Monday, March 30, 2009

First signs of change after #iitdeath - New Appointments

Two new appointments have been made to fill in the voids in administration left after last week’s events.

Prof. Souvik Bhattacharya of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has taken up the post of Dean of Student Affairs, while Prof. Gautam Sinha has taken the position of Chairman of B C Roy Technology Hospital.

--Quoting Scholar's Avenue, celebrating 4 years of being IIT Kharagpur's Campus Newspaper

For the uninitiated, students had demanded the resignation of the Director, the Dean of Student Affairs and the Chairman of B.C.Roy Technology Hospital after the unfortunate incident last week, now referred to as Black Sunday.

Both of the newly appointed faculty members are highly respected by the student community at IIT-Kgp as being very dedicated and diligent.

All hopes rest on the future now.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

New & Improved

The God of Small Things, or Shrey-Knows, has seen a makeover of sorts in the past couple of days. Well, not a makeover exactly, but you get the drift, right?

Shrey-Knows now burns its feeds through feedburner, making it much easier to subscribe using popular feed readers. If you're an avid reader of blogs but don't know what's a reader, well... that's kind-of contradictory. You can start with Google Reader, which is simpler to use than you think. You could also subscribe using your iGoogle Homepage. Both these options, along with several others, are available through feedburner.

If you'd rather just be informed when Shrey-Knows updates, you can enter you email address in the Subscribe via Email column on the right to receive an email as soon as I update my Blog, which happens, on an average, 5 times a month, roughly once a week.

I've also added two Google Search Boxes to the Blog - a Web Search box in the left column which is useful when you need to Google while surfing the blog, while a search box exclusively for searching Shrey-Knows can be used from the right column.

A twitter widget has also been added, though its been some time since the microblogger-bug bit me.

Last, but hardly the least, my Google Adsense account was approved recently, which you can see all over the blog I guess. Ads are displayed at four locations on Shrey-Knows, besides feeds and search results (Through the above mentioned search boxes).

A couple of sharing options have been added as well. While you can find links to StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious etc. on the feeds, a tell-a-friend widget, right below the post, can help you share the post using IM, Email, Bookmarking, Blogging and Social Networking options.

So that's about it for now. I hope you do subscribe to the blog now, or atleast add yourself as a follower. Your suggestions/feedback are much welcome.

Oh, and yeah, tonight's Earth Hour (28 March 2009). So wherever you are, just switch off all lights around/near you for 60 minutes from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm (Your Local Time), and join millions around the world as your light switch becomes your vote, for Earth...

Planning to come out with a new post soon.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another victim

Gaurav Tomar is fine now and taking rest at home after getting discharged from Apollo Hospital after 19 long days.
(Find comment by Gaurav confirming the same below.)

New Dean of Student Affairs and Chairman of B.C.Roy Technology Hospital appointed.

I am taking Mr. Gaurav Tomar out of B.C. Roy Technology Hospital on my own risk and the hospital would not be held responsible if anything unfortunate happens to him.’

We were asked to sign this piece of parchment by the BC Roy Officials before we took him to Meerut, his hometown.

I thank God that we signed and took him to Meerut and then to Apollo Hospital, Delhi where he is right now, in ICU, on dialysis struggling for his life.

Many of you may be familiar with the unfortunate incident of Rohit Kumar, but this incident was not one off. There are many more such incidents one of which I am sharing with you.

Gaurav Tomar is a 5th Year Student of Civil Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. He is to receive his B. Tech + M.Tech (Dual) Degree in two months time, and has already been placed in the Indian Registrar of Shipping with a lucrative salary. He has been the Governor of Hindi Technology Dramatics Society, IIT Kharagpur and has also been the Hindi Dramatics Captain of Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence for 2 years.

Two days before Holi he was running fever and admitted himself into BC Roy Hospital, IIT Kharagpur. The attending doctor ran a series of tests on him which included a couple of blood tests, a urine test and was scheduled for an ultrasound. He was put on Glucose as he couldn’t eat anything. We used to visit him daily bringing him stuff to eat which he couldn’t eat. He constantly ran a temperature and complained of severe stomach ache. The doctor used to give him 4 injections everyday of indigestion. We used to ask the doctor what was wrong with him and we used to listen to a new disease every day. According to the well trained and experienced doctors of the hospital Gaurav had Typhoid, Jaundice, Urinary Tract Infection and what not. When asked if they had actually detected Typhoid in his blood tests before giving him its medicines, they replied that it was an educated guess according to his fever patterns. Even after staying in the Hospital for 6 days, taking their medicines, Gaurav’s situation deteriorated.

I remember that on Friday they decided to ultrasound his stomach due to the stomach pain he complained of, but they had to wait till Monday for the test since the Ultrasound Specialist came only on Monday. Even the nurses and compounders used to misbehave with him. Once when he had to go to the toilet he rang the bell for the nurse. When he came he replied angrily that “Tumko toilet tabhi jana hota hai jab hum lete hote hain?” Gaurav had no words. Another time the Nurse came with a new bottle of glucose and saw the old one was still half full. To prevent another visit later she increased the speed of the glucose without the consent of either the doctor or the patient. Isn’t this called playing with the patient’s life?

When Gaurav’s situation worsened to the point when he couldn’t even speak, we talked to the doctor about taking him to a better medical facility where at least he could be diagnosed properly. The Doctor was not willing to do so. He asked for 3 more days of time to diagnose him. Thankfully we didn’t listen to him and signed the above mentioned document. Gaurav was then flown to Meerut. On Sunday, that is the day of Rohit’s demise, we received a call from Gaurav’s mother. She was inconsolable and said that he has been in Apollo Hospital, Delhi ICU for 4 days and had been diagnosed with malignant malaria. Moreover the doctor there said that had he been late by a day, the parasite would have affected the brain and may have cost him his life. He is still in ICU, on dialysis, as the malarial parasite has already affected his kidneys. Right now as I write 5 of my friends are on their way to Delhi to see him.

-- As narrated by Friends and Well-wishers of Gaurav Tomar

Let us all pray for Mr. Gaurav Tomar’s speedy recovery and not let the voice that has risen against B.C.Roy Technology Hospital die down.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Death of an IITian

Update: New Dean of Student Affairs and Chairman of B.C.Roy Technology Hospital appointed at IIT-Kgp.

I'm publishing this from a small cyber-cafe outside the IIT-campus, since the internet/LAN has been completely shut down in the campus, which you can further read why?

Rohit Kumar, a 3rd year undergraduate student of Electrical Engineering at IIT Kharagpur died this morning due to lack of basic medical facilities at B.C. Roy "Hospital", the civic IIT-run hospital responsible for providing healthcare facilities to IIT-Kharagpur campus residents, which includes students, faculty members, staff and other employees.

Rohit complained of a headache on Saturday evening after a basketball match. He visited B.C.Roy Hospital, no confirmation of the occurrence there is available. During the course of the night his condition worsened and the next morning he again visited the hospital with excruciating pain. He was asked to go back after being prescribed painkillers. While going back to his Hostel, he collapsed and hit his head on the cowtrap. He was rushed back to the hospital, where he was told to wait for the Doctor to arrive in "five minutes". After three hours of "five minutes", the Doctor arrived but refused to touch him. He was referred to Apollo Hospital, Kolkata since he required treatment by a neurologist. He was sent in an ambulance also containing, besides the driver, a pharmacist and two of his friends, but no trained paramedic. Considering the profuse bleeding and worsening condition, they decided to go for Medinipur Hospital instead. He was declared 'brought dead' at Medinipur Hospital.

B.C.Roy has had a history of medical negligence, with several serious medical blunders taking place frequently, and any critical case being needed to rushed as far as Kolkata, despite the administration's claim of developing it into a "Multi-speciality medical research centre", whereas, ironically, not a single paisa has been spent in this regard. No other medical facility is available on the 2100 acre campus, while the strength of students and need for medical care is growing multi-fold every year.

Earlier, the campus newspaper, Scholar's Avenue, had been "banned" for 6 months for publishing an investigative report on the sorry state of the hospital.

Outraged students assembled outside the Director's bungalow aiming for a silent protest. However, the Director refused to attend to the students, not ready to acknowledge the problem with IIT-Kgp's medical facilities. In addition to this he was ignorant of the details of the whole incident. This lead to greater outrage and more than 2000 students gheraoed the residence.

Finally making an appearance on the balcony of the residence he expressed his SYMPATHY and appreciated that we had all gathered for the cause but promised no action. It was demanded that he answer the questions put up by the protesting students. He eventually came out with security where he made blunt promises like suspending the doctor and registering a police case against the "CULPRIT" making it evident that he was trying to laugh off the matter. This caused further unrest after which he slunk away into his house. Exasperated students aggressively demanded the director's resignation since the life of every student is his responsibility and he has not addressed to the much obvious problem even after it has been blatantly pointed out to him many a times in open house discussions with students earlier, as recent as one month ago.

What is even more amusing are the loose comments that the authorities repeatedly made - the Deputy Director said "Whats the big deal..."

Rohit's memory will forever remain embedded in our hearts. May his soul rest in peace...

For further info, please visit IIT Kgp's campus newspaper. Also see updates on the health of another victim, Gaurav Tomar, currently in ICU.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The History of Kgp's LAN (Part 2/2)

(Continued from The History of Kgp's LAN (Part 1/2) )

...this kaand brought us and our LAN to national publicity for the first time ever.

The RaviRaj kaand [More popularly referred to as the DPS MMS case outside Kgp]. Kgp became notoriously famous overnight as a giant Hub of unlimited porn. It was an extremely embarrassing situation for every Kgpian. Most of them were at their homes when this news broke out. Everyone was asked by some parent or a nosy aunt or a distant friend, "Raviraj tera dost tha kya ??"

After this huge turmoil, when KGPians returned to college in January, explicit notices were put up everywhere and for a couple of days, DC++ was off too. Even uttering the word 'porn' was serious sacrilege. There was a rumor that someone somewhere is monitoring your computer. It was during this period that vast amounts of 'resources' were destroyed and people had turned into puritans, temporarily of course.

Then after a few days, no one knows how or from where, a term was coined, a term that would become as popular in the KGP lingo as ‘Bhaat’, 'peace' or even 'makhana'. This was the term 'Bhajan'. Slowly with time, people started sharing more bhajans on DC and soon life was happy as ever for the KGPian. This was the time when SERVER™, mkd, Nukem and MrMast ruled the Kingdom of LAN.

Later in this semester came along another craze. Google started Gmail. Gmail was then on a purely invitational basis and it was a privilege to have a Gmail account. It was the first e-mail service to offer 1GB of storage (to store all the junk fwds in the world).

The Google Age:

As soon as people returned from the summers they were introduced to Gtalk which eventually changed the way KGPians chatted with each other. Gtalk was small, fast and people could use it as a phone too. Yahoo messenger was becoming a pain with every passing day. I remember I read a status message on a friend's YM, "Yahoo is History.. My Gtalk ID is ***"

Soon Gtalk became the norm. People started blogging quite often. All the hidden poets and journalists started off with a simple blog.

Soon Orkut and Blogger were integrated with the gmail account and the Kgpian had one password for all.

Nukem, Frosty, Nefilim, nullchar and ReligiousMonk ruled the Kingdom..

The New Age:

KGP's LAN had evolved at a tremendous pace and had reached saturation. Soon the LAN became bigger and better. DC++ had taught people to share more, so much so, that people had bought more hard disks to share stuff on LAN. There was a race to share more stuff on LAN. For the first time the total size shared stuff on DC++ had became more than 1 TB in Spring 2005.Today it has around 15-20 TB of stuff at any point of time.

Yahoo had INFACT become History.

-- Funda by Anish Thanatil on his blog. I take the baton from here.

The Current Age
(2007 - Present day)

The evolution has continued to the present day, and faster than ever. Very soon, people started bringing over external hard disks to increase their share size, which resulted in some of them sharing over 1 TB individually (Yo garrett !!) A minimum sharesize of 8 GB was fixed, and DC++ saw over 50 TB being shared for the first time in Spring 2008, during the inaugral IPL session. The min.sharesize went from 8 GB to 16 GB, to 24 GB as of now. The average total share is around 60-70 TB nowadays, and over 97 TB has been touched, during the last India/NZ T-20 series. DC++ pundits expect to cross the magic figure of 100 TB during the oncoming IPL season.
 ]-[ELLFRAGGER, Garrett, ak_rulz and THE_DON are emperors of the LAN. DC++ also got its first ever female "VIP" recently.

LAN has started showing new colours, with useful stuff like eBooks, video lectures, good documentaries, funda files etc. So now we have LAN for the froost, LAN for the maggu, LAN for the nerd, LAN for the geek, LAN for the dude, and for pretty much everyone there is... If it exists, it's there on DC++.

Streaming TV from the common room is quite popular nowadays, with everyone enjoying the broadcast in their rooms. Even during key cricket matches, the common rooms can be seen empty except for the occasional fachcha waiting for his lappy to arrive. The number of TV series available and watched has exploded as well, which now include, besides Friends; How I Met Your Mother, Roadies, Prison break, The Big Bang Theory, Boston Legal, Coupling, Heroes, 24, Two-and-half Men, House, 8-Simple-Ways... etc. to name a few. Anim├ęs, and other cartoon series (I have surely managed to offend some people by comparing Animes to cartoons) are largely popular as well, with Naruto and Dragonball Z being the favorites, though I wonder why. A HUGE number of movies, from Mackenna's Gold to Mithun's Gunda, are available and watched with fervour.

A very recent development would be the new campus "radio", kNUTS, started by a handful of enthusiasts, which is streamed using an internal proxy, and slowly gaining listnership.

CS still remains the most popular timepass (Again, some people may be offended by me calling it a timepass), while AOE, NFS and FIFA are popular as well. Gaming freaks have come up with their own battle grounds by forming Cyber Leagues to find out the most HuHaa player of all.

Blackberries, iPhones, iPods have begun showing up (and disappearing as well)!!

Orkut looks ready to give way to facebook as the ultimate social networking website. Yahoo is completely out of the picture now, with most fests and societies switching over to Google Groups. Blogging is the rage, with more and more Kgpians joining the Blogosphere every day. Even fests and societies are realizing the importance of Blogs and consequently, of Bloggers, with some of them outsourcing the Chronicler's job to makeshift "Official" bloggers. Some students even maintain 2 or more blogs, and some go in for niche subjects like litt, tech, quizzing, art etc. Microblogging is also catching up, though most people wouldn't know what I'm talking about unless I actually mention twitter.

And how can I close on DC++ without mentioning the part everyone loves to hate, the MainChat. It is used as a platform to express opinions and vent frustaapa, while maintaining anonimity under nicks like toofan and jaanam_samjha_karo. I would have loved mentioning some of the topics discussed, but this is a family blog afterall... :)

The response to my previous entry has been overwhelming, and I've been flooded with "eagerly awaiting the next post..." messages, which goes on to show the kind-of "sento" people have for their beloved LAN. Recent rumours about the insti "taking control" of the LAN have especially heightened the sentiment. One only needs to read the History of Kgp's LAN once, all that it has went through in so few years, yet only growing stronger, to realize that it has become something more than just a network, something bigger than all of us, cause afterall, HiT Hi FiT Hai!! For us, it is as much of a "symbol" of the insti, as the insti tower or its Halls, the difference being that these remain static don't grow with time. We shall come and go, and LAN will continue to evolve and influence the lives of whole generations of Kgpians.

Yo Kgp... Yo LAN!!!

If you liked the posts, please don't forget to leave a comment. Kgpians could, as well, discuss the post on Mainchat... :)


Friday, March 20, 2009

The History of Kgp's LAN (Part 1/2)

Dedicated to the spirit of IIT-Kgp, and it's LAN...

Ask any Kgpian you may know, about the significance of LAN in his/her life... maggu or non-maggu, gult or non-gult, dude or non-dude, bong or non-bong, juice or non-juice, fresher or senior (or even super senior for that matter), batti or ghaasi, chhagi or nehli, makhau or studd, Patelian or RKite... no one, absolutely no one can deny that their lives would have been very different if not for LAN.

If you don't believe me, read on...

[Reproduced from a post written two years ago by Anish Thanatil. Some of the stuff is no longer applicable, but has been left unaltered for the sake of nostalgia.]

The STD Age

Very few people had computers at this time. The trend was to rent a CD/video from tech market for Rs.10 and watch it in the TV room. Most people used to go to STD booths on a weekly basis to talk to their families or on daily basis if you had more than just family to talk to! ;)

The hostel phone was always a zone of activity. There would be guys making fun of the others talking to their bandis on the phone, or the guy on the phone asking the other fellow to hush-up the swear words because his mom could hear him. I even remember people running to the phone booths when they heard they got a call from an IIM.

It was around the mid-semesters of Spring 2002 that everything in KGP was about to change. HCL had provided the students with the subsidized computers. Obviously, the guys screwed up their mid-sems. Then by end-semesters of Spring 2002, the institute provided them with an amazing gift of LAN. They screwed up their end-sems too.

The Shareaza Age

By the time we entered KGP (after summer), LAN was being used to its fullest. Shareaza was the most popular software then. It allowed multiple user download and even then getting 1MBps was considered good. There was no share limit and people didn’t bother to share. Sharescan was another popular choice. But even then, KGP was still wasting most of its time playing cards (LAN was going to kill that soon).

Yahoo Messenger was the favourite IM amongst the masses, while Yahoo/Rediff/Indiatimes/Sify were the most used email services.

SERVER™ hosted the only CounterStrike server in the insti and it was rampantly popular.

A prized few had Cell phones. Only Reliance and BSNL were there to offer service. Reliance was costly and to get BSNL you would either have to wait for long or you needed to have the correct contacts in the BSNL office.

The Yahoo Age:

Yahoo messenger was the backbone of communication in Kharagpur (Most SF and Kshitij work is still done using YahooGroups). The LAN did not have any Latest™ Offliner and Friends and Seinfeld were the funniest shows available. TV rooms were reserved for Cricket matches only. There is a Murphy’s Law associated with things on LAN – “All good things on LAN come during the mid-sems or the end-sems.”

During the mid-sems of Spring 2004, a new trend came up - SKYPE. But Skype did not have the mettle to dislodge Yahoo from its top position. Yahoo was so popular that people had two yahoo accounts because you could have only 100 friends on one account. I even know someone from my Hall who got married to his chat friend from abroad. Can You Beat That!! [ Trying my best :)   --Shrey]

This was the last year Kgp has Direct Connection.

For a few days in the Spring Sem, TV was aired on the LAN using the TV-Tuner card. Various channels including the Saas-Bahu mega-thrillers were popular. (I remember watching the Oscars Live on my comp that year.) It was soon stopped when the people realized that it was eating too much bandwidth and moreover, it was illegal. :P

By the end of Spring 2004, something came up that would become an integral part of a KGPians life… ORKUT.

The best part about Orkut was (is) that it gave the guys something they badly needed – Hope. With Orkut spreading fast every KGPian had only one bubble floating over his head, “I never knew there were so many good girls out there.”

The DC++ Age:

ORKUT grew to its full potential in the autumn of 2005. [The cynic in me refused to believe that Orkut could be of absolutely any use, and it wasn’t until 2 years later that I joined Orkut]

I remember I was spending my second yr summers at home when Hazro told me about the 'In-Thing' in Kgp. It was called DC++. Even today I don’t know what DC stands for, but the first time I heard about it I didn’t care at all because there was a 5 GB share limit which I wasn’t very happy to comply with and people were using both Shareaza and DC simultaneously. Pretty soon everyone shifted to DC and. Soon after that there was a Latest™ [and the sub-sections in latest were introduced soon after]. Unlike Shareaza, you could get kicked from DC for any reason. DC was controlled by the admin, who would be one of the quietest fellows in the real world but a real cat on DC.

When I was spending my December vacations of the third year at home someone from Kgp told me that Kgp was embroiled in some big-time controversy. It was this kaand that brought us and our LAN to national publicity for the first time ever.

Continued >> The History of Kgp's LAN (Part 2/2)


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Slumdog... effect

What must have inspired Rafael, an Israeli Arms firm, to come up with this:

This, uh... advertisement, was "released" at the recently held Aero-India 2009 in Bangalore. It seems the leading man here, representing the defence company, is trying to woo the Indian (or Russian?) dancers, who then probably represent the country's defence forces. So the Indian Military is like the helpless womenfolk who need(s) to "feel safe and sheltered". Let's see what Rafael gets out of all this.

So we have a Bollywood-esque video featuring bare-midriff girls, flower-draped missiles, and the catch phrase "dinga dinga dee"... Now which recent Oscar-winning (don't ask me how!) British film does this song remind me of?