Newsletter for June 29th, 2009
Codename "Baby Cody is Born"
1. Newsletter Editorial - Part One
Greetings everyone. It's been over 30 days since the last newsletter went out -- with all this summer heat it seems that we've slipped back into the once-a-month newsletter habit. We will try hard to get back to releasing the newsletter twice a month so that we don't have such a hard time figuring out what items to leave out of each edition.
For this edition there are a bunch of fun things to tell you about. First of all, those of you familiar with the DonationCoder website will know that we have a little bird/duck mascot named Cody (designed by DC member and artist Nick Pearson), who can be seen all over the site. This month we commissioned another artist, who goes by the name of OneTrueTree and shows her work on the Etsy.com website, to create a "plushie" (teddy bear type doll) of Cody, and so was born.. Baby Cody! He is extremely cute (see pictures below) and fun to hold. Rather than keep him caged up in my house (especially in the Midwest where it's blisteringly hot) -- we're going to send him around the globe using a site that has been mentioned on DC in the past: ToyVoyagers.com. Basically, the creature has his own web page and people can volunteer to host him and take him along on their adventures before passing him along to the next host. Even we speak he is winging his way across the Atlantic to England to visit Nick (nudone). After that he may make a tour of England and then head off to the Orient. Wish him luck -- and if you want to host him for a visit, just make a post on that thread and get in line!
2. Newsletter Editorial - Part Two
Next up.. Monkeys. Back in February of 2008, longtime DC member Ampa (Rob Fisher) made a post on the forum asking for people who might be willing to play test a board game he had been working on. It was just a printable sheet of pieces and some brief instructions. Fast forward to June 2009.. and the game has actually been published, looks beautiful, and is a big hit(!) It's really exciting to see a project come to fruition like this, and I hope we will continue to share in these kinds of journeys. To celebrate the success of the game, Rob is going to let us give away a copy of the game to one lucky DC member -- so make sure you check out this month's giveaway and enter to win a copy.
Lastly, I'm thrilled to announce that DC member Hamradio (Carroll Dearstone) has finally completed what I consider to be one of the holy grails of plugins for my Find and Run Robot (FARR) application. If you've been waiting for an excuse to try FARR, this would be a good time to do it. His plugin, aptly titled "hamNotes", is basically a minimalistic note taking tool that uses FARR to perform note addition and most importantly instant search as you type. While there are a lot of really excellent and powerful note taking tools, many of us just want something really simple that is always available and that lets us *instantly* add new notes and find existing notes when we need them, with no muss or fuss. HamNotes fills this role perfectly. There are features for keyword tagging and you can edit, print, and delete notes, etc. Most important is how efficiently you can add and find notes, so that it becomes second nature and you don't get distracted in the process. The notes are stored in a clean xml plaintext file so you can easily import and export them to and from other programs. Great, great stuff. Please do consider sending hamradio some donationcredits if you find the plugin useful.
3. Your Participation Requested
We welcome everyone's participation on the forum, no matter what your level of computer knowledge, or how long you've been a DC member. If you're still waiting to make your first post, see the links below for some good places to jump in.
- Where did your DC user I.D come from?
- What's your favorite drink?
- Good TV series. What do you watch?
- Battery Backup - Get One?
4. DC Software Giveaways and Discounts this Month
We have some nice discounts and giveaways this month, as well as some good discount discoveries from around the web. This month we have arranged discounts on Surfulater and RecentX, and will be giving away copies of those programs as well as a copy of Ampa's board game "Monkey Dash." To enter this month's giveaway drawing or use the discounts (you must be a supporting member to do so), see the link below. The discounts will run until the end of the month.
5. Main DC Software Updates
There have been a number of minor updates to DC Software since the last newsletter, plus a few interesting tips and tricks from the forum.
- Mouser: Windows7 report for my Apps (Screenshot Cap., FARR, CHS, Process Tamer,URL Snooper,etc.
- Find and Run Robot v2.68 Released - lots of enhancements for plugins
- LaunchBar Commander v1.108 Released - tons of enhancements incl. plugin tools
- Screenshot Captor v2.57 Released - new tool plugin feature
- Desktop Coral v1.05 Released - reserve space on desktop; now with commandline options
- FARR Alias: Bing Search
- FARR Plugin: TinyEV (Everything integration)
- FARR Super Plugin: hamNotes
- LBC: Show us your LaunchBar Commander Screenshots
6. DC News and Amusements
The DC forum is a healthy mixture of the silly and the serious.. People ask for and give out computer help, share insights, and then other posts just let us all have a good laugh at something funny discovered on the web. This month there were a few posts that are probably only going to be of interest to people who hang out on the site for substantial periods of time.
- Baby Cody Plushie is born
- A small tweak to DC forum for Firefox & K-meleon users (enhances visited links)
- Members Only! A good way to randomly view DC
- Firefox Personas - Can we get a Donationcoder one?
7. Coding Snacks and DC Member Software Releases
The Coding Snacks Section is where people can request small utilities to be coded while they wait. Since the last newsletter we've had a *LOT* of new requests that have been filled -- several forum members are on fire lately!
- The Name Game
- Switch Filenames
- InEverything - Search inside files using the Everything search engine
- PEM: Portable Extension Manager v0.925
- Announcement: Pasty - pastes highlighted text into an external search engine
- Announce: SourceSnap - simple utility to snap up source or text
- Recreate files but without content to target drive
8. Member Mini-reviews
The mini-review section of the forum is where people can post short reviews of programs they have tried or use regularly. We only require that the reviewers not be associated in any way with the program or company being reviewed.
- Mini-review: Objconv (for coders)
- Mini-review: NoteZilla (for note-takers)
- Microsoft Security Essentials (Morro) Beta
9. Web Sites, Services, Debates, and Articles on the Web
What's new on the world wide web?
- FreewareWire - Nice small freeware review site plus some homemade utilities
- Google announces Google Wave
- ScreenCastle: One-click screencasting right from your browser
- Lovely Charts: Free Online Diagramming Software
- A Linux adventure: A Blog for linux newbies by a Linux Newbie...
- Search with Bing
- Another good MakeUseOf.com article: Stop USB Drives from running apps on insert
10. 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 to sections in the newsletter - general software and specific software discussions.
- What is your preferred source of registry tweaks?
- FreewareMission.com: 94 Great Freeware Programs For A Freeware Only PC
- Sticky Notes - Freeware Roundup
- Which simple tool to use to add watermarks to own images?
- Fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion
- Application List: Tools for a personal favourites start page?
- Linux Note taking Software Thread
- Note taking Software
- A personal list of the best available software
- Alternatives to PowerPoint for educational use
- Fully-free software for biz - the lists
- Screenshot tool with built-in OCR?
11. Specific Software Discussion
This section of the newsletter draws attention to some of the standout discussions about specific programs that have been started since the last newsletter.
- ABC CHM: Help in printing out a program's Help (CHM) file
- Total Commander: Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks
- Mozilla add-ons site now allows you to publish your Firefox add-on collections
- Is UAC as bad as I think it is?
- Is anyone currently using Panda Cloud Antivirus
- Windows 7 limited time upgrade discount starting June 26th
- XP Reinstall - some thoughts - be prepared
12. Fun, Games and Amusing Stories on the Web
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..
- StrongWebmail apparently hacked after issuing $10K challenge
- Book Review - The Geek Atlas: 128 Places Where Science and Technology Come Alive
- Ultimate Lock Picker Hacks Pentagon, Beats Corporate Security for Fun and Profit
- Bullion and Bandits: The Improbable Rise and Fall of E-Gold
- Flash Game of the Week: StarCom
- Literal Videos - Hilarious!
- Triumph of the Nerds - John Hodgman Roasts Obama
13. Developer's Corner
If you're not a developer, don't let the title of this section scare you away. There is probably 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!
- WP plugins: donating is not the solution
- Branding with DonationCoder name?
- PHP Speedy - great way to speed up your website (also wordpress plug-in)
- The State of the Homebrew Game Console Scene 2009
14. News You Can Use
DC Member Ehtyar produces wonderful weekly summaries of important tech/computer/security news articles that he comes across on the web. A big hit on the forum. We're still wondering how he keeps up the pace and if he's going to collapse from exhaustion?
- Federal Trade Commission (USA) to go after undisclosed kickbacks on blogs
- Tech News Weekly: Edition 22-09
- Tech News Weekly: Edition 23-09
- Tech News Weekly: Edition 24-09
- Tech News Weekly: Edition 25-09
- Tech News Weekly: Edition 26-09
15. The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009
Ok it's time once again to discuss how we might all improve our productivity, efficiency, and general organization. Paul Keith has jumped in on the forum with several long posts to get us started.
- Goal Refiners: What makes Rico Clusters better than Mindmapping
- Parking Lot Tool: Set up a PIM based on .TxT
- Study Finds Working At Work Improves Productivity
Thanks much to Darwin for helping me prepare this newsletter as usual.. And thanks to Carl Thorpe for returning to help us with arranging discounts! -mouser