Category Archives: Events

A Look Back at the First Maker Faire

I’m a little bit late posting this, but as most folks are now aware, Maker Media is struggling. Make Magazine and the Maker Faire were major sources of inspiration for me in the mid 2000s when I created MightyOhm. I owe a lot to the folks behind Maker Media and the makers who inspired me in those early years.

EMSL and Ben Krasnow have been posting early Maker Faire photos and I wanted to contribute some of mine as well.

Scroll down for photos of the first ever Maker Faire, held in San Mateo way back in 2006!

There were robots.
There was LEGO.
There was fire. Fire has always been an important ingredient of the Maker Faire, and some of the early years burned the brightest (maybe too bright, if you ask the asphalt in one of the parking lots).
There was also a firetruck. That made fire. Obviously.
Steampunk wasn’t a thing yet, but the ingredients were there.
There were Mythbusters. I remember feeling a lot of local pride that Mythbusters (the show) was filmed in and around San Francisco, my home at the time.
Speaking of San Francisco, there were vehicles designed to hack San Francisco’s plentiful and well-located commercial parking spots. Telstar’s truck had the corresponding article from Make Magazine posted in the window. This was more common in the early days, as many of the folks exhibiting at the Faire had also appeared in the magazine.
There was GRL, and throwies. Lots of throwies.
There was the SS Alpha Fox and other vehicles and projects from local artists such as the Flaming Lotus Girls (maybe not 2006, but certainly later) and the Crucible.
Arduino wasn’t a thing yet (it existed but very few people had heard of it), so there were other microcontroller platforms on display, such as the Make controller…
… and TinyOS Toys.
There were weird cars…
… and electric scooters, made before the availability of cheap LiPo cells.
There were steam-powered analog computers…
… and a robot giraffe that became a symbol of the Maker Faire…
… and amazing 3d sculptures, before 3D printing was a thing.
There were robots that drew on eggs, before there were Eggbots.
And there were lots of Makers, including yours truly, who would go on to exhibit in subsequent years.

Dale Dougherty and the staff behind Maker Media and the Maker Faire – THANK YOU for years of inspiration, laughs, friends, fun, and LOTS of tasty paella. You guys rock.

Mike and Key ARC Flea Market, Sat. Mar 10, Puyallup, WA

The 37th annual Mike and Key ARC Electronics Show and Flea Market is just under two weeks away.

I have no affiliation with Mike and Key, but in my opinion this is the best electronics swap meet in the greater Seattle area. I go every year. (If you know of others, post in the comments!)

The Mike and Key flea market will take place on Saturday, March 10th at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup. Doors open at 9AM (earlier for sellers). I’m looking forward to meeting other PNW electronics and ham radio folks there. I have a seller table again this year so I should be pretty easy to find. I’ll be selling a few kits along with ham radio gear and miscellaneous electronics.

Mike and Key hosts ham radio exams during the swap meet, so if you’re interested in getting a ham radio license this is one opportunity. More details on the event flyer.

More info.