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Archive for November, 2005

The difficult is what gets done quickly.
It’s only the impossible which takes some time ….

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Hehe …

Have started this new blog to spread some gyan which I have gathered after years ( 3 and a half to be precise ) doing engineering.

The blog basically talks about Engineering life and different phases of it with how to choose your college or course and then later on to other more ‘advanced’ topics on submission tips and tricks, what to do for seminars, etc etc.

So, if you are in that field or plan to be in there in sometime, its worth a decko.
Go to : Saurabh on Engineering

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About courses and colleges

I guess I am missing out a post on “Why engineering ?” but I found that I would not be qualified enough to write on that.
I guess you’ll have to do your homework on that account, and figure out things for yourself.

At this point, I am assuming that you have decided that you want to do Engineering only, and nothing else.
Basically, this might be due to many reasons ( sort of delving into the ‘why engineering’ side ).
Maybe your folks ( or even you ) for that matter, still think that being an engineer or a doctor is the only worthwhile thing to do with your life.
Maybe, you actually want to do it because it is more challenging, and you would like a B.E or a B.Tech thingy in front of your name.
Or, whatever the reason … you are going to do an engineering course.

So, there you are.
You have cleared your Std. XII in science ( I think in India, most of the places, Science is compulsory ) and standing with the application form in your hand deciding on which college / course to apply for.
Or, if you are of the more planned and organised kind, you’d be sitting on a table with your folks or someone trying to decide where and how you would be spending the next 4 ( hopefully ) years of your life.

Life is not fair.
And everyone is not a genius.

Only in very few cases, do you get both, the college as well as the course of your choice.
Most of the times, you will be faced with an option of a very well known college with a very bad course and sometimes, a not so great college with the course that you want.

Now, this is a tricky decision.
I was lucky, because I had one equation completely out of the way.
I wanted to do computers and nothing else. ( My dad wanted me to do mechanical which took a bit of convincing )
Hard core engineers ( those from a few years before, who did mechanical or electrical or civil engineering – very few courses existed then ) do not consider “Computers” to be worth of an Engineering course.

Anywho, I had my mind made up.
The only other equation was the college.

Now, all the colleges that I was applying to come under the Pune University category.
So, at the end of it all, the B.E certificate that you will be holding in your hand, would not have the college name on it, but of Pune University.

So then, the college does not matter … right ?
Wrong.

If you’d ask me the question one year ago, my answer would be in the affirmative.
But, I have learnt that the college does matter to some extent.

Now, unless you are bargaining for an IIT or a BITS, the teaching in all the colleges will be more or less same.
So, that is not a question of debate.

There is also the factor of crowd ( other people in college ) but then, unless you are going to a college in some God forsaken place, in the middle of nowhere, you should be fine.
You will always find ‘your’ kind of people in every college to hang around with.

The only place where the college DOES matter is placements.
The more known the college, more the number of people it gets placed. Period.

I learnt it this year.
Though I have already been placed and quite a few of my other classmates also, other colleges get much better companies coming to them ( or so it seems atleast ).

Please keep this in mind, ( atleast here in PU ), that you have to have an aggregate of atleast 60% to be able to appear for the interviews.
58% the door becomes smaller.

Anything less than that, I am sorry to say, it gets pretty difficult – atleast for a campus placement.

So, now the question is – “Should I go for a better college with a sucky course or the other way around ?”

My thoughts on this issue is : always choose the course first, the college later.
If you like a course, you will automatically do well in it.
( I know, I would have committed suicide by now if I would have taken mechanical )

If you end up taking a sucky course for the sake of a college, no matter how excellent the professor on the other side is, you will NOT want to study the material he is teaching.

Plus, you will have to tolerate the college only for 4 years, but the course that you take will propel you into a career which you’d be stuck in for a lifetime.

So, unless entirely necessary, please give a lot of precedence to a course rather than the college.

The other issue I wanted to address was the distance of the college.

If you have college A which is 25 kms away from your place and say, has a rating of 9 and college B which is just 8 – 10 kms from your place and has a rating of 7, please go with college B. ( 9 is a better score ! )

I have had many people come to me and say that, “Beta, you have to suffer only for 4 years of your life, then everything will get better”

If such people come to you, please ask them to kindly take a hike – and a long one at that.

The reason is simple.
Travelling 25 kms everyday means 2 hours wasted everyday of your life.
By the time you come back, you’re tired, exhausted and wished you were dead.
You have no time to complete your assignments, end up copying and suffer in the end.

I am lucky coz my college is just 6 mins from my place on a good day and 15 mins max on a bad day.
For an 8 o’ clock lecture, I wake up at 6:45, leave home at 7:45.
College is over by 3 and I make it home by 3:30 ( after wasting sometime in college ) – enough time for eating and having a nice 1 hour afternoon nap, to wake up at 5:30 – all refreshed and ready to hit the books ( only if the need be … )

So, please if you get a decent college close to your place, grab it with both hands.
It will make a hell lot of a difference in the end.

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Introduction …

Okay, before I get on with all the stuff about engineering, I’d like to tell you something about myself and how you should read the blog.

I am doing a 4 year engineering course in Computer Engineering from Pune University.
The Pune University is one of the more reputed universities for engineering this side of the country after IIT Bombay.

This is mainly because, unlike many colleges elsewhere, we have University exams every semester (6 months) from the first year itself and the overall results are pretty low .. with about 18% – 22% of the students appearing, clearing all the papers.
So, the course is pretty challenging … and people need to slog out regularly to do decently well.

Now, Pune is sort of a students paradise – and its one of the best places to study in.
A large population of Pune comprises of students, with people coming from all places in India and also other countries to study here …

You’d find probably any conceivable course in Pune.
And isn’t Pune called the Oxford of the East ?

Now whether you believe that or not, is debateable … but the fact is that it is called that.

Anyways, why I mentioned its one of the best places to study, is because there are tonnes of student centric activities that take place here.
There is the Indian Express Verve, and every college has their own festivals ( and there are 100s of colleges ) with quizes, games, lan gaming and any other contests people can come up with.

In the sports side of the story, there are lots of sports tourneys that take place throughout the year – enough to keep you busy.
So, in all, its a nice place for a student ..

You can stick to one particular side, or get your hands dirty doing a little bit of everything.

In the three and a half years, I’ve wasted a good many college hours doing all these things, so I reckon I can consider myself pretty knowledgeable to write on “How to skip classes in a productive manner”. A lot of which I would also be discussing out here …

So .. umm .. watch out this space for more …

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This issue has bugged me for ages …
Ever since I was able to do most of the things myself … booking tickets, paying the bills, buying and ordering things, I’ve had this major issue with Indian Companies …

Most of them .. and I am talking of about the 99% of them … have the shoddiest service and their product quality is so pathetic, that you could throw your money – literally – down the drain and be happier for that.

People and companies who actually deliver, are very, very rare in India … and if you come across some person or organisation which truly does this, you should not even think of going anywhere else and never, ever forget about them …
Recommend them to all your friends, and those who’d care to listen and do the people ( the customers ) a big favour.

Anyways, I learnt the lesson the hard way.
Never – and I mean NEVER EVER compromise on quality, OR the services of a professional to save a few pennies here and there ..
In the long run, you will be the one losing out on your time and money and mental balance in pursuing a jackass who promises you the world, but can’t even deliver a decent product if his life depended on it …

The story actually starts with us guys needing to make the sweatshirts …
I am going to take real life examples here … and these shops do exist.

So, we people decide to make our college sweatshirts …
We had 2 options – Uberoi sports on MG Road and Champion sports at Deccan ( for those of you who are familiar with Pune )

I had previously got some sweatshirts made from Uberoi when we guys were in the tenth standard in Vincents … and though they were not stunning, they were affordable and okay.

Plus, Uberoi was a lot closer to our college – and hence we decided to get it made there.
So, we go and place the order sometime on the 10th of September for the sweatshirts and give him the specifications.
Mind you, to do this, we actually visited his shop 3 times because most of the times the guy who owns the place – Sanjeev Brar someone, wasn’t at his shop.

So, finally when we meet him, we place the order and he agrees to deliver the sweatshirts for 300 bucks on the 18th of September which is also the last working day of our college.
He collects 50% advance and agrees to get the job done even with the ICICI bank type of “Mein Hoon Naa” kind of glance at himself …

We give him the slogan to be put on the back, which we write ourselves and mention to him that it has to be specifically done in a particular way, otherwise the meaning would be lost.

On 17th of September ( one day before d day ), his father mysteriously becomes unwell and so the guy does not answer any of my calls.
Later, what ensues is a series of calls which are just cut off. At one time, he himself put me on hold – after 8 minutes, when I disconnect the call and recall him back, his daughter picks up the phone and says that he hasn’t been to the shop for the entire day.
I had to resort to asking my other friends to call him to fool him into answering the phone – which he did on all occasions.

Then suddenly, in the middle, someone falls off from the 2nd floor of his building, and our sweatshirts again get delayed because he was in the hospital tending to him.

After lots of hassles … and believe me … I have NEVER been so harrased in my life, we finally get to see the sweatshirts on the 28th of September.
But to tell you honestly, the quality of the material looked like stuff they use to make tents.

And best of all, he gets the printing all wrong in the back.
Not only does the sweatshirt suck, we will look like fools if we had to wear it.

To cut a long story short, he tried to rectify the printing job, but he got it all messed up and the idiot tried to sell me the story that it would all go away after washing it …

I demanded my money back, for which I had to drag 10 of my classmates – the huge and hefty kind – to his shop ( thanks you guys ! ) to demand the money which he eventually gave us ( that too using a Post dated cheque which thankfully cashed in later )

Now, after collecting the cheque on that day, we rushed to Champion Sports …

This is on a Saturday – 5th of November and we place the order for our sweatshirts …
After a lot of thinking and looking at the hundreds of sweatshirts which Champions previously had made, we place the order for the sweatshirts.

He agrees to do it for 310 bucks and not charge us for the printing ( he has his own printer setup ).
They have an inhouse designer, who designs the print job for us on the comp – and hacks at it till we are satisfied with it, and then creates a template for the print job in front of us.

Champions then calls me on Monday – 7th of November – and asks me whether I could come on Tuesday to look at the temp embroidery job ( college name ) which they did.
I check it out on Tuesday and find it satisfactory and approve it.

Thursday evening -10th November – I get a call saying that the sweatshirts are ready and we can pick it up anytime.
Friday evening, we pick up the sweatshirts and by Saturday, everybody has it.
Boom !

Quick and painless – how to get sweatshirts made in 6 days.
After what I had gone through, this looked like a fairy tale ..
The quality of the fabric is awesome and everyone loved the sweatshirt.

I have very high regards for Champion Sports after this, and could not recommend you to anyone else for sports wear related matters.

He may be slightly expensive – for the more jazzy designs ( ours is a plain black with name embroidered and slogan printed on back ), but you can be rest assured he will deliver on time and the quality would be exceptional.

What he offered us for 310 bucks, made the Uberoi sweatshirts for 300 bucks look like rags to clean the floor with.

Lesson learnt !
Point noted !

  • Never ever ever compromise on quality !
  • Professionals charge more coz they know what they are offering you.

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The big why ?

The first question, most of the people reading this would ask – “why ?”
Why would anyone want to write a blog on engineering ?

Here goes …
I’ve been in Engineering for the past 3 and a half years of my life ( as of writing this ) and have observed a lot of things … which are typical off most of the Engineering colleges and the courses …

Engineering is a different ball game altogether, and hapless 18 year olds are pushed into this big thingamajing with nothing to expect at all …

To some people, its something they have been waiting for most of their lives. Some people can’t handle it for more than a year and quit and some people are still unable to fathom, as to why anyone would want to do engineering …

Have been there, done that – and learnt a few things on the way which I’d like to share with fellow aspirant engineers as they embark, or are thinking on embarking on this 4 year journey.

So, you can consider this to be some sort of altruist excercise, a writing expedition or just something that I am do to kill time … the fact is – that its there, and if you have just joined an engineering course or are planning to join, it might help you a wee bit in making choices, and as to what to expect …

So, here I am … with my second blog.
My first one – if you haven’t heard of it or been there, is called “Musings on Life” and its worth a decko …
There, I rant about life in general … and what I personally feel of certain things and situations.

In the next post, I will talk about – what I actually intend to put up in these spaces and how to go about interpreting stuff from this site – if you are not in the same faculty as me or doing engineering under a different university.

Until then …

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I don’t know how many of you know this, but BSNL has got this awesome feature called “Bandwidth under control” in which, they themselves help you in controlling your broadband usage.

I am using the Rs. 500 plan in which I get a 256 kbps line and a 1 GB limit for a month.
Now, 1 GB per month is roughly 33 MB per day.

I generally stick to about 25 – 35 MB per day, which keeps me in the 1 GB safe zone … however, during exams and submissions and seminars, this limit touches about 55 – 60 MB per day.

So, what BSNL does is awesome …
During the peak time, exams and practicals and stuff, my phone magically goes dead for 2 days.

No phone, no broadband.
This works perfectly.

Coz, during the peak times, when I really need to use the internet, I would be hitting about 150 MB in 2 days.

So, by cutting my phone, these guys help me save up on that.
It’s really awesome you know …

You should definitely give it a try …

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