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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.



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.


BeebthernetProgrammable earringsCthulhu

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 [livejournal.com profile] hippiegunnut and [livejournal.com profile] krysnys for taking over when I needed breaks.

on 2010-03-17 01:28 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] bitbat.livejournal.com
Congratulations, those things look awesome! I'm curious as to the scale of the Cuthulhu and what it has embedded in it.... We're still here when you do get a spare minute to visit :) although I know you're off across the pond again soon.

on 2010-03-17 01:37 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] cyberspice.livejournal.com
The Cthulhu is sat on top of one of my laptops. So that screen is about a foot wide. The Cthulhu has a tilt sensor in it and depending on how much you shake him he goes through several different light patterns with the eye LEDs and makes a noise.

I really should come over. I have a couple of quiet weekends so I will really really try and visit.

on 2010-03-17 02:14 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ms-siobhan.livejournal.com
I was admiring your Cthulhu via Nigel's LJ - I love the idea of mixing old school craft with new school craft.

on 2010-03-17 02:41 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sarah-orange.livejournal.com
how marvellous! I really wish I understood electronics at that level - the ethernet adaptor just amazes me!

on 2010-03-27 10:34 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kirruth.livejournal.com
I love the ear-rings: what can they be programmed to do we wonders?

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