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Ask HN: What personal tools are you the most proud of making?
18 points by sarvasvkulpati 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 21 comments
I kept coming up with project ideas but never properly followed through on them, and then I realised that it's because I'm creating tools for 'other people'.

Of course, 'other people' is a very vague audience to create for. The most prolific devs I know create amazingly crafted tools for themselves, and if these tools grow, they make it for others.

So what are some tools you're really proud of making for yourself? Bonus points for projects that are real labours of love.

Posted this here a few times already: http://write.itskrish.co

its defining features being:

1. you choose a fixed duration of time within which to journal (i choose 15 minutes even though it is initially tough to spend all of)

2. if you stop typing for more than a few seconds within the duration, you lose your writing

These constraints basically force me to dump anything and everything on my mind for the sake of continuous typing (to not lose what i've written), and I've been successfully doing it at least 1-2 times a week for a few years now. All your entries are also saved locally in-browser only, with the option to export a savefile.


I wouldn't say I'm proud of making it, but it's something I built 15 years ago and still use many times a day -- every day.

AtoZ Notebook - Encrypted data storage in A-Z format.


I built it for myself as I hated the limitations of password managers when what I really wanted was a long form "sensitive data" manager.

I built version 1 in 2005 and rewrote it as a commercial app in 2011 -- sold about 100 copies and then discontinued it as I didn't want to be in the password manager business. The encryption was sufficient but not good enough for an app used by others to store their passwords.

Here's a screenshot: http://www.atoznotebook.com/images/atoz-mainwindow.png


Took me just 2 hours to code and upload to Mac App Store, its essentially just showing ping on top menu bar but quite some numbers of users has sent me email thanking me for helping them check their internet connection when having video conferences.

I write programs for myself that is also for other people can use too.

One such collection of programs is Farbfeld Utilities, which I now use for dealing with picture files. It also includes encoders/decoders for some uncommon formats, and some options of them which are not widely implemented in other programs (e.g. XPM2, including symbolic colours; it can also encode/decode NES/Famicom tile sets, the Golly Macrocell format, and others), and also to display pictures and to make screenshots (both X windows and Linux text screens). There are also some filters that I have not seen in other programs, such as the possibility to make the tensor product of two pictures. Unfortunately a lot of documentation is missing, though.

I've created a couple of userscripts (anybody remember Greasemonkey?) to help augment sites that I use everyday



Sadly they break every couple of months when the sites' DOM changes. The YouTube one is currently broken and I haven't had the time to fix it yet

This is the next best thing to actually applying for a job at those companies and doing it myself like that April fools joke

I wrote a log file viewer (https://lnav.org) to help me debug the software I was working on at the time (2006). This software generated multiple log files and I got tired of manually collating messages to figure out what went wrong. (The stuff ran in an appliance so we would get dumps from customers.) I’ve used this log viewer practically every day since and it’s been useful as I’ve moved from one job to another.


Cleave is an application that lets users persist OS state as a "context" - saving and loading open applications, their windows (and their positions), tabs, open files/documents and so on. Think of it as a workspace or project manager from an IDE, but on the OS-level.

Started because of frequent multitasking of heavy work with limited resources. Made it because I wanted to switch between studying, working, reading, looking for an apartment, etc. without manually managing all states or consuming all resources.

I'll release an Open Beta (macOS) as soon as I finish license verification and delta updates, but I keep getting sidetracked...

This looks amazing, it makes so much sense. Hope you launch it soon.

I made this myself (including the website content and theming) originally to help automate stuff I was having to do manually:


> Checkbot is a Chrome extension that tests 100s of pages at a time to find critical SEO, speed and security problems before your users do. Test unlimited sites as often as you want including local development sites to find and eliminate broken links, duplicate content, invalid HTML/CSS/JavaScript, insecure pages, redirect chains and 50+ other common website problems.

I'm building Starboard [0][1] which I believe will popularize literate programming on the web. It makes making interactive educational content, simple web apps, and documentation 10 times easier.

Think Jupyter Notebook but built for the web.

[0]: https://starboard.gg [1]: https://github.com/gzuidhof/starboard-notebook

Nice. You should emphasize the difference between this and Observable

Had no idea about starboard.gg. This is incredibly cool. Gonna play with it more.

I am building https://www.jigdev.com

It’s a javascript application shell that I mostly wrote to replace spreadsheets where I work.

Still in progress, but I really am proud of it. Nobody else seems to find it useful though. sigh

Hackerer.news (note the extra 'er') I wouldn't say it's the thing I'm most proud of, but certainly the most useful as I use it almost every day.

[0] https://hackerer.news/ [1] https://gitlab.com/karmakaze/hackerer-news

I am also working on the same. Here is the link https://hn.ariesfab.com/newest I am currently working on the dB part.


It lets you search for keywords in the caption tracks of YouTube search results. The code is really, really bad because it’s the first website I ever made, but it’s still useful when I’m looking for a particular quote or moment in a podcast/lecture and I don’t remember when it was said.

I'm building https://cinematicstudio.app - a video editor focused on speed + simplicity. It's been an insane few years, and hopefully I'll manage to launch it in 1 month :D

Synonyms Deluxe (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/synonyms-deluxe/kf...) - Created this so I can express myself better in English. Now many people use it :)

Contextualise (https://contextualise.dev/), a semantic graph-based application to help you organise your own knowledge, projects, etc. It is the basis of all my projects (both personal and professional).

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26688842 - HckrNews, my main way to consume HN (mashup of HackerWeb + hckr news)

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26601696 - UltraWeather: the weather forecast just like I want to see it.

Two projects that are in progress:

- A bookmark manager: https://instant.leftium.com/

- A notes manager mashup between TaskPaper and nvAlt:



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