Maker Faire San Mateo 2012 Recap: Part 1

This past weekend I attended Maker Faire in San Mateo for my second year in a row. I was amazed at all the new things people had made. Even with two days I still did not get to see everything.

I went with Chris Kraft, Ben Heckendorn, and some fokes from GeekStreams. We first started on Friday where we went to the Computer History Museum.

The outside of the Computer History Museum. It had a bar in it!

Slide ruler neck clip. This was probably never cool. I still haven’t seen a hipster wear one yet however.

An interesting ad by IBM. Apparently a computer can replace 150 Engineers!

This computer had some interesting output devices.

A differential analyzer that used a magnetic drum to do the calculations. I have no clue on how this works.

A memory module that required heated mercury to operate correctly.

Binary gate used in a mechanical computer.

Guidance computer for a cruse missile.

Chris standing next to the Apollo guidance computer.

A really large working harddrive. Had to be over 4 feet tall.

The famous Cray-1 Super Computer.

Really ugly jackets there engineers wore.

A computer for your wife! For $10,000 in the 1960’s you could buy your wife the ultimate cookbook and two weeks of programming lessons!

How to start your own start up company.


Officer Mac says, “You are coming with me. Dead or Alive”.

Atari 2600 Prototype. TIA on left, RIOT in the middle, 6507 on the right. They woulnd not allow me to take it apart and draw a schematic of it.

TIA back side.

Ralph Baer’s Brown Box. The first video game console.

Digital Nomad bicycle.

The internet in a box!

The PDP-1 Space Wars game.

Jim Williams’ analog work bench.

Some of Jim’s brilliant dead bug style circuitry.

That wrapped up the trip to the Computer History Museum. After watching Ben record some shows for Revision 3, some drinking, and sleep it was Maker Faire time on Saturday morning. First stop was the SparkFun booth.

A balance platform controlled by 4 Wii nunchuck controllers. Using the 4 inputs you have to make the ball stay in the black circle.

The control software for the balance platform. Upper left is the image processing to find where the ball is. Lower right is the current and past inputs of the nunchucks.

An Atmel microcontroller based computer.

Custom electric guitar. That was it for the SparkFun booth. Took to wondering around a bit and found this guy.

Starcraft Marine I think.

This isn’t your grandmother’s garden gnome.

A replica Altair 8800 microcomputer.

Then we found RoboGrrl’s booth.

Going to post the rest of the pictures in another post. Stay Tuned!

2 thoughts on “Maker Faire San Mateo 2012 Recap: Part 1”

  1. Looking at the 2600 proto, I believe the 6502 (later, 7) and RIOT are both on the right PCB because they were finished chips. The two left boards are probably both TIA.

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