This month's newsletter is brought to you by …
Hello, and welcome to the September DaniWeb Digest
This month we though we would cut to the chase and take a look at what exactly makes DaniWeb, well, DaniWeb. You could argue it is the collective knowledge base, gathered through more than a decade of people asking and experts answering questions on everything from code conundrums to ridding hardware of malware. There's a case to be made for it being the seemingly never-ending tweaks and additions put into both the interface that everyone sees, and the processes behind it that few do, by the Queen of DaniWeb who is also known as Dani herself. But, truth be told, it is neither of these things in isolation; what really makes DaniWeb is the community of users that populates it. Over the years we have interviewed all sorts of deserving members of this community, from well known moderators through to up-and-coming question answerers. This month we thought it would be interesting to answer the 'what makes the DaniWeb community so great?' question through the words of those members of the month. Specifically, we have gone through our archive of responses to the question 'what are your interests outside of DaniWeb?' and we hope you will find this instant community snapshot that results just as fascinating as we did when compiling it...
"I like to be challenged, I hate code that does not use the proper naming conventions and I cannot program in anything but a fully fledged IDE with syntax highlighting its so much easier and looks so much nicer and neater."
"I do a lot of reading, mostly mysteries. During the winter months my wife and I like to cross-country ski. We spend May through September at the cottage and go biking, canoeing, etc."
"I've gotten interested in where our student traditions and student songs come from, what they mean. Even reading stories of jokes students here pulled about seventy years ago, can keep me busy for a day, with a cold Duvel (one of the best Belgian beers) by my side."
"I am an avid PC gamer. Currently to be found on Starcraft 2, League of Legends and also the closed beta of Smite (my current personal favourite, which will be a good game once released)."
"I spend more then 15 hours daily doing programming and writing code so inside and outside of DaniWeb I love programming!"
"I sort of have the ability to translate between geek and normal. I have two brothers, one older and one younger. The younger one tends to delve deep into geekspeak and using very technical terms when trying to explain something computer-related. And my older brothers understanding of such matters are, let's say, limited. So, when they get together it's like having three blind men describing an elephant. That's where I come in."
"I am just a hard working individual that believes in self responsibility. I enjoy helping others that are focused on helping themselves. I have been there a few times, needing just a little help. I was very fortunate, having done well for myself, and now I like to give back."
"Back in the '80s I used to be a U.S.-class decathlete. I don't do that anymore..."
"I am a big fan of College (American) Football and I can't wait for this next season to start (Go Ducks!). I do weight training at the gym about 5-6 times a week, along with an interest in nutrition."
"I'm an avid cyclist, I absolutely love the sport! If you need me I shall normally be out cycling, whether it's raining or it's sunny. The fastest I've ever gone is probably 40 mph (64 kph) down a very steep hill..."
"Iâ€™ve had over 3,000 hours playing time in an MMORPG. Pretty geeky right. I flew my first aircraft aged 13 and shot my first weapon aged 13. Iâ€™m the youngest every entrepreneur to successfully have a pitch approved by CrowdCube."
"While studying I became obsessed with the gym and nutrition. I still continue this and when I am not coding or doing other techy/geeky things you will find me in the Gym and following a strict diet. At the moment, I have just finished a bulking phase and now I am leaning and shredding."
"I play keyboards, currently in a blues band. I like vintage stuff and am renovating a couple of old rotary organ speakers."
"I used to be a HUGE basketball player, but its hard to find a decent area to play here that does not cost an arm and leg in fees."
"Photography mainly, I plan to buy a digital SLR when I get a job! That being said, anything I find cool I try to do more and a lot of times it ends up being an ongoing interest."
"I really love to play futsal and basketball, as well as watching Anime and reading novels."
"I've got my own parachute!"
"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."
"Well I have a 9 year old daughter a wife with ME so a large portion of my time is spent taxiing, caring and doing general house type stuff like shopping."
"My favourite activity, when not programming, is skiing. Despite living in an area distinctly lacking in quality ski facilities I try to find my way to a mountain as often as possible."
"I enjoy tabletop gaming and trading card games. I also partake in certain cosplay events (although mostly as an event organiser). Over the last two years I've been helping out at PlayExpo which is held near Manchester."
"I practice photography, mostly with a digital reflex camera and about nature, because it is usually more patience than humans with me. As long term project, I would like to open a print service for fine arts."
"Outside of being a full blooded geek, I love playing electric guitar. In fact, I built my own tube amplifier and wound my own humbacker pick-up coil on my Les Paul."
"I play the piano and guitar and love to travel, especially to the mountains and to the big cities like New York."
"I love reading and so I try to read as much as I can."
"Being a contractor in the current market where there are new things coming out so fast it is very difficulty to keep up so over the last few years I have had to drop interests in order to devote more time to IT. I do enjoy IT though so itâ€™s not as bad as it sounds."
"I have always been a bit of a thrill seeker. I've been sky-diving and scuba diving. I also like paint ball and have drifted my truck. I have tattoos and, in the past, had piercings (though, they are removed now that I work in a professional environment)."
"I love the outdoors, but not just the outdoors, the extreme, harsh outdoors. Donâ€™t take me for a nice walk on a calm, sunny afternoon, I want to be at the top of that mountain, shrouded in cloud, -30 and not entirely sure if my wits are up to me actually surviving the night."
"I am fully submersed in the RC 1/8 scale Nitro Buggy sport when not repairing PCs/Laptops."
"When I'm taking breaks at work I'm either jumping into a quick ranked game of league of legends (I'm still such a noob) or playing an FPS on one of the consoles at work."
"Well, I'm not afraid to say I'm a game hacker. I like replacing the content in games, even as far as from writing my own story line for the game to improving the game's AI."
"I love cycling and frequently go running. We often go on holidays to Scotland to our cottage in the middle of nowhere, which is nice to get outdoors and away from everything."
Member of the Month
This month, in keeping with our community theme, it is the turn of DaniWeb administrator and 'Mr Community' himself, happygeek to get the member of the month interview treatment. Having joined our community some 9 years ago now, happygeek is already a well known name around the place; but how much do you actually know about him? Well the stats give us a clue, what with him being number 2 in the endorsements table with 231 recommendations, number 10 in the all time top posters count with more than 10,500 contributions and number 25 in the reputation league with 1,500 points. Beyond those numbers, though, there's someone whose contributions run deep: more than 1000 news stories posted, 85 product reviews and 10 tutorials for example. Rather impressively, despite the monumental post count, happygeek has managed to maintain a post quality score of 91%. Without further ado, it's time to probe a little deeper into what makes happygeek tick...
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I'm a South London lad, born and bred, but for the past 20 years I have been an honorary Yorkshireman. I first spent 16 years living and working from South Yorkshire, and then four years ago upped sticks and headed to West Yorkshire. I am currently based in Halifax, where I run my IT business out of an office in a 100 year old converted former wool mill.
How old are you?
I am 362 in dog years. Actually, let's try that again in cat years: I am 9. Yes, much better I think. Let's just say in human years I have headed north of 50...
What do you do?
The flippant answer is 'as little as possible' but while there is some truth in that, I rarely work of an afternoon if I can help it, it would be more accurate to say that I have run my own media and consultancy business for the past 25 years. Primarily, I write about IT and specifically IT security. As a freelance journalist I have been Contributing Editor at the biggest selling monthly IT publication in the UK, PC Pro Magazine, for more than 20 of those years and currently hold the title of 'Editorial Fellow' with Dennis Publishing here in the UK. Along the way I have contributed articles to The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Guardian, IT Pro, Cloud Pro, Alphr, ZDNet, Computer Weekly, PCW, PC Direct, Computer Shopper, .Net Magazine, Infosecurity, SC Magazine and, of course, DaniWeb. There have been more than 20 books published, the last of which was for the Science Museum in London and covered the psychology of online identity in a semi-autobiographical way. It's called 'Being Virtual' and is published by Wiley, available at a bargain bucket price from Amazon I would imagine. Along the way I have written and presented shows about IT for the BBC such as BBC 2's ground breaking 'The Net' way back in 1995 and the first ever live broadcast on Radio 1 which went out more years ago than I can recall on both radio and Internet simultaneously. I have been fortunate enough to have been rewarded by my peers for my work, including picking up the title of Technology Journalist of the Year and winning the Information Security Journalist of the Year award three times in total. In 2011 I was presented with the 'Enigma Award' by BT in honor of my lifetime contribution to IT security journalism.
Do you have an Operating System preference?
Twenty five years ago I would have had no hesitation in stating that my favorite OS was undoubtedly AmigaOS, being a big fan of the Amiga computer. Nowadays I wouldn't say that I am a 'fan' of any OS, but my day-to-day preference is for Windows in the office (currently using Windows 10 on my main laptop) and Chrome OS while out and about. I also rather like Android.
What first brought you to DaniWeb?
That would be a who rather than a what, in the lovely Dani herself when out of the blue she contacted me and asked if I would like to not only be part of the community here but work for her as well. A quick look around the emerging developer community that was DaniWeb nearly a decade ago now, and a few chats with Dani later and, well, the rest is history: I have been here ever since.
Why do you stay here?
That's an easy one to answer with two simple words: the people. Seriously, DaniWeb is more than the sum of its parts, it is an organic thing as far as I am concerned. I consider a number of DaniWeb members to be my friends, not just virtual names on the screen. When you are part of a real community, and community is the beating heart of DaniWeb, it is very hard to just up sticks and leave for whatever reason.
Where do you hang out most on DaniWeb?
As an administrator I am, quite literally, all over the place. That said, I guess I spend most of my personal time in the Geeks' Lounge or the closed forum where the mods hang out.
What do you like to do offline?
What is this 'offline' you speak of? I don't think, like many folk nowadays, I am ever truly offline. That doesn't mean I don't have things that give me great pleasure in life which are not Internet related. I enjoy reading (on my Kindle app) and creating art (using an app on my tablet) as well as going on long walks in the countryside while listening to music (streamed via Google Play on my smartphone). Erm, OK, most of my pleasures ARE Internet related after all...
Any interesting secrets about yourself you want to share?
Secrets? I don't really have any secrets as I am a very open person indeed. Things you may not know about me include the fact that I was an extra in the 1995 'Judge Dredd' movie which starred Sylvester Stallone, I have a heavily tattooed head and I am the father of eight children and grandfather of six...