A Pin Factory and Happy Hacking Linux

Consumerism, Productivity and a new Linux Distro Made for Developers

A Pin Factory

Imagine you have a pin factory. A very simple business, you have humans and machines working together to produce pins. Your goal is to produce as much as you can within a day. Your factory needs the best workspace setup because the whole business depends on how productive your factory is. If your machines are slow, you may produce half of what your competitor can produce in a day, which means, price competition will beat you up soon.

Imagine you have this pin factory in the example, and you want to compete. How would you produce more pins ? We simply make the machines work faster, assuming humans are already getting faster by the time.

Now think about yourself as a hacker, and your experience in the tech startups. Do we even tweak the machines (computers) ? Almost all businesses use Apple products, and we all know they are not even close to be productive for developing software. They’re slow, interrupt our work often but we still use them as our culture shifted from succeeding by building great tools to workaholism.

In these tough modern times, machines make decisions, not consumers. Machines themselves decide how productive they want to be, they decide how generous they should be on letting you tweak them. No matter how great your title is, as long as you are a consumer, machines rule you. You just go to work and do extra hours wearing a motivation t-shirt “Eat Sleep Work” text on it, hoping that Apple will hear your voice and fix their software.

If Adam Smith and Karl Marx saw these days, they would laugh at all of us. 400 Years ago, philosophers were imagining a future where machines do all the work and humans enjoy the life by walking in parks, fishing in nearby lakes. We evolved from that to a workaholic culture where everyone is busy the whole time, and our biggest dream is to work remotely from a beach in an exotic island.

Workaholism is such a poor vision of productivity and success. We shouldn’t accept it like the popular glorification of it.

Instead, as software engineers, we need to believe that we can success by owning the machines and programming them to save us time. Our vision should be tweaking them until they are the simpliest interfaces working fastest possible with no interruption.

This is why I created Happy Hacking Linux for all of us. It’s a new Linux distro that combines the best developer setup, so you can turn even an old desktop computer into blazing fast desktop that is designed for building software.

It’s based on Arch Linux which has a great community, a package system with over 70.000 up-to-date packages available. On top of that, you get a tiling window manager and all other desktop elements ready to use. Installation will get your dotfiles linked automatically, setup users, fonts, and the best programs for common tasks…

And you don’t even need a fancy hardware for this. I recycled an old desktop computer and turned into my development workspace within 30 minutes, and already built bunch of stuff in a few days. Even though it’s an old computer, it works faster and I get stuff faster than what I can in an OSX, because it’s tweaked to get the exact job done the most efficient way possible.

You’ll find the programs that comes with default Happy Hacking Linux setup to never get slower. They’ll work like an old-school Casio watch, will last forever and never stop working, because they are not made for turning you to a consumer, they are made for helping you.

Check it out, give it a try, and let me know how it goes.