Saturday, August 8, 2009

First class week at IIT-M

This post has been delayed for quite a long time for various reasons. I was actually going to post my first day experience. Since its been delayed for a week , I'm going to summarize my IIT-M life, first week (Everything I saved on first day in italics). Some interesting things I found out about IIT-M classes: -

The software engineering paper has a lab. Remember, this used to be one of the most boring theory-only paper during B-Tech. More info about experiments in the lab once it starts. Unfortunately, I'm going to miss the first one on monday.

The lab has started now, we have to form a "company" of 5 people and prepare a presentation about the company.

We had an introductory class on cryptography. My view on cryptography is that, no matter how strong your algorithm is, it's all going to be broken when user chooses the password (which is one part of every algorithm, I think). We know for a fact that it is simply too difficult to make people (myself included) to choose strong passwords. The company that I worked for had very strict rules for password.It required us to use letters, digits, and special chars. Also it had to be atleast 10 chars or something, and we had to change it every 2 weeks or so. After faithfully following the system for sometime, I just found it too difficult to remember my password. So I started using the approach most people followed, maintain a common prefix of letters and numbers, then cycle through all special chars each time you have to change your password. In other words, passwords are easily guessed and your cutting-edge cryptographic algorithm looks stupid(period).

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