Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: What are your hobbies?
18 points by stevenj on Sept 24, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments
Mine are running, art, writing, investing, and playing poker.

Climbing mountains. I like to scare myself once in a while in the mountains, so the next time I am sitting at my computer I am very happy to be in such a safe place, doing such a safe thing. When I lose focus, I go back to the mountains until all I want to do is code again.

I have been training to start doing this again. I have been out of shape for the last 2 years(health complications), but used to boulder all the time. It both scares the hell out of you and clears your mind absolutely. Often I would find myself able to nail problems as soon as I returned that I had been spinning on for hours before.

'Old' (solderable) electronics / 80s computers, beer brewing, walking (a lot) (in nature/mountains), wearables (my biggest annoyance in life is that I cannot code while walking in nature; I do not like sitting (or walking behind) my computer), reading (as well, would rather do that walking and often do, but very constrained => in places I know well and where I will probably not run into other people / dogs etc).

Edit: Most of my work is my hobby as well; coding, starting companies, convincing great people, working with great people. When all is running smooth it's like a hobby. And for a while the hard times are fun as well to get sharp again.

Have you done any interesting projects with wearables? With Raspberry Pi becoming more mainstream it seems there's a lot of potential for hobbyist wearables, from simple devices to augmented reality projects.

I have experimented a lot with stuff I have and wearables are coming closer to interesting use. For instance I picked up a second hand Twiddler one hand keyboard/mouse and with some practice I can program with it a bit. Then hooking that up to a rooted smartphone with Linux seems to work fine. Allowing me to 'program' a bit while walking, but of course with the phone on my left wrist and Twiddler in right hand, it doesn't allow for very stable viewing/typing. Best would be augmented reality, where the augmented part is a projected, stable screen on the right-middle side of my right eye with a usable resolution (so not Recon). Then programming I think about the issue for a while and then write code; this seems to match that model particularly well and it's actually how I work at home. I stand in front of 'something' (can be a tv or window or ...) and my laptop is on my right on a standing table. I contemplate the problem and move my concentration to the right to the screen when I found a 'solution'. I think this would work well. However, there are no augmented reality devices ready for this. I tried a few and they gave me headaches or were quite uncomfortable.

Guess it's waiting for Glass or something to hurry the .... up. But that'll probably be disappointing as well; seems we are quite far removed from this. So for now I'm focusing on the software side, like having a live/reactive, predictive programming language which can be used almost only with alphanum chars. I have a lispy (but it would work with all lisps which don't have syntactic sugar) which predicts the parentheses well enough to almost never having to type them. This helps with entering code faster with one handed keyboards and voice (which I think is a dead end btw). However the issue which always arises is editing code, not adding code. That is also something you can reason about and try to solve without having the actual hardware, so it's something i'm working on. When I have time (i'm in a startup, unrelated to this hobby right now), I will blog about everything. I promised myself this will be before the end of the year ;)

Anyone play golf? I love it.

I also enjoy riding my motorcycle, reading literature, weightlifting, photography, and playing Battlefield 2.

I am learning to play piano and chess.

How did you learn to play golf? I've wanted to learn for some time but don't know where to start.

I've messed around with golf for about a year or two before getting serious this summer. Lessons made the biggest improvement. After I had a rough idea from the lessons, reading really made me understand the hows and whys.

This should help you on your way: If there are any golf courses around you, check their clubhouses for a local pro. There's usually someone around giving lessons.

This is where you need to spend the most money. Buy 5 or 10 lessons. Learn the fundamentals first, dont worry about distance, worry about contact.

Do this instead of a "craigslist deal". You'll be sure to get sound advice from someone who really understands the game.

For clubs, buy used or secondhand. These will last you until you either fall in love with the game or give it up and something else.

Suggested reading would include:

    Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf — Ben Hogan
    Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons And Teachings From A Lifetime In Golf — Harvey Penick
    Golf My Way: The Instructional Classic — Jack Nicklaus

If you want to try it out in a less intimidating environment, check out your local Par 3 course.

They're usually pretty low-cost and only 9 holes. As someone who enjoys playing golf, but doesn't have it as a top priority to get better at, 18 holes of a real course can be exhausting and frustrating if I'm not playing well. 9 holes on a par 3 can be over in less than an hour.

Olympic-style weightlifting. It's taught me an awful lot about the power of diligent practice.

I second Olympic lifts. Also teaches the tradeoffs of doing something correctly.

I third this. Also teaches the benefits of persistence and dedication.

Math and my toy OS. A little lame for a programmer, but you do what you love, right?

Playing with may daugther (drawing, puzzle, disney videos, video games, etc.). Reading (just some pages to sleep). Playing video game (specialy when Blizzard have a new game).

Kubb - the lack of tech in this simple lawn game continually re-teaches me focus and strategic thinking.

Beer brewing - always rewards patience and deliberateness.

It's always cool to see how multifaceted everyone is! Ok mine are playing Celtic fiddle and everything foodie-related.

Shooting, Rifles, films, and Photographs.

Cooking. There's something extremely relaxing about mindlessly chopping stuff up and then frying it in oil :)

Same here. I love food and experimenting with flavors, but honestly doing prep work is some of the most relaxing things in the world. And when I bought myself a decent couple of knives(Shun's pairing, chefs, bread and a Global boning) my mind was blown. Oddly, this led to me finding grocery shopping relaxing as well (I live near Whole Foods flagship store) and I walk in, find something fresh and wander around trying to piece together a meal.

Singing/Recording/Editing, Reading books(non-fiction), Running(Yeah I run for fun), Web/Graphics Designing, Sports(Badminton/Cricket/Football), Photography(from last few months), sketching & painting, cooking/eating, and sometimes meeting & chatting nonsense with close old friends.

My non-software hobbies are mountain biking and working on old porsches.

Weight training - currently doing 5/3/1 Fly fishing for trout. I find this the best for stress-relief. Beautiful countryside, gorgeous fish. Used to box as well, but haven't for a few years.


Ever since I picked it up when I moved to Hawaii it superceded all of my other hobbies. The payoff for improvement is so great, and even if you don't have a great session, you're out in the ocean.

In the lucky position to have programming as a hobby (and not as a full-time occupation).

That next to enjoying time with my wife and kid; reading and playing tennis.

MMA (BJJ, Sambo, Judo, MMA-orientated striking). Reading, Graphic Design, Friends. Friends are my favorite hobby.

I practice Yoseikan, which is similar to BJJ/MMA. I often get weird looks from people because they don't expect it from me. I just love how hard your brain has to work during a match (not to mention body), and how different the way you use your mind is. Martial arts is about so much more than beating the crap out of each other, there's so much tactics, strategy and psychology involved. Glad to find a fellow MMA'er here on HN!

Flying planes

Juggling, guitarr playing, programming, sailing, backpacking, trekking and african drumming.

Tennis (obsession maybe), photography, reading fiction, New Girl TV show (don't judge me).

Exercising at the gym, playing chess, playing tennis and swimming when I can.

I paint and play competitive beach(and indoor) volleyball. I also meditate.

I am a salsa performance dancer and I used to play cello more often.

Squash, riding my motorcycle, hiking, started with arduino recently

Digital Video Post Processing! See the originaltrilogy.com forum.

Kayaking, fishing, hiking....generally outdoors type stuff.

Historical wargames!

I love old Avalon Hill games. One of my dormant projects is working on a networked Russian Campaign so that I can play against my dad.

Bicycle touring, camping, and my game-inventing club.

What kind of art are you into and/or making?

rock climbing

Carp Fishing

Caveing! :) And mountaineering!

Olympic weightlifting

Coding (i don't in my job)

Badminton and Astronomy. :-)

Learning. Applying. Tech.

biking, badminton, myth busting and watching the mythbusters!

Russian language

Muay Thai


chess, reading books.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact