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Maker Faire

ZOMG!!! I’m exhibiting at the Maker Faire! It’s billed as “the world’s largest DIY festival”, and is happening in the San Francisco Bay Area May 30-31. If you’re anywhere remotely nearby, make a trip to come see BMOW and the other exhibits! I attended last year’s faire, and the caliber of the exhibits was excellent. Everything was fascinating and amazing, so I’m not sure BMOW will measure up to the rest. But they accepted my application, so now they’re stuck with me. Heehee!

Thanks to Bill Buzbee for pointing me to the late-entry application. (Bill and the Magic-1 will be there this year too.) The application process was surprisingly simple: just a few words about myself, my project, and some links to photos, videos, and this site. I just got a response back today, letting me know I’d been accepted. I’m wondering about the brevity of the application: I’m not sure how they really know that the projects will be any good, or of any interest to the public. Yet while some of last year’s exhibits were better than others, I didn’t see anything that struck me as boring or lame.

I’m thrilled and excited, but I’m also pretty nervous. Besides furnishing a table, chairs, and a power outlet, the faire doesn’t provide me with any other support. I’m not sure what I’ll need to make an interesting booth, but I don’t think simply having BMOW there on a table will be enough. For one thing, if you have no idea what you’re looking at, it just looks like a bunch of crap in an X-terminal case that someone drilled a hole in.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. A big BMOW sign or banner. Maybe scrounge up an old dot-matrix printer and make a BMOW banner with Print Shop. Or a piece of posterboard, with a pseudo-dot-matrix BMOW logo constructed from colored squares cut from construction paper.
  2. A second PC with a looping powerpoint presentation, outlining the highlights of the project, with photos of the wire wrapping.
  3. A third PC for demonstrating the simulator, microcode compiler, and other custom tools, and for downloading data to BMOW via USB.
  4. Printouts of the schematics and all the other technical documents in a big binder, for the truly curious.
  5. A continuously-running, interruptable demo loop for BMOW.
  6. A clear plastic or glass cover for the hardware, to protect my year and a half’s work from overly-curious finger poking.
  7. Maybe print up some info/business cards with the logo, summary, this site’s address, my name, and so forth. A number of exhibitors did that least year, and I thought it was a nice touch.

San Mateo fairgrounds, here I come!

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1 Comment so far

  1. Martin Piper - April 20th, 2009 10:45 am

    Good luck! There is a small chance I might be in the San Francisco Bay Area around those dates so I might be able to pop along to the show and check this big mess of wires first hand. 🙂

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