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A Chance to Brag/Explain - What is DonationCoder and What Are You Doing Here?

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This is not the usual run-of-the-mill question I see on DC, so I will respond with more than the run-of-the-mill answer.

First off, following April (app103) is a tough call.  She really expresses the "feeling" I would try to convey, so I hope I won't be redundant.  I do have a thing or two I would let on about.  Hopefully, the meaning will come through.  

Sometime back I tried a pretty radical experiment on DC.  Some caught on to what I was up to, but most interpreted it in a way I that caused no little grief for themselves and me.  I really did shake the joint up pretty good and I would not do it again, but that is not the point.  The point is that after I made my amends I have not suffered one comment being "thrown back in my face" about that snafu.  No one has ridiculed or ostracized me; on the contrary, it is if I had never taken my misstep.  I feel as welcome today as I did the very first day I ever posted 3-1/2 years ago.

I am over fifty.  I have been messing with computers and the Internet since 1994(?).  I have been a whole bunch of places and participated on a lot of boards and there is no other forum I have come across that "feels" the way it does in Cody's Home.

There has never been a question I have asked that was not answered in a way I could grasp, albeit sometimes it took a few laps around the track.  Every suggestion I have made was given a fair shot even when some were not so bright.

An excellent resource for great software and outstanding coding education.  No one will babysit, but there is always a hand-up when it is needed.

Lastly, due to certain events that have happened in my life, I have come to know the existence of Yahweh (God) in a way that can never be shaken and many core members here know this is true about me.  This fact may seem anemic unless you understand that many, if not most of those core members are Atheist in their beliefs and one has stated to be a "Vehement Atheist."  I do not "preach" at them and they respect me as an intelligent human being.  There is a harmony, a peace which reigns over this camp and it is very sweet.  The truth is (hopefully not to their chagrin) I have learned to know more about Yahweh (God) and His true nature through them than I did going to church since I was a child.  I have invited many of my God-loving friends and acquaintances to come to this haven, but sadly their spiritual prejudice was great and I could not convince any to "taste and see it is good."

You asked, "What is DonationCoder and What Are You Doing Here?"  The short answer for "where," ironically, is "Heaven" if you count relationships with human beings to be the most prized possessions a person can have.  As far as the "what?"  Well, I am learning about a lot more than programming, growing into a lot more than a solid technician, maturing into a lot more than just a man and loving a lot more than I ever expected.

I never expected what I am today to be what I expected when I made my first post here some 667 posts ago and I can't wait to see what I will become by the time I have made 667 more!

I hope that answers your questions.

[Edit - Fromatting and diction corrections.]

I've been a heavy pc user since my first 2-floppy drive PC.  Self-taught in that I've never taken a class, and have educated myself by reading, doing, and relying on the public pc community for help (taught myself enough Assembler to write a little utility to send printer codes from a DOS command line).  Got my first questions answered on BIX (Byte magazine's BBS) and then Compuserve.  When these discussions moved to web pages, so did I, always on the lookout for smart people willing to share info.

Stumbled across DonationCoder a few years ago and realized instantly that this was the best tech community yet.  It's the only one I check every day.  I always get some kind of help - if the answer isn't here, I get pointers to other places to look.

For every question I've asked, I've read 100 answers to questions I haven't yet thought to ask (and now won't need to).  Plus another 100 questions I probably would have never thought to ask, whose answers I am delighted to have either in my head or still here when I come back to search.

I know what I've gotten from DC, and it makes me want to give back.  Once in a great while I can help answer someone else's question, which is almost as satisfying as getting mine answered.

And if all that wasn't enough, Skrommel is an active member.  That alone would make this forum one of the best. 

Bottom line: DC makes you smarter.

(oh yeah, I really hate writing stuff like this, but talking up DC is a way of "paying back".  I must have really felt strongly to start and actually finish this)

DonationCoder is a place where random thoughts and ideas not only get answered but get coded by a friendly community.

Software for specific and unique tasks and requirements are created and often.

A collection of software with ever surprising features are found in the long list of user created pages.

Everyone else has already posted some fantastic responses, and I agree with them all. So I won't gas on with my own story. But I do want to comment on what I find interesting about this place, and what people may not get immediately from the site title or description.

The thing is, DC may have started as a site for coders and software, and those things are still here with a big presence and very valuable - the idea of "coding snacks" alone is just brilliant. But just as important is that this is really one of the most knowledgeable and generous communities I've ever come across. I too have been using computers for decades, I've been on every major tech forum out there, from Ars Technica to Tom's Hardware and many more. None of them, no matter how good the *rest* of the content of the site (e.g. Ars Technica), have communities that combine smarts, broad knowledge, and friendly communications like this place does.

DC is now my first stop whenever I have a tech question, especially about what software to use. And I think it's that aspect - the collective knowledge of the community - that is the next generation of value for DC to really promote. We just need a platform to do it... :D

- Oshyan

First let me say how nice it is to read some of the kind words here.

One problem for you Cliff, in terms of coming up with a description of what good DC is for most people, may be that most of the people who are going to post to this are going to be the hardcore DC members, which may not be a very accurate picture of why more casual visitors find the site useful.

Let me just trying to throw out some random thoughts:

This may be pretty obvious to most of the regulars here, but i think it bears saying that DC satisfies some very different needs for very different people.  That's always been a real difficulty in explaining the site to people, and we have to make an effort not to try to be everything to all people.

However, I think one of the most special things about DC is that it has a real mixture of coders and non-coders, who enjoy interacting. I think the interactions on the site has made the software that comes out of DC better and more useful for everyone.  I think one of the things people who stumble on the site appreciate is that we all are engaged in a kind of compact to help each other out and have fun in the process.

I agree with what everyone has said about how wonderful it is to interact with the community/forum here -- for me it's the best thing about the site and the most unexpected.


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