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Time-lapse video of Bethany's maniac week of coding (beeminder.com)
96 points by bsoule on June 19, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

I'm so terribly jealous of people able to read small fonts. Now that I can finally afford large screen monitors my eyes are so messed up that I need to set the font to 'huge' in order to be able to read (and that's with glasses, 2.5).

What a super way to promote beeminder.com, and a very nice idea for a project.

Thank you!! My eyes are not great -- it was a 30" monitor.

30" here too, I'm sort of ashamed to tell you the point size of my fonts, but it works out to 141x42, screen about 2' away. I sent out a tweet about your project, hope it will get you some signups.

What tools are you using there? Is that mainly TMUX?

I also have a 30" monitor but haven't tried one huuuuge window for my dev workflow. How does that work for you?

(On my phone so might be easier to see on a bigger screen)

I'm terribly old-fashioned and use vim for development. My monolithic window is iTerm2 which allows for split panes. It is pretty nice with my laptop screen below for reference material.

Ok, this is too epic to keep putting off! I'm hereby precommitting to a maniac weekend starting tomorrow! I'll reply here with a link to the time-lapse on Monday...

What exactly is your definition of "weekend" here? If you're counting hours we have to know which hours to hold you accountable for!

Let's say 5pm Friday to 9am Monday?

A potential of a 64-hour work-weekend? deal!

A more reasonable definition might be "5pm Friday till whenever you go to sleep Sunday night" but this is not about being reasonable (quite the opposite). I have no particular attachment to my sleep schedule so I'm hoping I'll be on a roll Sunday night and push straight through to 9am Monday and then collapse.

As promised, MANIAC WEEKEND: http://youtu.be/VwOCXRp1zn4

Oops, that one got blocked for copyright (I set it to Blitzkrieg Bop). Let's try this one: http://youtu.be/giBIJW-2hro

This was a ton of fun and I'd love to do it, or a modified shorter version of it again. It's hard to shut down the rest of my life for an entire week, but maybe a long weekend. Or I could do a week where the computer is taking screenshots 9-5 and I pre-commit to post the video as soon as it is over.

Congrats Bethany! I am a long time Beeminder user. You guys work hard. I think your tool is amazing, although, I have my ups and downs with it. :) Very proud of you! Keep it up! I owe you a long email with thoughtful feedback.

Thanks so much for saying so, Kevin! And we'll be hugely grateful for feedback, especially insights on the downs you mention (be really blunt! it's good for us!). And of course you should either beemind that long email or send things piecemeal as you think of them...

I think I would like to try this. Seeing it done twice has really got me interested in this. I think the key is that you're held accountable for how you spend your time due to the screenshots.

Reminds me of how a guy hired someone to slap him when he got off topic while working:http://hackthesystem.com/blog/why-i-hired-a-girl-on-craigsli...

I don't have a Mac, so I guess I'll have to build the screenshot/webcam stuff myself this weekend.

Or, of course, Beeminder itself! (But, yes, we love the "craigslist slapper guy", as many people seem to know him. That's in fact Maneesh Sethi, who's launching a Beeminder competitor, http://pavlok.com )

Maniac on building maniac tools! I guess it's kind of Catch-22 isn't it :P

Cool! I need to try this someday (week). And the video is just pure madness. You might want to add a small warning, though - I'm not an expert nor an epileptic, but the video does look seizure inducing to me.

Plug: Maybe you could try a tiny chrome plugin I wrote:


It's a simple site blocker I made after doing the same /etc/hosts routine a couple of times.

Eep, anyone know whether a seizure trigger warning might be prudent? It doesn't seem that frenetic to me, but I'm not an expert either. Now I'm really curious if youtube could algorithmically detect that.

PS: Thanks for the pointer to the chrome plugin! You can also do that very well with RescueTime's FocusTime feature, which they happened to just blog about today: http://blog.rescuetime.com/2014/06/19/getting-the-most-out-o...

This is pretty fun. Did you have any concern about privacy of her sessions? Thanks for the post and conclusions.

I ended up spending an embarrassing amount of time on the post processing because I didn't spend enough time on setup ahead of time :)

I used https://github.com/nwinter/telepath-logger to take screenshots. I meant to have it take a screenshot of my top monitor only, and do anything sensitive on my laptop screen, but I didn't configure it correctly, and wound up with screenshots of my active window only, so I had to do some censoring, e.g. when I needed to edit our keys file, or when I blurred out the screenshot when I had to do some customer support.

That's a lot of post production work. :) I'd be embarrassed someone might see I clicked through a TMZ link or something.

You probably wouldn't want to even click the TMZ link in the first place when you knew you were making the video, since the post-production is so onerous. It's like a precommitment that you're not going to get distracted. In fact, when I did my maniac week, I precommitted to not doing any post-processing, and it helped me focus a lot. I would think, "hmm, I wonder what the strongest dog is!" but then realize I couldn't slack off on video, so I wouldn't even Google it like normal.

I've thought about doing this as a general productivity tactic to force myself to do less shit I don't want to be doing.

Please put spaces after commas in your code :'(

I'm pretty sure that's Strunk and White approved,yo.

This needs more data layers! Heart rate, movement, blood sugar, EEG etc :-)

I have some hardware I would happily donate to the next maniac week!

Is that the awesome tiling window manager?

If you're curious about other stuff we use at Beeminder: http://blog.beeminder.com/weusethat

Yes, this was all inspired by Nick Winter's epic 120-hour workweek, which he posted a time-lapse video of. Here's a direct link to his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0qlr22cF14

And while I'm at it, direct link to Bethany's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODhx-CbX9lg#t=40

Can we look at the 67 commits and review them? </troll>

Eventually! We're working (very gradually -- http://beeminder.com/d/boss) on open-sourcing Beeminder. In fact, doing so is also inspired by Nick Winter and CodeCombat: http://blog.codecombat.com/we-have-open-sourced-everything

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