I’ve had an unsubstantiated sense that the quality of Reddit content has been declining since I first started to peruse the site. I had heard an offhand comment that a significant percentage of American internet users browse Reddit, which is merely anecdotal hearsay. I now have statistical evidence to support this conclusion, however. First, according to Hacker News, Reddit has been scaling dramatically in user visits recently, up to something like 1 billion per month. Second, an easy check of Google Trends shows that searches for Reddit-related terms have risen dramatically in the last two years.
Call me what you will, but it seems to me that the news-worthy and intellectually-interesting content of the site has degraded in favor of self-serving meme-posts and other assorted dreck.
Web and IT Manager
I served a number of different roles for The Water Institute. I maintained the The Institute’s main website, developed registration sites for three different annual, international conferences, managed The Institute’s 15,000-subscriber electronic mailing list, produced web content for grant-funded projects being undertaken by The Institute, and advised on software and hardware supplies for the Institute’s staff.
My Databases III course covered advanced database administration topics. We worked with PostgreSQL, creating installations of the software and manipulating administrative settings. We covered many topics during the course, including:
- Normal Forms
- Functional Dependencies
- Transaction Scheduling and Locking
- Query Optimization
- Specialized Database Systems (e.g. Geographical Databases, Distributed Database Systems, NoSQL Systems)
I created a dugout for use with Game Workshop’s board game Blood Bowl. I used GIMP. I had the file printed and laminated for use. It seems to work pretty well. Click the thumbnail for a link to the printable PDF.
Blood Bowl Dugout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
I have played with software for converting digital photographs of a real-life object into a 3D model. While strolling across UNC’s campus, I walked in a circle around a stone pillar, taking video of the pillar with my phone’s camera. I then used Avidemux (free video editing software) to break the video into still frames. I imported a selection of those frames into 123D Catch, free software from Autodesk. 123D Catch uploaded the photos to their servers for processing, and then returned a textured, 3D model of the stone pillar. The results aren’t perfect, but I am impressed by this nascent technology. I have been considering the potential project possibilities for this sort of thing. I also discovered an Open Source software package that offers similar capability: Insight 3D.
Blood Bowl is a fantasy football game played with miniatures on a board. Players build teams consisting of any of various fantasy races and then duke it out on the game pitch by rolling lots of dice. Players (both human and miniature) improve from game to game, or are injured and killed (hopefully just the miniature players!). I’ve played in several leagues where the competitors play out a season or more, and I can claim to have won both a season and a tournament playing the game. My most recent plays have yielded worse luck, unfortunately. Below is a shot of my Orc team “The Little Fuzzy Pink Things” (the green guys in pink/purple armor) engaged in a slug fest with my friend Collins’ Dwarf team “The Bull City Bullies” (or something like that).
In late 2011, I helped my roommate Laura and her business partners establish a web presence for their budding game company: Ember Games. I assisted them in finding a host provider, and I got them started with the WordPress CMS framework and laid out their initial aesthetic theme and site structure.
In late 2010, I created a registration portal for a 35th anniversary celebration event for the Janis Foundation, a Chapel Hill-based non-profit spiritual group to which one of my friends belongs. Using web forms and Paypal’s API, I created an interface for users to submit registration information and payment.