Start here, follow the topics you have not tried yet:http://www.tuxradar.com/practicalphp
What's the best way to learn all the stuff I missed by not going to school?
how can I get a job that is asking for engineers to apply?
You need skills that those engineers have.
You don't need to go to school to master the data structures and algorithms, for reference there are bunch of university resources available, and there are lot of implemented code for us to checkout. Refer links others have suggested here. Give some time to learn these advance topics.
Edit: added few lines
It is one of the classic CS textbooks still used by Berkeley (CS61A) and MIT (not sure) intro CS courses. Its not trivial stuff. While it wont teach you obscure data structures like ropes, it will expose you to a wide variety of topics including but not limited to:functional programming, lambda calculus, OOP, logic programming, client/server programming, non deterministic programming, streams as data, the meta-circular evaluator, lazy evaluation, and concurrency. I had a fairly strong CS background before taking CS61A at Berkeley, but this book (thanks to Scheme) taught me how beautiful computer science can be. Now working in Java is a complete turn off ;)
The short of it though is to study the same stuff. There is a lot that a CS background will fill in for you which you won't tend to learn on the job.
Has anyone else noticed a trend either way?
Does it serve the purpose for both the sides? What are the potential caveats in this?
Roughly, search engines work in two phases: retrieval, and scoring. Retrieval is when you figure out of the billions of documents in the index, which are the top few thousand that could be worthy of being search results. Scoring is when you look at each of those documents in more detail to figure out the actual top ten.
Scoring based on regular expressions wouldn't be too tough. Retrieval is the killer. Typically retrieval works based on "posting lists", which are basically indices for each word of which documents contain that word. To retrieve based on regular expressions, you would need posting lists for individual characters or short sequences of characters. That would take a lot more space.
You might be able to hack together some hybrid that would use existing posting lists. For example, if you required that the regular expression contain a word within it. But pure regular expressions would require a different index. That sort of added complexity is not worth it for the feature.
It might be practical to do a hybrid search -- a conventional word or phrased based search to return a limited set of documents that can then be brute-force searched using a regular expression. This could be especially handy for programmers searching for code samples, a position I often find myself in.
Who would use the regex search? Only programmers. So your market is tiny compared to a general-purpose search engine.
So more expensive queries that are harder to code up for many fewer people? Sounds like a losing bet.
I think micropayment should be a hidden implementation detail. Users should only have to pay like they do for regular things.
Partly technical: You can't do micropayments using credit cards. You can aggregate payments across sites, but there's a chicken-and-egg problem that has prevented payment aggregators from reaching usable scale.
I would guess that the closest analogy would be metered long-distance telephone time vs flat-rate. I bet that a significant portion of those going flat rate actually paid more for it than when they were metered.
There are probably similar books/resources for Ruby.
Then I learned Pascal, in high school, and learned basic things like procedures and local variables. With that, I learned that you should never have to do anything more than once. Everything I subsequently learned was basically technique for following this rule.
For the next few years, I played around with C+4 basic, didn't do anything serious. But in 1991, we got our first PC, and I tried to port the stuff I wrote on the C+4 to gwbasic, and later QBasic, but didn't succeed. So I dropped basic, and tried Turbo Pascal. That was my second ah-ha moment, when I discovered its help.
By 1998, I was reasonably fluent in Pascal and 386 assembly, but then my harddrive crashed, and I lost everything I wrote and collected since '91. That's when I installed Linux, and started to poke around with Perl (we had internet at school, and it was full of perl scripts. I choose perl because that's what I found the most resources for), and I discovered regular expressions: third ah-ha moment.
The fourth ah-ha moment was when I started to play with esoteric languages, which in turn resulted in learning a couple of other, real and interesting languages aswell. And then I realised that hey, I can program! And I don't care what the language is, once I knew a few, I could very easily learn another!
That moment was when it dawned on me, that programming is something much deeper, and something much more than simply writing code in one's language of choice.
And then I found the "Learn You a Haskell for Great Good" book, and when I finished it, I was enlightened.
After that moment I started looking for ways to do what 'I' wanted the computer to do instead of just what I was told the computer could do... and was then happily exploring stuff beyond what the teachers knew (which was not too much either, back then).
Hmm if I try real hard I can probably recreate it here:169 0 141 15 144 169 1 141 15 144 76 0 32
Anyway, when I got home, I tried it out. It changes the screen color, but then crashed because of a mistake in the loop instruction.
That was definitely an AHA moment - realizing how CPU's work.
You can self teach yourself alot by learning as you go, but until I took the time to specifically study data structures I hadn't made it over the hump, my 'ah-ha' moment so to speak.
I suspect that this is the most important learning moment - what is it in programming that excites you? (probably won't be this article :)
The other alternative -- and again, "no ads" is better, is to put up your add blocks, seed with one ad for a related affiliate offer or even an ad-looking block towards a page in the space, and then have the other blocks say "Click here to buy this space." You can then do the simplest possible thing to enable that -- e.g. email me and I'll take your payment by Paypal.
That said, you can make good money from other approaches like affiliate marketing, products, and so on.
Biggest issue I had was grokking the idea of intents and such; the terminology is not well explained.
Overall I got the most out of looking at sample code. I've seen several suggestions to do the Google tutorials as well.
I heard good things about this http://commonsware.com/ so you might want to check it out.
Chris Messina (factoryjoe on Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/collections/72157600...
Zach Klein on Evernote: http://www.evernote.com/pub/zachklein/generaluiux
It has a nice collection of UI elements for the web.
http://cvparade.com/ CV / Resume
Inflation theory (1980), Gluons (1979), Experimental verification of quarks (mid 1970's), Quantum Chromodynamics (1960, modern version 1975), Quantum Computing (1982), Spintronics (1980s), Josephson effect (1962), SQUIDS (1964/1965), Semiconductor Photolithography (1982), Nanotechnology (1980s), high temperature superconductivity (1986).
Nothing interesting happened after 1994 because of the invention of the Spice Girls and because the eighties were over and everyone became obsessed with having answers immediately and looking it up on the web instead of reading books and so on. (It's just possible that this is when I gave up reading books and so I don't know about anything that happened since then. But I'd rate that possibility at less than 10% based on a back of the envelope calculation.)
Within Cosmology, I think the theory of inflation (Guth, 1980) deserves special mention. Its purpose is to explain what happened before what most people think of as The Big Bang, and it does so successfully, agreeing with highly nontrivial experimental tests (with data collected by WMAP and others). The fact that we can say something meaningful about what happened before the big bang, and then check it experimentally -- isn't it just mind blowing? What's fascinating is that inflation requires quantum mechanics and general relativity to work together to produce the effects we measure in the microwave background -- the very effects that are later crucial for the formation of galaxies. 
And yet, no one I talked to outside the physics community is even remotely aware of any of this. We are making great strides toward understanding where we came from -- the very origins of the universe -- and yet almost no one seems to notice. Wouldn't surprise me if there are similar examples in other fields.
 The basic picture is that the microscopic uncertainties of QM are amplified by GR to become cosmic-scale perturbations, which later collapse (due to gravity) to form galaxies.
Edit: Also, what are your thoughts on technology? While it isn't a theory or scientific discovery, personal computing has had a major impact on society in the last couple of decades.
They've been stuck by not being able to combine general relativity and quantum physics for decades now, entire careers. Pretty frustrating if you're in that field.
These days BCC is in maintenance mode (i.e. I respond to emails, cut checks, and put out fires, but I don't do active development or marketing). It works out to a bit more than my old salary for roughly 69.5 less hours of weekly work.
I have two other businesses: I do consulting and I have Appointment Reminder. Appointment Reminder pays its own way now, but doesn't put a meaningful amount of money in my pocket. Consulting does (egads), but distracts quite a bit from working on AR.
[Edit: I didn't actually say it, but these are iPhone apps]
On average, almost all of my income is from app sales, and not from ads or In-App Purchases.
I had a Lite version of the paid app, but that seemed to do more harm than good.
I have In-App purchases (both to unlock some extra content and remove ads in the ad-based app, and to unlock each feature of the paid app into the free app), but these have been rather slow to sell (maybe 1 or 2 a week?)
My best paid app sales month was about $900. (This was actually Christmas and a strong early January, which was all reported as January) No other months have come close (although I've only been up since December, really)
I DON'T advertise of any kind. Even my official website gets zero traffic, so I don't bother to keep it up to date.
P.S. I honestly expected my apps to spike in sales and then drop down to a couple a week. In fact, all of my apps continue to be very steady. Even my highs and lows tend to be distributed across all three apps, implying (but not proving) that it's the market itself moving up and down, rather than anything I'm doing.
[EDIT: Responding to replies:][EDIT: Responded to wallflower]
-I don't openly connect myself to my apps, mostly because they are a little embarrassing. Maybe I'll write a blog post tell-all.
-They started earning steadily from the beginning, almost entirely through searching for solutions in the app store. I should point out that the paid app is actuall $2.99 so $300/month is really only an average of 4 sales per day or so.
-As for getting started in the iPhone business, I came into it as a young but seasoned programmer who had an idea for a market that was somewhat established, but under-served. Since then, my opinion on that market and my initial idea have completely changed, but I don't have any better ideas for iPhone apps at the moment.
As for rules and regulations? I haven't registered a business yet, so Apple treats me as an individual developer. I tried to hide my real name when I set it up, which half-worked, but took like a week.
I've run into IP infringement cases for my apps, and have even had a DMCA take-down against it, which was resolved very quickly by both sides (at the expense of my app becoming hideous). Apple actually reviewed and approved my changed app within 2 hours of me submitting it, which was awesome. I actually only had a single day of zero sales through all that.
I had an app take about 2 and a half months to get through review. Apple is MUCH slower with free apps than paid apps.
The graphic design/presentation was absolutely awful for a long time. Now the app itself is decent enough looking (no where near "Apple" pretty, but the logo is still awful).
noneCompletely unrelated to your responses, I'm planning on submitting my fourth app this weekend (which is an optimistic estimate, to say the least).
We completed the game from idea to app store in 3.5 weeks and it is now, by far, our most popular game. * face palm *
EDIT: We split the revenue 50/50, so the revenue (after apple's cut) on this game is around $4k/mo.
60% is from Adsense on a sports-related niche website. I make most of that during a couple bursts related to sports seasons - playoffs, spring training, opening day, March Madness, etc. I absolutely stumbled upon that niche from seeing traffic on a related blog post I made. If I really did the SEO and worked on the site I could probably make 5-10 times as much, but I couldn't really grow to other niches.
39% of that is from Amazon affiliate links on a niche gift shopping site. That occasionally lands a sale throughout the year, but it booms from October to early December. This is something I could easily grow to lots of other niches - if I built out the automation. It doesn't really excite me, but shoveling Amazon affiliate links onto dozens or hundreds of niche shopping blogs should be lucrative. I would only focus on the Christmas shopping season though, unless you targeted different holidays like Mother's Day.
1% of that is from a few photos on iStockPhoto. That's where I actually want to put more of my effort going forward. I like the challenge of taking good photos and I like the idea of making my photography hobby self-supporting. But I also think the stock photography (and video) I produce will have a longer sellable life than anything else.
Of the 4 businesses I've founded or co-founded (BIG Folio, APF, NextProof, and 2 Tablespoons), the first two generate approximately half of their revenue from recurring fees (we also have setup fees). That adds up to high 5-figures per month for each (more in a good month). Of course, they both have the highest overhead in terms of labor and servers. For me personally, the recurring revenue results in a monthly draw/dividend that is now higher than my (good) salary. I spend most of my time (40 hours between the 2) on these two.
NextProof is a purely recurring/transactional revenue business. It currently makes in the low 5-figure range per month on subscription fees + about the same in transaction fees. User base is growing at about 3% per month. Overhead is fairly low (mainly hosting at EngineYard) and I work about 5-10 hours/week on it. I take a quarterly draw/dividen on this (not too big). As someone else said, if I really worked on some SEO and properly ran some campaigns/tests, it could probably grow at 10% or more.
2 Tablespoons is my newest venture and, so far, generates about $30 a month from one iPhone app (epic, I know). Launching a restaurant website service this month. Hoping to take everything I've learned from these other businessesâ€"and from HNâ€"and generate some solid recurring revenue without too much overhead. Haven't thought about goals, but getting to $2k/month by the end of the year sounds reasonable.
I am currently operating TikiToki as a side project from my main business as a freelance web developer. Aim to go full time with TikiToki at start of July.
This will be a bit of a gamble, given that what I earn from subscribers via TikiToki for a full month is less than what I would earn in half a day as a freelance developer!
We do it for love as much as the money!
Edit: If we want to go into detail, I should also add that I also earn about $80 a month from Adsense for a blog my wife and I run (http://www.casualgirlgamer.com) and about $25 a month via Big Fish's affiliates scheme. Peanuts really but it all adds up...
I had just started to seriously follow this path but I was earning between $100 and $375 per month in commissions from the test runs of my software that creates stores. I am in negotiations with them concerning turning my accounts back on.
I plan to expand this into a series of blog posts about lessons learned both business and technological. Upvote if that sounds like something you want to read.
To be honest, the blogs did have some crappy content. I would be happy to pull the ads off the bad blogs and put them back on dodgit, a service I have lovingly maintained for 7 yrs. Sadly there appears to be no way to appeal to Google once they drop the axe.
I'm pondering next steps. I know a few people who work at Google but haven't contacted any of them yet. I've played around with adbrite and some other ad networks, but none of them seem to generate money the way adsense can.
I've also created a number of websites that generate revenue over the years, that aren't dependent on adsense in any way. I'll definitely make more!
I'm currently making between 90k and 110K a month in revenue as a sole employee running a fairly large active Web community (< 2500 Quantcast). The focus of the community is a niche market with very little competition but we fare well by providing good value to our community.
Our revenue sources breaks down as follows:
* 40/50K/month in subscription revenue
* 25K/month in adsense revenue
* 4k/month in other ad revenue (Ebay, Amazon, Viglink etc)
* 30K/month in license and royalty revenue
As the sole employee, my primary responsibilities are all of the development of the platform, all system administration, all marketing and business activities, financials, and I also provide all the primary user support for the site. We have approximately 120 administrators and moderators who are volunteers, and we also have 4 individuals who are independent contractors who receive a set amount every month to lead different parts of our site and lead those volunteers.
Our platform is primarily based on Amazon Web services but includes physical servers from other hosting platforms. Platform as a service providers that we use include Cloudkick, Chartbeat, Geckoboard, Dynect, and SendGrid.
The reason why we have been so successful is we cater to a hobbyist market and operate on a very generous freemium model. Our subscription revenue is solid and predictable, and we experience very few chargebacks because we have consciously decided not to do automated renewals. Our license and royalty revenue is due to licensing agreements we have with third parties who utilize our content and services and APIs, as well as mobile device makers who serve our content (primarily to the Android and iOS market).
All of the above is a full time job and I rarely ever have a day off, although I have a tremendous amount of flexibility with my schedule.
I sell a combination of e-books and physical books, I have a few dozen titles.
(EDIT: Was at $15k per month last October before the competition started getting crazy)
About $2.5K per month hosting websites.
Then consulting income - I keep consulting because I feel like at any moment, the Android Market ranking algorithm will change or competition will wipe me out, etc, it's just to day-to-day to walk away from good old consulting.
Living in a relatively expensive place, I'm satisfied with that for now as it enables a modest yet comfortable standard of living. The usual benefits - flexible hours, can work in any location with internet access, complete choice of technologies, etc. go a long way.
We could do a lot better, though and I'm aiming to do that. The current business I have can't grow due to the unique situation (it's based on another company's API, and that company is atrocious in every way imaginable - including developer hostility). It's been a blessing, though and I'm looking to build some great new stuff this year.
The sites have similar revenue despite the freemium one having over 1000 times more total users.
Using a throwaway account for this because I'd rather not share our numbers publicly yet, but in about 2.5 years since our hosted web app went live, we're generating just under $10,000 per month in revenue. That's working on it part-time for the first couple of years and, more recently, full-time.
It's targeted at developers/designers, and the growth has been very slow and steady. There's never been a break-through moment as revenue has grown at an average rate of about 3.5% per month since we launched.
If I put hours in I can do better - If I submit links to gaming sites it can earn a few dollars a day :)
I couldn't figure out how to scale the traffic, so I've left it on autopilot while I try building other sites. I have a blog that earns about the same and am working on a new idea now that I hope will be 'the one'
My overall goal is to build an autopilot site (or portfolio of sites) that earns ~$90/day. Then ... become a sci fi author.
(LOL ... damn you Tim Ferris! I wasn't miserable in my work-a-day life until I read your damned book - two years later I'm still trying to achieve those dreams of freedom!)
It's based on the same muscle memory as two-hand typing, so any two-hand typist can learn to type with one hand in minutes. Good for a programmer with a broken arm, for example.
The site was collateral damage in Google's Panda update (which was hoped to reduce the prominence of content mills, etc. in search results) so that number has been greatly reduced the past 2 months.
When I tried to start over with a more general gift affiliate site in 2009, I found that the game had changed so much that it would likely take over a year to get back to the earlier level using organic SEO.
So I've put it on hold, hoping to relaunch using social discovery for customer acquisition.
Generates about $125/mo from 30-60k pageviews per day.
Preceden's been in maintenance mode for about a year now, as most of my free time is spent working on a new web design tool called Lean Designs (formerly jMockups) . Lean Designs isn't profitable yet, but it's getting there. Preceden, meanwhile, continues to grow organically. Lean Designs is more of a swing-for-the-fence project, but I've got high hopes for it.
Plan is to transition to full time sometime in the fall of next year.
We're working to improve both products and fix bugs. It's not easy to stay on top of it as an indie shop, especially in between consulting gigs and new product development.
I also make another 300-500/month from ebooks and other digital products. Working on some software that I hope will make this number triple.
If you're curious: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nations/id386514813?mt=8
An online dating tips blog that I started over 3 years ago under a pseudonym very recently started bringing in a few thousand a month from affiliates as well. SEOFTW.
There's lots of potential to bump up the revenue on the online dating blog, but I'm finishing up my book on design, so that's more important.
Continuously expanding with some marketing, hoping to reach the $500/month mark someday.
The main sales channel is SEO, but I have also had success by trying to integrate, both technically and marketing-wise, with other products and services. Referrals from blog reviews and forum posts also help a little. Adwords is very low, and is something I'm trying to improve all the time (thanks patio11 for the blog posts).
edit: on the "takes money to make money" front, i make several hundred bucks on dividend-returning stocks.
More would be nice, but I have done a terrible job at marketing it.
It started off as a Digg-esque site for the vast quantity of dating-related articles on the net based on some custom Perl I hacked together, but I quickly realized that while that was getting me linked by 'dating experts', the traffic it was bringing in didn't convert, where traffic to very generic articles ("How to meet girls at the gym") converted much better.
I tried to make sure it was updated every day, and finding, sourcing, and writing the articles took an hour a day. I ended up selling the site for ~ $16k when I needed some money to pay a tax bill quickly.
There are now so so so many sites farming this kind of content, I think it'd be very hard to reproduce in this field. That said, the affiliate commissions are pretty good - one guy would pay you $40 for every $20 ebook of his that was sold as a result of you (because he figured you'd sent him a paying customer who'd end up spending a lot more with him).
$100-$200 a month selling virtual weapons in SecondLife (Used to be around $800 a month a few years ago)
$200 a month with my two iOS apps developed using Unity3D. Each took around 1 week to make! Seriously was worth the $300 license, I doubt anybody could match the development speed natively.
I'd like to set up some sort of group where we get ~10 people together and then each week set things we need to do, and then next week we make sure the other people completed their goals.
If you are in, post your email as a reply to this. I'm going to use a posterous group to accomplish this - though if there is something else that would work better let me know.
Bear in mind it's been flying solo since 2007 with only a single facelift about 6 months ago. No marketing or anything. Pays for the server, but that's it.
1) 377 * $20/month subscriptionshttp://www.postjobfree.com/premium-membership
2) ~$1000/month in AdSense
I do freelance web development. Even though not consistent, it's my main revenue source.
I believe there are very good opportunities to make a good income from online businesses but in my case, my acute procrastination issue is preventing me from making anything considerable.
Sadly I am an American and that is no longer possible.
I would love to expand on it or market it more, but time does not permit right now. I've started playing with Google Adwords, so we will see how that goes. We are also working on getting the site redesigned.
Also, I see there are a lot of app developers here. I mainly do logo design http://www.designsourced.com and have worked on a few apps. Any HN folks that want a custom app icon designed for a good price or % of future sales let me know
Nothing major, but certainly room to grow!
For those curious, the apps are "US Tax Receipt" (free) and "Candy Counter - The Candy Jar Estimator" ($0.99)
Although this requires a good amount of time, I'm still able to do some freelancing on the side which makes a pretty sweet addition to the above, works out just great.
The site is built on wordpress so i've been thinking about some kind of amazon affiliate plugin but i haven't pulled the trigger yet, haven't read any outstanding reviews on amazon plugins either.
That is from rental properties I own.
I see a lot of posters making over $1K/month. How long did it take to reach that level of income?
I haven't really had an issue with this. The books people suggest that I ought to read, especially non-fiction, tend to fall close enough to my curiosity zone that I enjoy reading them. The only "should read" books that I've disliked were ones I read for school, and I haven't had any issues with that since high school (and only a few books I read for high school fit that description).
So my question is what kind of books (preferably, non-fiction) do you guys read?
Right now, I'm getting towards the end of A History of Western Philosophy, about half way through GĂ¶del, Escher, Bach, and early on in Real World Haskell and Types and Programming Languages. One could make a decent case for categorizing any of them as "should read"; I read them because I want to.
Fatal System ErrorFounders at WorkMasters of DeceptionCuckoo's egg (one of my favs)Art of Social EngineeringThe WatchmenHackers: Heroes of the Computer revolution (new one put out by O'reiley)The Art of Intrusion (loved)The Art of deception (meh)
As you can see mostly security related.
Most of the books on the list, do have a lot of "should read" qualities in there, but also fall heavily into the "want to read" category.
In a nutshell it takes any word or PDF document, strips all the formatting and repopulates a new word document with predefined fonts, layout etc. Sounds simple & basic? That's the point. We're near completion and once we launch it will be a simple service that can have a significant impact on the industry I currently work in.
I'm the sole technical force behind the project. Front-end is on Android Honeycomb tablets, back-end uses Erlang for the web server and middle-ware and PostgreSQL for the database. I also work full-time so progress is a bit slow.
Now whenever I come up with something that doesn't leave me alone for a couple of days I just go for it, without any expectations.
The last one I launched was a very simple iOS App (http://airlocationapp.com) which was actually done in less than a weekend, pitched to only a single blog and generated about $700 since launch, which was roughly one month ago.
My best selling apps, a suite of remotes for iOS (http://reemoteapp.com) actually started off as weekend project just like that but initially hit a bigger niche and now turned into my main project/income.
It also adds a watermark for images created by designers. That helps designers to show verified websites that they have helped design.
No plans on making money yet. But we do have a fair number of registrations every day!
This is the opinion of a tax accountant so you may have a diffferent idea of what your accounting needs are.
I love the IAP option to cache videos for offline viewing. You get X minutes to start, then you can buy more. It will transcode video so you can watch stuff that your iPad wouldn't normally play, and it downloads them for offline viewing. Plus, you're making money off of it so I know you'll be around.
My hat is off to you and I look forward to being your customer.
The copy on your website says watch videos anywhere, anytime - so if I go to a youtube video that's a half hour long and bookmark it, then go to watch the video later on when I'm on the subway (with no internet connection), I can view the video? (so it is cached on my iPad and if so how? I'm not an iOS developer but aren't there any storage limitations placed upon developers? (allowing apps to store tens of large videos seem like it would take up a lot of space))
If it is saved onto my iPad, I assume the video needs to be downloaded to the device - so I can't go to a lengthy vimeo video, bookmark it, then turn the device off or go offline?
I've seen http://vhx.tv, http://shelby.tv, and now WatchLater.
Am I missing anything?
Some people would only live on the coasts. If this isn't you (and it isn't me), you can have a much lower cost lifestyle in "flyover country." Austin will be more expensive than the rest of Texas, but for good reason. And it's still cheap compared to the coasts.
But I'd love to see some extra features ...
What I'd like to see?
1. Support for loading and mounting additional read-only filesystem images embedded within the web page (presumably serialized and encoded in Base64 or something).
2. Support for a translucent FS, to allow writes to a ramdisk to show up on top of the aforementioned read-only FS images.
3. Support for writing out an updated copy of the JSLinux HTML file, with a saved copy of the read-only filesystem, including changes merged in from a translucent mount.
(In other words: you can edit files on a designated filesystem, then "save" the VM webpage and get a new copy of JSLinux with your edits added to the external filesystem so they're there next time you fire it up..)
4. For added fun (but arguably this is an entirely different requirement), I'd like to see a version of JSLinux merged with TiddlyWiki, so you'd have a combined TiddlyWiki (for documentation) with a virtual Linux environment (terminal only) embedded in it, and the ability to save changes.
You'd then have a single file containing (a) a hypertext documentation system and (b) a command line Linux environment.
I would ... well, "killing" is too strong a word; but I'd probably move into it for good, using vi and MultiMarkDown for book production and small-scale programming projects and TiddlyWiki to keep track of ideas and notes.
added support for more browsers including Opera 11.11 and __Internet Explorer 9__ reduced VM RAM size from 32 MB to 16 MB. Source code release of the Linux starter utility. added a clipboard to exchange data between the VM and the host added FAQ and News pages fixed monospace font for some browsers. fixed binary XHR for Firefox nightly builds fixed terminal height for the less command fixed ampersand output in the terminal.
Memory seems to be OK, the browser is just past a Gig. Although this is a 32-bit OS, I don't see a memory issue.
BTW. It would be really nice to include an SSH client to JSLinux.
How much equity to give is very different for every situation.
The fact that the idea was yours isn't worth a whole lot in terms of equity. Maybe it gives you a 5% premium.
More importantly is how much work your friends are putting in. And if they are leaving their jobs to work on this project.
To protect yourself you will want them to have "vesting" meaning their equity accrues over time.
A really easy way to apply vesting is to just promise them 0.25% - 3% equity for each month they work on the project and then have a cap of 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% or w/e you decide. Typically vesting periods can last 3-5 years.
Typically advisors get around .5%.
1. As with other people here, pickiness, constantly changing specs, ridiculous demands (the classic Facebook for $500 - which even innocuous postings can turn out to be)
2. I've stopped completely now as I no longer have time to weigh through 100 pages of crap for the one good job. I found most "joy" with vworker, but my last 2 hour job beat my 4 month earnings from there.
3. Some. Though I'm afraid I can't think of way you could improve this right now.
a. Most nagging problem: clients slow to make decisions.
b. Sites: many RSS feeds, but I rarely look at them (see c).
c. Direct referrals: Yes, this and repeat clients are the primary ways I get projects.
If you had an RSS feed that excluded elance and odesk, I'd add it to my feed reader.
It seems more difficult for clients to find quality freelancers than it is for quality freelancers to find clients, so perhaps you could look into solving problems for the clients. I agree that direct referrals are most important, so perhaps you could make a tool to crawl the social graph to find freelancers who are a friend-of-a-friend?
The Aussie companies have retarded policies for allowing you to get your funds out of their account (freelancer makes you wait 15 business days for instance for the first transaction). They also take their cut before you even start the work, often placing your account into the negative and then if the client bails they keep your money.
It's hard to get bids accepted when most people are choosing providers based solely on lowest price rather than aptitude. Also, like 90% of the people that I've worked with on these sites are high-maintenance and change the project's scope every five minutes. One guy even is trying to sue me even though I implemented what it is he wanted (pre-scope-creep).
And as for Craigslist being better; I don't think so! Every job that I've gotten through Craigslist except for one has been low pay, the client dragged their feet with everything and yet was super demanding and unrealistic in their expectations.
There's gotta be a better way to do freelance business but these sites don't appear to be it. Many of them are just places with sub-par services for freelancers that are designed to upsell you add-ons like testing and badges.
Btw, I'm Indian. Bad code and not shipping on time has little to do with being Indian (or there wouldn't be so many Indians in the valley). Call them what they are - inexperienced and unprofessional programmers.
b) Craigslist is consistently the best, because Craigslist is just a thin technology layer over real people talking to each other. The barriers to entry and restrictions that come with oDesk and elance are more than I have time to deal with (I'm also a full time student).
c) I get direct referrals sometimes, but right now, my best bet is new clients.
Also, is there some kind of filtering mechanism on your site? That would be nice.
My 6 YO might like it though.
Maybe you could have faces kids really would recognize - like cartoon characters and what not - as opposed to osama bin laden and other boogie men.