Monday, June 1, 2009

Maker Faire 2009 at San Mateo

Wow, that was incredible (and exhausting), and now that I'm back, I'm pretty tired, despite it being Monday morning. I can now see what the big deal is all about, and why so many people make such a big deal about going. In hindsight, it was definitely worth the plane ticket, and waking up really early to head out. I spent some time with Justin at the little table (not really a "booth" per se but it worked), but I also spent a lot of time walking around and finally meeting as many other guys as I could. Here are a couple of pictures I took along the way...

This was a picture I took while I sat out on the curb, waiting to meet up with Justin. It was right in front of the fairgrounds (which was in back of me):



This was everything I traveled out with (including the little cup of coffee, and on the way to the airport in New York, I found a plant shop that sold venus fly traps, so I grabbed one of those too, of course):


This is the outside of the building:


Justin and I wanted to replicate what it pretty much is like in CT, NY, and MA when Chris, Mike, Omar, Mark, Tim, Justin, and I get together. It's pretty much chaos, so that's what the table looked like:



I snuck out around the back of the tables and took a picture of Justin showing the TouchShield and the Arduino:



Here's another shot ... (btw, a lot of people in California wear hats apparently. I noticed that all day). This picture was taken shortly before a couple of guys (dudes?) walked up to the table, said they were Stanford engineering undergrads and asked me and Justin "what's the market size for Arduino." Justin said, there are 10's of thousands out there, and one of the guys said "Ha! That's too small to make a difference, and definitely not worth all the effort you put in." Ok, well, I always thought Stanford was a smart place and that folks who went there were nice people. Now, I suppose I can officially say a group of Stanford guys thinks Justin and I are dumb ... oh well ...



There were a couple of TouchShield Slide's at the table, running various apps. One of them had the drawing program Mike made, and a guy came over and drew a fish on it:



At the end of the day, Justin and I got a Make Editor's choice ribbon, which definitely made up for the Stanford guys - take that!



And then I took a few last photos of the fairgrounds building (btw, in the northeast, "fairgrounds" are where livestock are displayed during farmer's markets and festivals. I wonder if that means the same thing in California too...):



Here's another angle, taken lengthwise of the building, which is massive by the way. And of course Justin is in the middle, equally tired as I was at that point:



I was looking on the web, and noticed that Foreverbird snapped a picture of Justin :-) So I linked to it below (Foreverbird took this one, not me)... and you can see the latest version of the OpenBerry project on the table there, actually. I haven't updated or blogged it yet, but I've been coding it ever since...



Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hello, and especially since this was Justin and my initiation to the West coast and the California DIY culture, it was nice to meet a lot of friendly folks.

5 comments:

merlin13 said...

Awesome! Thanks a lot for the pics and comments, it is cool to get a glimpse of MakerFaire since I couldn't be there this time. Maybe next year.

And congratulations for the Editor's choice ribbon!

Matt said...

Thanks a lot! That was my first time ever going, so I had no idea what to expect. I'm sad there aren't more events like that in the northeast, ... the closest thing is the ham radio swapfest at the garage near MIT...

merlin13 said...

I know what you mean, there are no events like this in Utah and no hacker space (at least not that I know of). Some day, maybe...

Rich said...

I had tickets that I won from MacWorld, but, sadly, had to give them away. Next year, I'll be there!
The people I gave the tickets to describe the Faire as "expensive" and "a total zoo". The expensive part I can do without, but the zoo part? That sounds interesting!
Congrats on your prize!

Rickshaw said...

Good stuff! I was in the BMOW booth across from you guys at the show. Don't mind the naysayers, nor blame it on Stanford-- you'll find people who don't appreciate what you're doing wherever you go. From the reception you received, it sounds like most people "got it". And yes, I wear a hat. :-)