MakerFaire is sponsored by Make Magazine, a wonderful publication for the do-it-yourself movement. It is for peole who don't just want to consume a product but make them, modify them, see how they can be fixed if broken or repurposed if thrown away.
Over two days (May 19-20) at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds 400 Makers and 45,000 attendees interacted with the projects and each other. I personally have never had such a good time at a public event. To give you an idea of the spirt of the place, we parked the car and watch a father and daughter unload an ATV converted into an electric cupcake. When the girl saw us her first words were, "Do you want to drive it?"
The exhibits ranged from musical instruments, fabric crafts, computer controlled devices of all kinds, battling robots, and a variety of unsual bicycles and a complete amusement park driven by bike power. A drag strip offered races between different power tools. Simulators allowed you to pilot a hang glider or and 1950's flying disc. High mileage vehicles included a biodiesel BMW motorcycle, tuned Priuses, and different electric cars.
I was glad to meet Stephen Dunifer of Radio Free Berkeley. He has long been a pioneer pushing for a more enlightened and open policy for community radio. In additon, his technical publications he sells kits for low power radio transmitters starting at $280 for a 15 watt station.
There were different classes of battling robot vehicles, a robot drum set, and a model of R2D2. These two yellow robots could perform a variety of gymnatic exercises in a suprisingly fluid manner.
The next MakerFaire will take place in Austin , Texas, October 20-21, 2007. I'll be posting a video of the event later. In the meantime, watch this one