Quora Answer: My son got an offer from a 1-year-old startup by some very senior folks from Google. The pay is good and product idea is good, but it’s a startup. He asked for our advice on this. What are some suggestions from people from relevant fields?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. I joined a startup founded by ex-Google people in 2010 as the third engineer. I worked there for 2 years, had a great time, learned a ton, got my first patent out of the process, and the experience is one of the best […]

Setting Up a Redash Dashboard

This was originally posted on wbsrch.com. It is reproduced here to preserve history. The more WbSrch evolves, the more it becomes necessary to keep track of a bunch of metrics. Until now we’ve been using a mix of simple report pages and raw SQL queries. It has worked well enough, but not having a clean […]

An Experiment with Project Wonderful

This was originally posted on wbsrch.com. It is reproduced here to preserve history. I’m always looking for new and efficient ways to let people know about WbSrch. That’s why I decided to try advertising with Project Wonderful. Project Wonderful was built as a banner ad network for web comics. That doesn’t mean you can only […]

Quora Answer: Are analog synthesizers overrated?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. To put it simply, yes. Analog synthesizers are absolutely overrated. I’m referring specifically to subtractive synthesizers. The differences in sound quality really ARE quite minor, so don’t feel bad if you can’t much tell them apart. That’s not to say they’re not useful. […]

Quora Answer: I know almost nothing about the stock market but have strong programming skills. Will I be able to make profitable trading software?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. The world is littered with the empty wallets of engineers that approached the stock market as a math, algorithmic, or engineering problem. The largest investment banks all have algorithmic trading programs, and they often lose large chunks of money. And sometimes they make […]

Quora Answer: What are some ways that programming was better in the past?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. In the “bad old days” the actual programming work wasn’t much different, just worse. Monitors were smaller and lower-resolution, chairs more uncomfortable, you had to spend a lot more time waiting for the computer to finish what it was doing, hardware was much […]

Quora Answer: Which career is more fun, networking or programming?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. Full question: “Say networking is a blanket, for IT, systems administration, and network security. We’ll say programming is basically web app development. Can anyone with experience in either of these fields give some pros and cons about what they do and do not […]

Quora Answer: Is it rude to change a co-worker’s badly written code?

I originally wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora. Full question: “I joined a company as a new grad and currently working with two mid level and one senior designer. It’s a chip design company. One of my co-worker’s code is very badly written and I am pretty sure there are many […]

Basternae Project Officially Abandoned

If you have any interest in working with the Basternae code as it is today, fork the repository on Github: https://github.com/Xangis/ModernMUD Good luck and happy travels, Xangis

Analysis of Search Engine Crowdfunding Campaigns on IndieGoGo

This was originally posted on wbsrch.com. It is reproduced here to preserve history. In the process of researching crowdfunding campaigns, I searched IndieGoGo for search engine pitches. I found 22 attempts to fund “actual search engines”. Here is a list (with links to the IndieGoGo campaign): TheNet101 Thumbar Jixty.com Xense Iyiyes Aspinosa Rexyo Asim Shah […]

AdSense Alternatives for Startups and Small Websites

This was originally posted on wbsrch.com. It is reproduced here to preserve history. In starting WbSrch, a search competitor to Google, I knew that at some point Google would find a way to “invite us to leave” AdSense. The Terms of Service make it clear that it is incompatible with a search engine (can’t have ads on […]

Why I Decided to Build a Search Engine (And You Should Too)

This was originally posted on wbsrch.com. It is reproduced here to preserve history. I’ve always wanted to build something big, but never had a burning desire to create any one specific thing. Instead I built lots of little things – small desktop apps, weekend websites, etc. It wasn’t until AltaVista shut down that I realized that the world […]

ModernMUD Source Now on Github

As dumb as the name might be, I decided to go with “ModernMUD”. The source code is available on Github under the BSD license: https://github.com/Xangis/ModernMUD There’s a lot more to be done with documentation, but the XML comments are decent enough to make IntelliSense useful. I’ll probably be posting more about invidiual sections of the […]

Goodbye Sociable Plugin

I disabled the “Sociable” plugin because it was littering every post with a ton of buttons that just advertised social media sites. You don’t need to see that crap and neither do I. Time has proven that social media is almost entirely valueless anyhow. In ten years nobody will even remember that there was a […]

Overclocking The HP Touchpad For Cryptocurrency

I mention in my September 9th post that I was able to get a Bitcoin/Litecoin mining daemon (cpuminer) running scrypt calculations on the HP Touchpad. Because a device like that is one of the worst possible things you could use to generate cryptocurrency, I’ve left it running as a dedicated Litecoin mining machine since then. […]