CONNECT:
facebook_icon twitter_icon instagram_icon googleplus_icon youtube_icon rss_icon

Blog

I should state at the outset that I live within walking distance of Maker Faire, and I have since it started (or so I gather.)  And yet, this was my first visit.  Once I knew it existed, I heard all about the crowds and such, and decided I didn’t want to deal with it.

 

This year, I decided to go anyway, darn it.  I was so very glad I did.

 

Maker Faire, it turns out, is basically a huge conglomeration of things I’m interested in.  Model steam trains? Yep.  How about food science? Of course!  Innovative music? Space Travel? Fabric arts? Robots? Indeed!  All that and more.  Seriously, check out the website and see for yourself. The variety is astounding.

 

We entered, walked past a huge flaming rose, and into the thick of things. There were some presentations that we’d considered attending, but we only went to one, and that one we found by accident.  While I listened to the Librarians Making Makerspaces presentation  my hubby took a turn around the building we’d found ourselves in.  He showed me a few things when I was done, and then we continued on.

 

And on.  And on.  I’d thought that we’d go for a few hours, then head back home.  That…was not what happened. There were so many interesting things to see and learn about!  I can see why this event lasts for more than one day.

 

Next year, we are definitely getting the whole weekend pass.  It was very difficult to talk ourselves into leaving this time, and I think that will help.  The promised crowds were most evident in the Expo Hall, but really weren’t that bad elsewhere.  Even then, we aren’t talking about Disneyland on the 4th of July crowds in the Expo Hall.  More like Disneyland on a Summer weekday.  FYI, if you are at all sensitive to noise, you may wish to give the building with the Tesla Stage in it a miss.  The room is dark, but there is a lot of competing loud noise in there.

 

Anyway, once we were done with the Faire proper, we hunted up the Maker Shed for a spot of shopping.  And that was where I found the shiny new Arduino Workshop by John Boxall.  This book just came out in May.  Obviously, I bought it…and a few other things.

So…I’ll be switching over to Arduino Workshop for my Arduino learning process.

 

Wish me luck!

So…I did the set up I needed to do before I started my first Arduino project.  Did I do the normal thing and download the software onto my Mac?

 

No.  Apparently that would have been too easy and that’s not how we roll at my place? I thought it would be fun to download the software onto the Raspberry Pi, and my husband agreed.

 

Yeah.  I wonder about us sometimes, too.

It actually worked out pretty well.  It turns out that Raspbian (the operating system that we are using on the Raspberry Pi) is close enough to Debian that we got everything running like the book said it should.  Well…mostly.  I looked up more recent info on the Arduino website, and it looked closer to that.  Still, one more in the win column, yeah?

 

(I’m as surprised as you are.)

 

We got the Arduino hooked up, opened up the Sketch program (Arduino programs are called Sketches) and uploaded the test Sketch that was supposed to make a light blink on the Arduino.  And it worked!  We rejoiced.

 

…And then we couldn’t figure out how to shut the darn blinky light off. I read ahead in the book.  Nothing.  We tried the reset button. Nope.  Unplugging it from the system shouldn’t have done anything…and it didn’t.

 

Sigh.

 

Luckily, my hubby actually knows the underlying programming language that Sketches use.  After a couple of tries, he managed to get the darn blinky to stop.  *whew*

 

Now we’re all ready to dive in, right?

 

…And then we went to Maker Faire.

Moment of Science - Esperanto

Click here to view and listen

Download .MP3

Meet Robert and Alex Doyle, the father / daughter team who are sending a TARDIS into Orbit for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.  There is still time to support their project before the Kickstarter ends on June 29th 2013.

 

Once the projects funds, stay connected to this dynamic duo by following their progress on their Facebook Page

Moment of Science - Esperanto

Click here to view and listen

Download .MP3

Join the Lab Staff at TimeGate 2013 where they explain the science behind fictional world of Stargate.

We had an historic moment at TimeGate 2013.  For the first time, Doctor Geek, Mr. Flask, The First Mr. Creature and Madame Oracle (also the voice of DEUS-X) were together at a convention.  It was an honor to have Doctor Geek’s Laboratory to be listed at the top of the hotel’s video marquee.

Our panel, Doctor Geek Live! The Science of Stargate was a lot of fun.  It was great to see so many people enjoying our mix of science and fiction.

Sexy Professor (The River Song), the music heard in this episode, is from The Ken Spivey Band’s new album, The Universe Yields.  Buy the album atkenspivey.com