hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    31 Oct 2016 Ask
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1
Ycombinator.com Blacklisted by Norton
34 points by rmdoss  1 hour ago   18 comments top 9
1
phoboslab 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
This happened to a site I managed a while ago. The cause was a comment a user posted that was flagged as a "batch virus". The content of the comment was all text, along the lines of

 @echo off echo "Speeding up your PC!" delete c:\Windows\system32\
Thanks Norton!

2
markwaldron 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
You can report it to get whitelisted here:

https://submit.symantec.com/antifraud/false_positive.cgi

3
philip1209 42 minutes ago 3 replies      
Probably a Cloudflare IP got flagged then switched to serving YC traffic
4
sbierwagen 44 minutes ago 2 replies      
All the listed threats are formulaformillionaires.com links, which is odd.
5
Aldo_MX 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
Hopefully the bureaucracy to get removed from the blacklist is not as bad as with other vendors.
6
cosmeen 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
How did you got this warning, what Norton product are you using?
7
ivan_gammel 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've got this warning too.
8
xiwaeo 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
got a warning notice from my antivirus (Norton).what's up?
9
EddieSpeaks 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
Something to do with Peter Thiel?
2
Ask HN: Is discussion of wikileaks not allowed?
7 points by thisisdallas  12 minutes ago   3 comments top 3
1
johnny_d 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
HN is full of memory holes and thoughtcrime is punished.
2
gragas 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
The frontpage is either:

1. Being heavily censored by admins

2. Being heavily flagged by butthurt Hillary supporters

3
MrZongle2 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sure looks like it isn't, at least not when the story at hand is...inconvenient for certain parties.

Quickly killed threads include https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12840068 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12840251

3
Ask HN: Why are SIM cards still a thing?
226 points by glennos  1 day ago   178 comments top 45
1
JoachimSchipper 1 day ago 9 replies      
The SIM card is a smart card, i.e. a secure piece of hardware, that protects the telephone network from the subscriber - most importantly, it ensures that the network has someone to bill.

In most western countries, SIMs do little else; however, they are full application platforms, allowing stuff like Kenya's mobile payment network https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa.

For what it's worth, you really don't want to have every network provider negotiate with Samsung for the particular access policy of that network. "Not compatible with your telephone" indeed!

2
vidarh 1 day ago 2 replies      
On the contrary, it is the result of a concerted effort to reduce friction.

With SIM cards, users can switch to a new phone by just moving the SIM, or switch to a new provider while keeping their phone (assuming its unlocked) by just replacing the SIM.

Prior to SIM cards phones where frequently programmed to be tied to a specific provider.

A pure software solution could work, but requires the network operators to be able to trust the phone manufacturers to secure it well enough to not let end users change things in ways they're not supposed to (e.g. consider a hacker harvesting authentication details from phones). The SIM card is the simple solution.

3
kalleboo 1 day ago 3 replies      
The actual reason it's still a thing is because changing how thousands of network operators work in over 200 countries is quite difficult to coordinate. Even Apple tried to push a soft-SIM and couldn't get it going.

But I'm glad for it, because the foresight of the designers of GSM to put your private key in a smartcard has absolutely improved consumer choice worldwide. I can buy an unlocked phone, travel to any country, buy a SIM card at the airport and pop it in my phone and the GSM(/UMTS/LTE) standards say it must work.

A software-based system will quickly devolve into a "oh we haven't approved this phone on our network, sorry we won't activate it" and other anti-consumer activities you saw on the ESN-registration-based US CDMA networks.

Hopefully when the GSMA adds eSIM to the standard, they add protections for consumer choice, but in the current corporate climate I fear they won't.

4
jacquesm 1 day ago 3 replies      
SIM: Subscriber Identity Module almost says it all, on top of that a SIM can store your contacts (up to a certain number).

The SIM is what separates your identity from the hardware of the phone (which has its own identity called 'IMEI').

A 'software solution' would need a carrier, that carrier IS the SIM.

Another nice benefit of having the SIM device is that it makes it much harder to 'clone' a subscriber ID, something that would regularly happen in the days before the SIM card, note that the SIM was a development that came along with GSM, and that GSM was the first mobile phone standard resistant against cloning. It's one part of the 2FA (something that you have) that gives you access to the phone network (the other being the PIN code (something that you know) required to unlock the SIM).

5
aq3cn 1 day ago 1 reply      
You know if that happen then flip phone users will have hard time because network will promote only high end selective phones. SIM card gives you freedom of putting it in $25 or $640 phone and it works just fine. People with security, budget and privacy concern go for flip phones. Just like net neutrality, phone neutrality is a good thing. One should never be forced to purchase smart phone if he does not want it. A dumb phone just works fine for calling and text messaging. I have never used internet on my phone and I will never be excited about it (3G 4G, 5G or anything). I carry my laptop everywhere I go and it serves my need well.

I must add you can find flip phones cheaper than cost of lightening cables.

6
i336_ 1 day ago 1 reply      
A form of this has existed for a while but never caught on for fairly understandable reasons.

Quite a few years ago (2005?) a family member purchased a Samsung-branded dumbphone on a contract. (Monochrome LCD (something like 128x64?), polyphonic ringtones, 3 fixed games, a (really slow, GSM data) WAP browser; that was it. Model SGH-something, I vaguely recall.)

It had no SIM card slot. It was locked to the network (Orange - in Australia FWIW) via software. In order to unlock it we had to call up the telco and go through some process, which we decided not to do in the end (whatever it was, I don't recall), since the phone had less capabilities than the Nokias that flood India and similar places, so we concluded there was no point selling it by the time we dug it out one day and tried to figure out what to do with it. (It's still buried in a box somewhere IIRC.)

I think this is why SIM-less phones are reasonably rare - it's really, really hard to de-contract them, unlock them and put them into sellable (or whatever) condition. Then once you've done that the recipient has to go through some equally arcane process to get the thing linked to a plan/contract too. And considering the ability to pass a phone on is a fairly major selling point - phones aren't solely purchased [preconfigured] on plans, then disposed - I think this was explored somewhat by the industry but ultimately left alone.

Some of the other things I've found in this thread are really interesting, although I wonder how difficult it is to "unconfigure" such a device to sell or pass it on.

7
bizzleDawg 1 day ago 1 reply      
'eSIM' is on the way to replace sim cards. The biggest challenge of 'downloading a sim card' to a secure enclave on a phone is of course security.

The GSMA and members (i.e. telcos) have been working on secure remote provisioning. I think it'll take a while for the technology to make it in to consumer devices, though it's likely to be used in IoT relatively soon.

It takes a long time to spec these things up collaboratively and then even longer for telco's to act on it!

See: http://www.gsma.com/rsp/2016/04/27/esim-opportunity-operator... and http://www.gsma.com/rsp/ (Warning: Lots of marketing BS)

8
mianos 1 day ago 1 reply      
For some perspective, check electronupdate's recent 'decapping': http://electronupdate.blogspot.com.au/2016/10/decap-of-cell-...It is not just a little block of secure RAM labelled a 'smartcard'. It contains as much CPU as a low end phone. Amazing.
9
mrb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
There are many poor design decisions in the cellphone infrastructure, but the SIM card is probably one of its best pieces.

Broken phone? Pop the SIM card into another phone, and you can immediately make and receive calls & texts on the new phone using your phone number.

If you had no SIM card, how would you authenticate yourself to the cell network (that's what the SIM card does)? Going online and then providing a username/password? This would be horrible security-wise as we all know people are terrible at picking secure unique passwords. So hackers could try to guess your password, then they would use your account, receives your calls & texts, and they could steal your cell data, causing you to receive large cellphone bills, etc. A total nightmare.

10
ex3ndr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Because they handle private keys that is soldered to chip and can't be retrieved at all. Before sim cards there was something in the phones that can be easily reprogrammed and you always have to walk to your carrier office to "program" your phone. Swapping of sim cards is much easier.
11
dismantlethesun 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Feels like this is probably the result of telco networks wanting as much friction as possible to change providers, but is there something more to it?

In 3rd world countries, people regularly swithch their SIMs as they travel across borders because no one has cross-country access. Taking a SIM out only uses up a minute of your time, and standizing on a hardwardware dongle like that is great because if company A goes out of business, you just grab a new SIM and stick it in.

It's a bit harder in the US, where phones are locked to their providers, and you need IDs to buy SIMs but that's really all just a regulation issue, not a technical one.

12
raverbashing 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Feels like this is probably the result of telco networks wanting as much friction as possible to change providers

No, it is the opposite.

It is exactly done like this so you only need to get the sim card and not need to have the operator decide for you (of course people shoot themselves in the foot by signing a long term contract while getting a locked mobile phone)

13
TorKlingberg 1 day ago 1 reply      
I work in the industry. I somewhat agree with you, SIM cards are a hassle, and I hope they will go away at least partially.

As for why you still need them, I see some reasons:

1. The alternative may be worse. At least with SIM cards you can switch operator when you want (if the phone is not carrier locked, bleh), or use a local prepaid SIM when abroad.

2. Inertia. Removing the physical SIM would require getting operators and phone manufacturers to coordinate.

3. The IM card is what securely identifies the owner of a phone number, and makes sure they are not two phones with the same number. With a software SIM, if it is done wrong, you risk getting malware that steals your phone number.

Personally, I think we will eventually see SIM-free data only connections without a phone number. You really should be able to buy an LTE tablet, get online and just pay for some data. Apples has been trying a bit with the Apple SIM, but it is US only, and only works with a few operators.

14
matheweis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Personally I really appreciate the fact that providers have SIMs. Verizon (major network in the USA) used to NOT have SIMs, and it was a huge pain to change phones out. Now it's as simple as swapping out the SIM.

I hear you that it should be doable in software, although I'd argue that if anything you should still need the SIM as a sort of second factor. (Otherwise you run the risk of people stealing your phone account remotely).

15
jlgaddis 1 day ago 2 replies      
As others have pointed out, SIM cards are basically smart cards. There's PKI, private keys, the ability to perform mutual authentication (although that's not usually done, at least in .us), and much more.

Honestly, I wish their use would expand into other areas of our lives -- replacing username and password combinations for various devices (working for an ISP, home routers are one good example).

As much as I'm against the idea of a mandatory "national ID", I'm convinced that it will happen someday (in .us, where I live). When it does, I believe it'll be something similar to US DoD's CAC [1]: a physical identification card that doubles as a smart card. The private keys stored on the card will allow you to prove your identity to your banks/financial institutions, e-mail account (100% encryption of all e-mails? Yes, please!), and so on.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Access_Card

16
pmontra 1 day ago 0 replies      
My 5 yo phone eventually died at the beginning of October. I put the SIM in my tablet and I kept going until I received the new one two days later. A pure software solution would have worked as well, but the SIM is an authentication token. 2FA are all the rage nowadays and if we went pure software I bet we'll have to use a separate token anyway.
17
smileysteve 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Using SIM cards in mobile phones seems antiquated.

In the U.S., LTE is the first time that CDMA phones have had sim cards, that's ~2 years ago.

The software solution (using IMEI and PUK) is the old technology. It's less secure; verizon and sprint will charge you ~$40 activation fees, etc.

18
informatimago 1 day ago 0 replies      
The software equivalent would be a TEE (Trusted Execution Environment), but it relies on hardware support. Only a few arm processors and a few Android phone support this option. Apple has its secure enclave, but you cannot download trusted application in it, only Apple can do that.

A 100% purely software solution can be built based on white box encryption. It's slower and may be more easily attacked than a hardware protection (you never know if/when some genius mathematician or physician (quantum cryptographic attacks) breaks your encryption. But it has the advantage that it can run on all devices. cf. eg. https://www.trustonic.com/solutions/trustonic-hybrid-protect...

Then of course, there's the problem of key management and distribution thru software. Using a physical token has several good security properties. Replicating them in software (encryption) is difficult and error-prone. For end users, and service provides, it's much easier to swap a SIM card, than to install securely cryptographic keys and authentication tokens into his trusted execution environment even with the help of well written software.

19
atamyrat 1 day ago 0 replies      
SIM card provides hardware-based, simple and secure authentication of subscribers to mobile network operators. Until manufacturers start to embed standardized secure element on all phones, alternative software based solutions (password, etc.) are more complicated and insecure.
20
tscs37 1 day ago 0 replies      
>Should there not be a software solution that lets you select which network/s the phone should connect to?

If I recall correctly german ISPs are trying to find a solution there by embedding the SIM into the device and then branding it on changing provider.

The problems SIM cards are (trying) solve is largely to "secure" the phone network. This mostly boils down who to send the large bill when shit goes fan. (The mobile network is pretty much non-secure, which is why SMS-2FA is not a good solution at all)

(They're also technically a backdoor for your ISP to do whatever they want)

Anyway, the reason SIM cards haven't died yet is probably because there is not much reason to replace them. They're tiny (so Apple doesn't kill it for half a millimeter of thickness) and pretty useful for the ISP to setup certificates and connection details.

21
Razengan 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Should there not be a software solution that lets you select which network/s the phone should connect to?

Apple have begun a limited initiative towards just that: http://www.apple.com/ipad/apple-sim/

Telephone and internet connectivity should really be like electric supply and other utilities. We should be able to connect wherever we are and pay as-we-go through our device.

As an interesting aside, here's look at just how complex SIMs are: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12674846

They are practically equal to the computers we were using 30 years ago!

22
roaming_taco 1 day ago 0 replies      
The concept of SIM cards will slowly fade over time as M2M/IOT devices start to emerge as consumer oriented products, devices will become more oriented around "SoftSIMs" and other embedded or virtual SIM products. The ability for IOT products to move across multiple networks will become a big aspect of the IOT, you need full redundancy and reliability when your product can never be offline.

Why would I want a SIM card with one IMSI on it when I can have a SIM card with up to 20 IMSIs from various networks all around the world, or even better the ability to constantly swap and trade IMSIs from various networks, new connectivity set everyday. A global community calls for global connectivity.

23
jaboutboul 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is actually an eSIM (embedded sim) specification (http://youtu.be/mLouo2mYjAU) that was released quite a while ago by the GSMA and its mostly up to the device manufacturers and carriers to implement it now.

It lets you virtually subscribe to a network, so for example if you're traveling, you don't need a local card just pop up some software and choose a new network.

Apple already has some devices that implement it, AFAIK, the iPad Pros use this. Apple calls it Apple SIM (https://techcrunch.com/2016/03/23/explainer-alert-heres-what...)

24
frik 1 day ago 0 replies      
At least one can change the SIM and can un-locked phones that dan be used all around the world and I can easily swap the SIM card. Why change it, it works great as intended and all software service solutions would mean a middle man is in the game - that would suck, right? (except you eant to be the middle man)
25
JoshTriplett 1 day ago 0 replies      
SIM cards make it easy to change phones, by moving the SIM card to a new phone. CDMA phones make this hard, and sometimes impossible. They also make it a little easier to change carriers, since you can just switch the SIM card. It'd be even easier to switch if phones had that functionality built-in, so you could sign up for a new carrier and switch entirely via the phone, but in that case I think you'd find that carriers frequently broke that functionality.
26
trprog 1 day ago 1 reply      
>Feels like this is probably the result of telco networks wanting as much friction as possible to change providers

I don't understand how you came to this conclusion.

I move between networks very regularly due to frequent travel to different countries. Pulling out your old sim card and putting in a new sim takes maybe 2 minutes. You are then immediately off your old network and on the new network. Once you have the sim in your possession you don't need to talk to anyone, fill in any details, log into anything or even remember anything.

Short of some process that is 100% automatic I can't imagine a more low friction process.

27
droopybuns 19 hours ago 0 replies      
OEM software quality is so diverse that they can't be trusted to execute something as sensitive as identity.

It also is a classic telco hedge.

Step 1) We need towers to make this thing work. Let's build towers.

Step 2) These towers are super expensive and make the expense amortization complicated. Let's sell the towers and then lease from the buyer.

Step 3) oh crap. There is no encryption and people are cloning handsets. Let's use SIM cards to separate sensitive operations from the rest of the device.

Step 4) manufacturing sims is complicated. Let's buy sims from other suppliers and make them sign off on unlimited liability clauses if their identity solution is compromised.

It is all about two things: Preventing a single player from having too much power on the ecosystem and transferring financial risk. There is no evil plan. It's all rather mundane.

28
alien3d 1 day ago 0 replies      
Easy to switch telco . Easy to change phone if one out of juice,i do find power bank kinda hassle sometimes to carry around and charge the out of juice phone
29
sdevoid 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone explain the appeal of so-called "slim SIMs"? As I understand it, this allows you to load two accounts on a single device? And carriers don't like this aspect---or is it a security concern on their part?

It amuses me that these slim-SIMs, and SIM cards in general, are one of the few pieces of technology that are utterly opaque to the user and yet are so widespread.

Edit: For example, I recently upgraded to an iPhone 7, at the Apple store. This required a new SIM card, but the salesperson was very careful to return the old SIM card to me. Why? What am I supposed to do with this old SIM card?

30
akytt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because of a power struggle between os vendors, hardware makers and telcos. The SIM provides a neutral way for them to coexist. Also, this decouples a lot if certification. A SIM and a phone are easier to work with than a phonesim
31
maxerickson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Locking devices to networks (as US telcos do) makes it harder to switch providers than swapping a $5 SIM.

Same with switching devices and keeping a provider. Using a SIM, takes about a minute. Not using a SIM? Call them or whatever, maybe pay a fee.

32
KON_Air 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it is more of a traditional security approach of "pairing hardware with hardware" and a case of "not fixing what is not broken" instead of making consumers suffer. It just works.
33
xaduha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you done any research at all into the topic?

Here I am, asking myself why smartcards aren't so hot in modern 'hacker' community...

34
Dwolb 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are some solutions out that are in software that are "eSIM" which allow devices to switch carriers through an OTA update.

Also see a company called SIMless.

There's a lot of market momentum around SIM cards and it keeps a telco's offering really sticky. It is more effort for people to swap hardware instead of software.

35
ndesaulniers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Esim is on the way. On mobile currently, but you should look it up.
36
grymoire1 1 day ago 1 reply      
The SIM smartcard is a cryptographic device that prevents people from stealing/copying/hijacking/cloning other phones/accounts/billing/credit/etc.

Each SIM has a unique ID that is used to track/bill/identify your phone.

37
threeseed 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you have an iPad there is already a software solution:http://www.apple.com/ipad/apple-sim/

It contains what is known as a remote provisioning SIM:https://www.gsmaintelligence.com/research/?file=81d866ecda8b...

So clearly the only thing stopping the industry is the telcos who would very much like to make it as difficult as humanely possible for you to switch carriers. Especially in the US where there is a lot of competition and hence high churn.

38
nik736 1 day ago 1 reply      
Xiaomi offers a Virtual SIM for years now. [0]

[0]: http://en.miui.com/thread-146080-1-1.html

39
noja 21 hours ago 0 replies      
<paranoid mode>What possible harm could a non-optional mini computer do to your phone?
40
RandyRanderson 1 day ago 0 replies      
After Apple "broke the back" of the telco monopoly with their 2007 5-year deal with AT&T[0] it's been a slow progression in North America to the European-style subscriber-owned phones that are compatible across most networks.

I, and many others were surprised at that deal because, up to that point, ppl had essentially carrier-owned phones and long contracts that locked subs (subscribers) to their network. This deal would allow ppl to install any software from the app store without telco approval.

Telcos see the SIM card as their last beachhead. They are looking for at least 2 revue streams from this NFC SE (Secure Element)[1] real estate:

1 Identity verification - Telcos rent "space" on the SE on which you store health cards, passports, driver's licenses, etc.2 Cards - Telcos rent "space" on which you store credit, gift, debit cards.

Carriers and Issuers (the bank that issues your credit card) are now fighting over that potential revenue stream (spoiler: it's tiny) while Apple has gone and deployed it with Apple Watch et al and is making a cut of the transaction fee. In contrast, the transaction fee is a huge stream however one can imagine the fun of negotiating a contract between all the parties involved (likely all multibillion dollar companies with teams of lawyers).

Apple had tried to push a software SIM (containing a SE) but the carriers, from their POV, rightly and vigorously fought and will continue to fight against that[2]. Google is also trying with Android Wallet/Pay/...

I suspect Apple will eventually use the same "wedge" approach with one of the US carriers and the others will fall in line.

[0] https://www.engadget.com/2010/05/10/confirmed-apple-and-atan...[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication#Appli...[2] http://www.thememo.com/2015/07/30/five-years-on-apples-battl...

41
markgamache1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why is asking a forum and not just googling still a thing???
42
bogomipz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think they are still a thing because of the following:

1) One SIMs are a bit harder to tamper with than the OS of a phone which I am assuming would be the alternative to a SIM card i.e storing the same information on NAND flash accessible to the OS. SIMs have some threshold(it used to be 3) of unsuccessful attempts to read the card. A lock is activated and can only be unlocked entering the unlock code.

2) Carriers can talk directly to the SIM - A "SIM" is basically a Java applet that runs on UICC(Universal Integrated Circuit Card - the smart card itself.) I think a lot of people don't know that SIMs run Java - well Java Card. This mean that they can remotely lock a SIM card to prevent it from further accessing their network. If someone stole my phone or even just my SIM card I could call my carrier and they could lock the SIM remotely and consequently unlock it. They can also use the SIM to push new PRLs - preferred roaming lists. This is generally called OTA or over the air provisioning.

3)Convenience, if I use a pre-paid services with an MVNO or travel to another country and buy a pre-paid SIM while on holiday, I don't need to do anything else except insert the new SIM and power on the phone. What would the non-SIM card alternative look like? Its hard to imagine it being easier.

4)Carrier-locked phones, such as what you get when you are under contract to a carrier. The way phones are locked is by having the phone only accept SIMs from the carriers network. An unlocked phone will accept a SIM from any carriers network.

If anyone is interested this DEFCON presentation - "The Secret Life of SIM Cards", is pretty interesting:

https://www.defcon.org/images/defcon-21/dc-21-presentations/...

43
mschuster91 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, security and flexibility.

1) Security: telco laws these days often require registration of accounts to your personal ID (i.e. no anonymous usage any more). How would a pure soft-SIM be able to fetch the data from the network?

2) Flexibility: SIM is pretty much standardized. This means a newcomer MVNO just has to issue SIM cards and the customer can use any kind of phone (or other interface, like a modem, a 2G/3G shield, ...) to use the network. And if a device breaks, then the SIM card usually stays intact and can be placed in a new device. Not sure how to securely do this with a soft-SIM.

44
gok 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Regulations.
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foobarqux 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Soft-SIM makes it trivial to sign-up for new mobile plans. This doesn't matter much domestically (maybe it does for multisim or cart abandonment) but it does internationally because of high roaming fees, which are a revenue stream carriers don't want to give up.
4
Ask HN: What do when your company has bad health insurance options?
5 points by nealrs  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
dtnewman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a stinky situation. Even with the healthcare exchanges, it's usually cheaper and much less of a hassle to get your health insurance through your employer.

It seems to me that this is a hard thing to compare before the interview/offer stage. However, it's all part of compensation as far as I'm concerned. In other words, it usually makes sense to take a salary cut for better health insurance or to ask for more salary (or equity, etc.) when health insurance options are worse, though how much of a cut/raise is going to vary based on a person's needs (i.e. healthy people are rarely visit the doctor aren't going to value good health insurance as much).

The other option that might be possible in a small company is to ask for extra cash in exchange for not going on the health insurance plan. For example, if your company pays $5000/year towards your health insurance, they might be willing to cut a deal with you where they pay you $4000 if you _don't_ take the insurance (under Obamacare, they have to _offer_ a group policy, but it seems like doing this is fair game [1] as long as you have the option to be on the group policy). In practice, this option really only seems practical if you have a spouse or someone else who can put you on their health insurance plan, since individual plans are usually much pricier than negotiated group plans offered by employers.

[1] http://obamacarefacts.com/questions/can-pay-employee-not-tak...

2
JSeymourATL 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Long gone are the days when you thought your insuranceeven if you were paying higher premiumswas going to cover you very well, > http://www.wsj.com/articles/employers-shift-higher-health-ca...
5
Ask HN: Which Mac do Apple employees use?
7 points by offsky  4 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
Shalle135 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I weren't a programmer - but I used an Late 2011' iMac 21.5" up until I quit last year. So no they don't get a new computer every year unless your someone who's using it for marketing.
2
jathu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Most people had a plain 27" iMac. Fusion drives were not even allowed." - Max Howell

https://twitter.com/mxcl/status/792050644093902848

6
Ask HN: What do you regret in life?
189 points by personlurking  8 hours ago   272 comments top 110
1
mstade 6 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't regret a lot for long, I find it to be an incredibly depressing feeling and I try to make short business of any regrets I do have. I've found most of the time, actions (or inactions) that have lead to me regret can be reversed by sincere apologies, shifting your stance, or otherwise try to undo the thing causing you regret. In the case of inaction, if the train hasn't left the station...

But there is one thing I can't shake.

I met a girl a little over a decade ago, and fell madly in love. We became a couple, but due to various events our relationship ended. Not least because at one point years ago, I was put on the spot and asked where our relationship was headed, a thinly veiled attempt to get me to commit. I loved the girl still do but I wasn't ready to settle down and marry. I wanted to focus on my career and build a business and do all of these other things and I just couldn't commit. Not long thereafter, our relationship ended and I relocated to a different country.

It's cheesy and unoriginal, but it's the one thing I regret: not marrying that woman.

Before anyone comments to that effect: I don't have a particularly hard time dating, and have plenty of experience both before and after this woman. But I've never connected with anyone like that before, and it genuinely feels as though I've lost someone hugely important, like family. It's a very sad feeling and cheesy as it may be, it's my only real regret.

2
tajen 7 hours ago 8 replies      
I didn't learn to play ball at all when I was 3. Which translated into a lack of friends at a later age, which I didn't succeed to fix in time, which translated into a late first experience with girls, which turned extremely bad. It may sound like a stretch, but not playing the ball (football/basketball/handball) in France gets you excluded from most groups and sucking at manual things harms your self-esteem a lot until ~20 years old.
3
pc86 7 hours ago 12 replies      
Spending so much time on HN instead of doing things that will have an impact (and I don't mean coding).

50 years from now nobody will care about code you wrote, neat charts you made in Visio, or that you managed to get acquihired. Give your grandchildren something to care about.

4
MichaelGG 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I regret being timid with doctors when my daughter had an issue. I knew something was wrong but didn't want to be obnoxious and insist I knew more than them. I let them delay important scans because it was late Sunday and they convinced me it wasn't a big deal, that'd it be OK, nothing would happen overnight. That was incorrect and she died two days later. It was a minor issue that should have been caught, that I almost certainly would have prevented just by insisting a bit, risking a bit of embarrassment of being a pushy parent.

11 years later and this still destroys me any time it crosses my mind.

5
notacoward 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Three things:

(1) Not retaining good exercise habits through my 30s and 40s. I did way better than most, but still went through too many periods - sometimes over a year - where I hardly exercised at all. It's really hard to pick it up again when you're 50, but really important too. It hardly even matters what kind of exercise you do (cue all the weightlifting bros jumping in to disagree) so much as that you do something.

(2) Buying a house. What a pain. The purchase price is just the beginning. Then you have to factor in property taxes and insurance and constant maintenance that's both a cost and a huge time-suck. The financials would have to be way more positive for it to be worth it, as far as I'm concerned.

(3) Getting involved in a project with crappy code and too many developers constantly making it worse. Life's too short. Even if it's not as directly in your area of interest, or not as outwardly successful, working on good code with an upward quality trajectory is better for overall happiness.

6
J-dawg 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I just scrolled down this thread and started reading a few of the different regrets. One thing I realised is that a lot of them are contradictory with each other.

e.g. Not marrying that girl vs. Rushing into marriage

Not working harder in school vs. Not playing more sport and socialising more

If you're the type of person who always thinks "what if?" then you're always going to regret something. I'm starting to think that regretting is more a bad habit than anything else.

There's always going to be something to regret, if your mind works that way.

Disclaimer: I am somebody with a lot of regrets and a bad habit of going over and over things in my mind. A habit I am gradually getting rid of!

7
adamc 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I regret not seeing clearly the effect that my depression was having on my wife and kid, which will probably result in our divorce. Depression is stressful to the bystanders -- don't think you can tough it out because it's just you!
8
StargazyPi 7 hours ago 4 replies      
I started regretting not learning an instrument.

Then I realised this was dumb, bought a 20 Ukulele, signed up to classes, and am happy as a clam.

4 months in, I play twice a week with a big group. I still sound awful solo, but am amazed at how far I've come, and how much embracing something totally different has enriched many parts of my life I just didn't expect.

9
Ntrails 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I regret that I never made as much time as I could have for my dad when he was around. Knowing how much simple texts calls and emails would have meant, my consistent failure to respond promptly and contact regularly will always be a regret. I hate the idea that he might have thought I didn't care, rather than I am just lazy/thoughtless.
10
arethuza 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Only two thing I really regret:

- The stress I must have caused my parents by being a complete arse from about 17 to 21 or so. They had 4 kids with 2 of my siblings suffering from disabilities. The last thing they needed was me adding to their stress levels. Of course, I didn't realise this until after they were both dead and I was a parent of a relatively well behaved teenager!

- Bottling out of trying to join the Royal Marines - trained like crazy my last two years at University but then was too terrified to actually apply in case I wasn't good enough (which I probably wasn't!).

Edit: On a positive note apparently the first thing the young lady who went on to become my wife of 26 years noticed when she first met me was my nice arm muscles acquired from all that training! Also thinking about it going into the forces might not have been the best for the stress levels of my parents!

11
laxentasken 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I was careless with earplugs at a concert (not the whole concert, just the time before the band hit the stage but it was quite loud music playing) and that may have given me tinnitus, which sucks. So take care of yours ears!
12
bobochan 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I regret that I took the easy way out studying math. When calculus was too hard in high school I switched into a Pascal class, that I already knew, because it was taught by the math department and gave me the same credit. I suppose my real regret was that I let fear over grades dictate what I chose to learn.
13
jgrahamc 7 hours ago 7 replies      
I didn't start lifting weights until my 40s. I now realize how great strength is in so many ways.
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chakalakasp 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Not regularly exercising after I finished high school. You should definitely do that. The time to start really exploring all the cool stuff your body is capable of doing is before and during its peak, not as it slides down the slope into the trough of old age. I find myself wondering how fast I could have run a half marathon 20 years ago if I'd become a runner then, but I'll never know.

I regret not beating out a fellow photographer for the cover of National Geographic, but there isn't much I could do to change that one, it's just one of those "damn, my best wasn't quite good enough" moments. But fortunately photographic ability doesn't decline with age, though the relevance of the medium might.

15
jdc0589 5 hours ago 5 replies      
honestly? Getting in to software development. I should have been a mechanic, carpenter, machinist, or just sucked it up and spent more time really studying math and gone the engineering/architecture route.

I've known my entire life that I needed to be making tangible physical stuff to be really satisfied, yet somehow I have never made the leap because the money is too good in technology land, and building software seemed like a pretty good compromise. Now I'm bored with software engineering, transitioned in to a corporate information security role to take a break, and feel like I'll never get back to anything I like more cause the money is just too good.

Depressingly, I can see myself slowly moving up to middle/upper management (it's already started a little bit) because once again the money is too good, and falling in to the trap of telling myself "look how cheap you live compared to your income, you can just retire by 50", which probably won't happen anyway. Hell, even if it does, I'll be 50. Not the end of the world, but not as good as doing what you enjoy through your 20s, 30s, and 40s.

tldr: first world problems. As much as people like to make fun of the stereotypical "white guys are either in business or start a brewery" thing, I get it.

16
matt101589 6 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Not taking care of my teeth when I was younger.

2. This is probably more substantial: Not finding the right group of people to surround myself with. This is a mixture of not putting in the effort and not being in the right environment (particularly growing up and not really having the choice).

Now I'm starting something to hopefully help me and others find and share interests/passions with like-minded people. Life is too short to spend not fully enjoying the things we do.

17
mabbo 7 hours ago 3 replies      
I regret not taking any real risks. I joined the fortune-500 corporate software world, never tried a start-up, never made anything memorable, never broke new ground.

I regret letting myself get comfortable, to a place where the money is too good to leave.

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Unbeliever69 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Things always appear to happen for a reason in my life. I postponed college to work in an architects office, a job I got during high school. I developed some software for the owner which we began to sell. The secretary embezzled from us and I am let go.

Five years later the boss and I re-unite. At this time I'm going back to college to study computer science. We plan on rebooting the company, but in order to keep my day job I was forced to pursue my Master's Degree. So we part ways again.

I go off and study at The University of Michigan, a school I would have never gotten into had life not gone the way they did. I graduate with a degree in Industrial Design and spend the next decade doing User Experience design. But not very happily. At the age of 45 I have a yolo moment of enlightenment and decide to go back to school to study Computer Science...again. I never really stopped programming and I DID REGRET not pursuing this life-long passion. School is...too easy and I'm not being pushed, so I quit and continued moving forward learning on my own.

One day, I'm driving down the street and I spy the company logo of my former boss on the side of a building, 20+ years since I left him. I walk in the door and the first words out of his mouth was my name, with a question mark attached to the end. I look at the empty desk beside him and think, "That is my desk!" The next day we are business partners in a new venture. Apparently, he had been working from home the last 25 years, doing very well for himself. But the software that we set out to create back in 1988 has always been a ghost that has haunted us both. So he left the comfort of his home, bought a building, renovated it, hired and trained employees, for the SOLE PURPOSE OF TRACKING ME DOWN SO WE COULD FINISH WHAT WE STARTED.

It is so easy to live life with regret. It is so easy to question our choices and cry at our lack of good fortune. I've learned over the years that things happen to me for a reason. All of the choices, both good and bad, brought me to this moment. There were no accidents. I could easily look back at my life and regret MANY things, but I don't.

And even if this new partnership goes awry, there will be a reason for this as well.

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strongai 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I regret choosing an elite university (Oxford) and its ultra-generic Engineering course, rather than a more specific course in say, electronics or even maths but at a less prestigious institution. I came out with a paper-thin knowledge of a dozen engineering subdisciplines, rather than truly knowing any one of them. Many of my peers became accountants, many others quickly became 'project managers' - spreadsheet jockeys. I cannot think of any who actually became engineers. Like others, this frustration has led me into a life of continuous learning.
20
tjic 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Running my company for 15 years instead of for 10.

After the crash of 2008 it was clear that revenues were plunging and the situation was dire.

I could have shut it down right then and there and left on a high note.

Instead I slashed my own pay and applied a Herculean effort to keep the firm alive...only to shut it down anyway 5 years later.

That was five years of my life that I have nothing to show for.

Know when to walk away.

21
wsc981 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I regret spending time studying that I could have spent programming. I found my study boring and in the end wasted a few years of my life and quite a bit of money that I would have otherwise saved. I also believe I learned much more in the workplace. And when I want to study a topic that is of interest to me, I rather just buy a book.

I also regret spending around 7 years of my life without really sure which path I would like to take. I lost direction and focus when my parents died unexpectedly. In this period I was very depressed. I had to figure out my own life goals, when my previous goal, making my parents proud, wasn't possible anymore.

At least now I have some clear goals for my life and am generally a very happy person :)

22
starcaller 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I regret getting my first credit card, which ultimately led to my first breakup after my first proper relationship. It also led to a bunch of personal debt (a lot of which I've cleared, some I still have).

But if I hadn't, who knows how that would've affected later life - would I have ever met my now wife? Or would I be living somewhere else and working somewhere else? Would I have some of the cool stuff I have?

23
EugeneOZ 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret I still can't get passport of civilized country because I left university (and don't have degree now). As an immigrant, I have less rights than refugee, despite I'm not going to get any social payments and take workplaces (I'm a freelancer).
24
Taek 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Grew up in the Chicago suburbs, then went to school in Troy, NY, then founded a startup in Boston. Now I'm starting to feel like Switzerland is the next destination, and while it feels like a more permanent move than the others, I wonder where I would be if I had not moved at all.

I'd probably be a more stout Christian, my economic class would almost certainly be lower. I'd probably have a lot more friends. Moving has a huge social cost and I've paid it twice. I'd probably be happier in daily life.

But I'd also probably feel like a big fish in a small pond. Like I had let down my potential. If I was in that position, I'd probably regret not leaving for college more than I currently regret leaving.

So I don't actually regret the price I've paid. But I do reflect on it frequently.

25
echolima 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting bounced out of the Air Force. I should have fought it, should have held my ground and proved I was being set up. I had a witness willing to stand behind me, but my 19 year old idiot of a self said fuck this. That was in 1983. I have a great life, but it still hits, that regret of walking away.
26
lordnacho 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hard to think of anything particularly bad, but my main regret is not speaking up in favour of a more intellectually competent environment at my previous startup fund.

I seemed to be the only person keeping an eye on developments in the wider field, machine learning, coding, investment strategy, that kind of thing.

I was working with people who didn't even know what version control was, or that we actually used it. Sloppy thinking that was mistakable for expediency in the early days turned into pure intellectual laziness.

The same people had and still have a completely unrealistic view of what they've built. No real understanding of markets, no real understanding of coding, and no real understanding of how to run a business.

I've moved on now, but I feel there was more potential there, and it should have been used to build a truly amazing investment firm. Instead I allowed my colleagues to continue thinking they were excellent when they genuinely weren't, robbing them and us of the chance to improve ourselves.

It's hard telling people they're not up to a task.

27
auderwoof 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Easily my biggest regret is that I didn't come out as gay until I was already 20 years old (in 1994), basically staying in the closet for 7 years.
28
jps359 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Taking the path of least resistance. 1) Applying to only one uni 2) Taking the first job I was offered out of college
29
gaius 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The thing about wishing your life was different in way X is that if it was, you would be a different person now, wishing it was different in way Y.
30
retro64 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple of years ago I was misdiagnosed with lung cancer. It was only a preliminary diagnosis from an x-ray, but after several nodes were circled on my chart with malignancy suspected written next to them, I thought I had late stage cancer with weeks to live. What else could it be?

It turned out to be histoplasmosis shotgunned through my lung system, but for about 3 weeks while I underwent further testing, I was preparing to die.

At the time I wished I would have spent more of my life giving to others. I also wished I was more financially prepared; my kids, who would take care of them? I would never see their weddings or even graduation. How would they go to college? And for those of you reading this who really are in that situation, my heart goes out to you. For me it was a nightmare I could wake from, at least for now.

Anyway, after I found out it wasnt terminal, my perspective on priorities shifted in a major way. One thing in particular was focused on technology. I sat back and realized what a stooge Ive been over the years. As a developer, one thing I always detested was chasing the latest tech, always trying to decipher the tea leave to make sure I wasnt out of work in 5 years when the wind changed direction. Feeling not much more than a pawn to large tech companies.

I realized I had so many unexplored areas that I wanted to research that were slipping away, and would always slip away if I didnt do something about it.

So I did. I now spend my free time diving into areas that I find interesting and have even reached back in time to finish a project that I dared not before. Funny thing is, Im still learning new things (some a complete waste of time), yet Im much happier doing it and Im building a new world around me while discovering new interests at the same time.

31
rpazyaquian 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not having a passion or drive. I've pretty much floated my way through life, and I'm still not happy with what I'm doing. I don't know why, but I'm not...and I don't know what to do to fix it, or if it's even a real, actual problem and I'm not just imagining it.
32
amirouche 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not doing more math. It seems like programming is very easy to learn whereas math science is very difficult.
33
Pica_soO 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret those wishful views on the lives of others, the endless attempt to transform myself into something im not, instead of working and making of the best with what i got.
34
hga 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not learning early enough in my life that there are people who will shamelessly betray you, even to the point of deliberately and will malice aforethought ruining your life, or possibly getting your killed, just to satisfy their own psychological drives.

The former caused me to largely waste ~40% of my life (so far, the percentage will of course drop as I continue to grow older).

35
leekh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Quitting jobs.

I've quitted jobs without letting my employer that I was unhappy or disgruntled. In retrospect I should have let them know before I jumped ship; mainly because the grass is rarely greener on the other side and some of them could have changed.

36
jccalhoun 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know that I "regret" anything. I do sometimes wonder what life would have been like if I had made different choices but most of it is just "the grass is always greener on the other side."

I wonder if I should have went into a different career path instead of currently being an adjunct professor. If I would have went in a totally different path I could be making more money now but I don't know if I would be happier.

I wonder what would have happened if I had taken one high school teaching job instead of the one I did take that I hated so much that I quit after one semester. Of course I could have hated that job too and it would have required moving so I would have been much worse off if I wanted to quit it.

I'm also 40+ and single, never married so of course I wonder what would have happened if I had asked out woman X instead of being hung up on woman Y. But then I could be divorced and a parent or something (I don't want kids).

So no real regrets. Things could always be worse on the other side!

37
intellegacy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret listening to naysayers in my 20s. Whatever your dream or ambition may be, there will be people telling you that you will fail when they have no idea whether you will or not. They just want to stop you from trying it seems.

I wish I could have powered through instead of taking their "advice" to heart.

38
6DM 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Most things I regret I would later learn were for the best, for that is how I met my wife. I like the area that I live in and can say things leading up to this point were for the better.

There is only one true regret that I have. We weren't sure how the ceremony should go when my grandpa passed. I didn't like that there was confusion about what to do, the whole situation just wasn't going right. I didn't want us to just sit there without any sort of progression.

In the most idiotic move of my entire life, I agree, with the guy managing the place, that we should place the box and toss a little dirt on it. My grandma picked up the box. As she approached the grave, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was a bad idea. It was only about 3 steps away so I didn't have much time to think it through.

When I saw her place that box in the grave... I mean she was just crushed. I was about 22 at the time, so I should have known better. As a more mature adult, I cringe thinking about it. Why on earth did I let her do that on her own. I'll never know, but I will always regret that moment in both of our lives.

39
newdayrising 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not acknowledging my ADHD until I was 31. I'm 33 and finally understand why my mind completely shuts down when I have multiple tasks, why I run from challenges when pressed hard, why I failed classes multiple times despite understanding the material, why I always thought of myself as lazy and why I would have bouts of depression every time I tried my hardest at accomplishing a task. I've wasted so many years in a state of wonder at other people's lives - going on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and reading about the great things people have accomplished, daydreaming that I wasn't a lazy bastard. It's also affected my hobbies - reading, writing and playing guitar. I just can't focus on anything for extended periods of time. My songs are disparate parts cobbled together. My writing is a bunch of snippets. If I read I go crazy and can't stop, if I start and get interrupted I never finish.
40
bshimmin 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Not maintaining friendships.

I'm sociable and confident and I have never found it hard to make friends, in almost any context. When it comes to actually maintaining those friendships, I am simply awful at it - it often takes me months to reply to messages, and when I do, the platitudinous "We must meet up soon" never even translates to so much as my glancing at a calendar to work out when that "soon" might be.

I sometimes wonder if I would be better at maintaining friendships if initially making them didn't come to me so easily, or whether the kind of people I find it so easy to make friends with are, in fact, simply also people just like me (ie. they are awful at maintaining friendships too). Both seem quite plausible.

41
frenchman_in_ny 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret spending years trying to make others (parents, siblings, others) around me happy & conform to their ideals / wishes, instead of trying to make myself happy.

I regret following their advice getting married to someone I already knew at the time I didn't fully want to get married to, then having kids because that's what everyone else felt was right for me. And I "regret" meeting other people who I know would make me happier, but not knowing how to get out of my present position, without making a ton of people (incl. little people) unhappy in the process...

(and hopefully I'm not going to regret not having posted this under a throwaway account)

42
aepearson 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I regret dedicating my life to sitting behind a computer building things that don't exist and don't really matter to anyone - rather than making a real difference to real people in the real world. I also regret that that endeavor has severely limited my time spent with the people I love most, and exploring the world.
43
artmageddon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Personal regrets:

* Fighting with my parents when I was younger by refusing to learn to speak Polish(felt like it was too much homework and for little gain)

* Not recognizing earlier that my mother wasn't going to live past 42 with stage III / IV colon cancer(granted, I was 16 / 17 and I was kept in the dark)

Career regrets:

* Not trying harder in school. I feel like I should be doing a lot better in life than I am.

Not regrets / silver linings:

* Because of the above though, I learned to appreciate how little time we really have in life, and to really appreciate and love those whom we have in our lives, along with appreciating the value of learning, too.

44
arcanus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.' [Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 341]

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

We all make mistakes, but I am happy with my decisions in life. Even the setbacks were valuable learning experiences, and often were good experiences.

45
yodsanklai 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of my regrets. - not brushing my teeth when I was a kid (not really my fault though). I'm paying the price now- I was very good at maths when I was an undergraduate. I had to choose between applied maths and CS. I chose CS but I think it gave me lesser career opportunities. And it's easier to learn CS on the side as a hobby (it's constantly evolving so you have to do it anyway).- I didn't pick the right PhD topic. It seemed cool at the time, but it was a niche field with little practical application.- I should have done my MS abroad (but I was afraid that my English wasn't good enough, among other things).

Overall, I didn't really know what was possible at the time. I was only looking at step "N+1" and missing the big picture.

46
kyriakos 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Working with the same company for nearly 10 years without a career path. Thankfully its over now but I should have done it earlier.
47
samblr 42 minutes ago 0 replies      
Good books maketh good humans - I wish I had read few good books in my early 20's.
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erikb 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Since I changed my view, also due to HN, I found there is little left to regret. I mostly give the best I can in every aspect of my life. And when that wasn't enough I will probably do better next time. If there is a risky decision ahead I try to be aware of it and the details and use it as learning experience. Living that way mostly gives every decision, every success and every failure a meaning. And having meaning means there is not much reason to regret it.

Btw: currently I'm without a job, about $15k in depth and will probably spend the next 3 years paying off these debts without any holiday or much improvement of life quality. Yet it was only painful for a few weeks and I was able to move on. And who knows, the next role of dice may end up giving me unexpected luck and next year looks very different already.

49
enobrev 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd hate to change my past as I'm very happy with my present and would never want to jeopardize it. Likewise, a lot of "mistakes" have been excellent learning experiences for me, which makes them hard to regret.

That said, my biggest regrets have mainly to do with staying in relationships longer than I should have. I'd done this twice, and both times I walked away drained and depressed. The women were wonderful in their own ways, but we just plain didn't work and I shouldn't have tried to force it, and definitely not for as long as I had.

Now, though, I'm happily married with someone I'm excited to spend every day with, and I assume I learned quite a bit from those relationships to be able to enjoy and appreciate this one.

50
CM30 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Well, I regret two things. One personal, one slightly less so.

On the personal side, I regret not meeting more people and focusing more on networking at university. Indeed, back when I was studying for my degree, I pretty much did nothing at university other than study the subject and go home.

Unfortunately, I seem to have found out later that university now (compared to the outdated ideas your parents have about it) is more about meeting people who can help you out later in life than it is about getting a piece of paper called a degree.

I feel that if I had known that, I could have potentially got better jobs afterwards (by knowing someone with connections in a larger or more successful company) or found a team to help with founding a startup, website or other venture.

I also regret (as presumably do a lot of other people) not learning to code/program earlier. Because like learning a language, it seems like learning to program is easier at a younger age, when your brain is more flexible.

Either way, because I didn't (beyond HTML, CSS and Javascript), it meant I had to learn an awful lot when I started working as a web developer, and hence found it quite difficult to grasp even some of the simpler aspects of programming (like basic foreach and switch statements).

So yeah, those are my regrets in life. Not learning to code while young and treating university as if the degree mattered more than the networking and connections.

51
nailer 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Not dancing earlier. I was a better dancer than my sisters and used to go watch them do ballet, but my mum wouldn't let me because I was a boy. Currently doing a bunch of jazz and commercial a few days a week in between running a company and other gym activities.
52
just-let-go 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I Regret:

1. Accepting what was in front of me at the time, at the cost of my own deeper/real identity, and not just waiting it out. I should have believed more strongly in my core values, including that belief that life is infinite and this birth/lifetime is one amongst many and even if I don't find anyone to share it with in a committed relationship, even then it is worth living and can be shared with other humans in other ways.

2. Associating certain laudable qualities with a minority religious-ethnic group and then assuming all members of that group would have those qualities, totally ignoring the fact that humans are complicated and diverse and different shades of psychopath (even when its is no fault of theirs!).

3. Assuming that my good behavior towards someone's family would be reciprocated towards my family. I arrived at the following equation:

If you don't like A's (say, a man) behavior towards B (a woman), then if you are (say) a man, do NOT behave towards any woman, as B (a woman) behaved with A (a man). Otherwise, you are setting yourself up to be treated by the woman as A (a man) treated B (a woman)! Why would you do this in the first place, you ask? Perhaps, out of a sense of righting a social injustice, perhaps thinking that feminism means that you (a man) has to make-up and pay for your gender's injustice to the other gender by letting the historically exploited gender get away with unfair and atrocious behavior (or specifically, behavior far less equal to yours).

4. Ignoring the big blazing (in retrospect), warning signs in people's behavior and actions that I would (could/should) have heeded if were not thinking with tunnel-vision.

Plenty of things I can go on and on about ....

BUT

Ask me what I don't regret? That's a list for another day (when I feel gratitude!).

53
pritambaral 3 hours ago 0 replies      
- Not completing my Bachelor's, even if it wasn't a field remotely useful for computer science

- Not going in for professional help with my depression. I thought I could fix it myself, that I should be able to fix it myself, and thus I prolonged it by years. By the time a dear friend sensibly convinced me to go, I thought I had fixed it, but I had constant nightmares, couldn't sleep longer than a few minutes, and had thoroughly misdiagnosed the cause of my depression that would have guaranteed its lifelong power over me.

And then after therapy, after I got well, and fell again. And I didn't go. I regret not seeking help.

54
projectileboy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I very much regret not working hard in school in order to spend the rest of my life doing something more intellectually stimulating. I also regret not reading more in my 20s and 30s.

I very much do not regret getting married and having kids, and I also do not regret consistently prioritizing my family over the artificial daily panics of software development projects.

55
hasenj 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Two things:

1) Believing in religion and being conservative about it too!

2) Allowing myself to become obese during late teens and early twenties.

These two points have done incredible damage to my social life and self esteem.

56
mathattack 7 hours ago 1 reply      
It's very hard to second guess things in life - if you're happy with how things have worked out in general, it's near impossible to say what contributed and what hurt.

But....

1 - I was quite a jerk in some relationships when I was in college and soon thereafter. I didn't need to be.

2 - I regret not forcing my way overseas earlier in life.

3 - I regret not paying attention to subjects outside of Computer Science earlier in life.

4 - I regret not achieving wealth soon enough in life to take care of my parents better.

57
smrtinsert 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret not structuring my life earlier. There is no way to accomplish something being carefree. It requires planning and dedication.
58
k__ 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I mostly regret not starting sooner with something.

Lifting weights, playing guitar/bass, programming, polyamory, remote working, saving money, studying for school.

59
ryandrake 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret going back to school mid-career. The amount of money I spent on that, plus the amount I could have been making in industry, both compounded over time, is easily more than the return on going back to school. You really need to shift to a career track with a steeper compensation curve afterwards to make it worthwhile financially. If you graduate and go back to your previous "salary + cost of living increases every year" trajectory, you wasted your money and time.

On the other hand, education is worthwhile for its own sake, but that's only one part of the equation. If you're thinking about going back to school, do the math and probabilities first to ensure it will be worth it.

60
emodendroket 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret totally blowing off studying math after my junior year of high school and never studying CS at all in school. I've filled in a lot of the gaps but it would have been easier then.

But then again, it's hard to say, isn't it? My life would have turned out differently if I hadn't made the choices I have and overall I'm pretty happy.

61
splittingTimes 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Around 30 I started with surfing and dancing LindyHop. I should have done that 10 years earlier. Cannot stress enough how much more both activities added to my overall "outer" experience of life. The vibe, the people you meet and the places you go to are amazing. The social experience of these communities alone is such a positive influence.

The other aspect is more of an "inner" experience. Somehow in dancing and surfing, the connection of your body with your mind through music/nature of waves is, for a lack of a better term, opening up a new world.

62
restalis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret being hard headed in a lot of my decisions. About accepting more mentorship, more critique, more guided challenge, and more help in general, especially when these weren't that expensive in terms of commitment and moral debt. This might be hypocrite because I'm enjoying the various forms of my current frugally retained freedom (and kind of still look down on those with various burdens who acted reckless by my standards back then).

I also regret not taking better care of my health. Although I consider myself a fairly responsible individual in this regard and went to great lengths to avoid health issues on many aspects, I haven't managed to be careful enough and cover the entire ground here. Health issues are costly in a lot of ways, the extra care requirement being the worst for me.

63
drewbug01 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It's taken me a long time to get to this point - but I regret going into this industry (I'm an SRE/backend engineer person).

I've found other passions on my journey so far, and I wish I could pursue them full-time. I'm trying. But frankly, it's hard to give up the money if I want to live in a big city and be able to adopt kids and be able to retire comfortably and not freak out when I inevitably have large medical expenses.

It's somewhat depressing.

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hdkmraf 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Wasting 3 years of my life doing a PhD
65
shade23 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was studying my electrical engineering and as all the other Engineering students,I was searching for internships then.My interest was mainly in Electromagnetism and Field theory. I was really hoping for an internship at CERN[1]. I had applied for the same and did not get through.I then kept asking the professors there and tried selling myself quite a bit. I finally got one of them to accept me .However the required fee was atleast 4x what I could afford.As a result I could not go there. Considering the quality of education in Indian colleges and the lack of credible practical experience,I had to forgo those dreams in the field and take up some typical consultancy (like TCS but not TCS) job. This was the first time I had taken up programming(I refused to take it earlier because i considered the field over saturated and highly ephemeral(Boy o boy I was wrong )) .I enjoyed software development .I enjoyed the complete open nature of it and the speed and how helpful people were on the online community (compare stackoverflow and Electrical Engineering SE[2]) . I realised that I loved this work and I was glad that this happened.

My point is this : We are no different from really capable Branch Prediction engines [3]. Every regret stems from an If. We learn along the way.I personally keep a list of all the things I regret which I always go through before making the next important decision in my life .

I also regret not doing my Masters immediately after my graduation.I hope to do that soon too.

[1]:https://jobs.web.cern.ch/join-us/short-term-internship-progr... [2]:http://electronics.stackexchange.com/[3]:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12340348

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schmrz 6 hours ago 1 reply      
> I mainly regret not taking university seriously half a lifetime ago, but as a result I became a lifelong self-learner.

Can you please expand on this? Why do you regret that?

I've read a great book about this topic: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. It's a bit more general of course, but it might be interesting to you or others.

67
kitd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to regret not finishing my degree, but I'm past that now.

I don't have many regrets but one that sticks out is not taking a team leading position when I was about 30. I am now over 50, happily working in a coding env, but I have no real experience of leadership which I feel is an element sorely missing from my professional experience.

But even that is minor. I feel very glad that I don't have the personal regrets that I've seen many others suffer. They are the most potentially damaging I believe.

68
Starwatcher2001 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not coming out as transgender through fear about what other people might think.

Getting involved with religion.

Sticking with comfortable old technologies for too long (VB6) before moving on.

Not cracking procrastination.

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gtmitchell 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret deciding to major in a hard science instead of programming, as well as spending far too long in a PhD program before dropping out.

The personal and professional toll of these choices has been painful on the best days, soul-crushing on the worst.

70
Elvewyn 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Leaving strings class (or orchestra, whatever you wanna call it) after just 2 years. I was pretty good at it, but hated practicing as a teen.

A decade later and I wish I could play an instrument, still.

71
michalstanko 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret my constant procrastination.

I regret not getting the best domain names in my country while they were still available back in 1998, which would now provide for a comfortable life.

I regret not being able to persuade my wife to move somewhere to Spanish coast - like Valencia or Alicante. I hate winters so much.

I regret having so many regrets and insecurities and unanswered what-ifs in my head, not being just happy and awesome at all times instead.

72
zodPod 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was literally just thinking about this. I regret not working harder in school and not taking it more seriously. I was just trying to get through it. Now, as an adult, there's a lot of schooling I wish that I had taken advantage of when I was younger instead of desiring to now as someone struggling to pay all their bills.
73
ithipster 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret I have wasted my childhood years.
74
nish1500 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Not trying to get out sooner. Moving to a different country, and building a life there is a long, arduous, and lonely process, and I'm not even remotely close.

I'm 24 already, and I regret having to spend the best years of my life looking for a home, when people my age are making friends, finding relationships, and building memories.

I regret not having the same starting point.

75
strictnein 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I was going to go to CalPoly for CompSci, but instead went to a local school for emotional/relationship reasons. I ended up staying together and marrying my girlfriend (and now we're 13 years in with two kids), so it's hard to really weigh the options against each other.
76
brookside 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Never finishing songs I was writing while in the perfect position to pitch them to pop artists I was working with.

I switched to coding purely for monetary/pragmatic reasons. I'm doing ok professionally now, but feels like a sad half-existence. (Lot of other opportunities with things I cared about personally I squandered too.)

And you wonder why your father was so resigned. Now you don't wonder any more. - Ben Folds Lyric that comes to mind

77
dagurp 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not socializing enough in college
78
XaYdEk 4 hours ago 0 replies      
To go with Lemmy "Regrets are always late and usually pointless" and to go with Frank "... I have a few, but then again too few to mention", except 1. not marrying her.
79
afarrell 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not getting enough sleep while I was in university.
80
arvinsim 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Why oh why didn't I take Math/Physics seriously...

But the ones that I regret the most are those were I didn't say how I truly felt to the people that matter that most.

They are the ones, not the rejections or the failures, that gnaws on your soul.

81
pknerd 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not kind of regret but yeah painful: I have been earning by writing software for more than a decade yet I never considered myself a professional programmer. I kept thinking I am some guy that fits well for RnD and Analysis kind of work thus did not dig deep in programming and polished which I am doing now, after a decade.
82
lprubin 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I wish I had spent 10% of the time I used playing computer/video games in high school/college on learning to code instead.
83
anexprogrammer 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Not discovering I had ADHD until 40s, which leads me to

Realising ADHD's part in wrecking a great relationship years ago.

Not launching my last startup 1 year earlier (We'd have probably survived the recession). Also having to let people go - I found that as tough as losing a job!

84
dorfsmay 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Caring too much. Caring for the tedious details, small and big, that I know are important.

This means that regardless of my job description and intentions, I always end up being a sysadmin, spending my life caring for the tedious details that are too boring for the cool kids.

85
jkereako 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not trying at all in high school. I barely scraped by with 2.00 GPA and ended up at a public university that was gracious enough to accept me. I often wonder that if I had gotten better marks where I would have ended up.

I also regret not learning to program as a kid. I put that off until college.

86
tmaly 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That I did not start working on something that has the potential to have a bigger impact on the world.
87
dorfsmay 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not doing.

I have done a lot of mistakes in my life, including being bankrupt, but I learned from most of them. It's the stuff I thought of doing and didn't do that I regret. All those "what if..." now, that I'll never know the answers.

88
baldfat 7 hours ago 0 replies      
No regrets BUT I think I should have studied Engineering and enjoyed it more.

I love my family and my kids. I would have hated to not be there for three kids that became my family. I wouldn't have adopted these kids if I didn't live here and no way that would have happened if I was an engineer.

89
grondilu 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Playing Basketball for several years despite having no talent whatsoever. With hindsight it was a complete waste of time.

That's probably not the most important regret in my life but it's a clear one, and one that I can confess without being too personal.

90
walshemj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in 94 when the web was new not making more use of the v senior guy in BT who I worked with on some early web projects (he was eqvielent to ceo of a FSE 250 company) as a mentor.
91
mhomde 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not making more mistakes sooner
92
du_bing 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I think there is not anything I really regret now, maybe I am not old enough. Maybe I should have left my ex-girlfriend ealier, because values differ greatly, it's hard to communicate.
93
jey 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> I mainly regret not taking university seriously half a lifetime ago, but as a result I became a lifelong self-learner.

Then why do you regret it?

94
module0000 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I regret joining the Army instead of the Coast Guard. A lot.
95
Delmania 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Rushing into marriage and not taking more chances with my career. Both I Attribute to depression.
96
rhodrid 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ever starting smoking.
97
Avshalom 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Depending on how you count it: between 5-8-12 years lost to depression.
98
jhgjklj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret not being disciplined in the college and if i would have mastered my courses in college i could easily understand machine learning now and not have to study statics and calculus now.
99
FLUX-YOU 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not learning how to talk to women romantically
100
carsongross 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Not having kids earlier, and more of them.
101
Xophmeister 4 hours ago 0 replies      
So many, many things :(
102
damptowel 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Rigidity of thought when young.
103
equalarrow 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hah, this is easy. (This is a stretch of my dumb decisions from 2003-2013)

1. Decided not to work on a company with a good friend. Friend grew the company successfully, isn't involved in the day-to-day anymore, he's worth millions and is trying to think of what he wants to do next. I would have been a co-founder. All this because I didn't think we would work together well, which might have been true, but I'll never know.

2. I walked away from an interview (before interviews became 500% harder by having to know all the latest algos off the top of my head) where a guy told me he wanted to make all their Rails developers millionaires in the next year. I would have learned a lot from these guys because they were building and hyper-growing 'community' sites once every few months. The company sold to Monster.com for $400m a year later.

3. Walked away from another company (a consulting company) where I was one of the top Rails guys - I helped them build their first Rails project (they were mostly a .Net & Java shop before). Super smart and stable team, I was offered a Sr. position and profit sharing. They ended up incubating a few successful Google ventures. My good friend in the company, after a lot of years of making good connections and stockpiling away cash, went on to found a company that Google and other big names backed.

4. I walked away, after a successful contract, from a design company I had worked with on multiple occasions. I had friends there and I was well regarded as a smart developer. They 'only' offered me a Sr. position (I wanted a Dir. of Technology role). A year later, facebook bought the entire company and some of the js devs I worked with went on to create React and Flux...

I spent about a decade working on my own startups with CEO's that either (this affected all 4 of the examples above):

* Didn't understand technology at all

* Were just fuck ups that misused funds and wanted to shoestring years of product development for no reason

* Couldn't decide on how to grow a team to build a sustainable product

Of course, my startups all failed and I never learned or figured out why until lately. I'm probably in the rule of the majority of businesses failing.

So, what have I learned then?

1. Fail before you have a family or even a significant other. Failure and family are a bad mix and you will have less and less time to try to fix things, if you can.

2. Learn from others first. I'm fine with pursuing an idea, but see how others fail and succeed before you step out on your own. You'll be glad you did.

3. If someone promises you they're going to exit or you see some momentum with the team/product, spend a year with them and see what happens. Or even 6 months. Life is short, but a year goes by quickly. If you can get some win out of a year and this allows you up to be more financially 'free', do it! Once you can own your time, then the game completely changes.

4. Be true to yourself about who you really are. Be responsible for your decisions and get organized about your life. Don't float (for too long). Act with purpose and don't forget that discipline coupled with action is the most powerful thing you can be/do in regards to business (I think).

5. Pay yourself first. Just google this and you'll see why it's smart.

104
ap22213 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sex: I regret not having a lot more intimacy and sex during my twenties.

Friendships: I regret not keeping closer ties with my old high school friends. Since then, we've taken very different paths, but I still feel like they're the only ones who ever 'got' me.

Fear: I regret allowing social anxiety and shyness to prevent me from connecting with many interesting people that I've met over the years.

Embarrassment: I regret spending my life trying to be 'productive' and 'socially acceptable' rather than following my heart.

105
vishalzone2002 5 hours ago 0 replies      
regret not learning how to play a musical instrument.
106
ebbv 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll go against the tech culture grain and say I regret not going to college. I stared working when I was still in high school and I never pursued a degree. Sometimes I feel like if I had gone to college I might have pursued a different area of interest. I enjoy programming but I'm almost 40 now and starting to feel just how disposable all the work I've done for the past 25 years is.
107
AnimalMuppet 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Being too preoccupied with things I wanted to do when my kids were younger.
108
berntb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
What I regret is a single thing: Not finding out about my allergies earlier.

I would have a different and richer life (also economically, but not what I mean) if I knew I was a bit chronically tired from them, not to mention other problems I got from that.

On the other hand, I might have f-cked something else up with more available time/energy.

(Edit: The really weird part is to realize late in life that your personality is much more positive and cheerful than you thought. You see yourself differently afterwards.)

109
facepalm 7 hours ago 5 replies      
Not enough sex when I was still young enough.
110
marknutter 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I regret leaving my freelancing career 3 years ago to become a full-time employee. I made the decision out of fear because I had increased my standard of living and was afraid of not continuing to make enough money as a contractor to pay for it. My life has gone downhill ever since. Today however, I put in my two-week notice. I realize how unfounded my fears were and for the first time in a long time I finally feel like I'm in control of my life again.
7
Ask HN: At 91, My Grandfather's Only Regret Is Never Skateboarding. Best VR Rig?
174 points by s_q_b  23 hours ago   61 comments top 27
1
Retric 20 hours ago 2 replies      
You could set him up with a flying harness ex: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lYqf7pTmS6k

Set it up so he can't fall more than a few inches and he could rollerblade / skateboard around a room with very low risk. This would be a one time thing, but a few hundred dollars could set this up for an afternoon.

Some physical therapy places have similar setups (Unweighing System) http://www.biodex.com/physical-medicine/products/pbws/unweig... which you could use more freely. Which you could buy if this was going to be a regular thing http://physicalenterprise.com/biodex-offset-unweighing-syste...

2
nwrk 23 hours ago 3 replies      
Very relevant with VR trends these days. Interested in comments here.

Poor man solution without any special device - youtube 360

Youtube 360 Video Downhill Skateboarding VR | PEOPLE ARE AWESOME [1]

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpjyW_xdDrY&list=PLU8wpH_Lfh...

Click, drag in video to control view point

3
i336_ 5 hours ago 1 reply      
OT, but since nobody's mentioned it, I have to pick up on this bit:

> My grandfather is a veteran of World War II, a former FBI field agent who fought against organized crime, a father of four, a grandfather of nine, and not only the most honorable, but also the most consistently jovial person whom I have ever known.

That's book material right there, ten times over. Seriously. I'd read all about that, all day. I know wisdom and log fire chats and mentorship when I see it, and I think I see it here.

Recording and storage tech are unbelievably cheap nowadays. I would suggest finding audio and/or video recording systems to just get the information stored with a minimum of effort (whatever works: recorded conversations, solo dictation, etc). Maybe you could even play with speech to text (eh, maybe not).

Also, this photo I found online a while back immediately came to mind when I saw the post title. http://i.imgur.com/LzoOt27.jpg

4
rickdale 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Sounds like your grandpa is pretty cool dude, sorry to hear hes getting towards the end. I was watching a skateboarding show called King of The Road and the young skaters went to Tony Hawks house and they successfully skated the full loop. When they were done Tony Hawk said, "This was a life's work for me. These guys come here and do it in an afternoon and are just like see ya." Anyways, that doesn't help you with an application, but might be fun to find a skateboarding documentary (Bones Brigade) and some other stuff and go thru the history of skating with him. The improvements and the skill is unbelievable. Good luck, enjoy the time while you got it.

Rodney Mullen From 1984: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfpmO9cPGGY

5
guiambros 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Instead of the hassle of putting together a high-end PC with Vive/Rift, one simpler option could be a Google DayDream [1] (or Samsung Gear VR [2]) and a latest gen Android. DayDream still in pre-order, but will be shipping in a few weeks.

If you live in NYC, they are are available for testing at Google NYC Pop-up store [3].

(Disclaimer: I work at Google, but no connection to VR team)

[1] https://vr.google.com/daydream/headset/

[2] http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/gear-vr

[3] http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/20/13346950/google-pop-up-sh...

6
azeirah 23 hours ago 2 replies      
With regards to price, there are many locations that provide virtual reality demos. I can image there are also many small businesses that will happily help you give your grandfather this experience.

For more info on VR, I recommend you to visit the VR subreddit, people there will help you out for sure; https://reddit.com/r/vive

Additionally, by far the "realest" VR headset out there is the Vive, because it allows you to move around in a room, which I think would be essential to a locomotive experience.

7
VLM 7 hours ago 0 replies      
No one has suggested a composite experience instead of "THE" ideal experience.

So to feel the rush of falling and spinning in space strap a snowboard to your feet and go to a parachute training school (with the giant 100 HP air fan) and get levitated a bit.

Watch a couple videos so get some idea what is going on and what goes where when.

Hanging out with young people makes you feel young, go to the nicest park out there and check it out for an afternoon and watch and learn.

Experience wheels under your feel by attaching two fast/strong football wide receivers one to each shoulder and stick a board under your feet and just go down a sidewalk at 5 mph or however fast the football players can walk. Hey, I felt wheels under my feet and the clunk of going over sidewalk pavement joints and I can balance on a board. Sure there's two 250 pound football players holding me up but its kinda like the real thing.

Finally maybe analog ish VR. Find a FPV drone pilot who's a skater, get some time at a park (like when old people are awake and kids are asleep like 6am sunrise or five minutes after rain stops when its too wet to skate but drone is fine) and put the FPV video on him and tell the drone pilot to fly the course like he's skating it, at about eye height and about as fast as a skater.

8
zamalek 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Does he wear glasses? Vive, otherwise Oculus. NVidia GTX980 is around your baseline and should be able to run most experiences at maximum settings. Current generation i5 as a baseline. I can't vouch for it personally, but the RX480 is supposedly an extremely capable driver on a budget.

However, I can't think of any VR skateboarding/rollerblading games. In your case I'd recommend finding someone who is willing to record a skating session with e.g. GoPro VR. For VR video you can go way under spec, I was driving videos on a DK2 with a 660Ti and a 2600k for reference. If you are searching for videos, make sure that they are stereoscopic - "360" doesn't mean VR.

VR sickness will be a concern with the movement, unavoidable, just remind him that closing his eyes will cut off the experience. Not everyone gets VR sickness, but it helps to prepare newcomers.

I'd also recommend:

* Universe Sandbox 2: http://universesandbox.com/ - works best with Vive.

* Apollo 11: http://store.steampowered.com/app/457860/

* The Night Cafe: http://store.steampowered.com/app/482390/ - free

* Destinations: http://store.steampowered.com/app/453170/ - free

For you:

* Elite: Dangerous: https://www.elitedangerous.com/

* The Vanishing of Ethan Carter VR: http://store.steampowered.com/app/457880/

* Subnautica: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264710/

9
biot 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I know you asked for VR, but are there any options via a wire and harness? Something that prevents falling but lets him really try out skateboarding in a safe way? They have this for learning gymnastics, for movie stunts, so why not for seniors as well?
10
Cozumel 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe a silly suggestion and probably one you've already considered, why not just an actual skateboard? I just did a quick search for 'skateboarding for seniors' and there's tons of results.
11
sbhere 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have no connection or experience with Kat walk [1], but it seems able to support a human (see video of sitting). That support might take care of your (rightful) concern for joint health.

 (1) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/katvr/kat-walk-a-new-virtual-reality-locomotion-device

12
tdy721 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I bet he would like the Apollo 11 Experience:

http://immersivevreducation.com/the-apollo-11-experience/

13
michaelbuckbee 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Several others have mentioned some of the issues with VR (need a gaming pc, not really a dedicated VR skateboarding game, etc.) maybe you can try something like the Wii or PS3 Tony Hawk Ride game that had the dedicated board?

https://www.amazon.com/Wii-Tony-Hawk-Skateboard-Bundle-Ninte...

https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Hawk-Shred-Bundle-Playstation-Sk...

14
Rebelgecko 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Samsung has a skateboarding demo for Gear VR. If there's any trade shows or demo events around you, might be worth looking into.
15
J-dawg 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Somewhat related: A while ago I saw a video online of a "cockpit" which was suspended in the middle of a big room from multiple cables. The cables would tension and release making the cockpit shoot around the room, so the user would get real sensations of acceleration while playing a VR game.

It seemed incredible and I'm surprised I haven't seen more of it since. Anyone know what this is called?

16
mistermann 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> Earlier today a friend sent me a video of her bed-bound grandmother taking VR tours of distant cities to which she had never traveled.

Would you happen to have the name of that product, that's the sort of thing I think a lot of older people would be into, rather than games, etc.

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GuiA 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Like a few other commenters here, I'd look into getting him a roller skating lesson with harness or some safety device, rather than a VR solution.
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II2II 18 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not quite the same thing, but there are many self-propelled wheeled contraptions when balance is a concern. Standard and hand propelled trikes are safe. Some even provide bucket seats with seatbelts. There is a bit or risk of tipping in sledges, bit most people are fine going straight and slow. (Users are also strapped in to reduce the chance of injury.)

It's basically a trade-off: it is exchanging the skateboard or inline skating feel for something that is more real and independent.

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mklim 22 hours ago 1 reply      
There's a problem with your use case and the current tech--artificial locomotion in VR tends to cause people to experience motion sickness. It's similar to sea sickness in that some people don't feel affected at all and others can be full on vomiting within a relatively short time of exposure. It's a natural reaction to the dissonance between your eyes visually saying that your body is in motion but your inner ear saying your body is at rest. Skateboarding/rollerblading specifically are both pretty extreme sports in terms of movement, so any sims with current tech are liable to make him feel nauseous after any kind of serious exposure. Most current VR experiences have 1:1 movement in the real and virtual world to avoid this problem, and the ones that don't tend to limit artificial locomotion to slow forward movements to try and cut down on the effects. Actual skateboarding/rollerblading are going to be pretty risky for him to try and enjoy in VR. Odds are they're going to just make him feel sick to his stomach. (Also, as a former skateboarder--most of the skill in the sport is balance and footwork. None of the headsets are tracking your feet, so it would be pretty hard to get a realistic sim built for it.)

That being said, the best tech out there currently is the Vive IMO, with the Rift likely tied once its touch controllers ship this December. Both have 6 degrees of freedom when tracking you. But right now the Vive is the only system that officially supports tracking your movement within a few square meters, and has motion controllers supported. That means within a room, you can walk around in both real life and the game world simultaneously and reach out and interact with the virtual world. The presence you get from that kind of experience is impossible to describe. Once the Rift's touch controllers ship the two systems will likely be on par with each other.

The mobile headsets all have 3DoF tracking. That means that the rotation of your head is tracked, but not its position in 3D space--taking a step forward in real life won't also move you a step forward in the virtual world, but the direction in which you look will be 1:1. You don't have as immersive experiences on them because of that, but for experiences where you're a passive/seated observer you can still get a VR experience for a tiny fraction of the price of a Vive/Rift + VR capable PC. Their performance depends on the quality of your phone.

For your grandfather I'd actually recommend he try and get a demo of the Vive or Rift on the floor of a PC store. Microsoft and Micro Center stores were both giving demos of them when the Vive debuted. That way you could gauge how much he enjoyed the experience and see if it's something you want to invest in for him in general. Maybe pick up a cardboard and find 360* skateboarding videos on Youtube just for him to experience it, if you were going to buy anything blind--that would be a ~$20 investment, and for those sports specifically you probably aren't going to find anything better on the high end systems.

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dmourati 14 hours ago 0 replies      
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ajeet_dhaliwal 19 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have a PS4 the PS VR with VR Worlds game includes a steet luge game. Not quite skate boating but rolling downhill on a street.
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enturn 21 hours ago 1 reply      
While not VR, Wii Fit has a skateboarding game for the balance board. Someone might know of a way to combine it with a headset.
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elif 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Skateboard vlogger Ty Moss has a Samsung 360 cameras and I wouldn't be surprised if he would think it's a great idea.

https://youtu.be/10Du25iIHNg

24
justcuz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps he should learn to skateboard on a skateboard. These guys may have some great advice to offer: http://www.brailleskateboarding.com/
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isuckatcoding 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Gosh this makes me want to buy a skateboard but I feel like I'd look like such a manchild / dweeb trying it out.
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kellytk 21 hours ago 1 reply      
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bobsgame 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What about a hoverboard? Maybe two people could walk alongside him and keep him supported or something. They are easier than skateboards and a similar or better experience.
8
Ask HN: What is the best Hackintosh laptop for ios app developers?
41 points by sahin-boydas  4 hours ago   60 comments top 22
1
niftylettuce 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't bother with a Hackintosh. I've spent time R&D iDeneb and custom Tony Mac OS X builds, and realize it's way easier (and cheaper, especially in terms of time) to simply buy an entry level Macbook Air or Pro (honestly an Air is fine enough if you're not doing video editing, I got by using one for 3+ years before I got a Pro).

To get the best deal you can either purchase from eBay (use cashback at TopCashback.com and no tax) or try to find a store that lets you use gift cards purchased at ~10+% discount. You can get gift cards at https://www.giftcardgranny.com and if you shop at a store like Best Buy you can probably get the EDU discount code with a fake EDU from https://secure.californiacolleges.edu/Home/Create_an_Account....

Hackintosh really not worth it unless you're doing serious video editing.

2
rickyc091 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Having used a hackintosh (Surface Pro) as a secondary machine to my Mac, I don't recommend it for everyone.

* You won't be able to update to the latest patches without possibly breaking the build. There's a possibly you need to re-hack your device every year. Xcode is tied directly to Mac OS X builds. For example, you can't download 8.1 unless your own Sierra right now.

* WiFi / Bluetooth didn't work for my particular hackintosh, but it'll be better for others.

* Graphics were a bit buggy (again not a problem depending on the device).

* Login would fritz out on occasion so I'd have to boot into safe mode to fix it. Could be my particular device, but random problems are common with hackintoshs.

* When it worked it was amazing, touchscreen worked as well.

* iMessage / FaceTime will not work unless you hack it and provide it your Mac's serial number. Do this at your own risk. This could essentially break iMessage on your original mac. I think I ended up emailing them or something to get it looked into / fixed.

* App Store has some issues as well as lot of things are tied into the serial number of the Mac.

* If you enjoy fiddling and hacking on things, I'd recommend this. It was a good learning experience for me and I don't regret it, but I wouldn't want to do it again. I ended up having to modify some kernel files to get some things working. Basically a lot of tinkering from one patch to another.

Having done it once, I wouldn't go the hackintosh route again. While I enjoyed the process, the amount of time I spent to get it work wasn't worth it for me. If price was an issue, it's definitely a good route.

3
adomanico 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't recommend using a hackintosh for your professional development.

That being said, building a hackintosh rig and getting it to work is really fun to play around with!

4
phmagic 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I've tried many Hackintosh options out there years ago specifically to get started developing on iOS. While I think many machines can run Mac, I gave up on Hackintosh for iOS development mainly because:

1. Opportunity cost - The time you spend on hackintosh could be spent exploring the iOS SDK. It is an extensive and amazing SDK to work with.

2. Need to embrace the platform - I once hated the fact that you had to get a Mac to develop for iOS. But then a light clicked in my head: If you aren't willing to get a Mac, you'd never appreciate the iOS platform and always hate it for not being more open, or not supporting many languages, etc.

5
replete 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've compared a load of new laptops on my spreadsheet:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1nnmI9pN9rBMBJHE1gqYA...

Compares CPU Passmark score, GPU Flops, Display gamut Rec 2020.

Might be of interest.

Hackintosh laptops though are hit and miss. I'm not sure if Apple even have kexts for modern Nvidia GPUs?

EDIT: There are no Macs packing Nvidia 10xx GPUs. So yes, there might be a problem.

6
cdnsteve 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just buy a used Mac, save some cash. I'm running a mid 2012 and the things still super fast.
7
DonHopkins 3 hours ago 4 replies      
How wise and straightforward is it to run OS/X in a virtual machine on a Windows laptop? How recent a version can you run, and what's the best setup to use? What limitations does it have, and what kind of graphics cards can it take advantage of, if any?

For my purposes, I only need to build apps with XCode, not do anything graphically intensive.

8
Razengan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, considering that all iOS devices now have P3 Wide Color displays, you'll need a computer with a wide color screen to accurately create and preview content for iOS.

To my knowledge, aside from the new MacBooks, Retina iMacs and the new Surfaces your only options would be external 10-bit-per-channel monitors, and those can be expensive.

The Razer Blade Pro has a wider gamut too but as far as I know it's Adobe RGB and not DCI-P3.

9
xenihn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would honestly just buy a used Oct 2013 15" MBP instead. A used one should run you under $1000 now that the new MBPs are coming out.

I currently have one that I bought in 2014, and I can drive a 4k display (Dell P2715Q) with a large storyboard file open in xcode, along with the laptop display itself at the highest scaled resolution. I think this is a pretty good benchmark for whether or not a system is good enough.

10
edko 4 hours ago 4 replies      
If you are a professional app developer (you make a living out of it) then Hackintosh is a bad alternative. It can get your developer account, and apps, banned by Apple. On top of that, you can get sued.
11
mattkevan 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't know if it's the 'best' but I've got El Capitan working smoothly on my second-hand Thinkpad T440. The trackpad and display are crap compared to a MacBook Pro, but hey, it was less than a sixth of the price for similar specs.

Took about an evening of tinkering and reading the TonysMac86 forums (really helpful community) to set up and has been trouble-free since. Sleep/wake works with the lid and it even supports dual batteries. Battery life is good too.

Hackintoshing a laptop is harder than a custom-built desktop as you don't have much choice over the hardware. For example often the internal wifi and bluetooth cards aren't supported - I have to use a USB dongle on mine. However, there's some good resources on TonysMac on which laptops are the most compatible.

12
wadeanthony0100 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As much as I love the idea of playing around with getting hackintosh-es working, does anyone else feel like it's a little backwards for software developers to use unlicensed software to produce (presumably) profitable software? I'm all for hacking for fun, but doing it to make business seems unethical. Just my $0.02...
13
benmcnelly 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Please, please don't kill me - I know there are people who love the Mac Ecosystem (I have a macbook too!) and don't like linux, but I switched to Mint Linux with Cinnamon Desktop, and its pretty darn great. For people who live in containers, virtualenv, node, and many other types of dev, you will feel at home in no time. I bet there is a slider of where the things you like about mac go from unix like environment to "it just works" and if you are even a bit on the "it just works" side, don't go with linux, it will be an adventure. A worthy adventure, but maybe not profitable for everyone.
14
lucideer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're an existing Mac user, the recommendations here to "just get a Mac" may be better, but I'll throw another possibility into the mix:

I ran OSX in VirtualBox for a good while in order to use some locked-in iOS dev tools. It was slow, but that was largely just because my underlying machine wasn't very new at the time, it was easy to install, and I never encountered any stability issues. It would free you up to get the best machine without worrying about hw compat.

Disclaimer: This was OSX Lion days. Have not tried recently. Ymmv.

15
joenot443 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll go against the grain here and say that I used a HP Probook 4530s as my sole development 'Mac' while I was in high school and shipped three iOS apps with it.

Was it time consuming to set it up? Yes.Did it break after most updates? Yes.

That said, when you're working as a dishwasher, a used $250 HP is much more realistic than a $1300 Macbook.

After second year of university, I bought a 2015 MBP and haven't looked back.

16
Tepix 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm getting a Dell XPS 13 9350 and will replace the wifi card with a DW1560.The guide that explains the details about installing macOS on this machine is at https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-dell-xps-13-9350-si...
17
intrasight 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm considering the same. But since you need a Mac to build a Hackintosh, I decided to buy a used Mac for $500. I'll still probably build my Hackintosh, but It'll be for fun hacking reasons. And it's a NUC so I don't expect it to be too challenging.
18
0xbadf00d 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say a good start is tonymacx86 - Hugely valuable resource fro all things hackintosh:

https://www.tonymacx86.com/forums/laptop-compatibility.114/

19
gxs 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I realize this is not what you asked for, but the non-touch entry level macbook pro is in apple stores now.

Go check it out before you take on the headache that is working on a hackintosh.

It's still somehow better built than dell's XPS and the space gray color is nice to boot. Since it's the "entry level", it doesn't have a touch strip and instead has a full function row, including the esc key. It felt fast from my first impressions and the aspect ratio is 16:10 (thanks for the correction), which you still can't get on windows pc other than the surface book.

20
st3v3r 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just use the real Macbook. If you are honestly that upset about the touchbar without having seen it at all, then buy a 2015 model.
21
benologist 3 hours ago 0 replies      
www.macstadium.com just rent one online, much easier!
22
epanchin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Buddybuild if you don't want to use OSX
9
Ask HN: How to make secure email convenient?
17 points by xorgar831  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
1
atmosx 12 hours ago 1 reply      
> How is this not a solved problem?

It's not because the big 3 (Apple, Google and Microsoft) do not want you to encrypt your email, so they can use it for data mining. If 70% of their gmail users used encryption, I'm sure they'd be turning the service subscription only or (as it's customary for G) shut it down.

So, if you need encryption you have use an external "add-on".

The problem of secure email is solved, it's just not pushed as a standard because:

a) Users don't understand they're being tracked (or don't care)

b) It's not promoted (actually it's being demoted) by industry leaders

The fact that H. Clinton and her equip didn't use GPG is appalling, doesn't make sense. This group of people had big stakes on the privacy of their communications, they went as far as setting up a mail server and forgot to apply encryption? I just don't get it.

2
gravypod 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> How is this not a solved problem?

Because we better understand the threat vectors that are imposed on the company from sloppy IT practices and as such are more willing to take security measures to prevent these things from happening.

We are also, at the same time, too stupid to realize that not everyone want's 5 applications just to encrypt their mail with a PGP key. When we make it so that by logging into a service with a password your browser can derive a private key and public key and use that to sign and send email we will have larger adoption. This will only be the case if it automatic.

Sure it's less secure but less secure is better then unused.

3
dev_throw 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I have witnessed several enterprises move from 100% email to 90% Slack and alternatives while using email primarily for scheduling purposes. I have a feeling corporate email will slowly die off over time.

Perhaps using a community messaging tool with built-in end-to-end Signal encryption will be the way to secure lines of communication in the near future.

4
GQLupb 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Build end-to-end encryption into the gmail app for Android/iOS.

There's no real reason this is not possible, and the benefits are huge. The ease of use of end-to-end encryption in WhatsApp etc shows there's nothing technically impossible about this, and fundamentally, the gmail app is no different to WhatsApp when it comes to sending mail from one gmail account to another.

5
justintocci 14 hours ago 1 reply      
The existing solutions all fail because they add friction.

There is a clear way forward. Add transparency to email clients. For example, i have two emails in my in box right now. Which one was sent in the clear? Which via ssl? I don't know. If i knew, then i might be annoyed by the one that was sent in the clear. And if i'm annoyed i might do something about it.

10
Ask HN: What to do while compiling?
8 points by demirb  11 hours ago   8 comments top 8
1
Jtsummers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Figure out why compilation takes so long and if there's any way to improve it.

Get compile times down to more reasonable levels. Use the shorter breaks for checking on things in your issue tracker to start on whatever is next in your queue.

2
afarrell 5 hours ago 0 replies      
You can use https://freedom.to/, https://selfcontrolapp.com/, or /etc/hosts to block reddit when you want to work.

You can also listen to Lord of the Rings on audiobook[1] to occupy your mind while you wait. You're probably familiar with the storyline, so you don't have to worry about missing something important when you aren't paying attention to it. Trying to make that time productive is going to lead you to feel frazzled as you keep context-switching.

[1] http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Classics/The-Fellowship-of-the-R...

3
cauterized 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Technically I spend time waiting for tests to run rather than for compilation, but same problem.

It's a good time for a trip to the restroom or to refresh your beverage, but you can't do that every 5 min.

I'll often deal with email (our issue tracker sends email for comments, so there's usually something to deal with there) or catch up on slack.

There's always something that needs code review.

I'll check some monitoring dashboards for servers I'm responsible for.

And I have project management responsibilities along with the code-related ones, so I can take care of some of that.

Of course, all of those other than the first require significant context switching, but so does reading HN.

4
applecrazy 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Make a coffee for yourself. This allows you to get out of your desk and moving and has the added benefit of keeping you away from your computer.
6
hsa4wsau4u 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I switched to go, which has blazing fast compile times and increased my productivity at least 10-fold. YMMV
7
miguelrochefort 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This.
8
meira 10 hours ago 0 replies      
IRC (not focused).
11
Ask HN: Any other blind devs interested in working on dev tools for the blind?
512 points by blinddev  3 days ago   128 comments top 54
1
olalonde 3 days ago 9 replies      
I'm not blind but here's an (unsolicited) project idea for you.

To be candid, I have no idea what it feels like to be blind and have never paid much attention to accessibility other than reading a tutorial or two and making sure I use alt tags on my images. The main reason for that is that I'm lazy and based on my experience, most developers are in the same boat.

Now, if there was a service which would spin up a remote VM session inside my browser (a bit like BrowserStack or SauceLabs do) with all screen reader software setup and no screen (only audio), it'd make it a lot easier for me to experience my software as a blind user. There should probably also be a walkthrough to help new users use the screen reader and help them get started. If you're lucky, you could turn this into a business and it could indirectly help you achieve your goal of making better software for the blind by exposing more of us to your issues.

Anyways, I know you probably have more pressing issues to solve and I hope I didn't come across as arrogant, just throwing the idea out there.

2
ctoth 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm also a blind software developer. I scrape by building apps[0] and services[1] for other blind people, and running the occasional crowdfunding[2] campaign.

First off, you're 100% correct when you talk about how devtools are inaccessible. This problem is an historic one, stretching back as far as early versions of Visual Studio, or other early IDEs on Windows. Basically, the people who build the tools make the tools for themselves, and not being blind, make inaccessible by default tooling.

I do most of my work on Windows, using the NVDA screen reader, and consequently I have the ability to write or use add-ons for my screen reader to help with a variety of tasks[3]. This being said, this always means more work for equal access, if access is even possible.

I'm interested in any sort of collaborative effort you might propose. Targeting accessibility issues in common devtools does seem to me like a reasonable place to start attacking this problem.I had read a few months ago that Marco Zehe, a blind developer at Mozilla, was pushing some work forward for the Firefox devtools[4], but haven't heard much about that recently, and I think they might be distracted trying to get a11y and e10s working together.

Basically, I'm interested in helping in any way you might suggest, and from the thread here it looks like there are some enthusiastic people at least willing to listen.My email is in my profile, let's make something awesome.

[0] https://GetAccessibleApps.com

[1] https://CAPTCHABeGone.com

[2] https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nvda-remote-access/

[3] https://github.com/mohammad-suliman/visualStudioAddon

[4] https://www.marcozehe.de/2016/01/26/making-the-firefox-devel...

3
kasbah 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am sighted myself but I work with a company called Bristol Braille Technology and we are trying to make an affordable multi-line Braille e-book reader.

If you have an interest in Braille and have software development skills there might be something to do there. The UI program that drives our prototypes is open source and available on GitHub. https://github.com/Bristol-Braille/canute-ui

We have plans to open source the hardware as well.

If you want to add support at a lower level, our current USB protocol is outlined in this repository. It is a a dev-kit I knocked together to allow some Google engineers to write drivers for BRLTTY (and thus for ChromeOS).https://github.com/Bristol-Braille/canute-dev-kit

4
russomf 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am an adjunct professor in a CS department. I usually end up with introductory level courses, often for non-majors. This semester I have a visually impaired student in an introductory Java course who is unable to see the screen. He uses JAWS as his primary screen reader. To my great surprise, most of the tools we typically use were completely inaccessible to screen readers. I spent the first several weeks of the semester scrambling to find a reasonable set of tools that would work for him. We settled on Notepad++ and the terminal. Also, I provide him with special versions of the slide decks, readings, assignments, quizzes and exams.

I would be very interested to learn how visually impaired developers such as yourself and others got started, and for any suggestions for how I can make my student's experience more positive.

Thanks.

5
saqibs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi, I'm also a blind dev - successfully been developing back-end systems and libraries at Microsoft for over a decade. There are certainly accessibility problems, but the awesome thing about being a dev is that you can also make your own solutions. Look at T V Raman at Google, and Emacspeak - which whilst not everyone's cup of tea, certainly serves him well.

For any developer, it's important to practice your craft, and when looking for a job, it's valuable to have a portfolio of work you've contributed to. So you can get multiple benefit by helping create a tool which will help you be more productive, and also show your skill.

Clearly, this project should be something that you're passionate about, but one project I've had on my when-I-have-time list is below - I would be happy to work with others who are interested (@blinddev @ctoth @jareds).

After your text editor / IDE, one of the next most important tools is a tool for tracking bugs/tasks. Unfortunately, many of the common ones, like VSTS, Jira, and Trello, are either not accessible, or at least not productively usable with a screen reader.

Over my career I've developed my own scripts for working with such systems, but it would be good to have something that others can also benefit from. I should probably put my initial bits on Github, but time is currently consumed by other projects. Email me if this interests you. Also happy to mentor on general career challenges around being a blind software engineer.

6
tarboreus 2 days ago 0 replies      
Low vision programmer here. I've made a few tools that make my own programming easier, like a lightweight version of Emacspeak https://github.com/smythp/eloud (now in melpa) and just gave a talk on blind hackers and our tradition of bootstrapping: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8_O3joo4aU Would be happy to help out with a project, email at my name + 01 + @ + gmail.com.
7
jareds 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a totally blind developer and have some of the same issues you do. As far as Chrome dev tools go I've given up on doing any kind of UI work, partially because of accessibility and partially because it does not interest me. My current job is working on a large Java web app. Luckily my company is understanding when it comes to UI so I don't do much of that work but do a lot of API and database work. API's can be tested using curl and database stuff can be done from a command-line. The advantage to working on the app is if accessibility gets completely broken it's discovered early and made to work well enough. We use Eclipse as an IDE and it works pretty well with Jaws. I've used IntelliJ a bit and it's what I'd call barely usable. I am hoping it will continue to improve, the impetus for adding accessibility appears to have been Google switching from Eclipse to IntelliJ when coming out with Android studio. Hopefully Google will continue to insure accessibility improves. As far as JIRA goes I agree with you. I'd really like to hear from Atlassian why they can't display dashboards and issue lists using tables to provide any kind of semantic information. I've found your best bet with JIRA is to have someone sited help set up filters that display what you need. Export the results of the filter to Excel and you can brows a lot of issues quite quickly. I haven't used Gitlab but find Github to be fairly easy to use in the limited experience I have with it. I'm not particularly interested in building tools from scratch since I don't have a lot of free time but would be interested in trying anything that comes out of this.
8
AtomicOrbital 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am working on a project to parse an image which then synthesizes an audio representation which retains all the information of the source image ... next step is to parse live video to enable people to hear what others see ... shoot me an email as well ... its not specific to dev tools yet could parley into a general enabler ... I am using a Hilbert Curve ... nice intro video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuiryHHTrjU
9
chrisdotcode 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not blind, but I would certainly like to contribute where I can. Shoot me an email (it's in my profile).

The world can certainly use more open source accessibility standards, protocols and tools.

10
Mz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am not blind nor a programmer. But I do have serious eyesight problems and other handicaps. I also have moderating experience. Given the number of people saying "Shoot me an email" I have gone ahead and set up an email list via Google Groups called Blind Dev Works. If anyone wants to use that as a collaboration space, shoot me an email (talithamichele at gmail dot com) and I will send you an invitation.
11
WhitneyLand 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think you are smart to consider your developer skills as a separate thing to improve. One way to objectively measure this might be to explain a technical concept to someone.

For example, could you read this article and then give an overview of the main issues of web site performance? Could you then come up with one recommendation for a performance improvement in a code base you're familiar with? Could you justify in practical terms why your recommendation was the best bang for the buck, vs. other other possible improvements?https://medium.baqend.com/building-a-shop-with-sub-second-pa...

Now, how do you judge yourself?

1). Have the conversation with a dev whose skills and opinion you trust.

2). Record your answers on audio, and ask someone on HN to give you fair and constructive feedback. Many here would be glad to do this (feel free to ping me as well).

12
mwcampbell 3 days ago 0 replies      
Out of curiosity, what operating system and screen reader(s) are you using?

As a partially sighted developer, I generally use a screen reader for web browsing and email, but read the screen visually for my actual programming work. So I don't have significant first-hand experience with the accessibility (or lack thereof) of development tools. But some of my totally blind programmer friends have expressed some frustration with the accessibility of some tools, especially web applications. They generally use Windows with NVDA (http://www.nvaccess.org/). At least with NVDA, you can write add-ons (in Python) to help with specific applications and tasks.

13
tedmiston 2 days ago 2 replies      
Any chance you could start with an education component? I think most of us don't really know the nuances of a blind developer's workflow, especially which tooling breaks down where and if there is anything that is infeasible.
14
WalterBright 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would very much like to make the D programming language dev tools work better for visually impaired users. Any suggestions you can give would be welcome, pull requests even more so!

dlang.org

15
ezufelt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a completely blind developer and have been working on and off with code for about 20 years. When I started I was able to see well enough to work without the assistance of a magnifier or screen-reader, now I rely completely on VoiceOver and JAWS.

I too find frustration with some of the tools with which I work. Although they may slow me down, they seldom create complete barriers. Most of my work at this point in time is with PHP and Javascript, so this may help the situation, I am less familiar with the current state of affairs of the accessibility of developing with other languages.

All of the complaining I do about JIRA aside, I do find it to be a reasonably usable tool for what I need (page load times annoy me far more than accessibility issues). There are some tasks that I cannot complete (reordering backlog items), but I collaborate with team members, which can help us all to have better context about the rationale for changes.

Gitlab I find quite poorly accessible, but thankfully it is just a UI on top of an otherwise excellent tool (git). I find that the same trick that works with evaluating GitHub PRs works with Gitlab MRs. If you putt .diff after the URL to a PR or MR, you can see the raw output of the diff of the branches being compared.

Debuggers are definitely my biggest current pain point. I tend to use MacGDBp for PHP. This is quite reasonably accessible. It allows me to step through code, to see the value of all variables, and to understand the file / line number being executed. It isn't possible to see the exact line of code, so I need to have my code editor open and to track along.

I haven't found a very accessible Javascript debugger. For Javascript and DOM debugging I still find myself using Firebug. I use lots of console.log() statements, and would rather be able to set breakpoints and step through code execution. That being said, other than "does this look right?", I find there is little that being blind prevents me from doing with Javascript. As recently as last night I was squashing bugs in a React app that I am helping to build for one of my company's customers.

I'd be happy to learn more about any projects you take on to improve web application development tools and practices for persons with disabilities. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you would like to talk.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ezufelt

16
artpi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Currently, I'm launching an app that is reading Slack messages out loud - Team Parrot http://teamparrot.artpi.net/ .Once launched, it will be open source (built in react native)If you think it's useful, I will welcome contributions.

I am not blind, but I designed it to operate without looking at screen.If the app will take off, I'm considering into forking/pivoting into RSS reader that also is not using screen. App is already accepted in the app store, I'm sorting out launch details.

Please accept my deepest apologies for the shitty job we (the developers ) are doing at providing interfaces for vision impaired.

Probably when we're all old, we'll have vision problems of our own :).

17
norcimo5 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes please! I'm not blind either, but would love to collaborate / contribute also. My email address is in my profile. Thanks.
18
nbonatsakis 2 days ago 1 reply      
Legally blind developer here. I still have some vision in one eye and I make extensive use of it as far as being able to primarily code with screen magnification and some spoken text for select code all using OS X). I've had good success in my career but I will say I've had to at times work a lot harder to get the same results as fully sighted coworkers.

I'm mostly responding to encourage you to keep at it, and if you haven't tried Mac OS, maybe give it a whirl. Apple is pretty good about accessibility and their accessibility team is very good at accepting and acting upon feedback.

19
WhitneyLand 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would it be helpful for a news site or blog to call out software that won't take easy steps to improve accessibility?

My sight issues are not comparable to being blind, but as an example, I've asked Pandora for simple accessibility improvements for years and they never take action. Have even offered to write (less than a page) the code for them.

Would they (and software tool vendors) feel the same way if this were highlighted on a high traffic web page?

20
hendekahedron 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not blind but I have very poor eyesight in my left eye which makes reading tiring so I started this experimental Morse-based system https://github.com/Hendekagon/MorseCoder for the Apple trackpad. It's not very successful. What I really want is a fully haptic dynamically-textured surface.
21
nstj 2 days ago 1 reply      
One of the best (and most engaging) HN threads of the year from my perspective. So much better than "$STARTUP raised an n hundred million dollar series Q" on TechCrunch article.

Thanks @blinddev.

22
rhgraysonii 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a tool I'm working on that is specifically geared towards assisting the transcription of printed books to braille for The Clovernook Center for the Blind [1] built on top of Atom as an extension.

A super-rudimentary basic version will be something I finish when I've the time in the coming months. I was hoping to get some interested from the blind community and get ideas for further OSS work involving that general space (editors).

23
cignext 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am not blind but my daughter has albinism and low vision as a result. I have been looking to find ways to contribute and make it easier for her and others.

I would be happy to help.

24
dmytroi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a blind dev, and would love to help community as much as possible, though I don't even know where to start :( Would be really helpful to have centralized place which directs developers effort to valuable open source projects.

Another interesting idea: try using braille screen for ourselves, so we as dev's will be able to work at complete darkness without any light :)

25
eivarv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Im not blind either, but I too would be interested in contributing.

Send me an email; my address is in my profile.

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varlock 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Great initiative! Are you considering setting up a blog / github page / anything to keep track and coordinate the effort?

I'm asking because though I'd love to help I know I won't be able to commit to it full-time. So it would be great to be able to follow up and get an idea of where the project is going, what areas it is tackling, etc.

Also, maybe a "Show HN" could help spreading to a wider audience whatever you set up.

27
saverio-murgia 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am not blind but might have the chance to offer you a dev job (related to blindness). Here's the product we are working on: http://horus.techJust send me an email at saverio at horus dot tech if interested
28
elil17 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dear blinddev,

I'm a seeing student with an upcoming six week block of time to do a out of school project. I have previous experience developing accessable software and would love to work with you. If you're interested, shoot me an email at eliaslit17@gmail.com

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pvaldes 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just in case you don't know this still, there is a latex package for braille. You can write a .tex file in english an put \usepackage{braille} in the preamble of your tex files and your output will be translated to braille automatically. The pdf can be then raised printed with the appropriate hardware. You could find it useful for documenting your software (tutorials, faqs, manuals, etc...), in both languages even if your collaborators don't know a single word in braille.

You will need to have the package texlive-fonts-extra installed.

You could want also to contact with the maintainers of brltty, cl-brlapi, ebook-speaker or brailleutils

31
pdevr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am not blind, but would very much like to contribute. I have been developing tools and applications for a very long time now.

Do let me know how to contact you.

32
julian37 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know you're asking for collaborators and not recommendations for tools, but since you were mentioning Chrome Devtools I wanted to make you aware of kite.el [1] which I believe TV Raman had working with Emacspeak [2] at one point. kite.el is unmaintained, but it might make for a good starting point?

[1] http://github.com/jscheid/kite[2] http://emacspeak.sourceforge.net/

33
datashovel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd be interested in discussing this with you further offline. I'm not blind, but definitely interested in exploring ways to help. If you add some information to your profile about how to reach you I'll reach out.
34
jlg23 2 days ago 1 reply      
> I'm looking at you JIRA, GitLab, Chrome Dev Tools, etc.

I'm not sure that using tools that try to provide a good visual experience is the right approach. Have you tried writing scrapers that provide an optimized textual representation?

35
johnwheeler 2 days ago 1 reply      
I created a framework for the Amazon Echo. I've been curious if it could help the blind. My e-mail is John At John Wheeler Dot Org. I'd be willing to help you if you could use me.
36
Anm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm part of the Blockly team (https://developers.google.com/blockly/), an open source project for visual drag-and-drop programming, usually targeting kids. Despite being a "visual programming editor" first, we are exploring blind accessible (i.e., screen reader ready) variants of our library.

See our first demo: https://blockly-demo.appspot.com/static/demos/accessible/ind...

Right now, it is effectively a different renderer for the same abstract syntax tree. We'd love to see people evaluate the direction we are currently going, and possibly apply the same accessible navigation to our existing render.

In terms of dev tools, Blockly blocks are usually constructed using Blockly (https://blockly-demo.appspot.com/static/demos/blockfactory/i...). That said, no one has considered what it would take to make our dev tools blind accessible. The fundamentals are there.

Granted, Blockly programming is far from being as powerful as other languages. It is aimed at novice programmers, whether for casual use or to teach the fundamentals of computational thinking. You can write an app in Blockly (http://appinventor.mit.edu/).

If anyone is interested, reach out to us: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/blockly

37
mst 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's a guy called Octavian Rasnita who's a blind perl developer who I've met before. We basically never agreed on anything but he always disagreed with me intelligently. You might be able to contact him by emailing user teddy on domain cpan.org. No idea if he's a good person to talk to or not tbh but I've always found him worth arguing with.

If you do contact him please blame me so he can shout at me, not you, if I made the wrong guess here.

38
misiti3780 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd help, shoot me an email. (I'm not blind)
39
Boothroid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm almost completely blind in one due to an eye condition and would be interested in being involved.
40
GeorgieB33 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks so much for posting this. I'm not blind or partially sighted, but I do work on one of the software tools that you mention.

I would love to learn more about how you would like development tools to support you in your work.

I know as an industry we have a long way to go, and I would love to work with you to get us there.

My email is in my profile, and I will also reach out to Talitha. Hoping we get a chance to chat.

41
azhenley 2 days ago 0 replies      
My research is on dev tools so I have a huge interest in this. Also, I interned at Microsoft Research and got to meet a few of their blind devs and how they are building tools to support others.

There is also a fair amount of research out there on the topic (see Richard Ladner at UW).

Feel free to send me an email if you get anything going!

42
nanch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm making web apps and mobile apps and I'd like to learn how to make my apps more accessible. Is there a community where I can ask for assistance with accessibility testing? I'd be willing to pay for testing. Thank you kindly. Nanch.
43
evincarofautumn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Im a programming language developer, and Im interested in developing languages and programming environments for the blind and visually impaired, or at least making existing languages more usable. Feel free to get in touch.
44
hippich 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you develop frontend stuff, please get in touch at pavelkaroukin@gmail.com . Company I work at developing single page app for higher ed and we constantly struggle with proper practices to make UI to be accessible to people with bad sight. Who knows, maybe it will perfect opportunity for both you and my company.
45
Michie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi blinddev,

You might want to read this: TOOLS of Blind Programmer https://www.parhamdoustdar.com/2016/04/03/tools-of-blind-pro...

Hope this can help.

46
UserNamesStupid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wish you well and will help in any way that I can. ld
47
bondolo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you heard of the BATS group and mailing list?

http://bats.fyi/

48
connorshea 2 days ago 0 replies      
Out of curiosity, what kind of developer are you? (e.g. languages you know, frameworks, platforms, etc.)
49
egonschiele 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not blind, but interested!
50
neoncontrails 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sighted person here. I'm very interested in this question. Most developers I know are not considering accessibility as part of the intrinsic design of an app. Blind people are more keenly aware of this problem, unfortunately, because it affects them a little more directly. Accessibility to screen reading clients is considered a "good to have," nonessential, an optimization. And yet when you ask the same people if search engine optimization is considered a "good to have," many will laugh and say no, that it is a necessity, if for no other reason than their clients demand it.

Clients want sites that implement current SEO best practices. What sort of best practices are those? A Yoast SEO plugin, maybe. Developers often mention the URL structure of the site itself, say it's "clean." This might be appreciated by future admins of the site, but it's unrelated to the goal of making pages that can be scraped.

It surprises me developers and SEOs overlook the difficulty of scraping the web. Keyword density does very little to help a page that cannot easily be serialized to a database. It's true that machines have come a long way. Google sees text loaded into the DOM dynamically, for example. But its algorithms remain deeply skeptical of ( or maybe just confused by ) pages I've made that make a lot of hot changes to the DOM.

And why wouldn't it be? I ask myself how would I cope with a succession of before and after states, identify conflicts, and merge all those objects into a cached image. Badly, sure. At this point, summarizing what the page "says" is no longer a deterministic function of the static page. Perhaps machine learning algorithms of the future will more and more resemble riveting court dramas where various mappings are proposed, compared to various procedural precedents, and rejected until a verdict is reached.

I wasn't very good at SEO. I found web scrapers completely fascinating, I spent way more time reading white papers on Google Research and trying to build a homemade facsimile of Google. Come to think of it, I did very little actual work. But I took a lot of useful lessons that have served me well as a developer.

I realized, for example, how many great websites there are that are utterly inaccessible to the visually impaired. With very few exceptions, these sites inhabit this sort of "gray web," unobservable to the vast majority of the world's eyeballs. The difficulty of crawling the web isn't simply related to the difficulty of summarizing a rich, interactive, content experience. They are instances of the same problem. If I really wanted to know how my site's SEO stacks up against the competition, I would not hire an SEO to tell me, I would hire a blind person.

51
mtrycz 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I'm looking at you Chrome Dev Tools...

Puns aside, Who on earth would make a blind person work on UI? I think it's better that you parted with them, even tho I'm sorry you have trouble finding a good job.

Best of luck.

52
gentleteblor 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to help.
53
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12820985

FYI, I sent courtesy invitations to nine people who said in this discussion "shoot me an email." One email address provided here was invalid. One or two other people who said "email in profile" did not have an email in their profile. If you want an invitation, contact me (talithamichele at gmail etc).

54
camlorn38 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a blind programmer. I'm currently working on the Rust compiler [0] and a large library for 3D audio that is essentially desktop WebAudio [1]. I'm the kind of person who people often ask for help with their college classes because I went through everything without trouble and came out of college with a 3.9 GPA, and the only reason I'm not making significant amounts of money at the moment is that I have other health problems that I won't go into here (but I would trade with someone who is only blind in a heartbeat). I think I am qualified to say that this is a bad idea.

Firstly, just offhand, the following stacks should be fully accessible with current tools: Node.js, Rust, Python, truly cross-platform C++, Java, Scala, Ruby, PHP, Haskell, and Erlang. If you use any of these, you can work completely from a terminal, access servers via SSH through Cygwin or Bash for Windows, and do editing via an SFTP client (WinSCP works reasonably, at least with NVDA). Notepad++ also makes a perfectly adequate editor, again with NVDA; I'm not sure about jaws if you're using that.

GitHub has a command line tool called hub that can be used to do some things, and is otherwise pretty accessible. Not perfect, but certainly usable enough that NVDA (one of the most popular screen readers) uses it now. Many other project management systems have command line tools as well. If you write alternatives to project management tools, you will have to convince your employer to use them. Replacing these makes you less employable. You need to work to make them accessible, perhaps by getting a job on an accessibility team.

The stacks you are locked out of--primarily anything Microsoft and anything iOS--can only be fixed with collaboration from the companies backing them. Writing a wrapper or alternative to msbuild that can let you do a UWP app without using the GUI is not feasible. I have looked into this. Doing this for Xcode is even worse, because Xcode is a complicated monster that doesn't bother to document anything--Microsoft doesn't document much, but at least gives you some.

I imagine this is not what you want to hear, but separating all the blind people into the corner and requiring custom tools for everything will just put us all out of work. if you're successful, none of the mainstream stuff that cares even a little right now will continue to do so, and you'll end up working on blind-person-only teams at blind-person-only companies.

0: My most notable Rust PR is this monster: https://github.com/rust-lang/rust/pull/361511: https://github.com/camlorn/libaudioverse

13
Ask HN: What tools/apps should I use to develop web apps on my iPad?
4 points by gls2ro  12 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
Artemix 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I use an android tablet when in public transport, to develop with quite everything in my projects, going from python to c++ including java, c# etc.. Using Quoda IDE and Termux as the terminal for compilation and git project sync.
2
DeveloperPanda 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I haven't done that but I feel like it won't be sustainable or fast enough, you'll need to use a full fledged computer [desktop/laptop].

But if you're adding a keyboard and able to switch between apps easily like we do on MacOS [haven't used iPad Pro] then probably that difference should be further slim. Sounds interesting as I think of it, you should definitely try & tretch/test the limits. Good luck :)

14
Tell HN: Enigmail 2.0 to automatically encrypt e-mails
68 points by vx17h  2 days ago   12 comments top 4
1
MatoBo 2 days ago 0 replies      
For whoever doesn't know what Enigmail is... it's a security add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird. It allows you to use OpenPGP to encrypt and digitally sign your emails and to decrypt and verify the messages received.
2
X86BSD 1 day ago 1 reply      
Will this be supported in Postbox 5? I know enigmail 1.2 is but I won't pull the trigger on Postbox 5 yet until I can confirm this add on will work with it.
3
aleken 2 days ago 1 reply      
Will pep handle key exchanging as well? Looks interesting, but I can't find out if/how it handles this?
4
newscracker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mods, can we have a "Show HN" prefix for this please?

I didn't realize this was just a discussion thread here, and I opened two tabs like I usually do - one for the main link and one for the HN thread. In this case I got two tabs with the same HN thread. :)

15
Question: What do you use to keep your work and freelance calendars in sync?
3 points by dbg31415  19 hours ago   1 comment top
1
emilburzo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
16
Ask HN: Do you get paid to contribute to a open source project?
118 points by alistproducer2  4 days ago   83 comments top 39
1
jedberg 4 days ago 12 replies      
I'm not a contributor but I've worked with core contributors to major projects. This is usually how I see things go down:

1) You work on an open source project and an altruistic company hires you to keep working on it. This is ideal, and I've only ever seen it once (Sendmail hired a couple of core contributors to keep making Sendmail awesome back in the 90s).

2) You work on an open source project, people see the work because they use the project, and then offer you a job to keep working on the project, but slowly over time you are working less on things that are great for the community and more on things that are great for your company. I've seen this a lot.

3) You get hired by a company that uses a big project, and they ask you to start making modifications that are useful for the company. It turns out what you did was useful for everyone so you contribute it back. Sometimes it turns out to be a huge win and so you keep working on it. I saw this with Cassandra and some of the folks at Netflix.

4) You create a cool project and your company lets you open source it. It becomes well known and then other companies want to hire you for either 1, 2 or 3. I saw this a couple times were people left Netflix to go to Facebook or Google to continue work on an OSS project.

If you work on Chromium or Firefox, you'll pretty much be limited to Google or the Mozilla foundation (with some exceptions). So if you want to do it to learn some great code but don't have a particular project that you love, I'd suggest one of the more infrastructure projects that are widely deployed if you want to increase potential job prospects.

In summary: There are lots of ways to get paid to write OSS, but you may not like them all.

2
phkamp 4 days ago 0 replies      
By and large Open Source is how I make a living.

My major source of income is my "Varnish Moral License" (see: http://phk.freebsd.dk/VML/index.html)

It is not particularly easy to shake money loose, but I'm making a living and I'm trying to explain to the world that free software is not the same as gratis software.

(See for instance: http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2636165)

As others have pointed out, the browsers are all backed by actual organizations with employees, so that will probably be a tough row to hoe, unless the end goal is to get employed by one of them.

3
mperham 4 days ago 2 replies      
Once my OSS project became popular, I started a business and switched to an open core model. Businesses buy additional features, I get recurring revenue so that I am paid to maintain the OSS and commercial parts.

http://sidekiq.org/

And to answer the inevitable question: many of my paid features are also available as 3rd party OSS plugins. Many companies prefer to pay for the commercial version so they know the features will all work well together and be supported years from now.

4
connorshea 3 days ago 0 replies      
One person who has spent a lot of time looking at and thinking about this problem is Nadia Eghbal. She has a repository called "Lemonade Stand"[1], which is a resource that lists a number of ways to fund open source development, and she wrote a paper on the topic of "digital infrastructure" being built on top of open source projects[2]. She also co-hosts a podcast called Request for Commits[3].

Another person worth looking at would be Eric Holscher, who's Twitter feed frequently has interesting insights into running an open source project as your full-time job[4].

The best bet if you want to do open source full-time would be to work at a company like GitLab[5] or Sentry[6], but that does restrict the exact kinds of open source work you can do (at least during working hours).

[1]: https://github.com/nayafia/lemonade-stand[2]: http://www.fordfoundation.org/library/reports-and-studies/ro...[3]: https://changelog.com/rfc[4]: https://twitter.com/ericholscher/status/752572876138565632[5]: https://about.gitlab.com/[6]: https://sentry.io/

5
kzisme 4 days ago 0 replies      
Some projects choose to use Gratipay. If you take a look at Gratipay's website their goal is to provide voluntary payments (and eventually a payroll system) to contributors for open work. Any team/project can apply to join Gratipay, but the main stipulation is that "public issue tracker with documentation for self-onboarding, and be willing to use our payroll feature."

https://gratipay.com/about/

Once payroll rolls out contributors set their own compensation.

Some more information on that can be found here: https://gratipay.com/about/features/payroll

Previously Gratipay was Gittip, and worked much like Patreon - essentially a donation or ~tip~ system.

There's still some work to be done, but I've been following this project for awhile. I've been working full time now on other stuff, but I keep up with their updates, and Chad (founder) is a great dude.

6
ihodes 3 days ago 1 reply      
(Nearly) all our work (github.com/hammerlab) is OSS. We're hiring experts in ML if you're interested in working on big genomic data in the field of cancer immunotherapy. We're a lab (academic not-for-profit, part of Mount Sinai's medical school, run off foundation, grant, and gift money) of software engineers from industry and academia in NYC trying to make research better, and cure some cancer while we're at it (running some clinical trials).
7
pm215 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yep, I get paid to work on QEMU. I would suggest that your chances of getting paid to work on something and what kind of work that turns out to be depend quite a bit on the project. You can have a look at the git commit history or the mailing lists: if the project really mostly worked on by a single company (as I suspect may be the case with Mozilla and Chromium) then the only paid employment prospects are likely to be with that company. A niche project might not have any opportunities for paid work on it at all. At the other extreme, if you look at the Linux kernel it has a huge range of corporate contributions of various kinds (as well as a lot of work that's purely downstream) and you have better chances of finding one that does the kind of work you might want to do.

Incidentally, previous experience with the specific codebase isn't necessarily a requirement to get a job working on a project: if you have general experience in the field and can work with an open source community then these both transfer over (this is how I got into working on QEMU). Learning a new codebase is something that you typically have to do when you start a new job in the closed source world, after all...

8
sowbug 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is not the answer you're looking for, but technically it is a valid answer to your question.

I'm a software engineer at Google, where I've contributed to Google Servlet Engine, Omaha (https://github.com/google/omaha), Firefox, Chromium, and Android, among other open-source projects.

Some of these are closed-source projects that were later open-sourced, some are developed in the open, and some are run as a hybrid between the two. I also develop random crap on the weekends, and Google gives us wide latitude to open-source that work if we want.

I recognize you're asking whether one can start with open-source contributions and eventually receive compensation for it. I'm answering that in my case I am compensated for a job that happens to involve lots of open-source contributions, which is the same end result but starting from a different place.

9
dtnewman 4 days ago 0 replies      
You gave the example of Firefox. In fact, the Mozilla organization, which manages Firefox has plenty of paid employees. See https://careers.mozilla.org/. The same is true for some other major open-source projects such as the Linux Foundation or LetsEncrypt. Being an employee at one of these organizations means you are literally being paid to contribute to open source projects.
10
SEJeff 4 days ago 2 replies      
I've gotten hired at my last 3 jobs primarily due to open source contributions I've done in my free time for fun. Instead of focusing on doing the code for money, focus on doing it for the challenge, the fun, and most importantly the networking.
11
xem 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been hired by a friend to co-develop the EQCSS JS library ( http://elementqueries.com ), and everything turned out very well :)

So I'm here to tell that friends or family aren't always the worst possible clients. If you both know what you're talking about, and are well organized, and define precisely what's the price for each task, it can be a great experience.

today the project has 900 stars on Github and a lengthy Smashing Magazine page :)

More info here:https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/07/how-i-ended-up-with...

12
secfirstmd 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes of course you can get paid to...For example, we build an open source Android app called Umbrella, which is used to help travellers, journalists and activists manage their digital and physical security on the move (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.secfirst.u...).

We pay our developers to help us build it and we are currently hiring an Android dev. http://ie.indeed.com/job/android-developer-passion-human-rig...

Code is here: https://github.com/securityfirst

13
timeSl 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in academia or scientific research, there is scope to work on open source projects there. My full time job is working on a particle physics data analysis program, which is entirely open sourced. You won't necessarily have to do a scientific project either - other people who work at the same research facility work on configuration management systems, or databases.

Note that this doesn't have to involve doing a PhD or actually being an academic - it's more a providing the tools that enable academics to do successful research kind of thing.

14
wcummings 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you're a student, GSoC does include a small stipend iirc.
15
scardine 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not directly, but given we use open source stacks at work, it is in the best interest of the company when we push patches upstream so there is no cost to maintain a fork.
16
err4nt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a couple motivations that drive me to invest in open-source:

- I grew up in a family without a lot of money, by using open-source software growing up I got to learn a lot of different aspects of digital production, sofware development, and try software I never would have had the opportunity to try if it hadn't been open source. This was incredibly formative in shaping my skill set today, so I have a lot of past open-source contributers to thank for where I find myself today

- I believe businesses have a responsibility to the community in which they operate and where their employees live. This is corporate stewardship, for a big business maaybe they invest in a local school, or sponsor kids sports teams or summer camp. I'm a freelancer, so I wont be sponsoring any sports teams, but I feel its important for my 1-man business to give back in a 1-man-sized way!

So with those two things in mind, a desire to give back to open source, and a desire to help the community I come from - I have tried to find challenging new work that pushes the limits of current technology. I stretches me as a learner & worker, it provides a solution for a problem that meets the clients needs, and if I can find a way to give the solution I came up with back to the community, then others can save time and money by using my work as a springboard for their own solutions.

I write and release lots of use cases and examples demonstrating techniques and solutions, and pour a lot of time, and even some of my own money into getting them out there!

If your aim was to help a project like the Firefox project, and you wanted to be paid for your time - I would try to find a client who has an ee case not currently supported by Firefox, having them pay you to solve their problem, and also arrange that your solution can be sent back to Firefox and included in their codebase. Its a win/win/win for you, the client, and Firefox, plus a bonus win for all Firefox users at the same time!

17
wkoszek 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not getting paid for open-source, so most of my GitHub stuff is for fun/profit https://github.com/wkoszek <- none of these generated any $$$. So if you contributed something, your learning goal could work, but there's no money to be made.

Learn/money idea to what you want is to get a job where open source is welcome, cherished and used. Internships are good to try it out. HIIT in Finland was such place and I interned there, and the result is here:https://github.com/wkoszek/freebsd_netfpga So I've got $$$ for stay + food + cinema for hacking project which I knew we'd publish and I learned a bunch.

If you're not for a rich country, Google Code In and Google Summer of Code be an option. You get a $5000 stipend for spending your summer at home hacking code, you get a decent mentor from a project you're interested in and you get experience.

Another model is to reach out to projects which are backed by a legal body. For example the FreeBSD Foundation helps and support the FreeBSD Project, and they have sponsored projects. If you're good in FreeBSD and have an idea, I feel there'd be some $$$ if you can deliver something useful. FreeBSD has feature idea pages and if you see a fit, you could just ping people and start collaborating.

Last, and I think the hardest, is to start hacking good code in a product you see is (1) open-source (2) backed by a company. I don't know how many hiring managers are techies merging pull requests etc., but even through individual engineers you can get a reference. After 10th pull request accepted by a guy who reviewed your stuff and with whom you've worked, I feel like it's easier to shoot "Are you hiring? I NEED THE MONEYZ!" email.

18
sundarurfriend 3 days ago 0 replies      
This, I believe, is the core idea behind BountySource [1], and similar sites [2]. People place bounties on problems in open source software that they'd really like to see solved, and "bounty-hunters" (i.e. potentially you) solve these problems and get paid the amount pledged.

And of course, if you're starting a new project, there's the Kickstarter model - followed by, for eg., Neovim, Chocolatey, etc.

[1] https://www.bountysource.com/[2] http://alternativeto.net/software/bountysource/

19
bjelkeman-again 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are some organisations that build open source software and hire developers. We only have one open position right now, but we keep expanding our team. http://akvo.org/about-us/working-at-akvo/
20
disordinary 3 days ago 0 replies      
Look at issues, engage with the developers and do smaller commits into Chromeium or Firefox and then apply for a job at Mozilla, Google, or Apple once you have a bit of a portfolio with the project. Firefox has the benefit of hiring remote so you don't need to be near a campus of one of the other big companies.

I work in Open Source and there are plenty of companies that build their business around a product and hire at market rates, normally they have a SaaS model of operation, but you'll have to set your sights a little lower than Chrome or Firefox. These companies include Ghost, Mongo, Elastic, Basho, Cockroach Labs, Automattic (Wordpress), Silverstripe, and countless more.

Another way to do it is to do postgraduate work at a university and get a grant, I know people who work on the Rust compiler in this capacity.

21
puddintane 4 days ago 1 reply      
I know one common technique for contributors is to put a bitcoin or donation type ID in their profile. This allows for people who see your contributions to go to your profile and give ya something back. Not sure how effective but this is one method I have seen.
22
dlor 3 days ago 1 reply      
I started and work on the minikube project as part of my full time job. It's developed completely on GitHub, and I manage two other engineers working on it full-time.

github.com/kubernetes/minikube

23
woodruffw 3 days ago 0 replies      
For the past 2 summers, I've been paid by Google through GSoC [1] to work do open-source work, all on Homebrew. It's been a great experience in terms of skills learned, and the pay is just a nice incentive for work that I'd be doing anyways.

I'd highly recommend it, although I believe enrollment in a university is required for eligibility.

[1]: https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/

24
agibsonccc 3 days ago 0 replies      
My company started as an open source project. Most of our hires are open source contributors. We're distributed all around the world (many open source companies are like this).

There are usually 3 kinds of paid contributors we see:1. Companies scratching their own itch while we maintain it

2. People I hire to work on the project

3. Phd students technically on a stipend doing their research with us (we do AI)

Another possibility is a 3rd party company paying someone to add a pull request to an open source project whether that be us or others.

25
koolba 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yes but not by others. I pay myself to do it (well my company does).

If I need something fixed or added to a FOSS project for $WORK, that's work related and it's perfectly reasonable to do so.

Now getting someone else to pay you is a much bigger stretch. Outside of a couple people who work for really big companies that market commercial versions (or support packages) for FOSS projects, I don't know of anyone that gets paid to work on FOSS.

26
teddyuk 4 days ago 0 replies      
I got paid/sponsored to work on a couple of projects.

I had met some people from the company a couple of times and wrote something they wanted adapted to work with their products but didn't want to invest in it.

A few thousand to get me to do something I was going to do anyway at some point was a good way for them to get something that they wouldn't monetise directly.

Not sure how to get a gig like that though :)

27
tedmiston 4 days ago 0 replies      
You might consider talking to Tom Christie of Django Rest Framework. I know he's working on it full time now. IIRC the pay he gets is less than a normal salary, but there are plenty of upsides to the freedom and flexibility he has.
28
divbit 4 days ago 0 replies      
The main benefit is giving back to the community, and possibly learning some new skills, and maybe building a github profile. I wouldn't depend on it for more than a little bonus every once in a while. Experiences may differ.
29
lincolnpark 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you're into working on a Opensource Social Virtual Reality platform, we're always looking for contributors! http://highfidelity.io
30
SwellJoe 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've made my living based on OSS projects for almost my entire professional career (about 17 years, specifically working on Squid, SciPy, Webmin, Virtualmin, etc.). Not a great living, mind you, but it's kept me in food and houses and given me a lot of freedom. Also, most of the stuff that made money hasn't been the stuff you want to be doing; the code doesn't make money, in the vast majority of cases. It's the stuff you do other than code, but that requires deep understanding of the code, that makes money. Deployments, support, customization, packaging, documentation, bundling and "productizing", and occasionally getting jobs on the strength of your prior contributions. I've written a lot less code than I would have liked in all those years, and much of the code I wrote has been fleeting ephemeral things like shell scripts and packaging scripts.

I don't know a lot about the frontend OSS world, but I know that if you pick a project that has a lot of money being thrown around (in large deployments, for example) then you'll find that it's easier to get some of it to land in your pocket. Niche projects are difficult to get paid for, but can be good places to learn; smaller projects may be happy to have some help and will lend more guidance when you ask questions. But, then again, some big projects have people specifically tasked with bringing new developers up to speed and "community management", so that may even out that difference.

It will never hurt you to have OSS contributions on your resume. It's gotten me jobs, and has allowed me to round up good paying contract work when I've needed it (even in unrelated fields; I've recently done some Ruby work, even though I've never had a real project in Ruby). And, as someone who has hired people, I can say I've only ever hired people who had OSS work I could see. Sometimes unrelated to what I was hiring for, sometimes they were already working on what I was hiring for and I just wanted them to be able to spend more time on it and get them on board with the company road map.

All that said, it's not the easiest way to make a living in software. Getting a real job is probably the easiest way, and if you're lucky you'll get to work on OSS stuff to one degree or another. I've worked on tons of stuff that I never got paid for, and don't expect to ever get paid for. And, if you aren't really directing your efforts toward making something pay, you're unlikely to find that it'll pay.

OSS contribution does not, in the general case, lead to getting paid. But, it can lead there if you want it to.

31
irfansharif 3 days ago 0 replies      
yeap, interning this semester at Cockroach Labs, Inc.[1] where their central project CockroachDB[2] is open sourced under Apache-2.0.

[1]: https://www.cockroachlabs.com/

[2]: https://github.com/cockroachdb/cockroach/

32
voltagex_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you get a chance to go to a FOSS or Linux conference, there are normally lots of people there who are hiring or looking to be hired to work on FOSS.
33
Rbpaservices 3 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of actors supplement their income waiting tables. Artists paint portraits. Writers edit newspaper articles. Devs speak at conferences.
34
Findeton 4 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, I work for nVotes/Agora Voting, which is an open source secure electronic/online voting project.
35
Rbpaservices 3 days ago 0 replies      
Open Source Devs speak at conferences to make ends meet.
36
voltagex_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW, I don't think I'd get into a FOSS project just for the chance of getting paid. I think it's really hard to work on something you don't have an underlying interest in, first.
37
caniszczyk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes
38
NoCanDo 3 days ago 0 replies      
yes
39
jedberg 4 days ago 2 replies      
If you want an interesting way to get paid for OSS software, check this out: https://fair.io/

Basically the idea is that the code is open and free, but if someone uses it a lot to make money they pay you a licensing fee.

18
Ask HN: How to challenge a patent?
17 points by mandeepj  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
1
mchannon 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
If your idea is substantially different from theirs (yours being specific and theirs being vague), applying for your own patent, expressly including theirs as a reference and distinguishing what's novel about your technology and how it differs from theirs, is probably the best way forward.

Can't get much cheaper or more effective than having the USPTO rule your patent as valid and distinct; even a lengthy DIY patent process will run you less than a couple hours of a middling patent attorney's time.

Odds are your business will fail or be acquired by the time the patent issues or even gets looked at (I'm still litigating a patent application I initially filed in 2010). Your goal is to succeed or fail based on the quality of your business model and only use the patent process as needed to entice investors and scare away trolls.

Patent pending is not as good as issued, but darn close for a number of investors.

2
jeffmould 1 day ago 2 replies      
IANAL, but you should contact one. That's the simple answer.

The problem with asking this question here is two-fold. First, you are potentially admitting that you think you may be violating that patent. Just because a site is not working, does not mean they are not a patent troll.

More importantly, you will get a mix of answers, if any. Patent law is complicated and, in most cases, not a simple yes you are violating or no you are not violating answer. The responses you get by asking that question in a public forum will fall along that line. Some people may think you are and others will not. In the end, you still don't have the answer to your question and are most likely more confused than when you started :)

Finally, just looking at your site, not sure if you are aware but I know of several patents that are being utilized for similar technology. Check out a site: http://zugara.com/virtual-dressing-room-technology and on their site they list the patents they are using.

3
luisivan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi there,

This is the exact reason why we built Unpatent (https://unpatent.co) so feel free to reach me at luis@(our domain name) and we'll help you out!

4
CalChris 1 day ago 0 replies      
You might find some help at patents.stackexchange.com
19
Ask HN: What laptop should I get instead of a Macbook Pro?
92 points by qntty  3 days ago   111 comments top 44
1
skizm 3 days ago 1 reply      
I mean, not for nothing, but you do know you can still buy the old style MBP with 2x usb3 and an hdmi port, right? You don't have to get the new style ones that they announced.

That said, I hear you. I wanted a 32gb model with crazy good battery life also, but to be honest, Windows laptops are kind of all shit right now. I'm in the exact same boat as you. I hate the new MBPs and need a new laptop soon, BUT I'm still landing on the old style MBP as the way forward every time I look through the available options.

Probably not much help, but that's my 2 cents.

e: that said I am going to keep refreshing this thread and hope someone mentions something I haven't looked at yet.

2
mdasen 3 days ago 1 reply      
As an add-on question: how can one figure out if a laptop supports Precision Touchpad rather than trying to emulate a mouse with the trackpad? Does Precision Touchpad actually make Windows trackpad usable and enjoyable like the Mac ones? Is Precision Touchpad supported by Linux distros?
3
raisedadead 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yeah, windows laptops have always been shit (considering MS never made hardware early on, until recently), MS has done some blunders in past as well (remember Vista and Win8).

But it does learn from its mistake, the new Surface line-up is epic.http://mashable.com/2016/10/27/microsoft-better-apple

I have been using a Windows laptop for over 5 years (Yeah a Lenovo!) and have went thru the whole upgrade from Windows 7 --> Windows 10.1 Anniversary update (for free), and to much shame of mine, my b!@#ch of a laptop still doesn't cry considering a boot up time of 6 seconds!

Yet I needed a dedicated Unix environment and although Bash is available natively now on Windows, it's not going to be stable soon enough for me (6 months from now maybe, Creators Update is coming in Jan' 2017). So, a week ago I did buy the MBP retina 13" Early 2015, and trust me I am not disappointed, after last night's #AppleEvent.

I might be biased but coming down to your query:> Are Lenovos worth considering post-superfish-gate?

HELL YES!

"based on my personal experience".

4
SamUK96 3 days ago 1 reply      
I assume that if you considered an Apple product, you expect portability, so...

If you want to spend a similar amount of money, get the Asus UX390UA (Zenbook 3).1) It's lighter2) It's got better components in every single aspect -> CPU, GPU, SSD size, Screen, keyboard, etc., etc....3) It's actually cheaperSTILL

If you want to spend less, but now around the same performance of a MBP, maybe get the Asus UX330. It's basically a toned-down UX390, but still awesome.

If you want a cheaper STILL, consider a Clevo reseller like PCSpecialist (UK), Scan (Everywhere?), Sager (US), XMG (Europe). They are the ultimate in performance per cost, it's just that they tend to not be the most asthetically pleasing.

5
NightlyDev 3 days ago 5 replies      
I'm very happy with my XPS 13, great build quality, great battery life, new hardware, tiny screen borders(resulting in a tiny laptop) and linux support.
6
rayalez 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am extremely happy with my Lenovo ThinkPad X1. It is beautiful, powerful, and is pure joy to use.

Dell XPS 13 is also a very good alternative, I've heard.

7
berkeleynerd 3 days ago 1 reply      
For those wishing to run Linux, which of laptops require no (or minimal, I suppose) closed source firmware? I tend to prefer Debian sans non-free but I'm practical enough to just weight that as one factor among many.
8
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would get a MBair or the last gen MBpro that is still for sale, I can't use any other track pads for starters and for development I love OSX.

I plan to get another MBair or maybe the new MBpro without the touch bar. I might go for the touch bar but right now it just doesn't interest me but I'll go in and try one out, read reviews and see how it's integrated with software I use.

I would still stick with a macbook.

9
drakonka 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been super happy with my ThinkPad X1 Carbon running Fedora (migrated from MacBook Air to this about 7-8 months ago as I heard the airs were likely to be phased out).
10
bossx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Switched to a MS Surface Book after nearly a decade with Macbooks. Reasoning:

1) Powerhouse specs (core i7, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD, nvidia GeForce) for running pretty much anything

2) Convertable to tablet for casual browsing, watching videos and drawing

3) Super accurate pen and touch support, pen acts like a mouse so can be used for OS level interactions not just specific apps, even hover works

4) Pen mounts to screen magnetically

5) Can be used like a traditional laptop on your lap

6) Beautiful 3000x2000 pixel display, higher DPI than retina with a 3:2 aspect ratio

7) Windows 10 with all the patches is actually a decent OS and supports all form factors, touch etc.

It's really nice to be able to do creative work, everyday work and gaming all on the same system. Currently playing Overwatch with no issues!

11
WayneBro 3 days ago 4 replies      
Any opinions on why developers on HN/elsewhere seem to prefer laptops over desktop machines?

Do you really need to be coding on the bus/train/plane or in hotels? When you go to a meeting, do you really need to bring your entire development setup with you?

When I go into a client's office for a meeting I usually only need to take notes and do presentations. So I get a cheap $500 laptop for that. If I need anything at all from my home workstation, I just remote into it. Actually, I did this even before I was working for myself - I'd just remote back into my workstation at my desk.

Is it just that you don't want to deal with 2 machines? Are you just doing it because that's what everybody else is doing?

12
5ersi 3 days ago 0 replies      
We'll the Macbook Pro 2015 is still a decent machine. We should expect to see some discounts as it phases out in the following weeks.
13
savanaly 3 days ago 1 reply      
In the spirit of "teach a man to fish" I'll plug this handy resource for consumer electronics that I think makes very trustworthy and good recommendations. [1]

And they have an entire article devoted to the topic of laptops. [2]

[1] http://thewirecutter.com/

[2] http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/what-laptop-should-i-buy-th...

14
manaskarekar 3 days ago 2 replies      
Surprised to see no mention of the excellent Latitude E7450 and E7470 and the Latitude E5450 and E5470.

Run Linux beautifully, if you care about that.

15
aq3cn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am going for two computers. Server and budget Asus ultrabooks with touch support. This should be ideal for me. I will not invest in high end laptops or All in One because upgrading them isn't so smooth but whereas desktop (especially servers) are built for long term use with option to upgrade any time.

I have heavily relied on Microsoft Remote desktop in past and my experience has been smoother for task like running and computing in MatLab or Mathematica.

I have also been thinking of getting Razor blade pro laptop if this setup does not work out. They have 2 TB PCie SSD with RAID 0. That's insane in less than one inch thick laptop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqUSr4Vwpok

16
faitswulff 3 days ago 1 reply      
I was hoping there would be more commentary on the Lenovo superfish situation as it stands today. This is exactly my concern with purchasing from them.
17
TurboHaskal 3 days ago 2 replies      
- Dell XPS 13

- Thinkpad x250 (x260 has PWM issues)

- 4th Gen Thinkpad x1 Carbon (FHD model to avoid screen lottery)

- Thinkpad x1 Carbon Yoga (OLED)

- Refurbished 2015 Macbook Pro

18
synchrone 3 days ago 2 replies      
I am using HP Spectre x360. Really close to MBP 13". Never actually used the tablet mode.Bonus points for hassle-free linux experience.
19
rurban 2 days ago 1 reply      
I tried the Zenbook for a year, but the GPU didn't listen to sleep/lid close events even after trying several fresh kernels, the Wifi wakeup on linux sucks compared to macos (even with the mDNSresponder desaster), the trackpad was much worse.In the end it burnt/overheated because of the overheated GPU.The casing was also too edgy, I constantly did hurt myself with the right hand.

A fully upgraded MacBook Air is still the best. (i7, 500GB HD, 16GB RAM) I got several of them.

Lenovo is too heavy to carry around. Even a MBP is too heavy and bulky for me.The Elitebook has no 500GB HD available and also only 16GB RAM.

20
markbnj 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most of my colleagues on our SRE/devops team have Lenovos and swear by them. I have a System76 and I wish I could recommend it. Great system software packaging, decent mainboard and display, horrible keyboard, touchpad and case quality. I'd go with a Dell or Lenovo for my next one.
21
numerlo 3 days ago 2 replies      
I would recommend a Surface Book. Even if you don't plan to use it as a tablet at all it still beats every other laptop on the market. Initially it had a lot of issues but now they have been fixed and it really is amazing.
22
vladimir-y 2 days ago 0 replies      
As for me the only decent laptops on the market are HP Spectre x360 (second generation, recently updated, comes with Kaby Lake) and Acer TravelMate P648. Unfortunately not the Dell XPS laptops due to the widely known coil whine problem and in general a quality control issue.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12816033

23
jlebrech 3 days ago 1 reply      
Chromebook and SSH into a REAL computer ;)

on a serious note, look at Aorus X5, I like the RGB keyboard. you can get it to colour the keys based on context. could be a nice alternative to the overpriced touchscreen of the new macbooks.

24
AdmiralAsshat 3 days ago 0 replies      
You don't mention if Linux support is vital to your search. It would be good to know, since there are plenty of great Windows ultrabooks that are not-so-great if you're planning to load Linux onto them.
25
NDizzle 3 days ago 3 replies      
Razer has a 14" laptop that looks really nice, if you can look a little past the color scheme.

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade

They also have a 17" and a 12.5" laptop, but you're probably looking for something in between 13 and 15.

I'm in the same market. I have a late 2013 Macbook Pro and there is ZERO chance I'm buying a modern 15" MBP. The Touch Bar is offensive to the point that I'll put up with Windows instead.

26
baccheion 3 days ago 1 reply      
There are 4 laptops I'd buy right now (if I could):

- Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW (15.6")

- MacBook Pro 2016 (15.6")

- Dell XPS (13" or 15")

- Lenovo X1 Carbon

If you don't like the MacBook Pro (or think it's too expensive), then I'd go with the ZenBook Pro.

27
wprapido 19 hours ago 0 replies      
a happy dell 7710 and lenovo w520 user here. if you want a more compact machine, go for asus zenbook or dell xps. lenovo x1 isn't bad either. all of them got great linux support
28
chomp 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am using the Dell Precision 5510, it is really nice.

http://i.dell.com/sites/imagecontent/merchandizing/Publishin...

Comes pre-installed with either Windows or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Also comes with Thunderbolt over USB type-c so you can charge and hook up your peripherals over 1 cable.

29
scrollaway 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would recommend the Dell XPS 13.
30
jdbernard 3 days ago 0 replies      
Maingear's Pulse lineup is worth looking at. I got mine with an Nvidia 980M and 4K display and love it. They recently updated the line and offer it with a GTX 1060 too.

Not quite as thin and light as a Macbook Pro, but not far off: 17.5mm and 4 lbs.

https://www.maingear.com/custom/notebooks/pulse15/index.php

31
stuffaandthings 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just got a T460s, and am super happy with my Arch Linux setup.

The build quality definitely isn't as good as Apples. I had to return my first T460s due to severe light-bleed issues. The new one is fine, though the TrackPoint isn't as good as it was in previous generations. The TrackPad also is not as good as Apples, though I try to keep a keyboard-only workflow so it's not that much of an issue (till it is)

32
impostervt 3 days ago 1 reply      
I just got one from System76. I like it a lot so far.

https://system76.com/

(I got a lemur)

33
elchief 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got a Macbook Pro 2 months ago. Was dreading the announcement as I thought I might have buyer's remorse. Nope.
34
RenatSh 3 days ago 0 replies      
Have no personal experience with any of following laptops, but there is a list of laptops with Nvidia 1060: http://www.ultrabookreview.com/11702-laptops-nvidia-1060/There are even laptops with less than 2kg weight
35
swiley 3 days ago 0 replies      
The gentoo wiki has a guide cross posted from thinkwiki on used thinkpad shopping which might be useful:

https://wiki.installgentoo.com/index.php/File:KTGee_Used_Thi...

36
dman 3 days ago 0 replies      
T460. Install Ubuntu. Install powertop and tlp. Run powertop to make sure its happy with the settings on your machine. With the extended battery this setup will get > 10 hours battery life (for programming workloads) and is near silent with an excellent keyboard.
37
IdontRememberIt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am a dev who needs to travel light. I was looking for an alternative to the MBP in the MS world.I found it: the Lenovo X1 Carbon.Pros: light, well finished, classic design, technical specs, keyboard is a dream. Cons: some crapware to remove
38
walkingolof 3 days ago 1 reply      
Thinkpad P50 - 4K screen, Xenon CPU, 64 GB Memory in a supprisingly nimble package.
39
ljw1001 3 days ago 0 replies      
If there was a truly-good cloud IDE for Java I would buy a chrome book. When I think of the tens of thousands of dollars I've spent on compute hardware over the years I want to cry.
40
SteveNuts 3 days ago 0 replies      
I just got a System76 Lemur.

The actual build quality isn't great, but it's functional with no frills which is exactly what I wanted.

41
staticautomatic 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Samsung Book and it is unquestionably the best laptop I've ever owned. Happy to answer questions.
42
brudgers 3 days ago 0 replies      
Dell Precisions are well built.
43
kozhevnikov 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm waiting for Dell XPS 15 to get Kaby Lake update.
44
izolate 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm quite happy with my mid-2014 Macbook Pro, but if I were in the market for an upgrade, I'd buy a Razer Blade Stealth and install Ubuntu on it.
20
Ask HN: Best Command Line Web Browser
4 points by dedalus  18 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
zachlatta 14 hours ago 0 replies      
elinks has consistently given me the best experience, no customization needed.
2
ChanderG 17 hours ago 0 replies      
links2. Found it easiest to customize.
21
Ask HN: What is your goto resource for learning about big data, ML, AI etc?
144 points by vijayr  3 days ago   39 comments top 24
1
curiousgal 3 days ago 6 replies      
HN has a great and I mean absolutely great search feature via Algolia https://hn.algolia.com and this particular question keeps springing up every now and then, no one seems to use the feature despite the search bar being at the bottom of every page.

Edit: removed "inb4 downvotes".

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dhawalhs 3 days ago 1 reply      
For complete newbies (but with programming experience), I would recommend this UW Coursera course to get introduced to ML Basics:https://www.coursera.org/learn/ml-foundations

Early this year Apple acquired Turi for $200 million. It was founded by Carlos Guestrin, one of the professors who is teaching the course.

We (Class Central) are also working on a six part Wirecutter style guide to learning Data Science online. Here is part 1:https://www.class-central.com/report/best-programming-course...

Feedback would be appreciated (on the format as well as content)!

3
geebee 2 days ago 0 replies      
It depends on your focus, of course. Andrew Ng's coursera is famous, and it's ideal for someone who wants to get into the mathematics behind various ML algorithms. However, this class is will take you into implementing algorithms, but is less about applying them.

If you want to just try them out, I'd honestly recommend just going through the scikit-learn documentation. Almost all of the algorithms provide an example, and the API is pretty consistent across different ML algorithms, to the extent that it can be.

People learn differently, some people prefer to get into the math right away, others will never be interested in it. I'm interested, but I tend to be more motivated when I've used the algorithms, start to learn about how and why they perform well or poorly under various circumstances, and then dig into the mathematics specifically to find out why.

Also, I'm not going to be creating new ML algorithms. So, you know, that also influences my level of interest. I do care about the mathematics involved, because I do want to genuinely understand why some outputs are available for random forests but not naive bases or logistic regression, why performance and/or accuracy is great in some circumstances and not others, and I don't want to have to rely on too much hand waving. But if you want to actually develop and research novel ML algorithms, you'd need to get considerably deeper into the math.

4
jotto 3 days ago 0 replies      
similar question was just asked 2 weeks ago:

 Ask HN: How to get started with machine learning?
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12713056

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k26dr 3 days ago 0 replies      
The scikit-learn documentation is solid:

http://scikit-learn.org/stable/

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sremani 3 days ago 0 replies      
Udacity has a free Introduction to Machine Learning (which use scikit-learn, python). They also have nano-degrees which are paid.
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BrandonBradley 3 days ago 0 replies      
For big data, 'Big Data' by Nathan Marz was an excellent read. The conceptual chapters are top notch, and the implementation chapters give you a good look into the tools used for the field at the time of publishing.
8
crystalPalace 3 days ago 0 replies      
I enjoy the way this site is written and its focus on getting developers up and running quickly while still instilling conceptual basics.

http://machinelearningmastery.com/linear-algebra-machine-lea...

http://machinelearningmastery.com/machine-learning-for-progr...

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dharma1 3 days ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of good online courses to get started, I like the Stanford CS231n lectures - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-g0-6_RRUA&list=PLLvH2FwAQhn...

For keeping up with the latest research, once you know what you are doing, reading papers on Arxiv daily/weekly is a great way to keep up, nearly everything gets published there

10
glamp 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://blog.yhat.com/: Tutorials, example apps, and other stuff.
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nborwankar 3 days ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug: LearnDataScience http://learned.com is a git repo with Jupyter Notebooks, data and instructions. It's meant for programmers, assumes no math background and addresses data cleaning issues which most classes ignore. Having said that Andrew Ng's class on Coursera is gold.
12
eliben 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's time for someone to write the equivalent of http://norvig.com/21-days.html for ML/big data :-)
14
smnplk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know you didn't ask for this, but here is a gentle introduction to ML http://www.soc.napier.ac.uk/course-notes/sml/manual.html :P
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imrank1 3 days ago 0 replies      
For a ML intro Coursera's machine learning course https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning is great. I have not been through the entire course but for someone who has no background in it, its a good intro as the video themselves are solid.
16
raju_bala 3 days ago 0 replies      
Conferences like WWW, KDD, ICML for latest, coursera for basics, and textbooks like Pattern matching by Bishop.
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kobeya 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ignore the domain but... try this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/MachineLearning/

It is a remarkably high signal to noise community.

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enthdegree 3 days ago 0 replies      
A classic reference is Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning by Bishop
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ivan_ah 2 days ago 0 replies      
METACADEMY is pretty good: short summaries + prerequisite graph

https://metacademy.org/roadmaps/

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Drdrdrq 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://neuralnetworksanddeeplearning.com/

Excellent book for starting with NN and DL.

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nonbel 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best way to learn is by doing, imo. Just go join a kaggle competition. Maybe people know others it is so easy to partake in?
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snambi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. I was looking for ML resources.
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Ask HN: From tech startup to finance. Bad move?
7 points by toocool  19 hours ago   12 comments top 6
1
mswen 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should make the switch:

[1] Cash portion of compensation is significantly better

[2] Diversification of experience improves. You have big enterprise, start-up and now would add trading/finance to the mix

[3] If you keep a tight rein on lifestyle inflation you could easily save enough money to become your own angel investor in 4 to 6 years from now if you really find you prefer the start-up environment

[4] If you stay the ego-crushing aspects will continue to weigh heavily on you and create daily stress.

2
ones_and_zeros 7 hours ago 0 replies      
200k salary and a minimum 200k yearly bonus? Just take one of the HF jobs and you can retire in a few years and do whatever you want.
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gragas 19 hours ago 1 reply      
As a side question, can I ask how much experience you have other than your work at said startup? Within a year I'm going to have to make the choice between going the tradition route in tech or joining a high-frequency prop shop. The starting offer seems to be around 130-150k base with 20-80k bonus at the end of the first year (which is implied to scale heavily after the first year, unless things go really poorly).

If you were given the choice, which route would you take?

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a3n 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Take the new job. It's a new field, new challenges, lots to learn.

When you're done there, go to some other industry. Medical devices, alternative energy, aerospace, porn. Live in different regions, different countries.

That's the beauty of software. If you're open to it, you can learn a lot about different parts of the economy.

Or did you specialize in whatever your startup does when you were in school?

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cascala 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Interesting choices you have in front of you.

Hedge fund pros and cons:* higher pay* more volatile pay* what is your long-term career path at the hedge fund?

Startup pros and cons:* probably a nicer work environment than a hedge fund* you feel disenfranchised

The simpler argument would be to simply take the job that pays the most. I think there are very few exceptions to that rule.

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gragas 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can you tell us which hedge funds? I can't imagine hedge funds need much in-house technical work. HFT prop shops, on the other hand, are pretty much all about technical work.
23
Ask HN: Is Dell XPS Developer Edition a Good Replacement of Macbook Pro?
131 points by kornakiewicz  2 days ago   97 comments top 41
1
zeusk 2 days ago 7 replies      
Yes,

I've been using a Retina MacBook Pro 13" (early 15) and 15" (mid 15) and just picked up the xps 13 9350 with iris pro.

There are definitely some quality control issues but once you get a working model with no faults (I had one that wouldn't reboot and had terrible coil whine, one that had loose trackpad and yellow tint on screen but this could also be because of Amazon's shitty packaging where the laptop was in a box with only some brown paper crumpled in) - atleast they took them back no questions asked. I'm amazed how far windows laptops have come along.

The only real downsides are that it power throttles (and thermal too, but I placed my own aftermarket thermal paste and it doesn't cross 66 C on full load now) due to the iris GPU itself consuming 18W at it's rated turbo boost with the SoC's TDP being 15W (long turbo) and 25W (short turbo). Perhaps go with the i5 model that has the HD 520 or the new 9360 that has kabylake with better thermal and power consumption (HD 620 is roughly similar to HD 540 but won't throttle). You can also use Intel's XTU to undervolt and better battery life and throttling if you're going to use windows.

Linux runs flawlessly, infact so does OS X if you can replace the wifi card. AMA

2
wolfkabal 2 days ago 2 replies      
I went with a ThinkPad P50. It's not nearly as bulky as some think. I specked mine with the Xeon processor, and 1080p screen (but 4k is an option). Also specked everything else as low as possible (HDD/SSD, RAM). I upgraded these items myself after. I now have a server grade processor, have put two 512 SSD in it (one M.2 NVMe), and 64GB of RAM. It's a beast. I can also swap out the LCD panel directly for the 4k panel if I so choose with an after-market one later if I so choose. Initial base price was only around $1400 (was on sale), and about $500 for the SSD/RAM on my own dime (would have been well above $1000 on lenovo's site).

So for ~$1900 I have something that blows the MacBook Pro out of the water.

3
pbohun 2 days ago 1 reply      
One gem I found when I was shopping for a laptop is the Dell Inspiron 7559 (part of their "gaming" series). I bought the most expensive $1300 version last winter and it's been great.

- 4k touchscreen

- i7 Skylake processor w/ identical stats to that on the $2400 15" macbook pro

- 16 GB RAM

- 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD (I replaced the HDD with a 500 GB SSD from Amazon)

- NVIDIA GTX 960m w/ 4 GB GDDR5 RAM

It's sturdily made, I take it everywhere. The only thing I miss from my mac is the trackpad. You can't beat mac trackpads. However, the trackpad on the Inspiron is great, much better than many of the others I've tried. When you take into account it has better graphics acceleration than the $2800 macbook pro, you find that dollar for dollar, it's one of the best value laptops out there. (Seriously, compare it to even Dell's XPS 15, you'd have to pay ~$1650 for an XPS 15 to get comparable specs to the $1300 Inspiron 7559. The Inspiron even has double the graphics card RAM of the $2550 XPS 15!)

4
oxymoron 2 days ago 1 reply      
I carried a 2013 Dell XPS Developer Edition and a MacBook Air in parallell for a while this year. Note that not all of this necessarily applies to more recent versions of the XPS.

* My XPS has a really awful touchpad. When I first got it, it was definitely my main reservation. I tried a 2014 model and noted that it wasn't much improved.

 * The battery life is much, much worse on the XPS, which is probably the main reason why I find myself reaching for the mac. I've kept Ubuntu 12.04 on it, so Linux power management has likely gotten better but there's still no comparison. * other than that, I've loved my XPS. It's super light, has a brilliant keyboard, excellent specs and still works well after three years.

5
kminehart 2 days ago 1 reply      
My girlfriend recently bought one for her daily driver. We decided to go with Arch Linux to gain access to packages as they release, rather than wait for the next iteration of Ubuntu or Fedora to get updates.

Here are my pros and cons:

Pros:

1. The hardware is great; the developer edition favors more Linux-compatible hardware (obviously), and for us, it didn't require very much setup. Usually the default configuration will be enough. The touchpad, like the MacBook, has a glass surface and feels excellent.

2. Like the MacBook, it's very light. The screen looks great, and honestly on Linux I prefer 1080p.

3. Dell has a very reasonable warranty, and is very quick to respond. Example: You can install whatever Linux distribution you like, replace the SSD (so long as you don't ruin anything while you're there, of course).

Cons:

1. It's fragile. Unlike the Macbook, you have to be at least (more) careful with this thing. We ended up breaking the screen without much effort; I wager it was the fact that it was in a backpack that got dropped somewhat aggressively.

That being said, we also bought the $60 accident protection, and Dell sent out a technician from a local repair shop to fix it for us within that week. If the technician can't fix it, they will over-night you a shipping box and a FedEx label to send your laptop back in.

Just be careful with it; treat it like the $1000+ machine that it is.

2. No replacing the RAM. It's soldered onto the board. That's not a problem for me because I barely push ~4GB.

Conclusion: I use a MacBook now; my XPS 13 is actually coming in tomorrow and I'm very excited. I think it's a great machine and a great MacBook replacement, and has excellent Linux compatibility. Dell's customer support is great, just be careful with it; it's not an aluminum body or several layers of glass in front of the screen. Make sure to buy the one with the right amount of RAM so you don't regret it later. If you're worried about storage, there's a $150 500GB M.2 SSD on Amazon, buy the lowest storage version and upgrade it. Get the protection plan. It's cheap compared to the cost of buying a new device.

6
t0mas88 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have had a few models of the XPS 13 now and each one seems to get better and better. They're both light enough to carry around and they are still quite strong, I have seen a lot of them dropped without any damage.

Initially I though I would never use the touch-screen, but it is actually quite useful when reading things (scrolling) or quickly clicking basic things when not really sitting behind the keyboard on a desk. Same for the light in the keyboard, very useful when working at night and on airplanes etc. The screen in general is really really good, some colleagues have the 1920x1080 screen, I would pick the 3200x1800 screen again next time since it's much nicer to read from and allows you to use smaller fonts (= more code on one screen)

Linux support is generally much better than other relatively new notebooks I've had, but still sometimes things break. The Developer Edition is released a bit later than the Windows models, probably to stabilize Linux support. I've only used it with Ubuntu, but I see others use several other distros which seems to work without much issues.

7
dolguldur 2 days ago 1 reply      
No. I had the Dell XPS 15 9550 and there were several issues.

Trackpad much worse than on a Mac

Coil whine

Bad fan control means it was sometimes noisy in near-idle contitions (though in idle it was very silent)

there were some flicker issues with the GPU (might have been resolved though)

one key was bouncy, meaning it sometimes triggered twice

it woke up from sleep randomly, sometimes while in my bag, often completely emptying the battery

In the beginning it also crashed very often, however this was resolved with an update.

So all in all the quality wasn't on the level of a Mac.

And I wouldn't even start speaking about the OS.If you're used to macOS, it's still such a day and night difference.

Connecting a normal low dpi display to the 9550 with HIDPI display lead to so many annoyances with Windows and all the programs that won't support this for the years to come. I'd barely consider it useful. Although the display itself was quite nice.

8
086421357909764 2 days ago 3 replies      
14" Razer Blade 1060, grab a dbrand matte skin to cover the hideous Razer logo. No problems with Ubuntu 16.10 currently installed. Also have a 13" Dell XPS dev edition used for specific work. It's a nice system as well. The Razer def has more power if you want a full replacement.
9
sbrother 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have a new XPS 13. It's impeccably built, you can use it comfortably on an airplane, and it runs Linux with no issues. But I wouldn't use it for daily development. The 13 inch screen just doesn't have enough real estate, and it often feels like it's struggling to drive the 4k screen whenever I try to switch applications.

If you don't mind something heavy, check out the new Thinkpad P50 or P70. They have actual desktop-level performance, terrific screens (matte, color corrected 4k IPS!) and the new NVMe SSDs. I do most of my daily development on a P70, and increasingly just lug it along when I travel even though travel was the reason I bought the XPS 13.

10
mkroman 2 days ago 1 reply      
The XPS 13 was recently upgraded to Kaby Lake, so if you're fine with the smaller display, I'd say go for it, I've heard great things.

Also, do realize that the UltraSharp model will have a significant impact on battery life. The comments I've looked at for the XPS 15 9550 (4K display) say that the battery life is basically halved, but it's supposedly still around 4.5 hours of battery life.

If you prefer the 15-inch, you might want to wait for a while - they still only feature Skylake CPUs and I think an upgrade is imminent (given the recent XPS 13 upgrade and all.)

I don't have any personal experience with the machines, but I'm planning to buy the XPS 15 once it gets an upgrade.

11
mirekrusin 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd love to see some real competition with macbooks but I haven't seen anything close yet... Alternatives do exist but they are still very expensive... I mean really, they are bloody expensive. When I'm thinking about putting this kind of money on the table, I just go to apple store, no?

Why on earth there's no startup which just puts together linux laptops? I'm sure you can grab Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean whitelabelish product customised with linux friendly peripherals or just put the box together yourself with engraved penguins here and there. Half of devs would love it, another half would hate it - but that should be enough to survive, no?

12
manav 2 days ago 2 replies      
Consider the outgoing Macbook Pros. You can probably get a good deal on one.
13
pyrophane 2 days ago 0 replies      
I personally prefer the XPS 15 for the quad-core CPU and discrete graphics, but it looks like getting it to play well with linux could take some work, and there might still be some issues: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2317843.

Out of curiosity, what has you disappointed with Apple's new laptops?

14
revicon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Question for the iOS developers on the thread thinking about switching (or have already switched) away from macs as you dev machine. How do you plan on continuing to do iPhone/iWatch/iPad dev given apple's requirement to use their hardware?
15
dhruvtv 2 days ago 1 reply      
Quite interesting that no one has mentioned the Microsoft Surface Book here. Anybody has any thoughts on it?
16
bnewton 2 days ago 2 replies      
Unfortunately XPS Developer Edition does not support external 4k displays @ 60Mhz like Dell's own P2715Q. If that kind of thing matters to you.

Otherwise I think it a great machine.

17
CyanLite2 2 days ago 3 replies      
Best developer laptop is a Dell Precision 5510. Up to 32GB ram, thinner and lighter than a Macbook, SSD that does >1.5GB/sec, and has a docking station.
18
gerbal 2 days ago 0 replies      
XPS 13 is well worth it. Its only downside is the webcam looking up your nose. It's lighter than a macbook pro and is about as sturdy.
19
piptastic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a laptop from System76 at my previous job, which runs Ubuntu: https://system76.com/laptops

I liked it, but I didn't travel with it so not sure how carry-able it is. Current shop is Mac oriented but I would have gotten another one if it had been up to me.

20
crbelaus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have one for the work. It is absolutely wonderful.I am currently using Ubuntu 16.04.1, and I feel it lightweight and performant. The battery lasts about 9 and a half hours (doing web browsing and light programming).

I suppose that the thing will only improve with future Ubuntu Hardware Enablement Stacks that include new kernels and so...

21
oduis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got a Dell XPS 15, the 9550 edition.Before purchasing I was scared of the bad stability reviews it had when it was release. However Dell treats it with updated drivers regularly, and with latest drivers it works great. It can even handle 3D shooter without thermal throtteling etc.I use it as a developer machine with Windows 10.

Just be careful with the Dell Thunderbold 3 TB15 dock (not sold any more I think). I got one, and with the latest drivers it works, but has some quirks.Also be careful to sort out complaints about the XPS in the net: may have problems using the dock, not with the laptop itself.

And the touchpad is great by the way.

22
sliken 2 days ago 0 replies      
Be warned that the current XPS 13 is kaby lake and has a rather slow (non-IRIS) gpu. 3200x1800 is quite a few pixels and the built in GPU is pretty weak.

Might want to consider the skylake version, sure it's the previous generation, but the CPU perf is pretty similar, and the Iris 540 is a significant GPU upgrade. Not a nvidia/ati killer by any means, but much better than the normal intel integrated graphics.

Either that or way for similar to ship in it's kaby lake incarnation.

Also keep in mind that the "upgraded" 3200x1800 screen about halves the battery life and is reflective. Not really worth it for me (at least in a 13" screen).

Sadly you can't get more ram or an i7 with the 1080P (they called it FHD) screen.

23
vasilakisfil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have xps 9550 FHD with 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. I installed Ubuntu gnome 16.10. Everything worked out if the box. I even played steam games on Linux (like firewatch). I get around 6 hours of Rails and Ember development.

I think it's really good machine.

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ceor4 2 days ago 0 replies      
Same boat here, although I'm a bit worried about the downsize from 15" to 13". Perhaps with a docking station, it might not be so bad. But hopefully dell jumps on this opportunity to make a 15" developer edition
25
koenigdavidmj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like they come with Ubuntu...is that bog-standard Ubuntu, or does it have custom drivers for things like the touch screen? (Basically, I would be curious whether it's easily replaced by another distribution.)
26
pepperpo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is a beautiful machine but I want to voice my experience having tried on the XPS 13 for size:

https://medium.com/@securitystreak/buying-a-professional-pen...

Granted I owned the older 9343 model but despite the many BIOS updates (and several Linux distros) my laptop kept up phantom right clicks and cursor jumps - very annoying! No issue with Windows 10 though.

I sold it onward and happy with the real-estate 15" provides me once more.

27
phjesusthatguy3 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know about the developer edition specifically, but I just had a XPS13 (with a skylake processor, so not what's available on the store right now) with stock Windows 10 pro on my desk, and debian stable installed just fine except for the wireless card (which is the only network interface on the machine). It wasn't mine to play with so I didn't try to figure that out but whatever version of KDE that gets installed with Debian 8.6(?) seems to be 99% of the way there.
28
alphabettsy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like everyone below is saying the XPS is great, with exceptions of the battery life, build quality, trackpad, and webcam. So you're probably better off buying the now last gen MBP.
29
slavik81 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm on my fourth motherboard for a year-old Dell XPS 13. They've released a new model since then, but the experience was pretty awful. Each failure is hours down the drain dealing with tech support and a hard drive wipe. The overall experience of using it as your primary computer is made painful by the inability to depend on it working.

The warranty just ended, so unless they finally fixed it for good, the machine may have been a waste of a thousand dollars. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping it keeps working.

30
papaf 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recently got a Dell Latitude 12 7000 Series for $work and I was surprised by how good it is:

- Plays 4k video under Windows 10

- Runs Arch linux without any hardware compatibility problems

- Silent, portable, fast (pick all three)

It sounds like an advert but this was a machine I didn't pick myself and it is the best computer I have ever used. The next time I spend money on my own laptop I will move from Thinkpad to Dell. This is after using Linux on Thinkpads for the last 13 years or so.

I thought this was worth mentioning as the Latitude is probably a bit cheaper than the XPS.

31
eadz 2 days ago 2 replies      
In a similar boat. The closest machine to the Macbook Pro is the razer blade stealth.

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/razer-blade-stealth-2016

It's basically a rip-off of the (2015) macbook machined aluminium body design. It has the 7th gen processors rather than than the 6th of the new macbook, and a similar price.

Not sure about linux support, from what I've read there may be an issue with the webcam.

32
davb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I had the first gen XPS 13 and while it was a beautiful machine it ran extremely hot at time. So much so that I couldn't use it while on my lap. I'm not sure if the deciding has changed much since then but it's worth taking into consideration.

I ultimately went with a retina MBP (early 2015). My next laptop is likely to be either a Lenovo T460 or a Dell P50 (or their successors).

33
criddell 2 days ago 0 replies      
The nice thing about an OSX machine is that it (legally) runs more software than any other operating system.

It sounds like the software you need is available on all three operating systems, so the Dell machine is a fine choice.

I'm assuming that the movies you want to watch are rips or Netflix and not something like UltraViolet streams.

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Kalium 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a Dell Precision 5510 with Ubuntu. I've been very happy with it. My only major grievance was the slightly slow graphics drivers, but it's not like I'm gaming on the thing.

I got some very good - and upgradable - hardware at a good price with an extended battery. Good call, would buy again.

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davidw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have one, and love it, but I have used Linux for the past 20 years and am not about to switch any time soon.
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TYPE_FASTER 2 days ago 0 replies      
The quality control concerns in the comments mirror my experiences. I would not buy one. I would still rather get the new MBP with function keys vs. the Dell XPS Developer Edition.
37
kag0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linux users on the xps13/15, with synaptic you typically can't rest your thumb in the corner of a touchpad while using it. Do you have this issue or any work arounds?
38
hihihoho 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thinkpad X1
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caleblloyd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been using an XPS 13 9350 for around 6 months now, coming from an 13" 2015 MacBook Pro. I picked up a basic FHD core i5 model with 8GB of RAM on sale, replaced the WiFi chip with an Intel 8260NGW and replaced the 128GB SSD with a 256GB Samsung 950 Pro NVMe. All said and done, I spent less than $1,000.

Ubuntu 16.04: Pretty much works flawlessly as long as you have Intel WiFi- I had some issues with a flashing screen at first but they all seem to have been resolved using `apt-get upgrade`. Suspend/resume, audio controls, and brightness controls all work fine. I run docker images for pretty much everything and it's great to have native docker without a VM involved.

Physical Characteristics: It is very light and easy to use on the lap, on the couch, or in bed. It feels more like a MacBook Air than a MacBook Pro. Fans are on the bottom but they don't really spin up that much, even when I don't have anything under it.

Keyboard and Touchpad: Keyboard is fine. Touchpad is a lot smaller and more "clicky" than a MacBook Pro. The force touch on the MacBook Pro is way better (it's pretty much the gold standard of touchpads).

Screen: I have the FHD screen because I don't care about touch, and it is Matte (the QHD+ touchscreen is glossy). DPI scaling in Ubuntu 16.04 is hit or miss. In my experience, some apps, like Chrome, only respect DPI Scaling if it's in multiples of 0.5 Other apps, like Firefox only respect DPI scaling if it's an even number. JetBrains products do a good job of respecting DPI scaling though. I keep it at 1x DPI scaling, so everything looks pretty small at 1920x1080. If you go with the QHD+ touchscreen, native resolution is 3200x1800 so 2x DPI scaling will be an effective resolution of 1600x900, and it will look great. I think most apps should work fine at 2x DPI scaling.

Webcam: The webcam location really is stupid. I dislike video chatting on this computer so much I'd rather use my phone. I use Android and kind of miss iMessage and FaceTime from the mac (it's how I would talk to some Apple friends), but whatever.

Other Thoughts: Linux FTW. IMO, the last good release of OS X was 10.6.8. Everything after that either changed the scrolling direction or added some sort of bloat to the OS. I'd run 10.6.8 still if I could. Ubuntu 16.04 feels like getting your life back. It's super quick, you can use apt-get to install dev tools instead of hacking around with homebrew, you get the real version of `sed`, and you don't feel like Apple controls your life anymore. Gotta say it twice- native Docker support and no messing around with VMs anymore!

Take the leap of faith and get the XPS 13. Or a Lenovo with good linux support. Part of me wants to try out the big ass trackpad on the new MacBook Pro but none of me wants to go back to paying $2k every time I want to upgrade my laptop.

40
ifhs 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recommend carbon 3rd gen
41
synthecypher 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does it run macOS? No? In which case no its not a good replacement for a MacBook Pro.
24
Ask HN: Is search on mobile not as important as on the classic web?
2 points by fairpx  21 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
bbcbasic 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Need some more detail on this question. Do you mean search within a website, or a search engine as in Google?

In either case I would say, as a single datapoint, that search on mobile is just as important as on the desktop.

In some ways more important as I am more likely to use Google Maps on my mobile device than on the desktop, and I search for both specific addresses and the name of a business.

2
Gustomaximus 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Broad question but say for a typical website you should expect ~30% of your traffic to come from mobile. This naturally varies on geography and site function.

From this classic search is still the most important from a pure eyeballs POV but mobile is significant and ever growing.

25
Ask HN: Disappointed by the new Macbook, what alternatives do we have?
120 points by Maran  11 hours ago   130 comments top 43
1
eknkc 10 hours ago 5 replies      
I asked the same question and read replies to others. Just a quick summary;

- Lenovo has decent laptops. Personally, I'd not touch anything from Lenovo after their shady stuff. (Maybe not an issue on Linux, maybe it is. I don't trust them)

- Dell XPS series are really good but people complain about coil whine, worse battery life compared to MBP and hit/miss trackpad. It might not be that big of a problem. And if you are running in clamshell mode, these are generally no issues. I don't run clamshell though.

- The Razer Blade stuff seems to be great too. They are mostly aimed for gamers but look decent. Someone mentioned about huge display bezels being really huge in person. Gotta see. I can't find any info about them here, maybe they only sell in USA.

- I skipped Asus due to past support experiences with them. Also some smaller vendors due to possible support issues I'd have especially since I'm out of US.

2
jaxondu 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Opportunities:

- A Thunderbolt 3 dock that has all the missing ports in new MacBook Pro

- Lenovo, HP, Asus release properly supported notebook with Linux similar to Dell XPS Developer edition. Makes desktop Linux available across PC industries.

- Microsoft release Surface Pro and Surface Book with Mubuntu (MS version of Ubuntu, since MS already has working relationship with Canonical)

- Cloud service via emulator that allows developer to build, test and submit iOS apps without actually owning a Mac

- Google release Pixel Book which runs a brand new OS that is ChromeOS+Android hybrid.

We need:

- Adobe releases Photoshop & Lightroom for Linux

- Microsoft releases Office for Linux

- A few major games for Linux. Makes Linux a game platform.

- One or two major Mac developers develop for Linux

- More developer using Electron and React Native for Ubuntu

But we will be back to the same by spring 2017 when Apple refreshes MacBook Pro with new CPU and cheaper price.

3
Philipp__ 10 hours ago 4 replies      
No terminal is on par with iTerm. I was using Linux and *BSD for years, used many terminals, and of all iTerm is bread and butter (and with that font rendering and retina screen, nothing comes close). I would recommend to evaluate your needs, but be objective! If you can live with 16GB of RAM (I can, I do not do anything that would require me to use 32GB of RAM) then buy last year model. I have it, amazing machine.

And maybe it would be better to hold on to your MBP, and buy Chromebook, at least to test the water with Linux (or whatever OS you want to use). Install them on small machine, setup few essential programs to you and use them for few weeks. Why am I telling you this? Well I really appreciate some things on macOS, which will keep me glued to it for few more years at least. (iTerm is one of those things)

4
threeseed 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Massive tip if you decide to stay with a < 2015 MacBook Pro.

Open up the laptop and reapply the thermal paste on the CPU with something high quality like Arctic Silver. It really needs redoing after 1-2 years. This will result in a significant improvement to overall performance. Why ? Because when OSX detects that the laptop is overheating it schedules a dummy task e.g. secd or kernel_task to throttle the CPU. Cool the laptop and the throttling stops. Use iStat Menus or top to check for the process.

Takes all of 10 minutes and iFixit can guide you through it. As much of a performance difference as going from HDD->SSD. The other most vital thing to do on OSX since all of the daemons result in lots of random reads (check fs_usage).

5
pedrocr 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Just got a Thinkpad T460s. Practically the same dimensions and specs of a X1 Carbon but with replaceable memory and disk. Can easily be made to have 20GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD, and if someone makes a 32GB DIMM could potentially go up to 36GB of RAM although that's not advertised as supported. Everything works in Linux just fine and the 2560x1440 screen looks great.
6
joefreeman 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I mostly used Macs for about ten years, but I don't like the direction the ecosystem is taking (cloud, app store, etc.), so recently switched to an XPS 13 (developer edition) running Ubuntu. (I actually also gave an SP4 a good chance for a few months, but couldn't get on with Windows.) It's pretty decent (both the laptop and Ubuntu) - sometimes wish the display was brighter or speakers louder, but depends on the environment. Nice size, bit heavy, but feels solid. Wifi was a bit dodgy before updating to 16.10 - seems fine now though. The HD screen is nice (once you change the scale setting; there's a problem with the touch screen not working after sleep though). I've never been much of a keyboard snob, but this keyboard is so much nicer than a MBA.
7
kevlar1818 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I honestly don't know what everyone is complaining about WRT the Dell XPS line. I have a refurbished Dell XPS 13 (Skylake) -- NON-Developer Edition even -- and I'm very happy running Arch Linux without any headaches. It's a great laptop with excellent battery life and performance. I don't experience coil-whine at all. (Although, I've heard the rumor that the coil whine is a bigger deal on the XPS 15.)

Naturally, the Arch Linux community has an extremely helpful wiki to help you get set up:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_XPS_13_(2016)

8
dothis 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing I never liked about my Macbook is that there is no option for a matte screen. So I consider switching and finally getting a matte one now:

http://www.productchart.com/laptops/sets/1

I will replace Windows with Linux. I heard Thinkpads are good for this. But the Dell XPS series looks very compelling too.

9
chillacy 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You might want to be more specific, about the "pro" part that you want which is no longer in the MBP. For instance others have pointed out that the 16GB limitation is in all notebooks which use the same intel chipset and low voltage ram, so you'll have to sacrifice battery life for more memory. That's fine for some folks but not for others.
10
wyclif 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd also miss iTerm.

Have you looked at the Dell XPS 13 Dev edition, the Razer Blade Pro, the Lenovo X1 Carbon, Lenovo T Series, or the Asus UX305F?

11
wsloth 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been using an HP Spectre X360 15" with a 4K touchscreen which is truly amazing. The only downside is that the one USB 3 port is not a thunderbolt port, making it not all that useful unless you get a dongle that allows you to plug in a regular USB cable.

Other than that, I've been enjoying it immensely and it made me stick to Windows at a time at which I really wanted to switch to Linux or MacOS.

12
adamnemecek 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm in the same situation and right now leaning towards a beefy hackintosh desktop + maybe one of the small macbooks. It's such a pain though.
13
viraptor 11 hours ago 2 replies      
If you want more power Lenovo T. If you want something closer to air, Lenovo X.
14
iworkforthem 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Lenovo... works really well. Ubuntu + Lenovo can last many years.
15
fgblanch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The options I am considering as substitutes for the new mbp 13" are:

- The new razer blade stealth: Great built quality, kaby lake, usb-c/thunderbolt 3, great screen, reasonable price, although im not sure Ubuntu would work out of the box.

- Xiaomi Air 13: This is not really a competitor but im really tempted to try it. It is cheap (less than 1k) it looks like having a nice built quality, fast ram, good i5 processor, dedicated nvidia GPU ( so may be some acceleration for training small deep learning models). USB-C, USB3, HDMI, Ubuntu works out of the box. CONS: you have to import it.

16
lewich 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I find Razer Blade laptop as a good replacement for Macbook pro. Also Pc Specialist has custom laptops - https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/laptops/
17
siphr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a Lenovo Thinkpad user x230 specifically. Heavily criticised by people who love their X220's but it works great for me 12" form factor and packs a punch, separate slot for SSD if you want one and loads of ports. I have 2 actually. One runs my home server. I dropped out of the main stream sphere mainly because of this carrot donkey driven eco-system (Who knows where they are taking us). I am quite happy with my Arch Linux deployment. Its decent for gaming too.
18
vilya 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I love my Aorus X3: http://www.aorus.com/Product/Features/X3%20Plus%20v6

Portability, power and build quality are all excellent. Battery life isn't up to MacBook standards, but you get a good 4 to 5 hours on a single charge which is still fairly usable. The trackpad isn't as nice as a MacBook either, but it's good enough. Everything else about it has the MacBook Pro completely outclassed in my opinion.

19
akerro 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with your current laptop?
20
ohazi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Lenovo T or X series, ASUS Zenbook series.
21
andyfleming 10 hours ago 1 reply      
This isn't really a recommendation, but if I could have it my way, I'd take this computer, except with OS X:

https://system76.com/laptops/oryx

15.6" 1080p IPS LED-backlit Display

NVIDIA GeForce 1070 8GB

3.5 GHz i7-6700HQ

32 GB DD4 at 2400MHz (upgradeable to 64 GB)

OS Drive: 512 GB NVMe (PCI with 2600MB/s read and 1600 MB/s write)

2nd Drive: 2.5" 1 TB SSD

1080p HD Webcam

Kensington Lock port

1x Gigabit Ethernet

1 HDMI

2 Mini DisplayPort

2 USB 3.1 Type-C

3 USB 3.0 Type-A

Stereo Speakers

Stereo Mic

Headphone Jack

Mic Jack

S/PDIF

SD Card Reader

Ubuntu 16.04.1

$2,870

Obviously the dream would be for it to look like a MacBook Pro, but I would give up the sleek case if I could run OS X reliably on that sucker.

22
idlewords 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What about a 2015 MBP? I also have a 2012 model, with a little water damage, and am seriously thinking of upgrading to 2015 and then giving Apple one more upgrade cycle to come to its senses.
23
cerved 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm absolutely loving my SP4 as my main laptop for a couple of months. It has enough juice to be able to do most things well, amazing display and weighs like nothing.
24
et-al 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What's the use case?

If it's just for general web development, my plan is to buy a used 2015 MBP, but with AppleCare until mid-2018 or later, and re-roll the dice in two years.

25
trapatsas 7 hours ago 0 replies      
XMG ( https://www.mysn.de ) offers custom, fully configurable high-end laptops. Take a look if you really want high performance without compromises.
26
noyesno 10 hours ago 2 replies      
What is so special about iTerm? Features, font rendering?

For features and portability, I can warmly recommend SecureCRT[0], you won't find a more capable terminal app anywhere.

[0] https://www.vandyke.com/products/securecrt/index.html

27
Veus 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently bought an Entroware Apollo (https://www.entroware.com/store/laptops). Amazing device, if you don't mind Linux and are in the UK.
28
pknerd 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I have March 2015 MB 2.9GHz with 8GB Ram. Working cool and I don't guess I'd need up-gradation
29
ctvo 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been struggling with the same question, ending up sticking with the MBPs.

Resell value, build quality, battery life, weight are all factors that other manufacturers can't match. I really wish they'd released something better though.

30
31
jsiepkes 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought a HP zbook studio G3, looks nice, not heavy and can deal with 32GB RAM ;-).
32
koehr 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a Mac User but I know that the Dell XPS 15 is a decent notebook with a very good keyboard and all the connectors you need.
33
tired_man 8 hours ago 0 replies      
For most things, my C720 Chromebook runs Ubuntu and handle any tasks I need. Don't equate price with utility ;-)
34
jetbeau 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Whoever builds an easy hackintosh with metabox level specs will have my business
35
petewailes 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm running a HP Spectre 13. Couldn't be happier
37
liviu 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Disappointed by the new Macbook? Try the old Macbook.
38
alex_hitchins 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Dell XPS 15 (With touch screen retina style display).
39
k__ 11 hours ago 0 replies      
the zenbooks look like a good alternative a
40
x0x0 10 hours ago 0 replies      
copying my comment from here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12832547

You can buy a dell xps 15 today that comes with: 3840 x 2160 display / 1tb pcie solid state disk / nvidia gtx 960m (crucial for developing cuda programs and prototyping deep learning on your laptop) / 32g ram. For $2340 (ten percent off coupon at the top of the page). I'm not sure if this link will work: http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/xps-15-9550-la...

And this thing comes with regular usb ports and an hdmi port instead of usb-c nonsense so I don't have to immediately drop $250 in dongles just to keep the capabilities I already have. (And one usb-c port).

here's a detailed guide to getting with ubuntu from a year ago: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2301071

it appears that it only works modestly well. So if you buy this, you're probably going to have to live with Windows or the issues in the above thread.

========

My personal plan is to buy a 1-ish year old mac and cross my fingers that someone builds a well-supported powerful linux laptop by 2018. Good sleep/power management support seems to be a common problem.

41
beatpanda 10 hours ago 0 replies      
The Dell developer edition laptops are really excellent machines. I've used the M3800 and the XPS13 and found them both to be great.
42
douche 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Damn near anything. For the markup on equivalent specs that Apple commands, you can often get two laptops from other manufacturers.
43
rimantas 10 hours ago 3 replies      
So what made MB "Pro"? SD card slot? Height? Weight? Absence of TouchBar?People complain about 16GB RAM. Does your current MPB has more?
26
Ask HN: What is your preferred choice/style/frequency of note-taking?
4 points by vipar42  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
1
Artemix 1 day ago 1 reply      
When I take notes (usually in class, as I'm still sadly a uni student), I mainly take them on my computer, using a markdown-like syntax on a tool I created that sends everything in a builtin postgreSQL database (that syncs itself with my server every time I connect the laptop to internet). Every note is identified by a unique identifier like "<day><month><year><document number><document type><category>", for example, my latest economy course was noted "0710161CECO", making it kinda weird to others, but crystal clear to me. But as I take notes on paper too (due to professors forbiding us the use of a laptop in class) (completely stupid as these classes are about linux and C development) I write the code on the top right corner of the paper, usually with a small cat drawn (as I love cats)
2
veddox 1 day ago 0 replies      
I take a lot of notes during lectures - just very simply on A4 lined paper that I file at the end of the class. For personal notes I use a small notebook, but I don't have any special system for it. When it's full it's full...
27
Ask HN: Is there a reliable way to put Mac OS X on a non-Apple notebook computer?
27 points by obiefernandez  3 days ago   24 comments top 10
1
shaynesweeney 3 days ago 2 replies      
As a long time macOS developer and user I too went down this road and ended up pretty frustrated. Even when you get things working perfectly (tackling iCloud services, driver issues, custom boot options, etc...) you're left with an installation that feels static.

Updates are slower to roll-out to the hackintoshes, major OS upgrades can be quite a bit slower to come. This can include security fixes too.

I ended up installing Linux and never looked back. It turns out most of what I used on macOS was just the unix-like subsystem. Having Linux was just as good, if not better than being on macOS.

Of course this doesn't help if you're doing iOS development, or need to use Xcode. I've moved away, myself, but have talked to others who have used a Mac Mini as a build machine. You could also install OS X in a Virtual Machine under Linux and use it for development, which requires its own set of hacks but fewer.

Linux distributions I would recommend:

* Solus, I really like where this project is going and it's my daily driver now.

* Arch, allows/forces a truly custom setup, you end up learning a lot about your system, but might be too distracted with your system to get work done ;)

* Antergos, an Arch alternative w/ batteries included.

* elementary OS, it's the Linux distro made by the folks who loved macOS. It's beautiful and you might like it more than macOS itself.

2
informatimago 3 days ago 0 replies      
There is no legal way to do it.

The closest you can do, is to install Darwin (opensource), and GNUstep (opensource).

Then you can develop Openstep/Cocoa applications on your non-Apple laptop legally and in total freedom.

If you have customers who would want a MacOSX executable, you would then give them your sources, they would download Xcode, and they would compile them. This is why the GPL has been invented (or other licenses such as BSD, MIT, etc).

Now of course, GNUstep doesn't track the evolution of Apple Cocoa very closely. Your application will be compilable for MacOSX if you take some care to write it portably, and you won't be able to take advantage of Cocoa specific features, only the most vanilla and plain Openstep features. Depending on the kind of application, this may be more than enough.

3
runjake 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, it works on a variety of models with variable levels of tinkering required. Compatibility should substantially improve in the coming months with these new Skylake Mac laptops.

For a better SNR than browsing Tonymacx86 forums, try https://reddit.com/r/hackintosh

4
LarryMade2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Long time Mac user here (done accelerators, clones, and hacks)

Save your sanity and money - you can get some nice specced refurbished/used MacBooks that can just run the latest Apple stuff for a good price and save a lot of frustration with foreign hardware issues now and down the road.

Things will "just work" and you will really appreciate it.

5
BoredDev 3 days ago 1 reply      
1. Linux install for unix goodness. 2. Dual boot Windows for when you need it.3. MacOS virtual machine. Alternatively, make it easier and vagrant it up:https://atlas.hashicorp.com/jhcook/boxes/osx-elcapitan-10.11

Doing the whole hackintosh thing has improved from previous years. Before it was an absolute nightmare. It's still a lot of pain. Just less. So you have that option as well. Just remember it doesn't play nice with all hardware and you will have to fiddle a lot. Every update you will have to do your research and pray to the god of moving bits that it's a smooth transition.

6
semajnekeerv 3 days ago 0 replies      
http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/

then choose your osx version...

7
hbcondo714 3 days ago 1 reply      
I used this virtual machine approach to try out the latest macOS on my surface 4:

http://techsviewer.com/install-macos-sierra-vmware-windows/

8
mtmail 3 days ago 1 reply      
10
lathiat 3 days ago 1 reply      
Way? Yes. Legal? No. Reliable? So-so.
28
Ask HN: x86 SMP with cpus on different processor modes
5 points by i4k  1 day ago   2 comments top
1
sinatosk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I ain't an expert in x86 so I'm not sure... only read some of Intel's manual but judging by the code at

https://github.com/mit-pdos/xv6-public

file "entryother.S" is asm that executes on AP's and "bootasm.S" executes on the BSP... both after the BIOS

so... maybe?

maybe that's what your looking for?

29
Ask HN: How do you deal with grief?
9 points by foota  2 days ago   15 comments top 11
1
JSeymourATL 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Many people have found grief counseling and support groups helpful. Frequently, there are local faith based groups that are quite good.

GriefShare is interesting, they have a registry of meetups for those dealing with loss of a loved one > http://www.griefshare.org/findagroup

Condolences-

2
emilburzo 2 days ago 1 reply      
(I'm assuming you mean grief about losing someone)

One thing that I have found to be very important is: don't fight grief.

I've realized it's a normal feeling, you should let yourself feel it, it's only worse if you try to fight it.

Remembering "the good times" with common friends/relatives/??? instead of racking your brain with the "why" also seems to make it a bit better.

Other than that, only time will fix things.

Sorry for your loss.

3
NumberCruncher 1 day ago 1 reply      
Read A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art Of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine! It is a modern summary on the stoic techniques to overcome negative emotions. It handels also grief. Or read the letters of Seneca to Lucilius (nr 63).
4
foota 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thanks everyone. My mom suffered a massive asthma attack and is in the hospital on life support. She was without oxygen for too long and lost all brain function. I'm 22 and this is just so unexpected and hard.
5
MeryTerin456 15 hours ago 0 replies      
One thing that I have found to be very important is: don't fight grief.I've realized it's a normal feeling, you should let yourself feel it, it's only worse if you try to fight it.
6
nom 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't worry that you can't see a solution right now.

Take your time to actively process your feelings.

Leave your daily routine for some time and give your brain room to work undisturbed. Do something that keeps you physically active all day. Do something creative.

Explore your feelings and try to find out where exactly they come from. Don't give up just because thinking about it hurts more. It will help your brain to cope. Actively think about the countless positive memories you have. Bad emotions are much more powerful and tend to overshadow everything else.

Learn to accept.

Get plenty of sleep, it helps a lot.

Be strong.

7
Aheinemann 1 day ago 0 replies      
The pain you feel might be from the part of you (it might feel like a part of your soul) that is now missing - that is the reason it hurts so much.

Realize that this part of you is with your friend as you had shared time, life and love together.

But in all that hurt and pain due to the loss also realize that there is a part of your friend still with you. Find it. Your tears will lead the way.

That might be a way love bridges even death.

8
neilsharma 1 day ago 0 replies      
Give a listen to some of Alan Watt's lectures. They are on youtube, and there are shorter (<10 min) clips on specific topics. He's not going to help you get over grief, but to learn to accept it as part of life.

Might take a dozen listens to internalize half the content, but it'd be adopting a different perspective on life. Won't come easy

9
olivercreashe 1 day ago 0 replies      
once, in university, I worked really hard coding a homework for an OS class (spent around 2 hours or so). It was modular, well engineered, had inode stuff all taken into account, it was efficient and I was feeling very nice. I then lost it all.

I felt grief.

I started again but was infuriated.

Lesson: ALWAYS MAKE A COPY OF YOUR WORK!!

(You did not specify what kind of grief)

10
echlebek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dulling psychic pain with physical pain seems to help me. (I mean working out, getting a tattoo, etc, not self-harm.) Treating the body brutally backgrounds your mental processes for a while, and gives you time to process things subconsciously.
11
jabv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I reflect that the mercy of God is like an infinite ocean.
30
Ask HN: Is Apple nuts for discontinuing 11 MBA?
18 points by mark_l_watson  3 days ago   13 comments top 5
1
MeryTerin456 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The keyboard on the MB takes some serious getting used to (actually, in the 8 months that I used that computer, I never became fully used to the keyboard), but the screen and physical size of the MB was better than the MBA.visit here: http://www.bestessaywritingservice.co/
2
itnAAnti 3 days ago 0 replies      
I previously used the 11" MBA as my dedicated "running around to meetings" machine, and basically just used Evernote and MS Office on it. When the new MacBook came out, I switched to it.

The keyboard on the MB takes some serious getting used to (actually, in the ~8 months that I used that computer, I never became fully used to the keyboard), but the screen and physical size of the MB was better than the MBA. (Of course, the processor was noticeably slower... so YMMV.)

So IMO, they did the right thing, there was too much overlap between models. The MB still needs to get faster and come down in price, but I do think it will be just as ubiquitous as the MBA within a few years.

I agree with others that the current line up is sorely lacking an affordable laptop, but that will likely change (slowly; hopefully) as manufacturing & component costs come down.

3
mark_l_watson 3 days ago 2 replies      
I bought my wife a 11" MBA this year, cost was $900. She didn't want me to buy it for her but I insisted.

Apple should have a mid priced laptop for casual users.

4
wmf 3 days ago 2 replies      
No, there was too much overlap between the 12", the Air, and the Pro. I guess the iPad Pro is now Apple's sub-$1,000 laptop.
5
DrNuke 3 days ago 0 replies      
Waiting eagerly for shit on a stick at $999!
       cached 31 October 2016 20:05:01 GMT