Maker Faire

So Facebook chat is really dumb, and doesn’t save chat history. If it does, getting to it is non-intuitive, and it’s just giving me another reason to dislike (hahaha) Facebook. As if I needed another reason.


Maker Faire was pretty damn awesome.

I could leave it at that, but my god that would be a disservice to everyone that wasn’t there and reads my blog, which translates into maybe 10 people, if you’re optimistic about the size of my readership. To sum up the experience, I don’t think I’ve been somewhere with so many cool geeks showing off cool things all in one place. And now, I’m just going to list what I saw:

  • Makerbot crews
  • Reprappers from around the area, and even some from Montana or Idaho
  • New reprap boards
  • A veritable lack of NYC reprappers
  • Man, I bet some hip-hop artist is going to pick up the tag ‘reprapper’
  • Just watch
  • I did NOT get to see arc attack. Quite disappointing, something crazy stuff about ‘room capacity’ and ‘public safety’
  • The local hackerspace booths: NYC Resistor (I have to say Metrix’s hobo token is much more badass), Alpha One Labs
  • Lock picking booth run by TOOOL. Didn’t manage to crack their locks, but I only spent 3 minutes at their booth
  • Epilog laser (should we make our space green, or get a laser cutter?! Oh, the agony!), Autodesk, some commercial 3D printers
  • shop bot
  • Make Magazine (duh)
  • Couple of dudes presenting their thesis work, like interactive music, drawing with computer interaction
  • Element 14
  • mbed – realized I’d forgotten people are trying to make money with this stuff when I asked ‘are you open sourcing the server code?’ and they laughed.
  • huge straw structure
  • games, of course. physical games, of course
  • rubix cube solving robot
  • live music remixer using only sound recorder and windows media player
  • arm overlay that lets the computer know how the arm is positioned
  • fabric hacking! Especially liked the ball o’ yarn pressure sensor, and the tape bend sensor
  • utility kilts
  • The human sized mouse trap
  • mathematica playing cards. Seriously. They’ll likely be the geekiest cards I’ll ever have
  • lots of LEDs
  • guy that played guitar while wearing a monitor on his head
  • luminescent fluid in tubes
  • HUGE LED arrays, with separately attached LEDs.
  • monome-like devices
  • cart-based youtube video uploader
  • the reverse geocache guy
  • over priced fair food, of course
  • microsoft attempting to shoulder into the hobbyist electronics market
  • book scanners: at least two guys were doing it
  • guy in a 3-4m tall germ suit
  • jet-powered fair ride
  • biobus!
  • sparkfun!
  • open STM (scanning tunneling microscope)!
  • lots of people trying to sell shirts and stuff
  • 3D light show with yarn and a projector
  • hydroponics
  • talk by a dude that wants to use the building-top water containers as a city-wide cosmic ray detector
  • learned exactly how pressure waves kill people in explosions
  • listened to Wolfram talk, which was somewhat disappointing because all he did was do random stuff with Mathematica and push his cellular automata based view of the world
  • talk by the creator of scratch
  • talk by the creator of lilypad
  • talks by lots of people that wrote books
  • derived statistic: child would have to work full time on getting kidnapped for some 750,000 years for it to certainly be kidnapped. I have some qualms about this derived stat, but it’s interesting none-the-less
  • I thought the talk titled ‘Sustainable hacker spaces’ was going to about making hackerspaces green. Nope! It was about how to keep the hacker space alive, a much more pressing concern
  • conductive play dough
  • guys that want to stick gardens on the top of buses. They’re not entirely crazy, either!
  • floor that generates power from footsteps
  • carrot flutes
  • wearable, welded together steampunk-ish suits (think big daddy, or fallout 3 cover guy, but much more chaotic)
  • science history museum
  • computer recyclers
  • some kids trying to rickroll the subway car (okay, so this was on the way back home, and they weren’t at maker faire, but still!)

I know I’m leaving stuff out, but I think that’s a good start on enumerating what I’ve seen.

Seeing all those finished projects is a really good motivator: at least, it feels like one. We’ll see if I get things done sooner than later.

My octopart (day 1) and xkcd (code compiling) shirts got positive attention. Woot. Geek status boost!

Okay, I really have to get back to… um, doing homework. And listening to trippy japanese pop. Yeah.

Oh! And Dresden Codak AND Methods of Rationality both updated within a day of each other! Yudkowsky and Diaz must be conspiring together, or something (sadly, this doesn’t even seem to be that far-fetched).