Newsletter for January 28th, 2009
Codename "New Years Revolutions"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings and welcome to another edition of the newsletter.. This is the first real newsletter of the new year for us, and I hope it finds you well and in good spirits. If you are living on planet earth however, you might not be too thrilled with the fact that the entire civilized world is threatening to get sucked into a black hole of financial ruin. And on that cheerful note let's begin our review of the last few weeks on the website..
Since the last newsletter you'll notice that a ton of new programs have been made public from the NANY 2009 event. We also just now put up our famous (ok not really) "Best of the Web" yearly roundup. You'll also find scattered in the newsletter posts about several other year-end reviews from some of our favorite websites.
What else is new? DC received a wonderful award since the last newsletter: "Most Useful Forum of 2008" from Cybernet news, which is a great honor. And I got a real life visit from DC member and server admin Gothic and his wife Della and their dog, and we spent the visit playing board games; fellow DC members hadez, housetier, and urlwolf also met in at a very cool nerdy computer nightclub and it made me wonder why there aren't such things where I live. Pictures of both gatherings can be found below.2. Your Last NANY 2009 Update
I hope you aren't all getting sick of hearing about the NANY (New Apps for the New Year) event by now -- our celebration of programming where we encourage programmers of all skill levels to write a new free programs to be released on December 31st of each year. It's great to see the programs being mentioned all over the place on the internet and getting some attention. Most importantly, I want to thank Perry Mowbray who really organized everything about this year's event, and is more responsible than anyone for making it a success. He also arranged some pretty amazing surprise prizes for a few of the participants, in addition to the tons of mugs we've been sending out to everyone who took part. Hopefully we can cajole people into posting some pictures of themselves with the DC mugs they get.3. Best of the Web 2008
One of the many traditions at DC is our "Best of the Web" series, where at the end of each year we go back through 12 months of blog entries and try to pick out a selection of some of the best items and organize them for posterity and historical preservation. If you're not a daily reader of our forum or blog, or if you've been in a coma for the last 12 months, I hope you'll check out our new "Best of the Web 2008" and maybe you'll discover something that makes you happy. It's probably not entirely fair to say it represents the "best" of 2008 -- but think of it more as a brief tour of some of the stuff we thought was interesting throughout the year.4. Your Participation Requested
No matter what your level of computer knowledge, or how long you've been a DC member, we love to have you participate on the forum. See the links below for some good places to jump in and make your first post.
In today's newsletter I'm happy to report that the DC Member Map is back; it's so fun being able to see where on the globe different people on the forum come from. Over 600 people have placed their pins on the map so far and I hope you will too if you haven't yet. We had to take the map offline for a while since it was killing the server memory, but I finally got around to modifying the code to reduce the server load and it's back online now. So if you haven't placed your pin on the map yet, please do (and if you are paranoid about big brother finding you just place it where you wished you could go on vacation).5. General Software Discussion
It's probably fair to say that the majority of the discussions on DonationCoder.com are about computer software. Below are some noteworthy threads about general software issues posted to DC since the last newsletter:6. Specific Software Discussion
And some more noteworthy threads about specific programs, posted to DC since the last newsletter:7. DC Updates and Member Coding
In each newsletter we highlight some of the quality software coded by DC members that is available on Donationcoder and link to new mini reviews and rants posted on the forum. If you like this kind of thing make sure you check out our Coding Snacks section, where people post requests for small utilities and various coders (usually Skrommel!) notice the requests and whip up an implementation in a day or so.. Post a clear description of what you're looking for and one of Donationcoder's resident coding gurus might just take up the challenge. 8. Fun and Games
If you've read the newsletter up to this point, take a break and check out some of the lighter fare from the forum - humour, videos, and games..9. News You Can Use
DC Member Ehtyar has taken to producing wonderfully weekly summaries of important tech/computer/security news articles that he comes across on the web. A big hit on the forum. How is he able to keep up this pace and when will he collapse from exhaustion? We are all waiting to find out. And since having a newsletter section all to himself would inflate his ego I'm also adding some more general news items from the forum here.10. The Weird Wide Web
Here are some recent items from around the web that Donationcoder forum participants thought were noteworthy. As always, your input is encouraged, so if you come across something interesting while you're surfing the web, feel free to post a link to it on the forum.11. Developer's Corner
If you're not a developer, don't be put off by the title of this section. There is likely something of interest to you on the Developer's Corner. It's more than just a forum for the discussion of software development, it's also where we discuss web design, entrepreneurial struggles, and general productivity issues. And it's great to see that the section has been pretty active over the last few months -- keep it up people!