Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

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45 Replies - 5265 Views - Last Post: 06 August 2012 - 10:03 AM

#31 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

View Postatraub, on 02 August 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

My gripe is with "split based on contribution". How is that measured? Lines of code? Hours of commitment? Or a subjective decision by the guy holding the cash?


'based on contribution' means 'based on how useful the code you wrote is'. I have a few very rough ideas of how I want to make a system to do this, but they don't cover some of the cases I want to reward (for example, making code more concise but still readable by humans). Who knows? maybe that could be the project, or one of them, for this, and it's 'successful' when everybody agrees that the amount everybody else gotten is fair for the work they've seen put in... or something. Suggest something!

One further note, a popular option here for people buying computers is to do a short trip down to singapore (very cheap, round trip is usually 200 bucks or less, last a I checked) and get whatever and bring it back up as their personal machine, which means it can't be taxed as a 'luxury item' or whatever. That kind of thing would be an option.
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#32 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:07 AM

Whilst the tropical beach idea sounds nice, I can imagine it being a bit crap in real life. It'll be a nice warm, beautiful day and you'll be stuck inside a hut somewhere programming for hours, sweating and wishing you were in the sea. Won't be great for concentration.

Mountains would be better, plus the higher you go, the less you have to worry about cooling all the PCs :-D
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#33 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

I'm not sure which is more preposterous! Claiming that programmers code during the day rather than wee hours of the night, or insinuating that they would go out into the sun! Madness on 2 counts, sir!
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#34 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:18 AM

Thinking about it, there are a few industrial buildings in my area that would make decent hack-houses. Concrete floors on the ground levels (multiple sites, not multiple ground levels) means precision tools are a realistic possibility, if anybody comes up with a project that can be coded and physically built (maybe open-source industrial robot arms with some kind of self-aware AI that works in conjunction with standard CNC?), and the places I've seen and have in mind are big enough to have individual rooms and coding spaces for maybe 8-12 people, are in quiet areas (mostly), are all brand new- less than a year old, no previous tenants, etc.

This is just one option, of course, there's always the option of going with a smaller building, or a warehouse/workshop, and having everybody staying in apartments, or at hotels/resorts in the area (cheaper and nicer than you'd believe; tourism centered economy, yo). The nature of this country means that it's a realistic option to get good work done in relatively public places; if you're quiet and busy, nobody will disturb you, and there are lots of back corners with tables, outlets, wifi, shade, and nearby restaurants/coffee shops will gladly (and quietly) deliver anything you care to order, as long as you're polite, pay up front, and return the dishes afterwards. If you're in the vicinity of a specific place they'll generally bring you ice water and set up a fan or whatever, without being prompted (and even if you don't really want either of those).

So, overall, not a bad place to work, in terms of environment.

More questions: Who here has a family to bring along? Is there anything that hasn't been mentioned that MUST be available for anyone interested to be happy doing this? Does anybody have any time conflicts (that they know of now) with doing this from, say, the beginning of June to the end of July next year (2013)?
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#35 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:36 AM

Things to consider.. passports and visa requirements.. shots.. medications... currency conversions.. sleeping amenities.. local sight seeing... alc-ah-mahal.. cell coverage.. etc.. etc.
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#36 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:43 PM

Passports and visas:

Thailand has visa-on-arrival for every country I've seen a flag for here. A tourist visa (the kind you get by default) lets you stay for 3 months, as long as you're not trying to get a job or whatever. Obviously you need your own passport, and that's your job to handle, and if you want to be able to stay longer, it's a good idea to apply for a non-immigrant visa from your nearest Thai embassy (coming here from Idaho, I got mine from the Chicago embassy; mailed off my passport, came back with the stamp).

Shots and medication:

Go to a vaccination clinic, tell them you want to come here. You'll probably get the Hep vaccines that they didn't give you when you were a kid (since the other Hep strains have basically disappeared from the west, but not the east), possibly a Dengue booster, etc. I think I had a total of 4 shots / booster pills.

Currency conversion:

You can withdraw money from your bank account at home using any ATM here, as long as your debit/credit card is of a major carrier (visa, mastercard, amex, etc). There's a 5 dollar charge for every international transaction, so use it to withdraw lumps rather than using your card to make every purchase. Current exchange rate is about 30 baht / 1 dollar, example prices for things are about 30 baht for one standard thai food meal, about 150 as the lower end for a good quality international meal at a sit-down restaurant (although this can get quite pricy, imported steaks and so on are typically 800 baht a plate for example). Rent for an apartment varies widely according to location and quality, but you can get a very nice apartment with air conditioning, a separate bedroom, master bath, kitchen, dining and living area for about 12,000 baht in a good neighborhood and in a new building; for older buildings, you'll get close to that quality for half the price. For the resorts, you can pay several thousand baht per day in some cases, although the standard rate is generally between 750 and 1,500 for a good hotel/resort.

Sleeping Amenities:

Most people are probably thinking about mosquito nets and rolled up cotton mats on the floor. I don't think I've ever seen anybody use that anywhere but on street corners, and that was as a make-shift thing for people from out of town selling things at a market (where they were sleeping, incidentally). beds with mattresses are the standard here; waterbeds are known, but not common. Hammocks are available. Teenagers occasionally book a computer at an internet cafe and sleep in the chairs there (kind of like Lay-Z-Boy chairs, but without the foot rest).

Sight Seeing:

Local stuff (within reasonable driving distance of Chiang Mai) includes elephant camps (including the kinds of places where you can go through training to become a certified Mahout), trekking, mountain top buddhist monasteries, bungie jumping, shooting ranges, golf courses, off-roading and white water rafting (although you'll find better of each at home- still fun, but not terribly extreme), lots of historical stuff (google "wiang kum kam" if you're curious and want an example), lots of natural stuff (I'm partial to the bugs, plants and monkeys, but that's just the tip of the iceberg- there are still wild elephant populations here, and scaly anteaters, and a few years ago a group of scientists just a few hundred KM east started finding all sorts of species that they thought had been extinct since the last ice age), lots of cultural stuff (the opportunity to learn virtually any world language from a native speaker, to see traditional arts created, hear traditional music performed, all sorts of history, an entire pantheon of deities, vast bodies of literature virtually unknown by the english-speaking world, etc), lots of general recreational stuff; good restaurants abound, there's a decent zoo, an exceptional botanical garden, a less-decent but more humorous zoo visited at night, and so on.

Alcamahol:

I run an alcohl distribution business... Haven't I mentioned this? Even if I didn't, there are more clubs, bars, discos, booze holes and gutters filled with drunks than you'll know what to do with; local alcohols are generally strong, taste OK or better, and are almost universally served with ice (even the beer is served with ice cubes in it). There are reggae bars, jazz bars, hip hop clubs, lounges, punk rock venues, Thai country music venues (avoid them; Thai country music is genocide for eardrums), and basically everything that anybody could think of as a way to make alcohol more enjoyable. Quick note, wine prices will be at least 4x what you pay in your home country because of a series of import taxes and regulations (not to mention shipping costs), and imported beers and alcohols are pricy as well, although not to that extent. Not everything you might want will be available, but there are generally suitable (or better) replacements for anything you might want.

Cell coverage:

Pre-paid phones are the standard. If you can take the SIM card out of your phone, bring it, a sim card costs between 100-250 baht here generally, and you can top up your credit at any convenience store. otherwise, it costs about 700 baht for a cheap basic phone here (samsung / keypad / no camera / no memory card /etc), there are locally-produced tablets that are in the 7-8" range that can be used as phones and take 2 sim cards (not sure on price, haven't seen them around for very long yet), and of course, every kind of phone you might buy there is sold here, generally with no strings attached and full service + parts warranties for first-hand condition, although prices might be higher than where you are (again, shipping / import tax).

etc etc:

I'd recommend getting a motorcycle license if you want to come here. nobody here will care about the license, but the class you have to take there to get the license has saved my life a few times on the road. Motorbikes are really cheap here, but generally smaller than you'd be used to; the standard engine size is between 100 and 125 cc's, 4 stroke.

I can't make any real recommendations about red light areas, but there are more options than you'll be able to shake a stick at regardless (and, if you are into that or can't tell when it's on the table, plenty more sticks to shake at you: if in doubt, look for stubble). Foreign women generally do better in the bedroom department here than the men do, because they don't generally go cross-eyed because of the way somebody looks.

Probably lots of other stuff I'm forgetting, but that's the basics.
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#37 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:48 PM

Would you be able to guarantee the contraction of a bro-level std (like the clap.. something that can be cured with liberal application of meds) so I can finally prove I haz hadd teh sexxie time?
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#38 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:57 PM

Again, I don't have any real experience with that, so anything I can tell you about it is second hand, but STD's are generally promptly treated here, because it's so cheap to do so. Condoms are also standard, and widely available, because of the HIV scare the country had a when the first cases of AIDS were identified here; HIV is still relatively common, so be careful in general (don't do anything on the first date, make the second date a visit to the clinic to get tested, and celebrate- or, less likely, back the fuck away- on the third date). I can give pointers on spotting girls 'in the industry' because it's kind of a black-and-white distinction here that's obvious whether you're involved or not, but that's about the limit of what I can tell you.
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#39 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

Oh the lullz to be had there... they with floweth forth!
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#40 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:08 PM

We haven't even scratched the surface of the lulz yet, and I'm sure of this because I did a text search to make sure I hadn't mentioned anything about the way the Thai language handles swearing, or generates insults.
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#41 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

So.. it'll be a pineapple bidet of lullz? AWESOME!
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#42 atraub  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:47 AM

View PostChoscura, on 04 August 2012 - 03:43 PM, said:

I run an alcohl distribution business... Haven't I mentioned this?


Sir, you and I need to become best friends forever, right now.
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#43 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

Time to start up the ol' "imports and exports" business model?
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#44 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 06 August 2012 - 09:52 AM

I tried


import CaolIla


but it doesn't work.

Please help!
(I don't care much about exporting...)

EDIT: I also tried

from scotland import Laphroaig


no love there either.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 06 August 2012 - 09:53 AM

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#45 Choscura  Icon User is offline

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Re: Programmers sought for tropical hackathon

Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:00 AM

I hope the hacks are better than that. I'm actually seriously looking at the spurious "CNC robot AI" thing I gave as an example project a few posts back. I think something with the power of, say, a decent smartphone (~1ghz processor) should be enough computing power to let something figure out the basics of it's own movement in relation to it's environment- won't necessarily be light speed, but I think it would be pretty fast, if done right- and a few physical hacks of the reprap nature could bring the possibility of additive machining, some router hacks could give the capability to remove material, and since it's an arm we're talking about, a hand or a set of specialized grabbers could allow manipulation, assembly, etc. The fact that something like this could build a copy of itself in it's entirety- complete with assembly, thanks to the grabber possibility- has some awesome potential.

although if we got to the point of having extra robot arms and spare time, I'm going to hijack one of them to start an automated microbrewery.
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