Words in Boxes

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Back from Maker Faire

It was a great weekend. The weather was perfect, the crowd size was perfect, and it was good to catch up with old friends. Being around so many smart, creative, and dorky people was awesome, even though I now feel incredibly uncreative.

Everybody that came in had to sign a waiver to get a green wristband which allowed you to do any number of probably safe but hacked-together activities, like ride in a giant wheel. The whole event really had the feeling of a bunch of people informally getting together to show off cool stuff they did for the hell of it. Unlike a lot of other festivals or fairs I've been to, it didn't feel commercial and I didn't feel the least ripped off.

Highlights include:

  • A life-size replica of the board game Mousetrap. Incredibly bizzare, but strangely captivating to watch. And I've never even played the game. When we watched it didn't work exactly right the first time, but the performers did a great job making even that seem like part of the show. There's an associated blog with more pictures, but there's only one post.

  • There were several minor internet celebrities on the schedule. The original Mentos and Diet Coke guys put on a live show that brought everything else to a halt. The original iPhone hacker also presented, although we didn't see that.

  • Lots of home-made and hacked bicycles. There was a little amusement park made out of bicycle parts, the major function of which seemed to be spinning people into dizziness.

  • Little kids. This place was a kid heaven. There was an area where they could make model rockets and shoot them off. And apparently, they love running around in Diet Coke spray.

  • An area where you could buy DIY kits for stuff like MP3 players or digital clocks and get help building it right there.

  • A guy who knitted with drumsticks and played a drum set at the same time. I actually have no idea what to make of that.

  • Giant catapult. Enough said.

The rest of my photos can be found here, and the Maker Faire blog has tons more. This is a great event, and I definitely recommend going next year.

I'm James Sulak, a software developer in Houston, Texas.

You can also find me on Twitter, or if you're curious, on my old-fashioned home page. If you want to contact me directly, you can e-mail comments@wordsinboxes.com.