When I was younger (let’s just say I was 10) my uncle would entice me to row him across what seemed like an endless [Muscongous] sound to Loud’s Island, by making up silly stories about a fellow named Barfoolean Farkwar.
Barf would do things like set out to sail without a sail. When he realised his blunder, he would split all of his underpants in half, and sew them together to make a stinky sail (Barf wasn’t much for hygiene).
Stories like this tend to stick with you. That’s why, many many years later, when I was a little less occupied than I probably should have been, I thought to type
whois farkwar.com into my terminal. When it came up as not-already-owned, I couldn’t believe my luck and snatched it right up. Then I wrote to my uncle to ask him what he thought we should do with it.
He thought we should make it an heirloom tomato zine. I couldn’t really get behind that because, to be honester than I would like to be publicly, I don’t much care for tomatoes.
Last weekend I went to RailsCamp. RailsCamp is an event that brings together Rails programmers from all over Australia (and beyond) to code, drink (possibly too much), play games, and generally groove out on our similarities and differences. It’s unique (in my experience) in that there is an actual code of niceness called MINASWAN (Matz is Nice And So We Are Nice) that, by and large, people adhere too (they even have shirts, but I digress).
So I’m at RailsCamp and I need something to program. Something that I can get done in a weekend. Something that I can work on while I drink a lot of GF beer. Something without consequence…
Enter farkwar.com. farkwar is a service for cruisers. It lets us post a position report using the tool most of us use anyway (Airmail). We can do this from satphones or HAM radio or the internet. Then we can give our families a link and they can “Follow” us. Once they’ve done that, the rest is automatic.
Every time I send a position report to farkwar.com, it will send an email to my followers, letting them know where I am and how far I have to go. It will even include a little message from me (“Eating cake, weather is great”, that kind of thing). Clicking on the link will take them to a beautiful Google map, showing all of my position reports and all of my messages.
There are two other similar services that I know of that have some overlap in functionality. YotREPS is great for aggregating weather and position data for meteorology, and is easy for non-HAMs to use, but it doesn’t store data longer than 6 months (which sucks for those of us on the long plan). And winlink is for HAMs only. Plus neither of them are particularly social.
So that’s it. Go check out farkwar.com and if you don’t like it, I don’t know, throw a tomato at me.