Friday, March 29, 2013

A Few More Pictures From The Corvallis Maker “Festival”

We went back to the 2nd day of the Maker Festival lured by the promise of new exhibits and the fact that the kids forgot to get the disks to the Wii games they checked out of the library the day before. Yes, the library has video games.

The Eugene Makerspace showed off their “Quarktronic” sound machine.

Kinetic Creatures had cardboard automata.

Dawson Station, an Arduino controlled model of the Hull-Oakes sawmill.

The library bought some of these Sparkfun Inventor’s kits but for some reason are only having classes for teenagers. Such rampant ageism.

A rude 3D print. Ok, art print.

All in all I think a slightly larger space with all the exhibitors on both days would have been better, as well as more community involvement and communication. Many people had no idea it was going to happen until the day of the Festival. Also they really need to call it a Maker Faire and ally themselves with the official Maker movement. But that requires 6 months advanced planning apparently.

The big problem with Corvallis (or the Mid-Valley) is that it’s an extremely nerdy area with tens if not hundreds of micro-communities that do not communicate between themselves. We have the OSU Open Source Lab and sundry other OSU clubs and departments, Linn-Benton Community College, Da Vinci Days, Bike Co-op, sustainability nuts, home shop and model engine lunatics, R/C enthusiasts, HAM madmen, a model train club, Hewlett-Freaking-Packard, solar, nuclear and biotech startups, as well as people toiling anonymously on their favorite hobby-horses in basements and garages.

This is partly down to the psychology of the nerd and partly due to the lack of any centralized clearing house for nerd-events and resources in the Mid-Valley. Mostly down to psychology though. A couple of well funded and time-rich motivated individuals could change all that. Clearly I’m not that guy, so I can’t complain too much.

So I’m happy the “festival” happened and exposed people to things they may not have known about (it makes me seem less insane to my friends) and it was fun to have conversations with people doing neat projects.

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