Maker Faire Bay Area 2013

Now that I live in Seattle working for Valve Corporation it is much easier for me to make it to the big hacker/maker shindigs that happen seasonally in the US. For years I've wanted to see The Maker Faire. The real Bay-Area one, sure Melbourne has hosted one, but I think most agree the Bay Area (and maybe the New York one) are orders of magnitude larger - something one must experience at least once.

So I've made a few crazy projects to exhibit.

My main one is an idea I've had for years. Using phosphor material which can be charged and quenched to implement digital memory. Not only did I build the RAM, I also decided to teach myself more about digital logic in general by building a bit-serial computer with it. For some strange reason I'm known for being an Analogue Guy, but for most of my life I've been a Software Engineer, pushing idealised bits around, not dealing with the annoying realities of this Universe. It was a change to do something largely digital, although ironically the main challenges of the project have been mostly analogue signal ones.

My other too are quick hacks. A mechanical Gray Code puzzle I whipped up in OpenSCAD for 3D printing, and a MCU driven pan-tilt laser pointer doing Wolfram Cellular Automata drawing onto phosphor sheets.

I was hesitant to go as a Maker for my first time, especially as it may limit how much I'd get to walk around and see other exhibits. However those I work with are Maker Faire veterans and ensure me it is the only way to go, basically a back-stage pass to all the goings-on, complete with a chance to meet the other Makers and eat lots of paella the day before.

Because so many people have asked, I'll be bringing the 555 Adding Machine along too. If you want to see my manic and crappy soldering in person, now is your chance! It is a bit fragile, so I've laser-cut a frame for it to increase the likelyhood it will survive the event, and I will have the dial plugged into it so you can try it out for yourself.

It looks like my exhibit will be in the Fiesta building, in the dark room somewhere. Come say hello if you are going. I'm sure it is going to be an awesome weekend.