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Successful Moonlighting For Geeks?

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the oh-and-it's-gotta-be-legal dept.

Businesses 448

Lawksamussy writes "Having just bought a really old house that's on the verge of falling down, I'm now trying to find a way to pay to fix it up. I have a great job in software development that pays the bills, but I'm looking to earn some extra cash in my spare time. Whatever I end up doing has to be reasonably lucrative (or at least have the potential to be so), not require any specific time commitment, and be doable equally well from home or from a hotel room. I'm also keen that it should be sufficiently different to my day job to keep my interest up, so the most obvious things like bidding for programming projects on, or fixing up neighbors' PCs, aren't really on. Above all, it should appeal to my inner geek, otherwise my low boredom threshold will doom it to failure before I even start! So, I wonder if any of my fellow Slashdotters run little part-time ventures that they find more of an inspiration than a chore... and if they are willing to share what they do and perhaps even how much money they make doing it?"

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Exposure. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25002983)

Don't read the title too fast. "Mooning" isn't what's being asked.

Let me think... (5, Funny)

chill (34294) | about 6 years ago | (#25002989)

Reasonably lucrative, no major time commitment, can be done at home or a hotel room. Hmmmm...think, think, think.

Have you tried an ad on Craigslist? Make sure to post a picture of yourself, along with your "rates". Good luck!

Re:Let me think... (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25003111)

It has to appeal to his geek side too though, so I recommend setting up a streaming feed from his webcam capturing all the action..

Re:Let me think... (5, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | about 6 years ago | (#25003241)

"should be sufficiently different to my day job ...". No penetration testing then!

I myself am into LaTeX, BSOD, backporting, deep throttling ...

Fork the jokes ... I think EVERYONE reading this summary had the same line of thought, I'm even wondering if the poster is not a troll ;)

"... it should appeal to my inner geek", I mean ... what are your other geeky interests? You can be curious, passionate and hack about anything ... if you're like me I'd suggest you glue lollipop stick model of things and sell them on eBay - good money! :)

Let me shrink... (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | about 6 years ago | (#25003339)

""... it should appeal to my inner geek", I mean ... what are your other geeky interests? You can be curious, passionate and hack about anything ... if you're like me I'd suggest you glue lollipop stick model of things and sell them on eBay - good money! :)"

You laugh but if you have a talent with wood? Get a Dremel and some wood and you can make miniatures. Some are very talented and the work really requires patience.

Re:Let me think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003753)

LaTeX rubber?

I thought of that too ..... (1, Offtopic)

taniwha (70410) | about 6 years ago | (#25003361)

but then I realised he's a programmer in his day job and probably wants a change ....

Re:Let me think... (4, Interesting)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 6 years ago | (#25003475)

No, sell stuff on Craigslist. I make some good money on the side by scouring local surplus sales/auctions and picking up computers. Then I fix 'em up and sell them on CL for a profit. Get a line on all city/state/county/higher ed surplus sales and you can run around picking up all kinds of goodies.

Stay up late and watch informercials (5, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 years ago | (#25003001)

They all seem to be selling the get rich quick without spending any time and from any where you want using the Internet plans.

The secret however is not to buy them, its to sell them.

I run a software company (1, Interesting)

knewter (62953) | about 6 years ago | (#25003005)

I run a software company. [] We build web apps for companies all over. I make more than I ever did working for someone else.

Everyone needs to run a software company.

I run a global software company (5, Funny)

Ostracus (1354233) | about 6 years ago | (#25003081)

"Everyone needs to run a software company."

Are you based in India? :)

Re:I run a global software company (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003149)

No no, he said "Everyone needs to run a software company."

If he were from India, it would be "Everyone is needing to be running a software company."

Re:I run a software company (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003087)

I've tried to do that, but always had a difficult time acquiring clients. The few people who've expressed interest, I've done some work, only to get gipped. Where do you get your leads, and how do you go about starting up successfully?

Re:I run a software company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003313)

He advertises on /., of course!

Remember: (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003011)

There is always prostitution...

Re:Remember: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003171)

But that costs money!

Sell/ebay all your old tech (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003013)

I've been doing this for a while and I've managed to release a fair bit of cash.

Obvious, really. (-1, Redundant)

mustafap (452510) | about 6 years ago | (#25003015)

>Whatever I end up doing has to be reasonably lucrative (or at least have the potential to be so), not require any specific time commitment, and be doable equally well from home or from a hotel room.


Re:Obvious, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003071)

He's a geek. No reasonably sane woman would want to have sex with him.

Re:Obvious, really. (4, Funny)

chill (34294) | about 6 years ago | (#25003185)

Yeah, but it is the insane ones that makes it worth all the waiting!

women? (2, Insightful)

MushMouth (5650) | about 6 years ago | (#25003267)

uhh, only men hire prostitutes, even male ones.

Re:women? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003327)

uhh, only men hire prostitutes, even male ones.

Yeah, keep thinking that.

Re:women? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003579)

Bullshit. I know a French prostitute who met the chick she does threesomes with by hiring her for leisure first and being impressed.

Also, this same prostitute (they call themselves "providers" in the biz) was called by a woman who was disabled and loved her husband so much she was hiring one for him.

Not that you can find a bi-sexual nympho chick around every corner, but women certainly do hire prostitutes, much to my fascination.

Hmm...which meme is appropriate for this?

"In Soviet Russia, prostit..." nah
"I, for one, welcome our new whor..." nah

Oh oh I know! "Dude, if you don't think women hire prostitutes, swing by your mom's place on any given Friday night."

Re:Obvious, really. (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#25003263)

It's kinda sad, but prostitution seems to exactly fit the bill.

Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (5, Interesting)

catchy_handle (705154) | about 6 years ago | (#25003031)

Have you considered doing work on the house yourself? The money you save may make the second job unnecessary.

My wife & I remodeled our previous house: tore off plaster, moved walls, rewired, tiled, etc. We hired out the roof tear off, rough plumbing work and some of the drywalling. Saved a ton of money. Eventually, it made more sense for me quit my low-paying job and become the full-time house repair dude while she worked her good job.

It's not that hard, you learn new skills, have an excuse to aquire tools, and have something to be proud of. It did take seven years, though. YMMV

This time around, we are paying others as much as we can, but we'll probably be left with a weathered-in shell.

It's also a good way to find out you your friends really are. Forget moving day, real friends help you demo and haul.

Good luck.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (4, Funny)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 years ago | (#25003129)

Or investing in a bit aftershave, a bath, some flowers, and marrying a carpenter?

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (1, Funny)

j-pimp (177072) | about 6 years ago | (#25003211)

Or investing in a bit aftershave, a bath, some flowers, and marrying a carpenter?

I thought the females in construction were all concrete masons and electricians. That is those that aren't "laborers" that get to wave the flag for $35 an hour since they take such good care of the foreman's flagpole.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (3, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | about 6 years ago | (#25003623)

Skip the chicks, the pickings are better on the other side of the fence.

My geek cooks, cleans, helps with outside chores and house maintenance, and lets me kick his ass in various multi-player games AND doesn't require expensive flowers.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (5, Insightful)

martinQblank (1138267) | about 6 years ago | (#25003227)

I have to second this. Hire out the big jobs -- anything foundation-related/structural especially -- but otherwise learn to do it yourself. Yes, it will take longer but there is really a sense of accomplishment at the end. Presumably you bought the house because it either really appealed to you; you saw it as a great investment or whatever. If you feel strongly enough about it, you'll learn to do the job right. FWIW - I've owned seven -- and lived in five -- houses so far. Most have been fixer-uppers and I've enjoyed making each of them better than before. WARNING -- it can get addictive.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (4, Informative)

frission (676318) | about 6 years ago | (#25003333)

if you decide to do this, know your limitations, and the permit laws in your state. Here in NC, you need a permit for any new framing/walls, electric, plumbing, etc. If you don't get the proper permits, you may have a hard time selling your house down the road.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (4, Informative)

hbackert (45117) | about 6 years ago | (#25003401)

I second this. Instead of working to earn money to pay someone, you can do it yourself in the first place.

Back in my home country it is (in the country side) common to let someone (AKA people who know what they are doing) build the outer part of a house (basement, cellar, walls, roof) and some other important or safety-critical parts like heating system, staircases, electric wiring (not allowed to do without proper qualification) and water pipes (you don't want them to leak in 5 years), and maybe finish enough rooms to live inside the house (kitchen, bathroom, one bedroom, living room), and then do the rest yourself.

There are enough books to read about the needed tools and skills.

The best part about this is when later something breaks, you have the tools and knowledge to fix many problems yourself.

And carpenters and related jobs are unpopular enough (no one wants to learn this type of work any more) that there is enough shortage of those people so that their hourly rates are surprisingly high and they get away with it. So it's a nice "Plan B" in case your current computer related job no longer earns you enough.

Re:Fix the house, skip the 2nd job (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003449)

As a former reno-carpenter, I'd have to suggest doing it yourself too. You're not going to make enough money moonlighting to pay for the kind of work that needs doing in anything like equal hours.

That said... I don't know you, & thus how well you'll learn what needs to be done. You could take to this like a duck to water and have an excellent balance for your keyboard day job. And you could have a relationship-breaking disaster.

And this just gives me chills: "Having just bought a really old house that's on the verge of falling down".

You have no idea how big the hole is you're looking at. A moderately old house that seems pretty good to the amateur can be an enormous money pit. Gear up your humour and character, because you've bought yourself a gelatinous cube. (And I /do/ love the old houses. There's been a lot of hard lessons on the way to being the sort of guy who'll tell you to just knock it down and start over. But it's your adventure -- just realize it is an adventure, and it's going to be for the next several years. Good luck.)

But keep your fingers. (0)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 6 years ago | (#25003497)

No drinking and power-tooling.

You probably want all your digits for your day job.

grow pot? (3, Funny)

SirLars (871223) | about 6 years ago | (#25003039)

I hear that pays well

Re:grow pot? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003155)

I hear that pays well

Nah, pot doesn't pay as well anymore since the Canadians and Mexicans started exporting it more and also growing it in mass on the U.S. Forest Service lands. Sure you can get a few K's if you do it right and not get caught, but your legit programming job pays much more. The "new" drugs to pay attention to are LSD, Ectasy, and cocaine, or you could just become a drug company lobbyist and sell just as dangerous stuff legally. The technology option is spam or steroids websites...

Re:grow pot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003575)

Unless your in CA. get a few folks, get a med card/provider card, grow plants, sell to pot clubs. They buy at good rates if it is decent. My buddy got his down payment for his house this way.

Don't be obvious and don't tell your neighbor.

Re:grow pot? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003631)

You're completely out to lunch. There is almost no profit in LSD unless you are a primary manufacturer, in which case you "only" need about 8 years of organic chemistry experience, an advanced lab, and a couple of million dollars to buy precursors (and remember that ergotamine tartrate is closely monitored). Ecstasy has good profit margins, but the risks are high (it's a high profile LEO target), and you have to deal with the chance of getting bunk pills, as well as the kind of "cooks" who also run meth labs. You run a decent risk of getting jacked for your money buying a boat. Cocaine is even worse.

"Research Chemicals" (designer drugs) are still where it's at-- unscheduled analogues of scheduled chemicals. Things like DOI, DOB, DOC, 2C-E, 2C-I, MDMCat (Methylone), *-DIPT, *-DMT, *-DPT, etc. You can get these things in bulk for next to nothing from otherwise legitimate chemical houses in China, and then turn around and sell them online. Since Operation Web Tryp, pressure has been higher from the DEA, but anonymous hosting, website security, encrypting all email communications, etc., should be right up the alley of any geek. Profit margins are incredibly impressive, and it's easy to move. Relatively insignificant weights have good profit margins, as opposed to something like cocaine where you have to move kilos to make significant money.

For comparison, before Web Tryp you could get a gram of 5-MeO-DMT for about 200 dollars. You could easily sell it for a dollar a milligram. Go forth and profit on club scene kids with disposable income to burn (or snort, or eat, or inject).

Re:grow pot? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003279)

protip: if you grow pot, don't tell people on slashdot...

Gee.. uh.. (2, Funny)

houbou (1097327) | about 6 years ago | (#25003041)

and be doable equally well from home or from a hotel room

Amateur porn site project perhaps? :P

should appeal to my inner geek

If "inner geek" is its nickname, he should definitively find some appeal to this project.

Home renovation? (4, Funny)

lsommerer (89441) | about 6 years ago | (#25003061)

Have you considered getting into home renovation? Granted, you won't be able to do it from most hotel rooms, but I understand there is a growing market for those services in your immediate area. It would certainly be different from your day job.

Web Development and Design (3, Interesting)

Bicx (1042846) | about 6 years ago | (#25003073)

I'm not sure what you do for your main job, but personally I would suggest learning some web technologies like PHP, MySQL, and possibly something like Flash. Maybe throw in some graphic design to exercise your creative side. Web programming and web development can, in my experience, be more enjoyable than other types of programming jobs due to the relative simplicity and "instant" results. It is relatively easy to get web development gigs (after you start building up contacts), and it can be done from anywhere. Personally, I may try part-time web development myself after getting my day job settled.

I'll give you $50 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003079)

to eat out my asshole, you homo.

Re:I'll give you $50 (2, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | about 6 years ago | (#25003723)

Mod parent up +1 Helpful.

I'll chip in $10 for the video.

PC Building (4, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25003097)

Build and sell PCs. Not just normal PCs but ones with nifty cut-outs (you DO have a Dremel tool, right) and flashy lights. Call them by some nifty name. When you're not home you can be working on the designs or maybe building some of the smaller bits. As this is "free time" it won't really be that unprofitable if you can build a name and find the market.

Me? I'd like to build some out of exotic woods.

Let them boot cake! (1)

starglider29a (719559) | about 6 years ago | (#25003295)

Nah, get ahead of the bleeding edge, and make them out of cake!

Bill shook his a55 [] in Seinfeld/MS Ad I, so we know they're on the way...

Re:PC Building (2, Informative)

Heembo (916647) | about 6 years ago | (#25003329)

Me? I'd like to build some out of exotic woods.

There is already a niche market for PC's made from high-end hard woods - I saw one advertised in a catalog on a commercial airplane that cost upwards around 3-4k with crappy innards. Go for it man....

Re:PC Building (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25003629)

I have a beautifully equiped wood shop with all the equipment I'd need. I'd want to learn some more so that I could sculpt a mouse but a keyboard should be fairly simple to make as well.

Re:PC Building (1)

NeilTheStupidHead (963719) | about 6 years ago | (#25003399)

I would have to second this. I build and upgrade PCs in my spare time for people. Nothing so fancy as case modding but if I'm feeling ambitious and demand is high, I can make $250 per week pretty easy. Plus I keep all the parts from upgrades, usually to get recycled into low end systems or repairs.

What would Tyler Durden do? (5, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 6 years ago | (#25003117)

a really old house that's on the verge of falling down

Soap. Make and sell soap. Sell rich women their own fat asses back to them.

Re:What would Tyler Durden do? (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | about 6 years ago | (#25003173)

Mod parent up,

most of us geeks wish we could fight.

(This coming from a geek who fights rattan with armor and boffer without.) (5, Informative)

RiffRafff (234408) | about 6 years ago | (#25003137)

Check out They look for people in your area to do one-off installs, change out UPS batteries, run cable, update virus programs; all kinds of things that make more sense to hire someone knowledgeable one time than to keep people on staff "just in case."

I used these folks in my last gig to do field work all over the country...cheaper than flying someone out to do it.

Mo' Money for No Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003153)

You want lots of money but you can't commit to any specific amount of time or place and it has to be really interesting and legal. Let me guess, you're 26 years old or thereabouts?

Dude, just get a better job.

Doing it for money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003161)

I started a blog for money. At first I was making no money, and it was fun to waste tons of hours. Recently I started making more money as I stopped working on it! I lost interest and focus, and I have other commitments. Even posting once a month is a chore. I'm play Warzone 2100 instead.

So, basically, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003167)

you want money but you don't really want to do anything for it?
I give private lessons in maths for high school students.
Five times a week, at an hourly rate of 15EUR.
Not lucrative enough to fix a house, but 300EUR a month is a lot of money for me.

Re:So, basically, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003473)

So you mean you teach rich kids not to draw to an inside straight? Nice... I should try tutoring people in maths too.

lol (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003179)

Dear Slashdot,

I consider myself fairly well off but just spent beyond my means, making me like most of middle class America. I'm now looking for a get-richer-quick scheme, preferably that can be done at home sitting on my ass, and whenever I want. It must also appeal to the inner sense of superiority I give myself at my day job... but it must NOT be like my day job.


R.A. Tracer, Jr.

Re:lol (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 6 years ago | (#25003319)

If I had mod points, you would get them all.

Simple solution... (1)

Puffy Director Pants (1242492) | about 6 years ago | (#25003187)

1. Find a random job
2. ???????
3. Profit
4. Invest the profits in fixing up your house.
5. Get a government bailout when your house is destroyed in a disaster.

Congress (3, Funny)

Arterion (941661) | about 6 years ago | (#25003199)

Sounds like you should run for Congress.

Re:Congress (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | about 6 years ago | (#25003357)

Congressmen aren't allowed to understand technology. For more information, Ted Stevens will be reachable at a federal penitentiary near you sometime soon.

Barter (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 6 years ago | (#25003229)

A second job probably isn't a good idea because it could very easily interfere with your first and you may end up losing that. I would try bartering instead. Seriously, somewhere in your network of friends you have to know people who can help you fix up their house and may have a kid that needs help with math or want a web site for their business etc. Not only is this probably more efficient(no need to earn money, get it taxed, then go find people who are also getting paid taxable income to do the work), the overall commitment is probably smaller as well so you don't have to worry about your second job becoming your first.

Re:Barter (1)

nwf (25607) | about 6 years ago | (#25003751)

I've had plenty of regular contract-based jobs as a second job. I made clear from the beginning that my primary job comes first. What I do for them will be in off hours, e.g. after dinner. I don't answer support calls for the contract jobs while at my primary job.

I've never had a problem with this. I earned up enough to pay off all of my debts and put a down payment on a house in better shape than the original poster. Then, as the market changed, I stopped.

I don't do it now, since the opportunities stopped finding me (I never went out and looked), but that's fine, since I'm way too busy with other stuff now.

Not sure how to add tags ... (4, Funny)

PaganRitual (551879) | about 6 years ago | (#25003235)

... so can someone please create a idalsolikeapony tag and place it on this please.

Write an iPhone App (3, Insightful)

fredmosby (545378) | about 6 years ago | (#25003237)

I know the iPhone's not popular here right now. But it has a very low barrier to entry compared to writing a program for any other platform. Internet hosting, collecting payments, and to a certain extent marketing is already handled for you. All you would have to do is the actual programming work.

Re:Write an iPhone App (1, Troll)

Heembo (916647) | about 6 years ago | (#25003391)

Gross. Then you would have to buy a crappy mac - no way to build iPhone applications on a non os-x platform that I know of. Shudder.

Re:Write an iPhone App (1)

samkass (174571) | about 6 years ago | (#25003409)

This is exactly what I was thinking. Apple sells hundreds of thousands of these things a week, and each one gets loaded with software as it's really easy and fun for the customer to do so. Unfortunately that leads to tons of shovelware (how many tip calculators and unit converters do we need, really?) but it's also a great opportunity for someone to do a simple app uncommonly well and make a few bucks. It also tends to be sufficiently different from day jobs that it both stays interesting and avoids a lot of the legal mess if the company decides to try to claim ownership.

It's free to sign up and download the SDK and try things out on the included simulator. The downside is if you don't have a Mac that'll be a large initial investment. Just think of it as a slightly more expensive UNIX laptop with unusually good driver support.

Re:Write an iPhone App (1)

Kabal` (111455) | about 6 years ago | (#25003659)

It's also probably not different enough from his real job. It is a good suggestion though, I have an app that is making me a decent amount of pocket money :)

Drug Dealer (5, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 6 years ago | (#25003283)

Reasonably lucrative, no major time commitment, can be done at home or a hotel room.

Seriously--there are not many legal options that meet your requirements.

I'd suggest you take a little trip down to the "bad" part of your town and start talking to the guys you see standing around on the street corners. I'm sure one of them would be more than happy to help you set up a franchise of your own.

Re:Drug Dealer (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 6 years ago | (#25003407)

What, does "freelancer" not mean anything to you? That's a pretty damn stupid way to look at things. Look for small gigs on craigslist and freelance job boards. There's no major time commitment, can be done anywhere that you bring a computer, and is reasonably lucrative if you write good code (or make attractive designs, whatever).

And it won't get you arrested.

Another benefit, and an alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003427)

And the cool thing is, under the rules of civil forfeiture, there's a good chance that if you're caught you won't have to deal with that house.

Now drug paraphernalia...well, that's also illegal a lot of places, but it really appeals to the inner geek.

Re:Drug Dealer (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 6 years ago | (#25003655)

+3 Insightful?

I was going for funny...

Re:Drug Dealer (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 6 years ago | (#25003675)

Apparently it's from the oh-and-it's-gotta-be-legal dept.
As for your following suggestion;
"I'd suggest you take a little trip down to the "bad" part of your town and start talking to the guys you see standing around on the street corners", this song springs to mind:

Well he looked down at my silver chain He said I'll give you one dollar
I said you've got to be jokin' man It was a present from me mother
He said I like it I want it I'll take it off your hands
And you'll be sorry you crossed me You'd better understand that you're alone
A long way from home.

Learn how to sell what you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003305)

1. Find out what people want (google keyword tool, etc)
2. Make a website that satisfies the need. Either a downloadable product or a subscription-based service that YOU can make in your spare time.
3. Learn how to do ethical internet marketing
4. Be helpful, promote it, make it worth buying.

Work hard at it and build a business. You will not make money fast, but you there is no cap on what you can make. The more you sell, the more you make. 1-10,000/year is hard, but keep pushing and you'll make more than you could at a job. As much as you put in you will get out.

Find some sites that offer simple solutions for things people need. basecamp, membership sites, accounting tools, etc. Stay away from web 2.0 and places where lots of people need to come and add value.

That's the biz model of a solopreneur. Take it or leave it, but it's real and it works.

You can try this... (2, Funny)

nawcom (941663) | about 6 years ago | (#25003307)

How big is your wang? (If the rumor that nerd cock is huge is true) then swing it around like a helicopter at after-hours bars for some cash.

Or, start up some web servers at your place and host content for some twisted yet legal sexual fetish. Or sell autographed pictures of your mom.

Okay, so I'm really not helping at all. I myself have earned extra cash repairing laptop hardware, cleaning up horrid computers running windows, and the occasional assisting of installing legal copies of OS X on the purchaser's PC. Mostly connected through word of mouth, so I don't advertise or anything like that.

If you have well built software programming skills (with your previous code as proof) you would be surprised about the people who want a program to do x, y, and z and will give you a nice check to do so. I've done that 4 times in my free time, all with lawyers who a relative knew of.

If you still have your foreskin, you can play "guess what's in the foreskin pouch" where you hide a random item by enclosing it with your foreskin. Not sure how much cash you can get from that - betting perhaps.

Trade (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003309)

I'm a video game developer by day, and a trader/investor by night. I don't intraday trade, so I guess that makes me an investor.

Typically with 10% of my cash invested in the market, I can make about 3% return (about 30% ROI) monthly *if* I do proper research, pretty consistently.

If you don't mind risk, this is a nice way to make cash as it requires only a minimal time investment and can be done from anywhere in the world.

Re:Trade (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | about 6 years ago | (#25003543)

How did you learn?

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003597)

Several good books are available for under 30$. Check out "Options Made Eazy"

Open an account at or and check out their free literature.

It takes about 3-4 weeks to really understand what's really going on in the world of stocks, options, futures and forex. But that's only the beginning, the true reward comes from the dedication put in after the initial learning curve.

Re:Trade (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | about 6 years ago | (#25003627)

Thanks, anon, been looking at doing it for a while now.

Re:Trade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003707)

I should also say- that 3-4 weeks was time spent after hours..after coming home from work and on the weekends.

A little bit every day is key.

tutor (5, Interesting)

story645 (1278106) | about 6 years ago | (#25003331)

You've got a college degree in math/science, right? Tutoring hopeless college kids or high school kids from middle class families can net something like $50-75 an hour, more depending on your qualifications and neighborhood. Hours are totally flexible. Hell, if ethics aren't a problem, sell term papers and coding assignments while you're at it.

Re:tutor (3, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | about 6 years ago | (#25003681)

I've been a tutor before and am still one but it's harder than you would think. It's not so much knowing the material as it is explaining to the student that's difficult. A lot of times I find myself explain things in an abstract way that only confuses the hell out of my students. It's so obvious to me but it makes no sense to them, which is of course why they need help in the first place. My point is that a good teacher/tutor isn't always one who knows the material the best but one who is the best at explaining it to someone. I'm not saying that the OP isn't good at this but it tends to be that nerds/engineers aren't very good with communications.

As a lifelong geek entrepreneur: new markets! (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | about 6 years ago | (#25003345)

I've been an entrepreneur since the age of 12, running a variety of geeky businesses from BBSes in the 80s, to 3D design studios and rendering farms in the 90s. I've had my consulting business since I incorporated it when I was 15 (with an adult business partner who I bought out at 18).

I still moonlight through a variety of ventures, none of them geek oriented. EVERY moonlighting gig I did that was geek-oriented made my life miserable. Too much geekiness can really break you, honestly.

I run a Christian Printing [] business that accounts for about 25% of my income, and I run it on the side, maybe 1-2 hours a day. I blog [] , which accounts for 10% of my income, also very part time. I've owned retail stores which became too full time to manage. I'm starting a digg-like print magazine focused on Chicago (details to come).

Everything I do moonlighting-wise is anti-geek. Much of it is hands on, without programming or thinking about technology or electronics. It keeps me fulfilled.

Stay away from moonlighting in what you do for a living. Find a hobby you can profit from. There's a billion ways to make money, but the most fun ones are the ones that don't cross into the market you're in for a living.

Use spare money from your wages to do it up (1)

hattig (47930) | about 6 years ago | (#25003351)

Having just bought a really old house that's on the verge of falling down, I'm now trying to find a way to pay to fix it up.

Ya should've thought about that *before* you bought it dude.

And everyone's first house is their home. Treat it as your home. It is not meant to be a profit centre. You can compromise on the home in order to get a house that is a profit centre faster than you would have otherwise of course.

DIY? (2, Interesting)

farnsworth (558449) | about 6 years ago | (#25003367)

it should be sufficiently different to my day job to keep my interest up [...]. Above all, it should appeal to my inner geek

Why not do the majority of the work yourself? There is nothing more geeky or interesting than learning something new, from basic carpentry, to plumbing, to design work.

With my first house, I did the vast majority of the work myself, simply because cash was scarce. As time went on and I was able to save up some cash for expected work, I sometimes just hired the work out because it was something I tried and failed at, or was something that didn't interest me at all. But mostly I still do a lot of the projects myself.

Financially, you should try to compare the earnings that might be available to you to the cost of laborers and craftsmen. I live in the Bay Area, I can earn $80/hr for side projects easily (I could earn way more if I could pick and choose, but if I'm just trying to fill my free time, $80/hr seems to be the sweet spot). Craftsmen charge pretty close to that. So, depending on the specifics of the work on my home needs to happen, I'll either do it myself or try to raise the money with side jobs. It also depends upon what I want to learn.

For example, electrical work doesn't interest me at all, plus it scares me, so I always hire that out. But anything else I'll spend at least some time trying to figure out if I can learn how to do it myself.

As for moonlighting, you'll find the best work through people you know and who trust you. The best advice is to let everyone you know know 1) that you are looking for work 2) what you are great at 3) what your availability is. Eg, "I'm looking for work, I've used X technology to build web sites for Y years, and I'm available Z weekends per month.

Also, don't overextend yourself. Fixing up a house can take years. Don't get impatient, enjoy the process, and don't sacrifice your happiness for the sake of a faster schedule.

Successful Moonlighting For Geeks? (1)

lolococo (574827) | about 6 years ago | (#25003517)

Whatever you find - I'm in

Well the consulting market is toast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003533)

so I would advise you move to India where all the jobs are. Trust me, I compete against them and can't afford to charge minimum wage...

small engine mechanic (1)

Yold (473518) | about 6 years ago | (#25003537)

If you own a truck and some basic tools, I'd recommend learning small engine repair. Fix lawnmowers, generators, scooters, etc. I'm sure you could find more than enough business if your rates are reasonable (I'd say $25 - $30/hr).

star gazing & hand waving popular again (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003563)

could do worse?

greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Re:star gazing & hand waving popular again (1)

ozphx (1061292) | about 6 years ago | (#25003757)

Only a moron like you would deny Natures Perfect Time-Cube.

Easy Money (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003587)

Well if it's money you are after I know of this man in Nigeria who has come into a large amount of money, and needs to transfer it off shore for Tax Reasons. You will get 50% if you let him use your bank account. All he needs is your Name, Bank Account Details, and SSN. It is all perfectly above board. I know because I read it in an email.

Start a botnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003633)

Since you're a programmer, you'll have no problem creating one. Do it in the language of your choice -- except VB. You'll make tons of money, guaranteed. You can do this anywhere too!

Think about it.

DTV Converter Boxes and Antenna (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | about 6 years ago | (#25003643)

Why not go out and help your neighbors? Offer your services to help people get ready for the DTV transition, purchase (if needed), install, and configure DTV converters and antennas for maximum reception for people in your community. I figure you can charge $50 a pop for converter set-up and over $100 a pop for antenna set-up and tuning.

Freelance? (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about 6 years ago | (#25003647)

Advertise your computer skills. I freelance web-programming along with my day job and host some commercial web sites.

Some things to look out for though.

- Be up front with your full time employer. If you get fired for freelancing, that's not good for your bottom line.

- Be prepared to spend hours away from your normal life for long periods. If I only freelance nights, my usefulness is only about 25 hours per week before I become brain-dead. 45hrs day job + 25hr night job is 70 hours per week. It can take its toll on family, home, etc.

- You're probably better off just fixing up the house yourself than earning money to pay other people to do that work. You need to know how to fix it yourself anyway. Welcome to home ownership.

RepRap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003689)

Sell custom reprap [] manufactured parts.

Not exciting, but legal & legit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003719)

My mother does payroll data entry for her local Parks & Recreation Center as a second job.

She picks up the info each month, then inputs it with Excel & returns it via email once she's done.

She keeps everything on a jump drive so she can do it from home or slow periods at her primary job. She usually spends about 1-2 hours a day working on it.

It may not be the most exciting, but she makes a nice bit of extra cash (an extra $500 a month or so) all of which goes toward remodeling her new home.

Farm Gold. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#25003745)

According to an e-mail I got through a job-search site, the market for domestic WoW gold and EVE ISK farming is wide open and ready for you to plunder it. Just load up Glider or find a mining bot, and watch the money roll in.

Or, if you don't want to get banned for violating EULAs and pissing players off, play the auction house or stock market. Even keeping track of trends, it shouldn't take you more than an hour a day, and you can certainly run the average MMO client from a decent laptop.

Of course, you may have to buy gold to start making it...

All computer science majors are stupid! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25003747)

Computer Science majors are worthless people. Don't expect much, you are as worthless as the dirt on the ground, or the dirt deposited on cheap toilet paper. It shows how ignorant you are, because you bought a house on the verge of falling down? Yet you are not ready to fix it up yourself? Given the housing market, you will not ever return a profit on any improvements if you can't do it yourself. Jackass.

Geophysical data processing (5, Interesting)

SupplyMission (1005737) | about 6 years ago | (#25003749)

Geophysical data processing may be what you are looking for. It fits what you are looking for, because you can do it from anywhere you have internet access, and the money is good. I have a few friends doing this kind of work from home during nights and weekends, while working full-time at their day jobs.

Typical work situation: there will be a field crew somewhere in the world, acquiring geophysical measurements from an aircraft-based sensor platform, usually for the purpose of mineral exploration. Every night, they'll FTP the day's data to you. You do the bulk of the quality control, data reduction and processing work, and then upload the processed data back to the FTP. You'd also notify the field guys about any potential problems in the data. After that, the in-house specialists will do any final processing (leveling magnetic grids, fine drift corrections, etc.) and when the fieldwork is completed, they'll also prepare the client deliverables (maps, reports, interpretations, etc.).

Hourly rates for this kind of work range anywhere from $25/hr to $80/hr ($200/day to $500/day). If there are no serious glitches in the data that need troubleshooting, a data processor with some computer skills can usually rip through a day's worth of data in 3 or 4 hours. So if you get your data at 7pm, you can be done before midnight and still get a good night's sleep and be ready for your "real" job the next day. (On the other hand, if you have a girlfriend or wife, you may get into some time sharing conflicts, because the production schedules usually don't tolerate much latency.)

Educational requirements are typically a 4-year university/college Geophysics degree, or something somewhat related, such as Physics, Engineering, Math, etc. In any case, if you have a degree, your chances are good.

Training will probably take a few weeks, for you to get some experience and develop a feel for what good and bad data look like. Essentially you are the first line of quality control, so it's up to you to quickly flag any problems that could be due to operator error, sensor malfunction, or other factors.

You may or may not have to do some selling to potential employers to get them to let you work entirely from home. However, the way the mineral exploration market is these days (base metals such as copper and nickel are expensive [] ), this shouldn't be difficult as there is too much data to process and not enough people.

A few geophysics companies are always hiring data processors:

DIY Blog (1)

Felix Da Rat (93827) | about 6 years ago | (#25003765)

Why not do the work yourself, and run an ad-driven site about the process.

When in the hotels, write up the step-by-steps of your projects. You'll save on the work cost, learn a new skill, and maybe make some cash from the people like me who are constantly surfing for tips and tricks on doing work around my house.

I won't do plumbing, that I'll always contract out for, but most improvements around the house are done by me. I've learned a lot by hitting the web before I undertake any project, when I've hit stumbling blocks, and on how I could have improved my finished project. If your site provides good info (and renovating a full house can be huge) you'll attract a fair bit of attention.

If you go this route, include scans of all your sketches, plans, etc. it's useful for folks to be able to see how someone went about doing a task they want to do on their own.

Translation services. (2, Interesting)

ManicDeity (148756) | about 6 years ago | (#25003779)

The way I make a little extra cash is from doing freelance translation. There are quite a few companies that contract out linguist support for several languages such as Arabic (duh...), Mandarin/Cantonese and several others. The more in demand a language is the more that is paid to the translator.

I understand that learning a new language can be daunting and difficult, but I have always considered it a very geeky pursuit and a complete removal from my daily coding. Also I must amend that the Army taught me a language so I do have a leg up, but if anyone does follow this path then at the end of it they will know an entirely new language and with it come greater job opportunities and access to another culture.

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