This is second out of a three part series. See the previous post for Part 1
Rewind again – College Days
India, IIT Madras, 1999
I cried during my summer hols (believe me, literally cried :-() so that my Dad would agree to get a computer in the house and I eventually successed!!! May be my father has still not fully repaid the loan now, but that PIII was a ‘volte de face’ in my life! Though I was not allowed to take the computer to my hostel. My hunger for learning during the holidays was immense! I started out learning C++, the ‘dial up’ internet world, my first email … errr .. hotmail a/c, Java, Graphics i.e photoshop – some of the major things I learnt. All done my own time and resources in 1999 and 2000 just by exploring and reading books. BTW I am still using them and things have not changed much on those lines!
Let me now come to the media front! In the hostel, come 2000 the amount of electronics in my wing had risen atleast four fold. Given my money constraints and interest in music – I bought myself a mp3 music player from Richie street connected to amplifiers and two big speakers and the room was a juke box for the hostel. The cost of the mp3 player Rs 4,000 then (mind you the same models with DVD reading capability come for Rs 2,000!) By this time, the MCM (movie chain management as I term it!) was smooth. we had one person for travel with access to a vehicle i.e a bike. A person who loves choosing movies and is willing to shell out a few bucks. A person with computer giving access to his room and setup for the complete theatre experience.
Apart from theatre once or twice a week, seeing movies on VCD had become a common thing. Be it really good new movies, local regional content or (behind doors) porn! Movies were a anytime activity. With no other choice of entertainment in the night – the IIT officials had decided to give only 3 channels on TV for hostels (talk about freedom!). Entertainment at our rooms was the thing. If you were bored, all you had to do was walk around the hostel wings and there was a high probability would will find a genre of movie of your liking 🙂 Just shelling out Rs 20 per month you could easily watch a movie a day!
Come 2001 and 2002
Junior and Senior of Undergrad Days at IITM
They saw a flurry of DVDs and gaming with extra efforts on our part (i.e students’ initiatives) to network and play amazing games like Quake, Unreal Tournament, Need For Speed and of course Age of empires! I meant extra efforts because, networking was not allowed in 2002 in the hostel (bloody Wardens and their rules)! IIT Madras atleast believed in controlling students sooo much. But with help of the budding engineeers and gaming enthusiasts we all went to the next level when the computers started talking! A very slow bus LAN but that was enough for the wing to start playing day in and day out. The computers were shared and excitement atleast for the inital two months was intense.
This is how we spent our initial ‘networked’ days – eat dinner and warm up with rounds of Need for Speed from 9pm to 11pm. Then it was Quake III in teams till 2:30 or so. After then discussion in the middle of the wing in the night regarding which team beat the crap of whom till 4:30am! Then those who planned to attend classes went off to sleep 😀 (talk about balancing work i.e learning life and social life). But it was only then the real gaming experts started their day then with UT and Age of empires. Then of course, the ‘real’ daytime saw lots of people polishing their gaming skills on the computers to show their class for the action during the night! And come weekends, one could even play shared marathon AOE matches or watch how the strategy goes. Sometime, I would wake up at 11:30 am and find the entire wing quiet with not many waking up till 2:30 pm! Now, thats gaming for you. Purely addictive and highly exciting. What we were bottled necked was by good networking, need for more and better computers. It was pure technology and some finance and not the human resource or time!
Next on how my interactions with Ms and the Cs from 2002 until now … Have a good Sunday folks!