Newsletter for December 6th, 2007
Codename "Operation GOE Freeware Release"
"If you read nothing else on our site, read our BLOG"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings! Darwin here wondering what happened to 2007... I've only *just* gotten used to writing "2007" and it's almost over. At any rate, the onset of December means one of two things - either it's just about winter or it's just about summer! So depending on where you are it's time to stock up on sun creme or on thermal underwear... It's all relative, isn't it?
No matter where you are, December is a busy month. Here at Donationcoder it is no different as we gear up for the holidays and prepare for January's big Donationcoder fundraiser. I can't give too much away, but there are exciting events and discounts being planned, so watch for announcements about them in the next newsletter.
The big news today is that we've just posted 9 new small freeware releases as part of our Getting Organized Experiment (GOE) Coding Challenge. Read more about it in section 2 of the newsletter.
Speaking of the newsletter, we've broken it down into more sections this time, with fewer links in each -- hopefully this will make it a little easier to find stuff that might interest you. Is this an improvement? Please let us know. Actually if you have any suggestions about how we can improve the newsletter, let us know!
Here's a bit of DC trivia for you: Did you know that about 160 new people sign up at our forum every day? And that there are about 90 new posts on the forum every day? If you're having trouble keeping up with all of the activity, who can blame you? No seriously, that's a real question -- make a list of who can blame you and try to get them fired before they rat you out for wasting time at work. Or you might want to bookmark our blog, which highlights a few of the best new topics on the forum every day:
2. The Getting Organized Experiment (GOE) 2007 - Massive Freeware Release!
As you probably know, each year we have a little experimental event where people on the forum exchange ideas, systems, and techniques for improving their productivity and time management. This time we decided to ask the coders on our site to contribute by writing brand new little freeware utilities. Well the results have just been posted! 9 brand new little freeware tools to put some extra minutes in your day. There are some real fun ones here so make sure you stop by and check them out.
- Main GOE 2007 Software Release Page with Descriptions
- Check out what other websites are saying about the goe utilities
- Timer Assist - alarm chime sync'd to real time
- CFDButton - add filters to file dialogs
- MyHelp - simple note taking
- SMAU - simple multiple alarm utility
- PlainTextWiki Toolkit - wiki-like stuff for your text editor
- HowLong2It - track how long since you last did something
- AnotherOneDone - motivate yourself to do things
- Evaluweight - compare and weight different options
- Interruptron - track your interruption patterns
And don't forget to join other DC members as they try to find ways to make them more productive. Surf over to the Getting Organized Experiment 2007 board to participate!
3. Your Input Requested
A big welcome to everyone who has joined us in the past month. If you haven't had an opportunity to participate in the forum, we'd love to have your input in the following threads especially:
- Another cody spotting? Caption this picture.
- Rudeness in the DC Forum?
- How often do you reboot your primary workstation?
- What's Your Favorite Productivity or Programming Supplement?
- Recommended Gifts for the Tech Savvy?
- Are you testing XP SP3 RC?
4. Discounts and Giveaways
Congratulations to the ten winners of last month's software draw, each of whom will receive a license for DefenseWall HIPS.
And this month we are giving away 5 copies of Surfulater, a very nice web site surfing helper.
And don't forget! In January we will be having our big annual fundraiser, with TONS TONS TONS of discounts and giveaways for supporting members lined up by DC member cthorpe.
5. Living Room
Join us in the Living Room, where you can let your hair down and post about/discuss topics that don't quite fit in the other categories at Donationcoder.
- Techlife Blog - Nice
- Blog Series: Wiring the house for a Home Network - Part 5 - Gigabit Throughput
- 32bit vs 64bit Vista performance comparison?
- Gamespot Editor Fired for Writing an Honest Review?
- Color Theory - Nice resource
- How good are you at spotting spyware, spam & phishing traps?
- Any old Amiga users among us?
- If you build a new PC, make sure you get 2 HDs: One fast and one big
- Comlplaint: GoodSync free from RoboForm today - NOT!
- Amazon's Kindle eBook Reader - A roundup of opinions
6. Ralf's Top 10
DC member Ralf Maximus has proven to be a wunderkind when it comes to ferreting out strange links from around the web and writing funny top 10 lists. This newsletter sports an entire section devoted to his top 10 lists -- pass them along to your friends.
- Top 10 Signs You May Have Overclocked Your PC Too Much
- Top 10 Signs of a Failing Presentation
- Top 10 Signs You're Coding Too Much
7. Fun, Games and Humour
The Living Room gets crowded, so crowded that it's always necessary to create sub-categories such as this one for the newsletter. Many discussions in the Living Room revolve around games and humour so we're featuring some of the highlights here.including a flash game that requires you to act quickly to save the life of Fred, a stuffed rabbit, who is in cardiac arrest.
- Save Fred!
- Downloadable Game: Secret Maryo Chronicles - make your own levels too
- Looking for Beta Testers for Satanic Music Detector
- Pop Quiz: Strange questions from kids
- Gender Genie!
- Animal Crossing Tragedy: File Under "The Emotional Power of Video Games"
- Interesting Signs
- Procrastination Flowchart
- Inspirational Star Trek Posters
8. General Software Discussion
You'll find lots of opinions, requests for assistance, suggestions, and general commentary on software at Donationcoder and much of it can be found on the General Software Discussion board. This and the two sections that follow are just some of the highlights from the General Software Discussion board from the past two weeks.
- What are the MAJOR linux players?
- Why the Windows Registry Exists
- .NET Application Startup Times
- How to: Pimp your Ubuntu!
- Noah is almost fantastic, but what is it?
- Ghacks post: "Why I decided to uninstall my Antivirus software"
- Gizmo Is Looking for A Few Volunteers to help edit software wikis
9. Specific Software Discussions
If you're interested in a particular application, you'll probably find one or more threads devoted to it in the General Software Discussion. Here are some highlights from the past couple of weeks, with a bit of an emphasis on the ongoing MS Vista controversy.
- Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
- Shut Up About Vista, Already
- Going back to XP
- Electric Sheep: Great and unique collaborative screensaver
- Substrate: Great modern art screensaver
- VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
- FileBox eXtender now works under Vista
- FastKake - create a ton of useful shortcuts to do things - Great with FARR
- Skin Your Shutdown
- Winamp 5.5 is fantastic (I thought I'd never say that)
- TweakVista - Tweak all Your Vista settings in one place
10. Software Suggestions Requested
Need to find a utility to extend the functionality of your windows installation? Can't narrow down your search? Post about it in the General Software board and you'll probably be overwhelmed both by the variety of suggestions and by your respondents' knowledge of the solutions that they suggest. Read below for some recent discussions (and debates!).
- Batch find and replace from text file? Or similar?
- Dual Monitors: Declare Apps which Should Open on the Secondary Monitor
- Hard Drive Diagnostic Software
- Upgraded to 64-bit XP, need virtual CD/DVD drive
- RAM Use Pie Chart?
11. Found Deals and Discounts
Donationcoders love a bargain and are generous in reporting their finds. Here are some recent discounts and deals that have been found and posted about on the forum.
- Visit the found deals and discounts section on the forum
- Visit the members-only discounts section on the forum (special discounts only available to supporting members of the site)
- Techsmith older version of Camtasia Studio (v3) free
- Techsmith older version of snagIt (v7) free
- CyberNet's birthday! And software giveaway!
12. Mini-Reviews by Members
Donationcoder member dhuser has written a mini-review of authorPOINT Lite, an application that allows you to convert Powerpoint presentations into Flash movies. Mini-reviews are a lot of fun to write up and are very helpful to other users. If you've got a favourite application that you'd like to post about, consider doing a mini-review, they are always welcome.
13. Coding Snack Headquarters
Looking for the perfect app to help you be that much more efficient? Can't find it? Why not post your idea on the Coding Snacks Requests board and see if anyone at Donationcoder will to code it for you? That's what coding snacks are all about...
- Visit the GOE 2007 Software release page for 10 new freeware coding snacks
- Software Release: Notepad Poker (Beta)
- Software Release: Quickly save page URL, title and tags to .url
- IDEA: Volume control by time
- IDEA: fitness timer
- IDEA: College Grade Calculator
- IDEA: Screensaver for individual screens
- IDEA: Mirror portion of multi-monitor
- IDEA: Package Tracker
- IDEA: Structured plaintextfile based note taker?
14. Developer's Corner
There's always a lot of activity on the Developer's Corner board. Not a developer? Don't be scared away! You can learn to code yourself in the coding school, and if that doesn't tickle your fancy, your time spent in the developer's corner will not go to waste. This is also where we talk about entrepreneurial and freelancing stuff.
- Nice Blog Essay and Site for Freelancers: 10 Absolute "Nos!" for Freelancers
- [Wanted] Flash boardgame engine / framework
- Visual Studio 2005 or 2008?
- A Funny Blog Posting I Spotted Today
- Dilbert On Agile Programming
- Excellent Editorial on IT Security Philosophy
- Interview with Simple Machines Forum Software Developers
- Beta release of XNA Game Studio 2.0 is now available for you to download
- Look for special Gallery Scripts/Generator for inline thumbnails
- NEW! The DonationCoder N.A.N.Y. 2008 Programming Challenge - Deadline Jan 1, 2008
15. Member's site spotlight - App's Apps
This week we're highlighting long time Donationcoder member (and forum moderator) app103's site. App's been coding for five or six years now and has produced some very nice freeware - everything from a utility to remind you to get up and stretch your legs when you're working on a project to a couple of desktop clocks (she's clearly got a clock obsession). You'll also find links to her other sites, which include a blog and a site called SnailWare site which focuses on software for older pcs.
16. Site of the Month - KarenWare.com
Karen Kenworthy has been writing freeware for almost a decade, and her site KarenWare.com is well known to people who appreciate small tools that do exactly what they say they will. She's got dozens of freeware programs available and you are sure to find something useful there. She also puts out a regular free newsletter (Karen's Power Tools Newsletter). Keep up the great work Karen! We are fans.
That's it for this newsletter. Thank you for reading and see you again in two weeks!