Archive for the ‘codesketch’ Category

Dear startups of the HN community

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Thanks to the overwhelming support and insight I’ve received from the Hacker News community, I’ve decided to give back. If you haven’t heard of them before, Hacker News is the brain child of Paul Graham (P.S. Read his essays), an investor working with YCombinator. Hacker News is simply the best place on the web to learn about startups, venture capitalists, and anything pertaining to the life of the entrepreneur. Topics from A/B testing to Angel Investing are all covered.

The best part about Hacker News is that a lot of the people active in the community are actually working on a startup. Advice is freely given by people that are actually building things instead of people that just like to talk.

To show my appreciation of these people, I am offering 2 or 3 ad spaces in my sidebar for free for the summer (end of August). The ad space will completely integrate with my other paid sponsors (see MediaTemple for an example) and will include a few sentence summary of your product or service.

To apply simply send an email to with a short pitch of your product (One or two paragraphs will suffice) as well as a demo account (if applicable). I would be happy to answer any other questions at that address as well.

Thank you HN community for being the best entrepreneurial resource online.

Paul Hontz

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

The iPad’s Dirty Secret

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, he hailed it as “the best web browsing experience you’ve ever had.” My job has me primarily in the work in the cloud, so I was willing to give the iPad a shot. Unfortunately after using the iPad for about a month, I have to disagree with Steve.

Before I dive into some of the shortcomings of the iPad, I would like to spend some time on what the iPad does right.

The form factor is simply brilliant for consuming content on the web. If it didn’t fall short in other areas (see below), I could see this replacing my laptop for heavy browsing. An IPS screen tucked into a pound and a half aluminum enclosure that feel great in your hands, and doesn’t heat up (or have annoying fans) is a dream.

The operating system can best be described as simplicity without a condescending tone. I handed my iPad to my mother, and she was able to get online and surf around with ease. This is the same women who calls me every time she wants to watch a DVD.

Let that sink in for a minute. An operating system that doesn’t look like Microsoft’s “Bob” is able to be picked up and used without instructions or directions. I would recommend this device to anyone who isn’t a power-user without hesitation.

However, power-users will quickly bump into a kink in their workflow. The lack of tabs. If you’re anything like me, when you visit a news site you skim the front page and open any interesting article in a new tab.

On a computer, this is a very functional workflow (see above). I’m also given the flexibility to read the articles later when I might not have an internet connection.

However on the iPad, tabs are no where to be found. Instead you are greeted with a button that will activate an exposé style overview of all of your open windows.

At first glance this appears to be a fair compromise, but as time goes on, it has proven to be a grinding experience. Having to touch a button to view your open windows is the equivalent of having to right click on a computer, pull up a contextual menu, and then selecting the window that you would like to switch to.

The problem gets worse. Trying to apply my typical browsing habits on the iPad highlighted a hardware limitation.

Knowing that I was going on a long car ride, I decided to visit one of my favorite news sites and open a bunch of articles I found interesting.

I finished the first article and tried to switch to the second when I was greeted with a blank white page, and then a connection dialog box that told me I needed to get online to grab the page.

Shipping with a lackluster 256 mb of ram, the iPad simply is physical incapable of holding a small selection of the web pages in memory at one time.

I have come to the conclusion that the lack of tabs is an issue that is reflective of a hardware limitation. It is possible that Apple could release a software update that would allow a more aggressive caching mechanism, but for the time being, power-users are S.O.L. using Safari.

What do you think? Send an email to, and I’ll be happy to continue this discussion publicly (if you so desire) on codesketch. Comments are disabled as I am aiming to have intelligent discussion around this issue.

Minor Codesketch Upgrades

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Quick heads up Twitter users. We just updated our backend to allow you to Retweet stories without leaving codesketch. We’re using Twitter’s @anywhere program to achieve this over oauth.

If you’re not following @codesketch on Twitter, you should be!

More updates on the way!

We’re Changing Hosts

Monday, March 1st, 2010

You might have noticed that codesketch has been a little quite for the last 2 or 3 days, and we’re finally able to say why. We’ve officially outgrown our current host, and are in the process of moving to another. Once we’re fully switched over we will make an official announcement.

In the meantime you may experience slowdowns, or the site might not load at all. As soon as all of the DNS information populates across the board everything will be back to normal.

After everything has been moved over, codesketch will be significantly faster, able to withstand large bursts of traffic better, and just generally more responsive. We will also be able to roll out a few features in the next couple weeks that you guys are going to love.

All the best, and thanks for your readership,
- Paul Hontz

* If you can see this, then you are viewing codesketch on our new host!*

I'm Still With COCO

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Google Voice invites available

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

UPDATE: We are now out of invites. You can still send us an email, and we will put you on a list. Thanks!

Going along with the news that Google Voice is now available on the iPhone and WebOS, we are providing several invites to our readers! Just send an email to, and we’ll get it right out to you. Alternatively, follow us on twitter @codesketch and send us a message requesting an invite.

Thanks for your support! We’re looking forward to giving away other great free things soon too!

If you don’t know what Google Voice is, learn more about it here.

Dear Flash plugin, love OSX

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Dear Flash,

I think you know what this letter is about. It won’t help either of us if we pretend like there isn’t a problem.

You see, when we first started out together I was ecstatic. I don’t subscribe to cable as hulu takes care of the majority of my needs and NBA League Pass and friends fill in the rest. I was willing to put up with your frequent crashing, stuttering, and general quirks if it meant I could be free from a tyrannous cable company.

The shine soon wore off, and we’re now at a crossroads. I’m tired of my computer fans spinning up every single time I want to watch a video with you. To put it bluntly, you are an inconsiderate jerk. Taking upwards of 90% one of my cores to display a standard definition video is inexcusable.

The other day I had this nagging feeling that you were cheating on me. I’m sorry, but I was compelled to fire up Parallels and load my XP image. I pulled up the exact same video that I was trying to watch and was shocked. It ran beautifully on XP. To top it off It took less processing power to run a virtualized operating system, browser, and the flash plugin for the virtual machine then it did to run flash natively on OSX. It was also significantly smoother. I wish you didn’t treat me like a second class citizen.

The actual video

I wish things could have ended differently, but I think we need to see other people. I know you’re already suspicious of HTML5 and myself, but I can assure you that he isn’t ready for a steady commitment. Yet.

Love always,
OS X on a Santa Rosa MacBook Pro