I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on the stickers we offered a while ago. Tom asked you to email him if you were interested in some stickers with your addresses and number of stickers you wanted. This is where things went interestingly awry. We didn’t really expect the kind of response that we got. Though we had about 1,500 stickers to give away, we received over 1000 emails requesting more than 5000 stickers total, nearly half of them from international users.
So, how does one deal with this? If we had thought it through, we probably would have put up an online form and asked everyone to request again, so we would have a proper database of addresses. However, I felt it was too late for that, so I wrote a little ruby IMAP script that pulled each of the tagged emails out of Toms account one at a time, printed the email body out to stdout, then read from stdin so I could identify the address, possibly reformat it, and paste it back into the script. Then it asked for numbers of stickers requested, which I could find manually in the email body and paste back into the script. Then the script stored all of these in a sql database for me. 1,000 times. I did this while watching at least 3 episodes of Major Dad on Hulu in the background before that was done.
So now I have a big database of addresses, but a bunch of them aren’t properly formatted, so I can’t just print out labels. So, I printed out 30 to a page, recording an identifier for each page so I could mark them as mailed in the database as we finished each page, and my lovely wife volunteered to hand address the envelopes and mail them out.
Here’s what our operation currently looks like (this is even after the first few hundred were already sent out).
So, now we’re out of stickers, but Tom just ordered some more so all these are on their way out in a few weeks. So, if you weren’t among the couple hundred that got stickers while they lasted, you should get them in a couple of weeks.