Yours Sincerely, Data Sheet – Part 2: Does the word “Turbo” ring a bell?

Posted: April 21, 2013 by Jinkchak in RVCE, RVCE CSE, Short Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
R.V. College of Engineering,
R.V. Vidyanikethan Post,
Mysore Road,
Bangalore – 560059

10th January, 2013

Dear Final-Year Student of the 2009-2013 batch,

This is a continuation of my previous letter, dated 9th January, 2013 AD. If you haven’t read it already, I urge you to head here – right away.

Now that you’ve finished reading my previous letter, allow me to proceed.

Turbo c simulator download

Does the word “Turbo” ring a bell?

The CS lab sessions were somewhat different – I should know because, after all, I have an inclination towards the CS department, for reasons best left unknown. Most of the time, preparation for a lab didn’t involve studying. All that was required was great perseverance to copy/write an entire program, of variable length, from the lab manual (or from someone else’s completed data sheets that you borrowed) to me. Then, during the actual lab session, you had to type out my contents on an actual computer, and hope that the program would run with no errors. It was more of a typing class, really. If one did not learn how to program here, one would at least learn how to type…

pen drive memeThere were many, (especially those who hadn’t written their data sheets properly) who preferred to avoid the hassle of debugging “their” code (or perhaps, preferred to avoid even the hassle of typing) and instead, used pen drives or the Internet (when it happened to be in working order, which was extremely rare) to download completely functional programs that they could palm off as their own. Rumor has it that after your batch (2009 – 2013), the powers that be found ways to thwart such tactics, by forcing students to write programs using old-school telnet servers with weird colours and a command-line interface.

lab meme - CopyFor some bizarre reason, writing programs directly on the computer, without first writing on data sheets, was rarely tolerated and was, in fact, considered a dreadful sin that demanded severe action from the authorities. And the funny thing was, many a time, the syllabus was such that the theory portion wasn’t synchronized with the practical portion. Unless your lab teacher made an effort to actually teach you the concept of a program inside the lab (perhaps, only a handful of teachers actually taught inside the lab – consider yourself lucky if you were taught by them) OR you (your good self) made an effort to understand it yourself, you had to execute programs that you did not even have a clue about.

printoutI can also recall one particularly notable incident in which a student didn’t write on me. Instead, he got a printout (that too, in colour) of the required program to the lab, with the intention of referring to the printout as he typed the program on a computer in the lab. He was severely reprimanded for his thoughtless deed, and ended up writing on me.

writing recordAnyway, coming back to what I was saying earlier; after this entire hullabaloo of writing/copying and drawing/writing the output of the program on me, you had to get the teacher’s autograph on me, and then, write the same program in my sibling – the lab record. You all had to write the same program so many times that, soon, most students viewed me with great contempt for no fault of mine! Most of you decided that I was the cause of all your suffering. Truth be told, I had no part to play in framing these good-for-nothing rules. Well, as they say, Familiarity breeds contempt. If you don’t mind my saying so, I really pity your sorry state of affairs, but I was and will always be a necessary evil…unless there’s a revolutionary change in the methods used to teach programming here.

viva 2I’ve witnessed countless viva voci (apparently, a Google search reveals that this is the plural form of viva-voce), and to tell you the truth, many of them were memorable. Good questions – good answers; crazy questions – crazier answers; tricky questions – no answers: I’ve heard them all. I’ve heard you cursing the examiners for asking questions that you were sure even they didn’t know the answers to. I can still recall one particular incident with surprising clarity, in which a student gave a silly answer to which the examiner replied, “Don’t give me silly answers,” to which this student retorted, “Don’t ask me silly questions.” I will leave your vivid imagination to conjure up a picture of what ensued later. Be it your reactions of disappointment or relief, I’ve seen them all. I’ve seen how you, who were initially terrified of viva voci, soon, began taking it in your stride. Soon, you stopped caring about vivas and became like the guy in the picture on the right:  Remarkable, indeed!

cs lab examLab examinations – well, that was a completely different ball game altogether. Rather than wrack my brains trying to recall what lengths some of you went to in order to obtain good marks in lab exams, I’ll let you read this – . (Hmmm…I wonder if the person who wrote that answer is from RVCE.)

If you thought that I’ve written all that I had to, then you thought wrong. I have lots more to tell you, but I’ll leave that for my next letter. Until then, toodle-loo.

Yours sincerely,
Data Sheet

Data Sheet 2 - Copy

  1. Anonymous says:

    “Good questions – good answers; crazy questions – crazier answers; tricky questions – no answers”…..great line …. I had this external who linked a particular concept in the lab to diabetes and went to talk about its ill effects ..crazy 🙂

  2. […] letter, dated 10th January, 2013 AD. If you haven’t read it already, I urge you to head here –…right away. Now that you’ve finished reading my previous letter, allow me to proceed. Let’s […]

  3. […] Does the word “Turbo” ring a bell? […]

  4. […] lab externals –the entire jingbang has been covered in Yours Sincerely, Data Sheet – Alpha, Does the word “Turbo” ring a bell? and “Oye! Extra Data Sheet Hai Kya?”, so I won’t delve on this oh-so-memorable topic any […]

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