Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Threads has started...

And it is a huge success as of now! The two most popular events have been conducted. The response has been immense. And the icing on the cake is that there were no technical problems at all. \:d/. In short, we rock.
Sunday started with Codecraft, the online programming contest. 630 teams registered. The mock test on saturday had a few problems. So we were jittery. We completed the questions, their test cases etc just in the morning as the previous post tells you. So, all the more jittery. Changed every question beyond imagination. Hence, though all of them were from the net, where even the test cases and the solutions were available, they werent at all searchable. Finally all programming questions come down to the various types of algorithms like dp, greedy etc. We werent able to change just one question. It was still googlable. But we were already exhausted by then. So everything was ready by 2. And the contest started. I was at the help desk, i.e chatting on yahoo with contestants answering their queries. The contest was for 8 hours, supposed to end at 10. And the number of questions given were also 8. The submission portal opened at 2:30. Immediately there was a correct submission! Though it was for the second easiest question. Next submission for a distinct question was for the easiest question. Many teams had solved two questions by 3. I was getting tensed. Because if this was the rate, then the people would have solved all long before the contest got over. But, we were reassured by a question, which we assumed was next to insolvable. But guess, what happened? It was solved by a team at 3:15. Now that really got me tensed. All questions arent supposed to be solved by a single team in a programming contest. It was an unwritted law. Then Masu and me tried to prepare another question, but we werent upto it, so we soon quit. A few teams had solved 4 questions by 4:30. But then the speed fell. They encountered the tougher ones. And it took them a lot of time. All this while, there was not even a single problem with our server. It handled this huge amount of load pretty well, thanks to the distributed system which used around 10 pcs. I was chatting all this while. Some had nice doubts. But most were stupid or remarks that though their solution is correct it is not being accepted. At 6, it was obvious that our contest was a big hit. Most of the contestants were praising it. Both the questions and the server. Even our sponsors were extremely happy. Afterall, every question was based on them. What more mileage could they have got?
In the last two hours, i was getting feedback from the contestants along with solving their doubts. All liked the contest. Some even became my friends. We went on chatting about iiit, their institute (mostly iit) etc. The contest ended at 10 as scheduled. The most questions a team had solved were 6. And one question wasnt solved by any team. The ideal result. The only sad part was that the top IIIT team was placed 11th. None of our teams in the top 10 :( Though the guy coming second who had also solved the toughest question first, was an ex IIITian. There was a swedish guy who came fifth or something. We had many other international colleges participating.

That was CodeCraft. The next day, that is monday was Cachein, the online treasure hunt. It was supposed to go on for two days. Monday and Tuesday from 4 pm to 10 pm. It started on dot at 4. We were all tensed initially because, there was no mock conducted. But there were no problems what so ever again. A few questions had mistakes. But thats it. Nothing to do with the server. It ran as fast as an hare. :) Again i was at the help desk, that is chatting with the treasure-hunters, answering their queries with patience. Most didnt read the rules, and would ask about things clearly mentioned on the site. The others were adamant that their answers were correct though they were wrong. Many of the people that i chatted with were the same as the day before, i.e codecraft contestants. So once again, the discussion started about the fest, how they came to know about it, how they find it, their praise, their institute, our institute etc. :)
The firat day ended at 10. The same story with the second day i,e today (actually yesterday), though it was more tensed and frantic, it being the final steps to the treasure. I wasnt chatting this time. Had other things to do. By the way, Cachein had 700 people logged in at once, trying to solve puzzles and find the treasure.

Equity Pulse the stock market game had a demo yesterday i.e monday. But it wasnt good. Many problems came to the fore. The actual contest started today morning at 10. It really created a buzz around the institute with people asking each other about the profit they made. It had 800 teams. There were a few problems, bugs etc which led to the contest being restarted again at 2. Not many problems after that. In the night the online crossword and online quiz started after hectic work by the organisers who had been inactive a few days back without doing anything about it. The online crossword is called "X Word" while the online quiz is called "The Answer is 42".
Many institute's people are spending their nights trying to solve these two.
All in all, as of now, Threads'05 rocks. Not just in our eyes, but in those of the other institutes' guys as well.
For more details visit too used to typing this at the end. Replying to various queries in the mails.
Feel like celebrating after every succesful event. :) Thats the plus point of being the coordinator without being stuck with one event. You are part of all events :)

Quite a big post this is...... Got to write one now on Threads with the statistics for the newspapers. I guess this was a practice for that........