Maker Faire Bay Area, May 19-20


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by liz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:52 am
Eben and I will be at Maker Faire in San Mateo on May 19-20. Let me know if you'll be coming along - and drop by to say hello!
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by Andre_P » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:08 pm
Remember to wear a flower in your hair ! :)

I remember the Bay Area, 2001, open top sports car, girl from Cupertino by my side, such a glorious summer, why can't I have that one again :) .
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by SeanD » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:25 am
I will be there.  Favorite family day out.

In person I can tell you the details of the somewhat amusing story I heard regarding a use for the RPI at dinner this evening. A nine figure project saved by $35 computer type story.
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by dhb » Wed May 09, 2012 12:22 am
(Haven't been to the forum for a while, life got busy, so I didn't see this when it was posted.  But I searched for Maker Faire here when I noticed:)

Eben's presentation is scheduled at the same time as Adam Savage!?!!

Tell them that's no fair and ask for an adjustment.  (Given I can find a couple versions of the schedule, including one with four things on the same stage at the same time,  it's hard to imagine it's finalized yet.)

My wife & I were planning to go on Saturday, but were reevaluating due to Adam Savage and now Eben presenting on Sunday.  Will you have a booth or something both days?
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by Jim Manley » Wed May 09, 2012 1:08 am
I will absolutely be there representing the Computer History Museum and helping out with Faire matters behind-the-scenes.  It will be great to finally meet you and Eben and I hope other Bay area forum members here will be able to attend.

I'll be able to hang out if there's an opportunity for that outside of Faire hours, although I'm sure you already probably have an over-booked schedule for every minute of your time in California (we just have too many things to keep us busy here :) ).  That includes a tour of the museum, in the event you happen to be passing though Mountain View that weekend.
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by jbeale » Wed May 09, 2012 1:25 am
Hoping to be there! better than 50% chance at the moment.
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by pdp7 » Sat May 12, 2012 12:16 am
It"s getting close now! :)

Anyone planning to go and interested in having a Pi meetup?

After the Sunday 11:00am demo might be a convenient time (~11:30am).  Will have to see if there is a good spot to hang out at, maybe food/picnic area, otherwise, I suppose could just stand and chat.

Alternatively, I"d be into something on either evening in the area.  I"m staying in the "official" hotel, the Crowne Plaza, and the lounge served as a good location to have a hackerspace federation meetup in the past (although that was a Sunday, iirc it"s a surprisingly busy nightclub on Saturday night).

Cheers,

Drew

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by SeanD » Wed May 16, 2012 12:52 pm
I have a pass for the weekend but I do not currently get back from Oz until lunchtime on Saturday so I guess I am going to be there on Sunday with the kids. If I can find a better flight back I will come up on Saturday as well.

Looking forward to meeting some people from the forum.
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by Jim Manley » Wed May 16, 2012 9:54 pm
Hi Liz and Eben,

According to the Faire iPhone/Android app (http://app.net/makerfaire), it looks like booth 8178 is where the Pi will be featured for the duration of the Faire. I also noticed that Eben's Center Stage presentation will be 1 PM Saturday and there will be another on the Demo Stage at 11 AM Sunday.

I will be bringing my battery-powered Pi along with a battery-powered display, etc., and I will be able to show some OpenGL ES 2.0 3-D graphics that I'm working on as part of the Pi-finity! educational game system. If you'd like, I can provide the source and executables via USB flash drive when I arrive Saturday afternoon around 1 ~ 2 PM. I will be doing Faire volunteer work 4 - 8 PM Saturday and 3 - 7 PM Sunday, but, if you could use some help at the booth answering questions and showing what the Pi can do (e.g., on mine), I will be able to help out Saturday between 1:30 and 3:30 PM and Sunday between 10 AM and 2:30 PM (taking out the time at 11 AM to watch Eben's presentation, of course).

I'll be easy to spot as the technogeek in the crowd ... running a Pi! ;)

See everyone there!
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by Jim Manley » Fri May 18, 2012 2:59 pm
I attended the volunteer coordination meeting for the Maker Faire Thursday evening, where we wandered around the fairgrounds becoming familiar with where things will be and were briefed on procedures. They're introducing a really cool barcode-matching system and wireless-networked hand-held scanners (like the ones used to scan large items in carts in big-box stores). It makes rejoining lost kids/parents a piece of cake compared with Ye Olde Dayse of Yore when announcements were made every five minutes over an unintelligible PA system, "Siggle the mmmph, and cobsko all phermigans at the Blagovah Pavilion ... " :( ). I found the Center Stage and Demo Stage areas where Eben will be giving his presentations about the Pi, but, the area where the Foundation booth will be was still being set up, so, it wasn't clear exactly where the booth will actually be. BTW, it's in a pavilion sponsored partly by Intel - oh, the sweet irony! ;)

One interesting factoid - there will be so many 3-D printers at the Faire that they've decided to disperse them all around the fairgrounds venue in pretty much every pavilion associated with technology. About the only exceptions are the sustainable and organic farming, and the fabric craft areas - but, some of the folks in those exhibits do use things like laptops ... and even an Arduino, or three. At the Maker Faire, Arduinos are everywhere, including running some of the art exhibitions, like a 20 foot-tall flowering plant ... that shoots flames. I suspect that there will be a lot more than one Pi at the Faire by next year.

More to Come ... lots more ...
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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by SeanD » Sat May 19, 2012 3:49 am
I am looking forward to the Faire. I have come back from my travels a day early so I can spend tomorrow morning there and join my daughter sailing in the afternoon.
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by Jim Manley » Sun May 20, 2012 6:14 am
SeanD wrote:I am looking forward to the Faire. I have come back from my travels a day early so I can spend tomorrow morning there and join my daughter sailing in the afternoon.


Which marina do you sail from and where do you like to go? I'm restoring a 1974 Ranger 29 at Marina Village in Alameda, next to the Encinal Yacht Club about a mile in on the South side of the Oakland Inner Harbor channel, just East of the Webster Tube.

I'll be at the Demo Stage before Eben's presentation on programming at 11 AM Sunday, so, we can meet there.

I finally did catch up with Eben and Liz today after a chase scene that would have made the Keystone Cops look like the most professional organization on Earth. It reminded me of the scene in "The Pink Panther", where the drunk is trying to stumble across the street while all manner of police and criminals in Halloween animal costumes drive by at high speed, from half a dozen directions. We were able to sit down in a rare quiet area and have a nice chat about all things Pi, OpenGL ES, GPU-accelerated X, etc.

I was able to spend some time with a senior Oracle systems engineer in their booth and he was able to provide me some background on prospective upcoming efforts to ensure that ARM-based systems will be receiving adequate attention in Java 8 and 9 over the coming years (which will be Open JDK compliant). There is already a headless Java ARM SE SDK 1.7 in release, and a headed (GUI) version based on Java FX in early beta. Swing and AWT are being supplanted in Java 8 and 9 by modern graphics-intense tools and libraries that will be tightly integrated with GPUs, which is very good news for the Pi community. Due to the current scarcity of Pi boards, Oracle's Java developers are working on who in their various offices may be doing what for ARM ports and post-development support. Eben has been talking with Oracle folks at a preliminary level and will let the Pi community know what agreements may be established in the future regarding development of Java for the Pi, in particular, with an emphasis on support for the GPU.

I'm looking forward to Sunday when SeanD, perhaps jbeale, and other forum members may show up - the more, the merrier. At least I'll be able to spend my time actually looking at the exhibits and presentations instead of wandering around playing hide-and-seek with Eben and Liz! :)
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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by liz » Sun May 20, 2012 4:33 pm
Just off to the show grounds - come and see us at 11am on the demo stage, where we'll be…demoing. ;)
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by Jim Manley » Sun May 20, 2012 7:50 pm
An overflow crowd was at Eben's presentation on the Demo Stage at 11 AM Sunday, as usual, and the typical questions were asked, such as where can we buy a Pi, when can we buy one, why can't we buy one, when can we buy more than one, why doesn't it have WiFi/Bluetooth/SATA/8 USB 3.0 ports/etc., built-in, and pretty much everything else that's been asked on the forum often much more than once. Eben really needs to clone himself, or at least annoint others to proseletyze on behalf of the Foundation - answering the same questions repeatedly has to get old really fast.

I've finally run across a couple of people from the forum here, and I'm going to go see the guy at the Berkeley Linux Users Group who has a board running at his booth. I'm currently at Oracle's Java educational booth and at 1 PM I need to go take care of some Faire volunteer work. I hope they give me a cushy indoor task, as it's hot and sunny outside. The darkened building where the Tesla stage is has become a favorite place for thousands of people to cool off ... at the same time, unfortunately, so, that plan doesn't work so well :( I'll report from my next location as soon as I get a chance to sit down again. Phewwww ...
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by jbeale » Sun May 20, 2012 9:48 pm
I was only able to spend 90 minutes taking in the whole Faire this morning due to train schedules and a certain 4-year-old's naptime, and I was unable to find the RasPi booth (though we did enjoy many other sights, including some really impressive soap bubble action outside).

Was there anything shown or talked about that isn't available online? Did Eben address the questions solicited eg. on this thread? http://www.element14.com/community/thre ... 6?tstart=0 and if so will there be a transcript somewhere? (video is ok for some things, but a text file is faster to scan through looking for something specific). For reference, the questions were about
Code: Select all
1) Any public API coming for the little-known DSP core in the SoC?
2) Comment on SD card compatibility issues
3) More volume enables better and/or cheaper product. What will be added in RasPi version 2?
4) Any hope of headers on both sides of PCB to better support "Pi plates" ?
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by Jim Manley » Sun May 20, 2012 11:23 pm
jbeale - If Eben or Liz don't reply, I'll provide my interpretation of what Eben's answers are after I get home tonight. It turns out there is no Foundation booth, per se, but, I hope there will be by next year, or at least one sponsored by or shared with RS/Element14/etc.

I'm currently in the Maker Shed in Redwood Hall with my Pi, by the door closest to Fiesta Hall. For each $99 of merchandise purchased or one-year subscription to Make Magazine you buy, you get a chance to spin a wheel to win a $50 gift certificate, a Maker mug, an advance copy of Make Magazine, a Make Notebook, or two highly-coveted Make Pencils (deluxe model with integrated eraser feature ;) ). Can you tell I make the biggest commission on the pencils? :D

Damn, standing on your feet all day is a hard way to earn a free volunteer entry to the Faire, but, someone's gotta do it :)
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by liz » Sun May 20, 2012 11:52 pm
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by SeanD » Mon May 21, 2012 5:35 am
Jim,

Sorry I did not make it over to the side of the stage you were on to say hi. I had to run after Eben's session and you were not at the locations I expected to find you when I came looking for you later.

Eben's session went very well I thought given that his title had no alignment with what he had come to actually talk about, and the demo set up was interesting. His comment on the effect on coding by having to walk 3 yards after typing each line got an interesting "it was at least 10 yards in my day" from the slightly older guy next to me.

I thought the Q&A was funny as it was a complete replica of the frequently asked and answered questions on here. I was playing a mental form of Q&A Bingo and apart from slightly cheating by allowing the question on "Boxed Educational Boards" count for my Cases question I had a hit on every question.

One of the questions, or to be correct the answer to a question that Eben made did have some interesting reverberations. I had lunch with a journalist who I know from my day job and who was as off duty as they ever get at the event. The response in question was regarding being able to see the true demand when the "one per person" ration is removed. Eben mentioned the figure of buying 1,000 at a time which I think had set a marker that my friend had taken forward to the people he spoke to before we had lunch. The though was that multi board end user orders will actually be the true test of the project. Schools/education buyers will buy this way, derivative commercial product developers will also as will a whole new type of community/individual project buyer. The first group is a given, the second quite highly likely (but noted rare for other borads like Arduino or Beagle) and the third will be something all together new. Buying large numbers of other boards for a single project is unheard of, the boards are either too expensive or for a combination of cost and other reasons it is simpler to design a bespoke board. There were a couple of sensor based projects that were at the Faire this year that had done exactly that and where talking to them they would probably have used the RPI if it was available.

So for me next year it will be interesting to see if there are makers there who have bought hundreds possibly thousands of RPis to build something, probably not along the HPC route but more likely some use for a network of reasonably high performance nodes connected to reasonably high bandwidth sensors.
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by Jim Manley » Mon May 21, 2012 8:23 am
Hi Sean - there will be plenty of opportunities to link up in the near future, as my recent posts about the Computer History Museum hosting user group meetings, presentations, etc., indicate. Besides, why are we playing with a 3-D powerhouse if we can't meet in virtual reality? :)

Yeah, it really is painful seeing Ye Olde Same Olde Questions being asked over and over again. We need to get Eben onto the major network and newspaper news outlets to publicize the FAQ answers once and for all ... except for the cable-cutters and almost everyone under 30 who pay no attention to traditional news media.

The educational market will provide all of the numbers needed to get the Pi into the millions-fielded Hall of Fame within the next six months, if some money can be redirected from the troughs of the ICT hardware and software bloatware vendors in the UK and everywhere else. I don't think the Foundation really understands the dimensions of that Goliath and the politics involved in keeping the vendors in the lifestyle to which they have become very accustomed. I don't care if you came up with a completely free alternative, they would still turn on their campaign fund spigots and make damned sure no one who matters (i.e., the political purse-string holders) hears a truthful thing about the Pi ever again. It's extremely difficult to thwart their PR machine, especially when demos of the Pi running CPU-intensive software slowly will be used to say, "See, this isn't a serious computer worth any amount of money." It won't matter that the Foundation will be trying to say, "No, you don't understand, the focus of the Pi is on teaching software development." As I've said before, I think it's a huge mistake to keep saying that the Pi is meant to teach programming - there's a hell of a lot more going on in any real-world software development project than programming or, more accurately, implementation, and many more people get paid for those ancillary tasks beyond just the implementation (testing comes to mind, not to mention a much-needed focus on fool-proof design principles).

It's probably already too late to get much funding redirected for significant Pi buys by educators for this coming academic year, anyway, at least beyond the early adopter educators in relatively small numbers. Even if the Computing At School initiative developing material for teaching software development was finished, it's too late to provide the teacher training for this coming year, and the unions would have a field day if anyone tries to accelerate or even skip that step. That could, in fact, stall the growth of Pi sales once the current one-each demand is met (upwards of half of which were back-up orders, as we are hearing from nearly everyone who tried to order on D-Day). The CAS effort isn't anywhere near being complete, however, and I know it wasn't meant to be, but, it's going to be yet-another speed bump that may not be visible in most Pi promoters' windshields, yet, but, like the many other unforeseen bumps and slippery surfaces that have plagued the roll-out (for whatever reasons), it's going to slow the adoption below what may be hoped. I absolutely hope I'm wrong about this, but, I've starred in this type of horror movie more than once before and, despite pleas from the movie audience, once the guy in the plastic mask starts slashing, it's just too late - the script has already been signed, sealed, and delivered. I also hope to be able to blunt some of this through influential friends in the education, business, and, most importantly, political sectors, but, this sort of thing takes way more time than reasoning people can possibly imagine.

The commercial and hobbyist markets might actually be the white knights that will come galloping in from off-stage to save the day while the educators get their ducks lined up and quacking straight. This will only be true if people can be properly educated that the ultimate trade-off on the Pi has always been cost/price whenever a decision has had to be made. Based on the questions we keep seeing, that message has clearly not been getting across even to people who should know better that you can't get something for nothing. I blame it on the generally poor overall teaching of the Three Laws of Thermodynamics, even to many engineering students these days - (Zeroth Law) matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed and only transformed into each other, (First Law) in a perfect world the best you can do is break even, and (Second Law) the world is not anywhere near perfect so the best you can do is much less than break even ... always (aka entropy always increases over time within an entire system such as the universe, at least as far as all the evidence points, to the present).

One huge advantage of the Pi is that you don't have to keep re-establishing comms between a host and an embedded system in order to download updates to the embedded components during development, particularly rapid prototyping, which is often not rapid at all, given that infernal delay when repeatedly having to reset everything. Once integrated "Pi-duino" systems with I/O-rich multi-port serial, D/A and A/D capabilities occurs (and I know of a dozen projects currently in stealth mode kicking off in that vein alone), embedded developers will be at the intersection of Heaven, Nirvana, and Shangri-la. For commercial Pi expansion projects, it's going to be very interesting, but, see my warning in the next paragraph about expectations vs. reality.

I'm continuing to see a dangerous trend of over-hyping the Pi as yet-another Linux box (albeit cheap) when it clearly cannot be that with the current ARM CPU, and that's confusing and disappointing people when they actually get to see demos with which they can play (I'm repeatedly seeing this first-hand). The Pi can barely run a browser (or much else) at less than 100% CPU load (although I do need to try out the ongoing armhf port recently announced). I don't know if anyone has tried running any of the OpenOffice variants, but, I'm guessing it won't be a happy camper at all if 128 MB of RAM is dedicated to the GPU, as needed for 1080p full-on HD output.

The emphasis has to be on the GPU's capabilities, and that's a problem because there are so few people with experience with OGLES 2.0 outside the iOS and, to a lesser degree, Android developers. Those communities might not even recognize how OGLES 2.0 is accessed on the Pi given their Objective C and Java bindings, respectively. It's already obvious to me that the EGL-based code needed to access the framebuffer on the Pi is so very different from that in most of the legacy demos, examples, and full application implementations which typically use completely different GL-based frameworks that probably will not fit within the Pi memory constraints. That means we're going to need to port a lot of non-OGLES 2.0 code over to the Pi, and that's going to be very painful, especially the large body of OGL code that's been building for going on 27 years (if Original Flavor GL is included, most of which as been moved to OGL or abandoned).

I'm now not even sure if the X11 GPU acceleration is really that good of an idea, but, we'll see what the three groups that are now apparently attacking the problem come up with - once again, it's that memory limitation that's going to severely limit performance, especially for the majority of things that the GPU can't help accelerate. I'm starting to come to the realization that what we need instead of X is a 3-D version of X - call it X-Cubed, or something like that. Why bother staying stuck in a 2-D desktop metaphor when half our memory and 99% of the performance of the SoC is associated with the GPU? I'm having side discussions with people outside the Pi community that have a lot of experience in standards-based (both de facto and IEEE/ANSI/etc.) 3-D environments to determine what the best candidates might be to adopt, especially given our memory constraints. I could use that for Pi-finity! in spades, as it's not clear how much of game engines like Panda3D can actually be ported to the Pi due to the memory and CPU limits.

This obviously deserves its own thread(s), so, I'll quit while I'm this far behind already :) We should discuss candidate 3-D environments in such threads, and I'll be starting to look at them over the next couple of weeks, on top of the Panda3D evaluation for Pi suitability. We may need to either trim down one, or more candidates, or build something even better, knowing what we now know about user experience psychology, visualization, optimal 3-D resource allocation, etc. The future is going to be, as the Chinese blessing/curse states, "interesting".
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by liz » Mon May 21, 2012 6:04 pm
There's a lot in Jim's last, but we are more on top of PR than you think, I believe; there's a long segment we've already pre-recorded for CNN's Quest Means Business coming out next month, we were on Fox (cough) recently, we've just had an hour with the Wall St Journal, and there's continuing coverage with other US newspapers. We've been on Chinese state TV, in The Australian, in all of the British broadsheets and on both of the UK's major TV news networks (repeatedly), in Greece's largest-circulation newspaper, in Das Bild, Le Monde…need I go on?

I don't put all of the press we have in the press thread in this forum, just a representative sample. Google News is your friend in this instance!
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by Robert_M » Sat May 26, 2012 4:23 am
Jim - your comments about 3D environments connects with something I found online, recently. When I saw it, I thought it'd be the perfect match with the R-Pi as a 3D computing environment. It's the Emotiv Headset controller. There's a video clip here:

Demonstration of the Emotiv Headset controller:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40L3SGmcPDQ

Their website is here:
http://www.emotiv.com/index.php

In brief (if you've not seen or heard about it) the headset monitors electrical impulses on the scalp and uses algorithms to "unwrap" the cortex and map where the impulses come from, providing a hands-free, keyboard-free interface that works in 3D computer environments. As your comments suggest (to me, at least) maybe R-Pi can be part of that push to move beyond 2D computer control and processing, away from the flat paper and desktop environment and through that glass screen into the Z axis.
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by AndrewS » Sat May 26, 2012 9:17 am
Robert_M wrote:http://www.emotiv.com/index.php
In brief (if you've not seen or heard about it) the headset monitors electrical impulses on the scalp and uses algorithms to "unwrap" the cortex and map where the impulses come from, providing a hands-free, keyboard-free interface that works in 3D computer environments.

I'm kinda sceptical about this (sorry!) - whenever I see these "brain control" interfaces demo-ed they always seem really unreliable and inaccurate. :?
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by Gert van Loo » Sat May 26, 2012 10:14 pm
AndrewS wrote:....whenever I see these "brain control" interfaces demo-ed they always seem really unreliable and inaccurate. :?


The one I have is absolutely reliable.
It is been working reliable non stop since I married 18 years ago.
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by AndrewS » Sat May 26, 2012 10:27 pm
(I hate to post a single-emoticon reply, but that totally deserves a...)

:lol:
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