A short history of nearly nothing
Learn all about your favourite human being, Kyle Farwell.
I've been programming for about ten years. Recently I've been more into IT, especially systems administration and automation.
I've worked as an IT Systems Administrator at the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre since May 2018. This is an 8-month co-op placement.
I worked at Algoma University from December 2016 to April 2018. I was a part-time Research Assistant until August 2017, then I was a part-time IT Help Desk Assistant until December 2017, then I did a co-op term as a full-time IT Help Desk Assistant until April 2018.
The projects I worked on as a Research Assistant include:
- 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. Check our my project page.
I'm pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Computer Science at Algoma.
- 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), but I have travelled to attend a couple:
- At the Toronto Hacker Club's THacks 2, I made a game played over SMS and won second place.
- At the Northern Game Design Challenge, I forgot my laptop's hard drive at home and had to abuse Best Buy's return policy to borrow a computer. We threw together a "horror party game" in GameMaker.
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're not allowed to? 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 Soylent (and various knockoffs), strawberry-flavoured sweets, Pocky, and lychee juice. I like Soylent 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.