My name is Drew Kirkman. I'm 30 years old, born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and I'm a self-proclaimed tech nerd. I enjoy meteorology, internet technology, wireless telecommunications, and ice hockey. I live in Covington, Kentucky with my wife Kim, our dog Hans, and our cat Annie.
As for my life story, I graduated high school in 2006. Before then, I was a member of the first self-sufficient student-led technology team in school history. We developed the school's web site and helped staff with their technical problems. By the time we all graduated, administrators realized they would be in a world of hurt, so they hired someone to do what we were doing.
After graduation, I did web development and business systems support for three years. I learned more in this position than I ever thought I would care to, and had a good time doing what I did. In the end, web development got really old and the company I worked for wound up closing its doors, sending its clientèle elsewhere.
During the January 2009 ice storm, one of my coworkers and I were stuck in our office for a week. In that time, we conceptualized a method to share emergency information using then-new social media services like Twitter. Our pet project, TriStateAlerts, was born from the ordeal. Starting in late 2009, I began working on new automated software for the TriStateAlerts project, which had evolved into a severe weather alerting service. The first version was an amalgamation of PHP scripts and cron jobs which turned out to not work very well. I switched gears and used a software package written in Perl for the data intake from the weather service at the last minute. I learned enough Perl in the course of a week to at least interface with all the code I had written, and finally brought the software online in March 2010. Soon after, local media showed an interest in having the TriStateAlerts software power similar services for their own viewers. Realizing the potential in what we had done, TriStateAlerts incorporated and started offering the services of our software, rebranded as "Weather4Me Alerts". This project has gone by the wayside, but some of the code I wrote for it is now on GitHub.
Fueled by the excitement of wireless engineering, which I had done for work in the summer of 2009, and slight prodding from a friend, I tested for and received an amateur radio license in February 2011. Today, I hold an Amateur Extra class license, callsign KN9FOO (for KungFoo, my old IRC nickname). My main interests are amateur radio's relationship with technology (e.g. HSMM, Asterisk-powered repeater controllers, etc.) and I enjoy ragchewing on local 2-meter repeaters. I have also been known to operate PSK31 over HF, and as of late 2016 I have taken a keen interest in DMR after buying a TYT MD-380 and a Connect Systems CS800 mobile.