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April 2010 Newsletter

Welcome to April!

It's April! April just wouldn't feel like April if she had feathers and a beak. ::rimshot:: ::crickets::

So...who wants a free iPad? We're giving away TWO more this month to two of you! Who? Maybe you! Read on for details...

Email should be pretty.

If you're using an email client that was written at any point after the turn of the century there's a good chance you're viewing the HTML version of this newsletter - the first of its kind!

You should see pretty colors, fancy headers, the whole nine yards... Unless of course you're using Outlook 97 or 2010, both of which use Microsoft Word's rendering engine to deliver one of the most horrible, underpowered experiences in displaying stylized email that money can buy.

Honestly, it's pretty awful:

http://fixoutlook.org

If you're using a text-based email client or a less-abled client then you should be seeing the plain text version of this message, just like old times!

Look.
The year is 2010.
We've placed a man on the moon.
You can watch TV shows on your phone.
People know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo.
...and yet passions still run high about HTML email.

We hope this message hasn't offended your neck-bearded, 'change is bad', 'get your art outta my email' sensibilities too much. But yeah man, it's 2010. We're living in the future. Get over it already!

Message boards should be pretty.

DreamHost beautification extends to more than just email. After several years of the same ol' look, our discussion forums are all-new!

http://discussion.dreamhost.com/

Andrew F. transferred the contents of our ancient WWWThreads setup into a new MyBB forum, preserving all posts and user accounts in the process. Javier R. gave it a fresh coat of paint that will gently caress your eyeballs in a way that feels oh-so-right and not-at-all painful.

Libcloud and DreamHost VPS

If you're a fan of the DreamHost PS API then you're either a programmer or just a fan of interoperable software in general. Either way you're kind of a nerd... The good kind, though!

You might also be familiar with libcloud, a Python library that provides a unified interface to several cloud hosting providers.

We're proud to announce that our own Kyle M. has written a libcloud driver for DreamHost VPS servers, and as of a few days ago that driver is now included with libcloud.

Free yourself from the shackles of our attractive, empowering, and easy-to-use web panel. Manage your DreamHost VPS yourself in Python with libcloud!

http://incubator.apache.org/libcloud/

The latest stable version of libcloud predates this addition, so you'll need to grab the latest code from their code repository if you want to GET YOUR CLOUD ON.

http://incubator.apache.org/libcloud/devinfo.html

Easy One-Click WordPress themes!

Our Easy One-Click software installer has always provided an 'easy' mode and an 'advanced' mode for the more popular software packages that we offer.

https://panel.dreamhost.com/index.cgi?tree=goodies.installer

One of the big advantages of the 'easy' option is that we handle all installation, upgrades, and maintenance for you - automatically.

One of the big drawbacks, with WordPress in particular, is that your customization options of said software are somewhat limited. We need to keep your 'easy' installs in a relatively static state so that we can continue to manage and upgrade them as the need arises.

One of the biggest requests we've gotten has been to allow for the use of custom themes on 'easy' WordPress installations. Thanks to our developer, Beth C., that's now possible.

You can now edit the CSS for any of the 50 included themes in whatever manner you'd like. You can also replace any of the images in those themes with files that you upload. When we automatically upgrade WordPress for you in the future your changes will be retained.

If you're having trouble visualizing how this will work, Javier R. has made a handy-dandy video walkthrough!

http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Easy_Wordpress_Editing

DreamHost Apps, our FREE web application hosting service, also benefits from this change.

http://www.dreamhostapps.com/

Of course our 'advanced' One-Click WordPress installations aren't affected by this - we've always given you *full control* of those.

New Charity, New Changes!

For the last three months we've been soliciting donations for the Home for Women and Children of Shiprock, New Mexico:

http://www.homeforwomenandchildren.com/

Thirty two of our best customers (and I do mean best) combined their powers for good and we ended up with a total of $1193.60 in donations.

But wait - there's more! Instead of matching that amount we're going to QUADRUPLE it before sending off the cash. Starting this month, and going forever, we'll be amplifying your charitable contributions until the neighbors can hear it.

For every dollar that you pitch in we'll match it with three of our own!

$4774.40 is on its way to New Mexico, and our new charity target is...

http://www.marchofdimes.com/

The March of Dimes does everything it can to help babies thrive in those early nine months and throughout their infancy.

http://panel.dreamhost.com/?tree=home.charity

Remember, any donation you make goes right on your hosting bill and it's tax deductible!

DHSOTMs

I bent the rules this month. The "DreamHost Sites Of The Month" rules state that you need to have at least ten votes to be considered.

Very few entries ever reach that limit, and there's some great sites out there that aren't getting the exposure they deserve. So I'm lowering the '10 votes' requirement to five! Wanna fight about it?

As voted by you, this month's winners are...

The #1 winner in the CONTENT, ORIGINALITY, and OVERALL categories is:
I Ride the Harlem Line...
"Photographs, drawings, news, observations, and other craziness of a girl that commutes by train. Includes historical information and maps about the Harlem Line, and the things that were."

http://www.iridetheharlemline.com/

The #1 winner in the DESIGN category is:
JWR Guitar
"Professional guitar lessons customized to match your needs and interests."

http://www.jwrguitar.com/

The #1 winner in the STRUCTURE category is:
Medical & General Financial Solutions
"Brand new site for Belfast based financial company."

http://www.medicalandgeneral.com/

Congratulations to this month's winners!

Answer a survey - win an iPad!

The bad thing about these big newsletters is that they're very one-sided. Every month it's just a lot of DreamHost people going "blah blah de bladdy-blah." Usually.

This month, and over the next few months, we're asking for your help in giving us some feedback.

We'd like to get know you better, but frankly after a few drinks you start to get a little grabby. So we're taking the anonymous online survey route to ascertain your true intentions.

This month's survey is here:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3CFW9Z9

If you choose to provide your contact information at the end of the survey you'll be entered into a drawing to win one of two 16GB Wifi iPads (USA models) - and we'll ship it to you anywhere in the world you happen to be.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. We love you all.

See ya next month!

Your Pal,
Brett D!

P.S. Do newsletters with variable-width fonts enrage you?

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https://panel.dreamhost.com/id/?tab=contact