Introduction: [blog 2006-04-24] Maker Faire Presentation

About: I help run Instructables

I had a total blast at the Maker Faire. Particularly rewarding was meeting Instructables users and talking about the projects they've posted to the site. Obviously, "meeting the makers" was the whole purpose of the Faire, but it really did have special meaning.

When I first met now-Squid-Labs partner Corwin, I quickly discovered that we both kitesurfed and built our own gear to support our crazed fascination. We had an immediate and deep connection that led to an awesome conversation and later a great friendship. We had a shared vocabulary that let us understand and appreciate the other's experiences (which were remarkably and humorously similar).

I had the same feeling meeting Makers at the Faire. Each one was deep and passionate about their work; there were shared experiences and vocabulary. Had time permitted, I would have loved to spend all day getting into the gritty details of each project and meeting more friends. I hope we can do it again soon.

In case you missed my presentation on Instructables at the Faire, here are the slides. Everything is pretty straightforward except slide 2, which requires a little more explanation: Kitesurfing in Boston is interesting and full of quirks. A particular quirk is the weather and wind, which is primarily driven by low pressure systems. When a system rolls through, it will blow a perfect 18 knots from the south-southwest for days, but it might be two weeks until the next system and good wind. So, when it blows, you drop everything and run to the beach. Coincidentally, one of these perfect systems rolled into town the week before my Ph.D. thesis defense. I'm passionate! I had no choice! Rather than prepare for the defense, I spent four days straight kiting at the local spot, Pleasure Bay. I was there so much, that my picture appeared in the Boston Globe. Good thing my thesis committee didn't read the Globe -- I might never have graduated!