Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/08/13/trojan_room_coffee_pot_sells/

Trojan Room coffee pot sells for £3,350

Web star pulls in the starbucks

By Robert Blincoe

Posted in Media, 13th August 2001 16:08 GMT

Updated The famous Trojan Room coffee pot has been sold for £3,350.00.

The coffee pot was the star of the first ever Webcam way back in 1993 and sat in the Trojan Room of the Computer Science Department of Cambridge University.

The pot sold wasn't even the original one, but it was the longest serving, having lasted 42 months in the job. It was up for sale because it no longer worked, and the department is moving to new premises.

The sellers were looking to make a few hundred quid to buy a new machine, but have been pleasantly surprised with the amount they've made.

Tim Hill, who organised the sale, said: "The only coffee maker we can find on the web that costs that much is the one we've just sold! The nearest in cost is a Capresso C3000 'advanced fully automatic coffee & espresso center' with a 'pump-auto-cappuccino system' and 'the claris water care system'. Only $2799.

"Seriously we're not sure what we'll spend the money on. We'd originally thought we might get a few hundred pounds which would buy a decent espresso machine -- or keep the coffee club in beans for at least a year (it's the coffee club which actually owned the pot and was selling it, rather than it being an official Computer Lab or University thing)."

The pot sold starred on the Web from October 1997 until March 2001. The selling details said: "It's a Krups ProAroma with a 10 cup jug. We'll even throw in a certificate of authenticity and can provide its 19" rack-mount hardware on request. We must warn you that the machine is broken, possibly beyond repair. It leaks water and we've cut off the mains plug. "

The computer department coffee pot story started back in 1991, when boffins in the computer department trained a digital camera on the pot (the only one in the whole seven-floor lab) and then wired up their computers with XCoffee software so they could see it from their desks - thereby saving themselves a trip if it was empty.

Then, in 1993, on a really wibbly wobbly Web they experimented with updating the image over the Internet and made history. Since then it has become a cult site with millions of viewers all over the world. ®

Update

Spiegel online, the online-version of German news magazine 'Der Spiegel' has bought the pot. They plan to repair it and put in in their office. With a webcam pointed to it. Read about their plans here, in German.

Related Links

eBay auction
The official story of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot
Der Spiegel story - in German

Related Story

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