Examination time, as usual all of us were busy in collecting notes from others and getting it photo copied. Somehow we had reached the end of 5th semester. We had a very wide variety of subjects in that semester to name few from interesting subject Digital Signal Processing to wacky Control systems to tricky Microprocessor to boring Telecommunication and Switching. Soon classes were over and we got the time table as usual rumors were coming like exams will be postponed by one week or students of that college are going to start strike tomorrow etc.
As usual we had lab examinations before theory papers. So started reading from first page first letter of the lab record to last page last letter, until we were lost in the world of PCB, resistors, capacitors, micro processors. Meanwhile, I dont know who got this idea, just three days before our first examination we all decided to sit one day and have a group discussion on all the algorithms that we had for microprocessor lab exam. I guess there were around 18 or 20 in the syllabus.
All of us settled ourselves in Shreyas house. All Raghu, Shreyas, Abhi, Shyama, Sripathi, Tommy Harish and I were set to start the discussion. That was around 9 PM I guess. So the discussion started and went in good pace for almost half an hour but that was not related to our exams. Thankfully we stopped that bakwas and started discussing on algorithms. We decided like, who has understood that algorithm should explain it to others and he should clarify the doubts. If even he fails to clarify the doubts, and then refer to available material as usual photo copied notes, some text books. We were sitting in terrace — open space in second floor the whole environment was a kind of co-operative to us. Air was filled with thick aroma of kerosene thanks to 30ps Xerox shops.
That day is one of the most unforgettable days in my life. We came to know about each other. We came to know about Shyama, how talkative he is. Just ask him how he started his bike this morning he can explain that to you for more than 2 hours. He will start with individual parts of the bike, the spark plug, the kicker, how his friend borrowed his bike for one day and broke the indicator, whats the mileage, how many times he kicked to get his bike started, how many times it used to take when the bike was new etc the list goes on and on.
Then the Chatter box and our class rep – Sripathi. For Shyama, you have to ask something to start the conversation to make him talk, but not in case of Sripathi. You dont need to start a conversation at all. It all starts automatically; you just have to listen to him. He is something like an FM radio, out comes the nonstop nonsense from him. According to my opinion, he is a very good companion when you feel all alone. He takes out of the loneliness from you.
And there is another guy, Abhi, the silent mountain who loves to be quiet. Only reason is he doesnt know what to talk. Whenever he opens his mouth to talk, there he is gone for a toss. He will be teased like anything by others. And best part of him is he enjoys the jokes cracked after a time gap. But to be frank, one of the hardworking guy, and a great tutor. Thanks Abhi, because of you only Im here. Thanks for all those tuitions on countless number of subjects.
And coming back to the discussion, within no time or to be specific by around 3 or 3.30AM — all of us were done with the algorithms except for me. I was struck in one algorithm ASCII converter. Everyone in the group tried to explain that to me more than 10 times, but that was like Greek and Latin at that moment. So as suggested by Shreyas, I decided to by-heart for the first time in my life — all 32 lines of code in that program. So was the end of discussion and started our thale harate. At that point Shyama and Sripathi were prominent members in the chat. I dont know when I slept, but got up around 6 AM and Shyama was still talking dont know who was listening.
Two days passed by with no time and I was there in the examination hall to face the exam. I was thorough with all the algorithms and also that ASCII one. At that time if you had asked me which is the 10th line in that program I was able to tell that. Surprisingly, I saw Raghu and Shreyas face out side the hall even Raghu had the exam 3 hours later and Shreyas had it next day, they were waiting for me to pick up the question sheet. And to my luck I go the same ASCII program along with another simple one. I just signaled to Raghu and Shreyas who were waiting for my reaction, that I have got that same ASCII one. Their reaction and expressions still comes to my mind. They were very sad than me for getting that program. I was so touched at that moment and I felt the value of friendship at that very moment.
So I started scribbling down the programs. First one was easy, it was over in just 2-3 minutes and I started writing down the ASCII one. Thanks to my good memory, I was done with that also within 5 minutes. I proceeded to the microprocessor board, finished off the first program and showed the output to the examiner. I started typing in the second one, but I felt something fishy. I replaced the 28th or 29th line of code with another line. I finished off typing and to my horror no output!!. I tried all the commands in microprocessor 8085 in that place. I spent the complete 3 hours exam time in the lab trying to get the output. Finally I gave up at the end and walked out. As soon as I came out, I realized. The line I had removed first time before typing in MOV A, B was the correct statement. I had used all the commands in 8085 except that MOV A, B. And there they were still waiting for me Raghu and Shreyas and Abhi had also joined them.
Thanks folks Abhi, Raghu, Shyama, Sripathi, Tommy and Shreyas — for your friendship and for your support. There were loads of firsts and lasts on that day. To mention few
– I realized the value of friendship for the first time.
– That was the first and last in my life, I had by-hearted the program without understanding it.
– I spent whole 3 hours in the lab exam for the first time, other lab exams I have finished them less than an hour.
Still that 8085 statement MOV A, B — and this incident comes to my mind whenever I see a student in buses holding books related to micro processors and micro controllers.