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 Some of the stuff is no longer applicable, but has been left unaltered for the sake of nostalgia.]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)