Newsletter for April 2, 2012
"Codename: Fundraiser Feather Duster"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings and welcome to yet another DonationCoder newsletter!
First things first: It's the 7th Anniversary of the site, and we are having a fundraiser. There is currently a big fun thermometer bar at the top of our site, starring Cody our bird/duck mascot, which you can use to track our progress to our modest fundraising goal. Our plan is to only run the fundraiser untill April 15, so if you want to join the effort you don't have much time.
If you like what we do, if you enjoy the newsletters, the forum discussions, or are a user of one of our software programs, I do hope you will take the time to make a donation to our site, of any amount. We rely on the voluntary contributions of people just like you to keep the site going and to help us improve it. If you are shy about making an online payment to the site using PayPal or one of the other payment providers we use, you can also send us a check, cash, diamonds, gold, cat slippers, oil paintings, or even candy from foreign lands.
And if you are a user of our software but you've never stopped by to check out our forum discussions, I hope you will decide that this is the perfect time to do so -- we are a very friendly bunch and we always love to have more people participate; or drop by our text chat channel (just click the CHAT button at the top of the forum) to waste some time talking nonsense with the regulars.
In addition to asking you, as an individual, to take the time to donate to the site, I want to try something slightly different for this year's fundraiser, and reach out to any commercial entities that may be reading this whether they are small or large business owners. The approach we have taken with our software is to make it free both for personal use, but also for home office or small office use, or for individual commercial use. We only require commercial licensing for companies that are deploying our software on many computers. If you think your large business would be interested in a site license for one of the programs on our site, please do check out the commercial site license information page on our site (see link below), which also includes information on hiring us for custom software development work.
Which brings me to the last item I want to discuss in the newsletter, a new project I have been working on for the last several months (tentatively called YUMPS). Over the years I have occasionally set up a custom website service that is user-content-driven, and have been frustrated with the lack of a core framework for such services. There are existing content-management systems but my experience is that even the best and most flexible of them are poorly suited to custom web services that don't look and act like a standard content management system, and there are some excellent low-level coding frameworks, which require a huge amount of delicate work required to add the infrastructure needed for a user driven site (user accounts, registration, groups, administration back-end, etc.). The idea of the project I am working on is to provide a mid-level core framework for programmers to use to create professional quality custom user-driven web services/sites. It's a large and ambitious project, and you can read much more about it by following the link below.
Now the reason I wanted to mention the YUMPS project in this month's fundraiser newsletter is because I'm very interested in finding some commercial funding for the project that would allow me to devote even more of my time to it this year. I'm hoping to be able to find a company or investor that would be interested in funding its development (perhaps leading to an Open Source release) -- perhaps in return for the side-by-side implementation of the specific features they are interested in for their projects. If you know of someone who would might be interested, please pass this along and have them contact me.
Thank you for your indulgence with this month's newsletter editorial, and please don't forget to at least stop by our site and consider supporting us with a small donation during our fundraiser!
- Donate to the fundraiser (or read more about it)
- Commercial Site Licenses and Custom Development
- Read about and discuss the YUMPS project
2. User-to-User: Your Input Requested
We love nothing more than having interesting discussions on our forum -- and we love when new people participate in the discussions. In each newsletter we try to highlight a few topics that we think might interest casual readers and that are good candidates for making your first post.
- I'm Going to Build a PC. Suggestions?
- Help me choose an online backup service
- In search of ... several diagnostic tools
- Cell phone for trip to China?
- Which Social Media Program do you use? (e.g. Tweetdeck)
- HTPC - Revisited - Input requested
- Good Multi-account (GMAIL included) email notifier?
- Mobile hotspots: your experiences (mine included)?
- Employers asking job seekers for Facebook passwords?
3. DonationCoder Software Updates
Below you will find some updates and discussion threads for some of the main DC applications. These updates also continue a new process for packaging the releases. In the past each program had a single zip-compatible installer. The new releases are now provided as two separate downloads, a standard installer and a portable zip file. This should eliminate any confusion with portable versions and eliminate some partial download difficulties. In addition you will find the files are now digitally signed, which should eliminate some annoying warnings about unknown downloads in some browsers. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.
4. Coding Snacks and DC Member Software Threads
We love to keep up with projects that our members are working on. This month quite a few of the projects from NANY 2012 are seeing some active development.
- sCheckbook A checkbook utility for kids
- Uninstall plugin for Qatapult
- Putty plugin for Qatapult
- Kyrathasoft 2x2 Sorter
- Add Bevel to a picture
- File2Folder; Win7, 64bit, Home Premium; run as admin to install
- Automatically compute sizes of tangram pieces
- Export table with template
- Turn IE proxy server on/off
- Find and Run Robot alias, wiki: BookOnAStick
- Find and Run Robot alias: Ixquick & Startpage Search
- Text Parsing and Output (Excel, DOC, RTF, Word Files)
We are always interested in hearing what our forum members think of software they use.
- Do Not Track Plus (Firefox add-on) - Restore your online privacy - Mini-Review
- FreeFileSync - automated backup - Mini-Review
- Quick Review: Collusion - Firefox "tracking" add-on
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 sections in the newsletter - general software and specific software discussions.
- FreewareGenius.com: The Best Free Compression / ZIP program
- Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money?
- In search of: Tool to show multiple (hard drive) temperatures in the system tray
- Why 24-bit/192kHz music files make no sense - and may be bad for you!
- uTorrent alternatives?
- Command line ftp client with specific features?
- Redacting PDF Scans?
- Automatically save all my web browsing activity?
- Multiple replaces?
- The start of the Start Button Menu things for Win8
- Best WYSIWYG HTML editor?
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.
- Anyone on DC do Actinic (UK)?
- BULK Rename Utility
- Windows 8 to offer nine versions for sale
- "Noel's Home Page" - noeld.com - interesting "beggarware" software
- Windows 8 reportedly set for October debut
- Windows 8 is just a Service/crapware pack for Windows 7
- Sansa Clip+ and Rockbox
- Microsoft Flight Simulator - Free!
- PerfectDisk Defragger - Free
8. Fun and Education: Website Discoveries, Debates, Discussions
What's new in cyberspace? What exciting new sites have been discovered by forum members? What's the current hot topic and debate? Read on to find out...
- Today is Your Last Chance to Remove your Search History from Google's New Policy
- The problem with online ads
- Are Creative Commons Licenses Even Enforceable?
- Security hole reported in RDP
- 800lb Paper Airplane?
- Cool Video: News report from 1981 about the Internet.
- Raspberry Pi launches Wednesday Feb 29 - and is an instant sell-out as predicted
- Shapeways: Customize and create 3D printed products
- Scroogle R.I.P.
- Why I Pirate - An Open Letter to Content Creators
- Is Google Now Evil? Ask the Engineer!
9. Developer's Corner
Some people mistakenly think that the DonationCoder forum is only for coders -- which couldn't be farther from the truth! Everyone is welcome and we discuss all manner of things, the overwhelming majority have nothing to do with coding. This section highlights some discussions that might be relevant for developers or the self-employed.
- Dealing with UAC in portable tools
- The tricky issue of structuring a database log table for your web service
- EasyGit - Sane syntax for git
- Suggestions for guides on all this DNS, CName, A Records stuff?
- Coding Government - (Ted.com video - very good)
- What are your experiences with payment providers?