Friday, April 22, 2005

No dues blues

I went to hell on Wednesday for my Final Project Review and in the process experienced brain dead bureaucracy at its worst (No I am not talking about the Indian government nor is this post about the project review). This post is about a piece of paper called the “No due Certificate”. This piece of bull shit epitomises everything that is wrong with hell.

Let me first describe this thing to u. It's a piece of paper the usual cheap kind nothing special. There is place to fill in the name of the student, register number, roll no, batch and signature of the student. That is as much as I can fill up as a student in the no due certificate, despite the fact that we are told to fill this thing up and submit it at the time of collecting our hall tickets. Now I am not really keen to have a hall ticket but considering I need to write the final semester exams (Note to myself. Find xerox of books and start studying) I needed to get this “No due Certificate” filled.

This post is about this adventure. See in order to fill in the “no due certificate” one needs to get the following signatures with the words “No due” attached. And the list is painfully long and full of dependencies. Here it is.


Class counselor

Main library

department library


Physical education

Office accounts section

Office academic section

Now one is required to collect the form from the office. Nothing unusual or irritating about that but if u ask the accounts or the academic section to sign then they tell u to fill the rest of the NDC and come back to them. How brain dead is that. Why the f*** do I have to make 2 trips to the office. Why can't they sign it first up. Who the hell gave this college ISO certification. May be I should lend my copy of the Xerox of the TQM text book to them. (Note to myself. Look for TQM Xerox)

So I went around looking to fill up the rest of the form.

NCC – Why should I have to get a no dues from the NCC. I've had as much contact with them as a Pope's reproductive organs with the female equivalent (of reproductive organs not pope). I am not a member and have never thought about becoming one. So there is was climbing 2 floors to find the Applied Physics lab to get that signature.

Physical education – It's a well know fact that I get as much exercise as a hibernating bear. There I was climbing 2 floors again to get the signature. Its a conspiracy. All the signature givers seem to be on 2nd floors of buildings.

Department library – the department libraries were disbanded after the library expansion a hundred years ago. Still I needed to get that filled. (brain dead. This entire process is dumber than a dead dodo). So I had to figure out whom to get the signature from. Considering there was no library to go to. Fortunately some some guy had already filled it up and knew whose signature to get. So I got that done and went looking for my class counselor. But she was no where to be found.

Library – This was rather comfortable considering the AC was working. So got the signature and wanted to hang around for a while but the moment the though occurred to me the power went off and the AC shut down. So I left

Class counselor – It's not very easy trying to get the class counselor's signature when she is in class studying. So I had to wait a long time till her class finished before I got that signature. And in the mean time I couldn't get the signature of the HOD 'coz our man won't sign till everyone else other than the office people sign the NDC.

HOD – At last got his signature and I was done for the day.

I have seem many instances of brain dead rules and procedures in hell but this one has to take the cake. The accounts section has asked everyone to get the signature on the day the hall tickets are going to be given which means there is going to be a huge rush in the office delaying the process of getting the stupid hall ticket and wasting everyone's time.

Ah the sheer brilliance of all this makes me wonder. Who the hell came up with the idea of a no due certificate anyway?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Vinod passed this meme on to me so here are my answers.

1. You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451! Which book do you want to be?
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. This book taught me that some books need to be persisted with before they reveal themselves in all their glory. I know people who gave up reading this book after a few pages because they couldn't figure out what was happening. My advice to anyone wanting to read this would be read till the catch comes and after that this book is just a joy to read. Probably the funniest book ever along with H2G2. It has some of the best characters ever created. My favourite is Milo and his scheme is just pure genius and the situations the characters find themselves in are just amazing (like Doc Daneeka being dead despite being alive) well just grab and read this book if u haven't done so yet. Absolutely brilliant.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I don't think I've ever had a crush on a fictional character. Even if I did I can't seem to remember now.

3. The last book you bought is:

Last time I bought books were during this second hand book sale that was going on. I grabbed 4 books there.


Harriet the Spy


A small Charlie Brown collection

4. The last book you read:

'The Media Lab' by Stewart Brand. This also happens to be the last book I borrowed from the college library. Written circa 1987 this book describes the Media Lab at MIT and generally tries to put fundaes on the future. It was quite a nice read despite being very dated.

5. What are you currently reading?

I am now reading 'Hackers' by Steven Levy. This is an all time classic. Written in 1984 this book chronicles the Hacker sub culture from its beginnings in the late 50s till the book's publication in '84. The term hacker here does not refer to people who break into other people's computers but its correct and traditional meaning “A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary” (source the Jargon file) and other such similar definitions. Basically brilliant computer enthusiasts and programmers who built most of the stuff to do with computers that we take for granted today. I have finished reading Part I of the book titled 'True Hackers'; which describes the Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT where hackerdom had its origin (and the term 'hacker' was coined), the activities at Tech Square in MIT, chronicles some legends like Steve Russel (who wrote the 1st computer game Spacewar; infact there is a separate chapter dedicated to Spacewar), the life style of the hackers, their lingo and has some goose bump producing anecdotes Currently reading part II (what a surprise!) titled 'Hardware Hackers'. I am not sure if everyone reading this blog would like this book but for some like me who is interested in the history of computing this book is ...

6. Five books you would take to a deserted island:

  1. Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominic Lapierre because its the only book the made me want to cry. And to also remind me of home. Not sure if reading this book on a deserted island would keep me in the best of spirits but I guess this book is ultimately a story of hope, a hope that is India.

  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding because this book tells us that we are after all animals and will behave like wild ones if we are pushed enough. And also the story is about being abandoned on a deserted island.

  3. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. If you're asking why then I guess you haven't been reading this post very carefully.

  4. Either 'The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy' or the 'Godfather'. Because ... well if u've read them u won't need an answer to this question

  5. Any so called Holy Book like the Bible, Gita or the Koran or whatever because I'll need toilet paper. These books have caused more trouble and violence than any revolutionary manifesto. If there were books that deserved to be burnt they would have to be these

7. Who are you going to pass this stick to and why?

AC – he reads a lot. A heck of a lot

Pps – He reads and has a blog that needs a post

I am not as much a bibliophile as Vinod neither have I read as many books as Suze, or Goach or my classmate Prashant Raghavan but I like reading. I am not reading as much as I would like but what the heck I at least have the 'reading habit' and I'm thankful that I do.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The 2 posts that never were

I started writing 2 posts but never got around to posting them. I dont know why that was the case. Well the posts got a bit too long and winding and never ending so they never did begin their journeys as blog posts.

The first one was about my new computer. I got one on 8th March. I did mention that I was gonna get one and I finally did. I replaced my Celeron 433 with an AMD 64 bit 2800+ based machine with 512 megs of RAM, DVD burner, and 80 + 20(from the old comp) hard disk space. Changed everything except the monitor which is only about a year and a half old. Kept my cd rom drive, harddisk and internal modem. The cabinet has 3 fans to keep things cool. AMD processors have the hottest technology and as a consequence their processors do get hot. Nice to see them advertising a bit (seen the Ferrari ads in the paper with AMD?) They do offer a better price and performance than Intel and I hope more people buy their chips

The other post was about one of the few things about hell that I actually like -- the library. This is one thing I am going to miss about college. Even though I am counting down the days to my escape from the Pennalur Penitentiary (as Suze calls it) I will defintely miss the library. I loved just sitting in the air conditioned comfort reading magazines or just pretending to read so that I could just relax in the comfort of artificially controlled air.

Those 2 posts just got a bit too long and I really dont know what I was writing. Basically they did not make very interesting reading (not that this one is but atleast your page down button wont be abused and battered after you read this and certainly you will not be wondering at the lack of coordinated cerebal processes in my head.)

Yesterday was April fools day and Google decided to give us a gift on Gmail's 1st anniversary by doubling the storage and adding a whole host of other nifty features to make the best web based email service even better. Go Google You guys rock (and jazz and pop and dance and u guys get the point).

Since yesterday was April fools days I guess I'll just wish you a Happy New Year just like they did in the old days. (Wondering why? click this)