Newsletter for September 8th, 2007
Codename "All Fall Down"
"If you read nothing else on our site, read our BLOG"
1. Greetings from the Editor
Hi all, it's DC member Darwin speaking to you, at the reins of the newsletter once again. Greetings and welcome to the Back to School edition of the Donationcoder newsletter. It's a breezy, sunny day here in lotus land as we head into fall and it's impossible to move around town - bumper to bumper traffic and every pedestrian crossing is crowded with pedestrians, all hefting big book bags. Yes, the leaders of tomorrow, our future software developers, and all of our hope for the future are back to school, at least in my region. Minds to mould... This is an exciting time for me because my oldest is off to kindergarten and my youngest is back to pre-school. Happy days - quiet mornings with a cup of coffee and Donationcoder!
The past couple of weeks have been productive in Codyland and I'd like to take the opportunity to welcome new members, highlight some interesting topics you may have missed and extemporize on life and the pursuit of happiness. For me, a lot of my own happiness is tied up in donationcoder. I joined in July of 2005 and am not quite sure why now - if memory serves I was drawn here by a mention somewhere of Find and Run Robot
, version 2 of which is about to be released as a beta. You can follow the discussion about the development of version 2 here
- it includes a few teasers about what might be introduced in version 3 (warning: the thread is 35 pages long)! This is one of the reasons that I believe mouser's software is so special - and this quality spills over into, and permeates, Donationcoder itself - it's user centred. Mouser is a developer, and now also the leader of a significant on-line community, who actually listens to his user base and responds to them. That personal touch really makes a difference and it shows, in his software and on the Donationcoder forums.
Donationcoder member tinjaw has setup a map on Frapr so that we can visualise where all of the Donationcoder membership is located. Check out his post about it here
and then head over to the map
and add your location. It's kind of nice to put a location to the face, er, avatar, er username... You get the idea. At the moment, our distribution appears to be limited to NA and Northern Europe, yet I know that there are active members from throughout Asia so let's see how many people Codyites we can get to add themselves to the map over the next two weeks!
Finally, if you're reading this newsletter through the Donationcoder forum but are not receiving it via e-mail, here's a discussion
on how to update your DC profile so that you receive e-mailings from us.2. Welcome to our newest members
The Donationcoder user base is growing, and growing, and growing. The small site that mouser started in March of 2005 has grown into a vibrant on-line community of 86,144 members, as of 7 AM PST, Sept. 7. That's an increase of 1765 members since the last newsletter went out. Thus, my original plan to greet each new member by name isn't practical, so I'll have to content myself with a blanket Welcome!
Please drop by the forum boards and join in! We are a very diverse group of people (and felines!) with equally diverse perspectives. This is one of the things that makes Donationcoder such a great place to hang out. Donationcoder is unique, too, in that discussions here very, very rarely break down into flame wars. Remember, the advice that Ms. McGillicutty gave you in grade five is TRUE: there's no such thing as a stupid question! Allow that old chestnut to liberate the poster within and join in with a comment, question or observation - you'll be very welcome! 3. September 2007 Discounts and giveaways
Supporting Members, you've got until September 15th to enter this month's Free Shareware Giveaway
. The Discounts
run until at least September 30.
This Month's Special Discounts and Giveaways
Discuss this month's discounts: here
.4. It only hurts when I laugh...
There's a lot to be said for the healthy benefits of a cheerful disposition and greeting the day with a smile. Of course, I'm not in a position to offer advice in this regard (see this thread
and this one
to illustrate what I mean - KenR even suggested
that the community pick a new nickname for me... Fortunately, we have many members who post in the forums, directing readers to interesting articles on the net about games, puzzles, jokes, even humorous videos. 5. General software discussion
It is safe to say that most people who drop by Donationcoder are crazy about software. This is reflected in the fact that the bulk of postings on the forum are made on the general software boards... Our members are constantly seeking out new solutions to old software problems and post about their findings on the boards. Of course, a great thing about Donationcoder is that it's a great place to START looking for solutions to software problems, or to keep up to date on the development of a favourite application or plug-in. Thus, many threads start as requests for help - because Donationcoders are always willing to leap into the fray with suggestions, most requests are answered quickly and in detail. If you have a question or a problem, start looking for a solution by using Wordzilla's new search feature
to see if your problem has been dealt with on the boards already and if it hasn't, start a new thread! Here's a sampling from the last couple of weeks (WARNING: highly addictive!):6. Recent software discoveries
Here are a few gems found by our members:7. Reviews
This doesn't *quite* qualify as a Donationcoder mini-review, but frequent contributor urlwolf has written a blog post about his experiences with a number of mp3 players and organisers
and posted a note
directing DC members to it. Check it out, it's a very interesting read.
Also, DonationCoder software gets a nice mention
in Scott Hanselman's 2007 Ultimate Power User Tools for Windows
.8. Writing on the web
Our members are active web surfers and love to swap tales about their travels and discoveries in cyberspace. These posts are a wonderful way to see parts of the internet and aspects of software and development that you might not otherwise have been aware of... During the past couple of weeks we've had some interesting posts regarding everything from the stimulating effects of various soft drinks to a link to a (really infuriating - read "I didn't get past the gate keeping question") logic puzzle.9. Official Announcements
Wordzilla announced his online thesaurus FreeThesaraus.net
to DC on May 07, 2007 and has been tweaking it ever since. Recently, he announced
that new features, including a spell checker and ajax dictionary (based on WordNet) have been implemented, and that the kernel was almost totally rewritten to further speed up searches. In addition, longtime DC resident illustration guru and Cody's companion nudone has created a number of new logos for use on the site. Check them out, they're absolutely beautiful, and don't forget to send some credits in the direction of Wordzilla and Nudone (for goodness sake, don't forget to mention how wonderful Cody is to have sat still for the drawings and how handsome he is - he's notoriously vain and jealous of the attention being diverted away from him!).10. Developer's Corner
There's a whole world beyond the end user (more like "before" the end user, but no matter), the world of software development. Many Donationcoder members and guests are software developers and they post about development issues as well. Software development needn't be mysterious, drop by the Developer's board and you might just find yourself working your way through assignments in one of the more than a dozen languages in the Self-Teaching Programming School
. Have fun! 11. Site of the month
One of my favourite rss feeds is from lifehack.org
, our site of the month for September 2007. They offer up advice and tips on how to make the best use of your time and how to accomplish things without spending a fortune. They are also are platform agnostic and always recommend interesting and helpful apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux users to try out. Content is upbeat, lively, and constantly changing. Check out their site and sign up for the RSS feed and start hacking yourself!