captain, ramana

Professor Ramana

On the Sunday before the last, captain’s ‘ramana‘ was showed in tv, again. Watching captain fight corrupt bureaucrats, wily daadas and baakistan teeviravadis can be an inexplicable experience(you can never decide whether you want to laugh or cry). Captain is the pioneer when it comes to using technology in kollywood movies. I simply awed at the scene where he uses a floppy disk to get the list of corrupt officials. Although critics argue that the 15 names could have easily been written on the piece of paper in which the disk was wrapped, i still consider it an ingenious method of promoting technology among the masses. Had captain taken the movie this time around i am sure the script would include greater use of technology. Here’s my speculation of what captain would have done. Captain would start by creating an spreadsheet using online collaborative tools like zoho, google docs and share it among his followers located at the different districts. Each one of them would then enter the name of the most corrupt official in column A and the amount they have accepted as bribes in column B. Captain would wait for all of them to finish entering the data and at the end of it, would apply a function to sort the sheet on column B in descending order. Captain would then highlight the name present in cell A1 with the colour #FF0000, at which point the mouse pointer would dynamically change to snipers’ target symbol. I know that the way i have described the scene doesnt sound great, but add to it flashing lights, some close up shots of captains’ raised eyebrows, blood-shot eyes and plaited nose hair and deva’s background score… we have an academy award winning scene.

I wish I had a professor like ramana back in college, i would have been a part of the greatest revolution against corruption, tales of which will be discussed in mad.. er.. time magazine. (Incidentally i had a prof named ramana back in college, but all he cared was teaching DSP rather than killing DSP’s.) I racked my brain in an attempt to remember things about my profs and to see if they were anywhere closer to the legendary ramana. Here is a short list of people who taught me and what i could best remember about them.

The first person that came to my mind was pushpalatha. Now, pushpalatha was totally in love with the blackboard and given that every lecture hall had one of them, she would invariably move closer to the board and start whispering her deep secrets to it. What she spoke about, nobody had a clue, the class was generally apathetic towards this behaviour, except this one time when guru chose to disturb the tranquillity with a question regarding something that she was supposedly teaching. pushpalatha was positively shocked at this rude interruption, how ignorant would a boy have to be to disturb a pair of romantics. Any other person in her position would have hit guru with the wooden duster and ran out of the building swearing and screaming, but composed as she was, she chose to shed tears in front of the class. The worst part was that junta misunderstood this reaction as her inability to answer even basic questions about the subject that she was teaching. Some geniuses are grossly misunderstood.

The next person i remembered was shenbagadevil. I think she was into western philosophy, and enjoyed reading works of kant, bertrand russell.. etc, but i believe her favourite was descartes. Now she has even extended his cogito ergo sum and formed theories of her own. Descartes said, “I think, therefore i am“. Her extension goes something like this… “I think I am the best prof, therefore I am the best prof. QED.

Next on my list is kpr, fondly known as cupper, for his generosity in awarding failure grades. There are perhaps a thousand kids who were F’ed by kpr, totally F’ed up. He had a peculiar dressing sense, he used to come to the class wearing nice shirt, neatly pressed pair of trousers and a pair of matching Hawaii slippers. Somehow I felt this combination odd.. but given that i am not up to date with the happenings in the fashion world, i will refrain from commenting on it. Who knows, it could have been the trend in milan, la, paris that fall…

I really dont remember the name of the next person in my list.. all i remember is that he was the instrumentation prof. Now, the biggest mistake anyone could possibly make in his class is sit on the first bench. The poor soul would be showered with a gelatinous mixture of gutkha, pan masala and saliva emerging from the depths of his larynx, which would dry up by the end of the hour leaving him/her with the glow of a perfectly enamelled copper wire. No wonder salt paper sales would soar in nearby hardware stores during the semesters he chose to teach.

Next is rpp, he was the master, the champ when it came to delivering soporific lectures. I imagine him sitting with other profs and discussing things…
Push:”I created a personal best today.. 10 minutes 18 seconds, entire class into deep sleep”.
Shenbaga: “That’s good, but not as good as mine, 7 minutes and 25 seconds.”
Kpr: “hmm.. looks like all you junior profs are picking up the art of teaching, how did u do instrumentation prof?”
Instrumentation prof: “i wasnt able to put the entire class to sleep.. there was this kid in the first bench continuously wiping his face… “
kpr: “aah… disqualified again.. too bad instr. prof, how did u do rpp?”
Rpp: “well…”
.. and nobody really heard the next word, all went Zzzzz… Such is his calibre. Although rpp’s physical features resemble those of captain, i dont think he is anything like ramana.. while ramana fought to eradicate corruption, rpp used to happily trade favours in exchange for letters of recommendation for kids wanting to do their ms in the us.

The next person is someone whom i have consciously reserved as the last, for in my opinion he is the only one who can come close to emulating ramana. It is none other than pvr, (supposedly) the greatest prof my department has ever seen. Just like ramana, pvr leads a groups of carefully chosen geeks for his top secret project in his top secret lab. And given that most of those belonging to his cult are out in the us doing their ms, i can only imagine that their operation(if there is one) is in a global scale. I tried to join this cult a few times but was rejected on the grounds that the geek contamination levels in my blood werent sufficient. I had only 28% contamination, while pvr only accepted geeks with a minimum 80% geek contamination levels.

Anybody who has seen the movie ramana will never forget the scene where ramana delivers a lecture to the doctors. I had the misfortune of being in the receiving end of one such from pvr. During one of the practical classes, i had used a 2k resistor in my experiment and had based all my theoretical calculations on the value 2k. But i had carelessly marked the value as 3K in the circuit diagram. pvr was positively furious at this mistake. I tried explaining that i had indeed marked the resistor as 2k but it was because of the amazing-yet-to-be-discovered properties of the interaction of light at the intersection of the bifocal lens he was wearing that created a reflection about the horizontal line in the 2 and made it look like 3. He threw away his bifocal and wore a progressive glass.It was still 3.(Damn those filthy ophthalmologists creating progressive lens and ruining the lives of innocent kids like me) pvr had the following to say “I can parade 20 people into this room and confirm that this is 3”. I said sorry.. and expected ‘sorry, englishla enakku pudikkada ore vaarta’. Instead he asked me to pay for the bifocal that i had caused him to break.

There you go, I did in fact have a ramanaesque persona teach me. Did you have any ramana’s in your university?

*Disclaimer: The names of the professors have been changed by delta x to preserve their identities. In case you visit my university and find one of these names teaching there.. stand there and marvel at this coincidence. if you happen to find all these names around there, all i can say is miracles do happen, start believing in god.

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I Think

FIFA 2008 the official review :)

For all those eagerly awaiting my review of the game 😛 here goes…

There has been a litany of flaws accompanied by rather exaggerated and unreasonable laments about FIFA and how it doesn’t fair well in comparison to other soccer games in the market like PES. It’s been thought that EA waste far too much money on the licenses and stuff to make the game attractive to a vast majority of average football fans rather than paying attention to the technicalities of the game to attract those “elite users”. I read this somewhere.. “the people who buy FIFA are

1) People who dont play soccer in real life
2) People who dont follow actual soccer .. meaning football
3) Americans”

I have to say a part of that is true. But it is nonetheless obviously harsh stereotyping. I have played PES demo but never the full game. So I am not here to compare the two games. But looking at FIFA objectively we all know there were, are and will be flaws in the game. Removal of each and every flaw will result in a neat game. FIFA 08 does have its flaws, some even repeated over from 07 and 06 .. rather frustrating to know. But it has improved a lot too. To say the very least, it is one step closer to realistic soccer than its predecessors.

After a week of playing this game, a few friendlies with liverpool to see how Torres fits into the squad and then a be-a-pro season with a midfielder and then finally the ever reliable manager mode, I have been convinced that FIFA is not even close to a failure.

To start off Torres in Liverpool is just awesome, I played online and much to my satisfaction raped quite a few Man utd and Barca players. Much to their agony, FIFA 08 is a surprise. It’s not a game for dribblers and those who only like to dribble and pull off tricks or outrun the defenders. FIFA 08 lays significant emphasis on Build-Up play. Pass and move kind of stuff. More midfield action than end-to-end stuff. You are more likely to see

this

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2bmK-XhIIMA in FIFA 08 rather than

this

http://youtube.com/watch?v=mDzB2wm9pGI&mode=related&search=

quite rightly. Events like Messi’s goal should be landmark events not something that you see in every league game. In short, If you are disciplined defensively, you can make life difficult for the opposition. The defensive AI has improved a lot. One of the main features is the ability of the players to track back to position. Plus the Goalie is much more difficult to beat. You can choose how difficult you want him to be. The manual finishing and the optional control over the goalie make it all the more difficult; which makes perfect reasoning for introducing the be-a-pro mode in which by holding a button you can get back to your position. If you did that you are likely to receive the ball without even calling for it. But Be-a-pro is not much fun playing alone. If I were in India it would have been awesome playing it with my brother. And Be-a-pro is not online for PC. The most ridiculous part is after you complete a season with a player, that’s about it, it doesn’t even let you play in to the next season. But the challenges are good and quite hard to complete.

Finally, the manager mode. I started the manager mode with Wrexham FC in league 2. The introduction of pre-season friendlies is a good improvement although not very great. It might be a good way of testing your academy starlets and new signings. Manager mode is a perfect blend of football and football management, which is definitely a key attraction to any FIFA game. The main new feature in my opinion is the scheduling of trainings. The effect of training sessions are very obvious when you play with a team like Wrexham. I recommend playing with weaker teams in manager mode to enjoy it more. Training also introduces fatigue and dealing with substitutions and rotations more cleverly. With weaker teams convincing a player to join your club is a challenge by itself. I had to get my negotiator to level 6 to make my first transfer. And the board was quite pissed off since my coaches were only level 2. And scoring with a team like Wrexham is a much more rewarding experience. For example, I pulled off a win vs. Cardiff in the FA cup and it was a phenomenal last minute winner. You can see the fan support rating soaring.

There are flaws however. The most annoying is the commentary. When you hit a shot over the bar or wide, the commentators say “It was hit really hard, but the keeper was up to it” or “it almost took the goalkeeper in to the goal” and then it would be a goal kick.. ridiculous. Further the exaggeration of saves “OH WHAT A SAVE” when it was hit straight to the keep kind of stuff which existed in 07 and 06 are not corrected for. But with top-flight teams the commentary is closer to being realistic, with player names now attached to the strings and extra comments about the derby games. Aside: The fans now sing “you’ll never walk alone” in anfield, which is awesome.

Presentation: poor. The same old menu system. I am sure changing the menu presentation wouldn’t cost EA much time and effort. I would definitely love to see a new menu in a new game. At least, they should have changed the font!

Graphics: A shade better than 07 with improved texture and player faces. The ball physics has also improved.

Other significant improvements are, manual crossing and manual through balls, choosing the defender you wish to control and flipping control to the goalie with the right stick, semi-auto, auto and manual finishing controls which test different degrees of skill.

Overall it’s an 8/10 from me and a must buy for FIFA fans.

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FIFA 2008 Pre-Release

Can’t wait for it already. It’s releasing worldwide tomorrow. I have pre-ordered it and I will get it surely by Wednesday. Fifa 2007 was a bit of a let-down for fifa patrons around the world. There are many footie fans that rate PES much higher than FIFA for it’s game play. FIFA has been famous for it’s licenses; all the leagues you could play. Plus the recently introduced manager mode, though not as intense as FIFA manager or football manager, fifa soccer 07’s managerial feature was decent. It’s lot more fun and challenging when you play with Crewe Alexandra rather than Liverpool or Manchester United. This year they are adding more features to the manager mode. But the feature to watch is the Be a pro mode, in which you get to be the player you want to be. For me the choice is obvious; Stevie Gerrard. This is going to be so much fun and my expectations are rather high. The way I think and move and play is going to influence the result of the game. Imagine you are the lead striker of a team and you don’t make good runs or get into position, your team won’t score! And if you are a defender and you don’t get behind the ball/ don’t mark well and go to sleep, you concede because you made a mistake. It’s like playing real soccer. Nothing is taken for granted. I don’t actually know how much detail has been incorporated in to this, but it is quite a challenge and it is something, if it works alright. Well, I watched some NextGen videos of Fifa 2008 and I am awestruck. The graphics is phenomenal (however this is not the case for the pc version) and game play has improved enormously. But for the robotic type movement of the players, FIFA does have some seriously good gameplay.
The other thing about 08 is that you can customize formations and assign runs to your players. Having played football manager, I know that this is an awesome feature and you can add more guile and flair to your attacks. Lets pray and hope for FIFA 08’s success simply cos I am going to spend 40 dollars on it :).

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