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Welcome to the March 2014 edition of the DaniWeb Digest

Spring has finally sprung, but Dani has not been in hibernation this winter. Far from it, as it's been another busy month for the DaniWeb Founder and CEO. First we need to congratulate Dani for listening to the community, as she always does, and bringing back the Newsletter Archive. This kind of got lost during the transition to our current, built in-house, platform. However, now it is back due to popular demand and you can simply visit the archive page where you will be able to read back issues and catch up with those fascinating insights into the DaniWeb community which are the Member of the Month profiles, for example. Unfortunately, technical issues with the platform upgrade meant that not all the old newsletter survived the process so the archive only stretches back to May 2012.

As well as tweaking the DaniWeb system, Dani has also been busy moving the business into new premises. Of course, Dani doesn't do things the straightforward and obvious way, she's far too innovation-minded for that. So, in true Dani style, she has instead taken the opportunity to start a new business called DaniPad. Carrying forward the community focus of DaniWeb itself, you can think of DaniPad as an always open co-working community for the New York tech scene; a conducive work environment as well as a comfortable place to relax, exchange ideas, meet up with others who work in your industry and professionally host your clients and business partners. DaniPad is designed to meet your needs for both work and play with a target audience of technologists, IT professionals and developers who telecommute and miss the social aspects of being in an office environment. It's also the new home of DaniWeb itself, and will host our DaniWeb community meet-ups.

Did You Know...

...The DaniWeb search feature uses Google search results, because they do a better job of matching what is returned with what the member is actually searching for than we could manage using our own in-house engine. The results you get when using the DaniWeb search feature should therefore be similar to those you would get if you were using Google to do a search with the 'inurl' modifier of site:www.daniweb.com prefixing your keyword string. If you haven't used our search feature before, then why not give it a try as it really is rather good these days. Say you wanted to find some posts by Community Administrator and Newsletter Editor happygeek, then you could just type 'happygeek' into the search box and you will get more than 500 results. At the top of the results page, however, you will see that there are tools to further drill down and refine the search hits by forum or article type. In the case of our example search, selecting an article type of 'News Story' reduces the results list by half and further refining by selecting the 'Hardware and Software' forum reduces the total to 140. Being more specific, and filtering the results to just the 'Windows Vista and Windows 7/8' sub-forum leaves you with only 5 articles to look at.

Member of the Month

The latest entrant to the DaniWeb Hall of Fame is ddanbe who has been a member of the DaniWeb community for five years now. His 93% post quality score and 14th place in the reputation charts (out of more than 1.1 million members) attest to his position as a respected elder member of our community. There's really only place you need to visit to see how ddanbe has earned this respect, and that's his regular hang-out of the C# forum where his post count is fast approaching 4,000. All of which makes it all the more surprising that he hasn't featured in our Virtual Hall of Fame until now

Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?

From Belgium. I am quite sedentary. After some wandering around in the vicinity, I now live back in the city where I was born, the beautiful historical city of Mechelen.

How old are you?

I’m 62 year old and planning to be around for a while.

What is your current occupation, ever done anything unusual in the past?

I’m retired. During my training (in the seventies) as a clinical chemist, we had to make a tour of the patients in a hospital to take some blood samples to analyze. On entering one particular room, the light was very dim. Upon approaching the bed I saw a woman with a skin all covered with scales! She looked like a snake or reptile! I felt some hesitation to touch her skin while I drew some blood from her. She did not say a word, but I still can see her wild, staring, angry eyes before me. Scary!

What is your favorite OS and why?

I have no real OS preference. Way back, I believe it was 1983; I was very impressed by a demo with the first Macintosh with icons. A word processor was demonstrated, meanwhile they pulled out a little calculator on the screen, did a calculation and pasted the result in the word document. Compared with a blinking cursor of a DOS machine in those days, that was quite impressive. Now I’m quite pleased with Windows 7, I use it because Visual Studio runs on it.

What first brought you to DaniWeb?

I stopped programming around 1995 and besides some VBA macros in Excel, I did not do much programming any more. I picked it up again around 2008 with learning C#. More as a hobby than for any professional need. Of course I had questions, typed it in Google and found DaniWeb and a friendly member with an answer!

What makes you stay here?

DaniWeb feels like a real community, almost like a family. I also like the open mindness of this site. I learned a lot here about C# and other things, and probably will learn a lot more in the future. At the same time, I like to help out other members with the things I know. It is very pleasing to know, that you can help someone to solve his or her problem.

What is your favorite forum and why?

That is the C# forum. This is personal I guess. I like the syntax and the possibilities of C# more than those of C, C++, Java, Python and VB.NET. Although these and other languages, have their merits also.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

Too many to mention I guess. Photography, eating, cooking, reading philosophical books. I love to study math. I like playing the guitar and piano, although I’m far from being a “maestro”. I build small electronic projects for fun. I love the sound of the birds on a beautiful morning, when I'm working in my small garden.

Name the best thing about DaniWeb overall, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?

The spirit of friendliness of most of the members. The wisdom and knowledge of the experts. I would abandon the chat option. If you want to chat with a member living in a different timezone, it is sometimes difficult to get in touch.

Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?

I rather like to solve a math equation, then watching sports on TV. For those who like to know: I live 10 km from Tomorrowland. I like to drink Calvados, to the extent that it is regrettable that you cannot drink it like water...

Moderator of the Month

As an added bonus this month we also have a Moderator of the Month profile, although more accurately it should be Admin of the Month but the alliteration isn't strong enough to use that title! We are talking about the 'Eternally Awesome' deceptikon who has been a member, moderator and administrator at DaniWeb for two years now, or has he? All will become clear as you read his profile! With a 91% post quality score, holding position number 7 (our of 1.1 million members) in the Skills and Endorsements chart as well as being the 37th most prolific contributor to DaniWeb, you can start to get a feel for why deceptikon is being featured this month. With nearly 3,000 posts spread across the C++ and C forums, let's find out what makes this mod tick shall we?

Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?

I currently live in Marietta, GA, USA. That also happens to be where I was raised; I'm one of the few remaining natives in my town. It's largely a matter of laziness. While I have no vested interest in staying where I am, even moving between apartments in the same town is a pain in the butt. I can only imagine the hassle of moving to another state or country.

How old are you?

Depending on when this runs, I could be 32 or 33. A fun fact is that I always win "guess your age" games at fairs and such because I look significantly younger than my actual age. Everyone guesses early 20s. It can be annoying presently, but I imagine I'll enjoy it when I'm a few decades older.

What is your current occupation, ever done anything unusual in the past?

I'm a software engineer according to my job title. However, I also manage software and hardware support for my company and do whatever else comes up. In a small consulting firm, one must wear many hats. However, that's a great thing because it gives me a broader skill set than if I were just another code monkey. I'm sure it's not unusual, but I almost didn't get into software development or computing in general as a career. I was once on track to be an automotive technician for Lexus. Management screwed me over such that I chose to leave the dealership and go back to managing a small auto shop (that I left for the dealership originally). During that interrim time I decided to follow my greater passion (computers) while planning out what to do when the cards in my hand changed. So the awesomeness of deceptikon almost never was; be thankful for clueless managers.

What is your favorite OS and why?

My home OS is Windows 8.1, and I rather like it. I'll probably get some hate for that, but it's a pleasant OS with plenty of promise for the next major version. I don't think it's a good business OS though, for that my preference is Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. As such, my work machine runs Windows 7 and a few server VMs.

What first brought you to DaniWeb?

I started with the forums at www.cprogramming.com in 2001 and moved to DaniWeb in 2005. The choice to move to DaniWeb was largely due to there being few C and C++ experts on DaniWeb at the time. I felt I had more to offer the growing forum than the already mature forum. Things are much better now, so I'm not as active as I once was though since I can leave it to awesome folks we have now and have no concerns that thread quality will decrease. That's certainly not to say that I have any plans of leaving or being largely inactive, of course.

What makes you stay here?

The friendships I've developed and promise of future friendships. Other forums felt less like a community, and I enjoy a place where I feel I belong and where I'm valued as more than just a guy who answers questions. That said, I do have something of a vested interest in DaniWeb now as I wrote a large portion of the current site (mostly back-end code) that we put into place in 2012. All of work that might go to waste if I didn't make efforts to keep DaniWeb going.

What is your favorite forum and why?

C, no contest. C is my favorite hobby language, and it's also the forum where I feel I can offer the most. It's quite unfortunate that it's no longer one of the most popular forums, but I can still get my fix in the C++ and C# forums.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

Anything that strikes my fancy. As far as non-IT hobbies, I'd probably pick rock climbing, nutrition science, and exercise science (working out and all of the theory behind it). Those have proven to be long term hobbies.

Name the best thing about DaniWeb overall, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?

The great people who make up our regulars. Without them, DaniWeb would be nothing. If I could change one thing, it would be eliminating all of the leeches that decrease our quality by trying to cheat on homework. But there's a difficult and fine line between encouraging activity and maintaining a high level of quality. Changing policies to promote quality at the point I would prefer would probably be the kiss of death by discouraging new members from posting questions in the first place. One thing that's in my power, but is on the back burner is a drafting system for posts and private messages. So you can work on a post without having to post it immediately or save it to a text file in a similar way that editorial drafts work. That can simplify things for those of us that like to take our time writing and editing something before pushing it out.

Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?

It's already out there if you know where to look, but for many years I went by another high profile name on DaniWeb (for various reasons that made sense but are a bit embarrassing for me now). For anyone reading this, your super easy homework is to figure out what that name was...

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