Maker Faire Austin 2008

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MFA-CRW_0324MFA-CRW_0324Now that I have recovered from the whirlwind weekend that was Maker Faire Austin I’ll take a few moments to talk about the event and the four shows we saw.

On Saturday I was accompanied by a friend and his daughters, ages 11 and 13.  Since I’d left my kids at home it was nice to have some surrogate geeklets to observe.  We met up with another friend with his son and father.  Three generations of of Geeks is almost too many.

In addition to seeing most of the exhibits and booths, we managed to catch four shows.  The Life Sized Mousetrap, ArcAttack and the Singing Tesla Coils, and a few round of RoboGames.

The kids were all impressed by the life sized mousetrap.  They had a few slight technical difficulties but the show was fun and entertaining.  The most impressive part was feeling the ground shake when the 4,000 pound safe crushed the fake block of cheese.  I seem to remember a cage falling at the end of the game, but complete realism isn’t always impressive.

I had seen Arc Attack in Dallas at the Afternoon with Maker Faire.  Since then their coils have grown a few feet.  The new coils are seven feet tall and can throw a much larger spark.  The sound was amazing and actually entertaining when coupled with the PVC pipe organ and automated drums.  Chuck got some video and blogged about it on his site: Evil Chuck.com

And what is most likely my favorite event at the Faire, the RoboGames, aka Combots.  Most of the matches were spectacular, especially the super heavy weight.  Lots of bent and broken metal, shattered lexan, and smoking speed controllers make for great entertainment.  The girls wouldn’t admit to liking the robots battle, but they sure cheered and smiled a lot during the matches.

We arrived a little late for the Eepy Bird show so it was hard to see (and hear) but I can at least now say I’ve seen them live.  It still amazes me that two guys can make a living by dashing about the country dropping Mentos in bottles of Diet Coke.

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