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1
Ask HN: Terminated two weeks before vesting cliff; Thoughts?
7 points by terminatedguy  37 minutes ago   1 comment top
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bobbles 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
You told them you wanted to leave before they fired you? Is that right?
2
Ask HN: I have some questions as a new iOS Freelancer
5 points by lorenzopicoli  10 hours ago   8 comments top 3
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loumf 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you live somewhere where $30/hr is a good wage? In the US, a decent iOS freelancer should be getting at least $100/hr -- you can't do that by competing on these platforms.

The standard advice for getting better rates (you'll see all over HN -- and I can tell you that it's what I do personally)

1. Charge by the week, not by the hour.

2. Sell the business result, not the app's features.

3. Your cover letter should reference how your portfolio projects delivered (profit, cost saving, risk reduction) to the client.

4. You need to convey that you are the low risk choice -- money to you definitely turns into an app for them.

2
stray 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Your price is too high for the clients you don't want -- maybe low for the ones you do want.

It's a Market for Lemons.

And competing in the race for the bottom will cause you to get lost in the noise. Some small number of clients will prefer higher rates and take the gamble -- and upon a happy conclusion of a project, will seek you out in the future.

hth

3
zerr 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What keeps you on odesk/upwork or similar race-to-the-bottom sites?

Eliminate the middle man, contact directly to prospective clients. There are a lot of opportunities for mobile devs.

3
Ask HN: What's going to be the next big thing?
10 points by livus  11 hours ago   11 comments top 10
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jotux 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Embedded processors are reaching < 30uA/MHz operation and useful sleep modes in the hundreds of nanoamps. Super capacitor/battery density, and energy harvesting continues to improve.

I think we're incredibly close to battery-less consumer electronics.

2
code777777 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of really interesting things happening in BI. First, many accounting and some business grads are now coming with database knowledge.

They're able to gain insights from data that the older generations in this space didn't have the skills to do.

Way more interesting to me are advances like Amazon's QuickSight [1] which is geared towards business data. You can just upload stuff (CSVs, ERP databases, etc.) and, perhaps, gain some insights. As they build intelligence around similar business data sets it should improve over time.

Next big thing, perhaps not. But definitely something to keep an eye on, at least in my space.

[1] https://aws.amazon.com/quicksight/

3
thenomad 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Look for something which is an unexpected interaction of recently-developed or recently-reduced-in-price technologies.

My go-to example would be the intersection of brushless motors and cheap IMUs from phones making the drone revolution possible.

4
growthcommunity 9 hours ago 1 reply      
IoT technologies will disrupt most major industries. It's like 1995 right now for IoT and businesses are wondering if they ought to have a website.

As more operations and products come online, data platforms will become standardized. The skills gap will be bridged, through AI / Machine Learning and more data-literacy educational training.

I actually expect mobile device sales to slow down as the number of connected devices per person grows. We won't need to always carry fragile expensive lil' phones anymore -- we will be able to communicate, connect, work with information, and engage with applications in new unexpected ways.

"Experience Design" and "Data Management" training will be necessary...

5
phkahler 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Spoken language interfaces. My 10 year old uses the voice input on her Android phone all the time. "What's the weather today?" "What's the weather tomorrow in Lexington?" "Set an alarm for 6:00am." Some of those just bring up a web page, but talking back would be great.

I've seen the notion of electronic assistant as an obvious next thing for some time. "Bring up that pdf file I was reading yesterday."

I wish the Sync interface on my car was more conversational than it is - it's much like a verbal menu today.

6
yolesaber 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Teledildonics
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joeclark77 5 hours ago 0 replies      
3D printing, when it becomes possible to make things a little more sophisticated than a few plastic shapes. For example, imagine if you could set up a robotic wood shop in your garage, using ordinary tools, and you could download a piece of furniture. I think there'd be some very interesting business models that would come out of something like that. Perhaps you're buying the furniture, or perhaps you're selling it to your neighbors as a franchiser for some kind of virtual IKEA in the cloud. Metal shops and other kinds of fabrication, similarly, would be great.
8
daveloyall 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Machine learning/AI isn't done getting popular yet.
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Mz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
AI that raises our intelligence. AKA better video games.
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miguelrochefort 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think we'll see a new interface for AI.

There is no way we will keep communicating with AI through text or speech.

A new communication paradigm will be the next big thing.

4
Ask Us Anything: Y Combinator Hardware Companies Crowdfunding
83 points by liseman  2 days ago   133 comments top 48
1
louprado 2 days ago 4 replies      
Last month my hardware start-up was almost shut down because our power supplies are CEC efficiency level 5 and not 6. Customs would have seized our entire last shipment. Prior to that I got a cease and desist from the Bluetooth SIG unless I immediately paid $2500 to $10000. I paid immediately.

I have no problem following regulations and paying for licenses. The problem is getting blind-sided by it. I still don't even understand if I need a RoHS certification to ship in my home state of California. Is there any resource you found helpful ? Thanks in advance.

2
joshavant 2 days ago 3 replies      
Hi folks!

I graduated from a moderately-ranked undergrad program with a 3.0 in Computer Engineering (the HW-centric flavor of CS), going on 6 years ago.

After graduation, I wanted to get into the embedded field, but was discouraged by the employment options (hardware hadn't yet made the comeback it has been making over the last 3-5 years... 'old' players like Intel still dominated, which wasn't particularly attractive to a bright-eyed 21 year old).

In the interim 6 years, I've been doing iOS development, and believe I've amassed a CV that speaks well to my dedication and work ethic (and is moderately accomplished, at that!).

My question is... how far off am I from being a viable candidate for embedded job opportunities? What kinds of projects/side-work would you like to see to prove that I 'still have it' and/or could sufficiently think on my feet, and get back into embedded development?

FWIW, I have resume experience at Apple, Microsoft, and Google (I actually was hired at Apple out of college to do hardware QA but, once I realized the path from QA to embedded development would be a near impossible feat, I quickly moved on to iOS development).

Thanks! And good luck with your respective products!!

3
franciscop 2 days ago 0 replies      
I won a worldwide NASA contest with a friend designing and building a Space Helmet in a weekend [1] and my friends won two of the Hyperloop categories [2]. We have created a community of students [3] in our University in Spain and now we are launching a robot competition [4].

Would you consider sponsoring our community or the contest? We are operating with a budget under 1000$. Both money and products would be awesome :D

[1] https://2014.spaceappschallenge.org/awards/#globalwin Next Vision (Space Helmet)

[2] http://hyperloopupv.com/

[3] http://makersupv.com/

[4] http://orchallenge.es/

4
thebiglebrewski 2 days ago 4 replies      
I have a bunch of hardware stuff lying around. Arduino kits, soldering equipment, even a pocket oscilloscope! I had good intentions with it but now it's mostly just sitting there. Any small cool project ideas to build? Also I always have this problem where I'm missing one tiny component (I live in NYC in Brooklyn) and have to run to a store in Manhattan or wait for an online order to fill it...any tips on things to keep around that everyone should have (I have different types of resistors, etc).

Mostly I feel like a software guy that's a bit of a hardware wannabe and it feels like I'd never get to the point where I could build a legit product, and would love some guidance on how to ideate in this space.

5
spacebug 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is Your thought on shiping prototype stage products to early backer as a way of getting user feedback. Even if product is not yet certified, with the promise that you will ship them the finished product?

This way you are not selling the product you shipped them, so I'm not sure what are regulations regarding this strategy. The product would be clearly labeled as prototype version and not fit for end use.

Bonus points for complexity: The product is intended for children age 6+.

6
grape_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
YC and many other incubators provide startups technology incentive programs (Digital Ocean providing $250k credits, Azure providing $500k in credits, etc.). Are any of the hardware startups here utilizing any of the incentive programs? If so, how so? Very interested to hear about cloud strategies, especially as they relate to hardware companies (APIs, IOTs, etc.).
7
gourneau 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is building an IoT product based on the ESP8266 (esp-12e) a reasonable thing to do? Would there be any hidden fees or licensing issues?
8
ogreveins 2 days ago 2 replies      
Serious question: How do you keep your stuff from getting replicated, tweaked and crushed by people with possibly better tooling and more machines than you? China comes to mind tbh.
9
rdl 2 days ago 1 reply      
What do you do when a hardware startup/kickstarter/etc. has raised, say, $150/unit, but needs $250-300/unit to ship? I se this a lot with crowdfunded projects -- either they underestimated costs, or had a single huge setback.
10
thirru 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hey Martin from ShapeScale (S15) here.

Did any of you attempt any influencer marketing? (celebrities or connectors on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat)

If so, how well did it work and did you pay them (if so what was the model, commission, or up-front payment). Would you do it again?

11
dfox 2 days ago 1 reply      
What is your approach to low-volume prototyping? Do you use same components for prototypes that you intend for volume manufacturing? How do you source them? (for example LCD panels, where there seems to be nothing in the intersection of "long-time available", "available in unit quantities", "available in bulk" and "reasonable quality")

And another question for the business side of things: where is the line for consumer products that are not meaningful to crowdfund? niche-ness? complexity of installation? does it make sense to crowdfund what is essentially an B2B product?

12
cbw5 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great hardware has the tradeoff of being "built to last" but then not re-engaging the customer for new purchases for quite some time. How do you think about re-engaging customers who purchase a Nebia shower?
13
anujdeshpande 2 days ago 1 reply      
A lot of the advice seems to be geared towards B2C startups. Most startups http://www.ycombinator.com/hardware/ seem B2C too. A lot of the reports/blogs/opinions of the Interweb suggest that connected hardware will make the most sense in industrial and smart city kind of environments (which are probably more B2B than B2C) in the early days. Would you advise differently for people working on B2B?

- Getting early prototypes out there has kind of been decremental for us. Even the smaller bizs are willing to pay higher for a more "field-tested" device. Which seems like a recursive problem ;). Should one spend more time on getting v1.0 done ?- Is there anyone who you'd recommend to handle global shipping and taxes? The way that Pebble had tied up with distributors in different places depending on your country, etc.

(We are building talking posters. One's with BLE play prerecorded messages, and you can interact with them, and the one's with WiFi are connected to the Internet and are more interactive.)

Thanks !

14
martinushk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi guys. What did YC helped you the most with? I guess none of you had the product on the market while being in the batch (maybe I'm wrong?).
15
cfederico 2 days ago 2 replies      
Hi Guys, we are a hardware startup developing a smart LED lamp. We plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign late Q3 and now we are testing the product with our early adopters.

- What is the best way to get traction on the product before launching the campaign?

- How much money you need to set up a good marketing Kickstarter campaign ? Is it needed to use a good PR agency ? (Any suggestions about a good PR agency ? )

Thank you so much!

Federico

16
milani 19 hours ago 0 replies      
What is the process choosing a manufacturer? How do you choose between them? Another question is, do you outsource the production to an EMS? If not, how one should handle assembling parts and packaging the product?
17
jmcmahon443 2 days ago 1 reply      
What do I do if I need to use another company's patent in my product? How do I approach the situation/negotiation?
18
thirru 2 days ago 1 reply      
For those of you that did Kickstarter and not Indiegogo or a selfstarter (Celery/Tilt/Shopify) campaign:

How happy were you with the experience so far? There are a few up and downsides as drabie had mentioned before.

Taking all of that into account, would you use Kickstarter again if you had the choice again?

19
elijahparker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm just about to launch a new hardware product and was planning on using Kickstarter (it would be my 2nd time), however a partner (and reseller) in the industry brought up the option of them preordering my entire Kickstarter goal so I can get to selling/shipping the final product sooner at retail price.

Seems like an enticing option, my main concern is how much of the Kickstarter market might I miss?

Are people who buy on Kickstarter a subset of those who buy a finished product, or is it an entirely separate group?

I can see pros and cons of both ways, and I know a lot has to do with my specific market (niche time-lapse), but would love to hear any comments or insight. Thanks!

20
mrshuptrine 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do you think US companies have any ethical obligations to manufacture in the US? On that same vein, is there a marketing value of saying, "American-made" that could justify the higher manufacturing costs?
21
gabsong 2 days ago 1 reply      
During crowdfunding, we're busy taking orders, talking to press, making sure we update our users with marketing campaigns, etc. How do you manage customer care during the time of the campaign?
22
MechSkep 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a plan for overhauling/replacing Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing. The way it's done now consumes way too much design time, and honestly is a bit silly considering the inputs and outputs of the system.

I'd like to talk to someone with experience interfacing with factories in China about how the current approach could be replaced. Any suggestions?

Also, if I developed this tool-chain, what is the best way to attach to the market?

23
cfort6 2 days ago 2 replies      
Lots of platforms exist for home automation, control of IoT devices, etc... HomeKit, Nest, Wink, etc.

How worth it is it to integrate with these platforms? Should new IoT devices "cover all the bases", or is it not worth the extra cost & development?

Currently I'm doing an IoT project and I think I may just skip all those platforms. The HomeKit app costs $14.99, a Wink base station or a Nest costs money... Personally I'm doubtful consumers want to pay those extra costs.

Thoughts?

24
jonbarker 2 days ago 1 reply      
What are some cost effective options for rapid prototyping (preferably mostly doing it myself in a shop type environment) in the bay area?
25
elijahparker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a recommendation for how to go about WEEE [1] compliance across Europe apart from registering in every country individually?

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waste_Electrical_and_Electro...

26
jmcmahon443 2 days ago 2 replies      
What are the pros and cons of crowdfunding, vs. self-funding, vs. VC-funding for a hardware startup?

When should I be using which sort of funding?

27
thetli8 2 days ago 2 replies      
Do you think hardware IoT companies should eventually open source their hardware to solely focus on the software? (Based on the belief that if we can make it, there's always someone who can make it better for cheaper). How would we go about doing that in a way that does not greatly damage revenue streams?
28
dsl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently considering a startup that is 90% cloud software, and 10% on site hardware (think a small custom designed sensor).

Having no experience or expertise in custom hardware design, how would you recommend finding someone who could handle design and production?

29
thirru 2 days ago 1 reply      
What are some good strategies you guys used to narrow and improve your messaging for your crowdfunding campaigns?

Did you rely on qualitative feedback (by real people or usertesting) or on quantitative results (A/B conversions testing on ad copies and landing pages)? Or did you just go with your gut?

30
dchmiel 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is your approach to looking at security for your hardware and data during prototyping and testing with early clients? How would you minimize what data is collected to maximize what you can learn to improve your product and service?
31
thirru 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a question for Hykso: You guys had a progress bar of units sold. Did you see that this was creating urgency? Also did you find it hard to create traffic to your own site? What was your strategy? And why Shopify over Tilt/Celery?
32
prbuckley 2 days ago 0 replies      
How much do you think about a post crowdfunding customer acquisition strategy before launching a crowd funding campaign? It seems like crowd funding can get initial attention but doesn't necessarily make a sustained business.
33
cbw5 2 days ago 1 reply      
Great hardware has the implicit trade-off of being "built to last" and consequently not requiring the customer to upgrade the product for quite sometime. How do you think about re-engaging customers in the short to medium term?
34
lindseya 2 days ago 1 reply      
Did you make your own videos or work with a video production company?
35
lindseya 2 days ago 1 reply      
At what stage should your product be before you launch your campaign?
36
dookahku 2 days ago 3 replies      
I've lots of embedded linux experience. It's less consumerist products but more embedded systems experience.

Where do I find people's problems to solve that can be addressed by HW?

37
mariusz331 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for doing this!

How do I get started with hardware? I'm a software engineer trying to break into the hardware field. What resources can you recommend for someone in my shoes?

38
jpcorica 2 days ago 2 replies      
How can we balance effort, risk taking and authorship protection vs holding progress back because of the blocking some patents create? Product revenue will be enough?
39
jeiting 2 days ago 1 reply      
Did you have experience in hardware before this? Do you think that experience building hardware products is a pre-requisite to starting a hardware company?
40
liseman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of great questions! Thanks for joining us. Email me ( luke@ycombinator.com ) after you apply for YC with your next big hardware thing:)
41
zkirill 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is it a good idea to sell your first small batch of functional prototypes as-is while still in the market research stage to get user feedback?
42
mbruschi 2 days ago 2 replies      
How do you managed to get your campaign to the press? Any advice if there is no time for building up relation-ships with the journalists?
43
lindseya 2 days ago 3 replies      
What do you plan to do as a next step post-crowdfunding (other than delivering your product, of course)?
44
thebiglebrewski 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would it be possible to post links to all of the crowdfunding campaigns and/or product pages?
45
shishir1 2 days ago 1 reply      
When is the right time/scale to start knocking doors to find partners at schenzen?
46
lindseya 2 days ago 1 reply      
What strategies did you use to get the word out about your campaign?
47
creativecomm2 2 days ago 0 replies      
We want to partner, contact us foodbyprint at gmail.
48
creativecomm2 2 days ago 1 reply      
We want to talk to Tovala about a partnership
5
Ask HN: Is anyone else depressed, reading about all the success stories ?
8 points by tevlon  11 hours ago   13 comments top 12
1
ericzawo 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's a great story about Pablo Picasso that, while I'm not sure if it's actually true, has a lot of meaning for me, and serves as a reminder about hard work and success.

One day near the end of his life, Mr. Picasso was dining at a caf in France when an American tourist, and fan of his, approaches him. Bewildered, the tourist asks for a photograph, to which Picasso agrees. They get friendly, and before long, the tourist asks for a sketch. Being a big fan, and a man who's clearly done his homework on art, Picasso agrees, pulls out his fountain pen, and quickly sketches a portrait of the tourist on a napkin. The tourist, amazed, thanks Picasso and reaches for the napkin portrait, but Picasso moves it away, and without skipping a beat, says, "that'll be 15,000 francs." The tourist is shocked. He says, "but that doodle took you five seconds!" Picasso smiles, and replies, "no, it took me five decades."

You never hear about the work that goes into success, even the overnight success stories. Overnight success stories don't happen in one night. The easy answer is there are no easy answers. Keep working, keep pushing, and keep believing in the chance and the opportunity of the day before you. That's way more than many others on this planet ever get, so make the most of it.

2
lsiunsuex 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Welcome to being a programmer on HN / in general - where it seams every day a company gets bought / funded / 100k's of customers.

In reality, it's not like that. Ideas don't grow on trees and many, many people fail multiple times before they succeed. There's no book on how to do it; there's no 1 way and what works for abc company didn't work for def company.

Find a day job; make some money.

Find an idea that your passionate about; code it - submit it somewhere (here is a good start) - show people / get them using it / get feedback. If your not passionate about it; no one else will be either.

Stick with it long enough / until you can determine if it's going somewhere or not.

Rinse / repeat until you find the success you want.

3
stray 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
Don't compare what you know about your life to what you know about other people's lives -- because you only know about their successes. While you know both the good and bad about your own.

Baby steps.

Don't try to do big things. Do small things completely and with great care -- and celebrate those tiny victories.

You see, you never know where those tiny projects are going to eventually lead.

Google started off with a guy thinking "hey, what if you were to think of the world wide web like a graph -- I bet you could get better search results by ranking pages by the degree of incoming arcs".

It was actually a relatively small idea.

So just take some baby steps and see where they lead. And don't worry about stumbling and falling -- babies suck at walking.

Even the ones who will eventually win marathons.

4
LarryMade2 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
You gotta remember you aren't reading one guys' everlasting fame but a long series of average Joe programmers' 15 minutes of fame one after another. If they are lucky they pop up again a time or two more but between those is a lot of work and struggle.

Hang in there, do what you can now, and plan on what you can't right now.

Reading HN does that, mainly because all the shiny stories float to the top. Also stuff you work on never seems as shiny as something new you hear about (even if if yours really is cooler) mainly because you live your stuff 24/7 and all you see most of the time are the bugs you have yet to squash.

5
d4rkph1b3r 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> Maybe i should realise that i am just a wannabe entrepreneur, a wantepreneuer.

Yeah, you probably are. So fix that. Step one, learn to code (better?), and get a development job. Do that for a bit, save some money, then figure out step 2. You can't change the past so don't let it unduly influence what you'll do next.

6
yolesaber 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get depressed because of the success per se. I get depressed because most of the ideas that get funding / traction / press are awful and unimaginative and only further drive people in tech to seek out money and fame as the end result rather than helping to make the world a better place.
7
jbchoo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
No I'm not feeling that depression you're talking abt. I feel motivated. And amazed at how their stories got marketed so well. Who are the heroes behind all these publicities? How can I learn from these actions to create that level of reactions.
8
kafkaesq 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've felt that way many times. And I'm not even trying to be an entrepreneur, necessarily.

My workaround? Comes from recognizing the following:

(1) In many ways, our "system" (not just the tech meritocracy cult, but our whole consumption-oriented society) is strongly predicated on promoting feelings of inferiority, "coulda-shoulda-woulda" and anxiety generally. It's it's main oxygen source, in fact. So whenever I feel myself feeling beset by these pangs and impulses, I try my best... to deny the system its "oxygen" by questioning the validity of these pangs and impulses. And looking instead for other sources of validation / motivation.

(2) More drily, there's a huge selection bias in all of these success stories. We nearly always hear about the winners, only very seldom about the failures. And even the "big" winners, talented though they are, might have been only "so-so" winners had it not been for certain twists of dumb luck.

Not to mention the legions of "so-so" winners (e.g. that total schmuck you know who just got a $30M B-round) who might otherwise just be regular devs, perpetual grad students, or slaving away at an investment bank right now, had they had the tragic misfortune of being born a few years later, or earlier.

(3) Finally, so some extent maybe I do suck, at least at this game. Or maybe I don't? Either way, a healthy amount of self-doubt isn't a bug, it's a feature -- and nearly omnipresent amongst people who are in any way trying to achieve their potential, and question the limits and rules set by others (as nearly any biography of successful people will tell you).

As such, when viewed properly and used properly, this kind of self-doubt can not only not be a straightjacket -- it can be an invaluable energy source.

9
Raed667 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been there (maybe still am). This video [0] explains the phenomena.

[0] : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRPZL5ZZuU8

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studentrob 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't sweat it. I recommend the book Mindfulness in Plain English
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lgieron 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably the best way to find out if you really want to start a business (as opposed to just talking and reading about it), is to just start one. If you can stick through the rough times, you're the real deal and if not - you've learnt something important about yourself.As for the lack of money, it can be solved by getting a high paying job for a couple of years (to accumulate savings).
12
gitcommit 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You only hear success stories, but you don't hear all the things they tried that didn't work out. Success usually doesn't happen overnight, don't sweat it.
6
Ask HN: Did Comcast just screw me over?
9 points by dan-silver  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
1
nness 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Power cycle the modem and see if the hotspot disappears and reappears with the modem. That would be fairly conclusive.
2
moondev 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just buy your own modem from amazon. You get total control and don't have to pay them to lease your modem/router
3
PythonDeveloper 1 day ago 0 replies      
If there are external antennae on the unit, just unscrew them and that will effectively disable the wifi radio since it can't attenuate.
7
Ask HN: What are some examples of beautiful software?
330 points by ponderatul  4 days ago   256 comments top 98
1
tbrock 4 days ago 7 replies      
C: anything by antirez (redis, etc...) Redis is the epitome of well written understandable C.

Ruby: anything written by _why (if you can find the source) He once gave a whole presentation on the splat operator and it's bizarre uses that gave me goosebumps. A true artist. The code twists and contorts ruby in unimaginable ways.

JS: anything written by TJ hollwaychuck (express, mocha, etc...) Express is so simple but powerful, when you read the source you can't help but wonder where the rest of the code is.

Python: anything written by Kenneth Reitz (Requests, legit, records...) This guy can lay down some serious Python and gets things done. He writes the batteries that python should have had included.

2
Ace17 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm seeing a lot of meanings to "beautiful" here, please, let's define what we're talking about.

Does "beautiful" means "the code is clean"? If so, the Quake source code is "beautiful", while Duke3D Build engine is "ugly".

Does "beaufitul" means "the code is clever"? If so, gcc, ffmpeg and ODE are "beautiful", and Google's Ninja is "tasteless".

Does "beautiful" means "the code is modular" (I mean "open-closed" here)? If so, VLC is "beautiful", and everything monolithic is "ugly" (gcc, Linux, systemd, LLVM, ...).

Does "beautiful" means "the software performs flawlessly"? If so, the Duke3D Build engine, Quake's engine, and Portal's physics engine are "beautiful", while VLC is "ugly".

Does "beautiful" means "the software embodies a clever concept"? If so, "grep" and "xargs" are "beautiful", and the Windows Batch interpreter is "ugly".

Does "beautiful" means "the software is easy to use"? If so, the Windows calculator is "beautiful", while Mathematica and vim are "ugly".

Does "beautiful" means "the software can be twisted in lots of interesting ways"? If so, dynamic language interpreters are "beautiful", while static language compilers are "ugly".

My point is, any piece of software can be seen as "beautiful" or "ugly".

We have meaningful objective attributes at our disposal, like "simple", "clever", "fit", "robust", "fast", "small", "user friendly"... let's use them!

3
joshuata 4 days ago 3 replies      
My vote is for SQLite. It is very well written, incredibly well tested, and one of the simplest and most flexible tools out there. My favorite part is the extensive documentation explaining the architecture decisions they made.
4
donatj 4 days ago 3 replies      
"Another World" There's a very interesting write up here: http://fabiensanglard.net/anotherWorld_code_review/

The game itself has an amazingly beautiful vector style. The engine is remarkably tiny, 20kb. I decided years ago if I ever find time to build a game I'd like to architect it like "Another World".

5
hebdo 4 days ago 1 reply      
Varnish cache.

1) Configured via a special DSL (Varnish Configuration language) that gets translated into C, compiled and loaded into the Varnish process via a .so. Perfect combination of expressiveness and speed. You can even inline raw C code in it!

2) Heavy, good use of virtual memory. Varnish allocates quite a lot of gigabytes and leaves it up to the operating system to decide what should be in RAM and what should be on disk.

3) LRU garbage collection of cached objects requires a synchronized priority queue. Varnish people transformed the decades old idea of implementing a heap in an array that every CS graduate knows and came up with a faster, paging-aware solution (http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=1814327).

6
PeCaN 4 days ago 2 replies      
LuaJIT. It's a cutting-edge JIT with remarkably understandable algorithms and source. Every single piece of it is well thought out. Even the asm interpreters are pretty clean and explain why they work the way they do.

Mike Pall is a demigod.

7
weej 4 days ago 1 reply      
"Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think" is a book that attempts to to tackle this topic. "The authors think aloud as they work through their project's architecture, the tradeoffs made in its construction, and when it was important to break rules." The book has been sitting in my to-read stack forever. You might want to check it out.

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596510046.do

8
analog31 4 days ago 1 reply      
Turbo Pascal for DOS. Simple, compact, quick, well documented, reasonably easy to learn, and not too expensive.

I think that bloat is the enemy of beauty, so we're probably likely to find beauty in software that does a few things well.

9
wstrange 4 days ago 1 reply      
ZFS

The idea of collapsing a volume manager and file system into one was very innovative and led to substantially more functionality with less code (although some called it a "rampant layering violation" ).

ZFS is a joy to use, dead simple, and arguably the most robust file system out there.

10
albertzeyer 4 days ago 0 replies      
I really like reading most code from John Carmack, e.g. Quake 1-3. Much of it can be seen here: https://github.com/id-Software
11
hatsunearu 4 days ago 3 replies      
Rust. It's god damn beautiful. It's design is magnificent, so much so that it seems easy to write beautiful rust code myself.
12
stray 4 days ago 2 replies      
The most beautiful I'm aware of is Robert Strandh's SICL (https://github.com/robert-strandh/SICL). CL-PPCRE (https://github.com/edicl/cl-ppcre) is very nice as well, imo.

What makes them beautiful? They're very straight forward and clearly communicate what they're doing, and how.

And the parentheses in their language of choice softens the visual display of the code -- while the semantics of the language cause the shape of the code to communicate quite a bit about how the machine will go about executing it.

There are no surprises.

In terms of conceptual beauty, it'd be hard to beat Screamer (https://github.com/nikodemus/screamer).

What makes this beautiful? The way it makes a hairy problem seem simple and straight-forward.

13
paulsutter 4 days ago 1 reply      
The Deepmind Atari Player is only 22KB of source code:

https://sites.google.com/a/deepmind.com/dqn/

If you haven't seen the video it's remarkable:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EfGD2qveGdQ

14
mtrn 4 days ago 2 replies      
The Go standard library. At least two things coming together: A stripped down language, that explicitly aims to be readable and experienced programmers / authors.
15
Luc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Doom.

At the time I had never heard of Binary Space Partition Trees. Beautiful concept for a monument of a game.

http://fabiensanglard.net/doomIphone/doomClassicRenderer.php

16
jarcane 3 days ago 1 reply      
The Haskell and Clojure standard libraries.

It's very rare in a programming language that I can click through to the implementation of a function and actually understand the code I get through the wall of error checking and coercion and OOP gobbledygook to even make sense of what I'm looking at.

But I've never had this problem in Haskell or Clojure. Haskell because that awesome type system makes most of that boilerplate unnecessary, and Clojure because for good or ill, the priority seems to be on clarity of code and letting the Java type system kind of catch a lot of the obvious errors.

Racket, on the other hand, much as I love it, when I go looking at it's internals most of the time it's practically unintelligible to me.

17
muzani 4 days ago 5 replies      
JSON.

The way it displays and organizes complex data, better than other standards like CSV or XML. Or the things that use tables.

When I first started programming, I had two favorite ways of storing data - INI and arrays. INI for its elegant key/value style. Arrays were just natural because of the way computers think.

I spent months trying to mold these two things together; how would you actually store key-value things within an array? Do you make an array of pointers that lead to key-value objects? (I used C)

JSON is just this beautiful thing that lets you store data however you want. It's beautiful because it doesn't get in the way. Not only that, but it's a data structure you can understand just by looking at it; you'd have to squint to understand raw XML or a SQL table.

18
lucaswiman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Peter Norvig's sudoku solver is beautiful on all levels. http://norvig.com/sudoku.html

It's clearly explained code that's shorter than you would have thought. Norvig showcases his expertise in manipulating both the basic data structure of the Python language, and a deep understanding of the underlying problem and methods for solving it.

19
w8rbt 4 days ago 1 reply      
Personally, I like Tarsnap and anything from the OpenBSD project. Of course, this is highly subjective, and I would not call the code 'beautiful'. However, to me, these are a few examples of code performing complex tasks written in a simple, straight-forward way that I can follow and understand.
20
nstart 3 days ago 0 replies      
This might sound crazy but I actually found the discourse source code to be a beautiful thing. When I read it I had never used ruby beyond understanding the syntax via ruby koans. And one day I wanted to learn how they manage long running tasks without blocking the rest of the web application, and so I jumped into the code using only github and github source code search. 15 minutes in I had notes which drew the entire picture of how and where sidekiq comes in and how and where emails are constructed (I was starting out by trying to understand how things like password reset emails are handled iirc). I know there must be some ugly parts in there, but I went in with no understanding of what to look for except some keywords. I came back with a pragmatic understanding of how to implement a certain workflow regardless of language or framework. This was the mark of something beautiful to me.
21
awinter-py 4 days ago 1 reply      
For me, learning about functional programming and 'feeling my way' into avoiding excess local vars, paying careful attention to side effects. To be clear: I'm talking about functional style in imperative languages, not about making the jump to functional languages (which are still less widely used -- maybe because they're not 'necessary enough').

I'm not saying my code is particularly readable to anyone but me, but functional style is something that 'clicked' when I fell into it.

22
spotman 4 days ago 1 reply      
Redis is my favorite example. It's some of the easiest to read, digest, and modify source code out there.
23
ycmbntrthrwaway 4 days ago 0 replies      
X11 terminal emulator as one C file:http://git.suckless.org/st/tree/st.c
24
yannis 4 days ago 2 replies      
Knuth's TeX. Set the standards for documentation, reliability, portability, typography, extensibility and scripting, is well into its fourth decade and is free software.
25
rwallace 4 days ago 1 reply      
The Scheme programming language. As close to the core essence of programming as an actually usable, practical programming language has ever come.

LLVM. Being able to fully represent general code in a simple, well-defined, readable text-based format is a far bigger achievement than you would think until you look at what it took to do it.

26
sctb 4 days ago 1 reply      
Arthur Whitney's one-page interpreter: http://code.jsoftware.com/wiki/Essays/Incunabulum
27
vmorgulis 4 days ago 0 replies      
Oberon, TempleOS or OpenGenera. These projects are vertical, consistent and use only one programming language.

In OpenGenera, everything displayed on the screen is typed and can be retrieved as an s-expression (like in a web browser):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4-YnLpLgtk

https://github.com/ynniv/opengenera#additional-reading

28
lewisjoe 3 days ago 1 reply      
Werkzeug's Jinja2 templating engine written in Python.

I happened to dig into its source code for something and eventually found myself amazed at how the entire base is beautifully laid out. It's no nowhere near being naive. It's almost a simple programming language implemented in python. A compiler of sorts with its own abstract syntax tree and stuff. Yet the code is very readable, straight forward and just taught me how to write good python.

[edit] corrected typo.

29
eternalban 4 days ago 1 reply      
Beautiful software =/= beautiful code.

Beautiful software: Java Virtual Machine (the code? could be entirely un-beautiful ;)

30
lkrubner 3 days ago 3 replies      
Anything by Zach Tellman:

https://github.com/ztellman/aleph

https://github.com/ztellman/automat

In terms of his ideas, watch "Always be composing":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oQTSP4FngY

And he offers some great thoughts about queues and backpressure in "Everything will flow":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bNOO3xxMc0

31
huuu 4 days ago 2 replies      
For me it's Blender.

 - Starts in a sec. - API is the program, the GUI just an interface. - Free but very professional - Shortcuts are ergonomic.

32
ranko 3 days ago 0 replies      
"If Hemingway Wrote Javascript" (https://www.nostarch.com/hemingway, see also https://javascriptweblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/if-hemingw...), in which five short programs are each written in five different styles (all in Javascript). It shows how different programming styles can be used in the same language to solve the same problem. It's unlikely that you'll start writing in the style of Borges or Austen after reading this, but it is entertaining and amusing.
33
CoryG89 4 days ago 1 reply      
I would say that not many actual implementations of software turn out to be beautiful, assuming it is above a certain threshold of complexity and it is meant for production use.

On the other hand, the ideas, algorithms, or the protocols on which software is based often seem beautiful, elegant, or brilliant, at least to me.

A few examples I can think of are: Google PageRank algorithm, Bitcoin's protocol and the block chain, the TCP network protocol, the BitTorrent protocol, Dijkstras algorithm, etc.

34
jpgvm 4 days ago 0 replies      
PostgreSQL. The best C codebase I have ever worked with and IMO very beautiful and well designed.
35
superuser2 4 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but from the UX side, Square Cash.

Does one thing, does it well with large responsive colorful UI that still displays everything you need to know. Is minimally invasive (debit card instead of bank account verification). Uses your existing contacts, so everything "just works" by default.

36
phkahler 4 days ago 1 reply      
SolveSpace - parametric CAD program. Single executable, well done UI, small code base, nice constraint solver, originally by a single person. It's the only OSS CAD I've found useful (QCad was second, then FreeCAD). There are also a few active developers now with major improvements on the way.
37
rpdillon 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Emacs source code was always impressive to me. Much is lisp, but even the primitives (like buffer) that are written in C use macros to maintain semantic parity with the lisp code, defining macros like EQ and DEFUN. It's kind of fun to read (for me, anyway).https://github.com/emacs-mirror/emacs/blob/master/src/buffer...
38
mcculley 4 days ago 0 replies      
I learned an enormous amount about how to ship code that works on multiple platforms back in the 90s just by reading the GNU Emacs and XEmacs source code. I really owe a lot to that source code being available.
39
apdar 4 days ago 0 replies      
Beautiful code: graph search in prolog. So much in as few lines as possible[1]

[1]: http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~billw/cs9414/notes/prolog/path-t...

40
gravypod 4 days ago 1 reply      
I found this a while ago on hackernews: https://github.com/Hypsurus/skod

Amazing source.

41
jaybosamiya 4 days ago 2 replies      
Not specifically "software" but this piece of Haskell code is the most beautiful code I've ever seen:

 quicksort [] = [] quicksort (x:xs) = quicksort [y|y<-xs,y<x] ++ [x] ++ quicksort [y|y<-xs,y>=x]

42
braythwayt 4 days ago 0 replies      
The HashLife algorithm for Conways Game of Life:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashlife

My implementations in Literate CoffeeScript:

http://recursiveuniver.se

And JavaScript:

http://raganwald.com/hashlife

43
cdcarter 3 days ago 0 replies      
Camping -- it was _why the lucky stiff's Ruby web-microframework, under 4k of code and absolutely brilliant from top to bottom.
44
altitudinous 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well, I think Jonathan Blow's Braid is a beautiful thing. Many in here seem to be talking about the beauty of the source code or something related, but I like a simple well executed idea that is beautiful to look at as well. No corners were cut here - I think it is a work of art.
45
zachrose 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not working software per se, but I think there's a lot of beauty in the way Sandi Metz demos a refactoring of a thing called The Gilded Rose in this video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8bZh5LMaSmE

46
binarymax 4 days ago 0 replies      
There is a really good list covered in detail here:

http://www.aosabook.org/en/index.html

47
ktRolster 4 days ago 0 replies      
Early MacPaint and Quickdraw source code is worth a look. Clean and simple, yet solved a rather complex problem. http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/macpaint-and-quickdraw-...

Here is what the author said about it (and code in general):

"Its an art form, like any other art form I would spend time rewriting whole sections of code to make them more cleanly organized, more clear. Im a firm believer that the best way to prevent bugs is to make it so that you can read through the code and understand exactly what its doing"

48
booop 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned roller coaster tycoon. 99% of the game was written by one man in x86 assembly and it ran beautifully.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-03-03-a-big-interview...

and

http://www.chrissawyergames.com/faq3.htm

49
jamescun 4 days ago 0 replies      
Say what you like about Rails (or Ruby for that matter), but go and look at its source. It is well laid out, the commenting is extensive and descriptive, and it follows a natural flow.

The same can be said of the PostgreSQL source.

50
eliboy 4 days ago 0 replies      
The way ruby uses instance_eval. I didn't pay attention at first, I just enjoyed the beautiful interfaces. But when I saw how they use instance_eval behind the scene and how simple is, I was in awe.
51
dmytroi 4 days ago 0 replies      
FMOD [1] sound framework provides one of the best C API's in industry : stable, works everywhere, clean and beautiful. Please find API example at [2].

[1]: http://www.fmod.org/[2]: https://github.com/fmod/ue4integration/blob/master/FMODStudi...

52
seivan 4 days ago 1 reply      
Grand central dispatch is so beautifully designed. Both its API and just general use. It clicked with me the first time it got introduced and I abandoned bothering with NSOperarion
53
Quiark 3 days ago 0 replies      
IPFS

Just read through the design, it's very simple and extremely modular. It learns the lessons from previous related systems and applies them in the new system.

54
malux85 4 days ago 0 replies      
In terms of source code? If so my favourites to read are:LLVM and Clang. Redis. TensorFlow. Doom. Sha256k (the one Bitcoin core uses).
55
57
sahreeg 4 days ago 0 replies      
This Beauty! I mean that in terms of code aesthetics.http://www.ioccc.org/2011/eastman/eastman.c

(winner of the 20th International Obfuscated C Code Contest)

Nevertheless once you run it, you will have a sweet surprise.

58
dschiptsov 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is a few rather universal generalizations about most of these projects people find beautiful - the code has been written after throughout understanding of what one is doing and why - the domain, the first principles, the logic and the representation. And then one returns and refines (refactors) the code several times as long as one's understanding clarifies in the process of writing it down.

Jumping right into IDE to solve a problem is a way to end up with bullshit, like to write down the contents of undeveloped and undisciplined mind.

"My code is my documentation", or auto-generated "documentation" is bullshit for the same reasons.

59
im_down_w_otp 4 days ago 0 replies      
Joe Armstrong's "Universal Server".
60
lambdafunc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Presto also has a high quality codebase: https://github.com/facebook/presto
61
percept 4 days ago 1 reply      
Nobody mentioned git?
62
davepeck 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've always found FreeType to be quite wonderful; it integrates the artistry and mathematics of typography with entertaining low-level wizardry.

Take a look at the rasterizer, for example: http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/freetype/freetype2.git/tree...

63
baby 3 days ago 0 replies      
Look at Laravel, every comments is made on 3 lines that go smaller and smaller. The amount of details in the framework is pretty huge.
64
pmarreck 4 days ago 0 replies      
http://smile.amazon.com/Beautiful-Code-Leading-Programmers-P...

This book might help.

H&P is great, by the way. It was that book and "Cathedral & The Bazaar" that made me quit a Microsoft-only job and go open-source.

65
zengr 4 days ago 1 reply      
Surprised that no one mentioned elasticsearch here. The Java code is truly one of the best I have seen in any large open source Java project.
66
sevkih 4 days ago 0 replies      
why plan9 hasn't come up yet?
67
z3t4 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is highly opinionated. It will change from person to person, even for the same person in different times of his/her life. My answer would be that "when the planets align": Meaning the right product at the right time.
68
julie1 4 days ago 1 reply      
Drivers.

The interface between the physical world and the digital world. They are the lenses of computers as much as its magic.

69
murukesh_s 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why do we assume that software is same as code? I wonder if graphics tools(like photoshop) were't invented as a point and click tool, but something that you would need to code instead, we would have praised some X or Y instead of Z..
70
userbinator 4 days ago 0 replies      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8558822

A tiny self-interpreting compiler and virtual machine. The beauty is in how amazingly minimal and yet functional it is.

71
reitanqild 4 days ago 0 replies      
Kind of out-of-place but Manic Time is the best GUI I remember having used on Windows.

It has every feature but takes 5 minutes to learn. And it (mostly) seems to do the most reasonable thing every time you do anything.

(plus: there is a working free model and a really useful paid upgrade.)

72
zem 3 days ago 0 replies      
i maintain a lingering fondness for the [aurora text editor](http://www-personal.umich.edu/~knassen/aurora.html), a dos-based text editor that was, like emacs, largely written in its own scripting language. the editor was sadly closed-source and has now gone the way of most closed source stuff, but the scripted bits were open source, and they were a real pleasure to work with. again, like emacs, you could build some surprisingly non-text-editor-like things on top of it.
73
sysret 3 days ago 0 replies      
examples:

1. a. whitney2. ioccc.org winners (djb, etc.)

what makes [some] software beautiful?

the ugliness of other software.

most software is large, slow, complicated and bug-ridden.

this makes small, fast, clean software written by competent programmers "beautiful".

taste varies. what is too terse and "obfuscated" to some is pleasingly succinct and manageable to others.

right now there's another post about yann lecun on the front page. he once wrote a lisp-like interpreter that compiles to C called "lush". of all the lisps i have tried i think it's one of the more "beautiful" ones in it's design.

74
numlocked 3 days ago 0 replies      
qmail and djbdns by D. J. Bernstein. But don't take my word for it:

http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/djb

76
sklogic 4 days ago 0 replies      
TeX and Metafont. It'd be hard to find anything even matching these gems.
77
e12e 4 days ago 0 replies      
Might add that what I've seen of the internals of both Sqeak/Pharo Smalltalk and Racket would probably qualify as beautiful software.
79
aggieben 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think the OpenBSD code is quite nice, actually (maybe not the cross-platform bits).
80
xkarga00 4 days ago 0 replies      
All of the btcsuite code (btcd, btcwallet, ...)
81
agumonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
maru lisp by ian piumarta : Maru is a symbolic expression evaluator that can compile its own implementation language.

http://piumarta.com/software/maru/

82
dorfsmay 4 days ago 0 replies      
bottlepy is a one file web framework that just works in both python2 and python3.
83
myhf 4 days ago 0 replies      
djb servers are really beautiful. Built securely from the ground up, with very little attack surface area.

http://thedjbway.b0llix.net/

84
iamd3vil 3 days ago 0 replies      
Erlang Virtual Machine - It's an amazing piece of software
85
executesorder66 3 days ago 0 replies      
bspwm [0] + sxhkd [1]

 [0] https://github.com/baskerville/bspwm [1] https://github.com/baskerville/sxhkd

86
sam_lowry_ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Check for the Beautiful Code book. It has some examples in it.
87
hendekagon 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you mean applications, Adobe Illustrator

If you mean code, Smalltalk or LISP

88
elkhourygeorges 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ruby on Rails. It's literally beautiful.
89
dschiptsov 3 days ago 0 replies      

 nginx/src/core/*

90
agumonkey 4 days ago 0 replies      
Let's make an OS out of that thread.
91
collyw 3 days ago 0 replies      
Anything written in Perl.
92
type0 4 days ago 0 replies      
Emacs
93
based2 4 days ago 0 replies      
Kay's power tools
94
0xAC1DBA5E 4 days ago 1 reply      
IDTECH[0-9]+

shameless fanboy here

95
foota 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a big fan of SqlAlchemy for python.
96
motyar 3 days ago 0 replies      
vim
97
decaffito 4 days ago 0 replies      
daisydisk. oh it's smooth, harmonious colours, quintessential

edit: other comments seem to be from a source code perspective ?

98
fufefderddfr 4 days ago 2 replies      
It's funny to read what people think are beautiful apps here.

IMHO, the most beautiful software are always games and entertainment titles... After all that is the purpose.

Office 2013? It's very useful! I use a classic menu template and got rid of the ribbon, since the functionality is the same, but in my preferred format. Beauty does not come into play with office...

I can use it for creating beautiful PowerPoint and excel spreadsheets.

Code is never 'beautiful'. It's either concise, well-written and formatted well, or it isn't.

8
Ask HN: Snapchat employee vesting schedule
13 points by sajid  12 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
seattle_spring 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My last company's retention package after their [bad] acquisition had this vesting schedule. The company knew damn well that most people would leave or be forced out before the 3rd year, and that's exactly what happened. This sort of vesting is the most employee-unfriendly bullshit out there. If I was made an offer with this sort of schedule I would immediately decline and look elsewhere.
2
scalesolved 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Guess a lot of people aren't going to pass their performance reviews in their 3rd year.
9
Ask HN: Helping a dev who drinks?
74 points by anon_23edr4  1 day ago   59 comments top 26
1
locrelite 1 day ago 3 replies      
Basically, I'm an alcoholic. I'm in my mid 30s. I started drinking when I was told I couldn't smoke pot anymore, and kept at it after a number of friends committed suicide and a few others died of cancer.

The thing is, when I am drinking, I can manage the pain of things that will never be okay, even though I must endure them. I don't advocate alcohol, but waking up screaming every morning isn't always an option. And I get to say "basically an alcoholic" because that's a euphemism for "functional alcoholic" which is a euphemism for "alcoholic," but because I can still do my job around people in their 20s, nobody complains, so I don't have to begin the regime of psychoactive drugs that don't guarantee any less liver damage than the alcohol. I can only hope I make it to my 50s, and in my 50s, I will not give one thought to what anyone thinks, because making it to 50 means I survived remembering my dead loved ones for 30 years, and that's good enough.

It sounds like it's not an issue for your business if he's killing code three sheets to Moby Dick and you can't spare a salaried employee to walk him home. If you care for him, as my family cares for me, you will do what they do, and say, "Are you okay? I wondered because you're drinking a lot," and he might say, "No, I'll never be okay, but if it's a problem I can work on it." Or he might say, "Yeah, I'm fine," even though he's not. Point is it doesn't sound like it's a professional issue, since you haven't fired him for drinking on the job, so his ability to code is a moot point. The question is not "How do I approach a talented employee who seems superhumanly talented when he's drunk but then we have to use unpaid company resources to manage him after hours?" The question is "How do I approach someone managing pain in a potentially long-term and self-destructive way?"

And that's not an HN question.

2
rubberroad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think that the details of him brilliantly coding while at the Ballmer peak is kind of irrelevant. It can be a huge liability to have people intoxicated in the work place, and I think it's important for your manager to have an initially undocumented, private chat with him about it.

In alcoholism, an important concept is 'enabling', where you are making it easier for the person with alcoholism to continue with their habit. You are enabling your co-worker to continue drinking by giving him rides home, having interns walk him to the correct apartment, and allowing him to commit code while he is clearly under the influence.

Your manager should be setting the boundaries in the workplace regarding alcohol, but the best thing you can do as a co-worker is to be there as a friend and to listen. Take a break from the screen and step outdoors and have a conversation, because it sounds like this person is really struggling with a difficult chapter in his life right now.

3
saganus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can't really comment much since I've never had to deal with an issue anywhere close to this, but as a random thought, isn't this something his family would ideally action on?

To me it seems great that you are helping him by not allowing him to drive, etc. especially if he is a nice person, but I would think that this might be a a little off your reach.

I'm definitely not trying to discourage you but at least where I live, people take it very personal when you try to talk with them about issues/addictions they might have, so I might be biased, but as harsh as this sounds I don't think you can push him too much on this. His grief is probably (and understandably so) too much to bear.

The only thing that comes to mind is going to a psychologist/psychiatrist specialized in addictions and ask him for some advice on how to approach him.

In any case, good luck. It seems terrible to me that he has to suffer through this and it's really nice that you want to help him. Just be careful on not stepping into something you might not be prepared nor trained to deal with.

4
awakeasleep 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should stfu about him and his life. Especially if it's not a problem that is hurting someone else.

Anything you do is going to fuck him over. Don't believe someone at work (boss, HR) is going to turn his life into a disney movie of helping love and happy endings.

There are going to be mistakes that will let you know it's time to act. The first time you catch him doing a blunder that affects other people, take him aside and talk to him about it directly. Tell him you want him to enroll in some sort of treatment program.

After that, if he keeps causing negative outcomes for people, then you tell HR or the boss- which will get him fired, end of story. Don't let yourself believe some insane narrative like people are writing on here where the boss or HR will "help" him. He's just going to get fired. So, understand that before you make any moves in 'official' directions.

5
crikli 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trying to think how I'd want this handled if you and this fellow were one of my employees...

First, I'd want you to tell me about the issue (if I wasn't aware of it already). Have you told your boss? What was his reaction?

Second, after I was told, to be quite candid, I'd be put in a tough position. If this guy is getting loaded at work, people know about it to the point where they're giving him rides, IANAL but that's a huge liability. He does something while drunk and that's coming back on the company. And the problem isn't that I'm a greedy asshole who doesn't want to get sued, it's that if I get sued then you and probably a few other people are going to lose their jobs. Depending on the size of the company a suit could destroy it.

Third, all those things considered, I have to intervene to protect this fellow, you and your colleagues and the company. That doesn't mean fire someone, that means a serious come to Jesus with this guy with the goal being to find a way to get him through this. Underwrite counseling/rehab/whatever is needed.

So...lots of words to get to this: you gotta go up the chain. This isn't your responsibility, unless you are the boss.

6
pmiller2 1 day ago 0 replies      
The bottom line is you can't help anyone who doesn't want help. I think as coworkers, you're already going above and beyond having an intern escort him home, and it's great that you're not allowing him to drive drunk, but anything you do won't do any good until he decides he has a problem and wants help from you.
7
chroma 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm very confused by this story.

> when he is drinking, he can code things that no one else on staff can do quickly.

> I and the others stand and watch in awe as he types so fast we can barely follow.

Impressive, but why are you all watching this guy? Don't you have work to do as well?

> We have to get him a ride home, help him walk to the door and have an intern walk him to his apartment so that he doesn't go in the wrong place.

Wow, that's crazy drunk. How does he get so drunk at work? Does he drink on the job? If so, how is he hiding it?

And after reading your description of how good he is at coding, I think you're exaggerating how drunk he gets. I find it unlikely that someone can write C++ with such proficiency, especially when they're too drunk to find their apartment.

Also, how do you know he won't be able to find his apartment? Was there an incident after the first time you dropped him off? If so, how'd you find out? Most people would be too embarrassed to tell that story to their coworkers.

> Then, a few days later, he comes back to the office like nothing has happened.

Wait, he writes crucial code and disappears for days afterwards?! What happens if you have any questions or issues with the code? Clearly you can't deploy any of it until he returns, otherwise you risk breaking production systems and having nobody around who's able to fix it. And is he paid during this time? Does he call in sick or something? This whole bit seems crazy to me. Why not have other people on the team spend a few days writing the code instead? As long as they can implement a hash table in under three days, you'll have better overall productivity.

Many of the details of your story raise more questions than they answer. If it was just a couple of discrepancies, I'd ignore them. But your story is permeated with them. I hate to be the one who says this, but my fabrication sense is tingling.

I have no doubt that there are alcoholic employees who need help. It's just that this story feels like it was written to maximize the degree of the dilemma (fire vs. help), not to accurately relate a story about an alcoholic coworker.

8
philiphodgen 1 day ago 2 replies      
Find a sober alcoholic. Find a man if you can, but don't be picky about it. It works better - men work with men, women work with women. Ask the sober alcoholic what to do; he will know.

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt7.pdf

9
pesfandiar 1 day ago 0 replies      
FWIW, alcoholism may be considered a disability in your region (it is in Canada and protected under Charter of Rights and Freedoms), and that will make things a bit tricky HR-wise. If you're going to take any actions, keep that in mind.
10
chejazi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Alcoholism is only a symptom of the problem. He clearly has lots of pain that needs to be addressed. You need to get his family or maybe a close friend informed. If nothing else, take it to HR. It's not an ordinary coworkers job to offer counseling on such a troubling matter. Also, his competency as a functioning alcoholic shouldn't have any influence in how to deal with this situation.
11
Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
If your company has a comprehensive medical plan, such as Kaiser, you can get help from them. If you have a real HR department, they can handle it. Pros are required. Dealing with alcoholism is very tough, and it get worse with time. Consider putting him on unpaid leave and sending him to some rehab center.
12
bliti 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should approach a mental health professional and ask for guidance. A social worker might be able to help you help him in some way. Death is hard. More so when it is as reagic as you stated. It changes us and sometimes not for the better. Grieving is complex and affects everyone differently. The only option is to get informed and approach him while respecting his dignity. You may not be the right person to talk to him, but you might be able to find the person who would be. Above all, be kind. Not for his skills as a programmer. Be kind because everyone might just write him off as a loser who drinks away his problems. Best of luck.
13
kelnos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your co-worker's coding ability while in this state is completely irrelevant. What he's doing is clearly unhealthy, and he needs help. As others have pointed out, it may be more appropriate to alert family and ask them to help deal with it, but in the absence of family, it's probably best to find a way to bring it up and suggest he seeks some sort of outside help.
14
exhilaration 1 day ago 0 replies      
I listened to this podcast today, might be good to find a doctor or a treatment clinic that will prescribe one of these drugs: http://www.radiolab.org/story/addiction/
15
Spooky23 1 day ago 0 replies      
He is a liability. Drunk on the job is a big problem, and acknowledging it makes it worse. The fact that he needs to be escorted/guided home brigns it to a whole other level. It probably voids whatever e&o insirance you have in the event of a problem. And when the intern dumps him on his couch and he ends up drowning in vomit, the family will sue everyone.

The guy will implode. The smart move is to figure out how to get rid of him.

16
hoodoof 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is he causing a problem? You haven't described a problem, only someone effective at what they are doing.
17
AndrewKemendo 1 day ago 0 replies      
My family, and quite a few friends, have a serious history with alcoholism so this scenario is very familiar. I think it's worth thinking about this in two ways simultaneously: As a humanitarian and as a business decision.

From the first angle, I believe (and others might disagree) that you have an obligation to offer as much support to this person within your capabilities. Understand however that there is nothing you can do to change them - they have to determine that it is a problem that they need to fix. This person KNOWS that they have a problem. Hallmark of an alcoholic is denial - but rest assured they know that it's a problem.

So then how do you help? Well it all depends on the situation. Your team hovering over in amazement while they code certainly doesn't help as it just feeds the idea that "I'm at my best when I'm drunk." Which is clearly temporally bounded.

Unfortunately there is no single solution, and simply pointing you toward AL-ANON or AA is kind of the nuclear option in most cases. Also don't assume that this person cares about self preservation as much as you do. If they just lost all of their important connections, they are likely severely depressed, but my guess is that they are mostly LONELY.

You aren't going to solve that overnight, but it might be possible to find ways to reduce their loneliness. Ask them to dinner, go bowling, whatever it is that would be good. Depending on their personality this might work better as a group or as individuals YMMV.

Alternatively you could force the issue hard by letting them know that this is unacceptable behavior. This one is risky though because this usually further isolates the person and the outcome sometimes is very bad. In some cases it works, but you really have to know the person well.

On to the business side...

Your business partners need to determine what kind of liability this person is to accomplishment of the job broadly. Despite your Rainman like description, the fact that company resources (Even if voluntarily) are being placed on ferrying this person home for risk of life, is a major issue.

This can and will likely lead to resentment towards that person, which usually starts as a joke ("Who's taking barney home tonight" guffaw..) but in my experience turns into vitriol quickly ("I can't believe I have to help this asshole again"). In turn that will lead to trouble with team-dynamics and you can take it from there. No amount of rainman like coding can overcome everyone hating to work with you or the unpredictability of it.

If you or your partners need to issue an ultimatum to this person, that might help, but without other social support could also be isolating. This one has more eggshells on it because it's higher stakes.

If it were me I would offer this person a paid leave of absence, so they could go and be with other friends or family - or in lieu of that, find someone to augment their work and reduce their workload until they can get back on their feet, while keeping them in the office and socializing. Can your team afford that? No idea what your situation is, but if you value this person, then you'll figure out a way to do it.

Bottom line: Support, don't carry. Nudge, don't drag.

18
AnimalMuppet 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> He started drinking a lot when some of his family members died unexpectedly in an accident.

I worked with a dev like this. (It was his parents who died.) But he didn't make it to his mid 50s. He was out drinking, and someone else drove home - someone more sober than my co-worker, but not actually sober. There was a car wreck, and my co-worker died from complications from the injuries.

I get that there's an immense amount of pain. But sedating the pain with alcohol isn't the answer. You need to find a way to deal with it, just avoid it.

19
julie1 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My little pinkie tells me you are a fellow more junior coder and that you are trying to deal with a situation that is not in your full authority (management or HR). I guess you have been talking of it as a team and are trying to bypass the hierarchy because you expect them to potentially fire him. You may be alone thinking of actually doing more than talking about it between yourselves.

This is nice. You seem to care. That is a good point.

Talk to him and listen to him. Nicely, as a friend and ask him how he feels about it. The alcohol is there to alleviate a big pain. The pain will be worse if he tries to stop violently. Violent withdrawal put your body in bad state anyway. He may have tried and experienced it first hand and may be scared to try again. If he does share his experience, it means he has made a lot of work on himself already.

You can propose him attending one AA meeting (together or not). It is a nice beginning because they don't guilt people and they actually know what they talk about.

They will probably confirm HN is not the right place to ask for help, and that my advice were a tad wrong.

AA seems to work for some people. It does not fit others.

If it fails, well, maybe it will still help him begin to do the second step. There are other solutions.

I don't know your proximity. Just don't over-invest yourself and accept you might fail.

Helping him for the first step and talking to him is way more than most people do. So if you fail, don't guilt yourself.

20
glmeece 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This is sad and serious. However, there is a point to the "Ballmer Peak" XKCD comic:https://xkcd.com/323/
21
tnecniv 1 day ago 0 replies      
To me that sounds like a cry for help...
22
yarou 1 day ago 0 replies      
I mean it's his life. Until he realizes he has a problem, nothing you do or say will reach him. He has to experience that rock bottom event which will trigger a change in his behavior. Unless he's being super disruptive (and it sort of seems like he's burdening the rest of the team), then it's an HR thing IMO.

FWIW, someone I know has written the best code I've ever seen while wasted and high on an edible.

23
duncan_bayne 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lots of good advice on this thread; one thing I'll add: stay well, well away from any 12-step based programme. I'd suggest something like Rational Recovery (http://rational.org/) instead.
24
ZenoArrow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a tricky situation. I don't have any special insight into this, but if I was the person drinking heavily I'd probably find it easier to talk about it outside the work environment, and I probably wouldn't want to talk about it if I didn't know the other person that well.

I guess what I'm saying is that it'll take a friend to help him get through it. If one of your colleagues spends time with him outside work, perhaps they can help you understand what the senior developer is going through.

The other option is to cut down on alcohol in the office, but whilst that's the simplest solution it might cause other issues.

25
staunch 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe he can switch to weed? I helped a family member give up dangerous levels of drinking by helping him get a prescription. Then he gave up smoking weed entirely and now only drinks rarely. One successful example...
26
contingencies 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why is this an issue? Sounds awesome. Judge him by his output, not by other factors, as per the hacker manifesto. One idea is try drinking with him to give some camaraderie, then tapering down the volume. Also, obligatory XKCD @ https://www.xkcd.com/323/
10
How can I speed up app deployment?
4 points by dperucci  14 hours ago   1 comment top
1
jonaldomo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
missing link
11
Ask HN: Did anyone notice GitHub removed project search from index page?
8 points by dragonsh  14 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
sytse 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Coincidentally at GitLab.com we just openend up the project search to logged out users https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/13676
2
girkyturkey 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Unfortunately, I believe that this is the case. GitHub was once a great place where signing up was your choice but it looks like GitHub has fallen prey to the "We need to get more signups" fad that a lot of companies are following.
3
joeclark77 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting. I'm almost certain there also used to be an "Explore" link at the top of the page you see when signed in (which is sort of a news feed and list of repositories). Now the link to "Explore" is in an almost-hidden menu (click on your profile icon). Or was it always like that?
12
Ask HN: What's the most useful online course you have watched?
90 points by dexxter  2 days ago   41 comments top 21
1
ericzawo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Joel Spolsky did a really good one-hour primer on Excel. If you squirm at the thought of spreadsheet anything, this video is for you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nbkaYsR94c
2
okket 1 day ago 1 reply      
I really enjoyed the free "CS193P" course from Stanford with Paul Hegarty. It is not 100% up-to-date but still a good start, covering Xcode/iOS8/Swift:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/developing-ios-8-apps-swi...

3
benjismith 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a really excellent course on starting a startup, from Sam Altman (President of YCombinator).

http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

It was delivered as a live lecture at Stanford, with presentations by Sam Altman himself, as well as Dustin Moskovitz, Paul Graham, Adora Cheung, Peter Thiel, Alex Schultz, Kevin Hale, Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, Parker Conrad, Brian Chesky, Alfred Lin, Patrick and John Collison, Ben Silbermann, Aaron Levie, Reid Hoffman, Keith Rabois, Ben Horowitz, Emmett Shear, Hosain Rahman, Kirsty Nathoo, Carolynn Levy, and Tyler Bosmeny.

My favorite presenter is Reid Hoffman, but all the lectures are awesome. If you're a startup founder, you owe it to yourself to watch them all...

4
jamesharrington 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is the best javascript video i've ever seen. if you wait they do deals all the time, no need to pay $200 it will go on sale usually around $15-$20

https://www.udemy.com/understand-javascript/

5
abraham_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
CSE341: Programming Languages by Dan Grossman

http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse341/13wi/#lectur...

6
colund 2 days ago 2 replies      
I enjoyed Andrew Ng's Machine Learning course on Coursera. Why don't you give it a shot.
7
joshschreuder 1 day ago 1 reply      
These are paid, and not exactly a course but the Destroy All Software screencasts are great, and cover a lot of topics like shell scripting, VIM / EMACS, testing, refactoring etc.

https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/screencasts

They're by Gary Bernhardt of Wat fame, which is also worth a watch for its presentation style and amusing content:

https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/wat

8
askldfhjkasfhd 2 days ago 6 replies      
Coursera, learning how to learn.
9
quicky123 1 day ago 0 replies      
This guy is an amazing C#/.Net trainer as well as object oriented programming concepts. Great for people coming from a Javascript background.http://www.learnvisualstudio.net/
10
blabla_blublu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did Creative Problem Solving through Coursera and had a great time participating in the class projects.

There are some great tools which you can use in your everyday life to think innovative solutions to problems. The exercises were incredible fun as well.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/creative-problem-solving

Another course which I highly recommend is Learning How To Learn https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

11
geekfactor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Coursera/UPenn's Aerial Robotics course (https://www.coursera.org/learn/robotics-flight) and more broadly the robotics sequence.

I'm taking now for a diversion (just started) and expect to learn a bit about quadrotor mechanics, sensors & control systems.

13
_kyran 1 day ago 0 replies      
CS50 https://cs50.harvard.edu/

David Malan in the best lecturer I've ever seen.

Introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming. This course teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. Designed for concentrators and non-concentrators alike, with or without prior programming experience

14
Hortinstein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Artificial Intelligence for RoboticsProgramming a Robotic Car

Sebastian Thrun (former leader of Google and Stanford's autonomous driving teams that won the DARPA challenge) teaches a class focusing on the basic methods in Artificial Intelligence to support autonomous vehicles, including: probabilistic inference, planning and search, localization, tracking and control, all with a focus on robotics. Programming examples and assignments apply these methods to building self-driving car like experiments.

Free course!

https://www.udacity.com/course/artificial-intelligence-for-r...

15
YesThatTom2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Introduction to Operations Management Professor Christian Terwiesch brilliantly and understandably explains the math behind "operations".... which explains Lean, Agile, DevOps and everything from running a restaurant to a doctor's office.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/wharton-operations

16
rajathagasthya 2 days ago 0 replies      
Algorithms by Robert Segdewick and Cloud Computing Concepts on Coursera. First is an essential, second is a really good intro into distributed systems.
17
blt 1 day ago 0 replies      
CS 61c lectures from UC Berkeley. Computer architecture. Ideal if you are good with data structures / algorithms but the machine still feels like magic. It is empowering to understand what the machine is really doing.
18
guzmanovich 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Robert Sapolsky`s lectures on human behavioral biology.

Fascinating, funny and gives insights into many different topics like cultural differences and nationalism.

http://youtu.be/NNnIGh9g6fA?list=PL150326949691B199

19
THEUW 1 day ago 0 replies      
20
SixSigma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gilbert Strang's linear algebra

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK3O402wf1c

Walter Lewin's Classical Mechanics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo28HOrhipc

for the content and the delivery

21
hackerboos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ruby on Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl is a good starter course on Rails.

https://www.railstutorial.org/

13
Ask HN: Who else uses adblockers for safety?
126 points by julie1  14 hours ago   91 comments top 38
1
jerf 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Over the last few years I've settled on using NoScript. Mostly it was more for security or speed reasons; that it happened to block ads was just a happy side effect and often not one that I pursued very hard. For many sites, I'd end up with a page that had a couple of ads still on it, rather than a dozen ads plus a popover. The only time I've spent much cognitive bandwidth on getting rid of the ads is when the ads are being disgusting or half-pornographic. (It is not per se that I "disagree" with skin, it is that I hate the advertisers for deliberately trying to bypass my rational brain with those images. It's a hostile cognitive move on their part.)

But it's getting harder. More JS frameworks that depend on JS to render anything other than an empty white page. Then you whitelist that site, and it needs a couple of other domains to render anything. Then you're playing "guess which domain hosts the JS framework", which is not obvious, then you can also go back and play "unwhitelist the wrong answers", which since we're probably talking about a page that takes ten seconds to render and fifteen to be sure it didn't render when I blocked that site is quite a pain.

Also cloudfront is getting more popular, and that's all but an opaque domain now when it serves JS.

I'm getting seriously tempted to throw up my hands and do a serious adblock switch. I don't think using somebody else's list of domains is ethical, for various long and complicated reasons, but I'm finding myself having to balance that against the fact that the advertising industry doesn't seem all that worried about ethics at all, so I feel like I may be bringing an ethics knife to an ethics gun fight.

2
andreyf 12 hours ago 1 reply      
This sounds like FUD. An iframe can get the page it's embedded in, but what do you mean by "suck data out of people?" and how do you manipulate navigation history out of an iframe?

What surprised me most from my time in adtech was the way companies used redirects to sync user ids, i.e. news.com/story loads an image from ads.com/user-sync-start?partner=data which 302 redirects to data.com/user-sync?id=123 which redirects to ads.com/user-sync?your_id=123&partner=data&our_id=456, which returns a 1x1 transparent pixel gif. If that bothers you, disabling third party cookies should make it impossible.

That said, I use adblockers for safety because ad networks seem like a great way to serve browser 0-days.

3
basseq 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I use adblockers (ABP and Ghostery on desktop, Crystal on iOS) mostly to minimize annoyances: videos that play automatically, malicious redirects to the App Store, multiple trackers that slow down browsing or suck down data.

I'm not worried so much about safety (e.g., ads as a malware vector), but I know that happens. I don't have too much of an issue with data collection in of itself, unless a) the act of data collection impacts me (e.g., 1MB of tracking JS) or b) if your follow-on processes are sketchy and annoying (e.g., spam emails).

I have explicitly unblocked pure analytics platforms (e.g., Google Analytics), trustworthy ad platforms (e.g., The Deck), and a few "site optimization" libraries because some sites don't work without them (shame on them).

I totally get that ads are a revenue source. The problem is that you (as the publisher) need to convince me that your ad platform is trustworthynot annoying or malicious. You have failed that test in the past and taken advantage of me as a consumer. So you now need to earn that trust back. It's not that I don't value your content, it's that I don't trust your infrastructure. (And yes, from my perspective, a third-party ad network is still your infrastructure because you've chosen to use it.)

4
butterfi 13 hours ago 2 replies      
I just had this conversation with the director of IT yesterday. Given the rise of ransomware and malvertising, I think its absolutely time we consider ad blockers as important as anti-virus software. I realize how damaging this can/will be for content publishers, but the ad networks have nobody else to blame but themselves for how chaotic and dangerous online ad markets can be.
5
oliwarner 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah I'm with you.

Neither publishers or advertising networks seem to want to care about sanitising the code they're letting be run in my browser, so screw them all. I'll sanitise it by blocking it.

It's not just that though. Browsing without adverts is a better user experience. This is just a side-effect of adverts, I'm afraid.

Now, I'm sure this probably fractures my license to read content on certain sites... But I'm selfish and detecting ad-blocking is possible. It's up to publishers now to decide whether or not they're really happy blocking 30-70% (demo-dependent) of their traffic.

6
zeveb 12 hours ago 1 reply      
On my personal machines, I use Block (I'll always call it that, not uBlock ) Origin and NoScript, and only disable NoScript when I really, really want to read a page which is so broken that it requires JavaScript to even display. Normally, I don't bother: people who break the Web don't really deserve to have their words read.

On work machines, I use Block origin and NoScript, but with NoScript set in blacklist mode, so almost all sites run JavaScript.

In this manner I reach what I consider pragmatic tradeoffs.

I'll admit though that I am absolutely, completely livid at the continued destruction of the Web's ideals by JavaScript. The Web is about documents, not executables!

7
thedevil 13 hours ago 10 replies      
I'm ethically opposed to adblockers as they deny content creators a means of making money for their work.

Yet, ads have gotten so out of hand that I'm about to install adblockers partly for safety, partly for other issues. They track my information when I would not expect it. And I just had a simple news website suck up 2GB of memory. And on my phone, simple websites with 1K text frequently suck up 5MB for ads - and I can't easily predict and control that.

Edit: ADP now installed. And it says it doesn't block "non-intrusive" ads unless I ask it to - which sounds pretty good from my perspective.

8
orclev 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Safety is the primary reason I use not just Ad Blockers but NoScript as well. Preventing cross-site tracking is a nice bonus (I don't mind Ads so much, but the networks cross a line because they track your browsing behavior which violates your privacy).
9
majewsky 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use uMatrix, mostly to block malicious or intrusive JavaScript. It's not primarily intended as an adblocker, but effectively works like one since most ads are served by untrusted third parties.

But since more and more malware is now spreading through ad networks, I've taken it one step further and rolled out domain-level adblocking on my router (on the DNS level), mainly as a way of securing non-updateable devices like Android phones of guests.

Note that this means that I cannot whitelist ads for a specific domain, but since adblocking was never my primary concern to begin with, I consider that acceptable. I will always see ads if they are served from the same domain (or from any other domain that is not a known ad server), so there's a clear and easy way for publishers to get ads in front of my eyes, should they decide to give a shit.

10
nkrisc 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I primarily used adblockers to remove invasive ads that take over the page, but with more and more reports of malware served through ad networks I consider it safer as well.

The only ads I ever click on are ones I never meant to. Usually because the page loads so slow because of ads so content jumps under my finger on my phone.

11
klagermkii 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I installed an adblocker on my Mac after I was using mobile tethering with my computer muted, and some ad went through a huge video playlist in another window using close to 1 GB of data. It was worth around $20 at the time in local currency, and that was it for ads on the laptop.

I installed a hosts blocker on my Android phone after I found myself hitting a large number of sites which would popup ad alerts and then forcibly redirect to another site (where they'd try and get me to download and run an APK). This might be more prevalent in "poor" countries where the fill rate is bad, and so these kinds of scams end up being the only ads available and possibly aren't noticed by the networks.

12
askyourmother 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I browse mostly on mobile these days, with JS turned off. Sites load quickly, the small amount of actual content can be quickly consumed, and my monthly data allowance remains in trim.

Before this humungous amounts of JS and adverts blocked the screen, slowed loading times, tried to infect the phone, steal browser history data, and sucked down my data allowance greedily.

13
therealmarv 13 hours ago 1 reply      
This is my main usage of uBlock and Firefox Beta on Android. I cannot browse the web on Android with Chrome and without Adblock anymore because I got so annoyed by Malware/Scareware/Scamware which vibrates my phone and redirecting me to virus warn sites (which look like made from Google). Good example which is 100% safe (open with Chrome on Android): https://shkspr.mobi/vibratescam/

Try to explain to some non nerds or your parents what is happening on the last link ;)

14
hysan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I do. I'm the defacto tech support for most of my family and friends. The amount of spyware, viruses, and questions of "This website is telling me I have X problem!" type questions I've gotten over the past decade pretty much forced my hand. I used to setup their computers without adblockers, but decided to just install them by default a few years ago. It's cut down the amount of support requests from a few per year to almost none. Personally, I do whitelist sites I know to be safe and protect my privacy, but for everyone else, it just saves me so much time that it's a no brainer.
15
codingminds 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I use an adblocker because many ads are annoying and consume much CPU and bandwidth. And of course, the security impact is another reason to block all those ad networks but that was not my first intention.

Only very few pages are on my whitelist. E.g. Stack Overflow because they have good ads which are well-chosen.

16
anonyfox 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I use it for safety, bandwith reduction, performance gains, and to not get distracted while focussing/researching. In that order of importance.
17
edoceo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been putting ad blockers, one form or another on all my friends/family devices for some time. Mostly cause I hated wasting time cleaning up crapware infections. Security yes but also prevents wasted time.
18
technomancy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Does noscript count? You "miss out" on a whole boatload of ads by accident that way.
19
alltakendamned 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone on this thread categorising the question as FUD should read up on the Same Origin Policy of the browser and the context in which embedded javascript gets executed.

Definitely enough room for malicious behaviour.

Also, the threat does not just include ads, but the fact that too many a developer is very happy of pulling in 10+ 3rd party javascript libraries into their web application, effectively exposing their web application to risk in case one of these 3rd parties gets compromised.

20
JustSomeNobody 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It costs me twice to see an ad. It costs me time to look at it (and possibly interact with it), which is fine because that's what actually pays for the site. However, the ads are costing me again because they are using too much of my limited data (esp on mobile). Sure, I don't go over my allotment usually, but it does prevent me from using that data somewhere else.

The advertisers need to figure out the latter in order for the ads to continue to be a viable revenue stream.

21
GrinningFool 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I use RequestPolicy. It gives fairly fine-grained control over which third party sites are loaded, and from which origin.

It's the best of both worlds for me. I'll see the ads I don't object to (those not served from an ad network), greatly reduced cross-site tracking, and the risk of exposure to malicious ad content is much reduced.

Occasionally you run into a poorly coded site that fails to render because facebook or twitter didn't return what it expected, but for the most part it's a good compromise between extremes of wide open and noscript.

22
elcapitan 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use ad blockers for all these reasons (safety, speed, readability), but also as a selective tool for often-visited web pages to remove parts of the website that i find distracting. For example I remove the divs of comment sections on news pages, irrelevant side bars with distracting features etc.

Edit: In particular also annoying navigation elements like gigantic top bars that stick to the browser top. I have a Macbook 11" and this have made many websites way more readable.

23
goalieca 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen many cases of payloads being delivered through 3rd party ad networks. I also despise how ads will track users. Those are my two top reasons.
24
soared 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Pure FUD.

Find me an example of any widespread attack from ads alone. Find me one major network (Oh wait, thats only adsense, FB, and bing) who allow anything malicious.

Dynamic ads don't allow custom JS, and you thinking they do is ridiculous.

Sucking data out of people? That is FUD if I've ever seen it. You mean, "collecting data"? Which some people have a problem with.

Your perspective is warped as hell, 80% of users don't care at all. The other 19% installed an adblocker and left it there. The 1% have noscript or JS disabled and are overly worried about security concerns and paranoid about data collection.

25
fensterblick 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I was convinced to install an ad blocker solely for the safety reasons. It is the new antivirus.
26
SadWebDeveloper 12 hours ago 0 replies      
NoScript (+ Custom ABE rules for specific websites) + uBlock- Basically all external plugins like Java or Flash with Firefox

NoScript with ABE is pretty much what everyone needs but uBlock is there to block most of the non-JS ads (and save some bw) and from malicious js ads on the allowed ones but without enabling scripts most ads don't even run so basically uBlock is almost doing nothing (in at least a year it only shows 4% of request blocked so almost all the work is done by NoScript).

Still wishing someday to see NoScript on chrome.

27
supergreg 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there a list of vulnerabilities one gets exposed to with these /immersive/ ads? Maybe making this problem more visible will help content owners stay away from bad ads companies.
28
snehesht 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use uBlock, Ghostery to block all trackers and ads. Lately I have been writing a DNS based blocker using Rpi, Most adblockers are as good as the list they maintain.

I started blocking ads when I realized they are used to spread malware using sites like adfly, bitly(in the beginning) ... then I got used to pages without ads, it's difficult to go back from that.

29
feulix 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I've developed some kind of blind spot for ads, so I'll accept them as long as they don't track me. For blocking spying ads and invisible trackers, I'm using Privacy Badger (https://www.eff.org/privacybadger)
30
moviuro 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use a lying DNS resolver where possible (my VPN, my home router). It redirects any ad-stuff to an nginx server that happily replies "204 No Content" to anything you ask it.

I had an adblocker at work until someone pushed a corporate admin-managed Chrome on my machine and I can't install and adblocker anymore.

31
randomgyatwork 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been using Ghostery (with everything blocked) on all my browsers for the last couple of years.

I feel safer online and site tend to function better since I've started using it.

32
amelius 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Somebody should develop an AI approach to ad detection.

And then make a webbrowser that uses a shadow DOM to remove the ads without the website noticing.

33
usermac 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I just loaded AdBlock Ultimate 2.18 and wonder if this is legit/non-harmful?
34
gtf21 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Mix of reducing annoyances, security and reducing required bandwidth.
35
return0 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Mostly for speed. I don't consider the web safe anyway.
36
fweespee_ch 13 hours ago 2 replies      
> I use adblockers to just protect myself. Who else does it?

I use a javascript/flash/etc blocking plugin.

If people show me static advertising assets, I'm fine with that even if it lets them track me a little. If people try to run software on my computer I'm not comfortable with...that is a separate problem.

37
throwaway21816 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I run an adblocker to protect myself from "the latest steroid taking GNC by storm" and "This website sells apple products for cheap!". Its an eyesore and ruins my user experience.
38
jlarocco 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I use ad block because ads are annoying, invasive, don't add value, and are immoral (i.e. the way they're disguised to look like real content, the way they prey on ignorant people, install malware, etc.).
14
Tell HN: If you use Google Inbox and hit your quota you stop getting email
18 points by ryandetzel  1 day ago   17 comments top 5
1
kek918 1 day ago 1 reply      
Speaking of lacking warnings in Google Inbox...

If you connect other mail accounts to Gmail/Inbox, Inbox will NOT warn you if it looses connection.When this happens in Gmail, you will be greeted with a big yellow warning.

My private mail server were down a day and Inbox apparantly never reconnected to it. Fast forward 10 days and I missed an important mail until it was too late, because I never noticed Inbox were disconnected.

I love Inbox and how easy it is to keep my mailbox clean, but due to this and also because I can't customize signatures to my different mail accounts, I went back to Gmail for the time being.The fact that it hides the signature also annoys me because I always HAVE to make sure it's there by expanding the [+] sign... I simply don't trust it :)

2
snehesht 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're planning to run your own server, give this a shot https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox
3
uuoc 1 day ago 2 replies      
The solution here is trivial:

Don't use gmail....

Run your own mail-server, then your limits on email will be how much disk storage space you wish to purchase.

Email as designed is peer-to-peer technology. In fact, it was the first peer-to-peer system for the internet. Return to that world and all your troubles with the "central authority" (google) will disappear.

4
jasonkester 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It comes back after 12 hours or so, then takes a while to deliver most of the missed messages.

I found this out by breaking a recurring task on a site of mine, which had error logging set to email me. But the task was spinning through a a list of things to process, and throwing/emailing for each item (to a gmail label I only check occasionally). Then trying the whole thing again on the same (now somewhat bigger) list a minute later. It got up to a few thousand mails per minute before Google said enough.

I happened to notice it right away and put the fix in place, but it still took the better part of a day for things to percolate through and go back to normal. I don't think I missed any real mails from real people. They just arrived a day late.

5
sreenadh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Main question, "HOW DID YOU REACH THE LIMIT?". Sorry about that but I am curious to how you hit the 17gb limit? I still struggling to reach 50%.
15
Ask HN: How should one prepare for a data science interview?
2 points by Rogerh91  6 hours ago   discuss
16
Slashdot acquired by SourceForge
10 points by LukeHoersten  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
cag_ii 1 day ago 0 replies      
It looks like this was part of the sourceforge purchase made back in January and previously discussed here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11092219

2
debacle 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Didn't Slashdot used to own SourceForge?
17
Ask HN: What advice would you give to a self-learn programmer just starting out?
11 points by s4chin  2 days ago   18 comments top 10
1
WalterSear 2 days ago 1 reply      
* Assuming you are a good coder, your biggest problem will be convincing others of that with neither work experience nor academic credentials. Smart employers won't care, and will ask you to do some small piece of take home work to establish your abilities. Shitty employers will ask you about bigO notation, and silently wonder how you ever tied your own shoe laces every morning without an Ivy League degree (often, I believe, because that's what they went to college to learn).

* Build stuff you can show people.

* Don't get caught up in formal learning systems such as courses, lectures and classes. They are incredibly useful, yes, and certainly you should use them, but many people cling to them because they are easier than actually teaching yourself to code, and provide sense of security and accomplishment. When I point out to people that they haven't been actually coding, I'll often be told, 'well, this is how I learn,' and then they go on to show me how little they did.

* Don't fetishize the libraries and tools you are learning now. You will throw away many toolsets in your life: get used to learning new things as a permanent part of your job. I had one coworker who came through a bootcamp, and he tried just about anything to get us to add jquery to our dependencies, because he'd spent so much effort on it and felt so comfortable with it. He was more comfortable adding the entire jquery module to our app than bothering looking up the argument structure of the already included helper method from lodash: not because he was lazy, but because he was scared of the trouble involve in learning something. Neither you nor he can afford that.

2
selmat 1 day ago 0 replies      
From my experience:

>> decide what are of programming is in your focus i.e. mobile, embedded, web. Choose desired language. Here from my perspective, there is no language which fits for all solutions. Solution can be created almost in every language, but level of struggling with certain sub-task (functions/actions) might be huge.

>> Read a books about software engineering - how to write code effectively. This will teach you how to organize your code, how to write function, how to write readable code, how to write psuedocode.

>> Read a books about software architecture - here you can learn how to think about application, functionality, usability.

>> Learn basic principles like pointers, memory management, loops etc.

In parallel you have to write code regularly. It's much better to have real world problem which you are trying to solve. It's very important choose suitable level of difficulty. So do just small steps.

I can say programming task at universities are focused on certain aspect of programming or CS. If you are self-learner you have to keep motivated for a long time, so would be fine to have task where you can see and use results. So wouldn't try to solve university home-works. I don't want to struggle with matrix transpose if I don't it at all. I would rather create something which can help me verify my daily outcomes of current full-time job.

Or another (my personal) example... I am working with databases, documents, excel sheets, configuration files etc. I hate repetitive tasks. In case of I have to do the same thing at least a three times per week, I am trying to get everything automated, especially in case if it help me minimize effort, shorten time, reduce errors and typos, validate something, make better decisions.

It is also good points for my promotion in current or next jobs. HR and manager than look at me as "able to solve business/work issues through programming" than just "be able to program something".

(out-of-topic: it's good to have some hard number how you improved something, HR and managers loves story, numbers and savings, but this is another topic)

3
tjons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Get a mentor. Seriously. I taught myself some programming for about two years, but this last year, I connected with a good mentor and really grew with his help.

I now work for him. I guess it's networking in action.

4
staunch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read job descriptions for the companies you're interested in. Learn as much as you can about the technology and terminology they use.
5
kafkaesq 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Stay calm and keep coding."

Just keep doing what you like doing. If what you like doing is coding (and you can keep your work organized, do back and fix things, pay down technical debt as it arises) then you'll have no problem churn out successful projects -- and attracting people and job offers to you on that basis.

6
mihvoi 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's hard to get a programming job without having practical experience. It might be easier to apply to a Testing/QA job and gradually transition to programming when opportunities arrives (test automation -> small tools -> small features -> bigger features...)
7
bo_Olean 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Write code.

Write some more code.

Write code again.

Do it everyday.

Do it until you can't live without doing it.

8
gitcommit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Practice interview questions.
9
bjourne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never give up! I know it's cheesy but it is true. Just don't quit and you'll be successful.
10
J_Darnley 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you don't have a degree give up now. Nobody will hire you without one. Your application goes straight into the bin.
18
Ask HN: What do we get when applying root cause analysis to humanity's problems?
12 points by manx  1 day ago   17 comments top 14
1
afarrell 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Greed, but in the algorithmic sense. Groups of people in tragedies of the commons and its siblings.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/07/30/meditations-on-moloch/ Is a very interesting illustration of it.

2
noobie 1 day ago 0 replies      
You always end up with humanity's existence as the root of humanity's problems.
3
tmoullet 1 day ago 0 replies      
My vote is somewhere between "mortality" or "fear of our own mortality". I'd like to think the humans to transform into a form of asceticism if the bottom layers of Maslow's hierarchy were no longer a daily/hourly issue and we knew absolutely that we had long enough to achieve the top layers of the pyramid.

Also:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Whys

4
hutzlibu 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

More population, more pressure on all ressources, more conflicts.

... but, my solution would not be reducing numbers, or birth control, but more and better technology to get more land and ressources available.Also, rich people are usually not rich on childs, they can't afford to feed. So let's build technology, that makes everyone rich ...

5
andriesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sociopathy (1 in 25 people are diagnosable as APD) and stupidity (low IQ but even more importantly - flawed reasoning patterns and weak thinking skills)
6
lgieron 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ego - i.e. the need to have high status in a group.
7
BjoernKW 1 day ago 0 replies      
Politics: Powerful parties manipulating others into thinking that the goals of those in power are beneficial to society as a whole.
8
adam419 1 day ago 2 replies      
The fact the global population is far too large
9
Rainymood 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Balance, or rather the lack thereof.
10
joeclark77 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
11
jonah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Greed/Selfishness
12
stray 1 day ago 1 reply      
The love of money.
13
JeffreyKaine 1 day ago 0 replies      
a headache.
14
okket 1 day ago 0 replies      
42
19
Ask HN: Going down from Lead to Senior developer?
5 points by sleenaidor  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
1
davismwfl 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Long story short, it will only hurt your career if you let it. I have gone up and down a number of times, even from founder to Senior dev and back to Engineering Manager and then Founder again and back to Senior Dev etc. I have had people ask me why and I have found it is the answer and honesty that counts.

Also, on your CV, nothing says you have to list your current role as Lead Engineer/Developer. You can easily list it as Senior Developer and describe your job duties honestly as the Team Lead. It would stop the non-technical resume scanners from ruling you out and in all fairness is exactly what you are, lead is a role of a senior developer generally. Most companies classify it that way, and even if your official title was Lead Engineer, I'd put Senior Engineer and describe the role accurately so that more companies have the box to classify you for (HR type thing). If they ever call for a reference at the company the difference between Lead and Senior is lost in the noise. I do not consider this dishonest as you aren't claiming you had a role you didn't, you were still a Senior Dev, just also had lead responsibilities. The people that get rightfully smacked (and are lying) are the ones that claim they were CTO/CIO and were really a Senior Developer or something else.

As an example, when I was at GE, there were 13 team leads on our large team and we referred to them as team leads. However, their official title was Senior Engineer. Some guys listed on their resume "Team Lead" others "Senior Engineer", neither was wrong. Hell, when we approved business cards for them no one cared whether they listed team lead or senior engineer either, just didn't matter.

2
djb_hackernews 1 day ago 1 reply      
This point doesn't really matter but 200+ is a small company. But leading 15 developers is a nice pin in your hat.

I wouldn't apply for senior roles. I'd look for Principle, Architect type roles. Something that acknowledges your leadership skills but is also technical. I think a 'Senior Developer' role would definitely be a huge step backward in terms of career.

Personally I find the long term career aspects for someone that can manage a few dozen developers to be much MUCH brighter than a senior developer, so I have a hard time understanding why you'd want to switch.

I mean, your next role could be a VP type role where if you are smart with your $$ you can go and be whatever you want after a few years...

3
relaunched 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depending on your skills and the companies you are looking into, there is decent flexibility between independent contributor and technical tracks. Making a move that is lateral, between tracks, shouldn't pose a problem.

With regard to your future prospects, it's all about how you spin it. However, recruiters / HR aren't creative folks. They will look at your last job to slot you into your next job; if and when you want to switch back to management, that job is probably not going to come looking for you.

4
sharemywin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I thought a lot of places don't really have a lead developer position/title. More of a role. And I doubt you'll get out of leading various efforts at your new company.
20
Ask HN: What's your primary development laptop?
57 points by pandeiro  5 days ago   130 comments top 79
1
tolger 8 hours ago 0 replies      
System 76 Oryx Pro (Clevo P650RE3) / Core i7 6700HQ / GeForce 970M 3GB/ 16GB RAM / 500 GB SSD / 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display / Ubuntu 15.10

A very nice desktop replacement for me. So far I am loving this laptop. It is very fast and great as a development machine. I usually have MySQL, Tomcat, Eclipse IDE, Emacs, several Bash terminals and Chrome with many tabs open. Everything feels fast and fluid.

Weighs around 5.5 lbs and the power brick probably an extra lb. Not bad for a workstation class 15" machine.

The matte screen is good, but not amazing. The 1920x1080 resolution is perfectly adequate for a 15" screen. There is a higher end option with an IPS panel and G-Sync, but I didn't purchase that.

If I have one complaint, it is the battery life. I get 2 or 2.5 hours max on this laptop with light to medium use. I don't know if it is poor power management under Linux, but I think on Windows it uses Optimus switching for the dedicated graphics card. Since I use it mainly as a desktop replacement, this is not a deal breaker for me.

Speakers are loud and clear.

I have Steam installed and can run AAA games like "Shadow of Mordor" at Ultra settings with high frame rates. It is great for getting some game time when I travel.

If you are looking for a powerful Linux workstation which can also handle gaming this is a very nice choice.

2
codecurve 5 days ago 0 replies      
I've been backpacking around Asia working with an Acer C720 Chromebook. 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD, 11.6" display. It took a few days to get used to the smaller screen and keyboard, but since then it's been fantastic. Cost about 120 refurbished from eBay.

Battery lasts for 5-6 hours. The laptop itself has survived intense use travelling through India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia, including having the corner of the screen melted by accident in the Himalayas.

Haven't found anything lightweight that works better than Lubuntu out of the box (trialed Xubuntu, Ubuntu, Debian, ElementaryOS and some Arch flavours). Getting a dual boot up and running was easy.

My work is mainly fullstack, so I sit mostly between a terminal and a browser. An effective configuration with a tiling window manager is a must with this size of screen and being a TMUX/Vim user helps cut down the number of workspaces I need.

Couldn't recommend it more for travelling programmers!

3
ag_47 5 days ago 2 replies      
Macbook Pro.

Pros: "it just works" (mostly, nowdays, :)), it seldom overheats/has the fan turn on, it makes a good impression (read: 'dress for success'), I like the screen size, its got enough RAM for me to run a couple VMs, Unix/terminal power.

Cons: Price. Accessories.

4
pritambaral 5 days ago 3 replies      
ThinkPad X250, maxed-out battery pack.

I adore this laptop, it runs like a constant stream of freshly melted butter. It's so light I no longer have to worry about "lugging a laptop", and most times I pick it up and carry around with just two fingers. It has taken a few beatings filled backpack falling laptop-side-first onto a railing from a height of a half-metre, dropped/slipped from a sitting desk to the floor, thrown across a (small) room and (upon a failed catch) rolling on its side but there's no sign of damage, either in appearance or running.

I almost forgot! When I got this laptop, my typing speed jumped by nearly 50%! I was using a Dell Inspiron (from 2010) before, and although the keyboard on it is terrible for typing, the ThinkPad has really good keys and typing is just such pleasure on it.

I have plans to upgrade a few components as time progresses: bump RAM up to 16GB, replace either the smartcard reader or the WWAN modem with an M2 SSD, that's about it.

One con is getting used to the extra long battery life. I used to intentionally and lazily not pack the charger, which is actually quite light, and then after a long day find myself with low battery and no charger. Another is the small SSD this particular unit came with, but I'm planning on replacing that.

5
jws 5 days ago 0 replies      
Acer Cloudbook 14" 2G ram, 32G eSSD. N3050 dual core Braswell. $189 at Walmart. (Careful: it is the bait and switch model. Do not believe the "in stock" indication on the web site. I went to pick one up at four different stores and none actually had them when I arrived. I finally got lucky with my second attempt at their "deliver to store today" option.)

It was a rough Linux install, ( noapic edd=off use a new kernel, Debian has the iwlwifi drivers in nonfree, don't use uefi, touchpad in legacy mode. I used both "grub>" and "grub-rescue>" before it was working) but it does just fine for OS development.

The display has such a narrow acceptable angle of view that you can't angle it to get the center and the top and bottom all with a decent black point at the same time. But I use it for programming, so that isn't too important.

I'm really pleased with the eSSD storage. It is much nicer than USB or SD card and supports ext4's discard option.

The power connector is optimized to fracture the solder connections.

This is my "where is cheap hardware" excursion. I tried repurposing a Chromebook into a computer, which was great until it failed to sleep, ran down its battery, and lost the setting that let it "legacy boot" then ate all my data in the restore operation. On the road, away from Internet and any synchronizing. Grr.

Most of my work is at a proper desktop with as many displays around as are helpful for the task, and I generally use a MacBook as my laptop, but I needed to rotate the extended family laptops a little faster than I wanted, so my wife was sharing mine, but she doesn't share well and I found myself with a laptop deficit until Intel can get a Skylake processor into Apple's hands and then they feel like having a rollout.

6
antocv 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Dell Precision M4800,

There is no other better laptop to do programming or other development in the world!

The keys are soft and silent, has grooves in keys for smooth feeling. Touchpad is sensitive enough to be used without a mouse, I have the VERY important middle key, and left-right click, on 2 places

The build feels solid - despite being plastic, this thing is heavy, its not a toy, it cant be accidently moved on the desk while typing or connecting other devices. There are no stupid led lights everywhere shining up in my face, all the led indicator lights are soft white color. The screen can be tilted anyway, is not glossy. Overall the best computer to work on ever.

The insides are i7 quad core with 32gb of memory, dual graphics cards, an intel and nvidia for gaming.

7
Cartwright2 5 days ago 1 reply      
How are people able to develop on chromebook-like devices with 2GB RAM? I'm seeing a lot of such devices in this thread and don't understand it. Once I spin up a couple of database servers, a few Visual Studio solutions for the various products I work on, and a handful of testing tools I'm easily pushing 12GB ram or more.

Are these low-end machines being used as hobbyist or frontend-only web development? I can't think of any other explanation.

To answer the original question: Thinkpad X220. i7. Maxed out RAM. It's no portable workstation but I can push it just as hard without worrying about it overheating or failing.

8
gpderetta 5 days ago 0 replies      
8 year old Thinkpad x200, Core2 2.4Gz. Bought second hand ~4 years ago, upgraded the RAM to 8GB, got a new 9 cell battery (still enough for ~7 hours of work). Got an SSD as gift. Currently running Debian unstable flawlessly.

For work I really use whatever workstation my employer provides me, but this is my main machine at home for entertainment and personal projects; I hardly power on my more poweful desktop.

Definitely the best machine I ever had: very light, still runs cool and completely silent when on battery power. It is not a speed monster, but it is still fast enough to browse even most complex websites (no webgl though). The screen is notoriously bad, but is more than enough for my needs.

I dropped it about 6 months ago, and it stopped working. After considering buying a replacement (you can get a refurbished x200 for ~100) I thought maybe it was time to buy a new machine, and was eyeing a new XPS 13. Then that evening it powered on again (probably a loose RAM). Never had a problem since

9
mipmap04 5 days ago 0 replies      
Maxed surface pro 3 with Windows 10 (.net developer)

Pros:

- Form factor is great for travelers. Since it's technically a tablet by TSA guidelines I don't have to take it out at security.

- screen resolution is excellent

- handles VS reasonably well

- battery life can be 5-6 hours with a local instance of tomcat and SQL running

Cons:

- expensive

- kickstand is kinda clumsy when I'm working in my lap

- high gloss screen

- loooong wake up time and it's easy to accidentally put it to sleep by hitting a button the side of the frame. This is my biggest complaint. It sometimes takes up to 10-15 seconds to come back up. This wouldn't be an issue but it is way too easy to accidentally put it to sleep. I've thought about disabling this button, it's enough of an annoyance.

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de_dave 5 days ago 0 replies      
Dell XPS 13 (2013) - i7, 8GB, 256GB running Fedora. It's been fantastic. The runtime recently went off a cliff to 2-3 hours though so I bought and fitted a new battery - it took all of 5 minutes and it now lasts 6-7 hours on a single charge again.

Cost ~750 from Dell's refurb store and can easily see it lasting anther 3 years. Bargain!

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mdasher 5 days ago 0 replies      
I use a 13" Retina MBP for work. But I recently got a Surface Pro 4 for personal project and I'm falling more in love with it every day. Being able to pull the keyboard off the laptop, flip it vertical, and read on the couch is a big plus.
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aaronbasssett 5 days ago 1 reply      
Macbook Pro Retina 13-inch Mid 2014 - 2.6GHz i5 - 8GB DDR3 - 250GB SSD

This is my 3rd Macbook. I had a 2009 MBP, a 2012 MBP and now the mid 2014 retina. They're by far the best laptops I've ever owned. My only regret with my current laptop is I didn't max out the RAM when I bought it alongside the SSD.

When I'm at my desk it's plugged into a LG 34UM67 34'' 21:9 ultraWide monitor and I use a magic keyboard and magic trackpad 2.

13
cagey 5 days ago 0 replies      
"new" in Nov '15:

Dell Inspiron 15 i5558-5718slv; i5-4xxx, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDDWindows 10: Nuwen MinGW, IntelliJ for C++, Java development respectivelyVirtualBox VM's: Ubuntu 15.10, CentOS 7

Pros: cost: $400; 1080p IPS screen; backlit keyboard!; reasonable battery life (4-5 hours?)

Cons: Windows 10 (I prefer Windows 8.1 (my last laptop)); slow HDD (planning to upgrade to SSD soon); fan is not silent

I know there's a strong case to be made for spending more $$$ on a better laptop since "[I] use it all the time" and I can easily afford it, but "parsimonious me" objects spending 2x-4x my $400 baseline price for a laptop that might perform 1.4x better.

This laptop replaced a 3 year old $400 Toshiba i3-3110 laptop with 8GB RAM; according to my benchmark (a clean parallel build of one of my C++ projects) the new is only 6% faster than the old. I think my upcoming SSD install will make a big difference.

And: I'm among the apparent minority of programmers who prefers and requires a keyboard with numeric (for me: cursor) keypad. This requirement "narrows the field" of candidate-laptops substantially.

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snehesht 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad T440s ( Archlinux + KDE )

I got this with 8GB ram and 500GB hdd, I can work on it for 5-6 hrs before the battery runs out but the charger is very light. This thinkpad weighs around 1.2 KG's and it's easy to carry and the keyboard feels great when typing.

If I have to buy a new laptop I would try Lenovo X1 Carbon (the 2016 one, with skylake processor )

EDIT: I got this on ebay for $380 with 2 years onsite warranty, so keep an eye on ebay listings.

15
jdanylko 3 days ago 0 replies      
For the last 15 years, I have always gone with a Dell laptop for my dev needs.

However, I had an incident where I needed a quick laptop and decided to buy a Lenovo Yoga 900.

Now, two months into using it, I am actually surprised with my decision and it's working fantastic. I'm glad I bought it.

I even wrote up a review about the laptop (http://www.danylkoweb.com/Blog/review-lenovo-yoga-900-13isk-...)

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partisan 5 days ago 1 reply      
MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013. 2.3 GHz i7, 16GB, 512GB running OS X Mavericks (10.9.5).

I almost nothing bad to say about this machine, in fact I love it. I run Windows and Linux VMs through VMWare Fusion for work and for personal development. It's nice having one machine to handle all of these tasks.

The one downside is that the battery life can be pretty low depending on what I have running on my Windows VM so I find myself taking my charger with me everywhere nowadays.

Edit: I purchased it refurbished and saved about $400. No issues whatsoever. It was indistinguishable from New save for the packaging which was just a plain white box shipped from Apple. I have AppleCare and have extended it beyond the initial 1 year warranty that came with the machine.

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s_q_b 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Air. Top of the line in mid-2012. But anything remotely computationally intensive is either on my beast work laptop MacBook Pro or in a cloud-based cluster.

It's pretty badass to type one shell script name that spins you up an supercomputer for a couple of hours.

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wslh 5 days ago 1 reply      
I have a 4 year old Lenovo X220 with an i7, 16gb and 1/2 tb ssd with Windows 10. I chose it for the portability factor and performance. At work I have a dock station with two monitors and external s keyboard and a mouse. I haven't found significant alternatives for improvement until last year new Dell XPS and Microsoft Surface Book. Indeed I am waiting Microsoft fixing of some critical issues in their Surface Book before making a decision.

The main issues I found with the X220 were:

- Heat and CPU Throttling with two 1080p monitors that can make it unusable

- Relatively high CPU usage by bad designed drivers and Lenovo applications (e.g: Synaptics)

- Completely terrible support for Bluetooth and USB 3 (e.g: Bluetooth headset unusable)

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RaitoBezarius 3 days ago 0 replies      
ThinkPad X230 -- maxed to 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD.Linux compat: top-notch with Arch Linux (everything is so detailed!). WWAN card is actively used. VGA + DisplayPort on the dock with two screens 27" (I just activate_work_screens in my term to xrandr them).

I love how ThinkPad can enable the workflow of working anywhere and when returning home, just dock it and the charger is already plugged in the dock so that you don't have to struggle with any cable when you're tired, it works out of the box.

I do essentially full stack work but sometimes I do drastically different stuff (security, pentesting, low-level optimization, science, etc...)

My next laptop would still be a Lenovo for sure. But I definitely look forward to Dell XPS capabilities.

Anecdote: A day, my ThinkPad X230 had better 3G coverage than my XIAOMI RedMi Note 3 phone. I mean, I had Internet on my computer, but not on my phone. That was funny.

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lighttower 4 days ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad X230. 8GB RAM, 480GB SSD. Debian Testing.

Con:Crappy screen. Touchpad isn't great but usablelenovo is hard to trust

Pro:keyboardtrackpointbattery control with TLP utilities. connectivity, VGA, full size Ethernet etc. (try giving a presentation with circa 2003 projectors)

I got about $2000 stipend for a machine and looking for something to buy. the X260 was my goto but it's botched. no USB-C for example. 12.5 is a tad small, 13" would be better. 16:10 or had 4:3 would be awesome but not available. looked at XPS friends who have it hate the Touchpad under Linux.

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dandersh 4 days ago 0 replies      
13" Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro. 2.4 GHZ,i5,8GB.

Haven't had any major (or even minor) issues. I've enjoyed using the trackpad (and learning about it, sometimes by accident!) and the backlit keyboard is nice when I would use it outside in the evening. Light and very portable, far more comfortable on my lap than my previous machines. Only real complaint is the lack of a cd/dvd drive.

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AkBKukU 5 days ago 0 replies      
2013 MSI GE70 Apache Pro 12 17.3in,i7-4700HQ 2.4GHz,16GB RAM(Upgraded),2x1TB RAID0 SDDs(Upgraded)+2TB HDD(Upgraded), GTX 860M, Ubuntu 14.04 & Windows 10.

I do a lot with this computer, software development, PCB design, photo processing, CAD, and gaming(only reason for Windows). It's not out of the question that I would be running a full server VM, debugging a micro controller, and doing live data analysis at the same time. So I've come to appreciate power.

Even though this is quite a machine, I have performance issues in some applications. A lot of it boils down to the INSANE way that dedicated GPUs are handled today. Nvidia prime is the worst thing on my system. I like to describe it like this, using the Intel GPU is like driving a Mazda Miata, it feels fast and nimble but give it a load and it will just crawl. Switching prime to the Nvidia card is like driving a semi truck, it's not great at the little things but it can plow it's way through really intense stuff. DraftSight runs horribly on the Intel GPU but excellently on the Nvidia. But the window composition with the Nvidia card it terrible, lack of repainting the screen, vsync issues, and general slowness. It's very frustrating. My next laptop purchase will have to be something like a desktop GTX 980 in a laptop so I can avoid prime at all costs.

This may be resolved in a newer release of Ubuntu. I am version locked right now thanks to TI's 32bit Eclipse based IDE Code Composer Studio being a dependency nightmare on newer versions of Ubuntu. I'll find out later this year when they finally release a native 64bit version.

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9mit3t2m9h9a 4 days ago 0 replies      
Asus Zenbook UX32LN (with a GNU/Linux system based on NixPkgs), RAM upgraded to 12GiB from 8 GiB just in case

Pros: works nicely with Linux whatever kernel build is used, UEFI is optional and it can be manually configured without hassle acceptable battery life under light load (~5 hours) but dual-core i7 can perform reasonably well if the power draw is not a concern, a nice FullHD screen with fine brightness adjustment (I prefer my screen to have the same brightness as a sheet of paper next to it this is darker than many screens' minimal settings)

Cons: after third time warranty-replacing HDD I gave up and bought a similar one from a different manufacturer slightly too small at 13.3 inch a larger screen plus larger battery plus larger keyboard would be nice

I recently put it on the edge of a bed in a wrong way and it fell onto a plugged USB extension cable the cable apparently suffered more than the notebook, which is nice.

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cpburns2009 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sager NP7155: 15.6" matte, 2.6 GHz i7, GTX 960M, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, full-width lit keyboard, dual booting with Arch Linux and Windows.

Pros: It's a great machine compatible with Linux. The price isn't too bad.

Cons: The battery is screwed in so it's not easily swappable. The 1920x1080 display is inferior to the 1920x1200 display on my 8 year-old Dell XPS M1530.

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kenOfYugen 5 days ago 1 reply      
MacBook Pro 13", Early 2011, 2.3 GHz i5, 4 GB, 120 GB Samsung SSD + 320 GB stock Hitachi HDD, OS X El Capitan
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jotux 5 days ago 1 reply      
Four years ago I replaced my desktop and laptop with a maxed-out Thinkpad W series(W520). I7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and nvidia quadro graphics card. I keep it docked 99% of the time but I can throw it in a bag and take it with when the need arises. Still working great today.
27
Nuratu 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's interesting to see other devs choices.

Unfortunately I chose a Lenovo X1 Carbon - I personally think this was a mistake - despite its build quality it is not very performant.

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shmel 5 days ago 0 replies      
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen2. i7, 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD. ArchLinux. In general I am happy with it.

Pros: lightweight, solid and extremely fast. Battery is good enough for me.

Cons: LTE module is abysmal. People say it is awful even on windows, let alone linux. Keyboard is non-standard, but I got used to it (expect for functional keys).

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matthieugrieger 5 days ago 0 replies      
Personally I use an Asus Zenbook UX305FA.

Positives:* Great 1080p screen* Great form factor* No apparent incompatibilities with Linux* Keyboard is fairly good* Fast despite its fairly low-power CPU* SSD* Battery life

Negatives:* Track pad isn't great* UEFI* Some small dents appeared on the body of the laptop after only a few months (never dropped it or anything)* A small bright spot has appeared on the bottom of the screen

Although I have a few negatives listed I believe the positives far outweigh them. I have really enjoyed using this laptop for development.

As far as development goes, I have a dual-boot of Arch Linux and Windows 10. I primarily do Go and Python in Arch, and C/C++ in Windows.

I apologize in advance if the formatting of this post is messed up. First time posting on here. :)

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rurban 4 days ago 0 replies      
Macbook Air - having my fifth now, also a Linux Asus Zenbook, but this was horrible. First of all darwin catches much more memory errors than Linux. The UI and WiFi and powermgmt is superior. My i7 is even faster than on my big desktop machine for numeric or hashing tests. It's light and beautiful. No need to worry about systemd or gnome 3 quirks.

Downsides: we have found nasty clang and gcc bugs on darwin only lately. Having to use dsymutil sucks, but if you use it it works as on Linux. ranlib sucks. A bit more integration needed, as on windows with similar gyrations.

31
awinter-py 5 days ago 0 replies      
Surface pro 3 running ubuntu 15.

* Power management and wifi are usable if you can live with needing a couple of tries to unlock and having to 'connect to hidden' to get wifi working. Battery life seems to be the same awake and asleep (not in a good way).

* Keyboard is 10% too small for adult hands.

* touchpad is constantly moving cursor while I type

* touchscreen support spotty, no touchpad scrolling

* typecover keyboard is unusable without a perfectly flat table (i.e. tough luck on trains, airplanes, your lap, or uneven tables)

* high-glare coating on the glass screen was a design mistake by MS, but on the bright side I can see people coming up from behind me. A normal solution to glare is to tilt the inwards of vertical, but the kickstand makes that impossible.

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daigoba66 5 days ago 0 replies      
In the past I've used Dell Latitude E54xx. It's essentially the same as a Latitude T series (size, specs, and price). And fairly equalivant to a 13" MacBook Pro.

I loved that machine.

Now at work I'm stuck with a Latitude W series. While certainly powerful, it barely qualifies as portable. I hate it.

I'm considering getting a 13" MacBook Pro, for myself, whenever they announce an upgraded model this year.

I wrote a bit about it here: http://josephdaigle.me/2015/12/03/search-for-ultimate-dev-la...

33
tmaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro. The battery life and power management are solid. I use iTerm2 and homebrew. I can run almost everything I run on my linux vps.

Plus there is support for Adobe software and MS Products if you need to run those.

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fbomb 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro, mid-2009, 17" 8GB. Original 100GB SSD + 120GB SSD in slot on the side. Replaced the battery a few months ago. Still runs great. I think the DVD drive died from lack of use (and dust).
35
qwertyuiop924 5 days ago 2 replies      
Chromebook, not pixel, and not by choice. As a highschooler, I don't have much of a disposable budget, and I have a decent tower, so not really much in the way of laptop budget. My school provides Chromebooks to all students, and they have SSH, which is almost enough to satisfy me. The things are cheap, but that's really the only advantage. Any developer can tell you that development over SSH is uncomfortable at best, even if the system on the other end has a fully-configured emacs or vi setup. It's just too damn slow.
36
jenkstom 5 days ago 0 replies      
I went through several gyrations including a monster 17 inch i7 laptop, several thin and light chromebooks. The chromebooks were very nice, with crouton I was able to run jetbrains IDEs and that was 80% of what I needed.

But the portabiliy and usability of the Dell XPS13 is hard to beat. It took me a long time to get the money together for it and the only thing I regret is maybe not waiting a couple of months for Skylake. But I have no speed issues, even with just 4gb RAM. It's faster than my desktop at home.

37
zhte415 4 days ago 0 replies      
IdeaPad, 2GB, 500GB.

Ready to give up on it around 2 years ago, just seeming slower and slower, I installed a very minimal OS (Ubuntu, but the 40MB USB installer) then added Gnome 3. Great decision. The machine is now very pleasurable, far more than my work PC. I do most development remotely.

Low end Lenovos tend to have quite poor batteries, compared to higher end ThankPads or Macbooks. They seem good at the beginning, but degrade after just a few months.

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wje 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad T430: i5-3320M @ 2.60GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB Samsung SSD + some nondescript 32GB mSATA SSD I picked up from work. I'm usually running Debian Unstable, but I distro hop pretty regularly. It "just works" for whatever I feel like doing at any given time. I even spent a while running 9front (with working wifi!) as my daily driver OS. I'm not a huge fan of the chiclet keys, but I've a Model M for use at my desk, and I can deal with them while I'm on the go.
39
bliti 5 days ago 0 replies      
Past: Lenovo R61eWorked beautifully and it still runs perfectly with Ubuntu. Its about 10 years old now.Only downside was the display which had their anti-glare thing and it was a bit dull.

Current: MBP 2012Works fine. Upgraded to SSD and 16GB ram.DVD player stoppped working.Trackpad needs adjustment and/or replacement.I run OSX and virtualize everything else.Would buy a MBP as next machine if I can upgrade (none of that soldered on parts).

40
groovy2shoes 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Lenovo Ideapad Y410P running Slackware-current. It's intended to be a gaming laptop, but I don't game on it. I mostly bought it because I figured if it were good enough to run today's games, then it ought to be good enough to run a couple VMs, and I was right. It's not perfect (the screen resolution is a little lower than I'd like, and the trackpad kinda sucks), but overall I've been happy with it.
41
fweespee_ch 5 days ago 0 replies      
Asus Zenbook with Ubuntu on it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SGS7ZH4?psc=1&redirect=t...

Pros: Cheap, Effective, runs Linux without an issue [ I'm a fan of full disk encryption ], and reliable

Cons: Keyboard is a little small, Trackpad is slightly more annoying than others I've used

42
rjcrystal 5 days ago 0 replies      
I use a lenovo z500 3rd gen core i5 6 gigs of RAM and 250 gb samsung 850 evo ssd with Windows 7 and Linux mint. It's ssd runs like a charm. You gotta love the stability and simplicity of Windows 7 plus I experiment with stuffs on linux mint which is really awesome with mate as desktop environment and compiz window manager (you can do a lot of awesome window tweaks with it).
43
beachstartup 5 days ago 0 replies      
13" macbook pro retina 2013 for daily use and remote work i.e. business travel

old 13" macbook air 2012 for weekend trips (this was my primary until it got a little too sluggish for daily use)

the air is still much easier to travel with which is why i take it when i don't need full horsepower on the road. the small difference in weight makes a huge difference when lugging it around. both are ssd.

44
imakesnowflakes 5 days ago 0 replies      
Macbook Pro 13 inch - Mid 2012 - Upgraded to 16Gb ram and 256Gb Samsung SSD. It cost me 70000 INR (Approx 1000 USD).

Absolutely love everything about it. The charger, the backlit keyboard, the El-Capitan OS, everything. Everything about this machine is beautiful.

I think it is the best value for money if you are looking for a laptop.

The only thing I miss is my mechanical keyboard. But the trackpad makes up for it, to an extent..

45
heromat 5 days ago 2 replies      
Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (2015). Had to replace the Broadcom WIFI with an Intel one. Works perfectly well with Ubuntu 15.10.
46
wingerlang 2 days ago 0 replies      
Macbook late 2008 with 8gb RAM. Battery is completely dead, maybe 10 minutes. Works well for what I do, iOS development. Just need some patience.
47
wprapido 4 days ago 0 replies      
hey, you guys using cheap chromebooks for linux. why do you bother with hacking your chromebook to use linux, while you can buy an old core2duo (or even an i3/i5) fully featured used laptop for about the same amount, often even less? i mean, these machines run linux as is, without any major issues, you can max up RAM to 8GB (4GB being the norm), install huge SSD or proper 1TB HDD. build quality is often better than of a chromebook. so is the keyboard. there are decent HP/lenovo/dell/apple high end 5 to 10 year old machines for anywhere between 100 and 250 USD which beat any lowend chromebook
48
Zelmor 4 days ago 0 replies      
Does anybody have a recommendation for a modern equivalent of the x220 thinkpad? The most important factors would be a high res 12 inch display, long battery hours and a non-chiclet keyboard. I used an x230 and that keyboard design is really not for me.
49
strait 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm still on the same Sony Vaio that I got 13 years ago. I bought the best I could afford back then (more than 2K USD) and it has held up nicely. Fell in love with the keypad. The screen is 4:3, which is nice. Had to replace the HD and battery and add another stick of RAM along the way.
50
therobot24 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad T Series - but i'm probably going to get a Surface Pro/Book as my T410 is beginning to show it's age. Before this I had a T61 and assumed I'd be a thinkpad fanboy for a long time. Unfortunately I don't trust Lenovo enough to continue purchasing their products.
51
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trentmb 5 days ago 1 reply      
RCA Pro10 Edition II tablet/keyboard combo, with DroidEdit.

https://rcaav.com/tablets/android/pro10-edition-ii/

Until I can afford a new laptop.

53
chrisbennet 5 days ago 0 replies      
2015? MacBook Pro retina, a also had another 2007 MB pro before that. I run Windows on it.

Pros:It runs 2 big monitors, 3 if you count the laptop screen.

More dependable in my experience than Think Pads.

I can get another one in a day if this one breaks or gets stolen.

Has NVidia GPU for running Cuda.

54
andretti1977 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) 16Gb, 500 SSD

Simply it gives the expected performance, always.

In the past i had HP notebooks, they were good but not excellent.Mbp costs more that it should compared to other notebooks, but i think it's one of the best machine out there.

55
ld00d 5 days ago 0 replies      
Mid 2014 rMBP. 8GB RAM. It's super quiet, has an awesome trackpad, keys feel a little short-travel, battery does pretty well, the screen makes text so much easier to read, and the only time the fans are audible is when I'm playing games.
56
pandeiro 5 days ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Chromebook Pixel. It seems like a pretty ideal machine for anyone whose primary development OS would be Linux.

Is there really nobody that went for the 16GB RAM version who can speak about the experience?

57
tkinom 5 days ago 0 replies      
I am looking for something that can connect to 40-50 inch 4k TV as monitor via HDMI 2.0. I can't get any solid info if any laptop has a true HDMI 2.0 port that works well in this setup.

Can anyone suggest a good laptop / setup for this?

58
super-serial 5 days ago 0 replies      
HP Pavillion 17.3 inch, 8GB RAM. Got it a year and half ago for about $350.

I like it. I'm a back-end web developer(php, node.js, python) that likes using Windows. Everyone else at work is on Macs.

59
drakmail 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), 15-inch, 2,3 GHz i7, 8Gb, 250Gb, OS X El Captain 10.11.2

Love almost anything about it. Have about 6 hours of work without charging, it's lightweight and very comfortable for me.

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ottonomy 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)

Got a work machine to upgrade from my 2011 13" MacBook Pro, and the extra screen space really helps with multitasking, but it sure is a lot heavier than the 13".

61
Happpy 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad T540p, 120gb ssd, 16gb ram, 2880x1620, extended battery Replaced touchpad with newest version. (disabled touchpad, only using trackpad) Fedora 23

Next one will be Thinkpad P... (in a few years)

62
atmosx 4 days ago 0 replies      
MBA 4GB 2011, good for programming (Rails, Ruby/Python) but not good for DevOps (VMs/Docker/Vagrant) playground.
63
waterlesscloud 5 days ago 0 replies      
A 10 year old Toshiba running Windows Vista. It runs everything I need it to run, and I have mac and linux desktop machines, so I feel no need to buy a new one.
64
dman 5 days ago 0 replies      
Thinkpad t series (t440). Built like a tank, ~12 hour battery life, great keyboard, every thing just works under linux, silent, bottom does not get warm.
65
TobLoef 5 days ago 0 replies      
An Acer Chromebook 13. It's really easy to run Linux on it, which is all iup personally need. It's light, cheap and has great battery life.
66
vermooten 5 days ago 0 replies      
Home: Macbook Pro 15" late 2011Work: Dell M4800 with Windows 7. They're threatening to upgrade us to Windows 10 :(
67
captn3m0 5 days ago 1 reply      
System76 Galago Ultra Pro. 8GB. 2 years now.
68
ddorian43 5 days ago 0 replies      
HP ProBook 6470b. Upgraded to 8GB (should've upped to 16) and will add ssd soon. Very good for the price.
69
xcloud 4 days ago 0 replies      
ASUS Zenbook UX301LA - 13.3" IPS Touch, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2x 128GB SSD in RAID 0
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CodingGuy 5 days ago 0 replies      
HP Elitebook 8460p: i5 2.5 GHz, 16GB ram, 512GB ssd - bought refurbished for 500$ - best deal ever.
71
edoceo 5 days ago 0 replies      
Lenovo Y480, 128SSD, 4GiB, Gentoo. Reliable, fast-ish, plays nice with multi-display
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vojant 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro 13 (2012 - 8gb of ram, ssd) but I replaced OSX with Ubuntu.
73
Nihilartikel 5 days ago 0 replies      
MSI GS60 w/ 16G ram, 256Gb Raid-0 SSD, 1TB disk & Ubuntu
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peternicky 3 days ago 0 replies      
T460, just got it and love it.
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madlynormal 5 days ago 1 reply      
Macbook Pro 15" - 2.6 GHz i7, 16 GB Ram, 500GB SSD
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clishem 5 days ago 0 replies      
MacBook Pro 2008 with Manjaro Linux.
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kasperset 5 days ago 1 reply      
Dell Precision mobile workstation.
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TheArcane 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lenovo y50
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lowry 5 days ago 0 replies      
Dell 7440
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Ask HN: Idea. A negotiation platform for open source commercial support
5 points by lumo  1 day ago   9 comments top 4
1
BjoernKW 1 day ago 1 reply      
This might be interesting for any kind of software-related service, development, design or otherwise, not just for open source software support. As a freelance consultant I can see how such a process could benefit both the service provider and the client.

However, this would've to include some kind of task review, escrow and automatic payment on successful completion to truly deliver. In other words, you'd have to upend to whole process of how software-related services are provided for the most these days:

- client looks for consultant who matches technical requirements (or often rather has a recruiter look for such a consultant)

- consultant works x amount of hours

- consultant bills client amount x

Therein lies the rub: In the market as of today it's very difficult to market and sell clearly defined and measurable software-related services, which is why most of those services are often still sold by the hour. This is non-sensical for the most part because what client wants is not hours spent but problems solved.

Measuring those problems and their solutions however, still is tough. Being able to adequately productize services it what it ultimately comes down to I suppose.

If you're willing to address these larger issues as a whole I'd be happy to hear your thoughts (contact info's available in my profile).

2
flowersits 22 hours ago 1 reply      
When I provided commercial support for some open source project, I exchanged total 55 mails through 7 threads consisting of requirements, reports, code, invoices, internal conversation between colleagues, and so on just for one support and really needed some unified management tool or service at that time.

Well, it seems that your idea meets my needs well. IMHO, I would like you to remind that negotiation must be in private in most cases.

3
Spooky23 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting idea. I'd suggest broaden the idea to a service.

It might be a way to open commercial OSS to other markets, such as .gov, where standardized contract structures, SOWs, and procurement vehicles are complex to deal with.

For packaged software, resellers like SHI, CDW, EnPointe, etc provide a service where they take a percentage in exchange for handling the paperwork, etc.

4
manx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm doing research on something more general. What you describe is one use-case of a general discussion and collaboration protocol I think we really need. I'm tackling this with a hypergraph discourse structure combinend with community moderation. But a lot more research needs to be done.
22
Ask HN: What software do you use that you wish it had a pretty web dashboard?
14 points by borplk  2 days ago   9 comments top 7
1
Coxa 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been working in such a thing for a openvpn server. (https://github.com/AuspeXeu/openvpn-status) but it's fast from feature complete. one could think of actually storing a history, adding capabilities to generate client configurations over the web interface etc.
2
aaroninsf 2 days ago 1 reply      
Kafka.

Disclosure: I haven't looked since I last built something using Kafka six months ago, but doing a small-scale project I found it limiting that there was no straightforward, UI-style view into the state of my various servers, topics, etc.

3
pc86 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing that I use day-to-day comes to mind for your desired use case, however I did want to say I think this is a great idea, and provided you don't run into licensing or other legal issues, on the surface at least it has the possibility to result in some revenue for you.
4
moehm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought about one for systemd. I guess it would look similar to monit though.Rsyslog would be interesting too, but it already has loganalyzer.
5
J_Darnley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Transmission. https://www.transmissionbt.com/

It already has a web interface but there are a few things I would like to add/change. But now I see that it isn't what you're looking for.

6
mesozoic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Docker containers
7
pizza 2 days ago 0 replies      
geth/ethminer
23
Ask HN: Welp, I seem to fail at marketing: Looking for feedback on iOS app pitch
10 points by anon_app_guy  2 days ago   8 comments top 5
1
Gustomaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
> I know it's always a matter of luck

Think of luck in terms of a surface area. Sure it exists but you can increase or reduce the size of that surface area with what you do. Dont let the thought of 'its just luck' dis-empower you.

More generally, why do you expect reviews when you say there are many similar apps? Does anything of importance stands out in your app vs competitors? The reviewers get bombarded all the time. Have you focused on getting the user experience to the point people promote the app for you. I'd say this is the focus and once this is happening to some limited extent then push the marketing once you have traction.

Also there is always pay to play. You could advertise to boost user number to get more feedback on the product and gain traction if the UX is a promo-table one.

2
uptown 2 days ago 1 reply      
Your only objective should be to get your app in front of as many people as possible. That includes us. What's the app? I'm sure you'll get some constructive criticism.
3
rahimnathwani 1 day ago 1 reply      
The title of your app in iTunes (Fugue Machine | multi-playhead sequencer) doesn't mention some of the key words seen in the reviews:

- midi- output- melodies

What kind of person needs your app? What would they be searching for in the app store? I'm not a musician, but I guess you can learn to describe your app from the way that others (in app store reviews and blog posts) describe it.

4
zzzzzxxxxx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try to do a great kickstarter campaign. You will ideally be able to get capital and traction. You can, and this is a bit dubious, give up 3% to a pr firm and tgey will make sure your kickstarter campaign is a success. They write articles and try to get you publicity.

This could be what you want. But think deeply about it

5
sardon 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing which I've done and which has worked somehow, is to give it away to artists out there.

Make a list of artists (musicians in your case) which you think would like your app. Do some serious research to some contact detail for them. You then write to them and offer them the app for free, through a coupon code. Ask them for feedback. Write casually, like the indie dev that you are.

If they like your app, it's likely they will talk about it, and generate some buzz, which hopefully some blogs / sites will pick on.

And be ambitious with the artist list, send it to top people !!

24
Ask HN: What languages are going to compile to webassembly early
6 points by Illniyar  2 days ago   1 comment top
1
stray 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't say how early because I don't fully understand it just yet, but I'm planning a backend for SICL.

So hopefully, Common Lisp.

25
Ask HN: What's the next AI milestone?
11 points by tangled_zans  2 days ago   9 comments top 5
1
kleer001 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I still think the classic Turing test needs to be beaten. And not by 33% of the testers thinking the applicant is a barely literate and scatterbrained Russian teenager. No, it should be able to carry on a conversation indistinguishable from an educated, well spoken, English as first language speaking adult with curiosity and personality. Thereby fooling 100% of the testers.

Or barring that an AI that can perform valuable services that allow it to pay for its own server costs. Thereby making it grown up and gotten a job.

2
kmnc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Starcraft is a cool next step yet it kind of seems unfair in a way since the AI has distinct advantages in certain areas (namely, precision). A pro can play at close to 300APM but are those actions always 100% precise when moving the camera/etc? It seems like unless you level the playing field in this regard it may be hard to take a lot of value from the AI winning since it may develop strategies that rely heavily on its advantages in those areas. Maybe that is completely fine though, or doesn't actually matter if strategic decisions trump precision.

No Limit Poker is a pretty interesting problem, especially when it comes to reinforcement learning...can an AI learn to adapt to different play styles?

Both of these games raise an interesting question as it relates to how exploitable a reinforcement learning AI will be in games where high risk decisions have major impacts and there isn't perfect information. Will the AI learn to have a more overall conservative approach to guard against these plays or will it itself exploit them.

3
dmitrifedorov 2 days ago 0 replies      
AI that could blame the other AI for its own errors
4
adenadel 2 days ago 0 replies      
As far as Deepmind is concerned (obviously not the same as the next milestone for the field of AI) the next milestone will be playing Starcraft at a world class level [0].

0. https://twitter.com/deeplearning4j/status/706541229543071745

5
Nicholas_C 2 days ago 2 replies      
Perhaps fully self-driving cars.
26
Ask HN: Turbo Tax alternatives?
18 points by shiny  4 days ago   6 comments top 4
1
patio11 3 days ago 1 reply      
So TaxAct is an option for you.

Can I tell you something which is much, muuuuuuuuch more significant than the $25 or so you're contemplating spending on tax preparation software? It's highly likely that you're running a sole proprietorship (Schedule C). I am not sure from your phrasing that you are aware that you are doing something which can be categorized as a sole proprietorship. It is to your advantage to characterize what you are doing as a sole proprietorship given some plausible assumptions about what your cost structure is, because you will be able to deduct all expenses reasonably required to run the business from the revenue of the business (the number shown on your 1099-MISC) prior to paying taxes on the profits only. What the IRS considers "reasonable and necessary" is not what most natural humans would consider reasonable and necessary.

If you do not feel like reading an awful lot in the next month, bringing every receipt and credit card statement you have from the last year to neighborhood accountant will cost you a few hundred bucks and save you, plausible, 10X that in taxes. This is the bread and butter for lots of small accountants and tax-preparation shops, and they're reasonably good at it. WSJ? Deductible, always, 100%. Phone bill? Guesstimate how much of it was for business? 60%? Good enough; let's find all twelve of them. Do you have any other phones? Think hard. Internet accounts? Same story. 40%? Great. You're in software? What's your computer? When did you buy it? 2 years ago? Did you deduct it then? Nope? OK, so we're going to depreciate it, that will be another $600 or so of which we'll allocate $400 to the business and $200 to you personally.

I thought I was pretty good at this. My accountants are much better. We both color within the lines; they were just aware of entire other coloring books that nobody had told me about. (Most recent example: the Japanese government is sending me a wire for $600 because this year, instead of filing as exempt from paying sales taxes because all the products I make are exported, I am filing a return which shows me paying $0 in sales taxes on all $0 of my Japan-source sales. What on earth is the difference? Well, if you're an exempt business, you can't claim back sales taxes you paid against sales taxes you owe the government. If you're not an exempt business, you can. If you paid more in sales taxes than your tax liability, the government wires you the difference.)

2
Mz 3 days ago 0 replies      
H&R Block allows you to file online. I am sure there are others and I don't mean to suggest you "should" go with them. I have used Turbo Tax online and I have used H&R Block online. So that's what I am familiar with.
3
cik2e 3 days ago 0 replies      
Try a few different ones. I had a swing of $200 on my state refund from student loan interest between 3 different tax calculators. For me, that was worth the extra half an hour.
4
eschutte2 3 days ago 1 reply      
I don't understand your point about coughing up $$. I used TaxAct last year and it was fine. There are a bunch of other options, including by hand on paper. My income is all 1099 too.
27
Celebrating Marvin Minsky: Webcast and Gathering
5 points by osteele  3 days ago   discuss
28
Ask HN: Been toying with a model for running a company. Critique me please
12 points by harel  4 days ago   21 comments top 11
1
sharemywin 3 days ago 1 reply      
I guess the devil is in the details:1. How is a task estimated? What if it's wrong? How many misses before you fire the person? what if that person is taking more risks and taking on more responsibility and challenging tasks?

2. Usually you need some kind of process and task dependencies. What if there is a total bottleneck of "progrmmaing tasks" or "QA tasks" does someone go a week with pay to "work" for you?

3. what about benefits? Is this 1099 or W-2 work?

4. What about team based contributions? I help team mate X out with something is that a task? Do I get any contribution from it?

5. Who pays for training and education time? reviewing code?

6. What kind of rate are you targeting? What would my monthly pay look like?

7. what about strategic types of contributions. I know guy or I want to take sub market and run with it? or did you ever think about xyz? If your piecemeal-ing the work is there an allowance for that?

8. is there an opportunity to "buy-in" via time or contribution or even real money and get % of the profits or company?

9. how does the system evolve over time? fix problems? do "workers" have a say?

Sorry I'm really into the idea of marketplaces and using technology to build hyper-efficient eco-systems.

2
mihvoi 2 days ago 2 replies      
The good thing is that you can find more easily good people at low work cost. However, it might be hard to evaluate the value of the contribution of each "employee". What if some people throw unreasonable estimates?

One idea to overcome this is: you work by small increments of features. You put each feature on the table and people bid the time to complete it. You assign the task to the one with the best reasonable estimate and with good track on the delivery - depending on the risk of failure. People that don't offer reasonable estimates can be replaced. The thing is that you know that without understanding the code, because someone else will bid less time and do it.

A variant is per-project, "last feature is free". After each feature, you pay the previous delivered feature, based on hourly time counted by the programmer. When you find the bill to be overcharged, you just pay the previous feature and close the collaboration. You might guaranty to pay a reasonable but fixed sum, in advance or at the end, to reduce the risk of the programmer to not be paid after too few tasks.

People should also have some stock or bonuses by global performance, otherwise they would not be also team players. And more than this, they should share a minimum motivation to be proud of the global outcome, for example because of how their work is making the world a bit better. Money if not always enough for people to really want to make it work.

3
Mz 4 days ago 1 reply      
Assuming you have a reasonable means to peg pay to productivity and you hire people who are capable of hitting those marks within a reasonable time frame, I think this is a great idea.

I worked for a Fortune 500 company that began allowing people to work from home. They decided people working from home should do an extra 20% or 30%. It was a number pulled out of thin air and based on nothing whatsoever. The result: People began working 10 or 12 hours a day to hit that number. Then they had to make some changes to the program because this was in violation of labor laws.

So, my point is that if you have ridiculous expectations and want too much out of people, then what you propose is going to be a problem. But if you structure it well and hire the right people, this has a lot of positives to it.

I do something similar. I make money doing "gig work" and I can work where I want, when I want, and this works far better for me than my corporate job did. But you will need to be careful that you aren't expecting too much for too little, basically.

4
elviejo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Isn't this how Auttomatic (wordpress.com) and 37signals already operate?

You could learn from their success

http://smile.amazon.com/The-Year-Without-Pants-WordPress-com...

http://smile.amazon.com/Remote-Office-Required-Jason-Fried/d...

5
brianwawok 3 days ago 1 reply      
So I think all of this is good, and am all for work from home and work remote. I work remote, and don't see going back to an office ever.

I assume by you posting this that you come from a more traditional setup? Office of a bunch of local people? I suspect the biggest surprise you will hit will be with

> No geographical boundaries. You can be anywhere on the planet. You can be traveling through India as much as I care.

If you get async communication down, you can work this. However for async communication to work well, I find you need to all be on the same page. If you start in an office with 6 people then go move apart.. you still have the same brain space and same goals. If you just hire 6 people in 6 random countries? You will all have VERY different worldviews and ways to work and end goals in mind. One guy may just want to make crap work. One guy may just paste stack overflow code. One guy may like to write really high performance code. One guy wants to write very concise code. etc.

So I think your biggest challenge will be getting all people on the same brainwave. Even with a meeting or two a year in person, what keeps you looking for the same goals? In person we generally hire people very much like us. Which is good from the same brainwave view, but bad for a diversity point of view. Your worldwide company will have a lot of diversity and unique ideas, but also a lot of people fighting and clobbering each other as you head for disparate goals.

So my best ideas is maybe start with 1-2 local guys, get a tight bond... and then use them to hire future guys, to try and keep the culture the same as you grow.

6
matt_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
This sounds like a culture that prioritizes work-life balance, independence, and self-motivated employees. You're not aiming to measure butts-in-chairs time but delivery of working software as far as performance is concerned.

Focus on those specifics when hiring and not something like specific technology stacks. Once you narrow your talent pool to that philosophy and then narrow it further by tech stack you may end up with so few people to choose from that you will end up with people that match the tech stack but not the philosophy and they won't work out long term.

It's SaaS, which means web application, which means your tech stack really doesn't impact success||failure. So choose smart, agile learning people that match your work philosophy and they can learn whatever stack needed. You say "we" so maybe you already have a team - in which case they may not agree with your new philosophy or they may not want to change tech.

Make sure the compensation, HR stuff like benefits, etc. match this philosophy. By that I mean make employee contributions tied to something like profit sharing, equity, bonuses, etc. That can help motivate and enforce the delivery of value priority over hours worked (aka here's a salary for 40 hour weeks).

Also have legal/HR stuff figured out in case - employment laws differ by country and if someone decides to work/travel through Europe for a couple months, does that have tax/finance impacts on your company or employee? Do they need a work visa? How will internet be funded? How will pay be handled for work locations with different costs of living ... will it be "fair" if someone chooses to live in SF area and gets higher pay than someone in Belize?

These are all rhetorical questions but if you have this stuff figured out, people might want to hear the approach.

7
dmarlow 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like what you have, but feel something like this would be helpful for your employees to know how their contributions ultimately benefit them long term.

http://slicingpie.com

8
gpresot 4 days ago 0 replies      
It seems to be working for Basecamp (formerly 37Signals, creators of the Basecamp project management software). Read their two books REWORK and REMOTE,where they explain how they did it. You can also find the basics reading around their founder's blog ( https://m.signalvnoise.com ), where they also lists some other companies that share this approach (buffer, zapier...)
9
sunkan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mokriya works this way. We work with companies like Intel, Google, Twitter, SanDisk, Salesforce etc, with workforce spread across the globe with no set timings and very little management or bureaucracy.
10
seeing 4 days ago 1 reply      
2. No geographical boundaries.

Reading this always feels wrong to me. Face to face communication is higher bandwidth than text or video.

11
ZeroFries 3 days ago 1 reply      
This sounds ideal to me. Where do I apply? :P
29
Ask HN: Should we give a discount to a billion dollar startup?
20 points by sec_throwaway  5 days ago   20 comments top 18
1
saluki 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would definitely get them signed up . . .

But for 50% off I would get an ok to use their logo on your website and marketing materials, be used as a case study, get quotes/reviews to use from their CTO/CEO, etc . . . also note they can not disclose a discounted rate and maybe spell out that the discount will reduce 10% each year, and also that plans/pricing can change in the future.

As long as their subscription to your SaaS won't cause any profit loss with the discount I think it's a win win.

As far as strategy can you add plans or plan levels that will protect you from absorbing their high use of your SaaS or put in place a growth in price as they grow use your SaaS more?

Sounds like a win win, as long as you're not losing money on their subscription.

I'm definitely more likely to sign up for a SaaS if I see a big name logo using it.

Congrats, good luck.

2
danieltillett 4 days ago 0 replies      
You can use your other contracts as leverage. I have a large number of contracts where I have agreed that if I offer any new customer a larger discount I have to turn around and provide the same lower price to them. This means that if I provide a new customer a higher discount I lose money since the new discounts to my existing customers are greater than the revenue from the new customer. I just tell all my new customers this and the whole issue of special pricing goes away.
3
nickfromseattle 3 days ago 0 replies      
Many people are suggesting you ask to use them as a reference customer, and you should, but be prepared for a 'no.'

The stakeholders at the customer likely don't have the authority to say 'yes', it's very likely they the request will have to go through their legal team (who probably doesn't care about whether the project is successful or not) and a marketing review, and while they may be happy to help you jump through these hoops after the deal is closed, they may not be able to get it into the contract.

*I deal with many Fortune 100 companies and work this into almost every deal, but it's rejected most of the time.

4
greenyoda 5 days ago 0 replies      
"We have offered them a discount of 2 months, which I know is not substantial..."

A discount of two months (17%) is very substantial for a one-year prepayment (your customer can maybe get 1% a year from keeping that money in a savings account). You'll need to evaluate whether it's worth it to your business to give them even that discount.

For example:

- If you're financing your company off credit card debt at 20%, than giving someone 17% off to get money up front would actually save you money.

- If you're suffering desperate cash-flow problems and need money tomorrow to pay your operating expenses, then it might be worth giving someone a steep discount to get money today.

- If it costs you $500 a month in expenses to provide the service, then a 50% discount on $1000 would wipe out all your profit.

If you're getting adequate revenue from your current paying customers to keep the company going, you may not want to give that kind of discount. The problem with giving them a discount is that they'll expect another discount when the contract comes up for renewal in a year. And they'll tell their friends that your company gave them a discount, so future customers might also ask for one.

If you do end up giving them a discount, you might want to negotiate additional terms that are advantageous to you, such as being able to say on your web site that this company is your customer, and being able to use them as a reference for other customers. That might be worth something if they're a billion dollar company with some name recognition.

5
gus_massa 5 days ago 0 replies      
Probably 50% is too much. I'll just quote patio11.

From http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/12/29/bingo-card-creator-and-o...

> (Heres a replicatable strategy for making several hundred thousand dollars with a single email: start with a revenue base of $X million a year. Email all customers asking them to switch from monthly billing to annual billing, in return for some incentive you can offer, which can range from a month free to 15% discount to Hey, you can book the expense this calendar year, so that will save you money on taxes. Feel free to try this with any client or day-job of yours if theyre already at scale We made so much money the accountant/bank called us to complain will make for a great bullet point at your next contract/salary review.)

6
pfarnsworth 4 days ago 0 replies      
They will end up sucking most of your time away from you, with bugs, support tasks, feature requests, etc. Depending on how big the name is, it might be worth it to snag them, if they would be come a reference customer and help you grow quickly. But it depends on your bandwidth. Do you have sales people that could make use of their name? If not, then don't give them a 50% discount and be ready for an onslaught of work from them.
7
Mz 5 days ago 0 replies      
Large businesses routinely take advantage of smaller businesses. They pay later than average, they demand "extras" and so on.

Determine what you think is a reasonable deal for any customer who prepays. Write it up as your new policy. Notify theses guys you can give them X off. If they have a problem with that, they are free to go elsewhere.

I really need to start collecting links, because I have read too many stories and stats on exactly this kind of thing, but I never know how to find them when this type question comes up. Do not let a big company make you their bitch. Set boundaries. Let them go elsewhere if they do not like it.

8
hooliganpete 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's already been mentioned but giving them the discount (provided you don't immediately need the revenue) in exchange for a 24 mo contract seems ideal. I believe the longest you can contract would be 24 mos (12 mo w/ 12 mo auto renew but it might be worth asking an attorney/search a bit online. I would also ensure you can use their name to leverage into additional customers. Congrats by the way, this seems like a nice problem to have :)
9
charlesdm 5 days ago 0 replies      
Just tell them: "No sorry, we can't do that. So, should we sign you up for our annual plan (2 months free!), or would you prefer paying month to month?".

If they need your service, they won't leave. If they don't, they will, but that teaches you something about your market. Either way, you win.

Btw: two months is substantial, it's a 17.5% discount.

10
code777777 4 days ago 0 replies      
Perhaps they're asking for a "startup discount" like AWS Activate.

A discount because they're a startup and putting trust into you and your startup. If they do well, you'll do well. If you screw up they will be impacted.

Also, you may be able to learn a lot of from them and help more people love your product.

I'd counter with like 25 to 30% for one year and a bit more for two years. Try to find a win-win even if you have to get creative. Perhaps they allow you to use their name as a reference on your website or some other consideration.

These sorts of negotiations happen all the time. Enjoy them :)

Good luck with the SaaS, sounds look you have some momentum!

11
Spooky23 2 days ago 0 replies      
If they think you need them more than they need you, they'll push you hard.

50% discount is my expectation. Lately, my place had been scoring those kinds of discounts even on hardware.

12
boulos 5 days ago 0 replies      
As someone alluded to, if they're a big name you can point to / use their logo this could easily pay for itself. If you think of their discount instead as an approximately $500/month marketing budget, would you do it? (Or even more precisely $350/month as that's the additional request).

Just try to avoid the slippery slope of giving everyone such a discount (and I hope your pricing plans mean that this presumably large customer is getting a discount on an expensive "Enterprise" plan that's only sensible for larger groups).

13
tmaly 3 days ago 0 replies      
Have you seen those SaaS sites that mention they are used by the NYTimes, Newsweek, Forbes etc. Well you can say the billion dollar startup uses your SaaS.
14
stray 5 days ago 1 reply      
15
throweway 4 days ago 0 replies      
Id not give them a discount. Im sure they can afford to invest 12k a.k.a. peanuts if they are valued so highly.
16
andersthue 4 days ago 0 replies      
What do you get in return for the 50% discount?

- reference statement?

- mention on their blog?

- referals to other billion dollars startup?

- case story?

17
rubyfan 5 days ago 0 replies      
It depends if having them as a marquee name on your site and guaranteed revenue is worth it. Guaranteed revenue is hard to thumb your nose at. So too is a recognizable brand name, especially if they have gravity in a vertical you are targeting.
18
bossx 5 days ago 0 replies      
Give them a discount but make them prepay for 3 years
30
Ask HN: Best/worst way to onboard new employees?
6 points by ajuhasz  2 days ago   20 comments top 13
1
osullivj 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Start by personally introducing the new hire to all team members. This helps them feel comfortable approaching them later on to ask questions.2. Ask them to write a "how to set up a new dev env" wiki page. The next new hire can improve it.3. Give them a handful of medium priority bugs to fix. Not critical as its too early, and not trivial as that won't drive learning. A nice mix of bugs should take your newbie to all major parts of the system, and require them to develop understanding in a way that new code often doesn't. The bugs should also drive conversations with the original authors of the code that will help knowledge transfer.
2
aprdm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was the first full time engineer employee in my current company.

On my first day in the company which is in a different country from the one I am from:

- Cycled with the CTO through the city, he showed me where their old office was- Got my new computer and installed stuff on it- Ended installing the dev environment together with him in my machine

It was _really_ good :), still remember it!

3
dudul 2 days ago 1 reply      
It may be superficial, but when I show up on my first day I want my desk to be ready. I don't want to spend my first 2 hours on the job chasing for a keyboard, an ethernet cable, etc. Same with all the credentials to access to the git repo, or the bug tracker, or the inbox, and etc.

In your case it may not apply if it's really your first tech hire.

I guess spending some time to give a tour of the industry, then of the share of the market you're going after, then of your product.

4
AnimalMuppet 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about the worst first week experience I've had?

On day 1, I got a cubicle, a chair, and an ID badge.

On day 2, I got a trash can.

On day 3, I got a phone.

On day 4, I got a computer.

On day 5, I got network access.

Moral: If you're the hiring manager, don't be on vacation when your new hire starts. If you're going to be, make sure that someone is going to handle it for you.

Full disclosure: This was a decade ago, so I may have the exact details a bit off. It's pretty close, though.

5
kleer001 2 days ago 2 replies      
In all my new jobs I've appreciated most the solicitous and social first day. The ergo team came to my desk and made sure I had all I needed for my body to work well, I was introduced to my team, a couple of senior peeps went out to lunch with me, I got a tour of the studio, etc...

What really sucked, and it's probably obvious, is the time when I had to search out all my information: where I was sitting, who to talk to to get ergo stuff (and worst of all when they required a doctor's note for whatever), who my manager and coordinator were, heck who my whole team was.

Not entirely on topic, but the same place also treated me like an anonymous cog: was interviewed for one project, told on my first day I would be on another, ended up on a third for two weeks, went back to another (didn't have anything to do), and then bounced two more times before they ended my contract a month early. Ugh, never going back there again.

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cweiss 1 day ago 0 replies      
Something my team started recently that we rather like is to put together a Kanban-style board (Trello would be perfect for this - we used Taiga as the tool had to be in-house) with cards like "How do I do build X?" and "How do I troubleshoot Y" that have links to our Wiki pages that cover the relevant topics.

New team members go through the board moving cards from "New" to "Done" as they research/answer the questions. In theory, once they're done, they should know all the major information needed to do their jobs. This is a win in both directions as it also forces us to write high-quality documentation. If the person gets stuck, they generally have a good idea who to bug (the most recent author of the page) for clarification.

For a first employee in that particular space, it would be a valuable exercise for them to start building that deck and the associated documentation. It might make the "time to first code contribution" take a little longer, but should pay dividends in reducing mistakes.

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Ologn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Prety much what the others have said. The desk should be ready, the phone if they have one (with voicemail password and instructions), the computer, their email and necessary passwords, necessary passes to the building. They should get their HR and finance stuff done and not have their first paycheck delayed.

They should be given something to do, even if it is busy work initially, like reading whatever existing documentation you have on your setup. They should also be given the means and clear direction to do that work. For the next week or two, their official or unofficial lead on the team should answer questions and check in every hour or so on what progress has been made on the initial assignments, inevitably they are missing some password or permission or explanation of how things are set up at the company.

The key is to have everything ready for them, be open to questions, and helpfully check in every hour or two for the first few days to see how things are going. Usually I have 100 questions, but after question #30 figure I should pace myself before bothering the lead or manager again with yet another question. But if they approach me in a helpful, friendly, unrushed manner and ask if I have more questions or if I am stuck, then I will get all my questions out faster.

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euroclydon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since it's your first engineering employee, I'll assume you're a small startup and not a large company who's just getting into engineering :)

Since you are so small, you need to consider all the resources you don't have, likely HR, Reception, Admin Assistants, any history of what information to give a new employee, detailed knowledge of how your benefits work.

This employee will likely have questions, especially about benefits, and IT for several weeks. It's important to be patient in answering those questions, and treat them as high priority tasks, when you have to follow up, even though you're a busy startup.

Consider the background of this engineer. Are they coming from another startup? If so, they know the drill. But if they're coming for a larger established company, take time to emphasize with their transition.

Finally, leverage your strengths. Being small and informal is a strength, as long as your work policies reflect a high-trust environment. Working from home, doctors appointments, vacation and sick time -- these should all be approved quickly with ease, or not require approval at all.

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evm9 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've seen some people here insist that they want their work station and/or laptop ready to go. If I were in the position of hiring an engineer, and made a hire, I would ask said engineer what they would prefer. Having everything setup or letting them unbox and setup, or maybe a combination of both.

Other things not specific to work environment should be ready to go. Their e-mail account, phone (if applicable), or any other virtual or physical materials used on a frequent basis.

As others have suggested, prefer something like a 75/25 social/engineering split for the first day. Introduction to team members and others, company processes, goals, HR stuff, go to lunch, etc.

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gitcommit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some tips:

Break the ice. New environments can be scary. Start a conversation with a joke. This is also good for the company, everyone remembers their first day.

Give them a face book with job and interests. This makes it easier for them to blend in.

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davismwfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
First day, answer all the little questions first, not all are relevant in all circumstances but you get the idea.

1. Where's the bathroom?

2. Where's the fridge, etc. What are the typical patterns for people. Do they bring lunch, go out as a team etc.

3. If they are new to the area, tell them where to find all the normal things. Food, Grocery, Drug Store, etc.

4. Tell them when they will get their first paycheck, if the amount will be a partial amount tell them that. This gets looked over way too often. Tell them the pay cycle, and any benefits information have it ready and laid out. Being a startup you likely have little to no benefits, so remind them of that as many times stress of changing or getting a new job has people flustered.

5. Make sure you are ready for them, have all the documentation, legal requirements and stuff out of the way.

6. Make sure you tell them what to bring their first day so they don't feel unprepared and so you don't look disorganized.

7. For engineers, give them their machine and have them set it up. Make sure you have all the necessary access codes and have granted their accounts to everything they need before they get there.

8. Have 3-4 small tasks they can get started on, but tell them your expectations with them. If you have a lot of potential places they could contribute have a few ideas in mind and talk to them where they might want to fit in. That is awesome for most people.

9. Tell them up front, you are still figuring things out, so they shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. Make sure they feel comfortable asking questions. People who have been in startups are far more likely to already be asking questions, but just be prepared and don't get defensive etc.

10. Have fun, take them to lunch day 1 or 2. Make it their choice, sometimes day 1 is a little overwhelming and they may want to wait on lunch for a day or two so they can get the feel for things. It sometimes helps them to get away for 30-60 minutes the first day or two so they can gather thoughts, not everyone, but some people are like this.

11. Warn them of any land mines. I had a team lead one time tell me day one, look we all work really well together etc, but here are 3 things that a lot of people around here hold sacred. His point wasn't to say not to challenge them, but just to get the lay of the land first before I stepped in something unknowingly. This isn't typically an issue in startups as much.

12. Tell them where to park their car if they are driving. Or where they can put their bike if they rode in. etc. More important in larger cities, but really important.

13. Give phone numbers and email addresses in a list for anyone they are likely to need to contact. Don't rely on them searching it out in Outlook or some directory someplace. Print it out and hand it to them, or already have emailed it to their new email address.

14. Your a startup, have some sort of swag to hand out. T-shirt, mug, stickers etc. This isn't an absolute requirement but it makes people feel welcome. Yes, some people will say that's stupid, but usually these are the same people that will later say geez, they didn't even have X when I started.

I could probably go on, but this is long enough. Sadly I have learned most of these from being on both sides of the table. And you won't believe how much less stress you feel as a founder when you knock most of this stuff off the list and have it ready for them day one.

BTW -- Congrats on getting your first hire!

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afarrell 2 days ago 0 replies      
Make sure they know when they should show up on their first day and that there is someone with an idea of what sort of things they'll be working on.
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Zelmor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Off-topic: your site, fynd.me completely breaks on android tablets running firefox.
       cached 18 March 2016 04:05:01 GMT