Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Great Internet Migratory Box of Electronics Junk

A sneak peek at the Quito boxLook in your mailbox, if you're lucky, someone just sent you a box of junk. The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk (TGIMBOEJ) project was conceived by Windell and Lenore at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Eight boxes were stocked with tantalizing bits of electronic components and sent out to find their destiny.

TGIMBOEJ is a progressive lending library of electronic components. An internet meme in physical form halfway between P2P zip-archive sharing and a flea market. It arrives full of wonderful (and possibly useless) components, but you will surely find some treasures to keep. You will be inspired look through your own piles, such as they are, and find more mysterious components that clearly need to be donated to the box before it is passed on again.

Take out and add as much electronics junk as you like (but keep it small enough to fit in a USPS flat-rate Priority Mail box). Write up, photograph, document or otherwise publish in some way online at least one thing you took out (suggested flickr tag: TGIMBOEJ). There is a little book in the box. Add a checkmark by your name to show that the box has been to you. Also propose a future recipient by adding their name and e-mail address to the book. Within two weeks pass the box along to one of the people whose name is in the book.


The Quito book & my schwagI was lucky enough to receive one of the eight boxes, code-named "Quito" after the Ecuadorean capital city. After some gleeful digging, I chose two toggle switches, a time meter and a fairly cryptic but aesthetically pleasing soldering diagram. I replaced them with... well, I'm not saying. If you are fortunate enough to end up with Quito you may inherit some of the goodies I added.

So what do you do if you want to participate? Simply visit the TGIMBOEJ wiki and sign up in the appropriate place. If you are deemed worthy -- you must have some sort of web presence, and at least a smidgin of nerdcred -- you may find yourself added to a box's book. Or forget the wiki and get all viral and start your own rogue box!

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