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Maker Faire, 2008: Austin, Texas

Wow, where does one start? The makers of the world convened in Austin, Texas one weekend in October to make, build, rebuild, battle, and exchange their stuff and their ideas. I even had visitors from two other states join in the fun. Perhaps the best way to approach a summary of Maker Faire’s controlled chaos, of this menagerie of goods and good-doers, of this DIY carnival, of the impossible to sum up is a list with occasional pictures…

We had the pleasure of seeing Gary Marcus talk about his book Kluge, where he introduced us to the term “buttfact” (answers one pulls from one’s ass).

I finally met MAKE staffer and old friend Gareth Branwyn IRL.

I missed Mark Frauenfelder.

We watched a fully functioning, life-sized version of the game Mousetrap.

We saw the Mentos and Diet Coke guys do their thing.

We watched a robot on a crane (named “Pong”) shoot ping pong balls in the air while children tried to catch them for no reason other than to catch them. They deserved the Rick-Rolling they got.

I saw a rocket-powered skateboard.

We saw local Tesla coil band Arc Attack perform several times (See the clip below of them performing the Empire theme from Star Wars [runtime: 0:28]).


There was plenty more, and I highly recommend your going to Maker Faire if you get a chance. Hell, my sister drove fourteen hours to attend this one.

[photos and video by Jessy Helms.]