Super-sized Special Newsletter for April 2nd, 2018
"Celebrating 13 years with a Fundraiser"
1. Newsletter Editorial
Greetings all! It's been over a year since the last newsletter, and we've been super busy in that time -- so busy that this is going to be a super-sized newsletter, packed to the brim with news and links.
But first: I need to ask for your financial support and your non-financial encouragement. It's been 3 years since our last fundraiser, and 13 years since the start of DonationCoder.com. I hope we've earned your renewed support by continuing to release and update clean, quality software free of toolbars, ads, bundled software, or other unwanted junk, and by making our forum a friendly place where people can discuss technology issues and help one another.
This past year in particular we spent a *huge* amount of time completing a long-awaited major overhaul of our website along with a move to new hosting servers. These changes will help us do what we do better and more securely, and help us update our content more regularly. I hope you'll show us that you appreciate our hard work by making a donation during the fundraiser. In section 4 below you'll find a new long article by me on the changes to the site, as well as a request for your input about new ideas for the site.
Our goal this April is to raise at least $4,800 to pay for the next year of hosting. If we can raise substantially more we'll get a chance to pursue some exciting new projects -- like funding members on our forum to write regular columns about different areas of the tech landscape (software, hardware, open source, kickstarter, etc.).
The fundraiser is also our chance to say thanks to our supporters and newsletter subscribers, by organizing a massive software giveaway and month of discounts on popular 3rd party software (see section 3 below).
Lastly, if you haven't seen it already, don't miss the wrap-up of the new free software released as part of our NANY (New Apps for the New Year) 2018 event in January (see section 5 below) .
-Jesse (mouser)2. The April 2018 Fundraiser Begins
We need your support to help the DonationCoder website thrive. This year, our 13th year of operation, we're proud to announce a whole bunch of improvements to the site, and a major upgrade to our servers that will ensure we can keep on making and sharing our free software. Our hosting costs have gone up slightly, to $4,800 a year, and our goal is to raise at least that much during our April fundraiser. We'd love to be able to raise more and add even more features to the website. Will you put a few dollars towards letting us know you appreciate what we do, and letting us know what you'd like to see more of?3. Fundraiser Bonus - Software Giveaway and Discounts
As part of our fundraiser celebration, a couple of forum members (cranioscopical and wraith808) have rounded-up a whole bunch of companies willing to donate software for us to give away and provide discounts for our members. The discount codes are valid through our fundraising month of April 2018 only, and are available to everyone who is on our mailing list. The giveaway is open to everyone, but all prizes will first go to people who have donated to our site. Deadline for entry to the giveaway drawing is April 9th. We may update the list of software as the fundraiser goes on, but current discounts and giveaways include: AtomicScribbler, Bvckup2, Beyond Compare, CintaNotes, TechSmith's Camtasia, DisplayFusion, DoogiePim, Help+Manual, HD Sentinel, JAlbum, Macrium Reflect, Softmaker, SmartEdit, RitLabs TheBat, Website Watcher, IDM's UltraEdit, VueMinder, ZeusEdit, The Journal 7, Zentimo, VMWare, Terragen, Write!, Writer's Cafe, ProWritingAid, Jutoh, and others.4. Major Site and Server Upgrades
It's been 5 years in the making -- a huge upgrade of the DonationCoder website and servers. We've completely redone our entire website, changed the way free license keys work, and even moved to a new hosting company with much more powerful servers.5. NANY 2018 - New Apps for the New Year
For the last 10+ years on the DonationCoder.com site we run a friendly event called "NANY" (New Apps for the New Year), where we invite forum visitors to help us celebrate the new year by releasing a new freeware program on the first day of the new year. We typically get a variety of entries -- some are genuinely useful tools designed to be shared widely, and some are programming exercises for new users. All participants receive a free deluxe DonationCoder NANY Mug, and we may have some additional prizes donated by members. The 2018 entries are in and we've posted a long wrap-up describing them. I've also linked to the 2017 entries from last year in case you missed them.6. 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.7. Mouser's Software Updates
I've uploaded some updates to many of my large applications since the last newsletter. As always, you can find the list of what's new both in the online help pages (linked from each program homepage) or in the forum thread about the application (also linked from each program homepage). I'm particularly excited about my codenames play-on-paper printable open source word game -- I hope more people get a chance to try it.8. Skwire Empire Software Updates and New Releases
DC member skwire is one of the more prolific coders of utilities on our site -- he roams the coding snack request section and pounces like a jaguar when he finds something that catches his eye. He's released a ton of updates to his software since the last newsletter, including some updates and a few brand new releases:9. Member Coding Projects
We love to keep up with projects that our members are working on, and hearing what our forum members think of software they use. If you're working on something interesting -- let us know!10. Member Mini-reviews
Here are some recent short reviews that members have posted on our forum.11. Website Discoveries, Debates, Essays, and 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.12. Fun, Humor, and Entertainment
Like everyone else, we love sharing amusing and funny things they find on the web.. We are no exception, though our tastes may be somewhat unusual.13. Software Discussions
Some noteworthy software discussions on the forum since the last newsletter.14. Mouser's Software Discussions
Here are some discussion threads about Mouser's software that might be of interest.15. Developer's Corner
This section highlights some discussions that might be relevant for not just coders and developers, but also people interested in entrepreneurial issues.