Life hacks

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[edit] Got a Life Hack?

[edit] Want a Life Hack?

[edit] What is a Life Hack?

solution to an everyday problem or frustration, in the manner programmers have resolved their technical bugs. --gochess

Life hacks popped out of an ongoing discussion I’d been having with people about “secret software” - the scripts that geeks write for themselves to get them through the day.
You usually don’t hear about these mini-programs, because they’re not the sort of thing that you either build up into commercial software, or spend the effort tidying up to release as open source. They’re just too personal to the coder who wrote them.
I had this theory, though, that if you talked to enough people about this software, you’d be able to see some connections, some commonalities that would indicate problems that hardcore computer users were repeatedly attempting to solve.
I did a really unscientific poll of a few of these people, asked all kinds of personal questions, and sat in front of a dining room table and piled up index cards until I thought I saw a few patterns. It turned out it was more than just common software projects; a lot of people used their computers in similar ways. Those were the habits I described in the original Life Hacks talk, which was about a year ago now, at the last Emerging Tech.
Cory Doctorow did a great summary of it, though if you’re all down with the podcast and ting, there’s audio and video of a later version here. [Ed: audio only for the Life Hacks talk doesn't exist]
I gave the talk a few times and kept changing as I learnt new things.
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