Saturday, March 28, 2009

APOGEE Digest 1

Saturday, March 28, 2009
APOGEE, BITS Pilani's tech festival ended today.

Being a blogger I always get jacked on campus. Everytime I have an interesting conversation with another person the first thing they ask me is "So you are probably going to blog about this aren't you?"

And my answer often pisses them off too. "Yes".

The build up to the fest and then finally the fest itself was an exciting experience. Anyone who knows me to a decent extent also knows that I am not one to brag about BITSian events, but this APOGEE was different.

I have so many posts lined up for this APOGEE, but for now I thought instead of sitting down and writing all of them one by one, a digest should suffice. The only order the following list shall follow is the order in which my brain spits it out.

The list of speakers for this years APOGEE was phenomenal, it was awesomely awesome. There was Jimbo Wales, John C Mather, Stephen Wolfram , Dilip Chabbria and a long list of others (For the complete list head over here).

Dilip Chabbria's lecture was like a management class. The fundas he presented were quite similar to those I've read in Seth Godin's Purple Cow however Chabbria is quite monotonous, to the extent that he at times even bores himself by his speech. I don't know if that's just how he is or if he was too tired. His catalogue though was the highlight of his talk. It was the sort of stuff that would make backpackers want to get a permanent high paying job.

Jimmy Wales delivered a talk on Wikipedia/Wikia. The man knows how to keep an audience engrossed. He also now knows that a village in Rajasthan has the highest number of Gults in the state.

From what I hear and see on the merit certificates, APOGEE is now the only 2nd technical festival in this country to be ISO certified.

Tanks rested in our gymkhana.

It was a green fest.

Something I wouldn't exactly endorse, but even then, find me a tech fest in India sporting a laser show!

John C Mather's talk was really well received, Cremo on the other hand provided fodder for gossip.

As far as the Quizzes go, almost all the quizzes went down to the final question if not a tie breaker. After a good year in the quizzing circuit outside home turf, it was nice to finally win one of the big 4 quizzes at BITS Pilani, Overhead Transmission on a tie breaker. I had a killer team. Also it was quite a relief to finally get done with the hazaar academic quizzes and instead have one consolidated Science Quiz.

Samanth Subramanian is an excellent quizmaster.

But my favourite moment this APOGEE was one in which I wasn't on stage. King Diamond being crowned the new Brain of BITS, beating an equally deserving Piyush from BITS Dubai.

APOGEE has become BIG. It's heartening to see the fest really living up to its true potential. With sponsorship sky rocketing and good publicity and so many things to look forward to, these 5 days kept me (or anyone else for that matter) quite occupied. However, its important to fully exploit this thrust in the coming festivals. To try and diffreentiate from other festivals, to offer something more to the people who travel on the awful Haryana roads to come to this Oasis.

APOGEE ended today.

[All pics courtesy Jeffrey Jose]
Update: Do check out his flickr stream for more pics



"He also now knows that a village in Rajasthan has the highest number of Gults in the state."

ROFLMAO. You keel me. (Technically, we also qualify as somewhat part telugu).

I'd love to hear more about apogee, maybe you could post some stuff about the organization and all, so we could get a few pointers (Quark sucked this year because of egoistic buffoons at the top). :)

P.s. Will you blog about this comment I gave? pretty please. :P

Gregory Kohs

I chuckle when I see that you've (correctly) noted that Jimmy Wales delivered a talk about "Wikipedia/Wikia". He likes to pretend that they are "completely separate" organizations, but we know otherwise.

Was Wales paid for this speech? If so, did any portion of that money properly go back to the Wikimedia Foundation, or did he (as usual) just pocket all of the money for himself?

Rishabh Kaul

@shalini: Will blog more about APOGEE.

@gregory: As far as I know he wasn't paid. We had a partnership with Indian Airlines who paid for his travel. I think he came business class.


By the way, a bit of boastting from myself.. I won the biggest prize this APOGEE- an Ideapad S10 via IBM quiz..

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