Newsletter for November 6th, 2009
Codename "Bird Meets Frog"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings everyone and welcome to yet another edition of the DC newsletter. It's been 40 days since the last newsletter -- well off of our goal of getting a newsletter out at least once a month (preferably twice a month). So go make yourself a hot cup of tea and prepare to spend some time going through this edition, because it's big and full of some real gems.
Because of the large number of items in the newsletter this time, I'll try to keep the editorial short. I did want to mention a few things, though. First, long time members of the forum know about the big event on the site that gets the most attention each year: NANY (New Apps for the New Year). NANY is really a celebration of software and programming -- we ask all coders who hang out at the forum (new coders are welcome!) to release a brand new freeware/donationware program on January 1st. Actually, most of the activity happens in December as coders pledge to release something and we try to coordinate all of the participants. Keeping with the spirit of the site, there are no winners or prizes, but we do try to make sure every coder gets some exposure and a commemorative mug celebrating the event. It's great fun for new and old coders alike. We've just started the NANY 2010 section on the forum and I encourage you to stop by and get a good seat for the show.
Second, I wanted to mention a new and very cool website created by longtime DC member Chris Hanscom. It's called Plarker, a site where people can create maps of their favorite places and share them. The main thing I want to say is that we want to hear from more of you about projects that you are working on, computer-related or not. In a world in which corporations buy their way into people's consciousness with marketing dollars, we need to support the small and lesser known projects in which DC members and friends are engaged. Don't be shy to post about stuff that you are working on and to ask for feedback.
Third, in that spirit, I want to tell you about a new website that I just finished and am opening to the public. It's called "The Tree Form Machine" and is based on a desktop application that I wrote quite a while ago called "The Form letter Machine." The basic idea of the website is to make it possible for users to create interactive forms that people can use to prepare documents by simply marking checkboxes and mixing and matching paragraphs. I'm hoping that it will be useful for people who want to create easily-customizable legal documents, form letters, support replies, etc. The desktop program was pretty much a niche product and judging from the near unanimous yawns of disinterest in the website I expect nothing different from the website. But if it sounds like something you might be interested in, please please do drop by and see if you can create something interesting with it. Nothing would make me happier than to see someone create a cool form or two that actually has some value to someone.
Fourth, I just want to highlight a nice blog entry I stumbled across, written by someone who discovered the Coding Snacks section of our forum and wrote about his experience of requesting a custom program and having DC member Skwire code it for him. It brought a smile to my face.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.3. Official DonationCoder Stuff
I've been trying to make sure all of my software is updated for, and running well on, Windows 7; expect some more updates in November as well.4. Website Discoveries, Debates, and Discussions
What's new on the world wide web? What fun new sites have forum members discovered? What's the current hot topic and debate? Let's find out..5. Discounts and Giveaways
The winners of October's giveaway of the duplicate file manager DupeTrasher have just been announced on the forum. The discount will be available for a few more days, so act quickly if you want to take advantage of it.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 two sections in the newsletter - general software and specific software discussions.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.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..9. Coding Snacks
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! And there have been some really cool new tools developed.10. Other DC Member Software and Projects
We love to hear about what DC members are up to - projects related to software or otherwise. I guess the really big news in the last month or so has been that Eric Wong's CircleDock program has been revived by DC member Markham and a couple of other people on the forum, and is enjoying a well deserved and exciting rebirth. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's a very cool dock/launcher utility, that is one of the more popular software downloads on the website. Plus f0dder's very cool simple text self-encrypting executable notepad tool has been updated.11. Developer's Corner
If you're not a programmer, don't let the title of this section scare you away - there is probably something of interest to you here! 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. It's great to see that the section has been pretty active over the last month -- keep it up people!12. 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. They're a big hit on the forum - click one of the links below to see why.13. NANY (New Apps for the New Year) 2010
Every year on DonationCoder.com we host an event that gets everyone really excited: NANY. It's an event in which we encourage all of the programmers who hangout on the forum (new coders are welcome!) to release a small new freeware/donationware to the public on January 1st of the New Year. We try to give out special mugs to commemorate the event to all coders who participate, but it is not a contest and there are no "winners". It's just a celebration of software development. In the newsletters leading up to the event, you'll find a section here that highlights the latest developments. The real NANY activity will be in full swing come December. If you're a programmer, please do stop by the NANY 2010 section and pledge to participate.