Monday, April 24, 2006

Back from Maker's Faire in San Mateo

I took the 12:40 AM redeye flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis last night, back from the Maker's Faire in San Mateo. I'm still bleary eyed from the uneasy repose that those tight fitting seats on airplanes provide. (Because it was such a late flight, there was no problem with people talking or extraneous light. Actually the drone of the engines makes me drowsy. It's just the uncomfortable position.)

But, Maker Faire was such a great event, I am excited to blog about it as soon as possible.

I saw several people and machines I haven's seen for a while including John Dyer and his Tesla Coil, Lucy Hosking and her Pulse Jet car, Simon Quellen Field, (author of Gonzo Gizmos), Matt Heckert (a founder of Survival Research Labs), Make Magazine's wonderful Mr. Jalopy, Phillip Torrone, Bob Parks, and a bunch of others. Now, I'm sure that there are much better accounts elsewhere of the overall sweep of the event, and they'll likely have photos, so I'll leave those accounts to them. Pictures available here.

Dale Dougherty, the publisher of Make and the creator of the Maker Fair concept told me that that beat attendence projections substantially. I think that people overwhelmingly found the event to be fun and entertaining. As this was the inaugural event, there's bound to be some tightening and tweaking needed.

My personal experience in leading a workshop, is that it's much harder to do than you might think. My first workshop, was, well, kinda crappy, the second got better, the third better still. You learn as you go.

Has anyone ever experienced flop sweat? When perspiration beads up on your forehead when you're giving a demonstration that doesn't go right? I had a couple dozen people watching me try to fire a spud gun but when I turned the igniter, NOTHING HAPPENED. What can you say at that point? Duck's off. Sorry.
<--Basil Fawlty, looking for duck

So I learned that Right Guard Sport does not make a good potato gun propellant. I went back to Aqua-Net. Good old Aqua-Net.

Anyway, good to be back home.

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