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; and 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 =>

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 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 as yet (because it’s not trivial to do so without also making all of Netflix faster)… 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 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


#Frontend 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 x Webpack + VS Code as an online IDE

#Fullstack (include a VM/Container for development) #fullstack, #millenial, #awesome, #secrets

Glitch + is very fly! #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

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

Do you know others that should be on this list? Like, subscribe and Leave a comment below!


Cloud Storage Pricing 7/Apr/2019

ProviderStoragePer Year
Google Drive (searchable)2TB $          100
Apple iCloud (can be shared with family)2TB $          120
Dropbox (searchable, best sync engine)2TB $          200
Backblaze B22TB $          120
Mega1Tb $          144
pCloud2TB $          100
OVH SoYouStart2TB $          360
DreamObjects (DreamHost)2TB $          600
OneDrive1TB  $          70
MediaFire1TB  $          30


  • 2TB is the sweet spot for me; YMMV.
  • iOS does not seem to search Google Drive like it does Dropbox
  • Google’s One ( may make Google’s offering more attractive
  • Google does a lot of rate-limiting apparently
  • Microsoft is giving you Office 365 (which you’d have to pay for anyways) with the 1Tb
  • pCloud: I’d trust Google over pCloud… and Drive is searchable, has an excellent API and is probably supported by a lot more tools and services.
  • iCloud: The worst by far in terms of performance; sync is slower than molasses from India. And they ($AAPL) don’t care. With Google Photos, iCloud’s limited advantage of deep integration with iOS Photos is not as relevant.
  • MediaFire: No search;

Also see

macOS Productivity Apps every dev needs!

Window Management/Misc Util

SpectacleFree, Open Source
BetterTouchTool, Donationware
Magnet , Mac App Store, about $2.

Winner: BetterTouchTool

Spectacle App is really, really good window management; shortcuts to dock windows to left/right half (or quadrants, or top/bottom) of screen. Some stuff, like hitting the ‘dock right’ shortcut (ctrl + cmd + right) twice makes a window use the right third then right half then right 3/4ths etc. It’s just magically good. Having said that you can replicate (95%) the functionality of Spectacle App with BTT and since BTT does Window Management and Keyboard/Mouse Remapping and so much more – it makes sense to use BTT alone. 

Magnet is Spectacle App with the added ability to dock windows on drag (i.e. drag to top of screen to make a window full screen). BTT does this out of the box too; but takes it further… BTT lets you define snap areas / layouts and activate them using the mouse alone!

BTT does not come batteries included, so you have to make your own shortcuts and assign window management operations to them. There’s a community forum for sharing presets but it’s still a chore. Also BTT can do Touchbar based Window Management (though I’ve not found that very useful; and I hate the touchbar anyways).

Application Launcher / Search Everywhere

Alfred, Freemium

Better spotlight, including deep integration with Google / Gmail / Drive and other custom searches (via plugins). Really good, no competition here. No discussion, just install it and thank me later.

Alfred Workflows

Note Taking

OneNote, Free, Proprietary 

The best note taking app out there. Period. I’d say Apple Notes is now the best note taking app out there, because it’s so fast and has great integration with iOS & macOS. The web version is not too shabby either. It’s not very cross platform though and if you have thousands of notes (as I do) sync breaks every now and then. It doesn’t have all the “nice” touches of OneNote – like napkin math or keyboard shortcuts to apply styles like Heading 1, Heading 2 etc.

Screen Sharing / Collaboration

ScreenHero (now owned/murdered by Slack)


TeamViewer: The free version just randomly stops workign for me — it says commercial use detected and stops. So AnyDesk, though TeamViewer is very good.


CleanMyMacX, Freemium 

Itsycal, Freemium

Developer Tools 

  • PHPStorm
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Homebrew,

Homebrew packages/bottles: 

brew install php swaks htop telnet ffmpeg mysql pstree aria2 pv q jq autojump keychain nmap readline node redis beanstalkd ripgrep rsnapshot wget rsync bzip2 git xz yarn speedtest-cli parallel composer go sqlite curl grep sshfs coreutils

Other Stuff

Google Chrome, FireFox, Microsoft Edge (Chrome)


Office 365

Parallels Desktop

Coconut Battery

WhatsApp (Desktop)

Blackmagic Speed Test






Beyond Compare: Don’t leave home without this!



(Git) Tower 2






Intel Power Gadget


Backup and Sync from Google



MySQL Workbench




Local By Flywheel

JetBrains Toolbox


GIPHY Capture




Trader Workstation (IB)