Justin Duke

Time is money, friend

Cushion, a SaaS for freelancers, has a transparent log of its running costs and expenses that recently got posted to HN and spun up a lot of positive discussion.

(This page has been around for at least a year, and I think it’s awesome – it’s what inspired me to similarly start tracking expenses for Village Blacksmith.)

One of the fairly common discussion points on the post was about how the accumulation of so many ‘small’ costs – in the $10-$50 a month range – can add up to such a substantial amount.

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Waking up early

Ever since I got back to Seattle after Christmas, I’ve been waking up early.

Not, like, super early, but 6-6.30 am. This is a big deal for me; I’ve never been able to really drag myself out of bed until around 8 or so.

But suddenly (probably thanks to jet lag) it started clicking. 1

I’ve settled into a little routine: wake up at around 6am, set up the coffee machine while I jump in the shower, then spend until 7am catching up on emails and reading. I work on freelance or side projects until 8, at which point I either go to the gym or write for an hour. By 9am I’m back at my desk, with breakfast (a smoothie or a protein bar because I’m still lazy) and I feel like I’ve accomplished a half a day’s worth of stuff already.

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Of all the talk of burnout in the technology industry, sometimes I feel like the opposite is a more apt descriptor:

With phosphor-based electronic displays (for example CRT-type computer monitors or plasma displays), non-uniform use of pixels, such as prolonged display of non-moving images (text or graphics), gaming, or certain broadcasts with tickers and flags, can create a permanent ghost-like image of these objects or otherwise degrade image quality.

The length of time required for noticeable screen burn to develop varies due to many factors, ranging from the quality of the phosphors employed, to the degree of non-uniformity of sub-pixel usage. It can take as little as only a few weeks for noticeable ghosting to set in, especially if the screen displays a certain image (example: a menu bar at the top or bottom of the screen) constantly, and displays it continually over time

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So I finally beat Skyrim.

Well, I’m using a flimsy definition of the word beat.

Skyrim, if you’re unfamiliar, is an open world RPG with no real clear cut goals or finish lines. There are major quests and plot lines, but there’s no final credit sequence where the game spells out “ta-da! You’re done forever! Go do something else!” It’s open-ended the entire way, and you more or less make your own goals.

(Also, in fairness: if you’re unfamiliar with Skyrim, this post will lose some of its luster. Not all, but certainly some.)

Skyrim (and its associated game series, Elder Scrolls) are notoriously difficult to ‘beat’.

Why are these games so difficult to beat? Two reasons: (1) The main thing to do in the game, often referred to as the Main Quest, is a tiny portion of the game (and often the least fun bit of it. All the other things you can do in the game tend to be way more fun. (2) All those other things? There are literally infinite quests. People have spent hundreds of hours in this game and not touched the main quest.

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Digital nesting

I’ve been working remotely for around six months now. It is awesome and I love it very much. There’s one thing about remote work that surprised me: I, uh, don’t really move around that much. One of the things I thought would be especially awesome about working remotely is the ability to work wherever I wanted. No office means, well, no office – I could work from my desk, sure, or I could work from my couch or my comfy replica Eames or the coffeeshop down the street or take the train up to Portland and work there for a week or fly back to Richmond to visit my family for a couple weeks and just work there!
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How liberal arts matters

The idea that a liberal arts education is better for a software developer than a traditional engineering education is increasingly in vogue. This is convenient for me, as I received a liberal arts education: I went to the College of William and Mary 1, where I started out an English major and then pivoted to Marketing and Computer Science. (I joke that this was a move borne of cynicism, not pragmatism.
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Use a surfboard

Over the holidays, this tweet was making the rounds: When you overhear people complaining that their tools are the root cause of failure send them this video of Kelly Slater on a table. pic.twitter.com/0Mw1CByeUy — Jesse Hanley (@jessethanley) December 28, 2016 First off: watch the video! It’s pretty neat! Kelly Slater is one of the best surfers in the world. Don’t take it from me, take it from Wikipedia:
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My favorite things of 2016

Here are the ten best things I discovered this year. It covers art and content. You should take my word for it – these are very good things and I promise you will like them. Noname Noname is a rapper from Chicago. You may have heard her on The Coloring Book or Acid Rap. Her debut album, Telefone, is perfectly executed: it might not be my favorite album of the year, but it’s the one I’m most impressed with.
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Welp. 2016 was a doozy. There were lot of very good things. I started the best job of my life; I started living with my partner, and have never been happier; I’m in the best shape of my life. I listened to a lot of great music, and ate multiple salads. (This sounds boastful, because it is, but I’m trying to be more honest about victories and defeats.) There’s also, you know, the macro part of 2016.
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Last week I released Floradora! It’s a tiny little Mac menu bar app. This gif explains it easier than words: In case you don’t get the gist immediately: it’s a thing you click on to get a text box to send yourself emails. It’s basically Captio for Mac. (As a sidebar: if you don’t already own Captio, buy it immediately. It’s tremendously useful.) Why I made it So I’m going to basically lift the product description I used for the iTunes Store, because it’s both folksy and accurate:
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