Free Day Documentary Part I


We're going to let this post run today - we'll be back at it tomorrow with the Friday New Product Post! Back in January, we hosted the third version of SparkFun Free Day - a day on which SparkFun opens its doors to the internet and says, "See what you can grab!" This year, we gave away $200,000 worth of $100 SparkFun credits over the course of the day. Yes, once again, it was mayhem. Thank you again to all of you that participated - and congrats to those that won!

This year, we tried something different and sent three teams of people across the country to document how people experience Free Day on the other side of the internet. SparkFun had representatives in Virginia, Texas, and Connecticut visiting North Street Labs, ATX Hackerspace, and New Mountain Innovations (respectively). It was an awesome experience to check out some of our customers' projects, see where they work/play, and watch as they participated in Free Day.

So today, we have Part I of our two-part Free Day documentary. We had an awesome time filming it and we thank all of you who participated and let us disrupt your lives. Check out the video above!


Comments 52 comments

  • MORE CAPTCHAS!!!!

  • No Raspberry Pi news? For shame SFE blog… For shame…

    BTW, I’ve already pre-ordered my Model B from Newark!

  • I was very lucky to win on Free Day! Since I’m currently a stay at home husband (not to mention the job market is rather dry at the moment) money was very tight so this really helped me get a lot of things I was needing to get started working/hacking electronics for both a hobby, and small modding business that I do now for vintage consoles! Thank you SparkFun for the opportunity and the help to get started with this!

  • The memories, the nightmares… :p This FreeDay was my first FreeDay, it won’t be the last. (Regardless of scheme) Awesome video!

  • Free day hooked me! Since I won I have hooked several coworkers, my boss and few Boy Scouts. Consider it a well spent marketing ploy. My wife did the captchas for me and has earned many foot rubs to come.

  • Way to go guys!!! Electronic Design published an article on February 22, 2012 about DIY Electronics Kits, where 80% of the article talks about sparkfun. Thank you guys for your hard work, to help us, Hobbyists and Engineers get back to the roots of electronics. Congrats!!!

  • Meh, I liked the Nathan interview, liked to see more of Sparkfun internally! and gee someone’s got a new DSLR, and hasn’t figured out how to focus :)

  • I won :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

  • Northstreet labssss!! Red Bull Creation, good times.

  • I still cringe whenever I see a captcha.. Please try something else if you hold another Free Day. I’m sure Re-Captcha doesn’t appreciate the expletives we all typed in after an hour or two of frantic typing. :-)

    • hahaha… someone, somewhere is reading one of the 120 or so books digitized, and suddenly, it all becomes meaningless garbage mixed with expletives…

      • LOL: It was the best of times, it was the FREAKING CAPTCHA rrrrrrr fuuu shkdmkfsdgjn, stupid freaking captcha I want to kidnap the guy who invented this and then push him of a cliff the —-er captchasux CAPTCHASUX dkldjahfddfhskkfhskskgf !!!!!!!!!!111!1!1!!1!!!1!!1!!+!11!!1!!14:&:4$51(%46 the meaning of life is 42

        • Thnikkaman, OMG!!! thank you for the side-splitting laugh! Funny Funny Funny… heheh… still laughing. By the way… I’m 52yo and a HSR fan myself… You keep doing this stuff and you got a great future. Know how to turn a bolt on a car and make a straight cut on a full sheet of plywood and there will be nothing you can’t do. Running a MIG weld bead would be nice too, I still need to get that card.

    • Would you people just stop complaining? It’s free stuff for God’s sake. So ungrateful…

      • That all depends on how you define “free”. I spent about 3 hours typing capchas, and for the 5th year in a row have not won anything on free day. I realise it is my choice to participate (which I won’t do next year, although I am still a great fan of sparkfun, and will continue to do business with them), but when it is implied that you can win something - I think the chances of winning should be somewhat realistic. I personally would prefer if they simply randomly picked customers, and gave them a random amount of money.

  • Sparkfun Freeday and RaspberryPi lauch “hate/excitement vs time” graphs pic.twitter.com/giaItv69

  • Best freeday ever! I didn’t win, but it was more fun than the first two.

  • The xbee looks like it’s being crushed in the picture… poor xbee… :‘(

  • Can you put the video on Vimeo, Youtube is blocked at my work!!!

  • Hand held DSLR motion sickness.

  • Meh. I was stuck at school.

  • Where is today’s post?

    • This actually is today’s post (as well as yesterday’s). We wanted to give the folks in the video their moment in the spotlight. We will be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow with the Friday New Product Post!

  • Interesting song…

  • When is the next Free-Day?

    • I believe historically they have been in January, so if it happens again, maybe next January.

  • Fun times we all had! Please no more captchas!

  • Typo in paragraph two… “customers” should be “customers'” (with an apostrophe).

    • Send tech support an email using the box over there >>> and they will get to it. I’ve done it before.

      • Actually they’d already fixed it before you posted your reply. They read the comments too.


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