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Ask HN: Best way to learn the CS background I missed by not going to school?
9 points by brandoncordell  5 hours ago   7 comments top 7
bo_Olean 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
From next time write the code yourself and minimize the copy/pasting habit as much as you can. Using a good IDE helps control the copy/pasting habit to some extent.

Start here, follow the topics you have not tried yet:

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

drivebyacct2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have experience as a PHP programmer and only as a PHP programmer, AND you feel like you are a copy-paste PHP programmer... you need to program more. Plain and simple. Take on different projects. Use new different tools, just for the sake of having to learn something new or use a new framework or a new data structure or architecture, etc.
choochootrain 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

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 ;)

thornkin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
When I did this I looked at the books necessary for a CS degree from the University of Washington (but it could have been anywhere) and I read them. Nowadays it is easier. A lots of CS classes are online now. Berkeley and Stanford both have full classes in podcast format. MIT has OpenCourseWare which contains the notes and homeworks.

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.

mbrzuzy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not trying googleing around for information on the topics. You don't necessarily need school to learn.
Ask pg: Have the comments improved?
17 points by crasshopper  9 hours ago   15 comments top 4
pg 7 hours ago 5 replies      
I got rid of points to decrease contentious back and forths. I feel like that may have happened. At least, I feel like I've gotten dragged into fewer such threads.

Has anyone else noticed a trend either way?

Zakuzaa 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't we have something like this? -- Those who want to see points, could enable it, but then they would not be allowed to upvote/downvote. OR they could still vote, but their votes won't be counted (or given less weight-age?).

Does it serve the purpose for both the sides? What are the potential caveats in this?

Mz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
While on the topic, I've been wondering today if there is any concept in place concerning how to measure the desired improvement. If not, how does one determine "are we there yet?"
olegious 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I think that as HN becomes more popular it is only natural for the quality of the comments to decline.
Ask HN: Which translation API?
12 points by kingofspain  14 hours ago   1 comment top
bobf 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to work at WorldLingo (http://www.worldlingo.com), who offers a translation API service. They're one of the few machine translation API services that are publicly available at reasonable costs. I'm happy to answer questions about the translation industry as a whole, shoot me an email if you're interested.
Ask HN:Why there's no Regular Expression search for web?
7 points by bluegene  11 hours ago   7 comments top 4
lacker 7 hours ago 0 replies      
The main problem is that you would need a totally different indexing system.

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.

curtis 11 hours ago 1 reply      
One problem is that there's no easy way to build a regular expression index for the web. In the general case the only way to do regex search is to scan the entire content.

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.

zck 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Imagine the added complexity that you would require to do that -- you'd need to have more hardware than a general-purpose search engine. It's also complicated to precalculate anything, as there aren't a list of regexes that are more likely to be entered, unlike text (a dictionary).

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.

brudgers 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a promising idea for a YC application.
Ask HN: What are the barriers to micropayments?
5 points by crasshopper  10 hours ago   5 comments top 3
keeptrying 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Where do u micro pay for anything in the real world?

I think micropayment should be a hidden implementation detail. Users should only have to pay like they do for regular things.

wmf 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Partly psychological: http://openp2p.com/pub/a/p2p/2000/12/19/micropayments.html

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.

bediger 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My guess is that some psychological factors make them impossible to use. Maybe some combination of that bias where most humans won't wait some time for a larger reward later, and the amount of effort it takes to keep track mentally of where you're making a micropayment, and where you're not.

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.

Ask: HN Best book on programming for non technical founder?
4 points by Paulosborne  8 hours ago   4 comments top 4
diego 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A good one would be Learn Python the Hard Way. Python is a good language for beginners, and widely used.


There are probably similar books/resources for Ruby.

steventruong 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have no programming experience whatsoever and you're looking to do web development, I recommend starting with HTML. A good book is the Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML. HTML isn't a programming language on its own but it is used in conjunction with pretty much everything else and is pretty much the starting point. That book does a really good job explaining the very basics and why you'd do something a certain way. From there, you can expand into actual programming languages afterwards.
rdin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Building web applications is just a small part of programming in general; I too would agree on learning HTML and CSS first. Once you can master static pages, you can start learning how to introduce dynamic components to build rich web apps.
eeagerdeveloper 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you read "Joel on Software". It can teach you how to better communicate with your technical founder and programmers and to understand the general technical challenges in undertaking a project.
Ask HN: What is the best computer for programmers?
2 points by solipsist  5 hours ago   3 comments top 2
nuclearsandwich 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
To each's own. But you will pry my ThinkPad running Archlinux from my cold dead hands and the first eight of you to try will be bludgeoned to death with it. The ninth will have a perfectly functional, if cracked, laptop.
foob 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I think that you'll need to be more specific to get the answer that's right for you. Are you talking about the hardware, OS, or both? What languages do you program in? Are you planning on developing for mobile devices and if so what sorts? Are you going to use it in an office setting or on the go? This information is all very relevant.
Ask HN: What questions do you want to ask John Resig?
7 points by jmtame  13 hours ago   2 comments top
Ask HN: When was your "ah-ha" moment when learning how to program?
9 points by ch00ey  16 hours ago   16 comments top 12
impendia 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I taught myself GWBasic on an old computer, and wrote awful spaghetti code. I actually wrote a game where every map square had twelve lines of code "Print '....XX...X....X'" that would together print what that piece of the world map looked like. The allowed line numbers went up to 65,535, and as I was planning the game I planned out how I would use all of them.

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.

madhouse 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I've had a couple of "ah-ha" moments during my career so far. The first was when I noticed that "hey! I can WRITE programs myself!". That was one of the happiest weeks of my life: my father showed me how to write a very simple C+4 BASIC program, a dancing stick figure on the top-left corner of the screen. I spent the rest of the week drawing different things and 'animating' them. That was somewhere around 1987 or so.

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.

LarryA 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was learning to program in high school, I was thinking on how to do something ...to make the computer do subroutines, and and my brother told me about GOSUB (that hadn't been taught yet in the class), something clicked at that point.

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).

rajeshamara 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I started programming in 1991. Initially I didn't understand any thing. Then after couple of months every thing made sense. The only thing in programming is practice. If you don't get 100th time you should try 101st. If you don't get it in 1000 times try 1001 time. The only way you can get any thing in programming is practice practice and practice. This is not rocket science eventually you are going to get it. The only thing you require is patience. Always start simple. Then slowly try to learn harder things. These days you have lot of resources available online which makes it very easy for one to learn programming
stevep98 14 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was 12 I took the Commodore VIC-20 Programmer's reference guide to spain on vacation (!) for 2 weeks. I figured out how to program assembly and hand-assembled a short program to rapidly toggle the screen color from black-to-white.

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.

mikey_p 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Data structures. I could understand control flow, looping, etc, but until I took the time to understand data structures, I was always copying example code and trying to guess at what would 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.

fmstephe 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know if it's the Aha moment you are after. But in my programming 101 class the lecturer outlined the maximum-contiguous subsequence problem (which sounds very boring). Solved it once and then solved it two more times each time making it more efficient. That was my 'aha' moment that I decided I wanted to be a programmer.

I suspect that this is the most important learning moment - what is it in programming that excites you? (probably won't be this article :)


nobodyspecial 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the Vic-20 manual - it included everything, schematics, assembly language, etc. But for some reason I just couldn't cross the conceptual barrier of op-codes to assembly instructions. I didn't understand. A small assembly program in some computer magazine showed the assembly code, then the list of POKES to load the assembly program (it was a keyboard organ): BOOM! that was all it took...
Yhippa 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This might sound silly but I get that "a-ha" moment quite a bit. It happens to me when I do something that the big boys do like persist data to a database using an ORM tool or implementing something as simple as an MVC app. I would keep testing different things and emulating things you've seen in real life so you too can continue getting that "a-ha" moment.
antirez 16 hours ago 1 reply      
babel17 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I read this magazine called DOS, and after I bought (or, better, after my mom bought it for me) a used 8088-PC in, like, 1990, I spent about 6 months trying to get the programs in this magazine to run. I did this by typing them up into a textfile, and it just didn't work. Then, one day, it worked! It was a .BAT file. This was probably my biggest AHA moment in programming.
pstaub 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's such a gradual process that I never experienced any sort of epiphany or "ah-ha" moment. The best way to learn it is to use it in real world scenarios; just 3 months at a job where I had to program/figure things out taught me more than a year of practice tutorials.
Tell HN: Amazon spammed the popular "Hacker News Contractors" spreadsheet
6 points by dotBen  14 hours ago   1 comment top
bhousel 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Isn't that kind of the point of the spreadsheet? To be contacted about potential work?
Ask HN: Are there good alternatives to Adsense for a recently launched site?
4 points by danielfernandez  13 hours ago   5 comments top 2
patio11 13 hours ago 2 replies      
"No ads" is a good alternative, because the extra spreadability you get is worth far more than the pennies you'll be able to extract from advertising at an audience of tens or hundreds.

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.

gohat 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Last I checked, and this was 6 months ago, there isn't really a comparable ad service to AdSense in terms of quality. Nothing else I've seen manages to serve such targeted, high quality ads.

That said, you can make good money from other approaches like affiliate marketing, products, and so on.

Ask HN: Recommended reading for beginning Android development?
5 points by norova  17 hours ago   5 comments top 4
jamesbritt 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I've not found a book I thought was better than the Google docs, sad to say.

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.

nextparadigms 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Try some youtube tutorials, though there aren't too many, and some can't be easily found with a search.


danest 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have used this book and it has helped a lot http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Android-Application-Devel...

I heard good things about this http://commonsware.com/ so you might want to check it out.

veeti 15 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of the resources for Android development are a bit outdated right now: probably none of them make any use of the new fragment functionality which is a must for building a functional app for phones and tablets.
Ask HN: Random Traffic Spike from Bing - Any Ideas?
3 points by kongqiu  12 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: can you do hexadecimal arithmetic without a calculator?
2 points by hoodoof  10 hours ago   3 comments top
marssaxman 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I would guess that I am equally capable with hexadecimal or decimal arithmetic, in my head. That is, I can work through the four arithmetic operations on numbers up to perhaps five or six digits. On paper, though - why would I ever do arithmetic on paper? That's computer work.
Ask HN: AdWords Traffic Estimator Tool
2 points by mjfern  10 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Designers, please open up the library of stuff you've collected
15 points by tejaswiy  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
xg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two of the best collections of UI / UX patterns I know of:

Chris Messina (factoryjoe on Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/collections/72157600...

Zach Klein on Evernote: http://www.evernote.com/pub/zachklein/generaluiux

MPiccinato 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you checked out Pattern Tap? http://patterntap.com/

It has a nice collection of UI elements for the web.

ZhannaSchonfeld 1 day ago 0 replies      
bnycum 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Where are the great scientific theories of our lifetime?
9 points by alister  10 hours ago   22 comments top 9
wbhart 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, you didn't say when you were born. But let me have a go:

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.)

guygurari 8 hours ago 0 replies      
At least part of the problem is in communicating great discoveries to the general public. Let me give an example. In the last few decades, Cosmology transformed from being a speculative, mostly theoretical field to a precise, quantitative science. Experiments that measured the Cosmic Microwave Background (WMAP in 2001 and others) enabled us to form a history of the universe that is backed by evidence. Measurements of supernovae (1998) showed the universe is accelerating (an amazing fact by itself) and from this we understand its future behavior.

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. [1]

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.

[1] 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.

wbhart 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Listing Godel's incompleteness theorem is a bit unfair to mathematics. What about K-theory, Schemes, Motives, the Langland's programme, Agrawal-Kayal-Saxena on primes, Number Field Sieve, RSA and Elliptic Curve Crytography, all more recent. The list goes on, forever.... Proofs of Fermat's Last Theorem, the class number 1 conjecture, the Bieberbach conjecture, Catalan's conjecture, Serre's conjecture, Kepler conjecture, Poincare conjecture (Thurston's geometrization conjecture)....
Mz 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe we do and they just are less visible in part because there are so many -- ie the big ideas are not towering head and shoulders over everything else in the landscape, so we kind of don't notice. "Can't see the trees for the forest" type thing.
keiferski 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I once read that the 20th century was the domain of physics, and (by all predictions) the 21st century will be the domain of biology and chemistry. Perhaps the breakthrough advances are in those fields?
chromic 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd say it's because you consider the 'GREATNESS' of a discovery is correlated how well it answers a simple question that almost anyone can come up with. Evolution is a great answer to simple questions about life for anyone willing to accept it, but subatomic particle research just doesn't have immediate implications to most people.

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.

petervandijck 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I just read a book about astrophysics where he was lamenting just that.

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.

crasshopper 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Prospect Theory is a great one. http://prospect-theory.behaviouralfinance.net/
orangecat 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The memristor is one to watch.
Ask HN: How much recurring income do you generate, and from what?
324 points by withoutfriction  7 days ago   306 comments top 83
patio11 7 days ago 4 replies      

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.

larrik 7 days ago 4 replies      
I average about $300 a month from app sales of a paid app and an ad-supported app. (This month is looking better, for some reason)

[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).

Completely unrelated to your responses, I'm planning on submitting my fourth app this weekend (which is an optimistic estimate, to say the least).

jashmenn 7 days ago 6 replies      
I make ~$2,000 a month with an iPad game for cats. My co-founder and I were working on a "more serious" game and it was taking a long time. We needed a quick win, so I agreed to do it if we spent less than 4 weeks on it.

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.

ja27 7 days ago 2 replies      
Over the year I average $30 a month - but only with about 30 minutes of work a month. It's sad, but I bet I spend more time checking on that income than I do making it. These are mostly old learning experiences and playgrounds for me and I rarely update them.

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.

flyosity 7 days ago 3 replies      
I generate about $1000/mo from an iPad app I wrote (that I haven't updated in a long, long time) and then between $5-10k from iPhone user interface design/development tutorials that I sell.
callmeed 7 days ago 2 replies      
Are you referring to business income/revenue or personal income from those businesses?

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.

alexkearns 7 days ago 4 replies      
I launched TikiToki Timeline Software (http://www.tiki-toki.com) in March. It is currently making about $250 a month from subscribers. This month I have also sold a $1500 single timeline license. Hopefully more of them in the future!

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!

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...

jdvolz 7 days ago 1 reply      
Until about 2 weeks ago I was the largest creator of stores on CafePress. I was earning decent residual income on existing stores that I had put up, but due to some external forces (some in my control, some out of it) I got my accounts shut down by CafePress. I still expect to earn some residual income for the next couple months on things I had already sold.

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.

strick 7 days ago 1 reply      
Until 5/1 I was making about $1,440/mo from google adsense on my site dodgit.com and a network of other sites I had purchased from flippa. Then I received an email 'your google adsense account has been disabled' and Google seized about a thousand dollars from my account. I had been using a personal account and a brand new account I set up for a business I wanted to build and sell (acceptable, per google's TOS) but they shut down both. Google's claim was that the website content was lousy and the multiple accounts were forbidden.

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!

throwaway1074 7 days ago 4 replies      
I'm using a throwaway account here to protect my privacy.

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.

pmichaud 7 days ago 1 reply      
Last month my revenue was shy of $35,000, pretty minor expenses, and it's basically passive.

I sell a combination of e-books and physical books, I have a few dozen titles.

pcestrada 7 days ago 1 reply      
$300-$500/month for a Windows desktop application. I wrote it to help out my mother-in-law since she found Photoshop too complicated to do what she wanted: placing text on pictures. Turned out to be a great learning experience on how to sell things online. See it here: http://www.pmesoftware.com
dpcan 7 days ago 1 reply      
About $7K per month in Android app sales.

(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.

DaveChild 7 days ago 4 replies      
I set up a web dev blog in 2003, at ILoveJackDaniels.com, and after a few months of rubbish blogging starting doing free cheat sheets to download. At its peak, from AdSense and text link ads, it made about $1200 per month. I had to move domain (trademark heat), and moved to AddedBytes.com. Lost lots of traffic and links, unfortunately. Ad revenue dropped over time (around $100 at its lowest), and I recently ditched the text links and adsense to go with CarbonAds.
endlessvoid94 7 days ago 1 reply      
http://thathigh.com pays my rent. I haven't touched in quite some time, either.
acangiano 7 days ago 2 replies      
About $2K-$6K a month from my blogs. (Plug: I'm writing a book that will help people do the same: http://technicalblogging.com)
code_duck 7 days ago 1 reply      
I co-own a web app which makes about $70k a year total, which I split 50/50 with my partner.

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.

ryanmarsh 7 days ago 4 replies      
$1,000 per month from two ATM's I own. The money is easy, but finding good locations that don't already have one is a complete bitch.
dangrossman 7 days ago 1 reply      
I make a few thousand a month from http://www.w3counter.com freemium) and http://www.w3roi.com no free plan).

The sites have similar revenue despite the freemium one having over 1000 times more total users.

swah 7 days ago 0 replies      
I had a total of one customer until now, and that is not recurring so, 3 bucks. I was happy that day, though.
throwaway9898 7 days ago 1 reply      
Short Version: Hosted Web App making just under $10,000/mo.

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.

AlexC04 7 days ago 0 replies      
My web games portal http://fstr.net earns about $5 per month. I put in a couple of hours a week looking through the games list and picking a few to become 'features'

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!)

udfalkso 7 days ago 2 replies      
Roughly $1,000 a month in revenue from http://isitnormal.com. Expenses add up to around $300 a month for hosting on linode and paid moderators. Given traffic levels, I feel I should be able to do better than this somehow. Still searching for the best way to monetize all the super-weird (but interesting!) UGC content.
pkamb 7 days ago 2 replies      
$0 per month for my one-hand keyboard layout software, blah. Recently switched from a 'branded' domain to a exact-match domain, looking forward to seeing how that improves my results. Blog + regular content is next on the list.


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.

mfjordvald 7 days ago 2 replies      
I started a ROM site when I was 14, it eventually got really popular and thus got quite a few youtube videos and good search engine rankings. These days the ROMs have been long removed so traffic has obviously fallen, however due to the links and still decent search engine rankings it gets roughly 100k page views per day. End result is that the ads give me around $2k to $3k a month. Pretty happy with that since I no longer work on it and it's basically just rotting away.
WalterGR 7 days ago 0 replies      
I was making around $1,800 a month in AdSense revenue from The Online Slang Dictionary (and thesaurus) - http://onlineslangdictionary.com/

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.

davcro 7 days ago 2 replies      
About $10k a month from an old Facebook quiz app. I haven't touched the codebase or worked on said app in 8 months.
cullenking 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://ridewithgps.com is signing up around $4k a month of recurring (yearly and monthly) users. Exciting to see what happens when we start promoting our premium services, and, excited to see the yearly people get rebilled starting in 10 months...
wolfrom 7 days ago 0 replies      
I was earning approximately $10-15k annually from affiliate marketing from 2002-2006 (formerly giftsforaguy.com), but I didn't spend the time I needed to stay up-to-date with my search rankings.

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.

limedaring 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just hit $200/mo from http://weddinginvitelove.com. App launched in January, and I launched paid accounts in mid-April. Not the best for one month, but not the worst either.
burke 7 days ago 1 reply      

Generates about $125/mo from 30-60k pageviews per day.

benhoyt 7 days ago 0 replies      
About $100 per month for http://giftyweddings.com/ -- a website that lets you make your own wedding gift registry/list (not tied to a specific store). At this point my maintenance consists of answering about one email a month.
matt1 7 days ago 0 replies      
I generate about $700/month from a web-based timeline tool called Preceden that I built in about six months in my spare time [1].

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) [2]. 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.

[1] http://www.preceden.com

[1a] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1114834

[2] http://www.leandesigns.com

[2a] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2497266

nhangen 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make close to $1k/month on a few iOS apps and games, as well as an OS X app that I released a few months ago. One is a meditation timer, and the game is an elf bowling clone.

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.

rms 7 days ago 1 reply      
$7k/month in salary
zefhous 7 days ago 1 reply      
About $30/month from a very small free iPhone app with iAd. Thinking about making it a paid app and seeing how it does.

If you're curious: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nations/id386514813?mt=8

iconfinder 7 days ago 3 replies      
$3000 from ads on Iconfinder.com
lutorm 7 days ago 2 replies      
None. ;-
mdonahoe 7 days ago 0 replies      
$200/month from dumb flash anti-games a friend and I made 3 years ago in over a weekend each.


DavidTO1 7 days ago 1 reply      
I have 4 apps on the Mac App Store. It took me a total of 2 months to develop. I make roughly $3300 in sales per month. After taxes and Apple's 30% cut I make roughly $2000.
kadavy 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make a couple thousand a month selling affiliate iPod transfer software on a popular post on my blog.

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.

sahillavingia 7 days ago 1 reply      
In the thousands per month from iPhone app downloads and web apps subscriptions.
michaelleland 7 days ago 3 replies      
6k-8k a month through small-time consulting. I've got one big customer, and two smaller ones. Good work, but it doesn't scale well.
sktrdie 7 days ago 1 reply      
Getting about 60$ a month with http://udeployer.com/ - considering the amount of work I put into it I'm definitely opting for more than 60 dollars, but better than nothing... at least I can have a fancy dinner once a month :).

Continuously expanding with some marketing, hoping to reach the $500/month mark someday.

RobertKohr 4 days ago 0 replies      
I made $162 from an iphone app called Tank! last month, and it has been on the store for about 4-5 months. It is a simple clone of Atari Combat that was built with phonegap and Canvas + Javascript. I charge $2.99 per app sale, and that seems to be the sweet spot.
http://robkohr.com/iphone/tank/ (pricing is wrong on this page
dangravell 7 days ago 0 replies      
bliss (http://www.blisshq.com) hovers in the $1k - $1.5k bracket at the moment. It still is under active development though.

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).

noodle 7 days ago 0 replies      
somewhere around $100/mo from an adwords/affiliate thing, and less than $50 on a web app i'm slowly working on. in the future, web app will generate more income, and i'm working on a niche piece of hardware that ought to also produce a few bucks on the side.

edit: on the "takes money to make money" front, i make several hundred bucks on dividend-returning stocks.

vgurgov 7 days ago 0 replies      
videolla currently generates between $1-2k/month. we spend more on development (its still in active dev) so not reached breakeven, but growing..
arandomJohn 3 days ago 0 replies      
I get about $100 (sometimes more, often less) from my iPhone/iPad game, Battle for Vesta: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3d-space-combat-battle-for/id...

More would be nice, but I have done a terrible job at marketing it.

toumhi 7 days ago 0 replies      
www.giftcertificatefactory.com $40 from Adsense (for 1 month). Traffic is building up (website is only 3 months old), so I have hopes it's going to increase :-) The website provides gift certificate templates for businesses and not businesses alike. I've tried to sell the templates in the first 3 months but had no luck with it. Still trying to figure out better monetization.
hnsmurf 7 days ago 1 reply      
I once had a collection of poker-related software that did in the low 6 figures per month. Unfortunately recent government actions kicked that in the nuts.
peteretep 7 days ago 0 replies      
I used to make about $1,200 a month from a website with dating advice on it, via affiliate sales of dating products.

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).

robert00700 7 days ago 0 replies      
Around $350/month

$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.

withoutfriction 7 days ago 0 replies      
Hey guys, awesome to see such a successful thread.

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.

rytis 7 days ago 1 reply      
roughly $50/month for a news aggregator:


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.

dennisgorelik 6 days ago 0 replies      

1) 377 * $20/month subscriptions

2) ~$1000/month in AdSense

Expenses: ~$4000/month

netchaos 7 days ago 0 replies      
I have a blog on environment and green living (http://www.connect-green.com) which brings in around $20 a month from adsense, have a tutorial aggregating service (http://tutmash.com) which is pretty new and haven't started to make any thing considerable.

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.

doubleconfess 7 days ago 2 replies      
I made between 12k-20k a month for a little more than 3 years as an online poker player. And that was only "working" on average between 4 and 5 hours a day.

Sadly I am an American and that is no longer possible.

luke_osu 7 days ago 0 replies      
http://tweetclaims.com pulls in around $100-$200 per month. If we get big press (like a blog post), we will get a spike and triple that. I literally haven't updated the code in a year. Runs like a champ and does what it's suppose to.

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.

malingo 7 days ago 1 reply      
Basically zero for me. One question though is at what point do taxes become an issue, in terms of (in the US) the IRS becoming interested and ultimately how much they affect income?
Hisoka 7 days ago 1 reply      
Between 9K - 13K a month from affiliate commissions (CJ) promoting diet programs, and web hosts. 50% is from a network of sites. 50% is from a vastly successful Adwords campaign.
throwaway94818 7 days ago 2 replies      
Between 3000 to 5000 a month USD spending about 10 hours a month on support. Last year, made about $40K. Nothing to sneeze at, but nothing to get too excited about either.
herval 5 days ago 0 replies      
Myguestmap.org generates around 300usd in ads and 10-100usd in donations a month since 2005. Last touched it in 2006. Donations tend to get higher on christmas :-)
bnenning 7 days ago 2 replies      
Around $1000 a month from Android app sales: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dozingcatsoftware..... (After Google's cut, before taxes). A few weeks ago I applied the common HN advice and raised the price from $0.99 to $1.99, which so far has increased revenue by about 50%.
rabbitonrails 7 days ago 1 reply      
SAAS company, 2 people, no funding. $6k/month after paying the support person. completely passive income, e.g. i don't check email any more.
designsourced 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make ~$500/mo recurring income designing custom email marketing pieces.

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

ohashi 7 days ago 1 reply      
At it's peak, I made thousands (not sure what the exact number was now) from domain parking/monetization.
joshowens 7 days ago 0 replies      
So I run http://tweethopper.com/ and we are up to $300 a month in paying accounts. I also have http://webpulp.tv/ which brings in around $1200 a month in ads.

Nothing major, but certainly room to grow!

ericabbott1 7 days ago 0 replies      
Make about $40/mo on a couple iPhone apps (one paid, one free with a pay what you want in-app purchase). Mechanical engineer but taught myself iOS programming in my spare time for fun.

For those curious, the apps are "US Tax Receipt" (free) and "Candy Counter - The Candy Jar Estimator" ($0.99)

ka010 7 days ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to say that I make a solid $2k-$5k with a bunch of niche Apps in the AppStore, see http.//010dev.com

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.

metaprinter 7 days ago 0 replies      
I average $30 month on a fishing blog, I'm pretty passionate about it too so i don't really consider it work. All the revenue is via google adsense. I've been trying google affiliate but in 6 months have made zero on it.

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.

baconner 7 days ago 0 replies      
9 months since posting my first android app I'm making 200-300/m from two apps. It took me a good 6 months before I was able to get above 100 though. Not too bad considering I'm competing against free alternatives but a long way to go.
brk 7 days ago 1 reply      
~$2500-$3000/mo from boutique dedicated server hosting.
wasigh 7 days ago 0 replies      
Around 400-600 euro a month selling subscriptions to people and schools who do exercises to improve their Dutch language skills.
We offer free exercises for everybody and people can get extra features with subscriptions.
vascoconde 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make ~$300/month from a couple of iOS apps. 99% of the revenue comes from an iPad App that came out the day the iPad was released. I'm surprised that the app still makes money, I haven't updated it for a year.
techbio 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make about $500/mo in AdSense from http://www.snapspans.com/.
gonepostal 7 days ago 2 replies      
0 < monthly income < $1000

That is from rental properties I own.

trowaway87654 7 days ago 0 replies      
About $300/month from a GPL script. A PHP class, quite popular, about 7 years old and still going strong. I am surprised nobody in this thread gets recurring income for sharing open source code. I mostly receive donations. I also sell licenses, from a few dollars to hundreds. I publish about three releases a year, and don't spend that much time working on it or supporting it. I shall not forget to mention that publishing this code got me a lot of freelance gigs. Bonus fact: it is rather enjoyable to go to a contract interview where the interviewer has actually used my code.
joelackner 7 days ago 0 replies      
250ish affiliate sales
400 hosting
15 mobile app ads
50 mobile app sales (should grow decently when i launch my first ios game)
jcollins 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make about $1000 a month from Whiteboard Capture Pro and more than that from consulting. Plus I have a day job.
Coscorron 7 days ago 0 replies      
I make about $900 on a social website that I wrote and admin by myself. The site helps local communities stay connected. A couple of years back revenue was around $1200 a month ive had the site for about 11 yrs and is currently on top 3 search results on google and yahoo.I'm adding several sister sites in the next few months just waiting for urls to become available.
h4xnoodle 7 days ago 0 replies      
Back when I was 13-15 I did some freelance web development (before everyone and their grandma was a freelancer) and made about 300USD a month. This was also back when the American dollar was great, the Canadian dollar sucked, and therefore profit. I made more money doing this than a shitty McDonald's job that I couldn't get because I was too young.
satanIsMyCpilot 7 days ago 2 replies      
About $350/month in affiliate earnings/advertising from an image gallery site. It's been up for about 1.5 years. Traffic has been up lately, but earnings seem to have plateaued.

I see a lot of posters making over $1K/month. How long did it take to reach that level of income?

"Listen" to the HN front page on your phone
3 points by combiclickwise  19 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Reading Non-Fiction
2 points by krat0sprakhar  14 hours ago   5 comments top 5
Umalu 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have this quote from Charlie Munger taped above my desk: "You need to have a passionate interest in why things are happening. That cast of mind, kept over long periods, gradually improves your ability to focus on reality. If you don't have the cast of mind, you're destined for failure even if you have a high IQ." Here's a tip on reading non-fiction: It is very easy to get into a rut reading and re-reading what you already know. To achieve broader understanding leave your comfort zone and read what don't know. That is much harder to do well, but much more rewarding if you want to truly understand why things are happening. I scan book reviews looking for ecstatic reviews of books in areas I don't know. It's hit-and-miss, but I've learned so much more this way.
LarryA 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I do a lot of Computer History- Soul of a New Machine, Hackers, Fire in the Valley, Commodore - A Company on the Edge. I go to used book stores and check out the pre-PC computer books... here's a great one: The Psychology of Computer Programming from 1972 that really is interesting (most of it still applies today).
kd0amg 13 hours ago 0 replies      
And how do you guys manage to balance the books you WANT to read and books which you SHOULD read?

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 Gödel, 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.

DanielStraight 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is one of the best collections of non-fiction books I've ever come across:


qraving 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I will preface, that I do not read non-fiction, other than a handful (some Mark Twain, and the Daemon/Freedom Tm series by Daniel Suarez, both of which were awesome, and I really liked Little Brother and Makers by Corey Doctorow); I too, like to break up my technical manuals, with good non-fiction, in no particular order these are some that are in my collection you may like:

Fatal System Error
Founders at Work
Masters of Deception
Cuckoo's egg (one of my favs)
Art of Social Engineering
The Watchmen
Hackers: 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.

Ask HN: Who is riding his weekend project straight to profitability?
54 points by spIrr  4 days ago   50 comments top 12
Peroni 4 days ago 3 replies      
My little genius friend & I are working on a side project currently but it is starting to look quite viable.

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.

petercooper 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't have a current one to share but back in 2005 I decided to do a 24 hour project in Rails and built a tagged source code site called Code Snippets (it wasn't the first code snippets site but the first with tagging to get any traction). I let it run in the background with just a couple of tweaks here and there for just over 2 years and it was making $1000ish per month from Adsense with zero effort by me. I then sold it for a healthy 5 figures. It's still running at a new URL: http://snippets.dzone.com/
asymptotic 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm part of a project that's an art piece management solution for galleries to use for exhibitions. Right now galleries use paper reports to track art pieces between exhibitions, and we want them to use tablets. We currently have a gallery interested in the project.

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.

asymptotic 4 days ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Who is riding _their_ weekend project straight to profitability?


ka010 3 days ago 1 reply      
I just recently realized how many great ideas and projects I've wasted over the years with not riding them to profitability or even releasing them.

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.

pbreit 3 days ago 0 replies      
I learned to program by creating an ecommerce service for my pet store ("Outlet" at http://cheekob.com) in my spare time. I am now broadening it to help other sellers with a new selling format: automatic markdowns (http://pricetack.com). What really helped me was the awesomely simple, yet powerful Python framework Web2py.
joeconway 3 days ago 1 reply      
I taught myself Objective-C for fun last summer, then one day decided to release an app. I spent about 3 hours coding then about a day sorting out code signing, artwork, submission etc. As a result of that weekend I've ended up getting a pretty nice side income from advertisements from the free version and straight revenue from the paid version. In fairness, since releasing it I've quite considerably improved the application but its still less than 800 lines of code.


ZaneClaes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Well I just started on a 28 day experiment... a bit more than a weekend, but fun nonetheless. Myself and some other travelers are building a travel moabile app for a contest. We're documenting the whole process and our steps so we can publish our methods at the end... I'll post the whole thing at http://LifeByExperimentation.com when we're done in about 3 weeks.
wowfat 3 days ago 0 replies      
We created one called http://www.creatorfinder.com/ which helps developers showcase their verified portfolio.

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!

een1bhs 3 days ago 1 reply      
Made a little utility app for Mac that I needed, about 2 months ago, I was giving it away free with donations but after a lot of emails promising donations for this or that decided to flip the switch and start selling it. Been selling for a week now making $100+ a day!
Im working on a few other projects in hope that combined they can become my main income.
ignifero 3 days ago 1 reply      
I was doing facebook games as side projects a while back. Now they're my main source of income.
Jim_Neath 3 days ago 1 reply      
My most recent project is ÂŁ18 in the black :D
Ask HN: Small Business Accounting Solutions?
2 points by rms  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
camz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen a number of options but most people settle on quickbooks because it's the incumbent platform. I wouldn't use lessaccounting and I haven't tried indinero.

This is the opinion of a tax accountant so you may have a diffferent idea of what your accounting needs are.

charliepark 15 hours ago 0 replies      
One option to consider is Outright (http://expenses.outright.com). It's straightforward and easy to use. I'm not sure what your needs are, but it's aimed at people who don't need a full-on accounting solution like Quickbooks.
Show HN: Watchlater it's Instapaper for Videos
48 points by 9elements  3 days ago   23 comments top 15
pchristensen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just bought it, can't wait. I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.

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.

app 3 days ago 1 reply      
Strange that you feature a Vimeo video in your description, which has it's own "Watch Later" feature.
Dornkirk 3 days ago 0 replies      
How does bookmarking items save them for me?

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?

voidfiles 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you are caching youtube videos, which looks like something http://www.filsh.net/ does be prepared to be pulled from the app store. Apps have tried and have been pulled before.
Jun8 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like an awesome idea! Parts of your web page are in German, though.
gordonc 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like this is gonna be fun competitive space.

I've seen http://vhx.tv, http://shelby.tv, and now WatchLater.

Am I missing anything?

kroger 3 days ago 0 replies      
Looks good and I just signed up. Is there a list of the 20+video platforms available somewhere? Also, is there a chance you'll support mixergy (both free and paid accounts) in the future?
knes 3 days ago 0 replies      
damn... I thugh it would download the video on my iPad so I can watch them "later" like readitlater does... :(
beerfarmer 2 days ago 0 replies      
This looks really good! Just released something similar for music :)
invisiblefunnel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Devise is authenticating /welcome fyi. Well done project.
janmonschke 3 days ago 2 replies      
Looks very nice. What platforms are currently supported?
evilhackerdude 3 days ago 1 reply      
This is going to revolutionize the /\w{4}/ industry!
sfgfdhgfdshdhhd 3 days ago 0 replies      
sweet - thanks for the link!
luckfamousa 3 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome app! Waited for it since the iPad launch last year.
Ask HN: Career Reboot - Advice?
8 points by oldpro  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
kongqiu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mobile and good web programing will only grow in importance. Maybe look into specific problems you'd like to solve or are inspired by, and work backwards from there as to "what would it take for me to do this"?

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.

petervandijck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mobile. iOS and Android mainly.
Run Linux in your Browser JSLinux (Update)
98 points by js4all  6 days ago   32 comments top 17
cstross 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am a demanding luser. My javascript coding skills are non-existent, and I recognize that I'm asking for the moon on a stick here, and HN isn't the right place to make feature requests anyway.

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.

antirez 5 days ago 1 reply      
This running on the iPad is the win of the hacking, curiosity and intelligence over the closeness. As without any good reason (IMHO) such a project would never be approved as an app by Apple.
tzury 5 days ago 0 replies      
A complete list:

    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.

Typhon 5 days ago 0 replies      
It still doesn't make coffee, but I expect it won't be long now.
My mind is still blown.
chmike 5 days ago 0 replies      
NSMeta 5 days ago 3 replies      
It still doesn't work on my Chrome v13.0.767.1 dev on OSX. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see the project is moving fast forward.
balakk 5 days ago 1 reply      
In Opera 11.11, I seem to get a max of 8 instances going, but not more. Is there a technical limitation, or a deliberate restriction?

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.

rimantas 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've tried to compile http://bellard.org/mersenne.html, alas
not enough memory.
Pity, that would be full win.
martinrame 5 days ago 1 reply      
Amazing, this guy is impressive.

BTW. It would be really nice to include an SSH client to JSLinux.

argy 5 days ago 0 replies      
It works on Android stock browser (Nexus One with Gingerbread), but it's very slow, especially on boot.
mahrain 5 days ago 0 replies      
In addition to running on iPad, it also runs on Safari (5.0.5, snow leopard) now.
eliben 5 days ago 0 replies      
Interesting how many different interpretations the same phrase have in different languages. In Hebrew, "turning green" means being jealous.
sebastianavina 5 days ago 0 replies      
Damn, that page (bellard.org) is full of awesomeness... Pardon for my ignorance, but who is this guy?
cstrouse 4 days ago 0 replies      
Works great on Chrome 11.0.696.68 running on OS X 10.6.7. I'll be keeping an eye on this project. Great work.
eslaught 5 days ago 1 reply      
Where's gcc? ;-)
DrCatbox 5 days ago 1 reply      
Whats the point of this? Is it useful?
KonradKlause 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm wondering when he releases the clipboard source code.
On the kernel side it's a custom character device.
Currently he is violating the GPL. :-(
Ask HN: does Google and other search engines save all search queries?
4 points by bekman  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
uptown 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know their official answer, but the value of the information FAR outweighs the cost to retain the data, so you'd have to assume they do. Their entire businesses are built upon their ability to use what they know about their customers to generate revenue, and the terms a person has searched for are a component of building this profile.
Deadsunrise 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Of course they do. They even let you see your search history: https://www.google.com/history/trends?hl=en
Ask HN: How to divide ownership of my new startup?
6 points by sloopjohnb  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
lacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have all the full-time people split the equity evenly. Have vesting to protect you if people don't contribute - four years with a cliff at one year is good. Founding a startup is so stressful, if people are doing it part-time it probably will not be very helpful, so try to get everyone either full-time or just an "advisor" role where they get < 1% of the company.
fvryan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Definitely discuss this earlier rather than later.

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.

Ask HN: Should I form a Board of Advisers?
4 points by hansy  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
abcd_f 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I was advised (heh) to get some "strategic" people on board as advisers, never got around doing it, and never had any regrets. YMMV, but I suspect you are overthinking the situation.
g0atbutt 1 day ago 1 reply      
It depends on your business. Can you go into more detail?

Typically advisors get around .5%.

Request HN: A request to all Freelancers
7 points by jagtesh  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
kingofspain 13 hours ago 0 replies      
First result on my search turned up "We want to start with contractor as 2-5 $ per hour". If I'm going to have to filter out all the crap like this I probably won't come back. I did notice after you can set a minbudget but my first impression 'here we go again!'. Unless you expect to cater to the low, low end maybe a sensible default filter level would be a good idea? If you really want to get $2/hr then you can override.


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.

davidcann 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the concept of the site, but it looks like 100% of the iOS/iPhone/iPad projects are from elance and odesk, which I refuse to work through.

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?

cstrouse 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used elance, freelancer, and v-worker, and a few others without much success.

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.

jagtesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
There was a very interesting comment here, some mins ago about the quality of work on these sites. This dude was arguing that its cheap and mostly done by Indians. Hell yeah its cheap work - and oDesk I'm looking at you. They've created swarms of data-entry workers who occasionally try their hands at web/software development. One argument is that they're increasing competition and polluting the freelance-ecosystem. But another argument is that these clients who hire the "cheap workers" are small-timers couldn't afford "the real programmers". So their market is entirely different. They aren't really eating our market share - just that those kind of "cheap" jobs are overwhelmingly more it's becoming harder to find niche jobs. This answers my own question in a way - focusing on experienced coders who have a reputation for delivering and not fucking up. And doing what I can to make their lives easy.

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.

beatpanda 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Picky high-maintenance clients that change or add requirements midstream
2. Clients who don't pay on time
3. My own issues with estimating and managing time
4. Finding quality clients
5. Finding ethically appropriate projects â€" I've been roped into religion-oriented work unwittingly as a subcontractor far too often.

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.

dbaugh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am currently trying to find my first project post graduation to do. I am having a very hard time getting started in the freelance. So I would say getting the "first one" is a pretty large problem, at least for me.
Rate my app: Facemouth
6 points by ChaseB  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
phlux 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm too old for this. Looks like a good site - but something I would never ever use or want to see.

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.

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