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Free Day is TODAY!

Are you ready?

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Well the time is near - today at 9 AM Mountain Time, SparkFun is hosting the third edition of Free Day. This year we are giving away $200,000 worth of $100 credits to the SparkFun website. Show up here at 9 AM Mountain Time on January 11th, 2012 to try your hand at winning! Want to know more? Watch the video below:

Here's a little more information:

The Rules: The give away starts at 9AM MST and is limited to $100 per person. Each winner will get a gift code that can be used at SparkFun within 60 days.

Stipulations: In order to participate, you must register an account on sparkfun.com, and use a modern browser with JavaScript and cookies enabled. (Sorry, Lynx!)

The System: We're doing away with the quiz system of 2011 and trying to return to a give-away system that is as simple as possible, but can handle the load of the Free Day crowd. The system will randomly give away the 2,000 gift codes (2000 * $100 = $200,000) throughout the day. For example, if we set up a 7 hour giveaway window, we should see a gift given away about every 12 seconds. We will allow people to try for the prize as many times as they'd like, but we will have a basic system to prove you're not a script.

Free Day is always an intense and interesting time! We wish all of you the best of luck in getting your share of the prize!


Comments 269 comments

  • So do you have to be logged in tomorrow or is it just if you have an account? do you have to refresh too?

    • Member #127903 / about 11 years ago / 1

      I'm giving it to F5 but nothing happens!

    • Kuro Maii / about 11 years ago / 1

      OK this is a stupid question... here is a stupid answer: No you do not need to be logged in nor do you need an account. There did any body else not read or not watch the video? I feel like answering stupid questions with stupid answers. :p

      • Ragnorok / about 11 years ago / 2

        Not everyone watches 'net video, which runs at the speed of least common denominator. What passes for a FAQ doesn't bother to say. Be nice if it did. In this instance it's moot - I have an account so I logged in. (shrug)

      • jeffs3rd / about 11 years ago / 1

        Do you have to log in to watch the video eye roll

      • Member #234323 / about 11 years ago / 1

        What video? Can you provide a link ;) (rofl)

    • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 1

      probably logged in. I usually log in a couple hours early and it takes forever then too :)

  • zeroid / about 11 years ago / 10

    Does bombarding the Sparkfun office with radiation increase or decrease the rate at which prizes are given out? :)

  • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago * / 7

    Here ya go! A little bit o' fun in free day prep.

    Make your own!

    Photos

    Have fun!!!

  • robint91 / about 11 years ago * / 6

    I will be doing the #sparkfun irc channel stats. http://www.on8rth.be/sfestat or https://pachube.com/feeds/43697 I have setup a live pachube feed. You can find a +1H chart on the first page and a configurable on the second.

  • thechimerical / about 11 years ago / 4

    would be great, if the website ran as smoothly on Free Day as it runs in the video ;)

  • Robert Jacobs / about 11 years ago / 3

    Feeling sick and haven't slept much, but still trying to stay awake to smoke some servers! Greetings from the Netherlands!

    • Welcome! Thanks for joining us. Sorry to hear you're sick. We're got near white out snow here.

  • GooseSG / about 11 years ago / 3

    Make sure all trays are in the upright position and get ready for takeoff!!

  • Member #50165 / about 11 years ago / 3

    last call for bathroom break

  • Seb.26 / about 11 years ago / 3

    FBI Warning : Sparkfun server is about to be victim of a massive "deny of service" attack in 30 minutes !!!

  • Member #285182 / about 11 years ago / 3

    WAITING!

  • boba / about 11 years ago / 3

    If it's based on a Geiger counter, does that mean I've simultaneously won and lost?

    • Schrodinger's Contestant

  • NorthStreetLabs / about 11 years ago / 3

    Oh damn, Nate is on EEweb!

  • Is the credit automatically applied to your account or must you be aware of the code to enter?

    Sparkfun should consider sending all winners (maybe non-winners, come to think of it) a special SparkFun-branded [F5] key for replacement of their recently-worn-out [F5] key.

    • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 4

      http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxXXNxM

      <img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7163/6674513591_899274c59a.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="P2120018">

      • How did you get a picture in the comment??? Evil. And genius. Oh, and +1 for mac.

        • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 1

          HTML :) I used to have a thin keyboard before it broke. Looked a lot better :) But I had to revert back to the chunky monkey one when it did...

          • tetsujin / about 11 years ago / 1

            HTML

            Could you be more specific? I've had no luck getting it to work.

            • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 1

              I'm not exactly sure. I just used a plain img src tag (which didnt work), but somehow re-editing the comment multiple times worked. Hm...

            • We had a bug. It's fixed now.

              • MostThingsWeb / about 11 years ago / 1

                Sounds like XSS territory to me... enables NotScripts

    • You will need to write down the code when it is shown to you. The codes won't be applied to your account.

      • I can see a market for these codes on Ebay... :-D

        • Hmm, good point. They're bound to the customer account now.

          • wassabi / about 11 years ago / 1

            Rats, there goes my plans to send my friends at sparkfun, then have them give me their codes... like last year :D

        • WizenedEE / about 11 years ago / 2

          $100 sparkfun gift card! Only $105!

          • I was wondering how much people would pay for $100?!?

            • Joepeman / about 11 years ago * / 1

              Look at it as transferring your gift card into money and you have your market, e.g. $100 for only $80 ;)

      • RichardK_Solar / about 11 years ago / 1

        Does that mean that a person could win, and accidentaly loose the prize if he doesn´t write down the code, or if it gets shown for 0,5sec between F5 strokes?

        Isn´t there a way for sparkfun´s .."system" ..to "remember" if the guy won, s ohe can at least take note of his code at a later time?

        • Erik-Sparkfun / about 11 years ago / 2

          No, you won't accidentally lose it. Once you've won, you'll find your promo code on the page where you'd normally enter the captcha.

        • TeslaFan / about 11 years ago / 1

          You have to... enter a... captcha for each attempt. That will slow you down enough to write it down.

          • RichardK_Solar / about 11 years ago / 1

            makes sense... sorry, i posted before giving it a better thought.

  • Bunk / about 11 years ago / 3

    Can iPads be used?

    • ben___ / about 11 years ago / 3

      Yep, almost any device with a modern browser should be fine.

  • cooldude42 / about 11 years ago / 2

    got mine!!! =]

  • xieliwei / about 11 years ago / 2

    Good luck people! May Curie be with you! =)

  • r00t4rd3d / about 11 years ago / 2

    Answering the captcha is going to be the hardest part. I hate those things.

  • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 2

    I sit here With my bowl of fruit loops and chocolate milk and watch the clock...

  • JuggaloMemnoch / about 11 years ago / 2

    Good luck everybody!!

  • frag1k / about 11 years ago / 2

    ready from Ukraine!

  • TheFeaR / about 11 years ago / 2

    Russia waits =)

  • ricard0g0mes / about 11 years ago / 2

    1h to start :D

  • ColoradoLightning / about 11 years ago / 2

    I am not supposed to use the computers at work for anything but work. I hope I don't lose my job because of Free Day!

  • sinnsyk / about 11 years ago / 2

    Oke, why don't we make it easier for all of us and just give ME the $ 200.000 in sparkfun goodies. Or at least one of those fancy gift codes just a few minutes before hell breaks loose.

  • lungdart / about 11 years ago / 2

    AAAHHHH hurry up!

  • Stefan Thoolen / about 11 years ago / 2

    The captcha, is it hosted on a sparkfun server or an external server? Aren't we DDOSing the external service in that case? :)

    • Yea, I think Captchas are external, but the SparkFun severs still have to send images and the rest of the page.

  • ricard0g0mes / about 11 years ago / 2

    I'm already waiting here in Portugal! :D

  • Colecago / about 11 years ago / 2

    I took off of work tomorrow for this 0_0

  • Nandox7 / about 11 years ago / 2

    :( Bad that we can't use IE browsers...

  • GearJammer / about 11 years ago / 2

    You guys should put a HUGE spotlight on the roof and everytime a gift code is given away it blasts a laser beam to space. That way we can see how well its going from afar...

    • sgrace / about 11 years ago / 4

      Why not shoot a massive laser at the Moon? That way, when the final code is given away, the Moon will have cracked in half.

    • We'll get right on that.

  • Member #235939 / about 11 years ago * / 2

    wow...i thought i missed it already but its the 10th, LOL

  • Member #283144 / about 11 years ago / 2

    how to get to freeday interface?

  • Longwall / about 11 years ago / 2

    Looking forward to 'Free Day', thanks Sparkfun folks.

    (As for a clock on the website ..... come on people, you're makers, breadboard your own!)

  • Matthew Wilkes / about 11 years ago / 2

    We have to solve CAPTCHAs constantly? Oh dear, this is sure to keep the load down, these things are impossible to begin with.

    • But just think of the number of books that will be digitized tomorrow just by Sparkfun customers!

    • FOB / about 11 years ago / 1

      The CAPTCHAs have certainly gotten tougher it seems - every time I want to email a NYTimes article it takes a try or two. :) Don't forget you can get a new CAPTCHA by hitting the little refresh arrows in the CAPTCHA box. Also, remember to include spaces, punctuation and capital letters if applicable.

    • RichardK_Solar / about 11 years ago / 1

      Oh thats a relief! I thought i was the only one that had problems with those damn CAPTCHAs ! They are made by some alien joker.

      • for me, one is always English, and the other looks eastern european!

        • Madbodger / about 11 years ago / 1

          Many of the capcha servers make the first word by distorting known text, and the second word is just something from a scanned image. The upshot is the server DOESN'T KNOW what the second word is! It just looks for two words, with the first one matching - you can put anything for the second word and it will work. Wow, I shouldn't be giving away my secrets!

          • stcarlso / about 11 years ago / 1

            One related tactic that I have seen done on other sites is to find another reCAPTCHA on the same site (e.g. the create-account page) and to make a script which requests the page a bunch of times without actually submitting it. Each time this is done, reCAPTCHA servers save a database entry with the longish image code, the correct half of the response, and the SparkFun public reCAPTCHA key.

            Then, solve them all offline and beforehand using cheap labor, trained pigeons, or monkeys and typewriters. When it's time to bot-submit, fill in the correct pubkey (which is the same per domain), pick a pre-cached image code, and fill in the correct words. It basically moves the human processing to a time when the site won't be unbearably slow.

            Actually requires too much work just for Free Day, but now that I say this, someone will probably try it...

          • Rawdust / about 11 years ago / 1

            I always thought of doing something like that. I know it presents the word to more than one person to verify what the word is. I would think it would know if your answer is close.

      • Colecago / about 11 years ago / 1

        I've gotten upside down words, super and sub scripts, mathematical characters (like gradient symbol), plenty of greek symbols, and often foreign words so mashed together that they are unreadable.

    • Member #19067 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Question... are you a computer?

      j/k, they really are garbled beyond recognition sometimes.

  • Member #294824 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Noooooooo I missed it :( I actually need to buy cool parts for a Processing class but I didn't know this happened

  • SandyMorton / about 11 years ago / 1

    So, I was logged on, ready to go. The clock timed down and I my screen changed to "bad gateway". I reloaded a few times, and within a minute I was on - but now it says free day is over. Really?

  • Mysterio / about 11 years ago / 1

    and.... it immediately says it's over. Smooth butter so far.

  • Member #284067 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Free day is over??!?!?!

  • Member #228967 / about 11 years ago / 1

    0

  • windwakr / about 11 years ago / 1

    Welcome!

    Free Day is OVER!

    Unfortunately you didn't win anything this time around :(

    Better luck next time?

    Well, that was a short free day.

  • dfruzzetti / about 11 years ago / 1

    I'm totally hoping to get a free day pass here.

  • OMG! I have to peeeee!!!!

  • Member #134089 / about 11 years ago / 1

    It's game time!!!

  • Member #281701 / about 11 years ago / 1

    hey!

  • dfruzzetti / about 11 years ago / 1

    exciting day today.

  • Member #284971 / about 11 years ago / 1

    1 minute !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nukez / about 11 years ago / 1

    Ladies and Gentlements, Let's the show begin :) T-1 Minute

  • lefteraks / about 11 years ago / 1

    one minute guys,let's do it!

  • Member #281701 / about 11 years ago / 1

    it's coming... yay!

  • Member #124252 / about 11 years ago / 1

    2mins

  • ChrisJ / about 11 years ago / 1

    It feels so wrong....... the page is loading.

  • Member #284971 / about 11 years ago / 1

    2 minutes !

  • Wylly / about 11 years ago / 1

    I've already typed in google: "Sparkfun free day" and clicked in the I'm going to be lucky button....Let's see if it works :)

  • cwhite80 / about 11 years ago / 1

    commence server melt down in t minus 3 minutes!!!

  • TheFeaR / about 11 years ago / 1

    3mins....

  • Sleepwalker3 / about 11 years ago / 1

    5, 4, 3, 2, ...Oh bugger this, it's 3am I'm going to bed :P

  • Andrew KE8P / about 11 years ago * / 1

    Maybe it's my computer. It is counting every OTHER second, so 3:31, 3:29, 3:27 etc. My computer also posts all my comments twice.

    Dell + Chrome + Windows FTL!

  • Andrew KE8P / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is it me or is the counter at the top of the page running fast? I guess it's giddy with delight over free day! :)

    (I saw 3 minutes, refreshed, and now it says 4. No joke.)

  • psypi / about 11 years ago / 1

    I'm stunned by the amazing response of your servers.

  • Member #284971 / about 11 years ago / 1

    5 minutes !

  • KirAsh4 / about 11 years ago / 1

    It's snowing pretty heavy in SparkFun's area ... must be a good omen! T-5 minutes ...

  • Member #278286 / about 11 years ago / 1

    mmmmn chips and salsa!

  • The video kinda sounded like a Vi Hart Doodling in Math Class video - really fast talking.

  • mindThomas / about 11 years ago / 1

    We from TKJ Electronics are ready to help heating up your systems. Regards from Denmark

  • nsa / about 11 years ago / 1

    let have FUN :)

  • kubaki / about 11 years ago / 1

    Its freeday freeday gonna get free things on freeday everyone is hitting F5 F5

  • VictorPasse / about 11 years ago / 1

    test

  • lefteraks / about 11 years ago / 1

    ready from Greece!

  • Whoa! I logged in just now and the page only took 5 seconds to load! WTF???

  • VictorPasse / about 11 years ago / 1

    Test

  • Rich10 / about 11 years ago / 1

    To what page should we navigate for the 'FREE DAY' link once we are logged in? In other words, should we start on the 'HOME' page, the 'NEWS' page, etc.?

    • icyfyer / about 11 years ago / 1

      Last year it was just the home page. As soon as you logged in, it would take you to Freeday. I don't know what happens if you are already logged in, but I assume you have to F5 and it will take you to the promise land.

  • zGhost / about 11 years ago / 1

    So whats your theme music to this event?

  • zGhost / about 11 years ago / 1

    ready from montreal

  • android work?

  • Member #102001 / about 11 years ago / 1

    I still don't really understand what we do to enter, but I'll just keep F5'ing until my button breaks.

  • Member #146098 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Where is the free day interface that looks the video??

  • another-dave / about 11 years ago / 1

    is there going to be any real time indicator on the website today showing how how much of a load is being placed on your servers?

  • Shwin / about 11 years ago / 1

    T-27minutes until server crash. Wish I'm within 12s of that to be first! Yes I'm dreaming, but who isn't?

  • icyfyer / about 11 years ago / 1

    I'm going to beat ALL of you. I'm in Qatar!

  • Warren562 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Oh Yeahhhh!

  • WallaceIT / about 11 years ago / 1

    ready from Italy too!

  • Member #15009 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Game On from TN !

  • Allan4 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    I have something to do all the day .. =P try to earn money here, Ready here from Brazil!

  • emihackr97 / about 11 years ago / 1

    ready from Mexico!

  • Member #268911 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Note to self for next year: Don't stay up all night before free day. Haha. Brb. Coffee.

  • kallisti5 / about 11 years ago / 1

    kallisti5 stretches in preparation. (got to stay limber)

  • Member #127903 / about 11 years ago / 1

    this work?

  • besidemyself / about 11 years ago / 1

    Where you get those sparkfun key caps???

  • Member #263451 / about 11 years ago * / 1

    Brasil!!!

  • bbotany / about 11 years ago / 1

    Snow! Perfect weather to stay in and get annoyed at illegible CAPTCHA's. And perhaps it will reduce attempts to irradiate SparkFun for a day.

    Still y'all - watch out for loiterers with smartphones and lead jackets, okay?

  • Young Maker / about 11 years ago / 1

    we're not dead yet! (as in the site)

  • besidemyself / about 11 years ago / 1

    How is sparkfun using the geiger counter? Is there a tutorial on using a geiger counter for random number generation?

  • Member #112456 / about 11 years ago / 1

    how does this work?

  • Hussein / about 11 years ago / 1

    OMG i will be at the class...bad luck

  • wassabi / about 11 years ago * / 1

    Correction: Free day is Today! ;)

    /edit I see the article name is updated now, ETA 1+ hours

  • Member #277129 / about 11 years ago / 1

    I would laugh if the victory sign was one of those obnoxious flashing gifs from those scam sites :) Do I just refresh the homepage? Or is there a link to a special area for the free day competition?

  • Member #277129 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Going to be doing this from school on an iPad, should be a good time, the school network is insanely fast and the wifi is strong in all of my classrooms :) Do I just refresh the homepage while logged in? Or is there a special link to enter the free day area? (I would laugh if you guys had one of those flashing victory logos like on spam sites)

  • ddawg / about 11 years ago / 1

    [troll]These captcha solves are being sold to spammers at $0.01 per solve. Sparkfun is actually making a ton of money off this.[/troll]

  • udawat / about 11 years ago / 1

    The Final Exam of IT Department begins in 2 hours

  • kurt_ek / about 11 years ago / 1

    Brace yorselves! FREE DAY is coming!

  • Toysaretools.com / about 11 years ago / 1

    Any suggestions for a good kit for an eight year old from this site?

    • CrazyCreator / about 11 years ago / 1

      Perhaps the tinyCyclon? It's small and fun to play with! Does your eight-year-old know how to solder?

  • Norm! / about 11 years ago / 1

    Maybe this year I will actually be able to get something.

  • Surf89 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Any success using iPad?

  • jchalo99 / about 11 years ago / 1

    insted of using html you guys should use something that updates live (so we could just view the home page once and than it will automaticly give us the link. so that way it gets us over one hurdle

    • You mean AJAX?? That would be cool, except that it reduces the server load dramatically as only text has to be transferred, not images and stuff, which kind of defeats the point of Free Day.

      • Member #89838 / about 11 years ago / 1

        AJAX isn't 100% the correct term. That's normally what's being used when you request something, and your page does not refresh.

        Pushing data from the server is called comet, push ajax, reverse ajax... It takes a webserver that can keep a connection open for a longer period of time (something that HTML wasn't designed for).

        But yes, you'll have enough traffic already by all the users F5'ing, such a technique would still produce something readable for the users!

      • jchalo99 / about 11 years ago / 1

        i was just saying to get the link to the freeday page (if they have one) so that means it cuts down 1/4 of the server load. mostly from our home servers/work servers

  • Minor59er / about 11 years ago / 1

    Well I guess I will be getting up at 3am EDT to try get a code. I cant wait!

  • Wylly / about 11 years ago / 1

    Almost 7 hours to go!!! :)

  • redwolf1630 / about 11 years ago / 1

    lol this is gona make recaptcha loads of profit haha

  • Member #275968 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is an android smartphone with the stock internet browser considered a modern browser?

    • Cjhazdroid / about 11 years ago / 1

      I sure hope so... just to be safe I have every browser from the market installed

    • I haven't specifically tested, but I expect you'd be fine. The stock browser on Android is WebKit and generally works pretty well.

    • TECH GEEK / about 11 years ago / 1

      if you can see capthcas yes

  • Shakerobo / about 11 years ago / 1

    what is the expected turnout this year?

    • Maybe 100,000 unique visitors? Based on the number registered accounts, 200,000 if I remember rightly.

      • Shakerobo / about 11 years ago / 1

        then the odds of getting the coupoun is 1:50. that's sad! just wished for a faster internet service. :(

  • Poent / about 11 years ago / 1

    Can you still pick up products from the store front tomorrow? I'd like to come pick up a few of those max7219's you got in.

    • Yes! With any luck the site will continue to be fully functional and responsive during the deluge of traffic and all normal checkout functions will be active. Give it a try - if you can get an order through during the mess then we've done something right. =)

      • TeslaFan / about 11 years ago / 1

        You get high marks for your boundless optimism! But I'm pretty sure luck will not be a factor.

    • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 1

      better wait it out an extra day if you can. If not- order early (I'd say around 6am) or late (around 7-8pm) You probably wont be able to do ANYTHING on the site until free day is over

  • Member #136787 / about 11 years ago / 1

    You do realize that a 7-hour window means that this will only work for people in the Americas :) In Asia, the entire window will happen during the night. Why not a larger window so that free day becomes international free day, not just US free day?

    • PresidentOfAwesomeness / about 11 years ago / 1

      I'd say that it's actually better for people in Asia... you know, we do work (and go to school) here in America. And it just so happens that the time that Freeday takes place is the same time that I'm in school. A school with lousy web filters that block Sparkfun... oh well.

  • dkt01 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Does the Free Day system work for users on Safari with OSX 10.7? I know I can't post comments with that setup; I get an error that says {"status":false,"message":"You must be logged in to comment"} even when I am logged in.

    • ihwild345 / about 11 years ago / 1

      That's funny because my Safari works but I have 10.6.8 though. On the flip side Chrome gave me the same error. Go figure that out.

      Rich

      • Its a generic JavaScript bug in the comments script: sometimes, it doesn't work, sometimes it does. But ICT at SparkFun seem a little busy right now... :-P

    • EvilGenius121 / about 11 years ago / 1

      Try chrome. So far it works pretty great on sparkfun

  • Member #50165 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Anyone else actually taking off of work for this?

  • ihwild345 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Sweet it will start right around my lunch break at work. Unless I end up heading home early which would be even better. I'm actually sick right now and they might send me home tomorrow.

  • Member #7650 / about 11 years ago / 1

    So, basically, keep re-entering the captcha until you get a 100$ coupon?

  • CHaskins / about 11 years ago / 1

    I should take the day off.

    • GooseSG / about 11 years ago / 1

      I am taking the day off. This is my 3rd Free Day. Nothing the first year, $40 last year. I figured my connection at home was faster than at work so, I'll sit and hit F5 all day!

  • CHaskins / about 11 years ago / 1

    I'll be at work :*(

  • I'll be participating from my school library, but I can't get there until 9:45 AM MST. Any estimate on how long Free Day will last? Will there still be giveaways going on, 45 minutes into the event? Thanks

    • Neb / about 11 years ago / 1

      Awesome, i will be camped out in our lab during my lunch and study hall! Who needs food?

    • Unless we have radically miscalculated, you should be good.

  • blue_k / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is the only prize the $100 certificates? Or will there be other value of certificates that are given away, like $25 or $50 certificates?

    • Erik-Sparkfun / about 11 years ago / 1

      There will be 2,000 x $100 promo codes given away, so no other value than $100.

      • blue_k / about 11 years ago / 1

        Ok, thank you. One more question is, and it's not related to free day, but do you sell the Parallax Ping sensor?

        • Macduino / about 11 years ago / 1

          Nope.

          You can get it from Parallax directly, shipping is pretty cheap. Last time I ordered one from them and it was $10 (33%) off.

  • Allan4 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Time to test my advanced image recoginition haha; Just kiddin.

  • zGhost / about 11 years ago / 1

    So can every person in my house win?

  • Mike27 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Glad to see you guys are using reCAPTCHA! Maybe next year you will come up with another way to crowd source some computing!

  • NorthStreetLabs / about 11 years ago / 1

    North Street Labs is gearing up!

  • GooseSG / about 11 years ago / 1

    Has the length of the giveaway window been determined? If so, what is it? I do apologize if it is in the video. I'm at work and will need to wait until tonight to listen to it.

    • Erik-Sparkfun / about 11 years ago / 2

      It'll all depend on how tomorrow goes. We've stated before that it might average a giveaway about every 12 seconds, which would stretch this well into the afternoon. There are many variables at play here, though, so no matter what we try to accomplish time-wise, there are no guarantees. :)

      • GooseSG / about 11 years ago / 1

        I was just wondering because in the text of "The System" above, it says:

        For example, if we set up a 7 hour giveaway window, we should see a gift given away about every 12 seconds.

        So I thought that the window had be pre-determined.

        • We'll be aiming for 7 hours. There's no hard cutoff however; it's down to the win rate, which we'll probably adjust somewhat through the day.

          • WizenedEE / about 11 years ago / 2

            I can just imagine a GUI interface for that - a slider, with someone making very precise movements to make sure it gets to exactly the right value. Then, someone bumps your arm and 50 people immediately win before you can put the slider back.

  • zeroid / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is it just me or are those CAPTCHAs particularly hard? I would have got the first one wrong!

    Perhaps instead of taxing the servers this year we are helping Sparkfun work out the most reliable CAPTCHA algorithm for a future project ;)

    • TeslaFan / about 11 years ago / 1

      Yeah, I can't get some of them.

      I expect that instead of struggling with a hard one, we can just hit refresh and get the next one. It's all about captchas per hour throughput rate on this one!

      • scharkalvin / about 11 years ago / 1

        Why not use Lada Ada's resistor color code puzzle? http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/01/09/kinect-sensor-for-windows-will-the-open-source-drivers-still-work/#respond at the bottom of the page.

        • The resistor captcha was discussed as inspiration for a more electronics-oriented method of verifying humanity. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel, however, and focused efforts on building a webserver/proxy/geiger counter stack that was super efficient. It's not easy piping Free Day traffic to a small circuit board, after all.

          • Matthew Wilkes / about 11 years ago / 1

            Hang on, the board with the geiger counter is running the entire freeday giveaway? Awesome!

            • Sure is. There will be more details throughout the week about how it all works. It's one of the more oddball projects to be stitched together by SparkFun staff.

  • Nogginboink / about 11 years ago / 1

    No charity donations this year?

    • Free Day is just too crazy to mix things together. We're going to do a separate push for our favorite charities at a later date this year.

      • KimberlyZ / about 11 years ago / 1

        Consider promoting Give To The Max Day (in addition to your normal promoting). It is in mid-December. A lot of charities will have matching funds avail that day, etc. A good way to get people to get around to making those donations before forgetting about it at the end of the year. Here in MN there is a website for all registered non-profits to put up info about their program and accept donations through a common site. Gives them a lot wider exposure than they could get on their limited marketing funds.

  • scharkalvin / about 11 years ago * / 1

    bet you don't get many orders tomorrow! (at least not until the funds run out). Those CAPTCHA's suck. Some of them appear to be written inside-out and bassackwards. Well I hope my companies firewall doesn't get in the way. Mañana!

    • Tomorrow? You mean yesterday! Each year we see a pretty dramatic drop in orders the few days before Free Day as people hope to win funds. Shortly after the event, shipping is flooded with new orders. It's a painful, but very helpful stress test of all our systems. You wouldn't believe how much Free Day has helped us grow up.

      • Member #283144 / about 11 years ago / 1

        Hi Nate, how do I get to the freeday interface ?

        • Erik-Sparkfun / about 11 years ago / 2

          There will be a link available on the front page tomorrow.

  • sup3rb / about 11 years ago / 1

    how long till?

  • CrazyCreator / about 11 years ago / 1

    Is it possible to win a code twice?

    • When I first read this, it was double posted. I LOL'ed

    • Hey CrazyCreator - I don't fully understand your question: only one code per customer (you can only win once). The same code will not be issued twice (to two different people).

  • Mure / about 11 years ago / 1

    it would be great to see a countdown clock here on the webpage.

  • hcanova / about 11 years ago * / 1

    could you put a clock to make life easier for those with Time Zone?

    • hcanova / about 11 years ago / 2

      Thank's guys

    • sycophantic / about 11 years ago / 2

      http://www.worldtimezone.com/

    • DreddBull / about 11 years ago / 1

      http://wwp.mountain-standard-time.com/

    • Sleepwalker3 / about 11 years ago * / 1

      You can also just go to google and type "time in boulder" and it will tell you the time directly below the search bar. Remember that it might be 'yesterday' depending on where you are :/ This could get confusing! You can also use timeanddate.com and that link will tell you the date and time in Boulder without having to type anything :)

  • Jeremy1026 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Let the mashing commence in T minus 26 hours.

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