Co-founder @ SMERGERS and

Events started on day 2 of Shaastra.. A copy of schedule was given to all of us. We had a look at it to see what all events we could participate in. The Rubik's cube workshop was scheduled at 12, Code Breaker prelims clashed with that. We chose to attend Rubik's cube since we had missed the Network security Orientation program which was needed for Code Breaker. In the mean time samartha asked me to join him for Code Breaker prelims since he was alone.The questions asked were really nice. It included a lot of things we hadn't even heard of earlier. We could answer some of them and the rest were pure guesses. We left to the mess after that round which was around 1 km from the venue. We used to walk around 8 kms everyday inside the campus.

We had prelims of the SHOCK later in noon. Me, Vattam and samartha teamed up for this. Madhu was keen on attending the FOSS Conference, FOSS Conference included sessions from various FOSS developers. Coming back to SHOCK, The prelims was just like any other OSP. Around 100 teams took part in this. After the prelims we left to the hostel block.

There was a video conference on "Why we can't travel back in time?" by Sir Antony James Legget. It was at 9PM. we were looking forward to it. There was some technical issue, the system used to hang every now and then, more over we could not understand what he said, thanks to his british accent.
During the VC, we got a call from one of the Coordinators of SHOCK saying that we have qualified for round 2. We were very happy for it.

Hackfest was scheduled at 10:30 PM, that is right after the VC and it was a whole night event. We left to the Computer Science Labs. The linux users' group of IITM is very active. Students from branches like Bio-Tech, Electrical and Engineering Physics were very comfortable with Linux Commands. This is something which suprised us.. Akarsh Simha, one of the members of IITM LUG and a GSoC 2008 student (working on Kstars) was from Engineering Physics. I didn't know what to say .

The turn out for hackfest was very good. The coordinators couldn't handle all of them initially. Then they gave us an idea about bug reporting and fixing. They had built some KDE applications and kept it ready for hackfest. The application they suggested was TomBoy Notes. The application is in C# and the code is very well written. The code is self explanatory. We downloaded the source code from SVN and compiled it. I could understand the code to some extent and was in search of a bug which the coordinators had pointed out. We could chose packages of our choice and fix bugs etc. Complete freedom was given to us.

At around 4AM, there were very few guys in the lab. Me, Vattam, Madhu were talking to Akarsh regarding the LUG meets they generally have etc. After sometime,focus shifted to Kstars which is Akarsh's GSoC project. He pointed out a bug and asked us to fix it. We 3 didn't have much knowledge of KDE and its APIs but still tried our best. We gave some dumb hacks like using a '!' before the variable, setting a data member to false etc which would take care of the error but it was something incorrect Later on Akarsh explained us the architecture of Kstars, after which we could actually fix it. But it was a lot of fun before that.

We returned to the hostel at around 7 in the morning. I got another call from the Code Breaker coordinator, He informed me that i can attend the Hands On Lab of Network security( Later on i came to know from samartha that only the top 10 teams were selected for that workshop ) Had breakfast and left to the same computer lab where the second round of SHOCK was scheduled. In this round, we were asked to write clean code for the given obfuscated programs and tell what exactly each program is doing. some of them were easy, rest were equally difficult. The third round was scheduled between 4:30PM to 8:30PM. This was forward obfuscation, we had to obfuscate the given code. It was a bit difficult and more importantly it needed a lot of creativity. We didn't do a very good job with that.

Hackfest Day 2 started at 10:30 PM. The crowd was comparatively less this time. But the company was amazing, we used to have coffee and tea every now and then just to make sure we don't sleep in the lab It Constituted some basic sessions on IRC etc. We 3 left lab at 3 in the morning. Keeping Guido Van Rossum's VC on the next day. Slept for sometime in the hostel. One more thing that made us very happy whenever we heard about any VC or some other session was the Air Conditioner . Guido's QnA session was good. Madhu asked a question regarding python for mobile platforms. There were questions like "Your favourite Text editor?" and a huge round of applause when he replied "EMACS" .

A talk by Madhu and Vattam was also there. I heard it went very well. I somehow couldn't attend it. We are done with most of the events and we'll be leaving to bangalore tomorrow in the noon. Overall it was a very good experience .

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