Bored programmer recreates a rotary dial in the browser (and it’s gloriously flawed)

rotary dial, browser, bored, programmer, developer

Welcome to the Bored Programmer series, where we celebrate wonderfully useless inventions produced by great minds burdened by the bliss of boredom. 

You’ve never seen a rotary phone like that. A developer has recreated this iconic analog experience for the digital age, so you can try it out straight from your browser — and it’s glorious…ly flawed.

There are a few differences between a real rotary dial and this browser-based replica. For one, the real thing will only let you push a digit until it reaches the end — this one, though, lets you go until you stop (or reach 0). So if you’re determined to make it work, you might want to exercise some patience and try to be precise.

Oh, and you also absolutely need to stay within the lines, otherwise the rotary dial simply resets and makes you start over.

Each digit that flashes red at the arrow gets registered in the field above the rotary dial. Click Clear when you want to enter another number.

“It was supposed to be a gag, I made the whole thing in a few hours on my Saturday,” creator Victor Ribeiro writes. “My dad used to fix telephones when I was growing up. I remember fiddling with them a lot. If you grab the disc and rotate it, even without the finger on the proper number hole, the number that would be recognized was the number on the ‘recognition’ area. I tried to put that on my code. If you let go of the disc going outside or inside of it, it will activate the spring back movement.”

If you’re curious to look under the hood, the developer has shared the code for the digital rotary dial on GitHub.

Now give it your best shot at staying within the circle by clicking here. Just don’t call me.

Check out more bored programmers doing bored programmer stuff:

Bored programmers on Reddit are competing to tell the nerdiest coder joke

Bored programmer trains AI to rename all of the UK

Read next: China’s social credit system isn’t about scoring citizens — it’s a massive API