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BLURGH! The ThinkGeek Blog... Grok It!

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January 2009 Archives

Offended that our R/C Moon Phase Light lets you set it to display a waxing crescent when the moon is actually waning gibbous, hardware hacker Tim Farley gutted its electronics. After installing an open source Arduino microcontroller and a real-time clock, he loaded his moon with software that computes the actual lunar phase from the current time. Tim's moon now stays in sync with the one up in the sky.


Since our collective ego wasn't crushed quite enough for his satisfaction, Tim went on to code a utility that lets him plug his moon into his PC to set the clock, just in case the 17-year battery in the RTC wigs out. And he says he's "not even a competent hobbyist."

Tim's previous exploits include a stoplight that warns would-be visitors away from his office when his Mac detects that he's overloaded with work, an alarm clock that only goes off when someone's actually still in bed, and modifying one of our pong video game kits to use a bongo board as its controller.

Hacked our stuff? Let us know about it! Mention it in the comments and email us details to blog@thinkgeek.com. We'll pick our favorite and the winner will get a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate and the admiration of an infinite number of monkeys randomly soldering an infinite number of ICs onto an infinite number of experimentation boards.

It might startle you to learn that some people return their ThinkGeek goodies after the holidays.

We assume that some items just don't fit. Or maybe grandma got a lil' laser-pointer happy this year. The alternative is just unnatural.

And thus we are confronted with mountains of boxes in our smallish Fairfax, Virginia office, where our customer service monkeys sort and reship items back to our warehouse in New Jersey.

Every afternoon Mt. Boxmore is moved; each morning a new craggy peak appears. And our FedEx, UPS, and USPS delivery people are our friendly sherpa guides. (We <3 Chuck, Shirley, and Crazy Cross-Eyed Bob.)

mtboxmore1.jpg mtboxmore2.jpg
It's a new year, and it's time to make resolutions that we won't stick to. But in the spirit of the season, we conducted an informal poll around the office to find out what the geeks' resolutions are.

Check out some of the resolutions of the monkeys here at TG:

  • improve introversion skills
  • switch from Braaaaiinnnnsss to Diet Braaaaiinnnnsss
  • use Jedi skills for good instead of evil
  • grow a moustache
  • remember to wear pants to the office
  • plunder
  • give keynote at next macworld
  • cold fusion
  • void resolve() { sleep( 365 * 86400 ); resolve(); };
Now how's that for some serious goal-setting? We strive for excellence here at ThinkGeek World Headquarters, and it shows in our resolutions, dontcha think? So what are your resolutions? Tell us in the comments!