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Sunday, 31 October 2010

The BITS network is an #epicfail

I always wondered why my blog takes such an extraordinarily long time to load here from the BITS campus. I did a lot of tweaking to streamline my page, including getting rid of heavy widgets, using a blogger template and not a third party one. To no avail.

Till one day one of my GoodOldFriends told me that the highly deficient people in the BITS Information Processing Center (better known as IPC) reduce your bandwidth when particular strings appear in an URL. For example iso or avi or mpg. Why? Because they believe that with something as efficient a p2p contraption as DC++ operating within campus, we students would hog the institute bandwidth in an attempt to download huge movies and sitcoms and other video files.

Not that we wouldn't, but that is besides the point.

So you search for 'isometric' on Google and fifteen minutes later, you will still be staring at a white screen and cursing the network. Because a wretched 'iso' appears in the URL, and because a bunch of diabolical guys are of the opinion that you are actually trying to download the 2 GB+ iso files of FIFA 11 or Call of Duty.

On the other hand, try searching 'isametric' and .. presto ... flash gordon on steroids!

Bleh!

The levels of brainless bureaucracy the IPC reaches, astonishes me at times. Right from blocking words like 'sex' in URLs (I can gauge the irritation of the Bio student who needs to do a project on sex chromosomes) to 'movies' (which can be easily eluded by searching for 'movis' instead, Google does the rest), to having such weird selective bandwidth restrictions.

So following the thought-route opened up by my GoodOldFriend whom you might remember from the second paragraph, I started fragmenting my blog URL in an attempt to find the trouble causing string within it.

I started Googling the following strings :

'wr' - nothing wrong

'wra' - nothing wrong again.

'wram' - BEEP BEEP. WhiteScreenOfIrritation.

chopped off the 'w' from the front.

'ram' - BEEP BEEP. WhiteScreenOfIrritation. #fail

chopped off the 'r'

'am' - nothing wrong yet again.

Needlessly, I chopped off the 'a'

'm' - no problems (as expected)

So there it was. The culprit string. 'ram'.

RAM! Of all things? What do they think? Some religious move to prevent devotees of Lord Ram(a) from Googling their benefactor and protector?

My GoodOldFriend clarifies on GTalk that .ram is apparently an extension of Real Audio files.

Aha. So that's it.

But in the end, all I can say is this is just one helluvan #epicfail to boot.

PS : ramayana when googled blazes in like Usain Bolt on a diet. Which isn't saying much, but still. I wonder why. Or how.

Till then.
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