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Show HN: Progress Bar OS X. How much % of a year/month/day has passed in menubar (progressbarosx.com)
87 points by andreyazimov on April 22, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 73 comments

This can easily be done using the program BitBar. https://github.com/matryer/bitbar

I love this. This is what I'm using now!

Dropbox can also be easily done with rsync and fuse.

A prettier hacker news can also easily be recreated. But Awesome app Andrey! Glad you took the time to actually code this. :)

Any pointers to creating the script to recreate this?

Edit: it's here https://getbitbar.com/plugins/Time

Bitbar is a nice discovery, thanks for sharing!

I have been using this for years. Highly recommended.

This one is awesome

Intersting idea, but I feel you'll have a difficult time with that price tag.

I agree. I'm not against selling software, but $5 for something I could probably whip up in an hour and post as open source is really not the best way to get people to use your app. This app just doesn't provide enough value to be $5–maybe if it was a dollar.

But wouldn't saving an hour of time for $5 be a good deal?

No, because in doing so I can help a hundred other people save an hour of their life as well.

Yes, but in that hour you could also make something that does not exist yet which would help hundreds of people. This would arguably be worth a lot more than $5.

I want to build a sustainable lifestyle as an indie maker, and I feel like $5 is the optimal price point to help me achieve that. Too cheap and I need _a lot_ more sales to get there. Too expensive and it will be difficult to get people to buy. So far this price point has generated 100+ sales.

If he sells this to people whose hourly rate is $50, and hypothetically it would take each an hour to write, then he just created an economic surplus of $45 for each of those people, while he only took $5 for each sale.

If he sells enough the income could allow him to create even more useful things for other people.

There is nothing wrong with selling something you created.

I'm an open source enthusiast. I run Linux on my MacBook Pro. Still, people should be able to sell what they created if they want to.

See my other comment on why I don't believe in the "economic surplus" argument: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16899924

That being said, I don't understand the use of this app at all. But other people seem to find it useful.

Depends on if you enjoy the process and what else you would do with the hour otherwise. If you find it fun and/or learn something by making your own, and would otherwise be doing nothing more useful and/or fun, spending the time works out better than spending the money.

Yeah, that too. Most of my projects tend to be learning experiences rather than making something that others would want.

At $1, it's really not worth selling - credit card fees alone would eat 30% of the revenue. Never mind that a single email support request will often take 10 - 15 minutes of time, and you'll quickly find you've created a support job for yourself that pays less than minimum wage.

A better approach might be to make more software and create a bundle, so customers get more value for their $5, rather than lowering the price.

Or improve the marketing, so people realize the value the software gives for their $5. If you get paid $60/hr in your freelance work, and this app encourages you to squeeze in an extra 5 minutes of billable time today because you see the year is ticking away, it will have paid for itself.

> Or improve the marketing, so people realize the value the software gives for their $5

I'm not sure I agree with this metric. For example, if I buy a shopping bag I could end up saving an hour over its lifetime because now I carry more things and once and make fewer trips. Does that mean that it should cost me $whatever my hourly rate is? No, I'm going to pay how much I feel its intrinsic value is based on factors such as the market rate, the raw materials that went into its manufacturing, and the quality of the craftsmanship. Maybe I end up paying a dollar for it.

Using these guidelines, to me I think the effective price of this software should really be $0. Other comments have mentioned how this is trivial to set up with free software that's already available, and if this doesn't fit people's needs, there are sure to be people like me who could whip up a clone in an hour.

There is a lot of overpriced software, especially on MacOS. If people are willing to pay (not necessarily you) - why not let them?

Will people realize how easy this app is to make? Will they care? I think it's worth a shot for the developer. It could pay for a coffee or two.

It did a bit better than a coffee or two. He sold 86 copies on the first day for $430 revenue (about $379 US after Gumroad's cut). Not bad for an app that everyone here claims they could make in an hour - but didn't.


> Not bad for an app that everyone here claims they could make in an hour - but didn't.

If this is something you'd be interested in, I'm fine with putting in the time to make this…

Everyone here (on MacOS) who wants it can just use BitBar.

With bitbar it's one print statement in Python. (Just print current time divided by total time.)

(Yes yes, typing in your credit card number is certainly easier for many than writing a line of Python. Good for OP that they found quite a few buyers.)

> There is a lot of overpriced software, especially on MacOS

I really don't think this is the case. It's not fundamentally wrong to charge $50 or $100 for software: it just means that there are some people that won't be able to afford it, but the tradeoff you make is that you might be able to provide better support or higher quality.

> Will people realize how easy this app is to make? Will they care?

Well, I certainly did ;)

I’m an indie developer and need money to pay my rent and bills. If I work for free I will starve and die and not be able to make more apps :D

Agreed, this looks like a fun addon.

I would pay at least 10$ for this, considering how much time it can potentially save me a year. You should consider to raise the price!

I like the price tag. It's ballsy

He just sold 150+ copies in the last day, I think he's doing okay

Like they say, time is money.

Nice! I made a website like this years ago inspired by a thing I saw on HN called the memento mori (remember, you are dying!) :)


thanks, i find this much more useful. any chance to create an addon for firefox as well?

As if I needed more induced anxiety worrying about the passage of time.

"time isn't holding up. time isn't after us."

I never thought I'd get to see someone advertising software with a fight club quote. That certainly scores some sympathy points in my book! :)

I haven't read this one yet, thanks for the link!

In retrospective, the history of WhatsApp gives this quote an interesting hint of irony.

why don't developers publish small apps like this in the app store?

As another comment has mentioned, this developer doesn't seem to have a valid certificate from Apple. They can't be on the App Store unless their software is signed.

They do, but this one doesn't.

Why the marketing line "this is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time"? I don't mean to be rude, but it's kind of an aphorism, and a morbid one at that. But I see people whom I respect making this observation. I'm sincerely wondering why pointing out the obvious is important

Our bodies have a finite number of breaths. We don't always prioritize our time that way when it seems like that.

Maybe it's also a mindful presence the most of one's day/week/month/year is important.

I recall another post about a graph that is generated for the # of your weeks that are used up. It's powerful, and as positive, or not, as I guess as one wants to make it.

It's a line from Fight Club, fwiw.

Don’t hear the naysayers, $5 is a good price for it, frankly $4 would be even better not because it’s cheaper in so much as it’s less than a round number that could be used as a mental barrier.

I can imagine a lot of non techie creatives using this to keep focused on long projects.

I don’t get why you’d reference ‘OS X’ in the title when that name was retired years ago. I assumed this was an app that had been around for a while yet the domain was registered just yesterday.

Also, I don’t know about anyone else but I find ‘Progress Bar’ as an app name to be really vague. I wouldn’t know it was a year progress widget without visiting the site.

P.s. you’re welcome to my genius naming idea ‘Year Progress macOS’.

OS X was rebranded in June 2016, less than 2 years ago. The old name is still used pretty often colloquially. In error, sure, but it's not like using Phoenix instead of Firefox. You're right about the name, and yours is a good replacement. It would likely be better received if you suggested it with less snark.

don’t get why you’d reference ‘OS X’ in the title when that name was retired years ago.

Was it? I am a Mac user and hadn’t heard that

I really love this idea and greatly appreciate the brevity in implementation, the sales pitch, and the landing page. If I had one suggestion it would be a slightly different visual treatment so as to not conflate it with battery percentage so easily. Maybe small clock icon in the middle of the bar or something.

I don't mind the 'business model' (I think it's a bit rich to be asking $5 for this, but then you're asking $5 from people who spent $2000-4000 on a laptop). What I do mind a bit is how depressing it seems - I guess I don't want to be reminded about impending death all the time...

Just found this little gem for Android that allows you to have progress bars like these as a launcher widget.


Found another Android widget alternative: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.davee44.da...

Those that find this interesting might also want to check out Mortality, a chrome extension.

It replaces the default new tab window with a count down and has the ability to set it based on your expected death date based on your stats.

I've got 19494 days 14 hours and 53 minutes to go.

I find it motivating.

Nice, now do it with life expectancy based on your blood work results and current age :)

1 point by andreyazimov 5 hours ago [-]

Hi HN, I am a big fan of Year Progress tweets but I want to see not only year I want to see month and day progress as well in minimal OS X menu bar with a cool progress bar.

Demo: https://www.progressbarosx.com/1.jpg, https://www.progressbarosx.com/2.jpg, https://www.progressbarosx.com/3.jpg, https://www.progressbarosx.com/4.jpg, https://www.progressbarosx.com/demo.mp4

Maybe wait longer than 5 hours before trying to repost the same thing?

Honest feedback: when I land on a site that asks me to watch a video to understand the thing, I almost always just close the tab. Put in enough info for me to understand why I'd want this without having to watch the video.

That's interesting, I always feel the opposite -- when I open a page about some software that doesn't have a video I often close the page immediately because I want to see how something works in practice not just in description.

If the description / pictures sell me on the thing being valuable, I pretty immediately download it to try out. In my experience, the time/value tradeoff of watching a video (which in a lot of cases has either extra fluff or has been cleaned up) vs just trying the app/service/etc is not worth it. Which makes it critical that the static contents of the page have enough detail to convince me there's a chance the app could fill a use case for me.

I want a text description and screenshots but I don't watch videos.

Very cool. Reminds me of https://twitter.com/progressbar201x

Look at https://twitter.com/year_progress for some ASCII goodness.

I get an security error when I open this on my mac. Is it hard to become an identified developer?

99/year to not get the security warning. Maybe not worth it for free/open source/hobby projects. Can bypass it by right clicking and choosing ‘Open’ but then you have to make your users aware of that.

Totally an Apple racketeering.

Also, not having the certificate can make it more likely the app will continue to work in future. Apple had an incident where App Store apps stopped working when the App Store certificate was replaced. I lost a few apps that I'd purchased that way (though some developers graciously gave me a non App Store version to work around it):


That's an App Store issue, not a developer certificate one.

... and downvotes without a cogent argument against.

Apple is blocking users from running apps (obscure workaround aside) unless the developer pays a yearly fee. How is that not racketeering?

To be clear, we’re not even talking about the App Store here. This is for WWW-distributed Mac apps of the regular kind.

Why do you feel it's racketeering?

Apple is charging developers money to avoid a problem imposed by Apple themselves.

To be fair, the developer subscription includes tools and documentation for Mac/iOS specific development that a price tag is fair for. But for the use case of cross-platform (e.g. Java) open-source development, not even a standard CA-rooted code signing certificate allows distribution without the security error. You have to pay Apple for one, or else your app is 2nd class and your users need workaround instructions.

Both a simple and very interesting idea... Could get one to stop procrastinating.

Life isn't short it's the longest thing you'll ever do

I was hoping that this would patch in with the OSX system progress bars and sum up the total amount of time waiting for something to happen on your computer. I always thought that progress bars were just a waste of life.

Should be free, with no annoyware and offer a $5 purchase for some extra features, or simply ask for donations

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