was an excellent advertisement for the much-debated Twenty20 with wildly swinging fortunes and an equal contest between bat and ball, which happens very rarely in Twenty20 cricket. I was privileged to watch such a match and enjoyed every bit of it. Three cheers for Indian cricket team for showing immense mental strength and holding their nerves to win a great match of Twenty20. Good luck to India and Pakistan for their Super8 matches.