hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    20 Apr 2011 Ask
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2
Ask HN: Is anyone seriously using RDF in a project?
4 points by beck5  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
1
mindcrime  1 hour ago  0 replies      
Yes, the project I'm working on will have a heavy dose of RDF/OWL/SPARQL/SKOS, etc., but not in "phase one."
2
anigbrowl  1 hour ago  0 replies      
Yes. Can't talk about it.
3
Ask HN: I hate the code in my popular open source app; do I put it on my resume?
87 points by rsp  15 hours ago   56 comments top 36
1
dpritchett  14 hours ago  1 reply      
Of course you put it in there!

Try something like "Created X-PHP app in 2001. With one million downloads, X-PHP powers [large_number] sites as tracked by netcraft. (link here)"

You can't leave something like that out, it's an impressive accomplishment and ignoring it due to some PHP sensitivity is a bad idea.

The one and only purpose of a resume is to catch the eye of a reviewer and thus score you an interview. Once they see that you've published a 1M-download app and call you in for an interview then you can tell them what you've learned in the past ten years.

Think of it in terms of conversion rates. Some small percentage of resume readers are going to request an interview. Some smaller percentage of those are going to make an offer. You don't want to self-select your way out of that first pool.

Edit: I have old projects on my github that are ugly too. I put my misgivings in the readme. "This was written 5 years ago, it could stand to be modernized, the interesting parts are here (link)."

2
jbyers  14 hours ago  1 reply      
Yes.

I interviewed and eventually hired the developer of a name-brand open source project years ago. I asked him about parts of the code, and after I hired him he confessed that he thought it was game over right at that moment of the interview: he was embarrassed about the PHP he'd written.

I didn't care a bit. He was a fantastic engineer, he recognized what he no longer liked about his old code, and most importantly he created and shipped a huge, popular project. Very few people can say that.

Claim it, be proud of it, and be prepared to talk about the mistakes you made.

That engineer, by the way, has now been at Google for years. He's doing just fine.

3
ohyes  14 hours ago  2 replies      
You are supposed to hate your code.

If you don't hate it, you aren't trying hard enough.

I would not equate hating the code with the code being something to be ashamed of.

I hate every goddamn piece of code I write.

4
jrockway  14 hours ago  1 reply      
Nobody has ever written perfect code. So don't worry about it; writing code and being able look at it critically are both rare skills, and will look great in an interview.

It's much better to say "I wrote xxx and hate yyy design feature" than to say "I've never done anything".

5
nl  14 hours ago  0 replies      
Hell yeah!

If you are lucky they might even ask you about it in an interview, and then you'll get a chance to explain how & why you'd do things differently.

More likely, though, they'll see the name of it and go oh, I've heard of that - it seems to be used a bit so it can't be total crap and put you in the "interview this person" pile.

6
vlucas  3 hours ago  0 replies      
Wow, I have an incredibly similar experience. I made a PHP news script called "CzarNews" back in 2003 that was widely downloaded and used, and is still used on many sites today.

I too am now a bit embarrassed by the amateurish-ness of the code, and the security vulnerabilities within it. Previous versions of it back when I was actively working on it even hit Secuina security advisory lists under "high" and "severe" categories and led to my server getting hacked through a remote file include vulnerability (thanks PHP3/4 register_globals + allow_url_include INI settings on by default!). I learned a lot about PHP (in)security that summer, and had many angry users to deal with. Your experience surely can't be worse than that.

In addition, I too have NOT put the code on my GitHub account, because it's nothing like the code I produce today, and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about what kind of code I produce. I have never thought about just owning it and wearing it as some sort of badge of honor though - this thread has made me re-think that. It might be interesting to highlight its success and the lessons I learned through the process.

7
dspillett  8 hours ago  0 replies      
Definitely include it.

If a relatively non-techie person is reading your CV (i.e. if HR is doing pre-screening before passing select ones up the chain for consideration) they won't know to check the code quality, they'll just see that you were important for a significant project which proves you can handle yourself well technically.

If a techie person is looking at your CV, they will understand that a lot of code, especially code that is written in your own time so you don't have to go back and resolve QA issues, is far from ideal. If the project was popular, technically impressive, original, interesting, or any combination of the above if will be an advantage to you. A technical interviewer will probably bring it up in the interview, if they do you will be able to sell the good parts of it (and why they mean you'll be good in the position you are interviewing for) and discuss what you would do differently if you were starting now and why (which will give the interviewer a gauge of your ability to appreciate and learn from experience). Recognising a problem and how it can be addressed is more valuable in judging your real world (i.e. imperfect world) abilities than just talking about things that are right.

Disliking parts of your old code is normal. If you look back at your code from a few years ago and don't find things that make you cringe then either you were a savant, very lucky and "on form", had a lot of time to work on it which allowed for regular refactoring as the codebase grew, or (and this would be the worrying one) you just haven't learnt much in the intervening time.

8
zmmmmm  13 hours ago  0 replies      
Definitely put it on.

In a backhanded way there is actually value that you can work effectively with "bad" code. Many places that are hiring are hiding their own shameful secret : they hate their own code. Sometimes something they are even screening for is to make sure the person is not going to baulk when they discover the reality of the code they are now involved in and who will be pragmatic enough to work with it try and make it better rather than declare it's a disaster and not their fault.

9
kellanem  14 hours ago  2 replies      
As the creator of MagpieRSS I know exactly what you're talking about.

And yes, you include it. There are skills demonstrated in a popular open source project which are interesting and relevant, and very very few people are proud of the code they wrote in 2001, no matter who they are or what they do.

10
cincinnatus  13 hours ago  0 replies      
Everything you wrote more than six months ago is crap, or should be. If it isn't you've stopped growing as a developer.

Anyone looking to hire you either grasps this, or isn't a sound enough developer to see past the popularity of the package. Either way you win.

11
LoonyPandora  12 hours ago  0 replies      
Agree with people here. Absolutely yes.

True Story: I was in the same boat. Usually people have never used it, but google for it to verify it's real - and are suitably impressed.

However, one day I interviewed at a company who had not only heard of it, but actually used it in production! I couldn't help but blurt out "Really? The code is horrible isn't it." - This turned the tide of the interview, as it showed the interviewers I had the ability to objectively review code and learn from my mistakes.

I was hired, but had to suffer being the butt of all jokes for a long time.

12
larsberg  7 hours ago  0 replies      
Yes. Real code that actually works in the real world, for large numbers of users, on all sorts of weird platforms and configurations, tends to accumulate some cruft. I'm sure there exist beautiful, production code bases that have been downloaded and/or used millions of times, but there's no shame in some ugly code.

I seem to remember an old piece by jwz talking about the "clean-up rewrite of Netscape" and how the poor folks who were doing it then had to re-fix and re-workaround all of the myrid ways that broken old versions of ftp servers implement the protocol. It was probably ugly code, but it worked, and the clean code only stayed that way until it met the enemy...

13
covati  14 hours ago  0 replies      
I definitely agree with the comments here. I don't know one good developer who doesn't want to rewrite 50% of what they previously written. That rate always goes up to about %100 if it's written when they were anywhere near new to a language.

The fact that you belted something out that was useful and stable enough to still be active is a testament to your intelligence - and that is what a good potential hire employer is looking for.

BTW, you looking for a job in Durham? http://argylesocial.com/jobs/durham-nc-software-engineering-...

/adam

14
PStamatiou  13 hours ago  0 replies      
I have been thinking about something similar. I'm shutting down my first startup (circa 2007) in 3 months and thinking about open sourcing the code. Several have asked me about that. Thing is it was my first Rails app and one of my earlier attempts on working on a large web app.. so I'm not exactly proud of my code either..
15
dasil003  10 hours ago  0 replies      
I also released an open source PHP project in 2001 (http://templation.websaviour.com/). It got zero uptake, but it's still used to power a few large sites to this day. The fact that it never got any use meant the codebase stayed lean and the ideas pure. I can think back on it with fondness and believe that even now, 10 years on as a professional web developer, I had great ideas from the start.

Of course it's not very impressive on a CV if no one uses it and no one's ever heard of it, so on balance I'd have to choose your predicament. Congratulations!

16
jarin  14 hours ago  0 replies      
I would say yes, especially if you have newer code you can show off as well. Code can always be refactored and improved, but knowing (and making) what users want isn't something they teach in school!
17
nakkiel  8 hours ago  0 replies      
This, my friend is your experience. Make the best with it. To be honest, it sounds terrific.

Also, some years ago I wrote an accounting application I wasn't particularly proud of and it was always with apprehension that I was going back to it to fix some minor bugs. Overall, it worked quite well though.

One day a coworker-friend IMed me to let me know that he had fixed a glimpse in it and said he was impressed at how lean the code was in it and how, ... You get the idea.

So two things: you will always hate your code because it's your creation, thus not/never perfect enough, and you will often find worse coders than you to provide some sort of relief :)

18
pixeloution  15 hours ago  1 reply      
Have to ask: what's the app? If it something thats not only popular buy well thought of -- well, you can always mention in an interview how you're unhappy with it and how you'd improve it today.

Most programmers - myself included - look at things we did last year, two years ago, etc and think "how awful is this?". I've yet to meet someone who doesn't.

19
rickmb  11 hours ago  0 replies      
Besides agreeing with most of the comments here: for me, the demonstrable progress in your work would be more important than the past or current quality of your code.
20
sunchild  5 hours ago  0 replies      
If I were hiring, I'd look at your ability to organize people and generate interest in what you do, and your ability to make something that others find useful.
21
smokestack  4 hours ago  0 replies      
That's what asterisks are for. You learned a lot from it, and it was popular; that's why you include it. You can acknowledge that its a steamy pile of shit and incidentally show that you've grown as a developer and are able to acknowledge your past mistakes. Those are the traits that will make you stand out from other candidates.
22
zdw  5 hours ago  0 replies      
Familiarity breeds contempt. Everyone hates what they wrote a few years ago, as it represents the person and place they were, and they've done so much improving in the interim.

Keep it on your resumé - for all the reasons everyone else has posted.

23
Confusion  12 hours ago  0 replies      
I agree with all the comments, but one question remains: would the interviewer think like we do? You could argue that you shouldn't want to work there in such a case, but the interviewer may not be representative of your direct colleagues. How large would that risk be?
24
jonburs  13 hours ago  0 replies      
Absolutely, you should -- for everything already said here, and more. When you interview with a company do they ask you about the project? Have their developers looked at the code in enough detail to question the design decision you've made and see what you've learned since then?
25
cdavid  13 hours ago  0 replies      
If it has been used by millions users, it cannot be bad code on every front. For example, maybe the architecture sucks, etc... but this came after you already had many users, so you could not change it easily: that's inherent to most projects out there, and the ability to deal with it is one of the most valuable skill you could look for in a prospect hire.
26
staunch  14 hours ago  0 replies      
Make sure you include sample code that shows your recent good code. If they think all your code looks like that it's going to be a big negative.
27
chrislomax  10 hours ago  0 replies      
If I were to compare myself to how I am now to years ago I would be ashamed of the code I wrote.

Occasionally I have to dig out legacy projects in php and wonder how my code was ever scalable. My main thing was bad class decisions, naming and what to put in them.

If the code I had written had been downloaded a million times though, I think my view would be different, I would be proud of it. It doesn't get downloaded for no reason.

The only thing that matter is, if you had the chance to rewrite the code, would you know what to do differently? I think that's the real angle you should be going into an interview with. You have an app with a million downloads and if you were to do it all again then you would do X differently.

I don't know if you are referring to OsCommerce but I can tell you that is some pretty bad code in there but for the best part of 3 years I would use it on sites all the time. It doesn't make the idea any less brilliant.

Good luck

28
georgieporgie  14 hours ago  1 reply      
If you put it on GitHub, wouldn't it create the impression that you had recently written it, due to the timestamps?

If I were you, I'd milk that app's notoriety for all it's worth, though I might not make it too easy for people to find the code. Oh, and don't be ashamed of your baby. Even ugly babies are worthy of bragging if they're popular.

29
richardw  8 hours ago  0 replies      
Definitely. I'd put it on and add some info about what you've learned since. It must have grown you in immeasurable ways, so why hide that?
30
Kaizyn  12 hours ago  0 replies      
If you hate the code that much and you've been working on it for 9 years, why haven't you gone back and "fixed" the ugly broken bits?
31
giis  12 hours ago  0 replies      
Are you saying,you didn't learn a single thing with that project?
If you learned something out of it (whether its design part or coding part) you must add it to your resume. You can tell interviewers you didn't follow any coding standards with that project. But now you are started to follow them. Open source project always add more value :D
32
secos  14 hours ago  0 replies      
I would say something along the lines of what you said here. You were new, there are a few things you'd have done differently now (and list what those are) but that people love it and its not your primary interest anymore, etc.
33
gte910h  14 hours ago  0 replies      
Yes, you put it on, and say 2001-2008 on it.
34
hoshing  14 hours ago  0 replies      
Yes, put it.
At the end of the day , everybody hates the code (that's the earned maturity/knowledge)
35
jhuni  12 hours ago  0 replies      
Yes. Experience, even with crap, is useful.
36
organicgrant  5 hours ago  0 replies      
Hey Everyone - did you know that I once single-handedly saved 1.6 million kitties from a forest fire?

Yeah, well I did. Cool, I know. But hey, I like puppies better than kitties. Should I mention my amazing feat on this application to the NYC Fire Department?

Do you think the NYC FD will even care I saved 1.6 million kitties? Saving turtles is WAY cooler right now, sort of like node.js., I wouldn't want anyone to know that I was even good at saving kitties.

Thx,
Grant

5
Ask PG: Outcome for comment points?
15 points by frisco  2 hours ago   discuss
6
Code which every programmer must read before dying
19 points by r0h4n  7 hours ago   19 comments top 12
1
bxr  2 hours ago  0 replies      
When I downloaded mongrel2 I wanted to take a quick peak at superpoll beyond what was in the blog post about it, an hour later I was still reading the source. It is some of the best-written C I've seen.
2
thirsteh  6 hours ago  1 reply      
SQLite probably has some of the cleanest and most elegant C you will ever see: http://www.sqlite.org/sqlite-src-3070602.zip
3
jarek-foksa  6 hours ago  0 replies      
If you are fronted web developer then you should defenitely read jQuery sources. There is a lot of patterns that you could borrow and reuse in your own JS libraries.

A good place to start is this interactive code viewer: http://www.keyframesandcode.com/resources/javascript/deconst...
There is also a great presentation by Paul Irish ("10 Things I Learned from the jQuery Source"): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qE1iAmjFg

4
madhouse  6 hours ago  0 replies      
There is no single code or project that I could name. Not because there are no open source codes or projects that weren't worth reading, because there are thousands of them. I couldn't name any, because people are different, and what one finds good and worthy code, the other finds rubbish - thus, there can be no single project that would make every reader happy.

On the other hand, if you look at the question in a different way, you could say that the code (be it open source or not) every programmer must read before his end, is his own. As one looks at his life in one's deathbed, so should a programmer look at his code.

5
dsm  6 hours ago  0 replies      
I'd say the original lisp paper: http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/recursive/recursive.html by John McCarthy
6
willvarfar  5 hours ago  0 replies      
Literate programming is the style of programming that's intended to be read: http://www.literateprogramming.com/

Quite the contrast with the Bourne Shell:
"Nobody really knows what the Bourne shell's grammar is. Even examination of the source code is little help."
â€" Tom Duff
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourne_shell#Quotes

7
Kafka  5 hours ago  0 replies      
The Sudoku solver by Peter Norvig http://norvig.com/sudoku.html and not only for the code but also for the excellent essay.
8
michaelcampbell  6 hours ago  0 replies      
Duff's device.
9
thirsteh  6 hours ago  1 reply      
I think a very good example of when OOP is genuinely useful and desirable is the Twisted Networking Engine: http://twistedmatrix.com/trac/browser/trunk/twisted
10
gavaletz  5 hours ago  1 reply      
The Linux kernel. If you look at it really closely it isn't so pretty, but its massive size and overall complexity for me (as an undergraduate) was like looking into the grand canyon. What's more impressive is the speed at which things change and that despite breaking all of the traditional rules for "good" software design practices...it works amazingly well.
11
wsxiaoys  4 hours ago  0 replies      
Finch is really a clean compiler implementation in C++, it's kind of weird to me when reading its code express nasty things in a clear way in C++

http://finch.stuffwithstuff.com/

12
larsen  5 hours ago  1 reply      
One of my university professors some years ago said the source of Rogue was one of the C program he read. I've never been able to find it, and I am curious since then. Does anyone?
7
Ask HN: How do you do graphic design?
31 points by jnhnum1  14 hours ago   31 comments top 14
1
bryne  12 hours ago  0 replies      
As a graphic designer/artist: this question strikes me as funny because the frequent "how do I start programming" threads are always so matter-of-fact. 3-4 biblical texts get recommended, a handful of vetted resources bandied about, and then a minimal amount of hemming and hawing over which language to use.

As daunting and foreign as those threads seem to me, programming has a lot of known knowns - I can see where "how do I design" would be more daunting because it's such an unqualified expanse consisting almost completely of grey area. Stand before it, naked, putting yourself in the shoes of the designer, and imagine the horror of the client's most unspeakable words: "I can't explain it to you, but I'll know it when I see it."

All that aside, I think the advice that I've received from this community re: learning to program/hack is still sound as it applies to graphic design:

1) Have a project and work toward it. If you don't have one, make one. Be specific in your end goal.

This focus enables you to do the most important thing:

2) Steal like an artist. (via http://www.austinkleon.com/2011/03/30/how-to-steal-like-an-a...)

All the other advice in this thread is pretty legit. You probably don't even know what looks good, so don't start on your own. Do your research. Look at competitors in the space (or the closest you can find to it). Use open source/CC art. Follow the crumbs back to the artist's portfolios and see the other work they've done. Web and app design follows patterns and there are many pattern resources that you should use. Form follows function and usability should inform design: copy good patterns and make them great later. Copy copy copy.

And at the end of the day: hire a designer! It's a big ecosystem and we all need to eat.

2
beej71  12 hours ago  2 replies      
For some reason I'm reminded of The Tick Omnibus, wherein was featured "How to draw The Tick" (The Tick is an unlikely superhero).

The complete instructions were something like this:

1. Draw an oval.

2. Bisect the oval with a straight line.

3. Draw The Tick holding an oval bisected by a straight line.

Gets me every time. As a programmer, though, I actually do something similar for my artwork--except step 3 is "hire an artist".

I'm not sure I can bend my brain to work like that of an artist, but what I do is look at graphics design pieces and do A/B comparisons between them. What's better about one or the other? How are things aligned? What are the nuanced technical details of shading, shadows, colors, highlights? Why that font?

It's really the same procedure I use if I want to learn the best, say, coding style or technique for a language. I look at code, and compare it to other code, and choose which looks best, and analyze why that is.

That's very procedural. A lot of art people I've talked to just mess with stuff until it "feels right", whatever the hell that means. It works for them, though!

3
BasDirks  13 hours ago  1 reply      
Thinking you have a decent sense of what looks good just doesn't cut it, unfortunately every human being is endowed with this belief, hence the general ugliness of the interwebs. I(/we) need to know more about your experience and abilities to give you better advice.

Logo's and "marketing stuff" are very different disciplines, although a good designer will be able to do both. A good logo makes the rest a lot easier.

The most sound general advice I can give you as a graphic designer is to focus on typography and whitespace.

4
njharman  13 hours ago  0 replies      
Search for and use open source, public domain, creative commons, etc art. Make note of the artists.

When you get money, go back and email the artist(s) you liked best and ask them if they'd be willing to do some commissioned work.

5
d5tryr  12 hours ago  0 replies      
Icons, logos and marketing stuff are all very different tasks. Many designers will specialise in just those particular disciplines. To take them all on and expect to execute them in a manner which is professional and not distracting, is a big ask.

There are plenty of on-line resources(1) to get started, but be aware that a lot of learning will be required. And that means a lot of failures. If you don't want your failures to be a part of your product/brand etc. then you should hire a professional(2).

(1)

http://webtypography.net/

http://www.thegridsystem.org/

http://www.alistapart.com/

http://www.typophile.com/

(2)

http://www.behance.net/

http://cargocollective.com/#/featured

http://carbonmade.com/examples/graphic-designers

6
divtxt  9 hours ago  1 reply      
My advice is programmers who need graphics for their apps not for those planning to become designers.

Hire a designer - but for their design skills, not their photoshop skills.

You should (slowly) develop basic photoshop skills. This will let you go further before you hire a designer and also let you communicate with the designer much better.

Steps:

1) Ask a designer friend to show you the very basics: layers, file format, resizing, colors, simple tools like text, bucket fill, etc.

2) Use a cheap Photoshop substitute - Paint.NET, Gimp or Pixelmator depending on your OS.

3) Learn by (i) watching a designer, (ii) reading online tutorials, (iii) trying simple stuff you need

Over the years, I've gone from simple to more complex:

- Crop & resize images and convert file formats.

- Convert transparent PNG icons to transparent GIF.

- Made very simple 16x16 transparent icons for web apps - by zooming in and toggling individual pixels!

- Changing the colors in a designer's graphic to try out different color themes in a web app.

- Simple text logos - watch a designer & you'll see a lot of this is about having a huge selection of fonts & picking a good font/color combination.

- Business card design - some cards are just good text, colors and alignment

- Basic fake miniature effect on some of my photos (following online tutorials)

- Simple app icons (again, online tutorials)

Edit: add opening paragraph

7
chalst  11 hours ago  1 reply      
The "don't DIY" option hasn't been explored here: why not pay a graphic designer?
8
thethimble  10 hours ago  1 reply      
I try not to. I'm significantly more efficient at developing. I try to outsource/delegate design as much as possible to exploit marginal utility.

However, there are instances where this isn't always possible - sometimes I have to do some basic design. I've assembled a small collection of graphic/web design books that I try to make use of when I can. I'd recommend "The Non-Designers Design Book" and "Universal Principles of Design" to help you get started. In addition, I take screen clippings of interface elements that stand out to me and try to draw inspiration from them whenever I need to implement something similar.

9
calbear81  13 hours ago  0 replies      
I did most of the design work for our travel app (Room 77), it certainly can be learned especially since there are some well established app design patterns. If you are developing for iOS, most of the built-in libraries look pretty good and you won't need to do a lot of tweaking. I'm not as familiar with Android. Keep in mind that although you can learn graphic design, would your time be better used on other parts of the app?

I recommend the following resources:

1) Glyphish Pro icon pack - $25, pretty much everyone uses this high quality icon pack in their apps.

2) Tapworthy - Designing great apps - Great book with a lot of case studies and practical advice on grid based design, etc.

10
tintin  11 hours ago  0 replies      
If you are not going to hire a designer here are some beginner tips:

  - choose at most 1 or 2 sizes (like 5pixels and 15pixels)
- use only x*size for all your sizes (image sizes, margins, paddings)
- choose only 2 or 3 colors (kuler.adobe.com).
- check, double check and check again if what you created is easy to read/see.
- check how your design looks in grayscale (will help the colorblind but is also a good contrast check)

The limitations above will help a lot. But in the end it all comes down to experience and feedback from others.

11
smz  13 hours ago  0 replies      
I understand your question is about icons and logos, but this might set you along the right path, as the post links to many other resources: http://paulstamatiou.com/startup-web-design-ux-crash-course

I'm still figuring it out myself.

12
bzupnick  14 hours ago  1 reply      
i, as a web developer, have the same exact issue, im not an artist, yet i need it done. so i believe if your not good at something, dont pretend that you are. you just got to bite the bullet and say that if I try doing this: A) its not gonna be good anyway B) im going to waste time on bad designs. so personally, obviously taking my lack of design skills into account, i would hire someone OR partner with a designer. thats also a good option
13
duiker101  13 hours ago  0 replies      
I think it depends, if you are doing a personal,or not very impprtant, app and you do not need awsome design i do it myself, but my skills are limited(like most programmers?) so, if i need really good graphics i think it' better to pay someone who can do some great stuff insted of having it for free but not too mich good. Anyeay depends also on your design skills.
14
damir  13 hours ago  1 reply      
I don't.

For web apps, I throw uncut, raw and basic app online and see if it rolls. When and only when I start getting signups and questions whether it will do X or Y, then and only then I start thinking about design.

I usually end up with either ripping ideas from some themeforrest theme and going my own route or just buy the theme and be done with it. Same for icons.

Bottom line is not to waste time.

8
Ask HN: Which android handset you use?
5 points by anujkk  8 hours ago   5 comments top 5
1
windsurfer  1 hour ago  0 replies      
Adobe gave me a Samsung Galaxy S, and I've been playing around with that.
2
khandelwal  1 hour ago  0 replies      
10000 Indian rupees = 225.5810 US dollars
3
kiriappeee  6 hours ago  0 replies      
HTC desire. Extra advice. eBay.
Extra piece of advice. Buy a nexus one. Or galaxy s. The latter might be too expensive even on eBay but look hard. You might be surprised. I got my desire last year June (i think) for 400 dollars
4
TimJRobinson  7 hours ago  0 replies      
My flatmate uses a HTC Wildfire which is quite cheap, runs android 2.2 and is pretty fast, I'd recommend it for a budget android phone. Only letdown is it's tiny screen.

I myself use a HTC Desire HD, which probably isn't in your budget :p

5
jakkinabox  7 hours ago  0 replies      
Xperia x8. Custom 2.2 rom on it (Floyo). There's a 2.3 rom available apparently but I think it is still buggy.
9
ASK HN: What methods do you use to gain early customers for your startup?
106 points by nickfrost  1 day ago   32 comments top 18
1
patio11  1 day ago  1 reply      
Organic SEO. This isn't necessarily limited to early adopters: it is not obvious to the average Internet user that an attractively presented website which ranks #1 to their query is a new entrant in the field.

Most of my customers assume, all evidence to the contrary, that my products are made by some megacorp somewhere. (Most common guess that I've heard: made by Google, because they found it on the Googles.)

2
Jebdm  1 day ago  0 replies      
As a frequent early adopter, I'd say the most important thing you can do after providing a useful product in order to retain early users is to actively provide excellent support. I'll tolerate buggy software longer if it is easy to report bugs (and I know that reported bugs actually get looked at).

Interacting directly with early users also "humanizes" your company, which makes people both more forgiving of early mistakes as well as more likely to put a little bit of extra effort into helping you get better.

3
petercooper  1 day ago  0 replies      
Go listen through the Mixergy archives - http://mixergy.com/ - it's one of the most common questions that Andrew asks people. Something that I learned is that the answers are wildly different for everyone (and not solely by industry or company type).
4
revorad  1 day ago  0 replies      
Blog posts which bring in organic traffic.

Listing on the Chrome Web store.

Asking friends and friends of friends.

Asking former colleagues.

Participating on relevant forums just answering people's questions, NOT pitching your product.

Tweeting product updates.

Using Olark to stalk visitors.

Emailing 3-5 popular, connected and intelligent strangers everyday to get feedback.

Writing a book.

Cross promoting and selling other popular products in the field to get to know customers.

5
mapster  1 hour ago  0 replies      
As a freelancer, I get to work directly with sales reps and franchise owners, so I am making a SaSS for them and so they will be my early adopters. I've already interviewed a dozen or so of my clients and am confident my service will be well received. At least the Beta will not be overly complex so I can tweak it in the right direction during Beta review. Here's hoping.
6
SkyMarshal  1 day ago  1 reply      
Steve Blank is teaching an entrepreneurship course at Stanford and blogging about it. They're currently working on customer acquisition strategies:

http://steveblank.com/2011/04/15/the-leanlaunch-pad-at-stanf...

7
veb  1 day ago  0 replies      
This is why many experienced entrepreneurs tell you to ask someone who has money, or a business owner if there's anything you could do to improve their life... because they'll be your first customer, and they'll be spreading the word about you even when you're building the prototype.
8
redsymbol  1 day ago  0 replies      
Bartering was helpful in getting the first customers with my startup: http://ai.redsymbol.net/2010/09/boostrapping-your-business-w...

In general, it'll probably work better with B2B offerings.

9
davidedicillo  1 day ago  0 replies      
I recorded a video of the Matthew Wensing talking about how he bootstrapped Stormpulse. He spent a lot of time describing how he got the first clients and locked some big distribution channels. http://www.davidedicillo.com/social/a-great-story-on-bootstr...
10
mvkel  1 day ago  1 reply      
Depends if you're B2B, or B2C.

For both, though, giving some incentive to be an "early adopter" is a must.

My company is SaaS; to get some initial momentum, we offered early adopters their first year at a discounted rate, additional functionality at a fraction of the normal price, and an account credit if they connect us to another customer that ends up working with us.

We actually still do the latter; nothing is better than having your customers be your evangelists.

11
mendicant  1 day ago  1 reply      
We gave free trials. One of the most important things for us was image. We work with oil and gas companies and getting a couple of Canada's top producers on board was paramount for us.

We needed the "well if big guy X" is using it then maybe it's worth checking out.

We met with some big guys and asked what else they would need to make it work for them. A few tweaks later and a 6 month free trial (plus discounted first year) and we were off to the races.

There are some customers who love us because we love feedback and work hard to implement the really good ideas.

Providing a free trial + personalized tweaks gave us the start we needed. It worked doubly well because we targeted the companies who have respect in the industry first.

12
kenjackson  1 day ago  0 replies      
A big question to answer is if you're social or standalone. That is do you need critical mass to be truly useful or if one person uses it, does that one person still get 99% of the benefit.
13
pitdesi  1 day ago  0 replies      
The best is to use networks... your friends, your friends friends, your advisors friends etc. They'll be more willing to put up with a less than perfect product, and if you make them happy, they will be customers for life and tell their friends. We had luck with this early on at FeeFighters and it has served us well, as our customers almost always refer us to other customers. (B2B site lowering credit card processing fees via instant reverse auction)
14
surendra_sedhai  1 day ago  0 replies      
I think it depends on the product you are lunching. However, in general following things may help to gain early users

1) Using social media (Facebook and twitter) for marketing

2) Make Facebook app/ Facebook fanpage it may help in viral growth

3) Search engine optimization

4) Service\content you are providing should be magnetic so that early visitors will be converted into early users

15
inkaudio  1 day ago  1 reply      
You'll have to build an audience first. I read a lot of the mixergy Entrepreneur majority of the successfull ones all had audience or contacts before they had customers. An audience or contact is different from a customer because they are just people who are interested in you, whereas customers go a step further and buy. However an audience or contact allows you to make offers and build a customer base.

You can build an audience by making friends on hacker news, if you're known for making great contributions to the hacker community
you can build audience. So it's important to be genuinely interested in the community. Once you have an audience you can make them an offer, and if it's any good you'll have customers. And interesting recent example of this is edw519 ebook. Ed genuinely enjoys the hacker news community and people enjoy his contributions which are basically his comments/submissions. I doubt his intentions was ever to sell an ebook of his comments, but he is doing that now, and the site promoting it has been viewed 20923 times, and that's only because he is part of the community and has an audience. see:
http://edweissman.com/i-turned-my-hacker-news-comments-into-...

It's a small experiment on Ed's part, but it won't be worthwhile without an audience.
If you're interested in more specific ways to build an audience stay tuned.

Also read:
http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/04/the-easiest-way-to-succ...

16
brianbreslin  1 day ago  2 replies      
What's your startup?
17
keyvanraoufi  17 hours ago  0 replies      
We submitted our site to betali.st and received 400+ signups as a result. Would your site be similar to that?
18
jahmed  1 day ago  0 replies      
It definitely depends on what your startup is doing. Since it is addressing a need (hopefully) you should try to find people who have this need and target them. A local B2B company will do vastly different marketing from a social B2C company. Friends and family are great, maybe sponsor local events and go out with an iPad and show off the startup. Or maybe try advertising on stumble or facebook.

At my startup http://louderr.com we have been trying out as many ideas as possible to see what generates good CTR and loyal visitors. Word of mouth is working best, along with strategic advertising on social networks. Im looking forward to writing a blog post with lots of information about what worked and what didnt for us.

tl;dr: Guess and Check. Repeat. This is the hard part.

10
Ask HN: Time to pull the plug?
14 points by ztay  21 hours ago   17 comments top 7
1
kongqiu  1 hour ago  0 replies      
Keep at it, or sell it. See if you can partner with some politically-oriented websites. Maybe find more "marketing"/politically-oriented partner(s) who can help? Don't kill it though!
2
CyberFonic  18 hours ago  1 reply      
An excellent idea! The public needs effective ways of making their voices heard. Your site just needs heaps more exposure to gain more traction.

You don't mention what your motivations for setting up the site are. Since there appears to be no way to monetize it, there might be some other agenda?

Went off and took a look at govit.com site. A few comments:

The name "govit" just doesn't jell for me. I think you need something trendier, click2vote, SamClick ...

"Beta" suggests that the site isn't complete. Any progressive web site remains as work-in-progress as it adapts to the demands of the marketplace.

The concept appears to be sound. Needs heaps more marketing, PR, exposure, get talked about, get journalists quote your stats, etc. Yeah! lots of chicken or egg problems. But you have enough to build up momentum.

3
acrum  20 hours ago  1 reply      
You're getting 3k-15k visits/month currently? I would encourage you not to kill it off. The design could use some revision, but if you have the users, keep them. Any idea how many of your users come back on a regular basis (weekly/monthly)? You have a good opportunity here.

Let people sign in with Twitter as well as Facebook (which you have already). Encourage users to share the votes on FB, Twitter, etc (and make it easy for them to do so). Maybe have a weekly 'Featured Vote' or something. There are a lot of possibilities with a tool like this, it just needs some guidance. Giving people a way to "be heard" on issues that they care about is valuable.

4
triviatise  11 hours ago  0 replies      
did you market to political communities like dailykos? They are often trying to do things like this, maybe figure out how to "integrate" with them or sites like theirs
5
imechura  21 hours ago  1 reply      
You have not really given much information about what steps you have attempted to gain traction. From the outside looking in I would try to polarize the audience around hot topics like gun control and abortion.
6
phlux  21 hours ago  1 reply      
Can you expound on the tech. Here is an idea:

what if you can turn it into a tool for government elected officials to engage with their constituencies - make it a tool that senators/their aides/whomever can ask questions of their supporters and collect feedback. You make it effectively a 'facebook for government' engagement?

7
noodle  21 hours ago  1 reply      
why do you want to deadpool it?
11
Ask PG: have you seen a change in the cumulative comment karma?
18 points by jonmc12  16 hours ago   11 comments top 4
1
pg  13 hours ago  3 replies      
Comments with high scores seem to have slightly higher scores than they would have, but comments with low scores seem to have about the same. Probably because the -4 limit on displayed comment scores was already concealing the actual score.
2
staunch  15 hours ago  2 replies      
My guesses:

Voting was used to set a comment to the "correct" level. Now no one can see where they're at, so good comments probably get more than they used to (depth).

Overall people don't think about points as much, so overall commenting is down (breadth).

3
anonymous246  13 hours ago  1 reply      
I'm finding that I miss the comment points, but I didn't think I would.

PG should do another experiment where he hides the submitter and commenter names while showing the comment points for N hours (N tbd) after the comment goes live.

4
chalst  11 hours ago  0 replies      
The more important question is: are populist comments getting fewer upvotes? The reason they might is that voting has become for many voters more the individual task of judging the worth of the comment and less the group task of deciding what is popular.

Looking at the distribution of comment karma before and after the change might give some clue as to that. Analysing two popular threads might be better, if we get the methodology right.

12
Ask HN: does design matter?
5 points by evancaine  11 hours ago   6 comments top 6
1
notahacker  9 hours ago  0 replies      
Successful sites that are poorly designed are outliers - early movers in big movers. It's not quite true to say that they succeed in spite of their design (a clean-looking, more usable Plentyoffish would get fewer ad clicks) but if you're competing with them then a great UX is going to put you at less of a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining visitors, because the concept of dating sites being free isn't a new one.

Likewise, if you're Amazon you can afford to send users contemplating buying away from your website with sponsored links because they will most likely come back to your big name site to complete the purchase. If you're not Amazon you probably don't want any distractions for the users not geared towards upsell.

To some extent their designs are stuck in a local maximum because their relative ugliness is part of their brand: if Craigslist tidied up their design they'd probably see a big rise in bounces from people confused by being sent to listings that don't look like Craigslist.

2
michaelpinto  10 hours ago  0 replies      
Sites like craigslist are in fact well designed, it's just that those sites feature a very minimal design (less = more). In fact if you want an example of a site that veered to encourage bad design MySpace is a good example. But even there you could argue that it was a well designed site because the audience for that site wanted their pages to be ugly and hard to read.

I think you'll find that really good design (and designers) always think of their audience first. This isn't just a design mindset, but a marketing one. That thinking is essential to creating any good product from a website to a cooking wok.

3
maxdemarzi  10 hours ago  0 replies      
I think it matters. Wasn't one of the reasons MySpace lost vs Facebook the fact that users could edit their page to look like a vomit smoothie on MySpace but things were kept clean and uniform on Facebook?

Regardless I think it matters. There have been a few threads on here about how developers can't design for crap, and engineer developed sites look ugly. So I give up. I'm going to finish coding my project, then pay some design firm to make my ugly baby pretty and launch.

4
humj  4 hours ago  0 replies      
I think what you're talking about is graphics rather than design. To me, design is the umbrella term encompassing UX, UI and graphics. so I'll rephrase the question: Do graphics matter?

While it may not the biggest part of design, graphics still do matter. "The way things look" plays a big role in how your eyes move through the space of your product, where your attention goes, and ultimately, where someone decides they've had enough and are ready to leave. Basic Examples: is the call-to-action button colored in a way that I can spot it instantly? Is the text readable enough that I'm not fatigued after a few posts?

5
triviatise  9 hours ago  0 replies      
design definitely matters. There is the emotional part of design - does it evoke the right emotions just by the way it looks. Then there is the usability part of design. Usability is all about speed

There are other areas, but these are the key ones:

1) learnability -how fast can a first time (new) user figure out how to accomplish the primary tasks
2) efficiency - how fast can a repeat user accomplish the primary tasks
3) memorability - how fast can a user regain proficiency after a period of time

Core to this is understanding the primary tasks. Design is absolutely critical when you think about the essence of it as speed

6
jakkinabox  8 hours ago  0 replies      
HN seems to be popular enough even though it serves up link expired things way too often. Does that count as a UX problem?

Digg and Gawker are good examples of driving users away with bad design.

14
Ask HN: How do you do market segmentation of your product?
6 points by happyfeet  13 hours ago   1 comment top
1
happyfeet  12 hours ago  0 replies      
Found few interesting points as discussed in the following blog: http://vitalfindings.com/advanced-analytics/market-entry-str...

Which consumer segments are most price sensitive, and which are more likely to pay more for advanced features?
Is improved technology enough to counter the advantages of having a dominant brand?
How can I tie my consumer segmentation closer to actual feature preferences?
Consumers say they're "very likely" to buy the product I want to develop. What does that really mean?

15
Ask HN: how to become a morning person?
141 points by zxcvvcxz  4 days ago   100 comments top 43
1
gte910h  4 days ago  10 replies      
I had issues with sleeping when others do for a long while. I do not anymore (although get out of sync again about 2x a year).

1. Caffeine and you: You have a certain sensitivity to this drug. You may also be misusing it. Generally speaking, it's a late morning, early afternoon only drug. Late morning is the only place it starts working as its an adenosine antagonist, and you don't start getting adenosine in any really effective amount in your brain until then. (Adenosine is the neurotransmitter which makes you sleepy because you've been up for a certain period of time).

If you drink coffee (or soda) when you wake up stop. Cup #1 of coffee is the Earliest you should use it, and shouldn't happen before about 13 hours before you want your "bed time" to be or about 3 hours after you get your butt out of bed (so let's say "11 am". All it does before then is a brief heart rate spike from the adrenaline surge, or possibly help with caffeine withdrawal from yesterday (which you will not have issues with if you use your caffeine only between say 11a-4p)

The bloodstream half-life of caffeine is 4.9 hours That means it takes about ~10 hours to 1/4 the amount of caffeine in your system as when you stopped drinking it. Additionally, as its an adenosine antagonist, its effectiveness skyrockets the later in the day you have it in you. So if you're shooting for a 12pm bedtime, stop drinking by 2pm-5pm to significantly reduce your blood stream level by bed time.

2. Your bed and you: What are you allowed to do in your bedroom from now on? Have sex, sleep, get dressed. That's it. If there is a tv in your bedroom, say bye bye. If you read in there, say bye bye. If you touch your bed during the day, stop it. If you're sitting there with thoughts for tomorrow, stop that. If you can't stop that, you have to schedule a time of day considerably earlier than bedtime where you lay out tomorrows tasks.

If you're laying in bed for more than 30 minutes without sleep, up and at em, go read in a different room.

3. Routine: You need to get into a set pattern. Set yourself a bedtime. Start winding down before that, not playing video games or watching TV, (especially sports or TV with lots of faces) in that hour before bed. Setup a ritual for sleep, including oral hygene, preparing for tomorrow, etc.

4. Reduce alcohol consumption: Alcohol lightens the depth of sleep. Especially while getting used to a schedule, restrict your intake.

5. Cool down your house at night. I don't care if you like the thermostat in the high 70's most of the time, at night you want high 60's and hide under warm blankets. It really really really will knock you out.

6. Lights are something people are sensitive to in varying degrees. I suggest erroring on the side of expecting yourself to be light sensitive. Use tools like f.lux to drop monitor brightness after sundown. Use timers to turn on/off lamps to make your house have a sundown. Eschew bright, overhead lights before bedtime. If your TV has multiple video settings, even make a TV setting that's overly dark to use past a certain hour.

On the flipside, try to get a North eastern room with lots of windows. Try to live as far south geographically as you can. Make lights turn on like crazy (again, timers) before you want to be waking up. Create lots of noise in your living space (not alarms, but things like tvs, etc) around the time to get up.

7. Eat breakfast, and to really reset yourself, eat nothing 16 hours before you want to wake up. (This works VERY well to fix jetlag).

2
pg  4 days ago  11 replies      
Getting lots of exercise makes it easier to fall asleep at night. The ultimate solution, however, is to have a small child.
3
chaosmachine  4 days ago  4 replies      
I've found Flux[1] to be very useful in stopping the constant forward-shift of my sleep schedule. Now I actually get tired at night. Perhaps it was simply over-exposure to blue light all these years...

[1] http://stereopsis.com/flux/

4
rsaarelm  4 days ago  1 reply      
Figure out how much sleep you need per day, and try to set up a rigid schedule where you wake up when you want to and go to bed the required hours before the time.

Hacks for getting to sleep at a specific time:

- Take an hour long walk, go to the gym or go running during the day to get more tired.

- Try to get exposed to direct sunlight during the day, this is supposed to do something in your brain that helps it maintain the circadian cycle.

- Use F.Lux to keep your monitor from blasting your brain with sunlight analogue wavelengths in the evening.

- Try a cold shower or a cold bath about an hour before bedtime. Several people have reported that this helps them sleep.

- Have a schedule for doing specific non-open-ended stuff that doesn't get you anxious or worked out for half-an-hour to an hour before bedtime. The repeating ritual will prime your brain for sleep.

- Don't read in bed. Make your brain associate being in bed only with sleeping.

- Try meditation. Either do sitting meditation right before bed, or do mindfulness meditation while lying in bed.

- Maintain a very small sleep deprivation, like sleeping half an hour less than you would without any alarms, to fall asleep quickly.

- Fast during the day and eat a carbohydrate heavy meal right before bed. Post-dinner coma will knock you out.

Hacks for waking up:

- Set an alarm 60 or 90 minutes before the time you really wake up, eat a 100 mg caffeine pill and go back to sleep. The caffeine will kick in while you're asleep and you'll wake up when it's fully effective.

- Get a sunrise lamp or rig one up yourself with a power timer. The light will prime your brain for getting up when it's time to wake up.

- If you have a smartphone with an accelerometer, see if there's a smart alarm clock app that will detect when you're sleeping lightly and wake you up then. There's ElectricSleep for Android and EasyWakeup for iPhone.

- Committing to attending something early in the morning like 8 AM will make you anxious to wake up and get up in time. Anxiety isn't very fun though.

- Use mind judo to get up from bed without willpower: http://lesswrong.com/lw/fh/willpower_hax_487_execute_by_defa...

- If you've gotten yourself out of the bed at the time you want, but feel like going right back in, try a shower, a walk, or a run to make your body wake up a bit more.

It's much harder to spend two consecutive nights sleeping much less than usual to adjust to an early wakeup time than a single night.

5
jarin  4 days ago  0 replies      
I'm a big sleeper. I really enjoy sleeping, but I usually get up at 4 am. I'm not necessarily recommending this, but here's what I do:

- I drink a lot of caffeine (studies show that after a regular, high level of caffeine intake it doesn't affect your sleep patterns anymore).

- I take a 1 hour nap every day (usually around 3 pm)

- I go to sleep around 11 pm

- I naturally wake up around 4 am with no alarm

I like this schedule because I get a lot done before everyone gets up and then I have the whole day ahead. Plus, I really like taking naps.

Edit: Just wanted to add that I'm not naturally what you would consider a "morning person". My previous schedule for the last several years was something like: wake up at 2 pm, work, go to sleep at around 6 am, rinse, repeat. I kind of stumbled into my current schedule by accident.

6
eelco  4 days ago  0 replies      
Steve Pavlina wrote a good article a while ago: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-become-an-ea... Don't miss the links to more sleep experiments at the bottom.
7
lbk  4 days ago  2 replies      
Looks like you have DSPS .

There's a good wikipedia page on it ; go read that , read the whole thing .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_syndrome

I got my diagnosis 3 years ago , after a melatonin-test . I had to do 24 saliva samples at 24 consecutive hours , they tell you from the graph whether your melatonin production is off .

The 'fix' is to take melatonin , as a pill , same time every night .
For some that's close to a cure , for others it isn't (it drags my sleep phase about 50% towards a normal phase , if i take it further than that the fatigue kicks in again ) .
Once you get diagnosed a doctor would start you off at 5mg , you can lower the dose later on .

So go get diagnosed , unless you think you can diagnose yourself .

8
JesseAldridge  4 days ago  2 replies      
Sounds like you're exactly like me -- if so, then probably nothing will work. You're options are: 1) Be out of sync with everyone else, or 2) Feel half dead throughout the day.

I stumbled across an illuminating graph on the trends page of my Google Web History: http://imgur.com/Or18c

I've got that 3 am to noon gap, just like the OP describes. I used to think I was on a 25+ hour cycle, but now I'm thinking I just generally like to go to sleep late. If something grabs my attention and I end up staying awake a few hours later than usual, the sun comes up and that makes it harder to go to sleep... thus leading to what seems like a > 24 hour sleep/wake cycle.

Exposure to sunlight seems to help somewhat.

Maybe consulting a professional would be a good idea. Prescription drugs. I never cared enough to go that far.

9
Mz  4 days ago  0 replies      
When I've had to adjust my schedule quickly, it has helped to take melatonin in the evening about 30 minutes before I wanted to be asleep and co-q-10 in the morning to help me wake up. If I can arrange to do this for 3 days beforehand, it does wonders.

I used to have really serious insomnia and I took co-q-10 in the morning for several years to help adjust my brain chemistry in terms of the sleeping and waking cycle. At one time, I didn't tolerate melatonin very well. If I took it, I felt half asleep for up to three days. Co-q-10 is the co-enzyme for melatonin. Taking melatonin does not cause the body to produce more co-q-10 (which is made in the body in a complex multi-step process and is often deficient because of a bottleneck at one or more step). But taking co-q-10 does cause the body to produce a melatonin spike something like 12 hours later. So if you need to adjust your brain chemistry in terms of the waking and sleeping cycle, co-q-10 addresses both halves of the equation whereas melatonin only addresses one half of it. I routinely recommend it as a means to address such issues.

I actually found that for me it seemed like that spike came more like 14 hours later rather than 12 but my body doesn't work right to begin with. I no longer supplement with co-q-10 but took quite high doses of it at one time and took it consistently for several years. I have heard that a magnesium deficiency is one of the things that will cause a co-q-10 deficiency. So I think treating for underlying deficiencies can eventually help the body produce its own supply and stop needing the supplements. I've worked really hard on underlying health and I no longer need this as a supplement and sleep a lot better than I used to.

-- Michele, BioHacker (thanks to pumpmylemma for that term :-) )

10
georgieporgie  4 days ago  1 reply      
I think I read about a guy on Reddit who conditioned himself to become an early riser. In the past, he would repeatedly hit 'snooze' and sleep in. His method was to practice waking up. He did this in the evening by matching conditions to his intended morning wake time (i.e. wear pajamas, turn off the lights), set his alarm for a few minutes in the future, lay down, and wait. When the alarm went off, he would stretch, stand up, stretch again, and begin his typical morning routine.

After enough practice runs, the poster claimed that in the morning he would automatically rise when his alarm went off and begin his morning routine. He claimed that he didn't really fully wake up until later.

11
rdl  4 days ago  0 replies      
I've had to get up at absurd hours (0200 flights, 0400 boat trips an hour away, ops windows, etc.).

I've discovered a few tricks:

1) Never rely on the alarm clock if I'm going to bed less than an hour or two before wake-up time (it's easy to sleep through). I'm probably going to make a much more substantial alarm clock and "here's what happened while you were asleep" briefing system using a TV, computer controlled room lights, etc. Other good alarm clocks: a cat which is trained to expect food whenever you wake up, or a girlfriend (or boyfriend, whatever is desired) who is a morning person.

2) Make sure the "wake up, become functional" process is inherently streamlined; get clothes, bags, etc. all ready the night before.

3) Remove any willpower from the "wake up, begin getting ready" process; once you make it a decision, vs. automatic, it becomes easy to just hit snooze over and over, and makes the actual waking up process itself more stressful. I usually feel great 1-2 minutes after I wake up, and almost always feel great once I'm fully awake, in the shower, etc., but the first 5-10 seconds is not as good -- and that can drag out to hours if you stay in bed trying to decide if you should wake up or sleep longer.

12
daimyoyo  4 days ago  1 reply      
I wonder, OP, if you've considered the idea that your not being a morning person ins't a bad thing? You see, I've been a nite owl since I was 8 years old. Unless I'm sick, drunk, or have been up more than 24 hours, I am never tired before 4 or 5 am. I've had job after job in my time that required me to be at the office early, and I needed to wake up at the last possible second or else, I'd go back to sleep. Finally, I realized that just like there are some people who are left-handed, people's sleep schedules can and do vary. So what I would do were I in your situation is instead of seeking to "cure" the fact you aren't a morning person, accept it and look for people like us, and jobs that don't require you to be at work before noon. They're out there, I guarantee you. Good luck, and welcome to the club.
13
fabiandesimone  4 days ago  1 reply      
I just received my Wakemate a few days ago. My sleep has been improving ever since.

I'm slowly starting to feel less groggy every morning therefor enjoying more my days. This, inevitably makes me be more productive during the day which in turn makes me spend more energy feeling more tired earlier, thus going to be at more reasonable hours. A good vicious cicle if you will.

Also, I started swimming for about 45 minutes around two to three hours before bed time. Guaranteed Knockout.

14
djloche  4 days ago  1 reply      
Get out of bed immediately when you wake. Then drink a tall glass of cold water. Do not go back to bed.

I'm not a morning person, but if I've been up for more than an hour or two, eaten breakfast and gone for a walk before the events of the day start, I could probably fool you. The trick is to get up and get started.

15
gaoshan  4 days ago  0 replies      
I'm 42 and have never successfully conquered my sleep issues. I am still a late night person and will stay up all night every now and then just to get back to a "normal" cycle (which never lasts).

Traveling abroad highlights my problem. In China I will be up at 5:00am (and enjoying it and wanting to make it last) the first few days, then my schedule will start to drift later and later until I am all screwed up again. As a dad I simply have to get up early sometimes and these fall asleep at 2:00, 3:00 or 4:00am get up at 6:30am days just wreak havoc on me and, sadly, I do not "adjust".

What's more, I had a job where for several years I had to get up every single morning at 5:15am. I was told "You'll adjust when you are forced to do it long enough". Nope. I never did. I'm becoming convinced some people just can't. It sucks, by the way.

16
zackattack  4 days ago  0 replies      
For me, I can become a morning person AND cure my insomnia if I stick to these rules:

1) Set an alarm clock for 5am, and wake up.

2) No caffeine after 12pm

3) Daily exercise

4) No computer use after 5pm.

5) Go to sleep as soon as I'm tired.

* * *

I wish I were one of the elite who didn't need to adhere to these rules religiously to become a morning person, but I know that I need ALL of them. No exceptions allowed.

I think that another one of the reasons that it cures my insomnia is that by getting up early and setting an intention for my day, I get into my purposeful mode and my thoughts become organized accordingly. Good karma. Neuroscience in the Tao te Ching?

Another important component to me being able to stick to these rules is that I have a significantly personally compelling reason to be awake, something to do with my time, but more importantly something to fill all the extra hours. i.e. I need to have a reasonably accurate prediction of how I will spend the next day's time by the night before.

17
mattm  4 days ago  0 replies      
Have a wind down period in the evening. Monitors and TV screens seem to activate my brain and I have trouble falling asleep if I use them late into the evening. Shut off every monitor at least 10 hours before you want to wake up. Relax in a warm bath for 30 minutes and then perhaps read or write down your thoughts in a journal.

That said, not everyone is a morning person. If you feel better being a nightowl, just try to adjust your life to it as much as possible.

18
tzs  4 days ago  0 replies      
As soon as you wake up, turn on a lot of bright light, open the drapes to let the Sun in, and so on. Exposure to light is one of the major factors that is used to reset your circadian rhythms to keep them synchronized with the external world.
19
sebkomianos  4 days ago  0 replies      
I've noticed a lot of discussion about the topic of sleep during the past months.

Am I the only one who believes we should maybe consider changing a few things in the way the whole thing works?

- A lot of people are clearly way more productive durring the night. I've seen this applying to coders and to people that need to write essays but I guess there are more categories that fit into this.

- We don't all need the same amount of sleep. My almost-60 years old father can work intensively for around 12 hours (he is a taxi driver in a place that's like hell during the summer months), then work a bit more relaxed for 5-6 more hours and only needs a few hours of sleep every night (usually 3 to 5). Now, compare this to me: I just can't function properly if I don't get at least 6 hours of sleep (and that's a rather positive number, I usually need around 10 to bet completely okay).

- And then, summer people have no standard needs and can live with one hour of sleep now, then a few hours of work, then some more sleep, and so on.

I am not able to suggest a particular new system of daily life but I think we should discuss the topic. Maybe less days with each day being bigger and two "cycles" of productivity at each?

20
ethank  4 days ago  0 replies      
Right now I'm "semi retired" so my alarm clock is my 22 month year old son shouting at us through the baby monitor.

When I was working, my trick was this:

I made a stack of stuff on top of my alarm clock (my iPhone) by my bed in the morning, and kept it far enough away from me that I couldn't just slap it. On top of it, I put my work out clothing and my running shoes.

I also make sure that the alarm clock is loud enough to scare me awake as the adrenaline dump into the system makes it impossible to fall asleep. My wife wears earplugs.

First thing I do is run, usually a 5k or 10k run in the morning depending. It helps clear the head, and I'm awake for the day.

Right now I run at night, which makes me wired, but I find showering and benadryl takes care of that. And also the 22 month old that I'm now home with every day.

21
cydonian_monk  4 days ago  0 replies      
In my experience being a morning person is mutually exclusive to integrating with (most of) the rest of society.

I was born a morning person, but high school and college forced me to abandon that lifestyle. Eventually my body caught up to me (10 years later) and I had to go back to being a morning person again. It was a simple thing to fall back into... I just started going to sleep around 9 or 10 in the evening. The nice thing is I now wake up without an alarm after 8 hours. Getting some early morning exercise and a decent breakfast help, too. Cutting back on caffeine as well - I dropped coffee for a few blends of tea, mostly green.

(The one thing that doesn't help is being up at 12:30 AM on a Saturday morning waiting for the cross-compile of a linux kernel for my used-to-be-Nook to finish. This is almost as slow as bootstrapping Gentoo from stage1.)

22
bad_user  4 days ago  0 replies      
Having a wife that you need to drive to work every morning.

I get up at 7 a.m. ; sometimes even at 6:30 a.m. Even if I have periods of time in which I go to sleep at 2 a.m. I still have to get up at 7 a.m.

The golden rule in such a case -- don't sleep during the day; ever. If you worked late last night, and feeling tired, wait at least for 10 p.m. to go to sleep.

23
scotty79  3 days ago  1 reply      
Take a 5 mg of melatonine at 21:30 and after thirty minutes turn off the lights and the computer, lay down in bed and close your eyes.

After few days of such treatment you'll be more morning person than you've ever been.

Don't try to stop taking melatonine unless you are very strong willed (which you are probably not).

You may want to reduce the dose to 1 mg and 3 mg if you notice it's enough.

24
blacksqr  1 day ago  0 replies      
I was just like OP for a long time. If I couldn't sleep until 10 or 11AM I was just desperately groggy until mid-afternoon. It just didn't matter how early I went to bed. At the same time I could happily function on seven hours or so of sleep, as long as those seven hours were between 3-10AM. Trying to work a day job with regular office hours was hellish.

What finally saved me was a combination of herbal sleep aids and caffeine pills. Every evening I put a caffeine pill on my nightstand and popped it the second the alarm clock went off. Mid-way through my shower, I would actually start to wake up. (For some reason, just drinking coffee in the morning never helped much). I can't tell you how good it felt actually to be awake in the morning, I can't imagine heroin feels any better.

My body still wanted to stay up past midnight many nights... I found that taking kava or valerian before bed would allow me to get enough restful sleep before the alarm went off.

This regimen changed my life and made it possible to be a much more productive and creative person. After about five years, my internal clock finally adjusted somewhat, and I was able to do away with the pills and function normally in the mornings without them. I still keep some around for backup, but I find I can now make reasonable choices of sleep and wake time without recourse to drugs.

I don't know if it's wise to recommend such a plan to another, but if I could go back 20 years and tell myself one sentence, "valerian" and "caffeine pills" would be in it.

25
beck5  4 days ago  0 replies      
2 things made a difference for me, Routine & Age.

If you get a 9-5 job after a while your body learns. I used to wake up at 3pm regularly (and hate myself) but after a couple of years doing the 9-5 I can't sleep in past 9:30 anymore.

I'm only mid twenties now but I swear getting out of bed is easier now than as a teenager.

Unfortunately I am slipping back, I am doing a masters but have no more classes, every night I work a bit later because I know I don't have to be up early, so I wake up a little later, repeat. Its a spiral which I need to break.

26
BasDirks  4 days ago  1 reply      
Upon waking in winter: "does my clock say 5:30 or later"? -> GTFO of bed. In spring/summer/fall: "is the sky no longer pitch black?" -> GTFO of bed.

I will cheat if I went to bed > 12:00.

Why rise at insane times? Because there are far too many awesome things I want to do that day, and as soon as I wake up they pop into my head. Between 6 and 9 I do whatever I want, so I use it to read about interesting tech stuff, perhaps do a little planning, check Facebook without being stalked, etc.

27
richpalmer2  4 days ago  0 replies      
I try to give myself adventures and goals for the morning to at least make it interesting. Some I've tried:

- Figuring out the most efficient way to make an omelet and coffee, in the least amount of time. Since you only get one shot at breakfast, you will have to try again the next day, and eventually build up your craft.

- Outdoor bike rides for both exercise and exploration. I luckily live in Berkeley, so there are plenty of bike-friendly paths and streets, but having the wind in your face, getting exercise, and exploring new areas of your city helps wake my mind up.

- However, the best for me when I was in a corporate job was to set my alarm for 5, have my gym bag and work clothes packed the night before, take the subway to the gym and shower there. I'd eat breakfast when I get to work. Breakfast for a while was granola (carbs), Siggi's yogurt (nice protein boost) and Yerba mate.

It's a shameless plug, but since I'm proud to be a morning person, I'm writing a series of posts called "Morning People Unite" that might help you and others get motivated:

http://www.richpalmer.org/good-morning

http://www.richpalmer.org/morning-people-unite-2

28
kirpekar  4 days ago  2 replies      
1. Find wife

2. Have child

29
mike_esspe  4 days ago  1 reply      
I just don't fight it and live on a 25 hours cycle :)
30
cubicle67  4 days ago  1 reply      
get a daughter who's required to be at gymnastics practice at 6am :(
31
tobylane  3 days ago  0 replies      
Find a reason to. This morning I got out of bed early for the F1 race, even though I was recording it (I watched the whole thing with about a ten second delay plus my own replays a few times).

One thing that is going to work very often is the need for the toilet. Drink a lot before bed, you will wake up well and roughly at the right time. I've only ever once woken up too early for the toilet, and without turning the bathroom light on, went back to sleep easily.

32
AlexMuir  4 days ago  0 replies      
I've started dropping my partner in to her work in the mornings. It's a nice time to chat and it means I'm up and ready for the day. I do 'real' work in the morning, house renovation in the afternoon and then more real work after tea.
33
russjhammond  3 days ago  0 replies      
I have been fighting the same issue myself and finally just asked myself, why do I care about being a morning person? The honest answer was that I thought I should be one.

Since that revelation I have stopped fighting it and just accepted that I am not. I don't sleep more than about 7 hours a day so there is no major problem with this approach.

Try just accepting that you don't really want to be a morning person and see if that works for you.

34
snitko  4 days ago  0 replies      
Best advice you can get in this post: read "The Promise of Sleep" by William C. Dement. It will change you understanding of how sleep works and, hopefully, will also change your life.
35
johnyqi  4 days ago  0 replies      
Don't eat anything 4-5 hours before sleep, no computer / mobile few hourse before, eat light food, less meat, sugar, fat, milk... Drink loads of water, 1.5-2L (but not before going to sleep, kidneys have to rest) and you need loads of exercises. I would also suggest to get one of these recordings to help you calm down http://www.oceen.com/store/
36
kjell  4 days ago  0 replies      
People say drink something before you go to bed so next morning the urge to pee will motivate you straight out of bed. I hate having to pee really bad when I wake up. But don't shit right before bed for a similar impetus. YMMV.
37
dmd149  4 days ago  0 replies      
For me, it is just a matter of getting to be early enough to be a morning person. I tend to wake up when I've been sleeping for about 7 hours. It also helps if you actually get out of bed when you first wake up. I feel groggy if I go back to bed.

Hope that helps.

38
alving  4 days ago  0 replies      
you might want to check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_response_curve .
a light therapy is mentioned which may help in correcting the sleeping hours.
39
singingfish  4 days ago  0 replies      
having a small child did it for me. Now that they're old enough to know how to lie in I find that I'm getting up before them. On the other hand, I'm no longer in a position to pull an all-nighter.
40
aj700  4 days ago  1 reply      
How do you get your username displayed in green like that?
41
faust6  2 days ago  0 replies      
do exercise before bed time, lift weight, eat a bit more and just before bed time have a cup of hot milk with banana or just hot milk....
42
3113  4 days ago  0 replies      
I run in the morning on the treadmill to wake up. And take a nap in the afternoon - I find it makes me more productive like starting a second shift.

I heard about this one guy who mastered never sleeping by taking a number of power naps per day - and that it makes for more productivity working around the clock...

43
cardmagic  4 days ago  1 reply      
Have a kid. Nuff said.
17
Ask HN : hackers,what are doing to keep your self fitt &healthy?
11 points by kodeshpa  3 days ago   23 comments top 16
1
fezzl  1 hour ago  0 replies      
I trick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tricking). It's an incredibly fun sport and also a very, very effective way of staying in shape.
2
camperman  3 days ago  1 reply      
StrongLifts 5x5.

http://stronglifts.com/

I'm 8 weeks in to the 12 week programme. It's just 45 minutes three times a week and I'm stronger and healthier than I've ever been.

3
curt  3 days ago  1 reply      
Combined P90X and Tim Ferris's body hacking program into an awesome system. I've been putting on about 1/2 lbs of muscle a week, with nearly no fat gain. Due to my height I have a take in a ridiculous about of food, but its well worth it.

The best exercise I'd recommend to anyone starting: the kettle bell. Do 50 reps (you'll need to break them up at the beginning) with 40-50lbs. If you don't see a change with those you never will.

4
farout  3 days ago  0 replies      
I go up and down a step - 50 times twice every hour. Unlikely stairs - you get little help from momentum and so burn more calories. Plus I raise my arms up and down at the same time. Looks silly but - it works.

easy to remember, easy to do, quick burst of energy; but don't get sweaty

Also - do wall pushups (25 at a shot) for 300 a day. As well as squat: hold for 1 min, every hour. Can do in bathroom or stairwell for privacy.

5
nostrademons  3 days ago  0 replies      
Bike to work. Walk to errands.

Also, I don't slog 12-15 hours per day with all night coding.

6
SabrinaDent  3 days ago  0 replies      
I'm smoking Lights instead of Reds.
7
runT1ME  2 days ago  2 replies      
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It's the chess of the martial arts world. Practicing it keeps you fit, but more often than not, in competitions and live sparring practice, it's superior strategy that overcomes physical prowess.

I hated lifting weights and running for my whole life, so it's quite enjoyable to spend four or five hours a week getting a great workout where my mind is constantly being challenged also.

The founder of the art called it "the triumph of intellect over brawn". But you will get fit practicing it...

8
cincinnatus  3 days ago  1 reply      
1) Using a standing desk so I don't die of sitting
2) Run at least 4 miles twice a week
3) lift weights 3x a week (different sets)
4) Yoga at least once a week
5) Meditation when I need it
6) Eating low-carb or carb free 1-2 weeks each month
7) Getting good sleep (no screens an hour before bed, no electronics in bedroom, no reading/tv in bed, cold dark room)
8) Not coding past point of diminished capacity
9
veyron  3 days ago  0 replies      
Everyone talks about having to do something actively [like working out] but the simple things are overlooked:

1) get a good night's sleep [I actually lost about 20 lbs just by getting more than 1.5 hours a night of sleep]

2) eat a large breakfast [the best pattern is large breakfast, large lunch, light dinner]

3) take breaks whenever there's a respite in the work [just stand up and walk around a little bit before getting back to keyboard]

10
fooblahblah  3 days ago  0 replies      
Ok, to be a little more helpful... H.I.T. is great for folks who don't have time, but it doesn't achieve the same calorie burn as long term endurance training. This link kinda summarizes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_intensity_training
11
cpt1138  3 days ago  1 reply      
I ride my bike to the office and back, ~20 miles each way, ~1800 feet of climbing, keeps me relatively fit.
12
sktrdie  3 days ago  0 replies      
I run 3 times a week at lunch break. Only 15 minute runs. And try to eat healthy foods whenever I can... avoid pizza for a fresh sandwich. Small things make a difference.
13
triviatise  3 days ago  0 replies      
rotate between hockey and ultimate frisbee at least 3 times/week. When the wind allows I windsurf and/or kitesurf
14
kodeshpa  3 days ago  0 replies      
Any specific food habits, we need to follow?

I avoid coffee and drink Lipton herbal tea.

15
mrlyc  3 days ago  0 replies      
Weightlifting six days a week.
16
fooblahblah  3 days ago  0 replies      
Umm, excercising instead of geeking out :)
18
Ask HN: How do you effectively manage remote/telecommuting programmers?
6 points by delinka  20 hours ago   2 comments top
1
avstraliitski  17 hours ago  1 reply      
I usually manage remote workers with a clear spec and a timeframe. If they fail, I offer help and a few chances. After that, their work is reallocated elsewhere and they are fired. This keeps people a little more engaging/realistic with estimates than the 'black hole and hope for the best' model.
19
microsoft.com html title - signs of a company in decay?
6 points by vain  6 hours ago   11 comments top 9
1
edw  5 hours ago  1 reply      
Having worked at CDnow back in '98-99 and being part of one of the grand front page re-designs, I had to deal with every department (of a company of only about 350 people, mind you) that wanted a piece of the above the fold space.

• Operations wanted order status

• Affiliate marketing wanted a promo

• Corporate affiliate marketing wanted a promo

• The merchandizing people wanted…merch promos

• The bizdev people wanted ads and partner logos.

• Ad nauseam.

Balancing the interests of all these groups, who seemed not even dimly aware that they existed only to the extent that the whole thrived, was difficult. (CDnow was eventually bought by Bertelsmann and turned into a redirect to Amazon, by the way…)

I can imagine similar conversations regarding the content of the Microsoft front page title. And there's probably extensive internal front page title page kremlinology, where employees track the waxing and waning of various business groups by watching what the keeper of the page title deems worth highlighting, and in what order.

2
brudgers  4 hours ago  0 replies      
Comparison of Microsoft to Google and Yahoo is a bit silly based on the fundamental differences in the purpose of their landing pages - i.e. Bing.com : Bing

If you buy into the Apple v Microsoft meme then maybe that comparison is somewhat meaningful. Personally, I don't buy in given their primary organization around B2C and B2B respectively.

It's hardly as if any of this has an effect on sales - and to the degree it does, one would suspect that Microsoft's title would drive more traffic to their site than Apple's or Oracle's - again, Google and Yahoo don't really have a comparable business model.

3
matthiaswh  6 hours ago  1 reply      
Their title tag isn't terrible. It's highly descriptive of what they do and not repetitive or spammy, albeit a little long. Other brands decided that the branding was enough, while Microsoft wanted to be more descriptive.

If you want ugly corporate title tags, look at the pages for HP/Palm's products. They always seemed amateurish.

TouchPad | Laptop TouchPad | TouchPad Computer

HP Pre3 | Business Smartphone, Business Mobile Phones

Palm USA | Palm Pixi Plus Phone | Features, Details

Palm USA | Palm Pre Phone | Features, Details

(The last one is for their "applications" page.)

4
senthilnayagam  5 hours ago  0 replies      
Microsoft is no more the destination for any of the skills claimed in the title tag

so they are using SEO for getting on first page on search engines :)

5
AngeloAnolin  5 hours ago  0 replies      
This is quite a subjective area for discussion. I imagine what may seem wrong to some people may be right for Microsoft and their products. Microsoft probably just wants to brand itself in the forefront of these technologies and they have not found a good keyword or phrase that would lump them altogether.
6
chrislomax  5 hours ago  0 replies      
I would imagine that the keywords they are using in their title should really be on the relevant pages for their term. I always wondered how all the different sites worked to be honest. All the little domains that Microsoft have never seem to be consistent with their brand either?

I find their websites so detached from each other, the deeper you get into the microsoft site, the more the theme changes.

7
calebhicks  5 hours ago  0 replies      
A decent SEO idea gone wrong.

It seems they are trying to draw attention to their homepage for searches for Software, Smartphones, etc. when in reality they should be choosing one focus for the homepage, and optimizing category or subpages for various specialities (Cloud Computing, IT Business Technology, etc).

8
slater  6 hours ago  0 replies      
Maybe Microsoft is just dumb?
9
myearwood  2 hours ago  0 replies      
Other companies are even worse - The title for Instagram.com is instagr.am
20
Ask NH: MacOS / XCode 4 Guides, Books, Tutorials?
5 points by mikhaill  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
blownd  8 hours ago  0 replies      
There are loads of great resources out there for learning Cocoa for Mac development but because Xcode 4 is so new you aren't going to find much aside from Apple's own documentation.

But I strongly recommend you check out Programming iOS 4:
http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920010258

It's still in development and has just been updated to cover Xcode 4. I've been reading the previous edition and it's brilliant: great writing and the first half of the book is applicable to both iOS and desktop Cocoa development. As a relatively new Mac developer (1-2 years) this really consolidated my knowledge of Apple's frameworks and Objective-C.

2
duskwuff  11 hours ago  0 replies      
The mechanics of using XCode 4 are somewhat different, but all the fundamentals are identical. As far as documentation goes, Apple's online docs are a surprisingly good starting point.
22
DropZap 2 v2.0 released and is free for a limited time. Adds mirrors game type.
3 points by amichail  15 hours ago   discuss
23
Ask HN: Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn - what has worked for b2b startups on HN?
10 points by lazy_nerd  22 hours ago   1 comment top
1
kongqiu  1 hour ago  0 replies      
AdWords works far better than FB Ads for my site. YMMV.
24
Ask HN: Is Facebook having serious database inconsistency problems?
11 points by stefanobernardi  21 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
terryjsmith  21 hours ago  0 replies      
I think a database inconsistency is unlikely, though possible, I imagine they would be very on top of that. It is more likely a caching or replication issue (maybe to do with their new data center -- entirely speculation).
2
surendra_sedhai  8 hours ago  0 replies      
I am also facing the same issue. Number of facebook likes for my sites is also inconsistent. Change in the number is not that significant, however, the inconsistency problem is there.
3
sek  20 hours ago  1 reply      
I had the experience that some private messages disappeared, the people i send those never got them. It happend more than once where i am sure about it. Maybe i did something wrong but there is no way to find out.

Since then i never send important messages any more over facebook. There is no way you can be sure they got the messages or can find out why they don't got them. E-Mail feels less like a black box.

4
kajjinai  8 hours ago  0 replies      
I have seen one other strange behavior. My wife and I use the same laptop. She had logged into FB. When I was using it, i signed out of her account and signed into my account. I then saw some posts from my wife's friends who are not my friends. Strange.
5
laxk  14 hours ago  0 replies      
Confirm. I have same issues with groups.
25
Ask HN: Any Talented Writers Here?
12 points by rosstamicah  1 day ago   14 comments top 6
1
AmberShah  1 day ago  1 reply      
Love this idea. Would definitely love to fund some of my fav authors, esp ones that post on free sites in spare time. I am wondering how this would work though. As a reader I'd totally do it for an author/excerpt I was psyched about.

As an author I'm wondering how useful it would really be. After all, if you already have a large following, getting a publishing deal would be pretty easy. And if you don't have a large following, then you're getting little to no money through the site. Is the site designed to actually help you gather an audience, or is it expected that people will divert their existing audience from other means (social media, etc)

I'm assuming if I give money I'd get the book for free (at least digital version). And how much would I have to give to get this. Would I get anything else? Like maybe a "funders-only epilogue" or something?

2
sambeau  1 day ago  2 replies      
This is a really nice idea (and one, as a part-time writer with a very unfinished novel, I have been thinking about). My worry is that it would be hard to raise the ~$50,000 many authors would need to be able to be able to give up work and complete the tome.
3
jeromec  1 day ago  0 replies      
4
wolfrom  17 hours ago  1 reply      
Have you spent any time at places like http://www.fanfiction.net/ ?

My wife is always saying that there are many authors on there that ought to focus on getting non-derivative work published (if they aren't already).

I imagine authors could use pseudonyms for their fundraising?

5
joeld42  23 hours ago  1 reply      
You should be posting in places that writers hang out, not here.

That said, maybe I'll send you a chapter. :)

6
revorad  1 day ago  1 reply      
How do you make money? Do you take a cut?
26
Ask HN: Examples of Great UX?
11 points by stevenj  2 days ago   15 comments top 6
1
staunch  2 days ago  2 replies      
A lot of people like Mailchimp's UX.

I lean towards Hacker News' style: boring/minimalist/functional.

2
bdclimber14  1 day ago  0 replies      
I always thought the USPS address change process was a great experience: https://moversguide.usps.com/icoa/icoa-main-flow.do?executio...
3
marilyn  2 days ago  0 replies      
The Dominos Pizza online ordering system has surprisingly impressive UX design.
4
imechura  2 days ago  1 reply      
Hipmunk is an example of great UX for advanced users of airline services.
5
JamesDB  1 day ago  0 replies      
This blog showcases some awesome little UI features - http://littlebigdetails.com/
6
slysf  1 day ago  0 replies      
Mephobox has an excellent collection of great designs:

http://box.mepholio.com/

27
Ask HN: Who honestly applied to YC Reject?
4 points by citizenkeys  20 hours ago   2 comments top
1
bcrawford  18 hours ago  1 reply      
I'll bite: I did.

My logic: almost everyone who succeeds did so with a trail of 'no' behind them and the only way to get those is to put yourself out there. YC's application was something I labored over for a couple weeks and feel I got a great deal of value from that process alone... this is no different and I would have hoped that everyone applied.

28
Ask HN: Would you pay for iOS components?
8 points by esad  23 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
pmjordan  23 hours ago  0 replies      
One of my/our side projects is actually basically the same concept (different components), with a similar backstory (except they grew out of contract work - and yeah, I retained copyright), but a little further along. You can actually already trial and buy our components at http://appuicomponents.com/

We've been too busy to actually promote it since launching, but also not really sure how best to go about it. We get a bit of organic search traffic, but it's not enough to make the effort worth it so far.

I actually searched for components like ours before embarking on the projects that needed them, and would have happily paid for them, assuming source code was provided. The iOS platform isn't that stable and I'd be very worried about relying on the developer to update the component(s) fast enough in case of breaking changes. I don't know whether that means there's a sustainable market out there, but I do know some people do make a decent amount of cash with it.

One thing I haven't seen elsewhere are trial versions. We provide an x86-only binary + headers for free, which means it only runs in the Simulator.

2
MartinMond  23 hours ago  0 replies      
I've just talked to esad (he's sitting right next to me at the local cocoaheads meetup), what the component does is use a separate R-Tree like data structure to keep track of MapView annotations and perform clustering/display and it seems to deal fine with ~50k annotations on an iPhone 3G. Esad's using this in his local search app http://www.oeffnungszeitenapp.at/
3
runjake  22 hours ago  0 replies      
PlausibleLabs.com, run by Landon Fuller (noted Mac & BSD dev) & others, do it.

Clickable: http://www.plausiblelabs.com

4
austintaylor  23 hours ago  1 reply      
Would it be open-source? With an open development process? I could see paying for a library, but I can't see building on top of something maintained by a single developer that I can't fix myself.
29
Mountain View Hacker House - One room available
23 points by iamwil  1 day ago   discuss
       cached 20 April 2011 18:24:23 GMT