Harshad Sharma

Harshad Sharma

Harshad Sharma


Harshad Sharma, a.k.a hiway.
Photo Credit: Baishampayan Ghose

Who are You, and What do you do?

Harshad Sharma, co-founder of Instamojo, take-aparter of things, clicker of photographs and motorcycle rider on India’s highways.

What Hardware do you use?

Newest: MacBook Pro 13″ 2012 model, with 8GB RAM. This is replacing my old workhorse as my main machine.

Workhorse: A Hackintosh with Intel Core2Duo and 4GB RAM, 250GB SATA HDD for OS and 1TB HDD for data. Some old PATA and SATA drives for backups and a few external drives (USB) for even more backups. Microsoft Bluetooth 5000 Keyboard, Apple Touchpad, Apple CinemaHD 30″ display. Fiio external DAC for higher quality music output. Sony MDR earphones to go with it.

My current Work Desk

My current Work Desk

VPS: I’m using ServerMania for a small VPS for $7 a month. Gives me remote access to my full development environment from just about anywhere, including my mobile.

Mobile: Was a Symbian user until few months ago, switched to Android with Xolo Q700 – it’s a little monster of a machine and boasts massive battery life. Ran GPS every 60 seconds for a 285km journey, only used 60% battery in 7 hours.

Reading: A B&N Nook SimpleTouch, rooted of course.

Music: Apple iPod shuffle, iPod touch 2nd generation.

Camera: Fujifilm X10, Nikon D50 (currently unused because of sensor smudges), Mobile camera (Q700)

Motorcycle: Royal Enfield Thunderbird Twinspark 2008

And What Software?

Most of the day is spent in iTerm2 and *breath deeply* PyCharm. I’ve become a fan of this IDE, I know, IDE schmiediee, but it fits in with my current expectation of things ‘just working’. It’s a tool and it gets out of the way fairly well. PyEnv saves my butt when it comes to dealing with various python versions, and I have a script that makes it easy for me to have some source code on Dropbox, and the corresponding virtualenv on different machines stays on those machines.

I’m a Firefox loyalist and run Firefox Aurora (alpha/nightly builds).

I come from few years of getting deep into FreeBSD as my main OS, hence Mac OS X was the next logical choice when tweaking and compiling my kernel was not on my priority anymore.

Used Linux for a while, and again on and off, realized it’s not for me. Stopped using Windows long time ago, never regretted.

I use Arq to backup my photos and documents to Amazon Glacier. Dropbox connects my laptop, workstation and VPS. I like having RescueTime running to get weekly emails about productivity and where I’ve spent my time. TextExpander saves me keystrokes, Spark does magical things with key combinations, these two combined are fun, and adding shell/python scripts to TextExpander opens a whole new can of chips^h^h^h^h^h worms.

I use Lightroom for editing photographs, Photoshop is not my piece of cake. BetterTouchTool for making the touchpad do seriously cool tricks. Bartender to keep my system menu icons clean (coming from a 30 inch screen, this was something I had to look up… because screen real estate wasn’t an issue before the MacBook Pro)

Recently purchased BugHub for managing github issues – the interface is err, buggy still, but I can navigate much faster in this than on github’s website. FocusWriter for writing prose. And the beautiful PCKeyboardHack utility to make the caps lock key useful again.

What would be your dream setup?

Dream setup would be not needing to carry machines on me, perhaps just communication devices and very advanced human interaction devices. The main issue is bandwidth to and from brain – if at all that can be raised – by sensing words/sentences at once through skin (like braille, but faster) or outputting via chording keyboards, or gestures or some form of mental gestures where physical activity isn’t needed to tell a computer about your intentions… that would be amazing. Of course, I love dreaming about insanely silly things.

Tickling computers as my dream setup? Haha!

But it would be awesome because then maybe I could get navigation instructions via my skin while I’m riding a motorcycle (and wearing headphones is illegal in India), perhaps I could even ‘imagine’ a tweet while I’m walking and send it out. What if I trained myself to think and send messages – perhaps I could write out blog posts from my lucid dream land? Doesn’t hurt to imagine.

Any comments/tips you would like to give?

I’ve learned that most others usually don’t care about the geek stuff, especially the technical parts once the shiny lights and sounds are out of the scene. So I pick my audience carefully, and that has helped me be socially welcome groups with varied interests.