When I arrived back in the UK it was head down to prepare for my tutorial talk at DPC in Amsterdam which was in June. The talk was okay but the tutorial went down really well. It was scary but a fun experience. Since then I've been working on a nightmare project but I'm finally feeling I can raise my head above the parapet again.
Anyway I will write long posts about my adventures over the next few days but the news that some of you might want to hear is I will be at Infest.
I know it seems as though I've dropped off the face of the earth lately. I've been very quiet on LJ and not been frequenting as many club nights as I normally do. Its because I've been working hard for this year's Makerfaire.
For those who don't know what Makerfaire is, its a chance for Makers (technologists, crafters, etc.) to show off what they do and for us all to network. Makerfaires are organised by O'Reilly publishers of Make Magazine and Craft Magazine. Makerfaires started off in the US in, unsurprisingly, San Francisco, New York, Austin and Oakland. Last year was the first Makerfaire in Europe. This year we returned to Newcastle-upon-Tyne for Makerfaire UK 2010.
So when the organisers put out the request for projects last year I madly submitted with a list of projects and ideas I've been working on. They even more madly accepted me and since then I've been working on my projects for the faire. My projects were:
- Ethernet adapter for a BBC Micro Computer.
- Electronic programmable earrings.
- A knitted Cthulhu with embedded electronics.
- Temperature sensing hat.
- iPod handbag
Unfortunately I didn't get it all finished. I did however get the ethernet adapter, earrings and cthulhu completed.
Makerfaire was completely awesome with musical tesla coils, hexapods, safe cracking with a sausage, all sorts. Last year it was basically just a tent in the court yard. This year it was far far bigger. I met some old friends and made some new ones. There was a great community atmosphere and a lot of sharing going on. Newcastle's Life Centre did us proud and looked after us very well with tea and coffee on tap all day and very nice food at lunch and for dinner.
I was amazed at the number who came to visit. I think we matched last year's numbers by about half way through the first day.The BBC ethernet, earrings and cthulhu all seemed to go down very well. Some visitors were interested in the geek aspect and others in the craft aspect. Mixing seems to work. I had spoken so much on the first day that my jaw hurt by the end of it. I even ended up being interviewed by BBC Radio 5 for their Pods and Blogs programme. You can hear my dulcet tones on the podcast. I even managed to get out from behind the desk on occasion to see the faire for myself and photograph it. Many thanks to hippiegunnut and krysnys for taking over when I needed breaks.
I'd like to come over for more than just the conference so I can meet up with everyone. I was thinking of coming over a few days before and leaving a few days after but since the previous weekend is a holiday over here I'm wondering about coming over just before that and leaving after the conference.
Anyway I just thought I should warn dear friends in the Bay. I'm really excited!
This has been painted on the wood fence that surrounds a vacant plot next to my current office. The plot did have some old stone mills on it but the were torn down. Then the economy crashed and the site's been a hole in the ground since then.
I've been a bit remiss at posting my daily photos to LiveJournal. So here's a recent one and you can find them all on Flickr.
I currently have three characters I play so I thought I would introduce them.
Cyberfire worked on a farm Rather than marry a man she despised she ran off to be all those things her farm society saw as bad. She's a rogue. a thief and an assassin. For a decent fee she'll despatch anyone who'd like her too. She's loyal to SI-7 and to the Alliance but it takes time and effort to win her friendship and trust.
As a child Coerderwydd (literally Wood Druid)'s natural magical abilities caused havoc. It made her somewhat of an outcast amongst the other children and drew the anger of her parents. So naturally she became a loner. She will play with others but doesn't play well. But at heart she's kind and thoughtful.
Young Fyresegunda was only a child when she left Draenor and she has never known true peace. Now she's old enough she's learning the skills of the hunter. The hunter's relationship with the animals of the world of Azaeroth and her place in it.
They all exist in the realm of the Scarlet Crusade and their professions are varied. Cyberfire, because of her background, is a Herbalist and Alchemist. Caederwydd is also a herbalist but she makes enchantments. Fyresegunda is a skinner and leatherworker. She respects animals and can work with them but has no issue with killing and skinning them to make useful items.
So if you happen to be on the US server of Scarlet Crusade look for them.
PS. Notice there's no Jan 15 photograph. Basically I was too poorly to take one.
I will be bringing a long several Arduino-a-likes together with a variety of components and CDs of the IDE so that we can get together in groups, code and play.
I am intending to take along items which are a mix of traditional crafts such as knitting and jewellery making combined with tech. For example programmable earrings, a temperature sensing hat and a bag that has a proximity detector and RFID tag so it can detect its owner.
I am also going to show off a couple of my other projects like an ethernet adapter for a BBC microcomputer and a "Mood Wall" (It analyses twitter tweets for the mood of the content displaying patterns and colours which reflect the prevailing mood).
Hopefully I will see you there!