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Author Topic: DonationCoder/Veign Programming Contest Results Posted  (Read 53413 times)
mouser
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« on: July 22, 2008, 01:37:17 PM »

A month and a half ago we announced a programming contest here at DC, to give away an amazing programming prize generously donated by long time DC forum member Chris Hanscom (Veign.com).

Three people chose to enter the contest, with entries that could not have been more different.



Complete DC newcomer Eric Wong blew everyone away with not one but two unusual entries that were extremely impressive from a technical/programming standpoint.  His first program, Webcam Signature, uses a computer webcam to identify and track a colored object and let users create signatures from it.  It's described by eric (VideoInPicture) on this thread, and has it's own full and beautiful website along with a video demo: here.


Eric's second submission, coded in only a couple of weeks, is called Circle Dock, and is a wonderfully cool implementation of a circular floating toolbar/dock/start menu.  Eric describes it in this thread and has another great website for it complete with a demo movie: here.




Long time active DC participant EĆ³in entered a very polished professional program for managing sets of windows system services.  His program is called ServiceProfiles, and is described on this post has a website: here.  It's a program we expect many power users would find immediately useful and valuable:




Sometimes poster and long time DonationCoder chatroom participant Hollowlife1987 submitted Btts, a complete standalone torrent tracker, complete with it's own web server (made in C# with asp.net).  It's a pretty impressive accomplishment and a very cool demonstration of what can be done combining asp with C# in a standalone tool.





In the end we AGONIZED over who to give the prize to.  All of them really deserved it for different reasons.

It's a strange prize to give out because it's such a varied set of tools that very few people on planet earth would have real use for more than one or two of the components in it.  We decided to ask the participants to tell us honestly how they would use the prize if they won it.. We do this quite a bit at DonationCoder because we try very hard to be fair and put things into the hands of those who will benefit from them.

This was actually the primary way we decided who to give the prize to -- not by deciding which program or programmer we liked best, but by deciding at this stage who we thought could most use it.

In the end we decided that there will be no single "Winner" but that:
  • We will give the MSDN giveaway prize to EĆ³in.
  • And we will create additional prizes for the other 2 entrants; Eric and Hollow both will get $250 in cash to spend as they wish (hopefully on programming related stuff!), and we'll endeavor to find some other gifts for them as well.
  • And all entrants will get a custom mug commemorating the contest (hey this is the best prize of all) and free web hosting for life.



So congratulations to the 3 winners, tied for first place: Eric Wong (VideoInPicture), EĆ³in O'Callaghan, and Hollowlife1987.

You should all be proud, and on behalf of DonationCoder and Veign, thank you for making this forum and site a more enjoyable and educational place to hang out.

I hope you will all keep us updated on your programs and future work.  Eric in particular we cannot wait to see what software you develop next(!)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 01:54:04 PM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 02:26:58 PM »

We need to say a HUGE thank you to Chris.

There were lots of people he could have given away the MSDN copy to.. It means a lot that he decided to give it away to someone here.

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hollowlife1987
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 02:31:17 PM »

Thanks so much Chris for letting us DC users do this contest  Grin
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Dormouse
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 02:38:30 PM »

Congratulations to everyone  smiley
Amazing achievements in the timescales.

And HUGE thanks to Chris for setting up a competition that produced the VIP CircleDock. Kiss
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 02:56:58 PM by Dormouse » Logged
Grorgy
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 02:46:05 PM »

Congratulations guys, useful programs and nice prizes, well done  Thmbsup
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 03:04:13 PM »

Congratulations to the entrants... all of them!
I am glad that I am not one of those who had to try to decide on a winner.
All of the entries look extremely impressive to me.

Thanks to Veign for providing the stellar prize, and whose other contributions to DonationCoder are obvious at many points.

And... let's not forget that strange, cat-like creature without whom none of us would be enjoying ourselves here.

Let's take the chance to say thank you to

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Chris
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 03:36:25 PM »

Wow I'm honoured and very privileged to have been chosen to receive this MSDN giveaway. My most sincere thanks go to both mouser and Chris for hosting the competition and providing the prize.

Also of course my congratulations to Eric and Hollowlife1987 for their fantastic entries.
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Veign
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 04:18:04 PM »

Like mouser stated the decision was very difficult and we wished we could have given away three copies of the MSDN subscription as this is how close things were.  In the end we feel we made the best choice we could understanding that its pretty easy to make arguments for each participant to get the prize.

So, I want to say a congrats to everyone who entered and we (DC and Veign) look forward to future applications from each of you.  You have now shown us you can code and be creative so there's no excuse for not developing future applications  smiley - NANY will be coming up before you know it so get your ideas ready.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 04:52:44 PM by Veign » Logged

mouser
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 04:30:55 PM »

Quote
NANY is will be coming up before you know it so get your ideas ready

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housetier
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 05:21:53 PM »

WOW, that webcam signature program is super awesome! I wish I had a webcam so I could use it Wink Great Idea anyway  Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup
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Gothi[c]
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 06:15:49 AM »

Thanks mouser and veign for making this contest possible, and thanks to the contestants for giving us a few new exciting apps!  Thmbsup

I still think these need to be advertised better.
I had to look for a while to find this thread.. Wink
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 10:45:40 AM »

WOW, that webcam signature program is super awesome! I wish I had a webcam so I could use it Wink Great Idea anyway  Thmbsup Thmbsup Thmbsup

Thanks. I actually have a new version of Webcam Signature on my computer that utilizes the YUV color space instead of the RGB color space to give it greater robustness but I have to finish the rough edges and I'm focusing my efforts to rewrite Circle Dock so it may not get out for a month or two.

As for the other guys in the competition, great work! Also, think you guys could write up some articles on how the code behind your programs work?
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Author of Circle Dock: http://circledock.wikidot.com
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 12:16:01 PM »

Also, think you guys could write up some articles on how the code behind your programs work?

That's not a bad idea, documenting code is always something left undone which for an open source project would actually be very helpful.
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hollowlife1987
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 12:27:28 PM »

Congrats Eoin for winning the MSDN prize and my source is messy and not well commented (my weak points) but i would be glad to give it out to people who are interested in it.
I do plan on making a stand alone web server for any asp.net site in the future based off of this project's webserver smiley

Edit:
Also i showed ya guys projects to a few people and they seem interested in them, my bro really likes Eoin's project and circular dock

2nd Edit:
I don't like giving my source out publicly but if you send me a PM i'll link ya to the source for who ever is interested in it smiley
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 12:32:27 PM by hollowlife1987 » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 01:43:35 PM »

It might be worth pointing out that Eoin's Halite open source bit torrent client was just featured on LifeHacker today:
http://lifehacker.com/399...er+lightweight-bittorrent
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hollowlife1987
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 03:59:14 PM »

Sweetness that might actually be useful for my future plans for my program :-D
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 06:19:44 PM »

Only one thing to say: the donationcoder community == Kiss
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 06:29:28 PM »

PC World has listed Circle Dock on their download pages and has it's own mini-review: http://www.pcworld.com/do...3-page,1/description.html
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mouser
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2008, 06:52:33 PM »

So cool.  Congrats Eric.

ps.
Laura Blackwell (PC World editor) rocks by the way -- she is a real champion of the little guy  thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008, 08:10:33 PM »

PC World has listed Circle Dock on their download pages and has it's own mini-review: http://www.pcworld.com/do...3-page,1/description.html

Congrats Eric. How does Circle Dock compare to Magic Formation?
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2008, 09:41:51 PM »

Congrats Eric. How does Circle Dock compare to Magic Formation?

Wow, impressive. Wonder why I didn't find this on google before? The idea between Magic Formation and Circle Dock is very similar. Magic Formation is a much more complete program right now than Circle Dock 0.9.1 and is very similar to what I'm coding for the new version of Circle Dock. If you want a circular dock program right now, I would recommend Magic Formation. But, I would use the new version of Circle Dock when it comes out in a bit because it will be more flexible and more fully featured.

There are some notable differences:
(1) Circle Dock is open source whereas Magic Formation is closed source so you can't change it to how you like it or add new features yourself.
(2) In Circle Dock, you have better control over how fast the dock scrolls whereas Magic Formation only allows 1 degree or 10 degrees at a time.
(3) Circle Dock allows a circle or spiral shaped dock whereas Magic Formation allows a circle, linear, or manual formation. In the new version of Circle Dock, there is an option for an oval shaped dock, which is great for wide screen monitors. I can also add a linear option without too much trouble.
(4) Magic Formation currently has better animation than Circle Dock but I'll be able to match it with the new version.
(5) Circle Dock is able to dynamically synchronize it's dock items with those files/folders/shortcuts at a specified location. Magic Formation does not support this.
(6) Circle Dock allows you to display multiple concentric circles of icons whereas Magic Formation only allows one circle.
(7) Circle Dock is able to support background images. Magic Formation does not.
(8) Circle Dock currently does not have an option to show what programs are running on your computer but the new version does.
(9) Magic Formation looks to be more stable than Circle Dock currently.
(10) The new version of Circle Dock supports the creation of virtual dock folders so that you can group your icons together and access them by clicking on a dock icon. Magic Formation does grouping but it leaves something to be desired because you have to access the groups through the right click menu on a grid of unidentified squares.

I believe the developer of Magic Formation are Japanese and that is probably one of the reasons why I haven't heard about this program sooner. I guess it will be an arms race between us two.  :D
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2008, 11:07:26 PM »

I believe the developer of Magic Formation are Japanese and that is probably one of the reasons why I haven't heard about this program sooner. I guess it will be an arms race between us two.  cheesy

Correct, but I wouldn't worry too much about an "arms race" as WinFlip has Koji's (the developer) priority. He doesn't plan to update MF any time soon.

Thanks for the comparison. Just wanted to add that MF is a portable dock application and does not require .net framework to run which is a big  thumbs up for me. Anyway, will be looking out for a future release of Circle Dock.

Thanks.
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wreckedcarzz
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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2008, 12:54:38 AM »

Congrats to all three of you, all great programs Thmbsup

Now we need a Linux compatible version of Circle Dock so I can have my cake on Vista and eat it on Xubuntu too. Wink
Maybe a *nix programming contest next time around? Might be interesting!

*Wreckedcarzz eagerly awaits new CD version*
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« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2008, 05:40:01 PM »

Congratulation to winners
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Armando
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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2008, 09:57:23 PM »

Great software, great work!
Impressive.
thumbs up
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