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Newsletter for July 14th, 2010 - "Friends of a Feather"


Newsletter for July 14th, 2010"Friends of a Feather"

1. Newsletter Editorial

Well, we've arrived at another DC newsletter, where I provide a peek into some of the best and most interesting posts on our forum in the last 30 days or so.  If this is the first DC newsletter you've received, congratulations you lucky ducky -- your mission is to quickly scan it and see if there are any forum threads you want to stop by and read about or -- even better -- add your comments to.

I've been working on a new website project that is long overdue and should be revealed on DC in the next 30 days, so I haven't been updating my apps as much as I should be.  I hope to be back to that soon and to start working on some new big apps to reveal by the end of the year as part of the NANY event (New Apps for the New Year).  I *really* want to see some bigger applications released for NANY this year, so if you are a coder, please do come by and pledge to work on something.  I'm also looking for a few collaborators for some ideas I have so don't be shy about saying you want to code something but need some ideas(!)

Our feel-good forum thread of the month has to be the one about using a 7" usb touchscreen with the DC program CircleDock.  After a forum member posted a video showing the cool use of the device with the program, other forum members agreed to chip in and donate enough to pay for the two current maintainers of the software to get their own.  It was a great example of how a small donation can make a difference and bring a smile to someone's face.  A big thank you to all who have donated and continue to donate to support the website and the authors who live on it.  Your donations make this site possible.

And Lastly, I would be remiss not to acknowledge a couple of DC members for accomplishments in the last month.  DC member Jody Holmes (aka Skwire) became the recipient of a very generous donation from Chris Hanscom of, a valuable Microsoft VisualStudio/MSDN bundle, in recognition of his work over the last year or so writing Coding Snacks for people.  Now I happen to know that it would take a a nuclear explosion to keep skwire from the Coding Snacks section and so he doesn't need any encouragement to keep working on them, but it's nice to see all the people turn out to congratulate him.  And DC member mnemonic became the first person to complete all 10 assignments in the Self-teaching Programming School section for Python.  That's a pretty big accomplishment given that I really hit him with a couple of insane assignments at the end, which went well beyond what I normally assign.  It's great to see the Self-teaching Programming School continue to be a useful resource for coders to get motivation to learn, and I hope it's one area that we can improve going forward.

* Honoring DC member Skwire, a special gift from to DonationCoder - thank you!
* Congratulations to mnemonic for completing all stage 1 Python Programming School assignments
* 7 inch touchscreen for CircleDock

2. NANY 2011

Don't be shy about helping us kick off the NANY (New Apps for the New Year) process early.  If you're a coder, start thinking about some new program you can start working on.  Or stop by and look for ideas and collaborators and helpers.  If you're not a coder, why not volunteer to help out in other ways, or try to reach out to other coders you know on other sites and see if you can't work together to come up with a great idea for a NANY application.

* NANY 2011 Pledge: DCDisplay
* NANY 2011 PLEDGE: Deozone (Working Title)
* NANY 2011 Pledge: Search Packer (probably)
* NANY 2011 :: Calling All Volunteers and Entrants wanting a hand

3. User-to-User: Your Input 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.

* App Culture vs. Free Culture?
* All cloud applications should offer downloadable installs?
* How safe is it to run portable apps on public computers?
* Do user forums sometimes stop software from improving?
* Has anyone ever used their LCD television as their main monitor ?
* What the heck has happened to Google search?
* Should we add tags to forum?
* Show some of the thread content in a tooltip?
* What hotkey(s) do *you* use to trigger FARR?
* Idea: DC Cody Tshirts customized for an interest area?

4. Coding Snacks and Requests

One of the best areas of our forum is the Coding Snacks section, where people can request small custom free utilities that get written by volunteer coders.

* Coding Snack Request: Organize text
* Coding Snack Request: GUI Front End for MPQ screensaver creator
* Coding Snack Request: Return *new* lines from a text file (w/ example)
* Coding Snack: Monitor the size of files
* Coding Snack Request: Save the text of all visited webpages?
* Coding Snack: Rotate multi-page tiff files (faxes)

5. DC Stuff: Mini Reviews

New member-written stuff since the last newsletter:

* Quora - Facebook meets Yahoo Answers meets Wikipedia meets Twitter
* Mini-Review of JungleDisk and ZumoDrive
* Your Next Read - Book Discovery Search Engine (Warning Big Image)
* Mini-Review + Survey: GTD Over The Years - What Changed?

6. 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..

* Dating Sites for Geeks and Nerds?
* Microsoft lashes out at Googler for making Windows vulnerability public
* The internet: Everything you ever need to know
* FARK creator doesn't believe in the wisdom of crowds
* Dell knowingly shipped millions of defective computers?
* Kindle and iPad Books Take Longer to Read than Print [STUDY]
* More ammunition why patents are EVIL
* MyPlate webapp
* Elastic Lists - The Possible Future of Semantic Search
* Freeware World Team (great freeware site) becomes:

7. 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..

* The Silver Lining - a fan made sequel to King's Quest
* 20 years later, the movie "Total Recall" still kicks butt
* iPhone4 vs HTC via Xtranormal: Point Counter-point, Funny, Animated and NSFW
* Comcast wins "Worst Company In America" Award for 2010
* Diagnosis: Email Apnea?
* Slashdot Question: How to Recover Stolen Laptop if you Know Thief's IP Address?  
* Warmouse
* Rarely Addressed Risks by Productivity Systems

8. 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.

* Looking for a Decent Contacts Manager
* How to send fax through high-speed internet connection?
* Question about video codecs/containers and playback differences.
* Win 8 design documents leaked, plus Icaza comments on them
* Recommend collaboration software (over internet, offline or online)
* Partition Alignment increases performance?

9. 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-based Browser designed for Home Theater PCs - Kylo Browser
* SIGIL, free ePub editor
* Firefox Add-on: SiteDelta
* OpenOffice at the crossroads
* A cool Screen saver
* Synergy Plus
* Request: FARR Plugin for zotero, building off of gnotero for gnome
* FLua: FARR Plugins Using Lua
* Firefox 4.0 Beta 1

10. Announce Your Software or Service

Although I don't often highlight it in the newsletter, we do have a section of the DC forum where we are happy to have shareware authors post about their latest creations.  While we are always concerned about spam on the forum -- unlike many sites we welcome the participation of shareware authors on our forum, as long as they clearly identify themselves and their relation to the commercial software they are discussing.  This section let's them openly tell us about their stuff and get some feedback.

* Rainmeter 1.2 Full Release available
* WinSent - instant LAN messenger
* Total Commander 7.55 FINAL for Windows released!
* Buzz Folders - Open/Save Dialog Box Extender ( + Free Version )
* VevoCart - free eCommerce Solution
* Listary - search all lists in Windows
* Panopreter Plus - Text to speech and text to audio software

11. Developer's Corner

If you're not a programmer, don't let the title of this section scare you away - there is likely 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 recently.

* Graphic Design Theory Resources - web collection
* Code::Blocks 10.05 has been out...
* Style guidelines for how to structure help files?
* New add-on developer hub (beta)
* A software engineer might tell you that the fastest code is...
* In search of JavaScript book(s) for a novice ...
* Book: Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python
* Congratulations to mnemonic for completing all stage 1 assignments

Thanks for the newsletter! This time I was actually had enough free time that I was able to read it on the first day it came to my inbox, rather than a month or two later. :Thmbsup:

EDIT: It's also nice to see that the newsletter e-mail process has been sped up. So now it doesn't take two days after the newsletter is posted before it makes it to my inbox! :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:

Tony Dodd:
Thanks! Great info!


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