Wednesday, July 27th 2016 (about 3 years ago)

Olli Vanhoja Is a Zeiter

Guillermo Rauch (@rauchg)

I'm delighted to introduce our newest hire, Olli Vanhoja, to the ZEIT community! I asked him some questions so you can get to know him. Feel free to reach out to him on our new Slack community!

What's your name / nicknames on the internet?

My name is Olli Vanhoja but I'm usually known as hbp or OlliV on the internet.

Where do you live? What do you love about it?

I live in the capital of Finland, Helsinki where I studied Computer Science at the University of Helsinki.

I certainly don’t love the climate here, half of the year is more or less cold and dark, but on the other hand we have somewhat safe society here and services like nowhere else.

It’s also decently cheap and fast to go to the warmer parts of Europe from here

Tell us about some past projects and hacks you're proud of

One of my long term hobby projects has been writing a POSIX compatible kernel for low-end ARM processors (Github). The project was initially called Zero Kernel as it was originally developed for Cortex-M0 (the cheapest ARM core available), but the name was shortened to Zeke when Raspberry Pi support was implemented.

I have mainly used Zeke as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding in how operating systems work and also to test new ideas. Surprisingly the greatest benefit from the project has been learning DOs and DON'Ts in developing software for other Unix-like systems like Linux.

What are your favorite apps / websites?

I use Google's services a lot, in addition to Gmail and Contacts I couldn't live without Maps. I like how seamlessly syncing everything between my devices works with their services, though the most important thing for me is that they provide everything as a webapp. A webapp is actually the only thing I’m willing to accept nowadays, I think it's like the new definition of a portable application. In fact the only native app I use daily is mostly the browser, everything else I need can be used as a webapp.

Regarding more traditional websites, I use Twitter and Facebook daily. For years I didn’t use Twitter much, but now I have found myself using it for following news. I actually think Twitter is kind of a two way replacement for now declining RSS feeds, in some sense.

What do you love most about ZEIT?

Developing an app or a service shouldn’t be unpleasant due to the tools and environment, the hard part should be the coding itself. By releasing Now, you made many of the things irrelevant to a product developer, truly irrelevant. The same goes with terminal emulators, they used to suck but then ZEIT came along and took terminal emulation to the 21st century with HyperTerm.

To me the essence of ZEIT is making previously unpleasant developer experiences elegant and enjoyable.