express your wrath digitally
Once upon a time, Kevin & Anjuli & Eerik were grad students at MIT. We shared a cubicle in the giant grad student office in Building 35.
One day, some abandoned desks in the giant grad student office got cleaned out. Their contents got strewn out over a big table. "Up for grabs," the sign said. Unable to resist the heap of loot, Eerik dug around until he found a grey electrical enclosure with 4 red light bulbs on the front. There was a power cord coming out the side, 4 toggle switches on top, and no labeling. We plugged it in and - as hoped - the lights switched on and off. Clearly this device was too grand to throw out, so it became a decorative fixture in the cubicle.
But a purely decorative decoration was bound not to last long. And so it happened: one especially grouchy day, the light bulb box became an anger indicator box. Labels were attached: one bulb each for Kevin, Anjuli, and Eerik. Had we had a 4th cubicle mate, the remaining bulb would have been assigned accordingly. But we were only 3, so the 4th bulb became a guest anger light. For angry visitors.
The anger lights were handy. If you turned on your anger light in a fit of frustration, it was useful as a reminder later in the day to stay angry. The anger lights were good for starting conversations. They were great for ending conversations. And they looked cool at night.
But a few years later, the grad students had all graduated and moved to different cities. In a fit of rage against the dying of the anger light, Eerik salvaged it once more from the building 35 trash. His goal: allow the cubicle mates continued access to the anger lights from any corner of the globe.
Around the same time, Eerik's friend Brandon had finished developing a really cool single-board web server called the Rascal. Toggling 4 relays over the Internet seemed like a simple enough beta test application for the Rascal, so Eerik signed up.
And so, after an electrical rebuild of the box, the anger lights finally went live on the Internet! They currently live at Eerik's house, blinking crazily all day and night.
engineered with love by Eerik