One of most memorable days in my life. The day when we managed to successfully organise the first ever OPC for our symposium Paradigm2k6.
Disclaimer : A loooong post….
Buildup to the event :
Having participated in several OPCs(though i had never won), those 4-5 hours on a sunday would be mindboggling and while i try to code atleast 1 or 2, the race of programming prodigies will be hot in whichever OPC it may.The thrill of leading the scoreboard can be relished only by participating in one.I was desperate to have OPC as part of Paradigm2k6 when the first meeting(somewhere in July 20th) for the symposium was held i insisted, explained everyone about OPC and took incharge of conducting the OPC event along with Siddharth(Ooba). None in my set had web programming experience,so was very tensed about developing the system untill i met junior coolgoodfriend – JeyaGeethan(g10). He sounded pretty confident of getting the site ready.We decided to have it on Sep 10th, sunday before the symposium scheduled on Sep 15th.
August 20th, registrations started.I started publicising a bit on orkut and we got good response.Towards the end we even feared how we could manage such a crowd using our system(Manual Testing of all submissions).Around Sep 8th,we had almost 250 teams registered.The system was ready and we tested it in lab.Since stubs and questions weren’t ready we just tested the web interface and thought it would be easy task on sunday.The system was good,we just asked g10 to make additional facility of a leaderboard and he said will make it soon.The question hunt was done by junior vettiarvind & his team.They indeed rocked. I took care of all administrative hassles of lab permissions,transport arrangement on sunday,uninterruptable power,high speed net(this is the highlight comedy).Since saturday and sunday were holidays i took extra care to make things ready on friday itself.I reminded SA of our college about the high speed net and asked him to block all connections to hostel for the next 2 days(Yes our college has 4Mbps shared connection and hostel guys download movies when connection is up and its highly impossible even to log into messenger leave alone browsing).Having trusted him, i went home and was planning to come saturday morning to install the test stubs,compilers and conduct a mock simulating the real one in every sense.
9th September :
I reach college by 11 am and walk all the way to dept and open the lab.Upon opening firefox, i was shocked.It took 300 seconds to load the default firefox google page.OMG college connection sucked.I thought we are screwed.Arjun(aju) always warned me about it and asked to hire an iway so that we can conduct the event smoothly.Curse me i dint take those words seriously.Adopted the wait-n-watch plan.Enquired one assistant in SA room and he said network is using 3.5 Mbps. How the hell when none in hostel nor anyone in depts except us have net.He asked to wait till SoMCA labs were closed at 8pm. 830 pm No respite. Connection still sucks big time. My planB was to have it in 4-5 people home(Sridharan was leading that and was prepared to help us) and coordinate using yahoo conference.I went for dinner at kelambakkam,all the way talking to one person or the other on the phone.Krishnan.C.R(CRK) came up with this idea of having it in Joshua(reanimator)‘s residence/office.Joe agreed,thank god we have a place with 10 computers and 1 Mbps connection(Yeah his office has hi-fi gadgets and cool connectivity).It was 10pm when we finally decide to have on joe’s place.I asked ooba to stay on joe place and install the test scripts/compiler on all systems.He must have had a sleepless night doing it.G10 is making final changes to the leader-board script and its not tested(!). Now i had to run to inform the staff coordinator who said he will come to college on Sunday to monitor the event.I get his number at 1130 pm after troubling few staffs late night.He couldnt be reached.I came to hostel by 12 and speak to g10/ooba about the number of people required(decided to have 10 mods) to conduct and finally go-to bed by 1.
September 10 :
I woke up by 5 am,goggled my mouth and left to josh’s place.Walk all the way to OMR to find any mode of transport to go.Finally at 6am i found 119 and boarded it and woke up aju who like few of us was having sleepless nights for quite sometime working for the symposium. He agreed to pick me at CMBT and we went to his place where i brushed and had a face wash.Then we left to CRK’s place where i had bath and aju bought us tiffin from a nearby hotel.I was calling ooba and asking about preparations, he said everything was perfect and people are on their way to joe’s place to help us out.We had breakfast and me & aju left to joe’s place while CRK joined us later.While travelling Vigneshwar(VP – President) called me and was trying to say (“Srini accident la manda udunjuduchu, heavy bleeding we are taking him to hospital, coordinate with ooba,manage the event”) and i heard it as (“CD cut,blood taking to hospital,coordinate with ooba”) [both of us were travelling fast].I understood something happened to someone and they are rushing to hospital
9am : We reached joe’s place and got the exact news from Ooba where he was alone.we were shocked,we dint know to continue or not.everyone left to hospital.It was rather a serious accident.a cut on the forehead.VP called us and asked to go ahead with the event and said he will take care of srini. It was 930 just 30 mins to go.Ooba,myself,arjun,crk,vinodram were the only ones at joe’s place.ooba was instructing us what to do.(None other than me and ooba had an idea even about the concept of OPC).We decided the testers and planned to start with 5 mods.We opened bang on 10 am sharp.I was also getting calls,sms from particpants with range of queries.g10 must have had tough time acting as 2 mods and also keeping an eye on the admin panel.Right from 1015 am submissions started coming in.Later Sanjeev,achu,madhu,yogi joined around 1030. Now we heard srini is being transferred to vijaya hospital for surgery.All of us were praying god..11 am,it was hotting up,many more submissions.We couldnt turn our head,we had to test the code with script and update status,as soon as we did, another submission will pop up.It went on mechanically till 1pm. Guys present there enjoying the thrill of OPC now.at 1 pm VP arrives and updates with status of Srini.He is undergoing surgery and his parents were informed and they had come to hospital.Raghul got some snacks to all of us and everyone was hungry without anything on stomach(some skipped even the breakfast).Finally it all ended at 230 pm and it was history that the site was perfect up and running without even a single hassle(Ofcourse we exceeded disk space & bandwidth[unexpectedly] for which we paid solidly to our host). Time to congratulate each other for the roaring success of our maiden venture.All though we were happy at the end of event,we couldnt digest the tragic accident to srini.We dispersed and srini was still recovering. While some met him same evening, i met him the next day,boy it was a major accident and he was forced to undergo plastic surgery to hide the scar.
The day was still not over for me.I had my lunch at 4pm and started to home on a overcrowded PRTC bus.Around 530pm the bus had a lucky escape when the driver managed to bring the bus to halt when both the back tyre on the left bursted and the bus came to grinding halt from 80kmph to 0 luckily without capsizing. Then i called my dad to come and pick me up.He came driving 8 km and on the way back our silencer bursted.I had to walk 2 km to home pushing the vehicle.
The day ended with seeing this mail from sanjeev to groups and it was really refreshing and the feel was heavenly.
What a fantastic start to P2K6!
The Online Programming Contest was a rip-roaring success.Inspite of the many obstacles that we faced during the build up to the event,once we got going,there was no looking back.
First and Foremost,we must be extremely grateful to Joshua(4 yr) who bailed us out of trouble by making arrangements to conduct O.P.C at his residence.The original plan was to conduct O.P.C at our college but due to unforeseen circumstances we had to abandon the plan and when was time was fast running out,Joshua helped us out.
The Stars of the event were…
Kudos to the above mentioned duo who burnt the midnight oil to make this event possible..
Special thanks to JEYAGEETHAN,3yr CSE ( SuperStar of the event) for designing and developing the site & the system, single handedly which stood such a busy traffic, without even a single problem.
Special thanks to ARAVIND,MANI,C.KARTHIK-3yr CSE ( top coders) who chose the best of the questions which were really hard even for the toppers to crack ( 2 questions werent solved by any team throughout the contest).
It was really unfortunate that our Joint Treasurer. SRINIVASARAGHAVAN met with a freak bike accident just before the start of the event.After a minor surgery,his condition is stable now.. and LET US ALL PRAY FOR HIS SPEEDY RECOVERY.
The event was launched at 10 : 00 a.m and we downed the shutters at 2:30 p.m It was rapid progress all the way with many teams proving to be extremely competitive.We had teams from every nook & corner..IIT,CEG,PSG,MIT,CRESCENT,VENKATESHWARA,RMK,RMD,VELLAMAL to name a few..The results will be out very soon.. and as of now teams from IIT-KANPUR and CEG are vying for the top honours.
The following were the MODERATORS for the event
ACHUTHANANTHAN ARAVINDH(3 yr) M.S.ARJUN JAYAGEETHAN(3 yr) JEETHUKARTHIK(3 yr) JOSHUA KARTHIK(3 yr) C.R.KRISHNAN MANI(3 yr)
MADHUSUDAN RAGHUL RAJEEV ANAND V.R.SANJEEV SARANYAN SIDDHARTH SRIDHARAN L.SRIKANTH VIGNESHWAR PRATAP VINOD RAM YOGESH
and our heartfelt thanks to all those who helped us out
10 moderators,more than 100 teams,365 submissions in 4.5 hours,1000 HITS to the main site..september 10th 2006.. P2K6’s
O.P.C- INDHU VERUM TRAILER THAAN.. MAIN PICTURE NEENGA
INNUM PAARKALA.. BE THERE ON SEPT 15..P2K6..!
What a day it was .. 10th September 2006.. We did it!!!!!
15th September 2006 coming up soon!!
PS: Im kinda lazy(busy ?) to update here.. I will soon get out of the rough patch and write more soon..