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I too work from a lot of different places, but I find that I absolutely need internet to be productive. Pulling a Gem for instance, or checking Stack Overflow.

My favourite places to work are all-inclusive holiday resorts. Lanzarote and the Algarve most recently. Being all inclusive means there is no thought process in eating or drinking. Nor any need to shop, clean, cook.

The most difficult thing is finding out what the internet situation is in hotels - but this has vastly improved even in the last year. I generally call up reception, and travel with an ethernet cable.

Incidentally for an individual or a couple, Airbnb is generally far more expensive than a reasonable half-board hotel. I've only ever found Airbnb type stuff useful in capital cities.

I've been at my most productive working in:

- Wetherspoons in Slough

- An apartment in Cairo

- A bungalow in Lanzarote

- The lobby of the Apex hotel in Dundee (current)

Downsides are seeing a laptop screen in the sun (wear a dark shirt) and being surrounded by happy couples while on one's own.

(I'm back to Lanzarote for a week at the start of December if anyone fancies a coffee)




I'm gently surprised SO hasn't done a 6 month torrent of a stand-alone locally searchable SO. They could possibly do a monthly subscription download?

That'd help the people wanting to turn off the Internet.

EDIT: And, if you really need it, you can get Internet on a ship. It's hideously expensive, but that's okay. You just need to think before going online.


We release an XML data dump every 3 months. It'd only be a bit of work to make it presentable and load it into something searchable. http://www.clearbits.net/creators/146-stack-exchange-data-du...


In fact, that work has already been done: http://stackapps.com/questions/3610/stackdump-an-offline-bro...


If someone could make this into an Android app with wifi hotspot functionality that would be awesome.


I wouldn't mind doing that, but not what sure you mean with "wifi hotspot functionality"?


I'm not sure what the original poster had in mind, but what I'm guessing (and what I would want) is making it a web UI so access could be shared easily to other people or devices.


I took it to mean "put it on your phone and let the phone serve it"


Yep, this. So I hit a button in the app, fire up the laptop and enter a url like 146.162.0.9:2020 to browse the offline stackoverflow.

An example of similar hotspotting would be the ftp app on f-droid.


> at least 20-30GB of space

What would be good would be if there was an easy way to filter the local database for specific tags before putting it on the phone.


Why not just server it on your laptop, locally?


This actually sounds quite interesting. I might just go and do it. The question is, will SO approve?

Edit: I'm guessing SO probably won't have an issue with it.


I have used this iPhone app while programming on the trans-siberian express:

https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/stackstash-stackoverflow-off...

It works but the experience is terrible. I'd be happy to throw money at a better app, in case anyone here is bored... :)


Could it be converted into a ZIM?

http://www.openzim.org/wiki/Main_Page


Thank you. Stack Overflow is like the wikipedia of tech knowledge.


I know of at least one shop that does most of their work offline and keeps a local SO cache for exactly this purpose.


It would be really nice to be able to easily download whole (or parts) websites for offline use. One thing is SO, but maybe you also want the API of some specific library or language, some specific Wikipedia articles or whole topics on Wikipedia... does something like this exist?


The Algarve rocks for work, surfing, sunny weather...and not much else ;-)

Might head down for the winter again, would be my my 4th I think, and I still only grok about 5% of the language (Brazilian Portuguese is worlds easier for me to comprehend).

My remote work setup is simple: rent an apartment with high speed internet for a few months and dive in.


Would you mind sharing how expensive is to live in the Algarve? (i.e. renting an apartment, food, etc.) I only been there (Faro) as a tourist.


In the off-season, quite cheap, can rent an apartment for 300-500 euros per month, with high speed internet.

Finding that apartment is the tricky bit, you have to dig around on the net -- odd given that there are great swaths of empty apartments everywhere down there in the winter, which is of course the best time to be there, 16-18C, warm-ish water, etc.


Can I ask how you spend per day in Lanzarote? We were just there for a weekend and "splurged" on an €88/night property, but it seemed like we could have done just fine at €30–40/night. What an interesting place.


Probably around 50 EUR last time I was there, at a decent 3* all inclusive. In Portugal I was paying 60EUR a night half board at a five star.


I agree completely on the internet access. Very hard to work through issues without online resources nowadays. How did we do it before there was such great online help like StackExchange?


Last year, I spent about six months without regular Internet access. It was fascinating watching my muscle memory adjust, and it got me thinking about how I worked in the past. Not just StackOverflow (which I don't find very useful for what I do), but the tendency to immediately google for a library, or current papers on a class of algorithms, or a piece of code I can study to see the preferred idiom for something.

In some ways I was more productive than before, but I tended to reuse less code, and use less sophisticated algorithms and data structures to solve problems. Having good code around to read became a lot more important, as did having access to good books, and good man pages. (It reminded me why I loved OpenBSD so much in the 90s)

The most positive thing that came out of it was reading a lot more code; I realized one of the habits that had diminished most since sometime in the last decade was the habit of reading the source code for something when I had a problem with it, instead of immediately googling it.

It made me think that maybe younger programmers should try working without a connection now and then (say, for a week at a time). Also that open source has really changed things; there's so much stuff that I don't even think about writing myself now, because I know someone out there has already written and open sourced.


" How did we do it before there was such great online help like StackExchange?"

Books. And if you were lucky you would buy 2 or 3 so you could triangulate something that didn't make sense. At least that is what I did.

Also plenty of trying and iteration.

Try this.

Try that.

For hours on end. (Not sure by your question if you had done this or were just asking btw.).

When I bought a Unix system (mid 80's) it came with a bound set of maybe 10 manuals iirc. Getting other books was difficult I had to drive miles to a University bookstore to even find anything on Unix or C. Software wasn't free of course. It cost real dollars and was pretty expensive and came on floppies.


I hear you, and that's how I learned. :-) But I find it much tougher on the topics I'm learning today. Perhaps it's because the old stuff is hard wired because it needs to be, but I keep less of the new topics in long term memory because I can outsource that storage to Google?


Yeah the memory thing is a problem for sure. I've noticed that and it worries me.

A few years ago I built this php/mysql just to store things that I learned or figured out (correct syntax for rsync might be an example) so I wouldn't have to re google them. [1] But now what I'm seeing is that most things can be found by google quicker than in the format I am using the db for. (But it's still helpful because I can cut paste and edit). I also use a wiki to keep track of what I have found that is helpful. Putting something in the wiki seems to help a little.

My point is in the past there would have been much more memorization reinforcement (see [1] below) than today. My brain is totally getting lazy because it knows the answer is right at my fingertips one way or another. When I used to do the 3x5 cards [1] I typed it up, printed it, reduced it, pasted it and the act of creating and using those "flash" cards made me memorize the answers.

The other problem is the flood of information. To many cool and interesting things to test out and get the hang of. I remember back when I tried C for the first time (don't even think there was c++). Could work with that for a long time since there wasn't really anything else to play with. [2]

[1] Old way of doing this used to be 3x5 cards or those 8.5 x 11 plastic (can't think of the actual word for it) cheat sheets like "Unix Quick Reference". See: http://www.bookdepository.com/Unix-Inc-Barcharts/97815722239...

[2] I'm not a programmer but I do some programming to help with what I do. And have been doing it for a long time. So perhaps if I was doing this full time and my needs were different (instead of intermittent) this would be less of an issue for me.


Stop cutting and pasting and start typing. I try to copy from memory, but even writing it out while looking at the original still seems to help retention.


I actually do do that almost always. Habit started with books actually. Exactly true as far as learning and retention.

Noting even that when learning php somethings that I cut and pasted had weird invisible embedded characters that caused things to fail [1]. That was actually a pretty good learning experience trying to take something that appeared correct character by character and figure out why it wasn't working by stripping things down the the basics.

[1] Might have been on w3schools or something like that.


You're being generous about it being laziness. I'm blaming my own on old age. :-)

But seriously, there are pros and cons with this. On the one hand, by outsourcing certain aspects of memory, we can hold much more. It's kind of like learning to call APIs rather than re-writing everything from scratch. On the other hand, I believe that instant recall has it's advantages. (I think our generation can do math approximations in our head faster than the current generation, and that's an advantage)


I keep searching for stuff and finding old blog posts of mine I wrote after the first time I solved the problem...


and have little or no memory of writing... that happened to me only a few weeks ago. Pretty darn scary.


Old age, too much of the bottle, or both? :-)


A little of both I suspect ;).


We read the source code, reverse-engineered existing applications and hardware, wrote test harnesses, and implemented things ourselves. :-)


Think of the value added by StackExchange and other websites. The amount of efficiency the Internet has created is incredible.


I now find a lot of better answers through Github issues and personal blogs. I should remember to search Github code when I'm stuck trying to figure something out.


The point is similar though - need the cheap internet connection on both.


Books and Usenet.


As the article mentions, there is internet, it's just expensive. And big downloads can be done at an internet cafe in port.


What kind of stuff do you work on where you need to pull gems so frequently? Why do people need so many external libraries?


Over the last week I moved http://www.thebigeat.com/uk from PHP to Rails. That uses Geocoder, Carrierwave, Stripe, gmaps4rails, FriendlyId and Rakismet. I use Gems because they do what I need to be done. When they don't then I roll my own - I used to use Devise, but hacking around it just became inflexible and more work than my own.




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