Newsletter for November 19th, 2007
Codename "Postcard Club"
"If you read nothing else on our site, read our BLOG"
1. Newsletter Editorial
It's Darwin here, welcoming you to another edition of the Donationcoder newsletter. I'm going to keep my initial comments brief, so that you can get right to the meat of the newsletter, but would like to take this opportunity to say a big welcome to everyone who has joined over the past two weeks and to encourage everyone to participate on the forum if you haven't already.
We'll soon be having our 3rd annual fundraiser, and we're asking for your help in deciding how to celebrate and how we should approach the delicate issue of asking for financial support from the public. Let us know how we can make the site more useful for you!
2. Official Announcements
Calling all programmers -- we need your participation! Throughout November and December we are running some fun programming contests. To help celebrate our Getting Organized Experiment 2007, November's programming contest is to pick some small productivity-related utility you can code in a few days and enter it in the Getting Organized Programming Challenge. You only have until December 1st to submit something, but everyone who enters will be recognized. Now's your chance to participate on the site and create something others will find useful.
Josh has arranged another excellent discount and giveaway for this month. If you don't already have a HIPS solution on your machine, you should check out Defense Wall HIPS, which is offered to all supporting members at a 30% discount and is available as a prize in the November Giveaway.
- Official List of Current DonationCoder.com Contests - Next deadline December 1st!
- November Discounts and Giveaway - Defense Wall (Host Intrusion Prevention System)
- Program Update: Form Letter Machine 1.07.01 released
- Program Update: fSekrit 1.3 released
- Program Update: Random Mixtape Maker 1.06.68
- tcl eggdrop encryption functions updated - for mircryption users
3. Your Input is Requested
Donationcoder is first and foremost a community and thrives because of member activity and participation. Not sure where to jump in? Here are some good threads to get you started:
- To wide-screen or not to wide-screen
- Laptop or Desktop â€” which are you?
- DonationCoder.com Yearly Fundraiser for 2007 - Advice Requested Please
4. Living Room
JoTo is a frequent poster and prominent member of DonationCoder. He's recovering from a serious health scare and we'd like your help to cheer him up! Please visit mouser's post about this ("DonationCoder Postcard Club Activate!"), and send him a postcard in the hospital.
Mouser, inevitably, ran afoul of a mouse a couple of weeks ago and posted about it in a thread called "Pet Peeve: I will never buy a rechargeable mouse again for as long as i live". Not only did he find that he is not alone, but he also found that DC'ers have strong opinions, and are divided, on the subject of wireless mice.
Finally, it is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Using this logic, plagiarism is high praise indeed. Our own zridling (Zaine) maintains an excellent resource called The Great Software List that someone liked so much they copied the entire homepage and pasted it into a blog. Read about it in this thread: "Blog steals Zaine's Great Software List" and post your thoughts.
- Graphics Tablets - opinions (nudone, hamradio, tomos etc. care to chime in?)
- Computing. A Goal in itself, or a means to an end?
- The Dvorak Zine - fun comic telling story of the Dvorak keyboard
- Buy a new harddrive, get a virus
- 40+ Free Professional Fonts from Smashing Magazine
- My System - Index Card Centric - GOE post by mouser
- David Seah - The Printable CEOâ„˘ Series
5. General Software Discussion
Here are a couple of threads that come from completely different perspectives but that should give you pause for thought. In the first, "Whatâ€™s Your Backup Strategy?" , jammo sparks a conversation about sensible backup strategies and how best to implement them. In the other, urlwolf points us to a thought provoking piece on the demise of a music sharing service and the politics of DRM. Look for it at "oink is dead: what is next?" .
- Which MP3 tagger do you use?
- Implementing Leopard features for Vista?
- Maybe Vista doesn't suck?
- Is there a way to clean all windows drivers to allow for a change of motherboard
- Perfect Software?
6. Software Solutions Requested
Donationcoders constantly seek ways to increase their productivity while they are on their computers and often post requesting suggestions about how to do this. Frequently, this is posted as a request for software options. Below are a sampling of some recent requests. Alternatives are always welcome, so please, post away.
- Searching for the best read-aloud software -- good read
- Compare text files
- Sync/mirror program that monitors but waits for go-ahead before backing up?
- Money Management Software?
- File synchronization: moving away from incremental backup (HELP!)
- Virtual Desktop suggestions?
- Idea request: "Site discovery tool"
- AntiChrist Hunter -- silly program from DC member Renegade
7. Specific Software Discussion
Wreckedcarzz posted about his experiences with iTunes and what finally "drove him over the edge". He posted about it in a piece called "A rant about how I finally ditched iTunes" .
- Songza: Music online + freeware (beta) via Humanized
- Question about Super Flexible File Synchronizer
- (*nix) Amazingly feature-rich email checking dockapp
- Quicksilver Goes Open Source
- Fedora 8 hits the streets!
- Mobile Browsing: Opera Mini 4
- ESET Smart Security
- houseforge recommendation November 2007: Pidgin
- Mosaizer and Textaizer - Cool Freeware Graphics Effects with Mosaics and Text
8. Fun and Games
Work, work, work. Yawn. Reinvigorate yourself with some downtime - play a game or have a laugh. Here are some suggestions posted over the past two weeks.
- Tower Defense games collection - a giant roundup of tower defense games posted on DC over the years
- Mahjongg Titans
- Alternate Reality Gaming
- Comics? He's got comics!
- Free graphic adventure craziness
- LOL strikes again... LOLSaur
- Tales of Mere Existence
- Help Name Our Cat!
- Genuinely stupid laws - that still APPLY !!
- Free Rice: Increase your vocabulary while you feed the hungry
- Fun Flash Storefront Site
- Science magazine had a photo competion ...
9. Developer's Corner
Donationcoder is a community of software enthusiasts, but it is more than that. It's also a place where you can discuss and learn about software developement. You can start learning about software development in the Programming School on the Developer's Corner board. For some of the recent discussions on the Developer's Corner, read on:
- Technical Debt - Nice Programming Metaphor and Long Blog Essay
- Consumatingâ€™s Ill-Fated Point System: Nice Blog Essay
- Best way to track the time you spend on each project
- Starting a website; need suggestions.
10. Coding Snacks
Looking for a simple application to make life easier? Can't find it? Post a request to have one of Donationcoder's able coders write one for you in the Post New Requests Here section of the Coding Snacks board. Below are a few recent requests.
- Idea: Hide Show desktop icons
- Idea - Public Pc Timer
- Change Desktop Folder
- BruteKill hotkey
- IDEA: a Profile-able Workdesk Desktop
11. Site of the Month
Our site of the month for November is one of my daily reads: MakeUseOf.com. Though perhaps relying a little much on the "top 10 tools" genre, MakeUseOf does a great job of summarizing the top tools or tips in an area, while adding enough of a personal informed recommendation to make their frequent blogs very enjoyable and educational reads. Combined with an occasional longer instructional post, MakeUseOf is a terrific addition to the software blogging field, and well worth your attention. ps. They accept donations as well.
- MakeUseOf.com - Site of the Month for November 2007