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View Full Version : SparkFun Free Day is underway



Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
01-11-2012, 04:06 PM
Electronic geeks don't forget SparkFun Free Day


Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_I6yr1cCks8&feature=youtube_gdata

Website:
http://www.sparkfun.com/

GordonMcComb
01-11-2012, 05:05 PM
In an interview a while back, the CEO of Sparkfun said that they peg the dollar value of Free Day based on 1% of the previous year's revenue (pretty sure gross, not net). That means they made $20M last year. Not bad. Shows how the DIY market is coming back. Is it any wonder RadioShack is clamoring to get back into the biz?!

-- Gordon

Duane Degn
01-11-2012, 05:05 PM
I think their intention is to drive the geeks of the world crazy (crazier) by making them read those awful Captcha words(I use the term loosly) all day.

I've decided my remaining sanity is worth more than a hundred bucks (there are many who would argue that point).

erco
01-11-2012, 05:12 PM
Not even gonna try after wasting time last year. Too much traffic, servers crash, even if you can ever get something in your basket you can't ever check out. Parallax is plenty generous with free stuff, and besides, my house is FULL. Per Duane, keep your sanity. And dignity!

Duane Degn
01-11-2012, 05:18 PM
I feel bad for all the kids who plan to use their lunch and break times to try for free stuff.

Roy Eltham
01-11-2012, 05:19 PM
erco, you don't have to do anything but type in a catcha and hit enter, and it randomly gives you a $100 code or not. Once you win you have 60 days to spend the $100 on their site.
The experience this year verses the previous two years that I tried is much better (assuming recaptcha doesn't bug you).

I've just got the page open, and every once in a while I go to it and enter a few capcha's and see if I won. Haven't had any delays or server crashes.

Jen J.
01-11-2012, 05:37 PM
Ahhh Captcha...

88456

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
01-11-2012, 05:48 PM
Ah.. explains why their web server was crashed when I went to purchase something this morning...

OBC

mindrobots
01-11-2012, 05:48 PM
I ALWAYS refresh if they look dangerous! ...but then, I DON'T have an axe!

schill
01-11-2012, 06:06 PM
I went ahead and gave it a shot with a few tries - no code for me.

It's definitely a better experience this year. I haven't really tried in the past because I figured it was more important for other people to get the $100. While I wouldn't mind it, I can afford to buy what I need (or want) and I'd rather the money go to those that can't. Not that there is any guarantee that that will happen.

WBA Consulting
01-11-2012, 06:07 PM
I tried for a few minutes, but so many of the captchas are illegible to even my chicken scratch readable eyes, that I didn't bother continuing. I may try a little more while I am waiting at the dentist, misery loves company they say............

bill190
01-11-2012, 06:26 PM
With the two "word" Captcha's, are you suppose to enter both words without a space between the words or with a space between the two words? Or does not matter?

They never say what to do!

Publison
01-11-2012, 06:36 PM
With the two "word" Captcha's, are you suppose to enter both words without a space between the words or with a space between the two words? Or does not matter?

They never say what to do!

If you watch the video, she says you have to enter a space.

Wasted too much time already on this. Time to get back to work so I can make the hundred dollars and get to pay taxes next year on it. :)

sylvie369
01-11-2012, 10:18 PM
I "won" last year, fairly quickly, IIRC. So I tried again this year, put about an hour into it, got nothing.

It seems to me that they have a way of getting free time and effort out of large numbers of reasonably-educated people, and they could be doing something to make that more useful. Rather than typing random words, how about teaching us Spanish? Or Mandarin? Get a question right, get a chance at the $100. Or put us to work for charity somehow. Right now there's a lot of man-hours going to waste there.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
01-11-2012, 10:50 PM
Whoa, Jen, I never guessed you'd be a Redditor! :) Are there others there as well?

(Note to Jim Ewald: Increase Parallax's internet bandwidth.)

-Phil

Cluso99
01-11-2012, 10:59 PM
Well I see that it is over. I saw there were some complaints, but heck what can you expect for something that is free!

IMHO it was a great idea... If you can afford it, then it might be a waste of your time. But, for those who cannot afford it, their time is most likely not so valuable, and they may therefore end up with a prize. And they will be the ones that will pass on their gratitude to others, spreading the word. And isn't that what Sparkfun wants... publicity.

WBA Consulting
01-12-2012, 12:15 AM
........Right now there's a lot of man-hours going to waste there.

Actually, not completely. The mass amounts of attempts to win are accomplishing something. ReCaptcha is a security program second, but an OCR cleanup tool first. ReCaptcha is a tool to cleanup OCR recognition (http://www.google.com/recaptcha/learnmore) failures for digitally scanned texts.

sylvie369
01-12-2012, 12:46 AM
Actually, not completely. The mass amounts of attempts to win are accomplishing something. ReCaptcha is a security program second, but an OCR cleanup tool first. ReCaptcha is a tool to cleanup OCR recognition (http://www.google.com/recaptcha/learnmore) failures for digitally scanned texts.

Did not know. Excellent.

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
01-12-2012, 04:31 AM
Sorry for the diversion ... Some friends of mine at the local "Hacker Space" posted this early this morning and a couple of them won right off the bat. I tried for maybe 5-10 minutes with no luck. Anyway for free stuff, I thought it would be fun, I certainly wouldn't waste hours with something like this.

Tubular
01-12-2012, 04:46 AM
I tried for 5 mins, if nothing else my Captcha skills are better now.

I think Sparkfun missed a great opportunity to "rig" the two Captcha words for some powerful associative marketing, with a captive target audience. Were Parallax were to do the same, may I suggest...

DETERMINISTIC GOOD
INTERRUPTS BAD
ELEV8 PURCHASE
SPIN EFFORTLESS
PROPELLER RULEZ
etc

Beau Schwabe (Parallax)
01-12-2012, 04:53 AM
Careful Tubular, you might make Jen bite her tongue with talk like that ... "Were Parallax were to do the same, may I suggest... " - actually, that may not be such a terrible idea if it's done in a tasteful way. ... in other words I agree that Captcha is a PITA.

SRLM
01-13-2012, 11:58 PM
I like recaptchas...

An excellent talk on the topic:

http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.ht ml

Ragtop
01-14-2012, 02:38 PM
I was at it all day and did way more then the 208 Captchas average. I finally won with just 17 slots left.

I can't say I loved typing Captchas all day, but their server did an amazing job this year. It was nice to be "attempting" to win
instead of waiting all day for a page to load like year's past.


Xbee's and GPS unit on the way!!!! Of course I had to spend more then the 100 dollar voucher.