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Author Topic: Newsletter For August 14th, 2008 - Codename "Software Summer Sizzle"  (Read 15277 times)
mouser
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« on: August 14, 2008, 05:39:31 PM »

Newsletter for August 14th, 2008
Codename "Summer Software Sizzle"


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





1. Newsletter Editorial

It's clear that we have to make a concerted effort to get these newsletters out every two weeks, because with a month between them there is simply too much to write about.

The first item of news to report is that we have announced the winners of the DonationCoder/Veign Programming contest.  The three main entrants were each so different and interesting in their own way that we decided it would be wrong to choose a single winner.  So, we featured all of the entrants and awarded the main prize (a MSDN Visual Studio Developer license worth over $10k) after asking the three entrants to tell us how they would use the prize if they won it. Read the announcement for all the details and to find out who won the big prize! The winning entrants have even been featured on several big sites (we love to see them getting the attention they deserve!), including Eric Wong's "Circle Dock" -- an extremely cool non-traditional dock/launcher that he continues to improve each day, and Eoin O'Callaghan's ServiceProfiles -- a very professional tool for toggling groups of services on and off.

This month has also seen an abundance of new software releases and new websites by forum members.  I released new versions of some of my programs and we saw very cool new programs from other members of the forum, including a cool utility called LineByter that I actually ended up featuring in a mini-review.  Several members of our forum are also branching out with new websites, which we love to see.  In this newsletter you'll even see a section devoted to such announcements.

If you are new to the website please don't be shy. Just find a forum thread below that piques your interest and jump right into the discussion!




2. Your Participation Requested

A warm welcome to all the new members who have joined over the last month.  Here are some great topics for you to make your debut post on -- don't be shy, we are always happy to hear from new people.  And for our long term members, you know what to do -- join in and make your voice heard.




3. August Shareware Discounts and Giveaway

This month we have discounts on two great programs that have been discussed on the donationcoder forums.

First up, and perhaps most exciting, is a huge 40% discount on the newly released Beyond Compare version 3!  This program is a favorite of many forum members including myself (mouser) -- and I even wrote a giant review of version 2 and its competition way back in 2005.  Second, is a discount on JungleDisk, a very cool program reviewed by DC Member Justice in June 2008.  As is our usual practice, we will also be giving away a few copies of each of these program.  The discounts run until the end of the month and the drawing ends on August 20th.  Both the discounts and the draw are available to supporting members only, but remember that you can become a supporting member with a donation of any amount.  Thanks to DC Member Carl Thorpe for arranging these.




4. DC Member New Software Releases

There were a ton of seriously good, brand-new software releases this month by DC forum members!  It's wonderful to see so much activity by the coders.  Let's let them know how much we appreciate their work.  One of the programs, LineByter, is a program I use to help me send out this newsletter, and I was so impressed with it that I wrote a little mini-review of it, which you can read below.




5. Other DC Software Updates

I released some major updates to a few of my own programs on DC this month, including a long-awaited release of Screenshot Captor, marking the beginning of more regular updates for it.  It contains mainly bugfixes, but there are some big things too, such as a totally re-organized and significantly more useful options dialog, and a new feature that embeds web page urls in the text comments of browser screenshots. In addition, Find and Run Robot (FARR) got a major new feature that implements "fuzzy" (non-contiguous) word searching, which makes it much easier to find whatever it is that you are looking for.  The FARR plugin/alias writers have also been busy, releasing some very cool new plugins and alias packs.




6a. DC Member Projects, Writings, and Reviews

Here's part one of my attempt to sneak in new little sections to the newsletter each month to spice up the organization of topics, a selection of threads where people on the forum wrote some new original content.




6b. DC Member Requests for Help

Here's part two of my attempt to sneak in new little sections to the newsletter each month to spice up the organization of topics, a selection of some of the more useful threads where people reply to a call for help or advice from a fellow forum member.




7. Living Room

The Living Room section of the forum is where we discuss general issues that don't really belong in the "dedicated" sections.  It's kind of a catch-all section -- lots of website discoveries and recommendations, etc. This makes it a great place to explore - you never know what you're going to find!




8. General Software Discussion

Almost half the posts on the forum fall into the category of general software discussions, questions, recommendations, etc. This is one of the most active sections of the DC forum and a great resource if you're trying to solve a software or hardware related problem. We get so much traffic on this board that we've split the recent content into two sections in the newsletter - general software and specific software discussions.




9. Specific Software Discussion

Noteworthy posts this month about specific programs include the release of a long-awaited successor to Beyond Compare 2 and the launch of Launchy for Linux.




10. Developer's Corner

We were very pleased to see a real increase in activity in the Developer's corner section of the forum this month.  Remember that this section isn't just for computer programmers, it's a place for entrepreneurs of all kinds to discuss the issues involving creating things and running a small business.




11. Site/Forum Features

In this forum section we invite everyone to discuss ideas for the site and forum -- new features we can add to improve the community, etc.  Have an idea, let us know.




12. Fun, Games, and Humour

One of the things that makes the forum a nice place to hang out is that there is a good balance between serious expert discussion and just plain silly fun (and everything in between).  There are always a few truly sublime discoveries posted by DC members each month, and this past month was no exception.




Thanks to Darwin for the help editing this!
-mouser
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 11:47:27 PM by mouser » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 09:58:12 PM »

Another nice job!

You know, I hang around here an awful lot but the newsletter always points me to something that I missed.

Thanks!


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Chris
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 11:31:13 PM »

Thanks :p
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zridling
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 12:41:15 AM »

These newsletters make my week. I really appreciate mouser and Darwin for their hard work. I enjoy revisiting topics after a while and seeing things in the corners of the forum I never visit.
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 01:31:56 AM »

Thanks .
Another nice job!
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TucknDar
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 06:02:30 AM »

I guess the good thing with only one newsletter per month, is that it's looong and thus involves more reading of interesting stuff from DC!

Thanks !
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edbro
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 07:57:04 AM »

It would be nice to see more of a overlap or offset on the discounts<->Giveaways. I mean, do I get Jungledisk now at a disount or do I wait to see if I win a free one? The discount expires at the end of the month, just as the giveaways are announced.
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 09:42:41 AM »

edbro -- this has always been a tricky problem.  having the giveaway overlap the discount means many people wait before buying.  currently the solution is ok, we do the giveaway on the 20th which gives people 10 days at the end of the month to buy with the discount after the drawing ends.  but maybe there is a better way?  one solution would be to run the discount in one month, and give away copies like 2 months later, which would mainly go to people who for whatever reason missed the discount.  the only weird thing would be that each month the discounts and giveaways would be for different items, which makes things a bit more confusing.
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Midnight Rambler
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 11:54:08 AM »

Always look forward to this newsletter.  It's as friendly as the forum is. 
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Deozaan
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2008, 08:51:29 PM »

Great newsletter!

As for the information on the giveaway/discounts, I think you should do the giveaway first to let people use the software and write about how awesome it is, then a discount the next month or later so people can get hyped up about buying the software.
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superboyac
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2008, 02:32:50 AM »

Thanks for the mention of my website!  Manly Cup baby!
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