writes: "I am a Windows user. I've tried a couple of distros of Linux, and a BSD or two, but they aren't what I need in an OS. Sometimes in my job and my personal 'life' I need something with a little more power than Windows can give me, and when that time comes, I use Cygwin and have been wholly satisfied and enamored with the product they put out. My question for all you Slashdotters out there is this: I would like to 'reward' the Cygwin people for giving me a great product that fits my needs, but aside from an 'attaboy' email, I don't see how I could compensate them, preferrably financially. I don't have any coding skills of significance, and am not inclined to learn, I'd just like a way to let them know that I like what they've done. In the non-free (as in beer) software world, I would buy their next release. Is there any way to financially help them along? Should I just mail them a check? Would that be insulting to OSS developers, as a general rule? How or would you slashdotters who work on GPL'd code like to be compensated for your time and effort?"
The GNU Project maintains the Cygwin documentation; they have a whole page of ways you can help their efforts to spread Free software, which includes sending money, but quite a few other things, too.
I like Alan Cox's system of CD donations, but I've not met any developers yet who would be offended by a donation in money, bug-fixes, hardware, or positive word of mouth. Does anyone have interesting suggestions for thanking Free software developers?