Back to the Future Alarm Clock Is As Real As It Gets

While real time-travel is obviously not happening anytime soon, with this Back to the Future themed alarm clock, you can go to the future in seven hour eight hour increments by going to sleep. Great Scott!

[CrossleyAcoustics] spent the past few months designing and building this movie-prop worthy alarm clock, and it certainly shows. After designing everything on breadboards, he had custom PCBs made, he modeled the whole thing in Sketchup (first time he’s used it!) and even tried his hand at the sheet metal fabrication after shops quoted him thousands for what he wanted.

The coolest part of the build is that [CrossleyAcoustics] had some detailed drawings that he had made himself… when he was 8 years old. Talk about a plan coming together!

Though we have to admit, one of our favorite real-life BTTF builds has gotta be the Gek: A Modern-day  Mr. Fusion. It’s an old Honda civic fitted with a raw material processor capable of making a natural-gas like fuel from waste products — it just can’t travel through time.

[via r/DIY]

14 thoughts on “Back to the Future Alarm Clock Is As Real As It Gets

  1. Way back in ’85 we used to used to build it good, now just use an app on a phone. Come to think of it, is there one for BTTF dashboard? I serviced an organ in a nursing home once, the clock is digital and has the year as well as the rest of time data. For those who are loosing memory.

  2. The cool thing about Sketchup is that Google sells you student licenses for the pro versions to unlock certain features like unions and subtracting shapes from one another. Being obtained through third parties (schools), the licenses are not transferrable to newer versions but they’re supposed to never expire.

    However, the program itself expires when sufficiently old, and starts crashing 5 minutes from startup without fail. I encountered this on my desktop machine where SketchUp Pro 8 nags you to update (and lose your license), and crashes when you don’t. It lets you work for about 5 minutes and then simply shuts down without warning.

    To test the theory, I opened up my laptop, with which I haven’t launched the program in months. I blocked the program off with a firewall and started it – no nags, no crashes. Works like before. The moment you let it phone home and realize there’s an upgrade, nag nag, crash crash.

    So lesson learned: if you have a student license, or any other non-upgradeable license bought from anyone else than Google, don’t let SketchUp online. Alternatively, find some better company to deal with.

    1. Also, don’t get googleupdate.exe or the gupdate service on your machine – it’s probably going to do the same thing since it’s google’s generic update service for all its products. In practice it’s also a tag which google uses to track your IP so they don’t have to rely on cookies and browser ID alone, so you don’t want to have it running anyways.

      This is part of the reason why the EU is looking into an anti-trust lawsuit against Google.

      1. I thought it was because they were running out of Microsoft lawsuit money and the impending migrant crisis. The lawsuits are always bullsqueeze anyway. Just keep whittling down the choices. Just wait till you guys figure out the proprietary madness that is Apple. I actually do think there is a case there. They do more to purposely exclude than MS and GOOG combined, and on a daily basis before 10am. But you are correct about the googleupdate service, specifically if you don’t uncheck the parts you don’t use.

        1. The google update service phones home about every 30 minutes for no reason, and tags your system with a randomized unique ID which it sends home no matter what you do.

          The EU doesn’t care about Apple because it has practically no market share in the EU, while Google – or Alphabet as it’s now known – has something like 99% market share in searches, and approaching similiar figures in email, news aggregation, maps… and they just keep buying companies left and right so even if you don’t want to deal with them, you’ll suddenly find that the software you use and rely on is now owned by Google and comes with their spyware as a forced update.

    2. I’m pretty positive this is a bug, not an intentional effect. What version of sketchup are you using? Have you searched online or filed a bug?

      [Disclaimer: I work at Google, though not on anything relating to Sketchup. My opinions are my own.]

      1. Sketchup Pro 8 as I already stated. I have tried to search online for a related bug, but trying to search “sketchup 8 shuts down” or similiar just results in a mass of other unrelated issues from years back.

        It simply shuts down, consistently, and it does this on two different machines, one running Windows XP and one running Windows 7. I’ve sent the bug reports with the error report tool, and the response is that there’s no further information available.

        So far the solution has been to wipe the program, all google registry entries related, reinstall and simply not let it back online ever again.

  3. The original had embossed label tape for the labels as well! Those look like flat Dymo labels. For me, that is an important detail seeing how this was the 1980s. You can even still by the tape and label maker!

    I may be nitpicking ;)

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