I like to get things done. Who doesn't. Often to get things done you need to break the problem you're solving into many smaller subproblems, then use many tiny helper programs to solve these subproblems, and then merge results back to solve the original problem. These tiny helper programs often just do one tiny task such as extract, convert, format, and filter data. Usually they are one-liners but often you'd just google for a tool that does what you need. I used to google for tools like "url encode" and "convert json to text" all the time and I would end up on garbage websites filled with ads, popups, blinking download buttons or tools that don't work. I hated this so much that over the last two years I built Browserling's programmer tools. It's a collection of useful tools for developers. I added 300+ tools in this collection. Each tool in the collection does one thing and one thing only and all tools work the same way. You enter input, press button, and get result. There are no ads, useless configuration options or other garbage. Just tools for getting tiny tasks done. These tools are now used by hundreds of thousands of users monthly.
I want even more people using my tools and getting things done, so my team and I at Browserling are launching a network of tools websites. Each website covers one set of tools. The first site in the network is Online CSV Tools. It's all about working with Comma Separated Values (CSV) files and data. Just like Browserling's tools, online tools are also simple, free and easy to use.
The next site is going to be Online JSON Tools (now live) for working just with JSON data, then Online XML Tools (now live), then Online String Tools (now live), then onlineRANDOMtools (now live!), then Online TSV Tools (for working with Tab Separated Values), then Online YAML Tools, then Online Image Tools, then Online Browser Tools, then Online Crypto Tools, then Online PDF Tools and so on. There will be more than 25 websites total. We'll be releasing them all one by one over the next few years.
Here's a list of all CSV tools on this website:
- Convert CSV to JSON
- Convert JSON to CSV
- Convert CSV to XML
- Convert XML to CSV
- Convert CSV to YAML
- Convert YAML to CSV
- Convert CSV to TSV
- Convert TSV to CSV
- Convert CSV to Text Columns
- Convert Text Columns to CSV
- Change CSV Delimiter
- Prepend a CSV Column
- Append a CSV Column
- Insert a CSV Column
- Extract a CSV Column
- Replace a CSV Column
- Delete a CSV Column
- Swap CSV Columns
- Convert CSV Cols to Rows
- Convert CSV Rows to Cols
- Transpose CSV
Here are upcoming tools that we'll be adding to this site:
- Preview CSV
- Convert CSV to HTML
- Convert CSV to Base64
- Convert CSV to Image
- Convert CSV to PNG
- Convert CSV to GIF
- Convert CSV to JPG
- Convert CSV to XLS
- Convert CSV to XLSX
- Convert CSV to PDF
- Convert CSV to a Latex Table
- Merge CSVs
Here's a screenshot of the website:
And the CSV to JSON tool in action:
We'll be launching new sites every month and I'll announce them here. If you like what I'm doing you can subscribe to my blog and/or follow me on twitter and/or follow browserling on twitter and/or do nothing.
Until next time!
Happy Ada Lovelace day everyone! Here's a fresh new illustration of her. Somehow Charles Babbage got in the scene too.
Here are some more illustrations of popular computer people:
- John McCarthy and his creations.
- Grace Hopper and a nanosecond.
- Jon "maddog" Hall and living free or dying.
- Alan Turing and his infinite tapes.
Until next time!
Last week someone interviewed me on Huffington Post. This is a copy of the interview.
Original title: Interview with Peter Krumins, The Get Things Done Guy
Welcome, Peter, and thanks for your time! Can you please share something about yourself?
Thanks for inviting me here! I only have 15-20 mins today and I apologize for my rushed answers.
I'm an expert hacker, writer and all around good guy. I love building businesses, monetizing HTTP requests and getting things done. My latest business is Browserling, a cross-browser testing service.
What do you mean by monetizing HTTP requests?
Hah! I mean when you access a web page your browser makes a request to that page. It's called a HTTP request. I like spending days and weeks on-end thinking and optimizing how to turn those into paying customers.
Tell me more about Browserling and how did you start it?
Browserling lets people quickly test their websites in all the web browsers on all the platforms. Every browser works a little bit differently on every platform. To make great websites you've got to test them in a bunch of browsers to make sure your websites work great everywhere. We solve this problem. We provide quick access to all the browsers. You can just go to Browserling's website and get any browser in a few seconds.
I started it in 2011 with my friend James Halliday (also known as substack). We built tech that lets users access virtual machines from their browsers. When we demo'd it, someone randomly on Hacker News said it would be cool to build a cross-browser testing service. So we built it. We raised a seed funding round the same year from some of the top angel investors in Silicon Valley and joined Hackers/Founders, world's largest startup network. Browserling has been growing ever since and we haven't had to raise another round.
We just started going to all the Hackers/Founders events and demo-ing Browserling on my small 11" Macbook Air. People loved the idea and soon the word spread that we're building awesome tech. Jonathan Nelson (founder of Hackers/Founders) then introduced us to a bunch of investors and they loved the idea too and we got funded!
Can you tell us a little more about your current roles and responsibilities?
I'm Browserling's chief-ling. I do all the things a founder has to do. I help to write code, run servers, and talk to customers. One thing I don't do is tell my employees what to do. Everyone's on their own to build great stuff and cumulatively build a great company. I sometimes only give hints on what interesting problems there are to solve.
What else do you do besides Browserling?
Apart from Browserling I like to write books about programming and blogging about programming at catonmat.net, which has become one of world's most subscribed programming blogs.
Why do you call yourself the "get things done guy"?
Someone called me that in another interview and I liked it. I really like breaking bigger problems into smaller sub-tasks, solving those and merging the results back into a solution. I just get it done. Also one of my books, Perl One-Liners, is about getting things done quickly in the command line, which is probably why they called me that.
Which technologies do you currently use?
I use general purpose programming languages, a text editor, a command line, and other UNIX tools. I'm not a fan of new technologies. I solve problems using fundamental tools, tricks and techniques that have been around for decades. The older the tool, the more I like it.
What are your favorite technology conferences?
None. I don't go to conferences. They don't make any sense. I can just watch talks that I'm interested in on YouTube at 2x speed or higher and save days of time.
What are you favorite YouTube channels then?
Mostly science channels, engineering videos and tech talks. I'm subscribed to hundreds of channels. I can't recall the names on the spot. I love nerd humor too. BowserVids is my favorite.
Why do so many startups fail?
Because it's genuinely hard. Here's a comic that I created that illustrates why:
What advice can you give to new entrepreneurs?
Based on my experience:
- Automate stuff away. Make computer programs do the work for you.
- ABC: Always be coding.
- Focus on creating value.
- Be patient! It takes years to succeed.
Thanks for your valuable time Peter and we wish you all the success to Browserling and you!
I just added another 50 tools to Browserling's online programmer tools. This increases the collection from 250 tools to 300. Each tool does just one thing and one thing only. There are no ads, no config options, and no nonsense. Just tools that get things done. All tools are free and all tools work the same way. Press button, get result.
Here are some of the latest additions:
- Web version of printf function
- Convert strings to utf16 bytes
- Convert utf16 bytes to strings
- Replace columns in csv files
- Delete columns in csv files
- Convert csv to text columns
- Conver text columns to csv
- Neatly format and align text columns
- Replace columns in arbitrary separated text column data
- Generate random binary digits
- Generate random octal digits
- Generate random decimal digits
- Generate random hex digits
- Generate random bytes
- Slash-escape strings
- Slash-unescape strings
- Trim text
- Truncate text
- Center text
- Generate bcrypt password hashes
- Test if a bcrypt hash matches a password
- Generate scrypt password hashes
- Test if a scrypt hash matches a password
- Escape json strings
- Unescape json strings
- Validate json strings
- Convert text to morse code
- Convert morse code to text
- Merge two text lists
- Transpose tsv files
- Replace columns in tsv files
- Delete columns in tsv files
Coming up: New user interface for tools, widgets that let you embed tools in your own website, file upload support, and more tools.
See you next time!