ZCO 2017 Discussion

What do all of you think about ZCO will it be Reorganized or all who participated in ZCO will be entitled for INOI?


I frequently got disconnected saying “Your session has been expired”. I had to change about 5 computers during the exam. Also, I could’nt run my test cases in DevC++… The output window closes itself even before I gave the input. :frowning:
I request all those who had faced technical issues to mail IARCS reporting them about the same…

All those who were present for ZCO 2017 are eligible for INOI 2017.


Btw… what problems did u face?? @coder_voder

I gave ZCO in Kolkata .It was PLAIN HORRIBLE.
I thought about the problems for about 30 minutes : was able to find a complete solution to the second problem and the first two sub-parts of the first problem. However, the problems started when I started to code. The dev-cpp closed one time and all the code was lost. Once the computer hanged and some time was wasted.And the MOST MAJOR PROBLEM was that I could not test my program on the dev-cpp as every time I tried to run the code, the command-prompt mysteriously closed within 5 seconds, EVEN IF I DID NOT TOUCH THE KEYBOARD. The result was that I could only submit the solution to the server and hope for the best and try to discern my flaws from the input and the expected output. As a result, I could only get the first two sub-tasks correct of the first problem and got 0 in the second one, even though I had solved it soundly.

I have already mailed IARCS about this and I would suggest all those whose exam went badly due to technical errors to do the same.

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HORRIBLE is the only word for TCS ION, I’m sure IARCS worked pretty hard but TCS ion’s shitty system put it all in the vain.

Almost everybody at the Indore centre got disconnected >=3 times during entire examination, Lets hope there’s justice to everybody.

Fingers Crossed.

The experience at Patna was totally horrible. The questions were extremely easy and both could be solved in approximately 1.5 hours. I had to change my PC 4 times. At intervals of 15-20 mins, my computer got disconnected from the network saying ‘Session Expired.’ The main problem was copying and pasting the code. Right click was prohibited and whenever I used the keyboard to paste my code, my PC got locked. I too got the first two sub-tasks totally correct of the first question correct and 0 for the second one, although I had solved it correctly.

I would request everyone who has experienced these kind of problems to mail IARCS.

There were problems in ZIO also.

The computers closed at any random point. (closed about 4 times for me)
The keyboard was not working so I had to use the mouse to type the answers and also for using the calculator. It was then very difficult to use calculator as I had to click like 5 times to enter a number because the mouse also was not very good.
But after looking at the problems faced by the ZCO people, I should say that ZIO was Ok.

Can someone give the problems?

I gave the ZCO from Pune and it was a horrible experience. Had to change my pc 8 times.However I had a word with Madhavan Sir, he said we need to mail the problems we faced so that the can find a solution

I participated in ZCO chandigarh… The 2nd problem was quite challenging… My computer crashed once … It was very difficult… And new format of 3 subtasks was insane… Let’s hope for the best… Anyone who was able to solve 2 problem please let me know how to solve that. And I don’t know why my 6 cases were not correct in subtask 3 of problem 1 please help…

Suksham Kapuria

In my opinion, ZCO 2017’s experience was worse than the previous year’s. The console problem hampered my performance throughout, I couldn’t input custom test cases nor could I know what my program was outputting. All I could hope for was the feedback of the judge which was very slow and took as much as 5 mins to respond and during that time I could not even go back to the IDE! The problems were fairly easy but debugging my code for them was a nightmare, without the output console I had to rely on the age old read-through-your-program method(which is often not useful). A couple of times the judge threw a compile time error saying “bits/stdc++.h” is unrecognised even though it worked perfectly on the other subtasks! I gave ZCO in the Kolkata centre where the invigilators were very ignorant regarding the problems we faced and literally scolded us for testing the IDE before the exam began!! I really hope IARCS shifts their platform to codechef… It would be so perfect!

I am going to mail the authority regarding the issues and hope they will figure a way out.

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  • I had to change my PC 13 times… However Problems were too easy…
  • First Subtask: Full/Full
  • In Second :FULL/FULL
  • In third : 21/30 therefore 20 marks gone from here
  • In fourth :Full/FUll
  • In fifth : 23/32 therefore 50 marks gone from here
  • In Sixth :Too much time was taken in compilation and hence in submission but still I Feel It will be a timeout. therefore 40 marks gone fromhere…

Someone with better time complexity please tell the solutions

Guys, The devcpp was not giving output and automatically closing due to which i had added an extra cin which did nothing just to see the input.

I gave the ZCO in pune. And yes even I had to change my computer for at least 10 times.I solved the second question but wasn’t able to implement 1st question properly due to these server problems.
I have mailed iarcs about the problems faced, hope everyone does the same.

ZCO problems:
Q1. Given an array S and a number T, find the number of solutions for S[ i ]+S[j]+S[k]+S[l]=T, where i<j<k<l. N<=5000.
Q2. In a 2D plane (NxM), there are lasers and boxes. Every laser travels horizontally and when it encounter a black box, it stops and if it encounters two white boxes it stops. You are given the location of these boxes and the rest are initial locations of lasers. Find the sum of all the distances travelled by the lasers. n,m<=10^6 and b,w<=10^5.

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Apparently, we all got selected, like last year.

Can anyone post their solutions for reference?

Totally awful and horrible. I changed 13 PCs because of crashing of dev cpp and session expired error. Even server responded only for first problem TWICE during whole 3 hour contest and then dev cpp started giving errors like permission denied while testing locally on top of that server started giving errors like XYZ is not valid command or batch file. When I clicked on debug mode to use gdb dev cpp crashed EVERYTIME

The experience I had was really unexpected. I used java for the exam. My centre was Cochin. As you all know there is no IDE for java and you can’t test your code against your own inputs. So the debugging was really hard. In fact, this was not the big deal!

Hardware Issues:

Most of the students in my centre had to switch between computers twice and many had to switch multiple times. Some keys in the keyboard didn’t work. When I asked them about this, they tried connecting another keyboard, but the tcs ion platform automatically shut down saying that it detected another hardware. So I had to tolerate my keyboard. These things significantly reduced the time I got to program.

Problems in problems:

I don’t whether this happened only to those who use java. The example input and output given to the problems were different than the specified input. I mean, in the second question,

It says that the input will consist of only one line with 4 + 2*(w+b) space seperated integers. But the example input were like

n m w b

then w lines saying the position of w

then b lines saying the position of b

I spend a lot of time on this. At last I had to use Scanner with nextInt() method to read input as I didn’t knew how the input were given. I tried in both ways using BufferedReader and StringTokenizer. But it didn’t work and raised NoSuchElement exception. As you all know nextInt() method will increase running time.


Overall a very bad experience. I didn’t get any time to properly solve first problem. I request all of my friends who had similar experience to send email to ICO co-ordinator and IARCS. Request them to reschedule ZCO again or to let everyone who ZCO participate in INOI.

I got an email stating
Thanks for reporting the problems at Cochin. There were also other
problems at other centres. We will directly allow all ZCO candidates
present on Sunday to write INOI in January. A formal notification
will be sent out as soon as we receive the attendance lists from TCS.

I had to change my working computer 4 times. I submitted my code for the third subtask of the second problem and then the system crashed. I got a blue screen of death. After changing my system, I wrote my solution for the first problem, and just when I submitted, I was locked out and my session ‘expired’. Had to change my PC again. Also, the code I wrote didn’t get submitted and there was not much time left to rewrite the whole thing. The PC changing process also ate away at my time. I was just standing idly for at least half an hour. I don’t understand how TCS ION hasn’t been fixed yet after so many years of such situations.

ZCO Delhi was a very bad experience. Firstly the keyboard didn’t work and I don’t even remember how many times devc++ crashed and i restarted the system. Even the people there gave up as the they were not able to fix it. If they fix something another bug arises like problem in compilation, server paused,etc.
I don’t know what they will do and why don’t they upgrade. What’s the point of having ZCO like this?