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Monday, October 25th, 2010                                                                            October Edition I

LATEST NEWS                                                                                                                      AWESOME QUOTE
What is ICPC?                                                                                                                 UNIX is very simple. You just need to be a genius to
ICPC stands for International Collegiate Programming                                                                         understand it.
Contest ACM – ICPC is the world’s largest programming
contest, primarily sponsored by IBM, and this is the sixth                                                                   - Dennis Ritchie.
year Amrita is conducting the Asia Regional Contest. This
year, it is going to be a multi-site contest where more than
150 teams are expected to participate at two campuses of
Amrita University. Several hundred undergraduate
students, in teams of 3-4 (3 per team, fourth is reserve)
take part in the contest.

                                                                                                                             Alienware’s Spaceship Lands in
                                                                                                                             After much waiting and anticipation Alienware has finally
                                                                                                                             launched a state of the art gaming lounge in Koramangala


Feast on this:
                                                                                                                             Open-source Explosion:
ACM is from over 80 countries on six continents. The
                                                                                                                             Explosion in use of open source software inspires
contest fosters creativity, teamwork and innovation.
                                                                                                                             watchdog movement to ensure that big companies play by
International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) is a
                                                                                                                             the rules.
team-based coding competition operating under the
                                                                                                                             Industries with Worms:
auspices of ACM and headquartered at Baylor University.
                                                                                                                             Digital warfare at its best, the stuxnet worm strikes
The contest involves a global network of universities
                                                                                                                             industrial programs all around the world.
hosting regional competitions that advance teams to the
ACM-ICPC World Finals. Participation has grown to several
tens of thousands of the finest students and faculty in
computing disciplines at almost 2,000 universities in
building new software programs, and enables students to
test their ability to perform under pressure. Quite simply,
it is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious programming
contest in the world.
                                                                                                                             System Ninja:
The FACE Angle:                                                                                                              Developer of popular free App CCleaner comes out with a
                                                               Our aim was to identify the problem solver in them. We        new application that can clean your computer of unwanted
We, The Forum for Aspiring Computer Engineers, at                                                                            junk and malware.
                                                               gave them questions that tickled their brains and
Amrita Bangalore, had the prestigious opportunity to hold
                                                               frustrated them to their limits. The focus was on how they
this mega blockbuster event, as the regional warm up to
                                                               could have solved a problem efficiently, consuming the
the world finals and what a hit the event was. As we tried
                                                               least time and memory, lateral thinking at its best and the
to nurture the skills of a true programmer in the
                                                               compiler used to test their solutions was Mooshak and it
participants, some talents shined, and some went down
                                                               was of ICPC standards. The solutions were simple but
fighting hard, but really, the winner was FACE, and Amrita
                                                               attaining the most optimal solution was their biggest
University, for pulling of yet another successful mega
                                                               challenge. Feeding on this success we plan to extend our
                                                               horizons and hold more competitions and more events in
                                                               the near future.
Broadcast                                                                                                                                                       F.A.C.E, October 25 2010

Alienware’s Spaceships                                          The Aurora Alx machines used here have a 24 GB DDR3
                                                                RAM, an i7xtreme Intel core and 4 GB graphic cards. The
lands in Bangalore                                              dual graphics card ensures very high response time. Each
                                                                machine is also installed with all of the latest games from
After much waiting and anticipation Alienware has finally
                                                                call of duty to Batman Arkham Asylum. A typical machine
launched a state of the art gaming lounge in Koramangala
                                                                like this, which would cost Rs 3.75 lakh, is now available for
                                                                gamers at a cost of Rs.100 an hour. The effort finally gives
                                                                gaming in India the seriousness it deserves.

                                                                 Open Source Explosion                                                         System Ninja
                                                                In the recent years there has been a sudden explosion in         System ninja is an app created to remove unwanted junk
                                                                the availability and use of free software. Software like the     from your computer and thus improves the performance
                                                                Linux operating system which competes with Microsoft             of the computer. There have been other apps like CCleaner
                                                                Windows are now widely used. Giants like Google, Dell and        which also perform the same task but System Ninja is
                                                                Sony often use these software as a as a base and develop         unique in its ability to remove junk from hidden and
                                                                their own products on these open-source software without         unexpected locations which even CCleaner cannot.
                                                                following the free software licenses. Seeing this a group of     CCleaner searches for junk files in predefined locations
                                                                volunteers have got together to form a watchdog                  whereas System Ninja pro-actively ferrets out junk files
                                                                movement that does its part in making sure these tech            wherever they may reside. System Ninja also possesses a
                                                                giants follow the software licenses which include making         Startup Manger, a Process Manager, FileAnalyzr,
They are also now offering a 3D gaming experience to            tweaked versions a free software product available to the        MalRunDestroyer & CCEnhancer. These tools help remove
Indian gamers. Games such as avatar 3D can be played            public or simply giving credit to the original developers.       malware detect any suspicious processes which may by
with special 3D goggles. 3D gaming gives you a completely       The problem is that today a developer can use Google and         running on your computer. It also allows you to terminate
different experience as you now have depth perception as        will find 5 open-source softwares that suit his needs, but       erroneous processes easily and is an invaluable tool for
well while playing your games. This gives you a more            the next day one of them will be in a product without            any computer.
realistic experience and gets your engrossed into the           complying with license agreement. The nonprofit Linux
games you play. Playing on the specialty manufacturer’s         foundation has started a program meant to teach                                The Horizon
Aurora Alx machines takes you to a world far removed            companies how to comply with open-source licenses. This
from the one you can experience on an ordinary PC. The          program has been backed by many big companies such as            Sony will be the first HDTV maker to include the Google TV
interiors of the gaming centre are designed like that of a      Cisco and IBM. Hopefully there will be a day when open-          platform built into one of its TVs and those TVs--whatever
spacecraft, with 16 gaming machines which have all the          source developers will at least be credited with their work.     they will eventually be called--will go on sale this year in
high-end features global gaming zones have. Right from                                                                           the U.S. Sony used the IFA show in August to demonstrate
the metal flooring to the CPUs of the desktops, which have                                                                       the self-described "un-Sony-like" television which will run
a layer of coolant, the colour of which can be adjusted                                                                          a version of Google's Android operating system, allow
from bright orange to deep blue, the interiors really give                                                                       access to numerous apps such as games (pictured),
you the feel of sitting in an alien spacecraft. The keyboards                                                                    integrate the Chrome Web browser, and include a wireless
are backlit, with each section set in a different colour.                                                                        handheld QWERTY remote. It's worth noting that Logitech's
                                                                                                                                 Revue system and select Google TV-compatible Dish
                                                                                                                                 Network DVRs will work with any TV, and that Google's
                                                                                                                                 nascent service faces a few still-unanswered questions. In
                                                                                                                                 the meantime solid details, including official model
                                                                                                                                 numbers, pricing, and availability beyond "fall of 2010," are
                                                                  Industries with Worms                                          still scarce, but we guess the TV itself will be an edge-lit
                                                                                                                                 LED-based LCD, 2D-only, and range in size from 40 to 60
                                                                The stuxnet worm attacked computer programs all around           inches. We'll find out soon enough.
                                                                the world targeting major industries and leaving havoc in
                                                                                                                                 THE IPAD COMPETITOR: RIM’s Playbook
                                                                its path. The most striking feature of the fast spreading
                                                                malicious worm was not in its sophistication but rather in       The PlayBook's specs are impressive on paper. A 1GHz
                                                                how its creators allowed it to randomly scatter around the       dual-core ARM processor and multitasking based on RIM's
                                                                world thus allowing multiple points of entry for its attack      QNX technology. By touting these specs, Research in
                                                                to commence. Experts say that it is almost certain that the      Motion is obviously trying to execute some serious one-
                                                                                                                                 upmanship over the iPad--even when allowing for the fact
                                                                worm was designed by a government organization and is a
                                                                                                                                 that the PlayBook won't appear until the first quarter,
                                                                pristine example of clandestine digital warfare. The             when Apple could potentially deliver a better iPad.
                                                                suspected target was an Iranian nuclear power project but        Vaporware? Yes, at the moment. And building a large
                                                                the effects are yet unknown. The worm is said to have            library of apps for the PlayBook is also problematic, but
                                                                altered programs in an undetectable manner and is still          it's nonetheless an interesting exercise to speculate on it
                                                                rapidly spreading through the internet.                          since the PlayBook from the blackberry makers is
                                                                                                                                 garnering a lot of attention.
Broadcast                                                                                                                                                          F.A.C.E, October 25 2010

Well firstly let me just clarify that the above heading is not   Now back to which processor you need if the above two         Now that we have covered all of the most essential
a linear equation rather it’s the non-linear difference          don’t really suit your needs and you feel that you are a      components lets shift our focus to the extra features. A
between Intel’s latest processors the i3, i5 and i7! Being       person who loves to multi task (like me) and cannot live      high definition screen is a very important component and
engineering students most of you are probably looking to         without having Facebook open, downloading content, having     believe me the screen makes a complete difference when
buy a laptop sometime in the near future and are                 media player running, playing a game and probably running     watching high definition movies. The screen however does
struggling with which laptop to get considering the high         some other process in the background all at the same          not make any difference if the quality of your movie is not
cost of each laptop. Well fear not my friends because this       time, then I would strongly recommend the i7 740 Qm           high definition and is a waste of money unless you are very
article is going to give you a better picture about the          (1.7Ghz clocks to 2.93Ghz 8 threads 6mb L3 cache). This       particular about your visual experience.
different laptops out there, the different components of a       bad boy comes with 8 threads and 4 cores which seriously      Next up is a battery, by now hopefully you have made a
laptop and is going to help you make the best choice based       have everything your multi-tasking needs could ever hope      choice as to which processor you want because the
on your current needs.                                           for, but let me warn you beforehand that with every           battery you choose completely depends upon your
Now one might wonder as to how one actually goes about           advantage comes a price and I don’t just mean in terms of     processor. If you are going with the simple i3 a 6 cell
making the best choice for a laptop, I personally feel it        monetary value. The i7 although a superior processor,         lithium battery will give you a good 3 ½ hours of battery
depends on your needs and that is what you have to be            tends to get heated very quickly and you would need an        life whereas an i5 depending upon the model will give you
clear about first and foremost. Firstly you have to decide       additional cooling pad for it. Also with a 9-cell lithium     anywhere from 2-3 hrs with a 6 cell and hence I would
on which processor you need for your laptop. The                 battery it only gives u an average battery life of 2- 2 ½     recommend getting a 9 cell lithium battery. The i7 as you
processor is the most important part of any computing                                                                                                  know will treat even a 9 cell lithium
device and will be the difference                                                                                                                      battery like a pair of pencil batteries
between a good laptop and a bad one.                                                                                                                   and drain them in a short 2- 2 ½
If you are looking for a laptop strictly                                                                                                               hours.
for presentations, programming,                                                                                                                        Now that you have a good idea as to
media entertainment and other basic                                                                                                                    what you want in your laptop, the
functionality, I would suggest going in                                                                                                                question arises as to where you
for an i3 processor. The i3 although                                                                                                                   should buy your laptop from and
not as powerful as its sister i5 and i7                                                                                                                which company will best suit your
processors, is still a very reliable and                                                                                                               needs. From personal experience I
efficient processor indeed. It will give                                                                                                               would recommend Dell as the first
you great response when using basic                                                                                                                    preference. I speak so highly of Dell
applications and will not eat away at                                                                                                                  because they offer you the option of
your battery life allowing you to use                                                                                                                  completely customizing your laptop
your laptop for much longer hours                                                                                                                      and having it ordered with the exact
than other laptops with the i5 or i7                                                                                                                   configuration you want. This allows
processors.                                                                                                                                            you to get rid of any unwanted
If you demand high performance in                                hours in power saver mode!! Therefore if you are very         features that you think are over shooting your budget and
gaming from your laptop and want all the latest games to         dependent on battery life but do not want to sacrifice on     allows you to get some other features that you might
work I would suggest the i5 450 (2.4Ghz clocks to 2.66Ghz        performance, the i5 540 (2.53GHz clocks to 3.06Ghz 4          really need. Also they offer a larger variety of processors
4 threads 3mb L3 cache). Now many of you might disagree          threads 3mb L3 cache) is the ideal processor for you.         including 2 high end models of the i7 which no other
and argue that the i7 is a more powerful processor and                                                                         company offers. Most important of all it is the only
should therefore be the obvious choice for gaming but I          Next lets come to the RAM, a 4GB DDR3 RAM would be ideal      company which offers up to 3 years of complete accidental
beg to differ. You see the i7 is only a more powerful            for any purpose but if u feel like you are exceeding your     coverage on your laptop for a small sum of Rs.8000. This
processor in terms of the degree of multi-tasking as it is a     budget and you do not run applications which consume a        covers everything from dropping your laptop to spilling
quad core while the i5 is only a dual core. However the          lot of RAM such as Kaspersky and Microsoft Visual Studio      coffee on it. I recommend visiting their website
dual core i5 450 clocks up to 2.66Ghz and has a base             then 3GB of RAM may also be adequate .               where you can customize your laptop online
speed of 2.4Ghz which is much higher than the base speed         Now let us address the topic of a GPU or graphical            and get a feel of what exactly you will be buying and for
of any i7 and higher than the overclock speed of almost          processing unit, this component is none other than your       how much. I hope this article has been informative and will
any i7 till the 740. Also for gaming you do not require more     graphic card. If you are not interested in gaming then this   help you make a better choice in buying a laptop in the
than 2 cores (one for the game and the other to take care        component is pretty much pointless to have.                   near future.
of any background processes) thus you would want to                                                                                                                      -Nikhil.Nandagopal
concentrate more on speed! There is an i7 for laptops out        I would still recommend having a 256mb ATI Raedon card
there that has a higher clock speed but the cost is insanely     nonetheless because recently there has been a media
high and I would not recommend it for the simple reason          player released which improves performance based on
that at present no game fully supports quad core                 your GPU capabilities. If you are a gamer then I would
processors, this does not mean the game will not work it         suggest an ATI Raedon 5xxx series/Nvidia GeForce 1GB
simply means that it will not make any difference to the         graphics card as games these days are now more GPU            Please submit any articles you would like to be
game and the game will not be able to get any advantage          based than CPU based and you will definitely need it.         published in the newsletter to:
out of it. Also by the time games that require quad core
                                                                                                                               Nikhil Nandagopal 8971402124 (Chief Editor)
processors come out, you and I would probably be able to
                                                                                                                               Sri Hari             09019545003 (Editor)
buy ourselves an Alienware Mothership!
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