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Mini Newsletter for Mar 24, 2020 - Coronavirus Lockdown

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Mini Newsletter for Mar 24, 2020
"Codename: Coronavirus Lockdown"




1. Newsletter Editorial

Greetings all.  As you know, the entire planet is currently dealing with a serious crisis -- a worldwide virus pandemic that is overloading hospitals and causing severe damage to entire economies.

I'm writing to you from Champaign, Illinois, in the United States, which has only just begun to see cases reported.  We are under a state-wide stay-at-home order, with more of the country expected to follow suit soon.  Many other countries are further along in the trajectory of infection and are struggling to figure out how to handle it.

I have been finding it hard lately to focused on being positive and productive.  I find myself feeling overloaded and anxious.  I don't know if any of you are having the same problem.

I do know that in times like these, there is some value in being able to share our thoughts, encourage each other, and maintain some sense of normality and community.

With that goal in mind, I thought I would send out a short newsletter sooner rather than later.

For the overwhelming majority of you, this email/newsletter will be of no interest to you, and you can safely stop reading now; we're not asking for any money, nor do we have any money to give out.

However, for any of you who have a little room in your life right now, who would benefit from some positive distraction, I'd like to invite you to make yourself at home on our forum and share a bit of your life with us.  We are a friendly bunch.

-jesse (mouser)
 Champaign, IL, USA
 
 
2. Mouser's Software Updates and Discussions

I've released a couple of very minor updates to my software since the last newsletter in January, plus a MAJOR alpha-version update to one of them, and a new small Android app.




3. Feel Good Favorites

I thought this would be a good occasion to highlight some of the longest running, feel good threads on our forum, and invite you to post in them.




4. Other recent threads on our forum

Just a few recent threads on our forum.



Share your tips and comforts for dealing with the stress and fear of a pandemic

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I know a lot of people are nervous and uncertain.. Fear of losing jobs, health, investments.

Let's have a happy thread where we can share reassuring tips, projects, and mental strategies to stay sane and calm in this crazy time.

No rumors or panic in this thread, just strategies for staying sane and coping with the stress.


Amazon Pay has decided to block donationcoder payments

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Amazon Pay, which we allow people to use to buy commercial licenses for our software from our commercial license page, has decided to block us and refuse to process payments to us.
They have said it is related to us looking like a charity, but won't elaborate or tell us what we could do to fix the problem.
So it goes.  :down:



Follow up:

Here's a reminder of what the world looks like if you are an individual trying to deal with (or are dependent on) a large corporation:

After amazon pay decided yesterday without warning to block payments to us, they have a form you can use to submit an appeal.  I explained why I thought they were mistaken and said I would be happy to make any changes and asked how they would like us to change or what we should do to be in compliance with their policies.  Here is the reply I got today:
"We reviewed your account and the information you provided, and we decided that you may no longer use Amazon Pay. We may not reply to further emails about this issue."

Ha.  Welcome to our future.  All decisions will be made by bots or humans acting like bots.  No need for explanations or conversation.


A Rogue Goose...for your Desktop....

I don't even care...I must have this!



HONK HONK, HEAR YE. I have created a goose for your desktop.

He'll nab your mouse, track mud on your screen...  leave you a message, deliver you memes?

Play video games with a desktop buddy who will attack you if you poke him.

Fill out spreadsheets while your screen fills up with instances of Goose Notepad.

http://samperson.itch.io/desktop-goose


Long article on Microsoft's abandoned Trident (Internet Explorer) web engine

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Long article talking about the history of Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser engine.. It's internal design and why it was eventually abandoned in favor of Google's chrome engine.

Starting now, Microsoft will roll out their new Chromium-based Edge browser to their millions of Windows 10 users. And this will also mark the end of an era. The era of the Trident-Engine.

https://schepp.dev/p...he-trident-era-ends/


NANY 2020 Wrap-up

Since 2007 we have held an annual event that we call NANY (New Apps for the New Year), where we ask the coders who hang out on DonationCoder to create some new piece of free software and share it with the world on January 1st of the new year.

NANY is one of the most fun things we do on this site, and it's one of the few times we can all play together.  There are no winners or losers, it's simply a celebration of programming and creating new software and sharing it with the world.  You can target any operating system (desktop or mobile) or even make a web-based tool.  It can be a game, utility, large application, whatever.  DC takes makes no claim on your software, it's just an event to encourage you to share a creation with others.  Best of all, everyone who participates gets a free commemorative coffee mug.

Thank you everyone who participated for a wonderful event!!! We had some really interesting entries this year.  Some of the entries are polished professional caliber apps, and many are just hobby creations not quite ready for public use.  Read on for the full list..



Mousers Media Browser v2 by mouser
There are lots of utilities for browsing collections of images/photos.  Mouser's Media Browser is one such tool, but one with a very unique and cool feature.  In addition to browsing the recursive contents of directories, MMB scans your files and creates a virtual date hierarchy, organized by year, date, and optionally day of the month.  This lets you scan a huge collection of photos and easily explore them by date.  MMB is very flexible in how the images are displayed, and comes with some very easy to use filters based on filename patterns and file ages.  Watch the video for a look at how it works..
NANY_mmb.png
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/eOkTmL8aSAg



DiscussionList (Android App) by mouser
DiscussionList is an android app that allows you to manage and contemplate a large collection of questions to inspire meaningful discussions.  I use it with my wife when we go on walks, to spur conversation and have meaningful discussions.  It comes with a large collection of questions, but you can add your own and download additional sets.  View questions in a distraction-free interface or widget.  Watch the video for a look at how it works..
NANY_dlist.png
Youtube video: https://youtu.be/QmCkyeEghnc


ISMONISM - search Start Menu (or any folder) for 'missing' entries by Winkie
This is a super-clever little utility, which can scan a set of user-configurable folders, looking for executables that do not have an entry in your Windows Start Menu.  It has features to search the web for discovered executables, or even create new shortcuts to them in your own Start Menu sub-folder.  This utility can be extremely useful for creating start menu entries for portable files, for discovering orphaned programs left after an uninstall, or just exploring and discovering unexpected executables that are part of some installation.  Very very cool.
NANY_isonism.png


Systemus by BGM
The author, BGM, describes Systemus as follows: "I wrote this program because I often have to set up computers for other people, or I have to do maintenance or fixes.  It seems I always end up using a whole bunch of programs to do things - a folder full of tools, and I can't remember or find the ones I want, sometimes.  With Systemus, I have a single program that I can use as a launcher.  It also tells me the most basic system information that I want, such as ipaddress and mac address, Windows version and what model of computer I'm working on."
NANY_Systemus.png


Filtration: A Task Manager by camerb
A program which can be used to monitor processes and tasks to see what might be bogging down your system, with some clever filtering abilities. Breaks down the HDD/SSD utilization into four categories: Read/Write, and Operation Count as well as an amount of data Tranferred (Transfer Count). This can help you get a quick understanding of whether or not the pesky culprit process is making lots of little read/write operations, or if the culprit is making one or two large transfers that involve large files.
NANY_filtration-task-mgr-screenshot.png


KeepWatch system monitor by mat2016
KeepWatch displays standard statistics: CPU Busy %, CPU Processes, RAM, Swap Memory, Fixed and Removable Drives, Disk Read/Write. It can be set to monitor your local weather. It also monitors every drive in your system for file read/write/delete activity. If it detects a large number of file changes per minute, it will display a message and optionally send users an email or a text message. If the user is going to be away for a while, they can set the program to Away mode and in additional to sending an email it will shutdown the computer.
NANY_keepwatch.png


1 Key Browsing by mat2016
Allows many common Firefox and Chrome browser functions to be performed with only single letter commands.
NANY_1keybrowse.png


Mass JSON Editor by wraith808
This is a revamp of a NANY 2020 entry, Mass JSON Viewer.  In addition to browsing a directory and loading/validating JSON files that exist there, this one allows you to actually edit the JSON files, and save them as a new file or to the same file.
NANY_MassJSONEditor.png


sDictionary by skwire
Minimalist desktop dictionary lookup app that retrieves definitions from Merriam-Webster online disctionary.
NANY_sdict.png


Ducky (A Simple Dock) by SwanKnight
A simple desktop dock. Drag and drop any executable or shortcut on the main window and it will be added as a button which you can use to launch it later.
NANY_ducky.png


Random Sounds App by publicdomain
Simple desktop application created to play random sounds at an interval (which can even be randomized!) from a specified directory.
NANY_RandomSoundsApp_v0-2-0.png


IrfanView Panorama (IVP) by lanux128
A front end for the image viewer IrfanView's 'Create Panorama image' feature to allow the user to add, sort or remove the image files that the user wants to stitch together before invoking the feature.
NANY_IrfanViewPanorama.png


Xaya Name Utility by Renegade
Facilitates transferring and registering Xaya Names in a Xaya wallet in bulk, removing much of the tedium of the process.
NANY_xaya.png


Portable Application Updater by hamradio
A utility that let's you check for updates to portable software, so that you can invoke update checks and have the new versions downloaded and installed.
NANY_portableupdate.png


Solar Date Calculator by dmytron
Simple proof-of-concept utility that reports the number of days between two dates, as experienced on different planets.
NANY_solardate.png


Simple Budget by relipse
This is a simple web app based upon Dr. Darryl Sturghill's idea of keeping track of a monthly budget using different categories, allotments, and amount spent.  It is a mobile first web application that allows a user to create expenses and add them to the Spent category, to allow the user to easily see what is Left Over at the end of the month, at which time the remainder can be carried over to the next month.
NANY_Ninject Budget.png


Polyglot Zobrist Key Generator by shinkarom
This is a web application with a singular purpose - to allow the user to encode a Zobrist hash from a FEN chess opening position.  This might be useful if writing a chess engine.
NANY_PolyglotZobrist.png


Chat LAN Client by KodeZwerg
A proof-of-concept desktop application that allows you to chat with others on your LAN.
NANY_chat.png


Apps You Forgot by anandcoral
Apps (Programs) You Forgot, shows you the program (exe) files which are in your program folder but are NOT in your start menu (similar to ISMONISM above). It also shows programs which you are not using for a long time i.e. you forgot about them
NANY_appsforgot.png


quick generator peek by Tuxman
Chrome extension. Some software, like certain HTML editors and weblog software like WordPress, adds an information to your site's source code that says which software was used to generate it. This Chrome extension will read this information and display it as a pop-up.


Unping all the links by Tuxman
Chrome extension that removes hyperlink trackers right from the HTML code.


birdcries by Tuxman
Web service. Replace twitter.com in any Twitter status link by birdcries.net to get a less shitty read-only view of the tweet which is faster and will respect your privacy.


scss-loop-template-processor by Ath
Commandline tool for developers using css preprocessor; Process a template with a set of numeric-postfixed constants to replace @for loops by @each loops intended as scss preprocessing, to reduce the number of generated css classes.


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