About one year ago, during my first Debconf, I've felt the need for some way to tell people whether I was busy on my laptop doing stuff that required concentration or just passing some time between talks etc. and available for interruptions, socialization or context switches.
One easily available method of course would have been to ping me on IRC (and then probably go on chatting on it while being in the same room, of course :) ), but I wanted to try something that allowed for less planning and worked even in places with less connectivity.
My first idea was a base laptop sticker with two statuses and then a removable one used to cover the wrong status and point to the correct one, and I still think it would be nice, but having it printed is probably going to be somewhat expensive, so I shelved the project for the time being.
Lately, however, I've been playing with hexagonal stickers and decided to design something on this topic, whith the result in the figure above, with the “hacking” sticker being my first choice, and the “concentrating” alternative probably useful while surrounded by people who may misunderstand the term “hacking”.
While idly looking around for sticker printing prices I realized that it didn't necessarly have to be a sticker and started to consider alternatives.
One format I'm trying is inspired by "do not disturb" door signs: I've used some laminating pouches I already had around which are slightly bigger than credit-card format (but credit-card size would also work of course ) and cut a notch so that they can be attached to the open lid of a laptop.
They seem to fit well on my laptop lid, and apart from a bad tendency to attract every bit of lint in a radius of a few meters the form factor looks good. I'll try to use them at the next conference to see if they actually work for their intended purpose.
SVG sources (and a PDF) are available on my website under the CC-BY-SA license.