The Joel-o-scope was basically a toy periscope so short people could see the world from the perspective of their tall friends, or possibly the other way around. We built it as a joke, but it provided a surprisingly interesting change of perspective.
Real men are not happy with any software solution for deleting their data. In fact they are not happy until they have personally reduced the offending hard drive into molten slag! Well that was the theory behind this project.
For my capstone undergraduate EE project my partner and I scratch built a 68K computer.
There are lots of things in life to be thankful for, but this project got me to add not having to wire wrap prototypes to that list! The project was only 4-5 weeks long, but even after all these years it is still a personal favorite.