First, I must apologize for such long gaps between posts, the unkempt promises about a tutorial and the posters. They are all done, but just need to be posted up here.
I have been very busy with the annual festival at my college. Since I have been actively involved in robotics, most of my time is spent in that. Building robots is a hard and time consuming task. Because of that I was unable to take part in any other competition. Just robotics all day long.
There were 4 events robotics itself. One on each day. We came in second in two of those. No position in third. And the fourth is taking place as I write this.
Now the point to be noted is that the first position was in our hands in all three competitions. But we lost due to spectacularly silly reasons.
In the first one, we were supposed to make a bot to drive on two rails which went up and down, then pick up a bridge along the way and place it another place and then cross over it. We did it in the best possible time and without any fouls. Thus the first position was GIVEN to us. Now the twist comes in. A small piece of cardboard we had stuck onto the bot for balance, had come off AFTER crossing the finish line. But leaving any part of the bot on the arena leads to disqualification. So we had to be happy with the second position just to satisfy the team which was coming in second after us. This one was a manual robot (remote controlled, I was driving)
In the second one, we had to make an automated robot that could
1) take driving instruction from a mobile to reach a particular point
2) from where it would start functioning as an automatic line follower, and follow the topsy-turvy line to the finish.
Now again, my driving was perfect with the mobile. We finished the course 47 seconds ahead of the fastest team upto that point. But we were told that we were supposed to use 2 mobiles to control the bot, not one. Let me explain. The bot gets the instructions from the key-tones of the mobile. So we wire up a mobile with the bot and press the 2-4-6-8 keys to control the robot. This is what we did. But we were told that we were supposed to call the first mobile using a second and then control the bot using that second mobile. We tried out 7 mobiles but none of them could link up properly. The carrier (Airtel) distorted the frequency. This caused a 50 second penalty to be placed on us (so unfair, but yes, one team was able to do it, and they wont give us their mobiles ) This penalty caused us to move from 47 seconds ahead to 3 second behind the team that was coming in second behind us. Thus we lost by a meagre 3 seconds, and had to come in second.
In the third one, we had to make a manual (remote controlled) robot that was supposed to cross a sand-strewn path with lots of hurdles and tight turns. The theme was deserts so the sand and something to do with water was obvious. We had to transport water from one container to another also. We crossed the complete path easily (thanks to my driving ). We filled in the water easily (thanks to my team-mate for controlling the water filling mechanism on the bot). We stored it all in a large container on the bot itself. (only 1 other team had thought of that). When we reached the place to empty the container, i aligned the outlet of the container with the destination beaker. I pressed the water release button, and voila!! We realized that the motor which released the water was not working!!! *&@%$#!!!! NONE of the other teams had picked up any water. If we had completed this part, we would have been clearcut winners. But no, the motor’s connecting wires had to break at the last moment. We lost due to one lose connection.
Anyways, I will post the posters as soon as I turn on my laptop. I am working from my desktop right now. Photoshopping is done mostly on the laptop by me. More later…
There is this group in our college called the “CICR” (Creativity and Innovation Cell in Robotics). We are having our annual fest this month!! In this fest, there will be 4 robotics competitions: 2 manual and 2 automated. I plan to take part in both.
The point is that I have designed and am maintaining the website for the robotics events.
Check out the header I made for it:
You can see the rest of the site here.
If you are a student in a college in Delhi/NCR, please do check out all the awesome competitions. Register here!!
I just put up the new theme that I have been working on for the past 4-5 days. It has a lot of bugs right now like misplaced ads and misdirecting links. Please be patient while I work out the solutions. Debugging is a cumbersome process!!
Do comment on whether you like the theme or not!! (Please don’t say no!! )
Unfortunately, I have run into some serious problem with the themes. Are you ready to hear it? Can you take it? Okay then, hold your breath. None of the themes is working!! Yes, you read it right. After getting many valuable votes, I had decided to go for theme 2. But unfortunately, that and all others, are crashing Blogger. Whenever I try to change the theme, it gives me the “BX-nnnnn” error. When I looked it up on the net, I found out that it is mostly due to invalid formats and not-so-well parsed pages.
So now I have decided to work on my own theme. I took a theme from btemplates.com, and have started editing it to the max. Here is the progress:
- Removed 5px header and footer bars
- changed main header
- completely new menu
- added the search feature
- played a lot with colors of fonts and borders (that was a very ugly green)
- changed page scripting a bit to enhance compatibility
- removed lots of useless code for better pageloads
- Better search mechanism
- changed header again
- subscribe to RSS feature enabled
- removed ad space (will add it soon though)
- changes to footer (not shown in image)
- removed some more useless code (lots of it!! shows that the theme was blatantly copied)
- changed header
- changed post icon
- added social bookmarking bar
- replaced search code by a more efficient code
- self-hosted bookmark images to improve pageload time
- Added a “related posts” script
- making new subscription buttons
- back-up of all widgets in this blog
- added custom RSS buttons
- highly customized translation widget
- “what’s new”
- recent comments
- reordered bookmarking and related post parts
- self-hosted images of flags (for translation)
More updates coming soon. Do tell me what I can do to improve this theme. If you like this theme, you can contact me to download it for yourself!!
And yeah, one more thing, all those who had voted for theme 2 in the comments section, will still get a link on this page. If you had voted for theme 2, send me a 125x125px ad banner that I can put up in the sidebar.
Exams are here… again!! I feel like quoting Linkin Park’s In The End.
All I know
Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It’s so unreal
Didn’t look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
This post is to inform you that I will be leaving town for a week. Actually, I am going to IIT-Kharagpur for a robotics competition. The event (annual technical festival) is a huge 3 day carnival/fair/festival. Check out the details at www.ktj.in
The robotics task is for the robot to climb and descend a metallic mesh with varying degrees of inclination (upto 90 degrees). It is really interesting to build something from scratch. Just like in Photoshop.
I will put up pics when I return, Actually I will be only shooting vids over there, but I am sure I can get the still pics from someone else.
So, in short, there will be no posts this week. But do keep visiting, since I may find some time to put up a post. Wireless internet will be available, but lets see if other factors allow me to put up a post.
Wish me luck!! (in the comments of course)
This is just a post in which I will ramble about I dunno what…I will put in a title for this post once I think I have written enough
Okay, first off, yesterday I went to see this totally awesome live performance of the classical rock band Indian Ocean. And oh man, did they amaze me yet again!! I have once seen their performance earlier at IIT Delhi… This time it was a part of an art and culture week, taking place all over Delhi. This specific concert took place at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It was totally AMAZING!! I loved it the first time I saw them live, and this time I loved it even more!! They played a variety of songs like Jhini, Kandisa, Hille Re, Ma Rewa ,Sone ka Shahar and yeah.. their best song yet: Bandeh.
I remembered to take my handycam at the last moment.. but the batteries were not charged!! So stupid of me… I tried to click pics and vids with my phone, but as you can imagine, no use… ( I have a Moto Razr V3i, 1.3 megapixel cam ).
But I had taken my pics with them and their autographs the last time at IIT, so no complaints.
Now, this pic was neither taken by me, nor was it taken at the concert which I attended yesterday. I would like to point out that the lead-guitarist’s guitar (the guy on the right), has no body!! It just has the neck and a frame. Now that is an awesome customized guitar!!
Next, I talk about… ummm.. yeah, how much I am getting bored these days. With the first semester over in college and my winter holidays in progress, I have pretty much nothing to do all day. Though I am working on some C programming projects (don’t call me geek just ‘cuz i am coding in my holidays ) and I have to develop a website for someone. I also have to play a lot of computer games and watch movies. Which can be my next topic here. Yesterday I also watched the movie “The day the Earth stood still”. I really liked the movie… Keanu Reeves is one of my favourite actors. I loved quite a lot of his movies including Speed, Matrix trilogy, and some others… (that reminds me, Jason Statham rocks in the transporter series.. and the latest Transporter movie also rocks!!)
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” is about a visiting alien life-form, which has come to earth to save it from all its problems like global warming etc. Seems awefully nice of them doesnt it? But the catch is that the Earth is going to be saved by killing all humans and annihilating all man-made structures. hmm.. and Ms. Connelly has also done a pretty good role.
As for Transporter 3, I just love how Jason Statham drives around his Audi through thick and thin, and his car doesn’t even get a single scratch…As usual, he has to drop off a package (again, its a girl, but this time she is not in the trunk, she is sitting in the front ) and as usual some people don’t want the ‘package’ to be dropped off safely.
Other than movies, I am gaming quite a lot these days. I am currently playing Spore, NFS Most Wanted, NFS Undercover, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Doom 3. I am not going to review all these games, but since I am playing them, you can very well take it for granted that they are pretty good . I also tried GTA 4, but I was unable to run it smoothly on my 1GB ram, 3Ghz dual-core, 512MB graphics laptop. Now don’t ask me what kind of a behemoth computer is required to run the ginormous 18GB game .
Thats all for now, I guess… And I just came up for a title for the post..
Finally!!! Exams are over!!! One month of holidays!!! Hurray!! There are a few things that I need to talk about since I have not put up a useful post in like a month (sorry for that).
1. The Mumbai Terrorist Attack.
For those of you that don’t know about Mumbai (shame on you.. nah, just kiddin), it is the land of Bollywood. One of the 4 metropolitans of India (Delhi, the capital is the first), it was attacked by terrorists yet again this week. Around 10 terrorists, spread over 3 places (The Taj Hotel, The Oberoi Hotel and the Nariman House), held these places hostage for over 2 days, and resulted in not only hundreds of deaths of innocent people and 3 NSG (National Security Guard), but also extensive damage to property. The 3 places are completely destroyed/ruined, and may take over a year to resurrect.
It is really suprising that the terrorists had no demands at all and didnt even try to contact the goverment. They called up a specific news channel twice, and talked for over 15 minutes each time, trying to spread their message of hate. The guy kept claiming “why should we live in fear, we should all die fighting like lions”. Why the heck did they want to die killing like lions. Not even like lions.. i mean even lions kill once in 3 days… Their thoughts seem so stupid and narrow-minded. The guy sounded totally brainwashed… kept repeating the same thing again and again like a broken tape record. Why do they want to die and kill?? What did they get out of it??
I got this great SMS today.. it went something like this: “We should leave the fate of terrorists upto God. But we should try to arrange their meeting with God as soon as possible.”
We can all blame the government for all such things. But what we should do is to try to spread awareness. The general public should know what steps to take when a suspicious activity or person is seen. The process should be made simple. If a person reports a suspicious activity to the police these days, not only is he ignored on that front, but he is actually ridiculed for his fear.
2. My new iPod!!
I got a new iPod Nano 4G as a gift more than a week back. But due to ongoing exams, I didn’t even unpack it!! (some will-power huh??) Now that I have unpacked it, set it up and copied music and videos to it, I was a little dissappointed with the videos. When I played the vids for the first time, they played fine. But all subsequent times the iPod kept hanging up/crashing. I had to restart it. But I found the solution to this program by some hit and trial and some plain old simple logical thinking . Here are some details in form of a FAQ.
Q. My iPod is in a hang condition or crashed.
A. Flip the Hold switch twice (hold “on” then hold “off”). Then hold the Menu and Center button together pressed for about 6 seconds until the iPod reboots. It does not erase any of your data, and reboots pretty fast.
Q. My iPod is still crashing on playing videos.
A. Simple!! Right click on the video file in your iTunes library. Select “Get info”. Go to “Options” and deselect “Remember playback position”.
Post will be continued later as I have to go out somewhere right now.. Do come back for the rest of the post. Here is the wallpaper whose tutorial is coming up…