Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maker Faire Day 1

PhotobucketI spent Saturday at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, helping out in a friend's booth. His undeniably geeky exhibit features hacked wi-fi routers, XBee radios, custom PCBs & environmental sensors, yet it attracted a steady stream of interested visitors. Even he was surprised by its popularity. The only thing to slightly dampen his presentation was the unaccountable lack of consistent wi-fi connectivity in the expo hall.

The faire was extremely well attended. At 10am the entrance line for ticket holders snaked completely across the parking lot. A problem with being an exhibitor is that you don't get to see much of the expo yourself. When I did wander from the booth for about an hour, I found some parts of the expo so crowded that it was hard to move.

The organizers have done a great job populating the faire with activities for kids, like this Lego play area.

Typewriter Assemblage
I marveled at this human head by Jeremy Mayer, made by re-assembling the parts of a manual typewriter.

The outdoor area south of the Expo Hall has some spectacular constructions, such as the death-defying WhiskyDrome.

In an area devoted to 3D, I got my first look at a 3D screen that does not require one to wear glasses. The resolution is not high, but the illusion works. I also learned that ham radio is experiencing a resurgence, despite the Web, & there are even active Morse Code users. I guess Kevin Kelly is right to claim that technologies never go extinct.

§ Maker Faire
Bay Area, May 21 & 22
San Mateo County Event Center
Saturday 10am - 8pm • Sunday 10am - 6pm

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