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Author Topic: A Chance to Brag/Explain - What is DonationCoder and What Are You Doing Here?  (Read 7790 times)

clif_notes

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Hi Everyone,

To those who don't know me, I'm Clif Sipe aka Clif Notes, owner/author of Freewarewiki.com and currently one of the Sr. Editors at Techie-Buzz.com. Hopefully some of you old-timers here still remember me though.

My task this week, (yes, I have a boss even online) is to write up a review of DonationCoder. Do you realize what a daunting task that is? Maybe you can help me out ... (please?)

I'd like you to reply back with your ideas on DC's purpose and it's features, as you see it, and maybe some details on why you keep coming back for more. Just keep in mind that I might quote some of what you say. I'll be sure to give credits to all sources.

Best wishes to you all,

Clif


Devoted to promoting freeware and free information
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 11:55:02 PM by clif_notes »

CleverCat

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This may say it all..

Me: "Mum I found a great new programme today - guess where?"

Mum: (who doesn't use a PC)  "Donation Coder!"

 :Thmbsup:

zridling

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Simply put, DonationCoder.com is a place where coders of all kind (programmers, developers, script masters, etc.) can meet in one place, receive input, critical feedback, be challenged in various coding contests, and even make a little money off their efforts. And then there are guys like me who like hanging out with these people and discussing all things software with them!

I'm here because nothing in tech is off limits. Whether it's operating systems, social networking issues, security topics, open source discussions, it's all on the table in a respectful way. That's a rare gem among forums these days.

sri

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I hang around here even though I am not a coder because I love to test and use productivity enhancing software like FARR.

The community here is level-headed, friendly and polite. The best thing about this place is that folks actually create software programs for you for free! You got an idea? Just post it here and usually it will be done.
<a href="http://www.sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

app103

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About this time 2 years ago I wrote a blog post, promoting NANY 2008, that summed up my thoughts and feelings about what this site is all about: http://cranialsoup.b...008-programming.html

My thoughts and feelings have not changed, except that I would have to add that there are a number of people here that I communicate with every day, and they have become more than mere friends...they are family to me.

And one of my most precious possessions came from this site: The very first dollar I ever earned as a coder. It's framed and hangs on my wall, above my desk, signed by mouser.  :-* That was a major milestone for me and a dream come true, and I don't think I would have reached it, had it not been for this site.

I am a woman of little means and I have struggled for just about everything that I have.

When I found this site I was on dialup. When I couldn't afford the money to buy a router so I could upgrade to DSL, it would have been a lot longer if I had to scratch and save till I could purchase one and order the DSL. A few members of this site chipped in and covered the cost so I wouldn't have to wait.

When my good computer died and I was stuck using a twelve year old slow hunk of junk, a few members chipped in and bought me a motherboard to try to get it running again.

When a cheap low quality web host completely trashed all of my websites with their stupidity, a member stepped forward and demanded that I allow him to host them on his dedicated server...for free. I offered to pay him at least the same amount I was paying for the cheap host, but he sent the money back to me and said he couldn't take it.

When he could no longer host my sites, mouser offered to host them on the DC member server...for free.

I don't know what I would do without this community and the caring people that it is made up of. I certainly would be a whole lot poorer without it, and I am not referring  to money or the things it can buy.

CodeTRUCKER

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This is not the usual run-of-the-mill question I see on DC, so I will respond with more than the run-of-the-mill answer.

First off, following April (app103) is a tough call.  She really expresses the "feeling" I would try to convey, so I hope I won't be redundant.  I do have a thing or two I would let on about.  Hopefully, the meaning will come through.  

Sometime back I tried a pretty radical experiment on DC.  Some caught on to what I was up to, but most interpreted it in a way I that caused no little grief for themselves and me.  I really did shake the joint up pretty good and I would not do it again, but that is not the point.  The point is that after I made my amends I have not suffered one comment being "thrown back in my face" about that snafu.  No one has ridiculed or ostracized me; on the contrary, it is if I had never taken my misstep.  I feel as welcome today as I did the very first day I ever posted 3-1/2 years ago.

I am over fifty.  I have been messing with computers and the Internet since 1994(?).  I have been a whole bunch of places and participated on a lot of boards and there is no other forum I have come across that "feels" the way it does in Cody's Home.

There has never been a question I have asked that was not answered in a way I could grasp, albeit sometimes it took a few laps around the track.  Every suggestion I have made was given a fair shot even when some were not so bright.

An excellent resource for great software and outstanding coding education.  No one will babysit, but there is always a hand-up when it is needed.

Lastly, due to certain events that have happened in my life, I have come to know the existence of Yahweh (God) in a way that can never be shaken and many core members here know this is true about me.  This fact may seem anemic unless you understand that many, if not most of those core members are Atheist in their beliefs and one has stated to be a "Vehement Atheist."  I do not "preach" at them and they respect me as an intelligent human being.  There is a harmony, a peace which reigns over this camp and it is very sweet.  The truth is (hopefully not to their chagrin) I have learned to know more about Yahweh (God) and His true nature through them than I did going to church since I was a child.  I have invited many of my God-loving friends and acquaintances to come to this haven, but sadly their spiritual prejudice was great and I could not convince any to "taste and see it is good."

You asked, "What is DonationCoder and What Are You Doing Here?"  The short answer for "where," ironically, is "Heaven" if you count relationships with human beings to be the most prized possessions a person can have.  As far as the "what?"  Well, I am learning about a lot more than programming, growing into a lot more than a solid technician, maturing into a lot more than just a man and loving a lot more than I ever expected.

I never expected what I am today to be what I expected when I made my first post here some 667 posts ago and I can't wait to see what I will become by the time I have made 667 more!

I hope that answers your questions.

[Edit - Fromatting and diction corrections.]
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 03:41:52 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

AndyM

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I've been a heavy pc user since my first 2-floppy drive PC.  Self-taught in that I've never taken a class, and have educated myself by reading, doing, and relying on the public pc community for help (taught myself enough Assembler to write a little utility to send printer codes from a DOS command line).  Got my first questions answered on BIX (Byte magazine's BBS) and then Compuserve.  When these discussions moved to web pages, so did I, always on the lookout for smart people willing to share info.

Stumbled across DonationCoder a few years ago and realized instantly that this was the best tech community yet.  It's the only one I check every day.  I always get some kind of help - if the answer isn't here, I get pointers to other places to look.

For every question I've asked, I've read 100 answers to questions I haven't yet thought to ask (and now won't need to).  Plus another 100 questions I probably would have never thought to ask, whose answers I am delighted to have either in my head or still here when I come back to search.

I know what I've gotten from DC, and it makes me want to give back.  Once in a great while I can help answer someone else's question, which is almost as satisfying as getting mine answered.

And if all that wasn't enough, Skrommel is an active member.  That alone would make this forum one of the best. 

Bottom line: DC makes you smarter.

(oh yeah, I really hate writing stuff like this, but talking up DC is a way of "paying back".  I must have really felt strongly to start and actually finish this)

rgdot

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DonationCoder is a place where random thoughts and ideas not only get answered but get coded by a friendly community.

Software for specific and unique tasks and requirements are created and often.

A collection of software with ever surprising features are found in the long list of user created pages.

JavaJones

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Everyone else has already posted some fantastic responses, and I agree with them all. So I won't gas on with my own story. But I do want to comment on what I find interesting about this place, and what people may not get immediately from the site title or description.

The thing is, DC may have started as a site for coders and software, and those things are still here with a big presence and very valuable - the idea of "coding snacks" alone is just brilliant. But just as important is that this is really one of the most knowledgeable and generous communities I've ever come across. I too have been using computers for decades, I've been on every major tech forum out there, from Ars Technica to Tom's Hardware and many more. None of them, no matter how good the *rest* of the content of the site (e.g. Ars Technica), have communities that combine smarts, broad knowledge, and friendly communications like this place does.

DC is now my first stop whenever I have a tech question, especially about what software to use. And I think it's that aspect - the collective knowledge of the community - that is the next generation of value for DC to really promote. We just need a platform to do it... :D

- Oshyan

mouser

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First let me say how nice it is to read some of the kind words here.

One problem for you Cliff, in terms of coming up with a description of what good DC is for most people, may be that most of the people who are going to post to this are going to be the hardcore DC members, which may not be a very accurate picture of why more casual visitors find the site useful.

Let me just trying to throw out some random thoughts:

This may be pretty obvious to most of the regulars here, but i think it bears saying that DC satisfies some very different needs for very different people.  That's always been a real difficulty in explaining the site to people, and we have to make an effort not to try to be everything to all people.

However, I think one of the most special things about DC is that it has a real mixture of coders and non-coders, who enjoy interacting. I think the interactions on the site has made the software that comes out of DC better and more useful for everyone.  I think one of the things people who stumble on the site appreciate is that we all are engaged in a kind of compact to help each other out and have fun in the process.

ps.
I agree with what everyone has said about how wonderful it is to interact with the community/forum here -- for me it's the best thing about the site and the most unexpected.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 01:06:11 PM by mouser »

housetier

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What matters most for me is the friendliness here. AFAIK donationcoder.com is the only tech-inclined online community that hasn't deteriorated into a troll cave after three years and I-don't-know-how-many members.

It just is pleasant to write posts.

mouser

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Maybe another thing that makes DC special is that while there are plenty of places to find really good software, plenty of places to find really good coders, and plenty of places to find very knowledgeable techies, maybe there aren't so many places where non-experts are welcomed so enthusiastically into the discussions and projects?

superboyac

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I want to mention an aspect of DC that often goes unnoticed, and is a great nod to what mouser has done here behind the scenes:

This forum is so easy to use and the experience is very pleasant.  The organization of the forum is clear and intuitive for navigation purposes.  Searching in here is the best, no other forum comes close.  It's so easy to find things.  I can't tell you how important that is.  There are other forums that have a lot of information and good people and content, but their forums are such a pain to navigate and search.  Like hydrogenaudio (foobar's forums) or musicplayer forums, etc.

The layout here is so easy to read and you can do so much with the posts.   You can edit them at any time, attach pictures easily.  It's all so nice and easy here.  This is so very important.  There is no other forum that does all of this so nicely.  If it were not for that, I would not participate here nearly as much, and I'm pretty sure that goes for a lot of other people.

The way this forum is structured makes it so easy for the user to just express what he wants to.  In other forums, there are a lot of obstacles, technically, that get in the way of true, natural, free expression.  After a while, you just give up and don't even want to participate.

And it's no accident, all of this.  Mouser and others here do a lot of work behind the scenes to tweak everything and get it to be this way.

CodeTRUCKER

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Maybe another thing that makes DC special is that while there are plenty of places to find really good software, plenty of places to find really good coders, and plenty of places to find very knowledgeable techies, maybe there aren't so many places where non-experts are welcomed so enthusiastically into the discussions and projects?

Bingo!

cranioscopical

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DC is, simultaneously, all of:

Civil
Committed
Creative
Diverse
Encouraging
Expert
Friendly
Fun
Patient
Responsive
Stimulating
Thoughtful
Tolerant
Unselfish

techidave

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speaking as someone who doesn't code, I feel right at home here.  I am responsible for 250 or so computers on our school network.  I find my friends on DC to be very knowledgeable, friendly, and more than willing to help.  You can also find an occasional post about something that doesn't even apply to technology.

now if you were to mention "Spinrite" you might just get f0dders attention.   :P  But he is gentle about giving it.  Oops.  I meant to say he will give you his thoughts but in no way does he get nasty about it.  very gentle.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 04:52:29 PM by techidave »

40hz

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What I find unique is the overwhelming sense of community you get here.

And while I could say I come here for the technical discussions; or to bounce ideas off some very bright and interesting people; or to ask a question; or possibly even answer one - the single biggest thing that draws me back is that sense of community.

So...

What am I doing here?

I'm enjoying the company of people I both like and respect.

I think that's called "hanging out with friends."  ;D



ljbirns

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I come here because I find the commentary interesting.  I learn something new almost every time.  If I have a question , no matter how dumb, someone answers without  making me feel like a dummy.  I  have picked up some very nice programs.
I've been a member since 2005.  I don't say ( posted probably  120 times ) much but I come every day to see what is new.

A great site with great people.

Lew
Lew

mzah8

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I come here because I find the commentary interesting.  I learn something new almost every time. [...]  I  have picked up some very nice programs.

Seconded. :)

I am one of the lurkers and do not come on DC that often (perhaps at least once a month), but when I do it's for the above reasons. Also, as mentioned, the DC community is amazing.

Good luck in writing up the review.

skwire

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I'm trying to build my retirement through Coding Snacks.   :P

Target

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Clif

the general consensus seems to be the sense of community and camaraderie, but you might also see the 'what other people are saying page for some further material...

DocSavage

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In the education field, there is a concept of "pull-up," where younger kids are quick to learn what the older kids around them know.
I am not a coder, but when I come to Donation Coder, I feel "pulled up," able to stretch my vision of software and what is possible.
I had an idea, a wish, if you will, for an app that would tell me when my overloaded XP machine was finally finished loading and able to work; Skrommel wrote it for me in about an hour. IdleRun.
Every time I peruse donationcoder I find a new jewel that also seems made just for me. LacunaLauncher allows me to break up and order Start-up items...on and on. Oh, and the only PC users who can do without FARR are those who don't yet know about it.
So I guess you could say that what I like about donationcoder is that it makes me smarter!
From believing in Santa to not believing in Santa, from being Santa to looking like Santa, I will never be younger than I am today!