Have you ever been to an event in which every possible rule and restriction was put in place and then all of them were broken by the organizers themselves? Had you asked this question to me yesterday, I would have said no but today I say yes, I have been to an event like the one aforementioned.
Mount St. Mary’s School‘s annual symposium Matrix Ecomm was held on 20th-21st August 2010. See the invite here, though if you are color blind you may pass it. (if you interested in reading the whole post then you must have a look at the Matrix Ecomm’s invite, it would help you empathize with me and my fellow students who were (un)fortunate enough to attend the symposium.
Note: If you are susceptible to epileptic seizures please refrain from seeing the invite.
It’s not that their invite was bad, it was just an invite which you don’t feel like opening. So many colors, so many images..oh! God! To open the invite you need to have a motive and a friend to support you while you are at it. Though no typos except one was found, the one which I found compensated for 50 typos. It was the third word of the invite and it was written in bold and apparently was in a size three times larger than the rest of the written material in the invite.
What follows is a full (and rather long) review of the event plus pointing out a few things in the invite.
See the typo? Besides the fact that they forgot to add an apostrophe/ letter d (it could have been either ma’am or madam) they perhaps thought even a comma was not required after maam.
These are the rules for the Gaming event, Headshot (with no game in which you could get a headshot). Weird but interesting nevertheless.
- Participants have an option of bringing their own USB mouse not more than 3500 dpi (auto detect, driver installation will not be allowed)
- Team have to be prepared for all Genres
- Teams have to have a proper logo and clan name.
See people, we know you know what dpi is. You don’t need to show off your knowledge by writing anything. 3500? Seriously? My friend bought a mamba for gaming purposes (d’uh!) and you don’t want him to use it? I wonder why…And why the logo? Aditya spent an hour making it while they didn’t even use the logo. No auto detect? How will a participant use any mouse in that case?!
Anyway, our gamers had a talk with the organizers and they removed this restriction afterwards.
The gaming event was spread over 2 days with round 1 and 2 being day 1 while round 3 (finals) on the second day. I was not there the first day since the quiz or surprise event was on the second day. The gaming people qualified in day 1 and went on to grab second place on day 2. According to the schedule a gaming participant could take part in the surprise event as well since they were not clashing. The schedule however was changed afterwards (after day 1) with no official announcement whatsoever. Had to make changes in the teams since a gamer was supposed to come with me in the surprise event, off the computer. The actual gaming however ended before the commencement of the surprise event thus making me mad. Why did they change it in the first place?!
This is the event in which I went. It can also be considered the surprise event though it hasn’t been named so.
- Matrix Mind Fields™ is the ultimate challenge testing technological prowess. The Mind Field will…….
- Teams will comprise of 4 members. 2 on the computer and 2 for challenges off the computer.
I settled for off the computer since we were expecting quiz/crossword/banana/apple to come as the event. The on the computer guys were told that Video Editing et al could come. Since it was a surprise event we were not sure. The event got preponed though it started at the time it was supposed to be. We sat in front of a PC with Pentium 4, a 13 inch Samsung LCD (the smaller version of the TV LCD’s) and the user log-in screen with a password protected account on Windows. With nothing to do we started entering random passwords. Apparently every time we tried consecutively for the 6th time the PC used to hang and thus forcing us to restart it.
And the ™, really?
The rules were told (or rather changed). It was told (with my commentary in square brackets.)
All four participants have to sit on one computer [Er..Pardon me? What happened to the invite? Haven’t you read it?]. There will be no off computer round [Ye lo, doob gayi bhais]. There will also be a treasure hunt. There are clues hidden in the school, you have to find them. It is time based. You have 20 minutes to solve the first clue. The team with the least time will win.
On the treasure hunt thing I went
Me: It is raining outside!
The Guy: I wanted to make it interesting, didn’t know it would rain.
After waiting for almost an hour we were given the password to log-in. It was shrek.
You will be given clues which you have to solve and then proceed to the next clue. Total clues are 3. 2 on the computer and one for the treasure hunt. The clue you get will be based on your luck that is they can either really easy or really stuff. Hints will be given though it will add 10 minutes to your time [Sarcasm starts_Woot! That is awesome! I am so lucky! They don’t test knowledge! They are testing luck! Awesome event]
Couldn’t it just be the same clue for everyone else? The competition would be equal like that! Needless to say, we got a clue about which we had no idea at all. (The game was Solitaire).
It took some time for our minds to register the fact that is was in fact a cheat (though it was apparent). The clue was simple. If you know it, do it if you don’t then die pressing combination of random keys hoping that the next permutation works. We did that. But failed at it and miserable at that too. We asked for a clue knowing that it would mean 20 minutes + 10 minutes penalty =30 minutes, virtually impossible for us to bounce back. The hint that we got was sarcasm starts _nothing short of amazing. It shed so much light that we realized that the answer had been in front of us all the time_sarcasm ends. The clue they gave us was:
It is a keyboard shortcut.
Need I say more?
Unable to complete the task we waited it to be given the next clue (the cheat is Alt+Shift+2). The next clue was
I remember [email protected] Even it was on computer but it was workable and fun! Even though I didn’t win it I would remember it always! The clue (if you can call it clue) was not workable! Either you know it or you don’t. There is only one way of doing it. Though we were able to hide the data inside the image (by using “comment” after right clicking) since notepad editing rendered the image “not previewable” . It worked though it was not upto the standard of the organizers. Reason: We did not do it the way they wanted it to be done.
The guy who showed us how to do it used this trick (link given for the trick) and used WinRAR (a 3rd party software). Also it was mentioned that 3rd party software is not allowed. On this point the guy said
The guy: WinRAR is not 3rd party.
Me: Ermm.What?! WinRAR is 3rd party.
The guy: It comes with Windows.
Me: *Hump* Dude seriously?
The guy: Yes.
The guy: Fine, I’ll show you the trick with WinZip.
The guy: Since the original file is in .RAR format it is not opening with WinZip. But had I used WinZip earlier, it would have worked.
Me: We did hide the data though!
The guy: Not the way we wanted.
The trick in fact is pretty long. Requires CMD and is very long. In short not doable in surprise event. On the other hand the trick does not work without 3rd part software (WinRAR, 7Zip et al have to be used). See the trick here.
With that done, they gave us this:
Tried to decipher it but couldn’t. Asked for the key but it didn’t help because my mind was doing everything besides working. The answer was physics lab. Ran to the lab and were given this:
Come to us and we will give you knowledge. We are:
Teachers was a very sensible answer which Vaibhav gave but it was wrong. There we portraits of Scientists, Sir Isaac Newton and all. That was also turned down by one organizer. Sidharth finally found some magazines and there was this chit which had this written:
Back to square one
Must be reception. Ran like Usian Bolt (only a lot slower). No one was there so we started shouting for anyone who would give us the next clue. We got and rush back (bruised my knee when I slipped on the stairs, second floor). Ran back to the Computer lab. Only to be given given another clue
Open a file named “dafile” without using My Computer. Use CMD.
I said “Can we use explorer?” 😉 “No” came the answer. These guys are obssesed with CMD! Command Prompt everywhere!
The extension was not told to us and later it was revealed that the file is in the D drive. FAIL!
I just can’t write anymore now (you must me thanking me for stopping :P). The event just pissed me off. Even the quiz sucked. Worst ever. Questions out of nowhere and on top of it they even refused to acknowledge correct answers. The gaming though was organized very nicely by the Matrix Clan and even let us watch the event.
PS: The reason for such an abrupt ending is not tiredness (due to running around the school) but is the eagerness of pressing Publish button which took over me and forced me to publish it. Anyway, if you have survived the full post then congrats, you are one of the very few to do so.