A short history of nearly nothing
Learn all about your favourite human being, Kyle Farwell.
I'm an Honours Computer Science student at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada. I've been programming for about ten years. Now I'm blowing $30k on a piece of paper to prove it.
I work at the university as an IT Help Desk Assistant (full-time co-op).
I previously worked as a Research Assistant. My projects included:
- Modelling wireless sensor networks using cellular automata in C++/CUDA to optimize algorithms for preserving sensors' battery life.
- 3D digitization of cultural heritage objects. We 3D-scanned some artifacts from the Algoma University Archives and preserved them interactively on a website. Project page.
I'm the President of the Algoma Computer Science Club. That means I spend your tax dollars on pizza. If it makes you feel any better, I am spending my tuition too.
- I run a business called Tokumei. We make free, anonymous, self-hosted social networking software. We sell installation, customization, and feature development services to people hosting Tokumei sites.
- I make games with a collective I started called Gelato Labs.
- I've worked on many smaller projects that you can find here.
I'm from Waterloo, where I attended Bluevale Collegiate Institute.
While I was in Waterloo, I attended some hackathons.
- At the KW Symphony's Hack The Orchestra, I made a web app for concert venues. I proceeded to give an awful presentation of the software to tens of people. They were visibly uncomfortable.
- At the University of Waterloo's Tech Retreat, I attempted to make a virtual reality rhythm game where notes fall from the sky and you punch them in time to music. It didn't work and I direct most blame to Razer. We threw this abomination together at the last minute. The judges were thoroughly entertained.
- At the University of Waterloo's Hack the North I got sick and slept through most of the weekend. But I worked with the Oculus Rift a bit and started integrating OSVR with Blender.
- I have had more success with the Ludum Dare, where I've entered five games since 2015. One ranked #378 overall, #44 for humour, and #126 for innovation out of 2725 entries.
There are not so many hackathons in Sault Ste. Marie (there is not so much of anything in Sault Ste. Marie). So I am starting my own, SooHacks. You are invited.
Back in Waterloo, I attended meetings at the Kitchener-Waterloo Linux User Group and DevHouse Waterloo. I maintained KWLUG's video podcast archive. I stole DevHouse's concept for some Algoma Computer Science Club events.
I volunteered refurbishing laptops at Computer Recycling.
You can read a bit more about me in my interview with the Social Media Alternatives Project: People need a place to share and debate things without fear of prosecution: An Interview with Kyle Farwell and Keefer Rourke of Tokumei.co. But mostly it is just a plug for Tokumei.
You can read what other people have to say about me on the testimonials page.
I deal with computers a lot but I secretly hate them.
I think there are two good ways to make software suck a little less.
- The Unix philosophy. How can you improve code if you can't understand it?
- A free license. How can you improve code if you can't access it? The ISC license is my favourite; it is simple.
Social networking fascinates me, though I don't use it much personally. I don't like the privacy implications of Facebook. Social photography is weird. I use Twitter (@kylefarwell, @tokumeico, @gelatolabs, @AlgomaCSC, @SooHacks); it is ok. Image boards are an interesting format but content tends to be low-quality. I tried to make Tokumei an ideal social networking format for myself, combining the bits I like from microblogs and image boards.
Most (not all) video games are boring to play, but I like making them. Virtual reality is cool, especially OSVR.
I like ping pong, billiards, cards, and papercraft when I am especially bored.
I like Jimmy Joy, Soylent, strawberry-flavoured sweets, Pocky, and lychee juice. I like Jimmy Joy because it is convenient and cheap. I don't know anything about food chemistry but my logic is that it can't possibly be worse than the realistic alternative, instant noodles. Ceres lychee juice is a scam; it contains more pear than lychee. Rubicon and Foco know what they're doing.
I like aesthetics and cuteness.
- fuzzyflakes(1) is my favourite screensaver.
- rio(1) is my favourite window system.
- VGA is my favourite font.
- This is my favourite hat.
- #E91E63 is my favourite colour.
I like art. Code is like art, if most artists were drunk children.
I listen to bad J-pop and alternative rock. You can stalk my music-listening on Libre.fm.
I watch/read slice-of-life and comedy anime/manga.
I watch movies a little. Action and history are boring. Sci-fi is hit-and-miss: space is boring but sometimes technology isn't. Horror is ok.
I read books a little. I don't like any particular genres.
Some specific things I like
Music: Metric, Lucy Rose, Lana Del Rey, twenty one pilots, Babbe Music, Frozen Starfall, BlossomNightfall, Norowareta Night, David Bowie, Passion Pit, Cage the Elephant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, Modest Mouse, fripSide, AURORA, Sigur Rós, ΛVICII, weezer, Snow Patrol, The Killers, The Black Keys, Lights, Green Day, ABBA, MGMT, Ellie Goulding, ナノ, DECO*27, Pearl Jam, blink-182, ZAQ, 阪田知樹, KOTOKO, ALTIMA, Kraftwerk, 鈴木このみ, wowaka, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, 分島花音, 野水伊織, Kalafina, Tycho, じん, ryo, Ray, nano.RIPE, fhana, ClariS.
TV/Film: BPS バトルプログラマーシラセ, ガッチャマン クラウズ, ピンポン THE ANIMATION, シリアルエクスペリメンツレイン, 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン, Silicon Valley, The IT Crowd, Nathan for You, Rick and Morty, Bob's Burgers, Archer, BoJack Horseman, Steven Universe, South Park.
Books/Comics: Lolita, Atlas Shrugged, ひぐらしのなく頃に解 祭囃し編, A Clockwork Orange, Nineteen Eighty-Four, L'Étranger, よつばと!, Dilbert.
Games: VRChat, Rock Band VR, 初音ミク -Project DIVA-, narcissu, Mirror's Edge, Sleeping Dogs, Dead or Alive 5, Super Smash Bros. 4, HuniePop, Super Mario Bros., Sanctum, Team Fortress 2, Cards Against Humanity.
Computers/Software: rc, werc, Plan 9 from Bell Labs, OpenBSD, Tor, ThinkPads.