Alek Komarnitsky isn't the only one obsessed with Christmas lights. He's quick to point out that the display he assembles and improves each year at his Colorado home
(in a "never-ending cycle") isn't the most elaborate in the country by a long shot, even among householders. But most of those other displays, no matter how complex, don't have the feature that's made Alek's an internet draw for many years running: visitors to the site not only get to see a live web-cam view of the system
, but can flip the lights on and off themselves, making it a globally accessible interactive system. It's all based on home-grown scripts running on Linux (Alek says it's about as elegant as "duct tape and wire"), running old-school X10 controllers, and — surprisingly to me — the lights are mostly still conventional incandescents, rather than LED. This year, I finally caught up with Alek before Christmas; watch the video below to see our conversation. And even though Alek neither solicits nor wants money from people who like his Christmas display for himself, he does it partly as a benefit for Celiac Disease Research
, and anything you give to this worthy cause is appreciated. Update: 12/23 21:21 GMT
: NOTE: tune in starting around 4 PM Mountain time, and you'll get to see the system lit up.