Michael Wooten mwooten111 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 15:50:47 PDT 2012

My suggestions:

It's a rousing rendition of O Canada.
It's the shortest distance between two points.
You've found a black screen filled with colorful ASCII characters.

Sent from my iPhone

That last line was not an NKI suggestion.

On Nov 1, 2012, at 6:17 PM, Leonard Richardson <leonardr at segfault.org>

I said I'"this weekend", but I did it today. I present a unified,
trimmed, and updated list of NKIs for the next release.

= Setup

The largest official NKI list has about 730 entries. (By comparison,
the vanilla list actually included with rfk has 441.) I created a
master list by combining the largest official list with the Inform
list. There were 815 NKIs in this master list.

I alphabetized all the NKIs to avoid duplicates and to avoid
subconsciously sparing an NKI just because it was one of the original
set. (I have a certain fondness for the "original" NKIs but many of
them are pretty bad.)

This master list is my first attachment to this message. The revised
list, incorporating removals and additions, is my second. The third
is a diff between the two.

= Removals

I went through the master list and ended up deleting 244 NKIs, taking
us down to 571.

I deleted an NKI unless I thought it added something special to the
simulation. A few themes emerged as I worked, but I had no hard and
fast rules, and the themes I present below had many exceptions.

* I pared down large groups of similar NKIs to just a couple
  examples. For instance, the multicolored goo from Planetfall. I left
  in a couple of the colors and added "grey goo", which is a
  completely different reference.

* I removed some NKIs that were technically different but conceptual
  duplicates. (e.g. Lenin's corpse and his casket)

* I removed many explicit references to kitten (but added a few more)
  and puns on the word "kitten" (but left some intact).

* I removed many miscellaneous in-jokes, dated references, and
  references to real people (but left some intact).

  I want to give a special send-off to "You've found the fabled
  America Online disk graveyard!", an incredibly dated reference (not
  even a CD graveyard, a *disk* graveyard!) that I still find
  funny. But not funny enough to keep.

* I removed many miscellaneous pop culture references, especially
  references to other games (but left some intact and added a couple

* I removed some jokes I made in 1997 that I don't think are
  funny. (Lots of overlap with the other categories here.)

* I removed a couple NKIs that said things about RFK canon that I
  disagree with, such as the idea that robot is "soulless". Who are we
  to say?

= Additions

I added 37 NKIs based on NKIs that I removed. Some are simple typo
corrections ("Brian Kernigan"), some result from removing an explicit
reference to kitten, some are twists that I believe make an NKI more
interesting, some are completely new NKIs that used a removed NKI as a

A breadbox that's bigger than a breadbox.
A claymore mine.
A dangly thing.
A discarded refrigerator in a discarded refrigerator box.
A flyer advertising a big sale on flyers.
A gecko clings to the ceiling here.
A half empty milk carton. Or is it half full?
A hollow voice says "Plugh."
A homemade Tesla coil, fully charged.
A large Turkish rug, worn threadbare by years of pacing.
A note reads, "kitten is the letter Q."
A radio hisses away.
A robot comedian performs here. You feel amused.
A saucer of milk.
A stegosaurus, escaped from stegosaurusfindsrobot.  It finds you.
A team of Arctic explorers is camped here.
An albatross, around its own neck.
An automated robot-disdainer. It pretends you're not there.
An erroneous proof of the Goldbach Conjecture.
An ordinary bust of Beethoven... but why is it painted green?
An overturned bottle of rainbow-colored ink.
Ceci n'est pas un chaton.
Haven't you touched this before?
Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnny!
It's Brian Kernighan.
It's Jesse James's severed hand and it's still moving.
It's a blob of grey goo.
It's a cardboard box full of 8-track tapes.
It's a continental breakfast.
It's a universal Turing machine constructed from LEGO blocks.
It's a wallet full of blank credit cards.
It's either a mirror, or another robot.
It's the Super Bass-O-Matic '76! Mmm, that's good bass!
Lentil loaf.
Several meters of Cat 5 cable.
Sigmund Freud is here, asking about your mother.

That takes us up to 608. I added two NKIs from other sources; one from
Star Simpson's Javascript port and one from Pete's CFNKI:

It's the <blink> tag!
"A pile of discarded "no dumping" signs."

That takes us to 610. I made up 25 new NKIs, taking us to 635:

A failing unit test.
An underwater avocado.
A sudden burst of maniaical cackling makes you feel homesick.
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously here.
Here you are, at the behest.
Here you are, under the auspices.
It's a prosthetic wheel, bent out of shape.
It's an oil portrait of you, about to find kitten.
It's evidence.
It's probably nothing.
It's the Capable Prune.
It's the shock of recognition.
It's the whites of their eyes.
Keep looking and you will find kitten eventually.
Mere shells cannot contain these peanuts!
"Take a penny, leave a penny." You do both.
There are many coins here!
There's something behind you.
This bouncy castle is filled with helium.
This vending machine dispenses only coffee grounds.
This non-kitten item was present in a previous version, but has been
Welcome back, robot.
Whatever it is, it's circular. Oh, it's a circle!
Your current score: 3.
You've found a precautionary measure.

The most self-indulgent of these is probably "It's an oil portrait of
you, about to find kitten." This is a reference to Beth Lerman's
robotfindskitten painting
(http://bethlerman.com/artworks/#jp-carousel-177). I hope you'll agree
that an rfk-themed painting depicting several NKIs should itself be an

= More NKIs!

Let's have 'em. As I say, this list stands at 635 NKIs--a lot more
than the 441 included with rfk now, but a lot less than the 730
included in the largest official list.

Given the apocalyptic theme of the upcoming release, it would be nice
to get to 666. I'll keep coming up with more; send me your suggestions
and I'll incorporate the ones I like, while being a little more
selective than usual. If I removed an NKI that you really like, let me
know that too.


On Thu, Nov 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM, Peter A. H. Peterson
<pedro at tastytronic.net>wrote:

> +-----------------------------------------------------+
> | [-]                .::. .::.              |\_/|     |
> | (+)=C              :::::::::              |o o|__   |
> | | |                ':::::::'              =-*-=__\  |
> | OOO                  ':::'               c_c__(___) |
> +-----------------------------------------------------+
> Did you write a "port" of robotfindskitten?
> Did you sneakily add NKI to your port in the process, but not submit
> them to the POSIX port?
> Are you on rfk-dev or happen to see this message somehow?
> If so, please submit your NKI to the rfk-dev list if you want them to
> be considered for inclusion in the (15th Anniversary!) Mayan
> Apocalypse release of robotfindskitten.
> (If you are not a porter, and have ideas for additional NKI, you can
> also submit them to the list.)
> Why, here's one right now!
> "A pile of discarded "no dumping" signs."
> --
> Peter A. H. Peterson
> Graduate Student Researcher
> Laboratory for Advanced Systems Research
> University of California, Los Angeles
> _______________________________________________
> rfk-dev mailing list
> rfk-dev at robotfindskitten.org
> http://robotfindskitten.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/rfk-dev




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