Archive for December, 2005

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December 24, 2005

Yesterday I went boating…on the coastguard’s boat!!!

My cousins arrived on the 22nd and yesterday, we decided to go boating.
We woke up early in the morning (5:30 am)…actually I had to be woken up. We drove to the dock. My Mom works in the Police Hospital so she knew people working with the coastguard and so was able to arrange everything.

We left the docks at about 7:30 am. The boat was pretty big and had a radar and a sonar (which apparently could be used to catch fish). It was powered by two motors @ 5000 rpm.

We kept going on and on until we finally came to an enclosed area where there was noone else. Basically it was a place surrounded by mountains with a small beach.

We dropped anchor there. It was very quiet there. The water was so clear that we could see the bottom of the ocean. We then had our breakfast there and then went swimmming. In the process of swimming, I ended up drinking a bit of water :p

We also dived for shells and other stuff. I also got to examine the boat propellor… it wasnt as sharp as I’d expected.

Finally I decided to stop swimming and got back on the boat. Then I lay in the sun for about half an hr. It felt really nice… having the sun shine down on you.

We left that place at about 11am. On the way back I got to STEER THE BOAT. (So far in my life I’ve driven bicycles and big boats but not a car :p )

The boat steering mechanism was a bit different from those in cars…cars use the friction between the tyres and road. But for this boat, turning the steering wheel caused the two motors to physically change their orientation (they rotated a bit clockwise/anti clickwise), so they made water flow at an angle to the direction the boat was pointing in.

This was when the boat is moving at high speeds. Once we reach the harbour, we used a different technique… supose we want to turn right, we put the left motor on forward and the right motor on reverse, so they made water flow in opposite directions thus causing a torque which turned the boat… the other method for low speeds is a bit crude and so would make it difficult to control the boat.

Anyway we got back on shore and drove back. The trip had tired us out somewhat and so we postponed the plans of going on the rollercoasters etc at the amuesement park.

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December 10, 2005

Okay, one week into the hols.
What have I done? Not much.

I’ve spent most of my time in my room, on my bed. There is a computer next to it and a fridge on the other side. The computer has an ADSL connection and the speed is great…half the speed at IITK. Chuck in a Philips SBC HP 800 headphone too.(the most decent headphone I have with soft cushions, so you can leave it on for hours without any kind of pain which would be there with other head/earphones). So the setup is just perfect !!

So what do I do on the computer? Watch movies, browse, email, do a depth first search on orkut. Probably the only constructive activity I’m doing is guiding (well they pick up fast so not much guiding to do) some first years in a few small PHP based project.

In between I go to school to meet friends. School has really changed since the time when I was there. The library is as different as can be from the IITK lib (i’ve gone to the IITK lib only thrice since coming to IITK, so dont remember much of the interior). The lib here has couches, sofas, carpeted floor, photocopiers which are smart-card enabled, three state of the art computers with a 500KBps leased line connection that is slightly faster than the speed the profs get at IITK, LCD monitors and so on. It is meant for students to look up info while doing projects.

Its a different issue that students mostly use these comps to play pinball.

Then there are the classrooms. All the blackboards have been chucked away and instead there is a screen in the centre and two whiteboards to either side. An LCD projector hangs from the ceiling. At the front corner of the room is a desk (it looks more like a podium). open it up and you see a tablet pc (not a laptop, a tablet pc which costs double!!). The teacher prepares presentations and just presents it in class. Its a tablet PC so he/she can write on the tablet screen and it appears on the screen on the wall. Cool huh? Whew. I just wish I was born a few years later.

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December 5, 2005

Well I’m in Muscat now. The journey was okay. The train was late by 30 min (very unusual since it was the Lko Shatabdi). I reached Delhi at 10:30 in the night, had a sound sleep at the guest house and then went to the IGI airport in the morning.

The flight was via Abu Dhabi so we flew over Pakistan and Afghanistan. The pilot kept tilting the plane from one side to another so that we could see the caves in Pakistan and Afghanistan (where the Al-Q supposedly are hiding).

I landed here in Muscat at about 5:30 pm. Dad picked me up, came straight home and now have 2o days more here.

Now going back, I had my end semester exams a week or two back. My exams didn’t go too well. The entire IITK campus sunday went gloomy on the day of the chem exam, because of the incident. I knew him, but not that well.

The exams seem to have gone bad for a lot of people whom I know. In one of my courses (Electrical Engg), the batch averages for the midsems were 85% and 70% but in the endsems apparently it went down to 40-50%.

College is starting on 28th. I expect to reach on the 27th early morning.
Muscat is pretty much the same, a few changes here and there. I’m getting to eat some good food for a change. I will most likely be doing a project on image processing under one prof from my deptt at IITK. The project is basically the equivalent of solving a jigsaw puzzle with some differences, like the pieces may not exactly fit, they can ‘heal’ etc.