Harrowing tales from VNIT : The Mouse, The Printer and The Virus

January 28, 2010

VNIT has always presented us with challenges. Be it walking nearly 200 meters to take a shit (block 6 two years ago) or mugging up meaningless slides which have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject matter. At VNIT, we also deal with incompetence of astronomical magnitudes at different levels. The various levels of the VNIT administrative hierarchy are inundated with such colorful individuals. Ease of reference and lethargy compel us to refer to them as “Oompa Loompas” as short hand for the more detailed description given above.

Moving on, we have divided this recent experience in two parts. We will call Chapter 1 “The Mystery of The Missing Mouse” and Chapter 2 “Ancient Computer meets Antediluvian Printer”.

Chapter 1 – The Mystery of The Missing Mouse

Some (most) of you must know what VSF is/was. Fewer among you will be aware, however, as to how much preparation (insanely large) went into VSF and how much time (let’s just say not quite enough) we had for it. In order to facilitate the smoother working of the organizing team, we decided to have a base of operations in the erstwhile TT room (soon to be returned to its former glory… after we’re done cleaning up, of course 😀 ). This involved setting up a computer there (Note: we use the term “computer” lightly here). So, in order to obtain said “computer”, we go into the HOD office (in future, we will refer to him as Oompa Loompa-1 or OL-1) from where we fetch a machine which would not look out place in a museum of modern history. We will spare you the details but suffice to say that we set the darned thing up in aforementioned base (which did not even have proper plug point). Now comes the fun part. OL-1 apparently had a hitherto unknown attachment to his mouse. Once, we were done setting up the computer, OL-1 decided to regain possession of his precious while we were out. In the meanwhile, we had managed to obtain a printer (once again, we use the term “printer” very lightly here) from OL-2 aka Kaanya. All the pieces in place (except the mouse of course) all we had to do was to make the printer work (sounds easy, doesn’t it?)

Chapter 2 – Ancient Computer meets Antediluvian Printer

Little did we know that fate had other plans. We live in an age where all one has to do to make a printer work is to plug it in the USB port of the computer. However, this “printer” and “computer” are remnants of an older age. As the technologically inclined among you may know, to facilitate this interaction, we needed software which is popularly known as a device driver. Now a few facts in order to get you up to speed on what we were faced with.

Fact 1 – Computer is old and has a virus which would have made the ebola virus look harmless
Fact 2 – Printer (I know this is hard to believe) is even older.
Fact 3 – There is no mouse.
Fact 4 – We did not have the device driver.
Fact 5 – There was no internet.
Fact 6 – Did we mention there is no mouse?

Any non-computer literate (we wanted to use the term “geek” but we were given to understand that this term has negative connotations) would be daunted by the task at hand. But we being who we are (we’ll be putting up a resume page soon :D) took it up as a challenge. Few among you will know how difficult it is to use a computer with a GUI without a mouse (if you don’t know, take our word for it). This would have been moderately complicated with no virus involved. Definitely not complicated enough to merit a blog entry. But the computer virus gave it that extra “zing” which we all want in life. We will try to spare you the harrowing details. Here is the basic summary:

Step 1 – Insert pen drive (which contains printer driver), install pen drive driver software, go to pen drive location and copy paste printer driver on to C drive.

Step 2 – Navigate to printer driver location and complete setup.

Step 3 – Realize that it is wrong driver.

Step 4 – Hence, go back, get correct driver and redo step 1 (we may take the liberty to remind you that there was still no mouse).

Step 5 – Initiate device driver setup.

Now, we thought we had completed our work and were happily sitting back only to see the setup paused to inform us that one of the files was not present in the driver directory. We went to the said directory and saw that the file was indeed present (we later realized that the virus was injecting code into the files which screwed up the CRCs thus corrupting those files…#$@!#@$ virus). We recopied the file from the pen drive to the same location. Doing this once was a pain in the ass. Imagine doing it 20 odd times and restarting the setup each time because the virus made setup window inaccessible. After an indeterminate amount of time had passed the driver was finally set up and we were only left with the comparatively menial tasks of making the printer the default one and testing it. Once we got that done we felt a great sense of accomplishment… some might say disproportionate to what we had achieved …to them our humble response will be ‘_l_’.

After this mind numbing experience, we have a renewed appreciation for the importance of the Mouse in our lives. VNIT has once again succeeded in its mission of forcing us to recognize new paradigms in life which we hitherto took for granted.

This was a joint article by yours truly and pseudo football captain aka Tantrik Assassin 😛


11 Responses to “Harrowing tales from VNIT : The Mouse, The Printer and The Virus”

  1. Shiv Prakash Says:

    Awesome style of writing !! Very … sarcastic … I guess you can improve upon the dramatic part !! That will added twist and ‘Masala’ to the story !! great one thought !:) cheers! Even I have begun appreciating the mouse now !

  2. Shiv Prakash Says:

    Excuse the grammar and typo’s I was in hurry 🙂 cheers !

  3. Sanjay Bysani Says:

    Haha.. Sounds like u guys had a fun day 🙂

  4. Tantric Assassin Says:

    @bysani: you betcha we did
    we probably might put in one later about the joys of website design at VNIT 😛
    Harrowing tales from VNIT : A Rabbit Wants what a Rabbit Wants…

  5. srini Says:

    kudos!! for having such a once in a lifetime experience. but i still wonder why u geniuses din’t flick a mouse(learning from ur teachers:-)) or take one of ur own!!

    anyyways bravo!

    • meheranandk Says:

      We were in the Physical Education dept and going all the way to the hostel for just a mouse was not something that we felt like doing. That’s why we managed with only a keyboard.

  6. Adhokshaj Bellurkar Says:

    Lol. But I tend to avoid mouse and use keyboard! (Call it sheer laziness.) And how did you finally make virus tired of injecting the wrong code? 😛

    • meheranandk Says:

      The virus never got tired. Did Swine Flu ever get tired of infecting people? We had to work in the order to milli seconds in order to complete the installation. The virus was making the Setup window inactive almost immediately after selecting it. So the Alt+Tab and Enter key combination had to be given perfect timing just so that we could go to the next step of the installation.

  7. panu Says:

    hats off to your patience. jst a indoor adventure u got in vnit….

  8. hats off to ur patience. jst a indoor adventure u got in vnit… its fun to read ur article (realy funnn)

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