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Christmas Cheer Medicine Linux

Linux-Powered Christmas Display Puts Rudolph To Shame 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the happy-humbug dept.
xmas2003 writes "Over at Linux.com, Zonker writes about Alek's Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease. This annual Internet tradition uses a hi/low-tech combo of LAMP'ed Redhat Web Servers, a 7+ year old Thinkpad running Ubuntu for the X10 control, and an old-school webpage design that could be politely described as Web 0.0 — wait until you see the animated cursor — D'OH! The site is free (and totally fun) as it also raises awareness and donations for Celiac Disease — over $70,000 to the University of Maryland. Nifty pictures of the crazy christmas display can be seen on the Christmas Blog (notice Clifford Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg in post #220) plus watch videos of it in action with comedic history. Nothing quite says Christmas like a giant, inflatable HULK wearing a Santa Hat... along with three wise men of Elmo, SpongeBob, and Homer Simpson. The Slashdot Effect of turning 21,000 Christmas lights ON & OFF this evening should provide quite a Christmas Eve show to Alek's neighbors... and also the International Space Station."
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Linux-Powered Christmas Display Puts Rudolph To Shame

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 24, 2011 @08:35PM (#38485670)

    Old school rules.

    • by IANAAC (692242) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @08:43PM (#38485702)

      Old school rules.

      Maybe. Doesn't mean you know what to do once you're on the page. That page was just painful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I spent my holidays lying to my kids, for the first time, about the existence of Santa Claus.

      I sure hope they don't get their feelings hurt about why Santa has unlimited gifts, but he still chose to give Johnny across the street his own PS3 while my kids only got a shared, second-hand Nintendo DS. Someday in a few years my kids will hate me, but that's okay because, until then, I will lie to them and say Santa Claus exists while encouraging awkward materialism. Then the kids will experience a huge disap
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Yeah but they might end up with a memory that will last a lifetime! ya know how I found out there was no Santa? 1976 I hear a noise in the living room and snek down in my PJs to see Santa....only to see my dad cursing like a sailor with a Huffy Evel Knievel bike in like 300 pieces around him and the instructions taped to the wall. i can still hear him going "Stupid damned not put together /blam!/ who the hell built this stupid ass /slam/ where the hell does this go?".

        But that and the gift my grandfather g

      • But... lying to them is so entertaining!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AngryDeuce (2205124)

      Old school rules.

      Yeah, sometimes it really does. Unfortunately this is not one of those times. Now I need to bleach my eyes...

    • by kermidge (2221646)

      Yup, I love it. Part genius, part insanity, all fun, and in a good cause as well. It's also the most... energetic website I can recall seeing.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Annoying tiled background, animated gifs, comic sans, horrible layout - I thought people stopped making websites like this?
    • It's MR X fun holiday page

    • by malraid (592373)
      Love the cursor animated gif! Top of the line 90s design, baby!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Annoying tiled background, animated gifs, comic sans, horrible layout - I thought people stopped making websites like this?

      For some reason a lot of the municipal websites in Texas are still like this. I was doing research that required me to visit a ton of sites and the proportion that looked like they were from 1995 was disturbing.

    • People are donating... so that he will fix the site.

  • easter mini-eggs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    load the site in Opera

    • I got 'WOW an Opera user' pop up. Anything else? :)
      • by SomePgmr (2021234)
        I got "you're using a Droid, they rule!"

        I'm not.
        • Hello Linux Chrome Surfer xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (refered by linux.slashdot.org) from Outback Nowhere United States (33.7146N 94.3731W) Appears to be your first visit (?)

          Personally, I don't much care what technology is being used, whether it's bleeding edge, or two millenia old. Tacky is tacky. I'm not curious enough to open the site in any alternative browsers.

  • It's melting! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:24PM (#38485878)
    The site has gone from blinking 'Server Overtemp' to 'Server Meltdown!'
    I think /. is killing it:(
    Don't forget to donate if you can .. Merry x-Mas all!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What have you done to raise money for a charity and generally lift the spirits of people all over the world?

    If the page layout bothers you so much then stop criticizing and volunteer to help.

    • by MarkRose (820682) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:11PM (#38486066) Homepage

      I'm curious what fund raising for celiac disease is truly needed. As someone with it, it's as simple as not eating gluten, and that's as simple as not eating grains (they're not good for you anyway). The only trouble is eating out or with otherwise unlabelled food.

      • I knew someone who developed an allergy or celiac disease (can't remember which) in her 20s. The solution for her was just not to eat wheat, her life didn't seem impacted all that much otherwise. Hopefully all the money is going towards research and not his kids!

        Anyways, as an aside, she had a reaction to HAM. They put wheat in EVERYTHING these days, geez ;) HAM people. We're all eating random frankenfoods.

      • I'm curious what fund raising for celiac disease is truly needed. As someone with it, it's as simple as not eating gluten, and that's as simple as not eating grains (they're not good for you anyway). The only trouble is eating out or with otherwise unlabelled food.

        My son has been on a Gluten Free diet for seven years now, if nothing else, the growing awareness (popularity, if you will) of GF during that time has made it much easier for us to find food for him (and now, me) - not sure if we're Celiac or not, he gets pretty seriously wigged out (mental fog) from gluten, as for me, I had some fairly annoying arthritis symptoms in the knees and wrists that go away if I stay off the gluten/grains. I really like the GF shelf tags that are starting to show up in our grocer

        • by MarkRose (820682)

          I agree that an awareness campaign is a far better use of money than further research. The cure is so simple: stop eating grains! Sadly, many still think that it's a childhood disease only, so the question of a celiac diagnosis never even comes up. Furthermore, many cases of celiac are asymptomatic, or with symptoms that don't seem obviously connected to an autoimmune condition.

          As celiac is hereditary, there's a very strong chance you have it as well. The arthritic symptoms can be the result of a leaky gut

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Celiac sufferer here too. It sucks. No, it really sucks. It seemed like it ruined my life at first, not so much now, but its not something you forget about on a daily basis.

        Having said that, I can think of a dozen things I'd rather donate too. Save your money, use it elsewhere.

      • by supaneko (1019638)
        As simple as not eating grains?

        I have celiac's and I can't have dairy, corn, most meats, and I know PLENTY of other people who have seen ADDITIONAL food intolerances crop up over the years.

        I think raising funding for it is a great idea. There are so many people out there who have no clue that, just as you said, grains really aren't good for any of us.
      • Well, for one thing, it's not quite as deterministic as "I have celiac, and all my progeny will have it, too".

        I'm learning more about it, but it seems there is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that determine whether one will become celiac. What exactly are those factors? Wheat too early/too late? High-gluten wheat as a baby? Scientists don't quite know yet.

        Also, there was some research in Australia whereby the body will be inhibiting from wigging out when encountering gluten. Such research

  • by Mr Z (6791) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:48PM (#38485966) Homepage Journal
    No Hamster Dance integration?
    • by Mr Z (6791)

      Ok... blinking-red-on-green mouseovers, a dynamic <TITLE> tag, and blinking green text in the text. I guess he gets a pass. Although, he'd've gotten extra super old-skool bonus points for a page that said "This page is a searchable index. Enter a search term: __."

      (Tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course.)

  • It's a horrible allergy/condition to have. She pretty much has to avoid every major (or minor) brand of everything, since if it was even packaged in a factory where wheat gluten was handled, she will get horribly sick. Glad that this site acknowledges the severity of this allergy, since major food packagers don't seem to.
    • As someone who is currently in the diagnosis process of celiac I concur with it being terrible. A lot of people think it's like lactose intolerance where you're ill for an hour or two then fine. If I have any gluten at all then I'm not able to leave the house for 24-36 hours and it takes 4 or 5 days for me to actually feel okay again.

      That said, I haven't had as hard of a time finding gluten free foods as I thought I would. Sure I had to radically alter my diet, and I can't get a straight answer out of
  • I've been visiting the site for years. And it's worth mentioning my own X10 setup that runs a few items in my house runs on a Thinkpad T20 that I bought new way back in 2001 or so. I've replaced a couple of hard drives since then, but other than that it's all original.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    the D'oh! cursor violates the Geneva Convention.

  • I must say... what a Christmas. Linux AND celiac's? I think I just might explode from geeky overload...or maybe I'm just having a gluten attack.
  • This site is EPIC! Love the cursor (D'oh!) The changing page title was a little much, though. It keeps constantly reloading itself. Creepy, it knows I came from Slashdot, it knows I'm using "Windoze", it knows I am in the US, and it knows it's my first time at the site. It also gives me a happy javascript message since I'm using Opera: "WOW - an Opera Web Surfer Please Sing for the Internet!" No welcome message when using Firefox or IE.

    I have to wait 7 hours and 47 minutes until I can control the lights t

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