Newsletter for December 21st, 2008
Codename "Tree Ornaments"
"If you read nothing else on our site, read our blog!"
(new rss feed with images)
(new rss feed with images)
1. Newsletter Editorial - NANY 2009 Approaches!
Well, only 10 more days until the New Year and the official release of the NANY 2009 Applications. What is NANY 2009? NANY stands for "New Apps for the New Year", and it's a little challenge we hold every year to encourage coders who hang out on DonationCoder.com to write and release a new program. We have a ton of participants who have pledged to release something new and many are available to download and experiment with now.
In addition, although my normal custom is to spend holidays programming, this New Year's it looks as if I'm going to get a visit from DC members Gothi[c] (our intrepid server admin and expert coder), and his wife Della. I'd like to warmly welcome any other DC member within driving range to come join us. It will be a low-key, uneventful get together. I'm not generally very social, so I wouldn't re-arrange your schedule if it means missing a party where you might have a chance of talking to that girl/guy you have a crush on! However, if you are living a geeky, solitary life, why not come have dinner with us? There is plenty of room to camp out in my house for the night. See the post below for more info.
2. NANY 2009 Updates
The NANY 2009 event looks like it will have more participants than ever before.. Let's review the basic ground rules:
We encourage all programmers, of any skill level (many are just beginners), to write a new, small, free program to be released on or around December 31st. You'll find that some submissions are silly, some are horrific, some are quite useful. It's a really fun event for coders and non-coders alike, and there are always some interesting surprises.
As with all of our previous NANY events, this isn't a contest to see who can write the best program. It's mostly a celebration of creating something new. So, in that spirit, we don't really award prizes, but we will be sending out a special commemorative DonationCoder.com coffee mug featuring our cute bird/duck mascot Cody to all participating programmers. If you know a programmer who you think would get a kick out of participating, please let them know!
3. DC in the News
Life has it's ups and downs -- one day you are on top of the world and the next day you are in the gutter staring up at the stars.. This edition of the newsletter brings a mix of good and bad. We found out that Z. Ridling's review of archive tools on our site was mentioned in a serious book on compression algorithms, and my own Find and Run Robot program finally got noticed by a couple of the big software download sites. On the downside, long time DC member Joto is back in the hospital again, and we're asking people to send him another postcard, since that seemed to help him last time. And the discovery of a new micropayment site using a mascot that is too similar to ours for my tastes, has left me frustrated and ill at ease. Lastly, I put out the call for DC members in the area to join me for a New Years dinner.
- Zaine's review of Compression Tools is cited in an excellent book on Compression
- FARR featured on DOWNLOAD.COM
- FARR Featured on Cnet's Download Blog Today
- Join me for DC-IRLDD Champaign, IL - New Years
- Longtime DC Member JoTo is in hospital again -- address for sending postcards
- Are there any copyright/trademark lawyers on the forum? Issue with our mascot
4. Your Participation Requested
No matter what your level of computer knowledge, or how long you've been a DC member, we'd love your input! See the links below for some good places to jump in and make your first post.
Let me also point you to a revived thread on the forum about suggested changes to the DonationCoder.com approach to raising money. We haven't had a fundraiser in a few years and depend entirely on donations from users to keep this site running. With the worldwide economy in crisis, things are a little scary.. so we need to make sure that we continue to provide a service that people feel is worth supporting, and provide a mechanism that allows them to do so that they don't find alienating.
- Recommend some music videos to me!
- Gift-giving season cometh. What computer hardware/peripheral would you like?
- Your favorite quotes?
- In-car GPS?
- Recommendations for small, 4-port USB hub?
- Please help me build my new computer, DC!
5. Fun and Games
A bit of DC on the lighter side - humour, videos, and games.. Something for everyone.
- [Humour] Never ask for help on the Internet
- Auditorium - relaxing flash game combines lightflows, forcefields and music
- IncrediBots - for fans of Fantastic Contraption
- Cyan plans to release MystOnline as open source
- Sick of cute animal sites? Try this one...
- Flash Tower Defense Game of the Week: Viking Defense
- The Best Gaming Moments of 2008
6. News You Can Use
DC Member Ehtyar's weekly roundup of tech news has become a big hit on the forum. Always a good mix of security issues and mysteries of the universe.
7. The Weird Wide Web
If you come across something interesting while you're surfing the web, feel free to post a link to it on the forum. Here's a sample of such esoterica that others found interesting.
- Article: Open source thrives in downturn
- Email etiquette How to Decline Forwards/Junk?
- Recommendations for good sources of astronomy photographs, please?
- Free Hour: Donate a little of your time and skills to help other people
- Creative, awesome uses for Google
8. General Software Discussion
A lot of the discussions on the DC boards focus on categories of software. These are a great resource it you're looking for a software solution for a particular need. Here are some threads started on DC since the last newsletter:
- Help needed to alter partitions
- Education Management Software?
- How can I dual boot between Vista and XP?
- Repeated drive corruption
- What the? - the case of the undeletable file...
- A rant on religiousness about OSes
9. Specific Software Discussion
Often the threads started in the general software discussion wind up evolving into discussions of specific applications:
- New duplicate file finder... I am open to features suggestion
- DeviantArt or WinCustomize Wallpaper Rotator
- Blog Essay: AutoHotKey is NOT a Virus, Worm, or Trojan!
- New Resplendence freeware: WhoCrashed
- Microsoft Critical Internet Explorer Browser Patch Now Available - Dec 17, 2008
- Avira gets "Product of the Year" award from AV-Comparatives
- Free multiplatform mind mapping tool
10. Member Scripts and Coding Snacks
A lot of quality software is available at DC, all of it coded by DC members. Read below for some recent announcements about new applications or updates to applications. Pay special attention to our Coding Snacks section. Coding snacks are lite treats for the software aficionado. If there is some tool that you've been looking for, without success, you have nothing to lose by asking... Post a clear description of what you're looking for and one of Donationcoder's resident coding gurus might just take up the challenge.
- Automated folder maker
- How to capture drop-down menus?
- Kamel's little mIRC snippets
- Cursor Wormhole for multi-monitor setup
- Universal counter for documents
- Auto-Dim LCD Notebook screen to save electric
- FSubScript Feature Requests
11. Developer's Corner
There is something of interest for everyone on the Developer's Corner - don't be deceived by the name! It's more than just a forum for the discussion of software development, it's also a place in which entrepreneurial issues, how the current direction of hardware and software development will impact on end-users, how current DRM models affect developer and consumer alike, and much more are discussed.