Maker Faire 2008

SphereBot Watching Me Watching It

Maker Faire 2008 Day One is over and done with. The show feels like it is about twice the size of last year. The scale of awesomeness is definitely 2x.

There have been a number of changes beyond the scale.

The various displays/booths have been re-organized and the organization makes sense.

The event took over the back parking lot of the fairgrounds and, as such, there is lots of room for various fire arts, very large statue stuff, and various outdoor events.

Gone are the generic arts-and-crafts vendors from the years before, replaced with various “activist” vendors pushing everything from a vegan lifestyle (been avoiding that booth) to awesome chocolates to composting toilets to amazing beer.

The food is awesome this year. While the various carny style food-vendors-that-you-see-at-every-character-lacking-street-fair are still there, you’ll find awesome little bay area food vendors in between. What really good tacos? No problem; beef, whole roasted pork, or braised lamb cheeks — all delicious. Home made yucatan peninsula style tamales, too. Oh, and fresh grilled organic asparagus with a delicious dressing is just around the corner.

Many vendors — TechShop, O’Reilly, EMSL, etc.. — seem to have made the transition from “hey, look, cool stuff” to “hey, look, cool stuff and here is where you can pay some $$ to participate”. Seriously — the show is starting to take on an air of professional marketeering. Only it is still all good– there are many more opportunities to make cool stuff for free than ever before.

Roger and Friend (Nattie?) Playing Tag w/Spherebot

The whole show is about interaction. And interact, you do!

Oddly, there are many more decent pinball players this year than last. I’m looking forward to comparing this years audits with the first year’s.

Of course, there is still the grand assortment of kids being exposed to well maintained pinball machines for the first time. Their first reaction is generally “ooh, what is this?!?!?”. Then it becomes all concentration. And, finally, it is the parents reminding them that there is lots of other cool stuff to see!

Awesome stuff. I took a handful of photos in between chatting with many folks about pinball machine restoration.

I’m utterly beat. Have no words. Here are a couple of more pictures. Off to bed to charge up for tomorrow!

Pinball Chaos Machine Green Mode

This is a perpetual pinball chaos machine. Balls bounce around and trigger lights depending on which color pop bumper is hit.

Dancing with R2D2 (Step to the Left)

This little girl met R2D2 and decided to have a dance.

The creator of the amazing artoo detoo robot — Chris — commented with a link to a video of the same dance event.

Thank you!

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5 Responses to “Maker Faire 2008”

  1. Bay Area Vegetarians :: Blog » Blog Archive » I leafleted R2-D2 says:

    […] our model of battery caged hens, read our sign about WHY VEGAN, but didn’t approach. As one blogger frankly posted in a reference to Bay Area Vegetarians “various “activist” vendors pushing […]

  2. Chris says:

    here’s a video i took of my artoo dancing with the kids at maker faire


  3. Scott Anguish says:

    I wish I could go to things like this. Instead I get to live vicariously through Bill.

  4. bbum’s weblog-o-mat » Blog Archive » Bay Area Vegetarians says:

    […] our model of battery caged hens, read our sign about WHY VEGAN, but didn’t approach. As one blogger frankly posted in a reference to Bay Area Vegetarians “various ‘activist’ vendors […]

  5. Free Pinball says:

    The perpetual pinball chaos machine looks awesome and R2D2 has some good dancing moves, great video!!

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