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Author Topic: Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"  (Read 21914 times)

mouser

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Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« on: December 24, 2007, 05:58:44 AM »
Newsletter for December 24th, 2007
Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"


"If you read nothing else on our site, read our BLOG"
(new rss feed with images)





1. Newsletter Editorial

Season's Greetings.  I hope you are enjoying a well deserved end of year break and looking forward to ringing in the New Year with friends and family.  DonationCoder, on the other hand, never sleeps and is packed with nerds and geeks who enjoy nothing better than celebrating the holidays up all night typing in the glow of their liquid crystal displays.  To prove that point, we've got one of our biggest newsletters ever today.  If you absolutely must engage in a "real life away from the computer" please be careful out there and make sure to buckle up.

If you're celebrating a holiday with kids this month, regardless of which one, chances are the kids have convinced you to let them open at least one present a little early (otherwise their brains might explode from the anticipation).  Well I sympathize so I made available a brand new program as an early release for supporting members of the site.  It's called "Point Motivator" and it was born out of discussions on the forum about creating a general program that can motivate you to do things you want to get done.  Basically it lets you create a set of activities that earn you various points and then track your progress over time.  As I said, it's available now as an early download present for all supporting members of the site, but will be made public in January for our NANY 2008 Challenge.  It comes with a sample set of items but I hope people will share their item definition files on the forum with each other, and I'd love to hear if you find the program useful.  Thanks to everyone on the forum for helping me come up with the program name.

- Mouser, your host for this week's newsletter



2. New DonationCoder.com Software

Last month the coders on our site responded to our Getting Organized Experiment Software Challenge with almost a dozen new freeware releases relating to productivity and time management.  You'd think we'd be resting on our laurels, but on January 1st we will be unveiling yet more new freeware: The NANY 2008 Challenge programs.

What is the NANY 2008 Challenge? It's our second annual "New Apps for the New Year" programming event, where we ask coders on our site to unveil a new unreleased program to usher in the new year.  Some are silly and some are great, but they're all fun to unwrap like presents.  You definitely will not want to miss this year's collection.  And if you're a programmer or know someone who is, stop by -- there is still a week left to write a new program and get a DonationCoder mug as a thank you.

There have also been some new software updates on the site by other coders.  F0dder updated his popular encrypted notes program "fSekrit", and Seedling updated his very cool mp3 program "Mixtape Maker".  I even snuck in a minor update for my Clipboard Help+Spell program (ps. thanks PC World for recommending it).

We've also seen some new FARR plugins released on the forum, which is very exciting for me, especially since I hope to have FARR (Find and Run Robot) v2 finally released officially in January with a brand new sparkling set of web pages.  Member evaradec released an SDK that allows plugins to be written in javascript, and vitalyb updated his C# wrapper for .net plugin writing, so FARR v2 plugins can be written in almost any language now.

Also make sure you stop by our Coding Snacks section -- there have been some new small coding snacks written by people on the forum in response to user requests.

As always -- we ask that if you find a program that you like, you make a small donation to the author who made it.  Your donations to the site, and to the programmers on the site, make all of these things possible.



3. Upcoming January Fundraiser - New Programs, New Discounts, New Giveaways, and More

If you're a supporting member of the site, there's still time to win one of the 5 copies of Surfulater (a very nice web site surfing helper) that we are giving away in December.

But hold onto your socks for the new year, because we have some big stuff in store.  In January we will be having our 3rd annual fundraiser, and we will be celebrating with an incredible number of software giveaways and discounts on some of the best software on the planet, arranged by DC member Carl Thorpe.

We are also preparing our massive Best of 2007 Roundup, where we highlight dozens of our favorite discoveries on the web from the year that was.  Last year's Best Of 2006 feature was a huge hit and this year's is sure to be one as well.

We'll be sending out a special newsletter in the first days of January with more details on the fundraiser and on the special events we have planned, but I wanted to just say a few words now.  This is the time of the year when we really need your help and support and encouragement.

If you're already a supporting member... Thank you.  But maybe you donated a long time and you like what we're doing -- would you consider putting your money where your heart is and making another donation?  Your continued donations make it possible for us to keep writing new software and improving the site.

And this fundraiser is especially directed at those of you who've not yet made a donation to the site and are sitting on the fence... I hope we can convince you in January to make the giant leap of faith and make a donation and join our little revolution in donationware.  We're humbly asking for your financial contribution so that we can continue to improve the site and do new things.

If making a financial donation is not something you can do -- that's ok too. We'd love to have your participation on the site in other ways.  In fact, maybe there's something we can do for you?  Please let us know.



4. Member site spotlight: AdminKing.com - For your server administration needs

It's my distinct pleasure this week to shed a spotlight on the new website of an extremely talented programmer and unix guru, who is also a friend and member of donationcoder, and someone who I care for a lot.  John Sennesael (known as Gothi[c] on the forum) has been invaluable in solving server issues for DonationCoder.  When we hit a problem that the professional managed hosting companies who run our servers can't solve, a quick email to John inevitably leads to a solution in short order.  He is so good at doing server administration that he decided to quit his daytime job and jump into server administration professionally with his own management company.  And he's looking for clients.

If you need a serious server administrator, who knows his stuff and is on call 24hr/day, John is your man.  After years of dealing with dodgy tech support from web hosting companies, it's impossible to overstate how much better he is than any support I've ever gotten from a hosting company.  I think John is going to specialize in dedicated servers and high security/stability configurations, so if you are serious about having someone set up, maintain, update, and watch over your commercial website, grab a contract with John while he's still accepting new clients.  And the fact that he's a programmer and can write just about any web service you can dream up means that if you ever need custom work you don't have far to look.



5. Your input requested

App103 posted a brief description of, and link to, a blog entry that she made about the DC NANY 2008 challenge and what makes DonationCoder special to her.  Donationcoder will be three years old in March and we're heading into the big January fundraiser, so it would be great to get peoples' thoughts and experiences about the site, the community, and what you like (or don't like) about DonationCoder.com.  Other topics in which your participation is requested:


And while we are in the self congratulatory, reflective mode for this newsletter, we might as well mention that DonationCoder celebrated a milestone of sorts: 100,000 members and counting. Josh started a thread about it called, appropriately: 100,000 users! Congratulations to everyone for making Donationcoder such a wonderful place to "hang out".  If you haven't yet posted on our forum, feel free to post a little hello in that thread, we'd love to hear from some new voices.


6. Living Room

The living room section of our forum is a diverse and dynamic place. People discuss everything here - from glow in the dark cats to lolcats, to Star Trek Posters, to LCD Monitor recommendations.

So, what kinds of things have DC members been discussing? Check out fodder's thread Tell me why I have to be a PowerSlave? I had no idea that a computer that is powered off but still plugged into the wall draws so much power. We also welcome a regular member of the community back after a health related absence: JoTo advises us that we had "Better run like Hell! I am back" (read how your postcards cheered him up and made him seem like a star to all the nurses in the hospital).



7. Fun and Leisure

Kind of a slow couple of weeks for games and fun on the forum, but luckily DC member Ralf once again out did himself with some of his best original Top 10 lists to date.  The last one is a bit of an insider joke though, so unless you follow the DC forums regularly, you may find yourself scratching your head.



8. General Software Discussion

Well, software is what you really care most about isn't it, more than life itself.  No?  Oh ok then, maybe it's just those of us who hang out in the General Software section on the forum...



9. Specific Software Discussions

Postings made to the General Software Discussion board often relate to specific applications.



10. Software Advice and Solutions Requested

Often you need to accomplish something on your computer that requires specialized software. Googling for a solution is usually either overwhelming because there are so many choices or underwhelming because there are a limited number of expensive options. Perhaps you used a great app in the past but no longer have the installer and have forgotten the name. The General Software board is a great place to research your options and if no one's asked a question/posted their opinion about a particular application or a category of applications, you can post a question yourself. It's pretty rare that such requests go unanswered.



11. Coding Snacks

If you've already read through the forum looking for software solutions for a specific task and unsuccessfully posted asking for suggestions, why not post a request in the Cody Snacks section of the forum? A kind-hearted DC member might be able to whip something up for you. Read on for a sampling of the kinds of small applications other members have been looking for over the past two weeks.  Some of the posts below represent completed custom coded freeware utilities made by coders on our forum and available for download, some are just pending requests, and some are cases where an existing program was found to satisfy the request:



12. Developer's Corner

Whether you are a programmer or just someone interested in entrepreneurial issues and running your own website, you'll find something useful in the Developer's Corner section of the forum.



13. Announce Your Software/Service/Product

DonationCoder members travelswithmusic and jlogic77 announce their web services below. Both are worth a look - travelswithmusic.org is a website that uses music to connect world cultures while Ubernote is an online notetaker and organizer with a difference. Read the announcements below.



14. 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.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 12:37:16 AM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2007, 02:01:07 PM »
Thanks go to Darwin who really helped me prepare this edition of the newsletter  :up:

mouser

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2007, 02:54:54 PM »
I'd love some feedback about whether you think this newsletter was too long, too "chatty", too "beggy", etc.

Darwin

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2007, 03:47:57 PM »
I thought it was G-R-E-A-T  :Thmbsup:

However, I'm biased  :o

The questions mouser raises - about length, content, tone, etc. seek the kind of feedback that we're both interested in. Obviously, with so many readers we can't please all of the people all of the time, but it's nice to have some guidance so that we can walk the tightrope that is the middle ground...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

f0dder

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2007, 04:20:34 PM »
I like the somewhat "chatty" tone, and I like how you describe a block of links instead of each individual link. Works very well. Perhaps the text blocks are a bit on the long side, but it is an end-of-the-year newsletter after all. Was nice reading through.

And I was mentioned! :D
* f0dder jumps up and down frantically.
- carpe noctem

Lashiec

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2007, 04:52:01 PM »
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I prefer the lenghty approach ;)

KenR

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2007, 07:23:54 PM »
I'd love some feedback about whether you think this newsletter was too long, too "chatty", too "beggy", etc.

No! Actually, my purpose for coming here was to write to tell you what a nice newsletter I thought it was. Just for clarification, that was BEFORE I saw this request.

Ken
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Jacksonville, North Carolina  28546

jeromy

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2007, 09:03:24 PM »
I thought the article was good! 

On a side note, I'm a big fan of "Replicator" from KarenWare.com -- I've been using it for more years than I can count.

I even sent a donation after reading this article.  :D

Armando

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 12:36:04 AM »
I really liked it. Thanks mouser and Darwin.
Liked the tone and the length.

Ath

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2007, 07:13:07 AM »
Mouser,

It was great, (as usual) but it's good I had some extra spare time at hand :D

thomthowolf

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2007, 10:04:38 AM »
I really like the chatty tone, makes me feel like reading a note from a friend (albeit a really looong note :) )
Seriously, the length was fine with me.  If I need more time then I can always come back to it.  I believe any piece of writing should be as long as it takes to say what you want to say, and no longer.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

Rocker452

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2007, 01:10:32 PM »
A really good edition as always. It is a little on the chatty side but that's a good thing in my opinion. Keep up the good work guys.  :Thmbsup:

app103

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2007, 02:46:50 PM »
I like it...I think it's better when it's chatty.  It makes it more interesting to read.

:Thmbsup:

cranioscopical

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 02:56:34 PM »
It  seems to me that the whole thing was  just right. 

Well done, Darwin (shame Mouser can't do one as well as that).

zridling

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2007, 03:33:54 PM »
Love the chat, too. Between the newsletter and the DC blog, thank you guys for all your hard work.

Loonier

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2007, 11:52:50 AM »
It must be OK, my brain doesn't hurt when I'm finished reading the newsletter and making side trips to linked pages. This porridge is just right.

Darwin

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2007, 11:59:14 AM »
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

tinjaw

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2007, 01:23:53 PM »
I'd love some feedback about whether you think this newsletter was too long, too "chatty", too "beggy", etc.

Funny you should ask. I was thinking that this month's newsletter had a very informal tone to it that I liked. It's not too long; There's lots of juicy bits in every month of DonationCoder.

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2007, 01:44:59 PM »
The longer, the better. This is a nice format.

When it's long, I just dedicate an hour or so to reading it and the 20+ tabs I inevitably open from it....

Nice work!

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2007, 08:57:53 AM »
I usually don't read the newsletter (even though i've helped in making it a few times ;)) because i already read every single post on DC, but this time i started reading it and couldn't stop!
Congratulations mouser and darwin, you've done a fantastic work here!

Conatus

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2007, 07:17:15 PM »
Nice format. Like talking to a friend you hadn't seen in a while.

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Re: --> Newsletter for December 24th - Codename "Here Comes Your NANY"
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2007, 10:20:13 PM »
Yep, "this porridge is just right".  Now I'm feeling a little sleepy, from all the interesting side-journeys, so must upstairs to check out your beds ...  ;D