Profile

Cover photo
Don Kirkby
Works at Amazon.com
Attended University of British Columbia
Lives in Vancouver, Canada
399 followers|42,580 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
Everybody's an art critic. We saw this woodpecker pecking away at the totem pole outside Langara today. You can see another hole in the front above the eyebrow.
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
Played Carcassonne with my wife and daughter. Just removing the farmer rule makes it the right level for an 8 year old, and the scores were reasonably close.
After the game we played around with the tiles and decided to see how big a city we could make. Here's our first attempt: can you do better?
4
Add a comment...
 
I enjoyed the redo of Cosmos that started this weekend. Neil Degrasse Tyson does a good job of echoing Carl Sagan's tone without doing a Saturday Night Live impression of him. A lot of the script sounded familiar, so I think it's an update rather than a rewrite. It's also very pretty to look at. The visuals remind me of Star Trek, which isn't surprising when Brannon Braga is one of the producers. I think he was the third person to drive the Star Trek franchise after Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman.
I've linked to a posted version on YouTube, but it doesn't look official. If it's gone, you can view it online in Canada at globaltv.com/cosmos
It also airs on Fox and National Geographic if you still roll that way.
Anybody else watching?
1
Corey Baker's profile photo
 
In my house, Sunday is affectionately "Space Sunday", where Cosmos in all of its forms has been a feature of the day for a while.
I quite enjoy the reboot as well, and look forward to it weekly! I hear the national geographic airing has extra content that I have yet to see..
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I like the combination of puzzles with optical illusions in this game.
 
Naya's Quest is a short but challenging mind-bender game where walking in a straight line is not as simple as it seems. It's pretty clever and some of the later levels took me many tries to pass. Check it out if you need to kill some time.

http://terrycavanaghgames.com/nayasquest/

#games   #free  
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
A good discussion of how much of your users' data your services should store. Particularly good to think about when you only need a hash of the data instead of the full data. It's interesting to see security concepts spread outward to the rest of application design.
1
Add a comment...
In his circles
197 people
Have him in circles
399 people
Shane Huesdon's profile photo
Darryl Hodgins's profile photo

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I just found Jeff Smith's new web comic: Tuki. Jeff's best known for writing Bone, and Tuki is another all-ages story. It's a myth of the first man to leave Africa. Some laughs, some mystical stuff, and some nice art: check it out.
The first issue recently finished, and the second one starts later this month.
1
Add a comment...
 
We just finished watching the first season of Batman: the Brave & the Bold, and it was really fun. They respected the history of the character, but had a light touch with lots of clever references. There were detective episodes, space episodes, swords and sorcery episodes, parallel Earth episodes, and of course, a musical episode with Neil Patrick Harris as a villain. The plot wasn't that different from the Buffy musical episode, but the songs were good. Here's one of my favourites.
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
David Ogilvy's rule 8 for good writing is, "If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it." If you're writing code, are you going to have a code review[1]? Maybe you need a coding buddy[2].

[1]: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/01/code-reviews-just-do-it.html
[2]: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2009/02/whos-your-coding-buddy.html
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
I saw a great article in Scientific American[1] about simulating the stride of one of the largest dinosaurs, so I tracked down the original journal article[2] and edited together a few of the video clips from it. They simulated all the bones and muscles, and then used a genetic algorithm to randomly adjust the muscle contractions until they found the most efficient walking motion at each tempo.
I've included the clips with periods between 2 and 3 seconds, which used the least energy.
This is the kind of stuff that creative commons was made for. You can even download the source code and run the simulations yourself, if you've got a spare supercomputer (or a lot of time).

[1]: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/giant-dinosaur-walks-again-in-supercomputer-simulation/
[2]: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0078733
1
Add a comment...

Don Kirkby

Shared publicly  - 
 
One of the first things I did when I added a scripting feature to Zaber's controller software was to write a script that ran the motor at different speeds to play musical notes. I wrote a simple script to play "Happy Birthday" on a single motor, but since I left Zaber, someone has created harmony with several motors. Enjoy the Christmas Carol.
1
Add a comment...
People
In his circles
197 people
Have him in circles
399 people
Shane Huesdon's profile photo
Darryl Hodgins's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Computer Programmer
Employment
  • Amazon.com
    Computer Programmer, 2013 - present
  • Zaber Technologies
    Computer Programmer, 2008 - 2013
  • Sierra Systems Group, Inc.
    Computer Programmer, 1996 - 2008
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Vancouver, Canada
Previously
Links
YouTube
Other profiles
Contributor to
Story
Tagline
coder, board gamer, skeptic, 学中文
Education
  • University of British Columbia
    Physics, 1987 - 1989
  • Computer Science, 1990 - 1992
Basic Information
Gender
Male