You knew it was coming....
We are going to have another Free Day on January 13th, 2011 starting at 9AM MST. Wait - you don't know what we're talking about? Oh, well take a bit of time and read up on the post and comments on the original announcement of Free Day 2010, the day of, and the recap. There's over 1,000 comments on those posts so don't dally too long...
Disclaimer: You can help to bring us to our knees again. One of the benefits from Free Day 2010 was the massive load test we threw at our servers. It was a very effective, self-inflicted denial of service attack that showed us where the problems were within our system. We’ve been spending the past 11 months upgrading our hardware by orders of magnitude and completely re-writing our website to squeeze out every efficiency available. Will Free Day 2011 bring our servers to their knees again? It most likely will, but Free Day 2011 will continue to push us to improve our systems for non-Free Days. In other words, please come join the party, we need your help to punish our server bank.
To refresh your memory, last year we gave away $100,000 based on a system of giving $100 (max) per household. The event was scheduled to last all day, but we reach $100K in an hour and 44 minutes. Had the website not crawled to a halt, it undoubtedly would've been even faster.
We learned a lot from last year and as much as we would like to keep Free Day simple and clever, we’re not going to. Here are the rules for Free Day 2011:
As with most of our ideas, they are rarely formed correctly from the beginning. We have to reserve the right to change things around in case we come up with better rules.
We heart Freenode. We kind of slammed their servers last year as the SparkFun IRC chat room exploded during Free Day 2010. We've donated a bit to them in hopes they'll continue to let us host our public chat room on their servers. You can always chime in and say 'hello' on the SparkFun IRC room on a normal day and hopefully during Free Day 2011.
So that's it. And oh ya, we will be in a tryptophan trance for the next few days, so please forgive us while our offices are on a skeleton staff until Monday, November 29th. If you have any additional questions about Free Day 2011, leave them in the comments here and we will do our best to answer them. We hope your Thanksgiving holiday (or end-of-week for the rest of the world) is a great one. Cheers!