How To Harry Potter Your Technology: The Kit

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Yesterday was Harry Potter’s birthday. I’m coming down to the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Pottermore. As with the last book and the last movie, I feel like everything is ending forever all over again. And that’s even with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced, because likely I won’t get to see it as I don’t live in the U.K. Summer is on the downswing, school is approaching and it just, in general, feels like the magic is fading.

Which is why we’re going to add some magic back into our technology today.

The first step, obviously, is to get sorted at Pottermore because your decisions from here on out might rely on your house. I’m a person who thinks the only valid way to be sorted is Pottermore because it’s the only quiz with input from J.K. Rowling, who is clearly the authority. Regardless, though, I’ve always been a Ravenclaw—doesn’t matter the quiz, I’ve never not been a Ravenclaw. Even after all this time; always. Ravenclaw4ever.

Anyhow, once you’re sorted, here’s how to Harry Potter out your technology this weekend. Go forth!


Computer Decals

See, this is how you signal to cutie queers while you’re working across from them in coffee shops. Probably they also support S.P.E.W and have a lot to say about it.

Collage created with Fotor

All collages created with Fotor

A. Harry Potter Vinyl Mac Skin, $5.00.

B. SPEW Laptop Decal, $5.00.

C. Hedwig Laptop Decal, $11.00.

D. Weasley Is Our King Decal, $5.00.


Phone Cases

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A. Free Elf Case, $25.00.

B. Advanced Potion Making Wallet/Phone Case, $29.00.

C. Ravenclaw Robes Case, $23.95 because RAVENCLAW4EVER.

D. Hogwarts Letter Case, $25.00.

E. Mischief Managed Case, $25.00. Should an iPhone case make me cry? This one made me cry.


This Wand With Which You Control Your Television

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I got this for my future-father-in-law. No word on whether he likes it, but I can at least guarantee that it will show up to your house in one piece and look RAD. If you would like to use this gesture-based remote and be a badass movie-watching wizard, it’s $49.00.


Lego Harry Potter

This game is made for virtually every platform in existence. Specifically I’m talking iOSOS XMicrosoft WindowsNintendo DSWiiPlayStation 3PlayStation Portable and Xbox 360 and…WHO SAID IT WAS MADE FOR CHILDREN. I don’t even care. This is the cutest. Prices vary by platform, it’s split into Years 1-4 and Years 5-7.


Literally Every Single Thing We’ve Written About Harry Potter

Or at least, everything I could find.

Dear Harry Potter, We Are Lesbians And We Love You by a number of us

Holigay Gift Guide 2014: Muggles Still Waiting On Their Hogwarts Acceptance Letters by Heather Hogan

Finite Incantatum: Harry Potter’s Spell Comes to an End and Everyone Is Talking About It by Laura Wooley

Playlist: Yer Listening to Wizard Rock, Harry by Forever Intern Grace

And this Harry Potter Appreciation Society on ASS, aptly nicknamed AutoPotter


Control Your Computer With Magic

And now the thing you’ve actually been reading for — how to control your computer with magic. Or, well, kinda close to magic.

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Voice Command on Windows XP and Vista

I don’t have a Windows machine at my disposal to try this, but here’s a nifty walkthrough on how to program your computer to respond to certain spell words. This is totally customizable, but there are a few very clever recommendations: Lumos to brighten the screen, nox to dim it, etc. This person’s even made a “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” function that opens the browser because this person is a whimsical genius.

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ControlAir on Mac

This one is for the crowd who wants to go all Severus Snape non-verbal spells on us. Not without its bugs, but shows really great promise — ControlAir is a free app that lets you control iTunes, Spotify, rdio, even Vox using hand gestures. You can even mute your computer by making a hush motion with your finger in front of your mouth. What I hope will happen with this is it’ll become more accurate and be able to be used in Powerpoint/Keynote. Because that’d be rad.

Leap Motion on Mac, Windows, Linux and Virtual Reality

Now this piece of hardware looks pretty cool — and they have a stable of apps and games, from Sculpting to Robot Chess, to go with it. Much like the above software, the Leap Motion controller lets you control your computer with hand gestures. Unlike the app above, it actually does work fairly reliably. A bit pricey for the magic, though: Leap Motion Controller is $79.99, and the VR Mount is $19.99. You read that right — there’s even an option to mount the thing to the Oculus Rift and control shit WITH YOUR HANDS. Some day, I do want a Harry Potter game for the Rift where you can do shit WITH YOUR HANDS because OMG wouldn’t that be cool? I say this, of course, having just been made motion sick by a video of someone using the Rift with this piece of equipment, so maybe it wouldn’t be for me. But it would be awesome.

So what did I miss, my lovely witches and wizards? How do you Harry Potter your tech?


This has been the one-hundred-thirty-ninth installment of Queer Your Tech with Fun, Autostraddle’s nerdy tech column. Not everything we cover is queer per se, but we talk about customizing this awesome technology you’ve got. Having it our way, expressing our appy selves just like we do with our identities. Here we can talk about anything from app recommendations to choosing a wireless printer to websites you have to bookmark to any other fun shit we can do with technology. Header by Rory Midhani.

Staff Writer for Autostraddle, Part-time Faculty at The New School (teaching digital storytelling), Managing Editor for Scholar & Feminist Online at Barnard Center for Research On Women. Follow me on Twitter @AEOsworth or on Instagram, also @AEOsworth.

A.E. has written 541 articles for us.

41 Comments

    • It’s like a sort of interactive walk through of the books, sometimes with little activities or games or what have you, so you move through the scenes of each book (each scene has it’s own series of illustrations that you can click things on to either collect little objects hidden in the scene, or play little games, or to unlock new backstories or insights into characters/events/scenes written by J.K. herself) and they’re plotted out kind of like a board game, so you move through each scene until you reach the end of whatever book you’re on.

  1. Yesterday I drank too much of what I called Expecto Patrón-um (basically just a really strong margarita) and ended up sobbing like Moaning Myrtle. Initially it was about Dobby but then I think it sort of transformed into a general feelingsfest over everything these stories have done for me. Now I’m about to go reread everything y’all have written about it and will probably cry some more because I am ridiculous. Thanks, though, this post today somehow makes my feelings from yesterday feel somewhat validated.

  2. Ali I think we’re on the same page with this. EVERYONE SHOULD BE SORTED ON POTTERMORE IT IS THE ONLY SORTING TEST I ACCEPT. Also I remember it being a super cool interesting questions that aren’t at all obvious of what kind of answers they’re trying to get out of you. I took it twice and both times the questions were different (both times I was a Ravenclaw BOOYAH) and weird/awesome scenario questions like “Which path would you follow if you found yourself at a fork in the road?” where the choices are to the beach with the left fork, or to look at this cool abandoned castle with the right fork, or through the forest straight ahead. Or “If you’re walking alone and you hear a noise, how do you react?” or “If you could study any of these mythical creatures, which would you choose?” I just thought they were super interesting to answer.

    Also I really want that Advanced Potion Making phone case (I’m a sucker for inside reference merch) and also the wand remote, but I feel like I would lose it.

  3. Oh I’m definitely going as HP for Halloween this year. And not that awful woman’s one with the tits and legs and a scrap of “Hogwarts Robes” (seriously McGonagall would send those witches home to change their clothes in half a second). No I’m talking like chest binding and a guy wig with costume pieces I may or may not already own.

    • Me too! I knit myself a Weasley jumper with a big H on it this spring, got a Prisoner of Azkaban-style haircut (I think it looked best in that movie) by showing the stylist a picture of him- mind you, I’ll likely need another haircut or two before Halloween- and am planning to buy cheap round glasses with my prescription. As of now I’ll probably just use my tightest sports bra; I’ve gotten called sir a couple of times while wearing it, some khaki zip-offs, and a different baggy sweater, so I’ll probably be fine.

  4. I’m a fellow Ravenclaw, and my best friend is a Hufflepuff, and we found out last week that my little brother didn’t know which House he’s in, so we gasped and immediately made him get Sorted on Pottermore. He’s a Hufflepuff, because he’s adorable.

    • Hufflepuffs unite!!! I first took this really intense quiz (similar to Pottermore’s but longer) like five years ago and was upset I wasn’t Ravenclaw. But I’ve come to appreciate the awesomeness of the ‘Puffs.

  5. SLYTHERINNNNNN REPRESENTTTTTTT

    I was very surprised when Pottermore sorted me there – I would have figured more Ravenclaw, I get compared to Hermione a lot – but then the welcome letter talked about ambition and greatness and “we look out for each other” and I thought “makes sense”.

    What was extra hilarious though was getting to the Sacred 28 page (with the pureblood last names) and seeing MY EXACT LAST NAME ON THERE. At first I thought it was a cute thing Pottermore did and that everyone saw their last name on there, but no. It’s canon. It’s the only last name JKR hasn’t referenced in any of her writing (unless there’s a Shafiq somewhere and I missed it) and I really REALLY hope it comes up in Fantastic Beasts or Cursed Child because I need to know what their deal is.

    • “Not-all-Slytherins” has been a recent fandom trope.. We’re just ambitious. And smart. And we really care for each other. Who can blame us, really.. 😉

      Green and silver, represent! I’m wearing that scarf with proper pride.

    • I was certain I was a Hufflepuff or maybe a Ravenclaw but the last thing I expected was the get a Slytherin sorting. I even took the test a second time to try to get a different sorting and STILL got Slytherin! I was pretty bummed until I found out there were so many awesome people online who are Slytherins.

  6. I have the universal wand remote and not only does it work Fantastically and look super awesome but you can use it to control up to five different pieces of technology( tv, DVD player, iPod base, etc). Add in a wizard robe snuggie and your legit 🙂

  7. Thank you for this post! I miss Harry Potter world so much. I’m conflicted because I thought of myself as a Ravenclaw for years, but I’m a Hufflepuff on Pottermore and I love Hufflepuff House.

  8. under the “the most private thing you’re willing to admit” question on okcupid, I may have put “that I was sorted into Hufflepuff”

    I’m doing a reread and rewatch, and not only did I finish reading/watching Prisoner of Azkaban on JK Rowling/Harry’s birthday, it was also a full moon! Seemed appropriate.

  9. I kept putting off signing up for Pottermore because I was genuinely worried I would get sorted into the wrong house, but fear not! Ravenclaw for life! What a relief, since I already knitted the scarf.

    Potter feelings forever is what I am saying.

  10. YES. I’ve wanted that tv remote wand forever. Also, literally every sorting test I’ve ever taken has put me in Hufflepuff, including the Pottermore one. I love my loyal, accepting house. Puffle Pride.

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