Programmer's Day Prize Draw

    Hi, Habr. Today is the eve of a professional holiday for such important, necessary and useful people as programmers. And in honor of this event, we are starting a geek prize draw , which is jointly held by Mail.Ru Group and Habrahabr.

    Everyone who has an account on Habré, even read-only, can take part in the drawing. To make it easier is simple: just log in, go to the drawing page and click on the button there. There are a lot of prizes for the winners of the draw, and all are valuable, so we recommend you to take part. Details - under the cut.

    The birth of an idea

    Somehow we started talking about the fact that technical progress is often driven not by a thirst for knowledge or some kind of good intention, but laziness. It’s just that a person wants to make something easier and easier, and for the sake of this he creates something new. For example, 23 years ago, Cambridge programmers invented a webcam so that they wouldn’t have to go to the coffee machine again. In gratitude for this invention, we wanted to create some interesting project in which webcams would be an integral part. "Programmers, they’re having a holiday soon, webcam." And so the idea of ​​our geek prize draw was born.

    How it works

    Naturally, we wanted to make a draw that would be as close as possible in spirit to every self-respecting geek. And after discussing different options, we implemented the following: the hawkeeper, who wants to take part in the draw, goes to his page and clicks on the button. After that, his data is sent to a dedicated server and entered into the participants database. On a remote printer, the participant’s ticket is printed with his habra nickname and avatar. Then begins the most interesting and geeky.

    Firstly, the process of falling into the box of a freshly printed ticket is removed. Leaving the printer, it enters the inclined transparent tray and slides on it to the special stops. Here, the appearance of the ticket is recorded by the sensor, which initiates recording from one of the webcams. A link to a short video with a printed ticket is sent to its owner by email. After that, the stops are lifted by a servo-drive, and the gear located under the tray makes the ticket fall out of the tray.

    We decided to measure the total weight of printed tickets. And for this, inspired by the idea of ​​Rub Goldberg's carcame up with the following design. The ticket is not just printed, it automatically gets into a transparent box, which is suspended on the springs. Naturally, under the weight of tickets, it will gradually drop. But the weight of one ticket is insignificant, therefore we have adapted for accurate measurement:

    a) the distance sensor located under the box and fixing its lowering when a ticket hits;
    b) a light sensor located on the side of the box and measuring the shift of the gradient scale on its wall.

    Both sensors are connected to the Arduino, and based on their readings, the current weight of the printed tickets is calculated. It can be viewed at any time on the website of our project.

    Relationship transparency

    The second webcam removes the entire structure around the clock, and anyone can make sure at any time that the drawing is fair. The whole structure is located in a specially allocated space in the office of Mail.Ru Group. Ideally, for the entire duration of the rally, no manipulation of our installation is expected, except for adding paper to the printer.

    The rules also do not provide for participation in our geek-draw for Mail.Ru Group employees and their families. So that our colleagues would not be offended, we will hold a separate mini-draw for them.

    Prizes, gifts, that's all

    Our geek prize draw will last a long time, until October 31st. In Halloween, the official ceremony of determining the winners and the presentation of prizes will take place. We have prepared 28 very valuable prizes - laptops, smartphones, tablets, gesture control interfaces, fitness trackers and other nice gadgets. In general, what you need.

    Winners will be randomly selected by pulling tickets out of boxing. The entire process will also be continuously streamed online. The lucky ones will be able to pick up their prizes on their own, or we will send them by postal service.

    We are also proud to announce that a special invited guest of our geek-drawbecame Anatoly Alexandrovich Wasserman. Honorary holder of the medal “Carrier of a backup copy of the Internet”, he worked as a programmer for 20 years, so tomorrow he will be fully entitled to celebrate his professional holiday.

    For questions about the contest, contact media_magnit

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