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Posted By Subodh on Monday, April 06, 2009
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Doh! I can't believe what he's doing! Sumit and Mehul in a similar stance!There were about a 100 “386” diskless nodes in the Central Computer Center. Connected via the 10-Base-T cables to the Novel Netware 3.x there was nothing much to be excited about. All the screens were the typical 14” boring black and white types. It would take about a minute to login via the common “Lanuser” account. Another 10 minutes for the students to setup their environment after waiting for their home directory to be available. A typical computer science student would load up Borland CPP and type away building that editor and put away compiling till everything is saved coz you know… there is no knowing when that terminal would hang up and then they would have to jump to another node just to get it to that one dreaded step again. Non computer science students would typically be found playing or making games (while through the corner of their eyes ensuring the staff isn’t looking).  It was during one of these GWBASIC sessions that I realized these terminals didn’t even have a screen 1.

An Intel representative was giving a presentation about the brand new Pentiums, with real color screens (no, not just the green tint monitors), 100 Mbps Ethernet  connection on every machine and Windows 3.11 for workstation pre-installed. That Intel was giving a grant to the college (being number 2 and all) completely free was another matter but that they were giving 300 of these machines, to be installed in the Central Computer Center, the only condition being they would call the floor where these are installed “Intel Lab” and they would get a preferential date from the placement department – No guarantees needed, just a date sooner than when none of the students are waiting for jobs anymore. Needless to say, during the demonstration, everybody was impressed and with the heart beats racing, mouths gaping, there was only one question - “How soon?” Nonetheless, the Intel guy was profusely sweating, the Mangalore weather is can drive your sweat glands to overdrive.

The staff and everyone else in that meeting probably took pity on the guy (or maybe just hoped to please him), ordered some cold drinks to cool the “phoren” guy; “ordered” as in “someone runs to the gate to get the Maaza.”  DBF walks in just in time to see someone being treated to chaklis and cold drinks and demands to know what is going on.

DBF: “Oh, I see. So you are going to give us a thousand machines and not charge anything?” “How nice of you I say.”

PIG: “Well Sir, nice to meet you, this is a grant that is approved by Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Intel is just trying to make the future of Indian students better.”

DBF: “What you say? There is no future of these students. And swami, you do not worry about these students. That is our problem okay ? ”

PIG: (taken aback at the stern tone, readjusts himself in the chair). “Sir, let me show you, these are the best in the world machines, they are so fast compared to what currently have. Your students will be so much more productive…”

DBF: “First of all the students do not need to be productive, they need to get good marks. Show me what machine you are talking all the nonsense about.”

PIG: (by now he’s been quietly told DBF is the Chairman of CCC) “Here Sir, full color 17” monitor, blah blah Mega hertz, it can compile a code 1000 times faster than your current hardware…”

DBF: (interrupts) “Really? I have this FORTRAN  program that calculates the power loss on high tension AC cables. Show me how much will be the loss between Mangalore to say Hampankatta.”

PIG: “Err… Sir, I do not have the FORTRAN compiler, do you have one?”

DBF: “What do you mean huh? Can you tell me how much is the power loss?”

PIG: “Sir, I can tell you if I had the Fortran compiler installed but I do not have one installed right now!”

DBF: “ Ah, so your new machine cannot even run my FORTRAN program and you say it is better than everything we have put together with hard work all these years?”

PIG: “But Sir ..”

DBF: “Listen You pot of mud, you can fool everyone here but not me. You can take your machines and your senseless proposition out of here. What is this I say? You have connected everything to one power socket?”

PIG: (looks at the direction DBF is pointing) “ Yes sir, I needed the power for my machine and did not find a socket that was working so used a power strip …”

DBF: “Do you know how much of load is allowed on a 5 AMP socket? How much of power does your machine consume I say?”

PIG: “Err… “

DBF: “Ayyo Swamy, I do not know how you can be selling machines when you do not even know how much power it consumes. And you are trying to burn down my computer center by connecting so much of load to one socket?”

PIG: “Sorry Sir, I didn’t …”

DBF: “Swamy … Sorry is not the solution, it is evident you know nothing and your machine is no good … hah hah.” (looks around to ensure everybody laughs when he laughs) “What is this I say ? It cannot even run a FAARTRAAN program.”

PIG: “Sir its not like that”

DBF: (now raising his voice) “ Listen to me you paat of mud. I do not want to hear your nonsense anymore. This meeting is over. We’re not taking machines from you. And you need to learn a little before you talk nonsense to professors”


Needless to say  the Poor Intel Guy just took off, the last thing I remember seeing was his all wet white shirt and a handkerchief wiping his profusely  sweating forehead.


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 Comments & Discussions

  • Gravatar
    Prasanna Monday, April 06, 2009 at 10:05 PM
    Re: Can it run FORTRAN?
    Nice to see this article... have heard the story several times (so couldnt laugh much on reading this :-P)

    • Gravatar
      Subodh Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 5:47 PM
      Re: have heard the story several times
      happy You may have heard this one. There sure are others aplenty winking

  • Gravatar
    Ritzy Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 3:24 PM
    First Computer Class
    I don't know why but this story reminds of my first computer class where every now n then some bugger sitting besides me would hit the Reboot button of "my" desktop and still complaint that he can't see anything on "his" screen

    • Gravatar
      Subodh Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 5:48 PM
      Re: Can it run FORTRAN?
      ROTFL. Happened to me all the time. And I found a way to get around that. As soon as somebody sits down, just remind them where their reboot button is. big grin

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