Calvin I can understand why you might be frustrated but let me try to expound a bit and explain exactly what happend - i think there may be some misunderstandings and things i didn't explain well.
We've been trying to run little contests and challenges since we started. Some are just completely random things, some are just funny, and a few have been programming contests. I don't think any of them have gone 100% smoothly. It's mostly just me trying to put these things together, round up prizes, etc. The Borland C++ Builder contest was postponed at least once. The accessibility game contest currently running has been postponed twice.. So my organizational skills might not be the best.. But they have all been done with integrity and fairness and transparency, and in an honorable fashion, and i stand by that.
When Chris let me know he had a copy of Visual Studio and wanted to talk about what to do with it he offered it to me, but i thought it would be really wonderful if we could find someone to give it to instead. But time was so limited, and we were concerned that MS would not like if we gave it away as prize in a programming contest.
So we decided put up a page and let people just submit their names to win.
But then we hit the first dilemna. When you put up a prize worth $10k, everyone enters. Whether they need it or not. This is a really specialized tool and it was just breaking my heart that someone would win it who would have no use for it at all. You may have noticed if you hang out around the forum and read what i write, that i am kind of obsessed with the idea of fairness and trying to make sure people get what they need, etc. So I came up with the idea of asking people to write in some comments about their background and how they would use the prize, to try to narrow down the people who would enter and who we would consider to win it. In the end chris and I made a list of who our top entrants were, based on the submissions, and chris selected the winner from the those lists. Certailny its not a perfect way to decide who should get it (i would have preferred a progamming contest), but better than just giving it out randomly.
There was never meant to be another copy given away. That was all we ever had planned, and I think we did it well enough and did it in as best and fair a way as we could. I never promissed Chris anything for the donation and never would, and he didn't ask for anything. I was happy to thank him publicly for it, nothing more, nothing less.
Chris then decided that he would like to give his second copy out to me/donationcoder or else to someone else on the list who entered before, or re-open the entry forms, etc. I thought very long and hard about it. I could really use it, but I thought maybe we should give it away to one of the other few deserving people who entered before. I didn't want to open up new entries again because we have new stuff we want to talk about and time was running so short that we didn't really have time to do it again (had to be given away by end of december). So in the end it was a toss up between me accepting it as chris originally intended, or giving it away to someone else who entered the first time. I t was a very tricky decision for me - but in the end i decided that i would accept it as a gift from chris. I posted about it because i thought in the spirit of full disclosure that it was important to do so.
I think it's important to just reiterate one thing: We never planned on giving away the 2nd copy and the contest only ever described the one copy we were giving away. The contest was always open to everyone and we gave away the one we intended to. I may have wrongly given the impression in my post that we specifically gave it to a DC member. In fact, i hope tinjaw won't feel offended, but while he was in my top 5 list of candidates, he wasn't my top recommended candidate - i had someone who had never been to the site or forum but who did some stuff on codeproject.com that i was impressed with. I did mention at the bottom of the post when i announced tinjaw as the winner that Veign decided to give away another copy - I shoudn't have done because it may have gotten people's hopes up that they might still win a bonus second copy. I apologize for that.
I would never do anything to risk the reputation of this site or the trust of the members; i encourage you to talk to anyone who has ever donated anything to this site for any of the contests, discounts, giveaways, etc. - i've never asked for anything in return, and the idea of taking payment or kickbacks for promoting stuff is a complete anathema to me. I have no interest in living that kind of life.
Maybe that helps explain things a little better. I can see why you might have had a bad reaction to it but i hope my explanation makes a little clear that this was a 2nd copy never intended to be given away, and that we ran the contest in a fair fashion, whose sole purpose was to give out an amazing prize to someone who we thought would use it most, nothing more, nothing less. I do think these discussions are almost always healthy so i encourage anyone who thinks i/we did things wrong to make their feelings known so we can correct ourselves when we don't do things the way we should..