“Free” SQL Databases

  • Heroku Postgres
    • Good & simple
  • IBM DB2: No credit card required, re-activate by email every 90 days
    • 200 MB of data storage
    • 15 simultaneous connections
    • Shared multitenant system
  • “Always free” Oracle Cloud instance (ptooie, slow as molasses) + apt install postgres
  • Supabase: Postgres, realtime, kinda like Firebase but with SQL and a real postgres instance. Free while in beta
  • Recommendations:

Timeseries Databases



tl;dr use Timescale (open source extensions to postgres) – All the power, expressivity and ease of SQL w/horizontal scalability via partitioning. Like your own, Amazon RedShift. Faster and obvs. much cheaper than RedShit.

Other options:

  • InfluxDb (and cloud) – simplicity of ingest
  • ElasticSearch – needs a custom browse component (Kibana too complex)
  • Clickhouse, Vertica, Pilosa and others – “exotic” options, not really worth the effort, esp. given how good TimescaleDb is.

How to ingest:

  • v0: statsD -> influx (fast, cheap, quick, scalable)
  • v2 rsyslog (on each server) => central rsyslog => beanstalkd / kafka => (fan out) postgres (timescaledb) + mongo + influx + es

June 2020 🔥🔥 New JS Bundlers/Builders

A new generation of JS bundlers that use modern browser’s native ESM support promise to be much faster than the Webpack/Rollup style bundlers; They seem to be getting a lot of traction / tweets of late (search twitter)

Snowpack: https://snowpack.dev
HMR for Svelte mentioned in the Readme, which makes it a winner for me!

npx create-snowpack-app --template @snowpack/app-template-svelte new-folder

Snowpack is a faster build tool for modern web apps. Snowpack leverages ESM imports in your application to remove unnecessary bundling work during development. The end result is a build tool that starts up instantly and wastes no time rebuilding on every change. See changes reflected in the browser instantly.”

Other contenders:

esbuild: https://github.com/evanw/esbuild

Vite: https://github.com/vitejs/vite

  • Native-ESM powered web dev build tool. It’s fast. “
  • By vuejs
  • HMR for React, Preact, Vue. Svelte not mentioned…

Kinda related:

Sucrase (https://www.npmjs.com/package/sucrase) is like babel-lite; smaller scope, assumes modern browsers, upto 20x faster than babel and typescript. Instead of ts-node index.ts, try running sucrase-node index.ts.

Deno takes some inspiration from Go and pulls deps directly from GitHub without npm (or a package manager). I have yet to wrap my head around it … but conceptually I like the idea that a deno script is a “single” file rather than a pile of files. OTOH, PHP’s phar never gained as much traction … I mean when was the last time you downloaded a “cli script” that was actually a phar? Also deno is uses typescript natively.

Quarantine one liners that will crack you up!

  1. My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee, it cleans the toilet.
  2. Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem.
  3. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
  4. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
  5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog….. we laughed a lot.
  6. Quarantine Day 4-Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
  7. I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

— from a random WhatsApp forward

CoronaVirus Updates (Good News Only)

There is a lot of negativity all around re: coronavirus. It’s depressing. So, in the next posts, I am going to highlight positive developments.

With nearly every smart person on the planet working to find a cure – it’s only a matter of time before we have one. Looks like there are 2 possible treatments (meds) already:

* Remdesivir

* Chloroquine – generic, cheap and easily available – (if you’ve every had malaria, like me, you’ve probably had some version of chloroquine. I remember it tasting bitter’ish but otherwise had no side-effects on me)

(Low) code API integrations


What does a distributed / internet operating system look like?

A platform that lets you natively read/write from modern apps? Make apps?

In some sense this is what IFTTT was going for – though consumer focussed, it is IMHO, a very example of a ‘no-code‘ development platform . It’s what Apple’s ‘Shortcuts’ aka Workflow is. It’s what Alexa skills are. I’m not sure Airtable fits, but Airtable got the marketing right.

And now we’re seeing the green shoots of a new generation; pipedream.com and autocode.stdlib.com. These are more developer focussed and provide the “plumbing”, but still need devs to actually make stuff. I’m a lot more excited (perhaps that’s cuz I’m a dev, and these platforms are targeted right at me). I think there’s going to be an explosion of new apps + services, because it’s just so, so easy and quick to knock out an app that uses say Twitter and Amazon S3 … is this how the promise of “serverless” will finally be delivered?


(Virtual) Server Pricing

My goto services:

#FREE => Heroku (but only one “VM” is free, then $7/mo for a 512Mb “Dyno”)

Super Cheap => OVH
don’t have an affiliate program AFAIK, cuz they’re so low cost 😦

Blend => Digital Ocean
Use my aff. link to sign up, you get $100, I get $10, everyone’s happy 🙂
Here => https://m.do.co/c/728c8434e1b1

Digital Ocean
Special sauce: Incredible UI/UX, super fun to use. I’ve stopped thinking about it anymore, when I need a VM, I just go to DO.

Downsides: Many (probably most?) of the IPs are blacklisted for email. Most aren’t great exits for VPN services either for the same reason.

CLI tool (doctl) has pretty shit UX; could have been so much better. But still it’s there and works in a pinch
$5/GB of RAM
Linode$5/GB of RAM
Special sauce: The lowest cost option, but it’s Canada and Europe only. No SE Asia, no USA.
$1.68/GB of RAM
Yep it’s 66% cheaper than everyone else.
Special sauce: awesome plans with $2.50 for a node with IPv6 only, 512Mb RAM.
Amazon LightSail
Special Sauce: oh well, it’s the IBM of servers, so I might as well document it here: They have this clone of Digital Ocean, called LightSail, that s3cks, obvs. It’s the same price as Linode/DO/Vultr. Available in a few more locations than most of the above (incl. Mumbai; Digital Ocean has Bangalore).

When to use: All the rest of your infra is on Amazon Cloud and you’re pathethic.
$5/GB of RAM
Heroku #FREE (owned by Salesforce, not indie and chill like they pretend)
Incredibly good tooling; 1x 512Mb Dyno is free (1000 Hours/mo if you verify with a credit card). Gets very expensive very fast though — because you are subsidising the development of developer tools and the “free” tier.
$14-$50/Gb of RAM
Prices as of June 5, 2019.

I may update this page someday, but then again I may not 🙂 Bookmark if you’re adventurous (ctrl + d, or cmd + d)

My ‘goto’ SpeedTest Services

Fast.com: Provided by Netflix, this runs on the same server and infra that Netflix runs on. So it’s a good check of Netflix speed and whether your ISP throttles connections to Netflix. Also few ISPs are optimizing (faking) results to fast.com as yet (because it’s not trivial to do so without also making all of Netflix faster)…

proof.ovh.net: OVH is by far the cheapest and probably the best hosting / colo / dedicated server provider in the world. How fast you can get to OVH servers is a good proxy for general internet speeds. (France, Canada, Singapore, Sydney). Mostly you just need to check speeds to the USA/Europe/Singapore/Australia.

speedtest-cli: Much easier to use than the advertisement laden, anti-user speedtest.com site. Easier to script too 😀

brew install speedtest-cli ripgrep #mac
sudo apt install speedtest-cli #ubuntu

#List all servers
speedtest-cli --list

#Test with 3 random servers
for server in `speedtest-cli --list | rg -i 'India\b' | cut -d')' -f1 | sort -Ru | head -n3`; do speedtest-cli --server $server; done

Online IDEs for quick prototypes



Codepen.io: Really great for prototyping layouts and CSS in general.
Recently added Flutter support

  • React: ✔
  • Svelte: x
  • Flutter: ✔
  • JS: ✔ (but not very good …)
  • Private Pens: ✔ (Paid)
  • Secrets: x
  • Deploy to Netlify (or now.sh): x

Codesandbox.io: Webpack + VS Code as an online IDE

#Fullstack (include a VM/Container for development)

Glitch.com: #fullstack, #millenial, #awesome, #secrets

Glitch + Fly.io is very fly!

Repl.it: #fullstack, #secrets, #paid-for-private-repls
Has secrets (.env file that is only accessible by repl owner)

Runkit: The best way to hack nodejs ‘scripts’, IMHO

Codeanywhere, $8/mo

VSCode in the Cloud

#secrets  = .env file that is only accessible by repl owner


C9.io: Was really nice, but it’s been bought by Amazon; not free anymore, unless you use AWS 😭

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