Last updated: February 20, 2022

A curated list of interesting and informative stuff from all around the Internet. Obscurity is a plus for inclusion here.

Business Podcasts

  • Bloomberg Surveillance Big ideas in finance, economics, and investment with frequent interviews.
  • The David Rubenstein Show Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein talks to influential business leaders about their paths to success. He’s a great interviewer.
  • HBR IdeaCast Perspectives from leading business thinkers.
  • How I Built This How founders of well-known companies got their start.
  • Planet Money Fun take on parts of the economy we don’t often think about.
  • Motley Fool Money Great for getting a broader view for new investing ideas.
  • Rework A better way to work and run your business.

Cars

Christian Faith

  • Christian Standard Bible A readable modern Bible translation that tries to balance preserving the structure and conveying the meaning of the original texts.
  • English Standard Version Modern English Bible translation with a focus on literal, word-for-word accuracy.
  • My Utmost for His Highest Classic daily devotional available for free.
  • Life Church Online services and videos for kids. Makers of the YouVersion Bible app.
  • Saddleback Church Watch sermons from home. Useful if it’s hard to make it out some Sunday mornings.

Databases

  • DBeaver Cross-platform database client app. As long as there’s a JDBC driver you can connect to it with this.
  • Elasticsearch Distributed storage, API, and search engine for fast searching.
  • PostgreSQL General-purpose database with great documentation.
  • Presto Distributed query engine for analytical workloads that can talk to many kinds of common data sources.
  • SQLite Small, self-contained SQL database engine used in all kinds of embedded applications. Studied and renowned for its high-quality codebase.

Design and Illustration

  • Janice Go Kim Visual design, UX, content strategy. Also happens to be my sister.
  • Ryan Johnson
  • Stanley Chow Illustrator for the New Yorker style profile pictures.
  • Will Staehle Commercial design and original content creation. Former co-worker of mine and all-around nice guy.

Developer Toolbelt

  • Electron Build cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • GNU awk A powerful and way under appreciated text processing tool.
  • GNU Core Utilities (coreutils) The must-know command-line utilities for file, shell, and text manipulation.
  • Gnuplot Open source graphing tools. Turns numbers into pictures.
  • Jekyll Static site generator written in Ruby.
  • React A JavaScript framework with some staying power.
  • Repl.it An instant in-browser IDE and REPL with support for many of the most common programming languages.
  • Ruby on Rails The best way to write web apps to get up and running quickly and get you pretty far too.
  • TypeScript Saner way to write JavaScript, designed to scale to make larger projects maintainable. Compiles to JavaScript.

Education

  • Architecture of Open Source Applications Technical conceptual overviews of various widely used open source applications.
  • Epic Interactive books for kids where each word is highlighted as it’s read aloud so kids can follow along. You have to pay for it but it’s worth it and there’s a very rich content library.
  • E.W. Dijkstra Archive One of the most influential members of computer science’s founding generation.
  • Khan Academy Learn anything at your own pace.
  • Minetest Open source voxel game engine. Like Minecraft but better resource utilization on older machines.
  • PBS Kids High quality videos for early childhood you can feel good about having your kids watch.
  • World History Encyclopedia Higher quality than Wikipedia articles but less selection due to more care and consistent voice. Formerly known as the Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Engineering Thought Leaders

  • Alyssa Rosenzweig Linux hacker and graphics developers working on porting Linux to Apple M1 devices.
  • Andrew “bunnie” Huang Open source hardware and activist for digital rights and freedoms.
  • Ben Balter Attorney, open source developer, product manager.
  • Charity Majors Real talk on observability, systems engineering, and the nature of modern technology operations.
  • Chris Lattner LLVM, Clang, and Swift guy who’s now working on RISC-V.
  • Coding Horror
  • Colin Percival FreeBSD, scrypt, Tarsnap.
  • Dan Luu Thoughtful blog posts on programming, performance, latency, and other like things.
  • Daniel J. Bernstein
  • Fabrice Bellard An inspiration and one-man show. From pi calculators to video transcoding to virtual machines to JavaScript runtimes.
  • James Hague Real talk about programming that goes beyond what sounds good and into what it’s really like. No new posts, just an archive, but one full of classics.
  • Joel on Software
  • Julia Evans Hard and involved technology topics discussed in a disarmingly friendly and accessible way.
  • Leslie Lamport Distributed systems, TLA+, and LaTeX guy.
  • Martin Fowler A website on building software effectively.
  • Rands in Repose A must-read for software engineering management and leadership.
  • Scott Berkun Real talk on project management and other topics that will deeply resonate with doers and builders.
  • Slava Akhmechet Insightful engineer and founder writing about startups, business, and programming.
  • Werner Vogels Amazon CTO on building scalable and robust distributed systems.

Geoengineering

  • Great Green Wall Regreening of the Sahel and restoration of degraded lands.
  • Noya Direct air capture of carbon dioxide using cooling towers.
  • Poseidon Water Builders of saltwater desalination plants, including one that’s up and running in Carlsbad, California.
  • Sahara Forest Project Project that aims to incrementally and sustainably reforest the Sahara Desert.
  • Terraformation Massive global reforestation know-how and services.

Investing and Business Strategy

  • Asianometry Covers Taiwan, China, semiconductors, financial analysis, and Asian history.
  • Berkshire Shareholder Letters Folksy wisdom about long-term investing.
  • Borsa App to make it much easier to listen to public company earnings calls.
  • Carol Roth Investment banker, entrepreneur, small-business owner, investor, and author.
  • Maintainers Global research network advocating for maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain the human-built world.
  • Monday Note Business, journalism strategic commentary from Jean-Louis Gassée, BeOS founder and Apple exec.
  • Robinhood Buy and sell stocks for free. Modern product experience too.
  • Stratechery Analysis of the strategy and business side of technology and media, and the impact of technology on society.
  • Tren Griffin
  • Wealthfront A place to roll your 401k over. Automatic reinvesting of dividends and rebalancing.

News

Non-Profits

  • Internet Archive Home of the Wayback Machine to look up webpages that have since been taken down.
  • Standard Ebooks Volunteer-produced ebooks with nicer formatting than the raw stuff from Project Gutenberg.

Open Source Tools

  • Amazon Corretto Free, production-grade OpenJDK distribution battle-hardened through internal use at Amazon.
  • Apache Directory Studio Cross-platform LDAP client for desktop.
  • Dnsmasq Lightweight DNS forwarder and DHCP server that’s used literally everywhere.
  • ImageMagick Free software for used to create, edit, and convert images. Supports many different image formats. Used to resize, flip, rotate, adjust image colors, and apply various special effects,
  • Jupyter Create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text.
  • OpenZFS Open source version of ZFS, which will forever hold a place in my heart because of that special moment in time when I saw that instant cloning of large databases was possible.
  • Redmine Decent open source project management software, with issue tracking, wiki, and integration with version control.
  • Trac Wiki and issue tracking tool written in Python.
  • Visual Studio Code A really good code editor.

Privacy and Security

  • Authy Two-factor app with multi-device support so you can provide your codes using more than one device. Owned by Twilio.
  • Brave Privacy focused web browser built on Chromium with a cryptocurrency-based reward mechanism for viewing privacy-respecting ads as well as paying content creators.
  • FastMail Paid email service with IMAP, calendars, and credentials specific for each client app. Also fast.
  • LastPass Password manager to keep track of different passwords for different sites. Includes client-side password generators and a generous free tier.
  • Monero Cryptocurrency with strong privacy built in from the ground up. You can also still mine it with a CPU, unlike most other cryptocurrencies.
  • Mozilla Firefox Privacy focused web browser.
  • Mozilla VPN Reputable VPN service worth paying for. Uses WireGuard.
  • ProtonMail Secure email service, based in Switzerland, with client-side encryption and decryption.

Productivity SaaS

  • Airtable The spreadsheet evolved. Like Google Sheets but fancier and embeddable.
  • Basecamp No-nonsense project management software.
  • Coda Slick document creation and collaboration. Like Google Docs but faster and fancier.
  • Datadog Monitoring and pretty graphs. Ship your metrics and logs to them, and build visual graphs and set up alerts.
  • Diagrams.net Free and open-source web-based diagramming tool that aims to keep files editable even years from now. Metadata embedded in exported files to avoid read-only artifacts.
  • Excalidraw Web-based whiteboard with charming hand-drawn aesthetic.
  • GitHub Hosted Git repositories and more. Market leader.
  • GitLab Hosted Git repositories and more. Impressive up and comer. Use if you don’t like Microsoft.
  • New Relic Insights into your running software, with minimal configuration.
  • Notion Well-designed, all-in-one productivity tool. Notes, to-do lists, Kanban boards. I use it for notes.
  • Pinboard Bookmarking site that does the job. Run by one guy. Low overhead and profitable.
  • Rentry A Markdown pastebin site to post quick, anonymous notes that format well and load quickly.
  • Trello Kanban board for tracking progress on work items.

Retro/Alternative Computing

  • ArcaOS Continuation of OS/2.
  • Haiku Open-source BeOS.
  • MATE Desktop Preservation of GNOME 2 desktop environment on Linux. None of this converged touchscreen stuff. All in on the traditional desktop metaphor.
  • Neocities Modern, open-source reboot of free web hosting inspired by GeoCities.
  • PCjs Neat emulator with old OS/2, Windows 95, and DOS demos entirely in JavaScript. Runs on mobile browsers too.
  • ReactOS Clean room open source implementation of Windows. Rough around the edges but admirable ambition and results.
  • SerenityOS From-scratch OS described as a love letter to ’90s user interfaces, with a custom Unix-like core.
  • Textfiles Preservation of old ASCII text communications with a focus on mid-1980s text files and the world as it was then.

Writing

  • Cal Newport Articulate voice on the importance of deep work and focus. Focus is a rare commodity and that’s what makes it valuable in this increasingly distracted time.
  • David Perell Deep thoughts about writing well.
  • DEV Very fast writing platform and community geared towards software developers.
  • Dickie Bush On writing, growth, and learning in public. Good Twitter thread archive too.
  • Posthaven Blogging platform meant to last forever. Created and maintained by a team whose previous blogging service was bought and shut down.
  • Substack A place for serious writers with ambitions to make money from their writing through subscriptions. Includes tools for building communities and email newsletters.
  • Svbtle Clean and minimalist blogging platform meant to last forever. Has a thoughtful workflow for staging and iterating on drafts before publishing.
  • Write.as Minimalist writing tool with privacy focus supported through subscriptions, not ads.