Newsletter for July 27th, 2009
Codename "30 Days of Screencasts"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings, and welcome to another edition of the DonationCoder.com newsletter. As of this month we are sending out about 70,000 copies of each newsletter by email. Ok down to brass tacks: What's new on the DonationCoder.com website this month?
Firstly let me tell you about some updates to a few of my programs. Screenshot Captor, my popular screenshot grabbing tool, has received a major new set of features to provide scanner support. I hope people will find it useful -- if you do, let me know. And as usual my Find and Run Robot searching/launching tool has had a few minor updates -- the active community of FARR users and plugin writers on the site keeps me busy adding and tweaking features (either that or it's because every time I fix one thing I seem to break another). I also ended up getting tricked into completely re-writing BrowserTraySwitch, my program that switches between default browsers. In order to accommodate the new versions of Windows (Vista and Win7) I had to completely change the way it worked. Hopefully this will be good news to all ten people on planet Earth that use the program. Another one of my programs, LaunchBar Commander, has been getting a little more attention lately, and I started a thread where people can post screenshots of it in action; some fun surprises there -- everyone seems to configure it a little differently.
Secondly, we received word that DC member Carl Thorpe has agreed to help out in organizing discounts again for the site. That's a great thing because I'm bad at it and Carl is great at it. In section 2 of the newsletter there's a link to a thread where you can let Carl know which shareware programs and companies you'd like to see him pursue for discounts.
Thirdly, hard core DC members and stuffed animal aficionados will no doubt remember that I posted pictures of the very cute Baby Cody plushie we commissioned based on our site mascot. Well we've decided to send him around the world to visit people on the site who want to host him. DC member Carol Haynes convinced me to set up a mini forum section for him to document his travel adventures, and as a place where people can post requests for a visit from him. I think it's safe to say that I am not the only one jealous that he is getting to spend so much time traveling around the world. If you want him to stop by your house or dormitory, just make a post in his area and get on the list.
Next, let me mention here so you have it in your records, that DC site admin John Sennesael (Gothic) and I set up a backup forum on a separate web server, which can be activated if the main site ever goes down. You'll find a link to it below. If for any reason the main DC site goes down, that site should be up with the latest info about the problem.
Lastly, and falling into the "what have i gotten myself into" category, is this.. I have promissed to make 30 screencast demo videos in the month of August, highlighting various features of my programs. For you mathematicians, that's one video per day, minus 1 as a protest against the idea that months have different numbers of days in them. I'm also trying to encourage other coders on the site to make and post screencasts of their software, but I doubt any will be as stupid as me and try to do one per day. I hope you'll at least stop by and see if I manage to stick with it the entire month without succumbing to exhaustion. Wish me luck and help me spread the word please! They should serve as a good way to learn about the programs and various unusual features.
- August 2009: 30 Days of DonationCoder Screencasts
- Screenshot Captor v2.70.01 - Major update with new scanner features
- What programs would people like us to get discounts on?
- Baby Cody travel itinerary and request board (DonationCoder mascot bird plushie)
- Show us your LaunchBar Commander Screenshots
- DonationCoder Temporary Emergency Backup Forum URL - http://forum.dcmembers.com
2. 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.
- Kickstarter: Fund an indie project or start your own project and ask for funding - DC members invited to participate
- Show us a photo of your mutt or other creatures
- What programs would people like us to get discounts on?
3. Giveaways and Discounts ending this month - only a few days left
Because of the lateness of this newsletter, you have only a few more days to take advantage of July's discounts on Sufulater (website snippet manager) and RecentX (file finder and recent document manager).
- JULY 2009 Giveaway Winners Announced
- RecentX (33% discount)
- Surfulater (40% discount)
- Monkey Dash (Cool new DC member created boardgame!)
- Discount Codes here
4. DonationCoder Updates
There have been a number of updates to DC Software since the last newsletter:
- Screenshot Captor v2.70.01 - major update with new scanner features
- Find and Run Robot Updated to v2.75.01 - faster startup and bugfixes
- BrowserTraySwitch V2 released - totally rewritten for Vista/Win7/etc
5. Coding Snacks and DC Member Stuff
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! We've also got a few new member mini-reviews this month:
- HotkeyRing - One hotkey to rule all others (with plugin system)! AKA JustEnter
- MiniReview: Trout - A great audio player for audiobooks
- MiniReview: Program Whose Time Has Come: virtual folders, collections, file baskets...
- TPGoogleReader - Google Chrome Extension
- PlayTime - Shell extension to show total play time of media clips
6. 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.
- Blog Find: How to unblock blocked startup items in Vista
- An easy software to make street/road maps?
- Command line e-mail checker?
- Text-To-Speech Freeware?
- Structured outliner w/PPC support
- Episode comparison tool?
- Torrent Giant, The Pirate Bay sold, will go legal
7. 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.
- Firefox --3.5-- Extensions: Your favorite or most useful
- 2 Speed tips for FF from gHacks
- Google Chrome: Time for a Second Chance?
- TheBrain / Personal Brain
- BookTome the book organiser
- Office 2010 Technical Preview
8. Fun, Games and Amusements 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..
- Stunning 3D projections on buildings
- 1st Person Shooter Disease
- Post Your Funny Videos Here [NSFW]
- Cool hack: Make your own noise-reducing headphones
- Hannah Montana Linux -- about time!
- The Open Source Car
9. 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!
- RobotWar and the Army of Clones
- Mozilla gives add-on developers a tip jar
- Need suggestion for a SourceForge alternative
- Hidden Features Series
- wxFormBuilder for Python
- Hard to C -- a blog about programming
10. 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 when will he collapse from exhaustion?