I have been joking at work that we need a system to automatically dispense food pellets when servers go down and get fixed; then we can really train monkeys to do our jobs for us. Well, it's not entirely finished yet, but here's a pretty interesting start. Ken and I finally got around to breaking out the Parallax Propeller dev board and were messing around with it last night since I've always wanted to learn some kind of microcontroller. I had brought the servo-controlled Pez dispenser that I made out of popsicle sticks (wooden craft sticks to all you brand sticklers out there) and super glue (CA glue, sorry), and that I had until now been controlling through a little parallel port circuit and some Linux code that I found over at Arne Suppe's fantastic homepage to show off. That's when it got a little too late and we decided to frankenstein the whole lot together with an RFID card reader module that was lying around, and after a few tries on OBEX we found Servo32v7 and RFID_Demo to help speed things along. A quick edit of the RFID Demo code to output to VGA instead of an LCD module, munging the demos together and rearranging a few function calls and pin assignments was all we needed to produce this wacky love child of science and technology. Seriously, when I was 6 years old taking apart my parents' blender, I never in my wildest dreams thought that technology would come this far - a few hours of tinkering around was all I needed to go from total microcontroller newb to full fledged candy-dispensing mad scientist! Mwaaa ha ha ha ... please enjoy this video clip and let me know if you want me to post source code and build notes (I am a dunce who forgot to take pics of the dispenser build but it may not be that hard to convince me to build another one!). Also, here's a link to a free junk email filter.