World Maker Faire NYC 2013

I’m just back from World Maker Faire 2013 in NYC. It was held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens (site of the 1964 Worlds Fair) and was simply amazing. There were too many great talks, gadgets, etc. to list but here are a few notable ones and things I liked:

  • Wendy Tremayne, author of The Good Life Lab gave a really wonderful talk about going off-the-grid in New Mexico. She was very inspirational and it was one of the most memorable sessions I went to.
  • OpenBCI, an EEG/Arduino interface board (some very interesting possibilities for device control and neuroscience at home…) Can’t wait to see where this is going
  • Jeri Ellsworth (an absolutely amazing engineer and inspiration to all self-taught hardware hackers) was there presenting “Cast AR“, an augmented reality platform that looks really promising.
  • Open Wire Lab had some really interesting & super flexible sensors that look like they’d be great for a glove controller or something similar. I picked up two of them to do a bit of prototyping with.
  • I grabbed a couple of Streetlight Max RGB light-sticks for the kids (a big hit!)
  • I got to meet Ben Heck and Alyson!
  • Last but not least, David Pogue gave a sneak preview of his upcoming TV mini-series

Oh, and Eepybird was there with a lot of Diet Coke and Mentos to entertain the crowd :)

EEVBlog Soldering Tutorials

Dave Jones, of EEVBlog fame, has a great three-part series on soldering. He starts with an overview of tools, materials, etc. in Part 1, and then Parts 2 and 3 cover everything from basics, like through-hole component soldering, all the way up through dealing with tiny surface-mount components. Really great stuff with very useful tips; if you aren’t already a fan of Dave’s work you should check out his YouTube channel and/or The Amp Hour podcast he does with Chris Gammell. Many thanks to Dave for all the hard work, great posts, and his Australian sense of humor!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Build your own digital computer!

paperclipcoverI discovered a post last night on Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories’ site re: “how to build a working digital computer out of paperclips.” It immediately reminded me of Charles Petzold’s book (Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software) so I headed over to to check it out. The book, How to Build a Working Digital Computer by Edward Alcosser, James P. Phillips, and Allen M. Wolk, is available for download in a variety of formats (many thanks and the copyright holders!!) and looks to be a very interesting read.