Doom playing on a pregnancy test

Originally published at:


Strong metaphor

Today my childhood ended. I shall never forget the day I truly understood what “doom” meant. I will not forget you hacked pregnancy test.

Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
Source: William Shakespeare, Sonnet 55 (LV), “ Not Marble Nor The Gilded Monuments”, published c1609, text from The Norton Anthology of Poetry Third Edition, W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1983, text posted by The Poetry Foundation
Sonnet 55 as read by James Earl Jones


The screen and processor and battery and pcb and pee sensors were all replaced, so basically only the case is kept… so basically the equivalent of an old mac made in to an aquarium:


a fully-functional system on a chip that simply looks at the lines on a standard test strip and reports what it sees.

So, this product involves a lot of extra costs and e-waste. Yeah, Doom sounds about right. :thinking:


I see that the pregnancy test got the widescreen Doom update.


Yep. That is sick.


Came to check whether that was the case. Not disappointed.

Well not exactly.


Looks like the editor should have…wait for it…aborted the story.

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Oh FFS. I was just about to ask why this was a nice matrix LCD while the one in TFA was a simple one that just showed “pregnant” or not.

This is not Doom on a pregnancy test. This is a tiny Doom system that we’re looking at through the discarded remains of a pregnancy test.


No comment.

I, for one, am disappointed.

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Let’s not shit on this aspect too much.

What’s worth criticizing is the wastefulness of it being single use and non-recyclable.


This is a super important take that totally hadn’t occurred to me, thanks for posting it! :slight_smile:


Honestly, if it had a nice display I’d go out and buy a dozen of them to hack.

Barely Black and White. It cannot be a thing.

Digital pregnancy testing sticks turn out to have very analogue internals when it comes to getting results

Updated A hacker has peered into a fancy digital pregnancy stick and found it is just a glorified analogue paper test strip with a screen added, a novel form of activation, and a larger price tag.

Inspired by an earlier Twitter thread, hardware hacker (and floppy disc enthusiast) foone bought a pack of two digital pregnancy sticks for $7, whereas a pack of 25 paper-based ones costs about $9. Foone decided to pry into one of the sticks, and discovered it contained an 8-bit Holtek HT48C06 microcontroller with 64 bytes of RAM and 1024 words of ROM, a series of LED lights, photosensors, a cell battery, and a small rectangular screen.

The microcontroller onboard makes it seem fairly advanced, but at the core of is, well, one of those cheap paper tests.

Here’s the “unrolled” thread on the stuff including the response to what Naomi Wu commented as posted by @ficuswhisperer above:

And just FTR, the effectiveness score thing boggles my mind. Holy shit. Thanks, I hate it.

No, that’s wrong. I hate that we have to resort to this kind of e-waste to make this work better for people.

What a world. I am depressed now.


One thing jumped out at me from the citation provided there. The meta-analysis is in agreement on there being a huge difference in theoretical and and as-used-by-users accuracy; but its only mention of education and socioeconomic status is:

The main explanation for the high rate of false-negative results was difficulty in understanding the instructions in the HPT kits, regardless of the socioeconomic situation (age, education, and employment) of the subjects.

I strongly suspect that one meta-analysis from twenty years ago is not the last word on the subject(and the notion that being unable to interpret the manual well enough to get good results from the test might be linked to something like literacy level certainly feels intuitively agreeable); but I always get a bit jumpy when someone’s citation disagrees with their assertion on a fairly major point.

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Honestly, I can’t pee on those things for the whole two minutes, nevermind holding a bunch in long after a hot sesh. Grateful not to have to go out for the HD model though.

A mind is a terrible thing to rocket jump.