Addicted to AOE once again

THE time when I say Microsoft rocks is when I play Age of Empires 2 with my friends on LAN. For the third time, I am addicted to Age of Empires. What a game!!! A brief overview of my addictions.

First Time : Sem 1 and 2

Before coming to IIIT, I never played Age of Empires. When I saw people playing AOE here in first sem, my first reaction was “What a crap game? How can you play a game like this? A lot of people/resources to manage and blah blah..”. I used to play all race games because of ease of playing. Just concentrate on your car and done!!

As a lot of people used to play this game all the time, I couldn’t stop myself from giving it a shot. But I didn’t know how to play. One fine day Ankush was playing AOE on his PC. I took a chair and just observed what he was doing. Then the other day he taught me few more steps and tips-tricks. And then started my gaming carrier with AOE. The next day I missed my English Literature (the first English class I missed) class because I was playing AOE.

And then I never looked back and played it for several hours a day. We started playing it on LAN by the beginning of the 2nd semester. We got a bit too serious about the game and managed to miss/bunk a lot of lectures just to play the god damn game. Workspace used to sound like a fish market “Ghode bhej … archer bhej … hathi bhej … gold de bhai plz … ek castle to bana de … “. Some people used to beg for the PCs to play. Luckily I had full control over my machine. There was a time when 3-4 games (with 8 players each) used to run at the same time in workspace.

We used to write mid sems in less than 40 minutes because we used to have plans for a game after the exam. And if we have 2 exams on the same day, an AOE game is sure between the two 😀

The extreme was when I started playing AOE even in my dreams. After end sems, everybody left for home. In the 3rd sem, I bought a desktop(which can’t be moved) and we didn’t get any lab and hence they killed my AOE carrier and hence the interaction among people. I loved the workspace life. I think I’ll never forget that holy place.

Second Time : Summer of 2007

A lot of friends opted to stay back in college during vacations. I was in BIRC (in main building) at that time. UG2 lab (beside server room) used to be full all the time with would be UG2 and UG3 students. Counter Strike and AOE all the time. Somani, Sachin, Ankush, Ojasvi used to play AOE a lot. I was a bit senti about Open Source and was busy exploring things. We used to discuss the good old time we had in workspace. And one day we planned an AOE game. I was damn excited. It was almost a year since I played AOE. I was wondering if I would be able to perform.

Then started another series of online games. Playing AOE. Night outs etc. I remember writing a post about the exciting summer 2007 dedicated to AOE. One day this guy Hitesh, from UG2K6 came down to UG2 lab. People say he is damn good at playing AOE. We wanted to give it a try and thought of playing with him. The game was FIVE VERSUS ONE :O Hitesh Vs. five UG2K5 guyz. Sounds unfair?? We discussed a lot of strategies to beat him. And then started the game. He very easily erased all of us from the map. I was like WTF!!! Somani was way depressed. Probably he was just a kid at the time. We tried a lot of strategies but couldn’t manage to defeat HITESH.

Well, we never played against him after that. Somani tried a lot even after that but in vain. We switched back to UG3 only mode 😛 And played AOE for another 2 months or so. Vacations over, Game Over!!!

Third Time : Sem 7

Sachin, Atul, Sanket, Akshay, Manish “Sharma”, Ojasvi started playing AOE again since a fortnight or so. On lunch or dinner table, you can see them discussing night outs and AOE strategies. I didn’t pay attention to it. Four days back, I went to Sachin’s room and all of them were planning the next game. I wonder who and why said “Kulbir tu bhi khel na…”. I said “no no no no na .. nahin yaar ..”. I was afraid of getting addicted. But they kept forcing me and I agreed thinking that I’ll play tonight and will never think about it again. I played that night and played quite well.

Next night at about 1AM, I pinged all of them (why ?? :(( ) for playing. Everyone refused. But I was feeling restless. I couldn’t control myself anymore. After almost half an hour later, I got up and went to Sachin’s room and urged to play AOE. He and manish agreed for playing. Now I needed a laptop. I rushed to Atul’s room. He was sleeping. I woke him up and asked if he wants to play. He said, “NO!”. I said, “Gimme the damn laptop if you are not playing!!”. He gave it a second thought and immediately got ready for playing. Oh man!! Again the laptop problem.  I managed to get the laptop (thanks alok). We played up to 4:30AM. I felt a bit relaxed.

Yesterday night, everyone again got ready for playing. We five (sachin, me, manish, atul, akshay) were setting up to start the game that this guy Hitesh appeared. He wanted to play. I was a bit scared. But we decided to play. This time Five vs Two. Hitesh and one more UG2K6 guy and we five. The game started as usual. Me and manish was tower attacked by Hitesh. We had to run for survival. The game went on for almost 2.5 hours. A really hectic game. He was sweeping all my areas and I kept running. At the end we won!! Yes, we won!!!! OMG! The joy of winning the game against that guy can’t be expressed in writing. Then sanket appeared and said that he wants to play. Now it was five vs. three. Sanket, Hitesh and one more UG2K6 guy and we five. The match was pretty easy this time and we won without any difficulties. Sanket made it easier for us 😛 Just kidding. We thought of playing another match. And yes we played it. And that was the easiest match. We won for the three consecutive times.

It was 7:30AM. Breakfast. Sleep 😀

I don’t know whats going to happen today. I am too tired.

PS1 : Ranta is back, probably to complete his B.Tech.

PS2 : Writing long posts these days.

PS3 : I am lost somewhere. I don’t know what I do all the time. At the end of day, I feel sad 🙁


A trip to Micro$oft Hyderabad campus

I hope you guyz know that Randeep Singh Banga ( my batchmate and a very good friend ) is interning at Micro$oft IDC, Hyderabad. Today, he offered all of us a visit to Micro$oft campus. I felt a bit hesitated at first, but then I thought its a good idea to go out and have fun with friends. We ( me, banga, mahaveer, deepak, kapil, sambhav) reached the campus at around 7:00PM. A lot of IIITians (visitors) were already there. I was wondering if its M$’s India Development Center or a picnic spot for IIITians 😛

Anyway after having bit of cool drinks, we started exploring the campus. The place is good. We enjoyed pool for sometime. It was the first time I played pool. In fact all of us played pool for the first time 🙂 We played really bad but its ok when everyone is equally bad 😛 Then we headed over to checkout banga’s cabin. Had more cool drinks and hot coffee. I managed to have a look at some server farms at that place. The glowing LEDs were just more than fascinating.

Then we moved on to the new building where we enjoyed foosball, table tennis. And finally the food. The food was good but limited 🙁 After having food, we had some more caffiene and cool drinks. And finally the pool for another one hour.

It was really an enjoyable trip. A lot of free cool drinks, caffiene and games. I realized that how much does it cost a company like M$ or Google to keep their employees with them.

PS1 : I am not infected. It was just a trip.

PS2 : Thanks Banga for being a wonderful guide 🙂


Live and Let Live

Long time no see!!! Well, I was really busy learning some new things and managing my new desktopS. Yes desktops. You read it right. Next post is going to be on my two desktops. Ok. Now I’ll concentrate on the motive of writing this post.

Three years ago, I joined IIIT with a blank mind in Computer Science. Me and few others tried to excell in using/managing/hacking/cracking/breaking computers while others tried to do their best in academics. Sounds good. By burning midnight oil almost everyday since the very first semester, I learnt a bit of tricks to fix certain hardware/software problems. People used to ask me to fix problems for them related to all this stuff. Back then it was fun and I really liked helping others. Be it a windows or a linux problem, if I knew the crack, I never denied someone asking for help.

But as time passed, more and more people started coming with more problems. Even hardware problems. And the traffic was highest in the beginning of the third semester when almost everyone bought a laptop in my batch and making wifi work in linux at that point of time was a bit tricky. Even then I never mind because I didn’t have any commitments to work on back then. I was free all the time and loved to help people.

I think I can say that buying a cellphone just with the intention that I would be in contact with my family was the biggest mistake of my life at IIIT. I have 3 freaking projects to work on and people don’t let me concentrate on them. If I don’t reply to mails or IMs, they shamelessly start calling me. I mean wtf, at times I may be trying to get the hang of something really important related to my work and the FUCKING call damages all the spirit. It still looks somewhat justified when someone asks me about some problem related to Linux. Dudes are coming with problems related to Windows Vista. I never used the fucking OS. I HATE WINDOWS. I hope you can feel the heat and my concern regarding my commitments.

Please for god sake don’t ask me for help at least related to windows. Though I would love to help you fixing any problem with your Linux system, but sometime I may be busy with other things that are more important to me. If I don’t reply to your mail or IM, please for God sake don’t call!!! And moreover, if you want to call, please don’t call between 08:00AM – 05:00PM and let me sleep peacefully. Its a request.


My new ViewSonic VG1930WM 19″ WideScreen LCD monitor

Finally after stumbling for almost 2 months, I have got my brand new ViewSonic VG1930WM 19″ WideScreen LCD monitor. I gathered the money almost 2 – 3 months ago, but was not able to decide which monitor should be purchased. For last two months, I stumbled on Samsung SyncMaster 940NW which was a bit costlier for the features, AOC 199S which was also costlier, ViewSonic VG1930WM which provided the same features, but the price was a bit attractive. I browsed through enormous monitor reviews, huge price lists on the internet and what not. Then in the beginning of this month when I was about to go to buy the monitor, I was told that the Paradise market remains closed on Sundays. Then, we have hectic schedule throughout the week, so could not go. Then these hyderabad serial blasts went off, again a hurdle.

Finally, today ignoring everything else, we, me and ajay somani went to paradise computer market. I got my ViewSonic and ajay bought a Seagate Sata II 500GB external hard disk with Seagate casing. I bought the monitor for Rs. 10200/- and ajay bought the HDD for Rs. 8700/- .

The monitor is really wide and its looks are just awesome. I can’t express my happiness and monitor’s beauty in words. The monitor support a 1440×900 resolution and has a fantastic response time of 5ms. It also has the inbuilt speakers. The complete technical specs of the monitor is here.

Here are the pics …

ViewSonic VG1930 19 inch LCD Widescreen  - Kulbir Saini, general bordeaux

My Viewsonic/ViewSonic VG1930 19inch Widescreen LCD With Vista - Kulbir Saini, general bordeaux

Here is a video as well.

PS0 : I am very happy today … of course I have reasons 😀

PS1 : We will have a data center with ajay’s 500GB HDD 😉

PS2 : I am planning to get either a XFX nVidia GeForce 8600GT or I’ll go for mobo and processor upgrade so that I can use my old Samsung SyncMaster 793S 17″ CRT monitor with this LCD monitor in dual display mode. Now, that would be the coolest(?) thing 😀

PS3 : I am a bit showing off 😉


Best Summer Ever

One of my friends recently flamed me on yahoo saying what the hell are you up to “Bye Bye Windows, Hi Hi Linux ???”. Because I was having my status messages like “Bye Bye Windows”, “Fedora 7” etc. etc. So, I have chosen the title for this post “Best Summer Ever” instead of “Bye Bye Summer’07”.

Well, summer’07 will be remembered forever for the extreme entertainment we had. We did all that we could. Bye the way we implies Me, Mahaveer, Sambhav, Deepak, Kiran Dandesh, Sachin, Ajay Somani, Alok, Ojasvi, Abhinav. We played cricket @ basketball court, then dumbC, cards throughout the night, volley ball, counter strike, age of empires, cricket @ ground facing library, outing-shouting and much more …

Karan has written a nice blog entry for cricket @ bbcourt. dumbC was more than enjoyable in group with movie freaks like sachin and dandu. Dandu has some special advantage for movie names. He knows all the movie names, plus their tag lines, plus their imdb ratings and much more. If he gives you a movie to act for, forget that you’ll be able to act. He is really good at remembering the movie names.

After we got bored of this dumbC, then comes the time for cards … we played cards throughout the night for a lot of days or I should say a lot of nights. Cards were just the medium, bc was the only purpose for playing cards. Ajay was the only target during discussions. He is humiliated too much, we (at least me) are really sorry for that. But, that was not serious, it was just for fun.

Then comes the volley ball. Can you imagine that people will go crazy and they will not sleep through the night, just to play volley ball in the early morning. We did this for a lot of days. We spent the nights playing cards and then at 5:30 am we start playing volley ball. Its seriously awesome weather at that time of day. We all enjoyed it a lot.

Then comes counter strike. People who can hardly play Pac-Man, suddenly started playing counter strike. From 11:00pm – 6:00am, we played counter strike for a lot of days. Sambhav, Alok, Deepak played the amazing game for the first time.

In the final days, we are playing cricket @ the ground facing the library in the morning time. You can see the most lazy person (Somani), fielding at 6:00am in the playground, who will prefer dieing on bed instead of fetching a glass of water for himself.

ohh god !!! I forgot the most happening thing this summer… its the blog entry written by mahaveer. check it out here . read the comments carefully.

Beside all that we went to Golconda Fort recently. Had a lot of fun out there. The shop keeper over there was selling cold drinks for 13/- which was priced for 12/-. Somani applied his intelligence and argued. I can’t forget the conversation between somani and shop-keeper. Shop-keeper just ****** him too much that he can’t even utter a word after that. I can’t give you the description, because somani can kill me for doing that.

All in all, this summer was most enjoyable ever. Having a lot of friends around you is just more than fun.

PS1 : I got a brand new Seagate Barracuda 160GB (IDE) hard disk.

PS2 : Leaving for home today. Will return on 6th June.

PS3 : Found this really humorous. A GEEK’S IMAGINATION.


Exciting Summer

This summer, life is pretty much exiciting as compared to the last year because a lot of colleagues are here in the campus. Age of Empires day and night along with a bit of project work and some other coding stuff. Day before yesterday, I was up all the night playing AOE. I slept between 11am-03pm in the ug2 lab. I attended my project meeting between 4pm-5pm. I was almost dead in the meeting due to sleep. Then, I slept between 5pm-00:30am in the hostel. After that canteen and from 2:00am-7:00am, guess what … AOE again.

I mentioned, I slept in the lab. Believe me, sleeping in the lab rocks, because you can wake up any time and start playing AOE again or browse some stuff or check your mails(No wastage of time in the transportation from hostel to lab). Though you can do all this from the hostel room as well, its kinda fun to spend time in lab and the CooL AC advantage.

Sometime we play AOE with seniors as well. They are quite ahead of us in the game but thats just due to the experience they gain in one/two extra years. In the beginning, a III year senior beat us in a 5 Vs 1 match :(. But now we can beat them in 2/3 Vs 1 match. Our AOE team mainly consist of me, ajay somani, kiran dandu, deepak vig, sanket and sometimes ankush and ojasvi as well …

Well, apart from all the above masti and fun, I am doing my project as well. Currently, I am mentoring two students in an Open Source project “True Type To Open Type Font Converter” under the guidance of Dr. C.V. Jawahar with the help of Mr. Sunil Mohan Adapa (IIIT Alumni).

PS: Found this site very useful if you are pretty upset …


My Computer

I bought a desktop last week on Tuesday the 16th May, 2006. Though we are supposed to buy the laptops, i preffered the desktop as it can be a good partner for developing things and of course its cheeaper than a low end laptop. I bought AMD Athlon 64 3000+ 939 pin, the Gigabyte nVidia nForce2 motherboard, Samsung SyncMaster 739S 17″ , Seagate 200GB SATA-II with other necessary accessories. Well, it cost me only 30700/- and that is quite cheap. One bad thing that i didnt buy any graphics card b’cos in case we are forced to buy the laptops, i’ll have to buy a laptop within 25000/- so that total cost can come under 55000/-. Even that is quite lower than the cost of a high end laptop. As i didnt take any project i m just watching movies and playing games and i shud admit that AMD rocks for gaming. Its enough alone to check the graphics details of the popular games like UT, NFS Most Wanted , Doom 3, Prince of Persia etc … But i m sad that still i m not able to configure my wlan card in linux. its WNC-0301 level one lan card. If you have any suggestions please let me know, i m just killing my time using windows and this norton really sucks. it reports windows registry file as trogen, i dunno why ?????????