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MAKE Newsletter

May 5, 2010

Welcome to the Make: Newsletter

Hello Fellow Movers, Makers, and Shakers!

gothic-raygun328.jpgThe Gothic Raygun Rocketship, one of the many new attractions at this year's Maker Faire Bay Area.

We hope you're having a spectacular spring and that you're enjoying some sunshine and make-time. We've been busy little makers ourselves, working on the next issue of the magazine (the theme is Gadgets), planning some ground-breaking new features for the site, and perhaps most exciting of all (at least in the near-term), getting ready for Maker Faire Bay Area (May 22 & 23). We hope you're planning on joining us! Even if you've already been to one or more of our Faires, we have dozens of new makers presenting their work and it promises to be downright spectacular. We go out of our way each year to make sure that the Faire is new and fresh, and we think we've succeeded handsomely this year. Our incomparable senior editor, Goli Mohammadi, is doing a series of profiles of new makers coming to the Faire. Her first two pieces cover the Gothic Raygun Rocketship (seen above) and the SolarPump Electric Charging Station . You can see additional profiles (and other Faire covearge) on the Maker Faire page at Make: Online.

MZ_AltTransportation-Badge.gifOn the website, we finished up our Geek Chic monthly theme and have now launched our May theme of "Alt.Transportation." We're covering all manner of bikes, trikes, EVs (electric vehicles), watercraft, kit-planes, jetpacks, you name it! You can find all of the Alt.Transportation coverage via our Transportation page.

And, as always, we'd love to get your participation in creating the content on MAKE. So, if you have a transportation project you're working on, or know of something we should cover under this theme, please email me!


We're also still exploring content related to our quarterly theme of Make: Time & Space (archived in our Toolbox section). We're looking for material related to organizing your head and your workspace for making. Let us know if you have anything to share.


I hope we'll see you at the Faire!

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Keeping Up with CRAFT

By Natalie Zee Drieu


CRAFT has just wrapped up a special month on gardening, with lots of projects, features, and tips for backyard gardening and indoor plants. Top projects include learning how to build your own raised gardening bed, recycled gardening tricks , and how to make a tackle box planter. Check out the gardening roundup for a full listing of posts.


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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging terms you might hear floating around (but don't really know the meaning of), the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of DIY subcultures. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to gareth@makezine.com.  --Gareth

Apex publication — A book, magazine, website, or other resource that leads to a whole slew of other key resources. Starting with such apex pubs is a great way to quickly get up to speed on a subject.

Blamestorming — When a project goes wrong, the counterproductive activity of sitting around trying to figure out who's to blame. (When I did the "Jargon Watch" column in Wired, this was one of the most popular terms published.)

Bodge — British slang for a make-do hack, a temporary repair, a kludge. From the Middle English boccen, meaning "to mend." One who bodges is a bodger.

Enthusiast resource — Term used by Kevin Kelly in his call for the best sources for niche-market suppliers ("deep selections in a very narrow field").

Monome principle — The increase in the desire to make music when doing so means playing with lots of blinking LEDs. The term makes reference to the popular lighted-button music controller known as the Monome. (Coined by Collin Cunningham.)

PBI (partially-baked idea) — An idea that's more than "half-baked," but not yet cooked enough for safe consumption. Not to be confused with PB&J, which is ready to eat. (Coined by Steve Roberts.)

Workafrolics — Super-hardworking people who are doing what they love. (Coined by Richard St. John in his research on the keys to success.)

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The Make: Robot Build

By Gareth Branwyn

We're just finishing up the Make: Robot Build, sponsored by Jameco. This is one of the most enjoyable programs we've done in a while. Makers really picked up the ball on this thing and ran with it. The idea is to create a "CoasterBot," an autonomous robot built using CD/DVD media as the main building material. Your bot has to navigate a space, avoiding obstacles, and be set up for future sensor add-ons. The grand prize is a $500 gift card and a Maker Faire ticket. The winner's bot will also be shown at the Faire.


We've really been impressed with what builders have done with the dead CD (aka "coaster") media. They've thermoformed it, cut it to make wheels and other parts, made snaking chains of connected CDs, and interlocked cut CDs (as Flickr user videorecords has done in the bot seen here).


We've heard from a lot of builders that this project was their final motivation to get off their behinds and finally learn some basic robot and programming skills. We've been feeding them how-tos and basic info via a series of weekly dispatches, Make: Online posts, and in the MAKE Forums. You can find links to all of this material on the Robot Build Landing Page.

Newsflash: If you bought a Jameco parts bundle or otherwise have the parts you need to build a CoasterBot, there's still time! We've extended the contest deadline until Monday, May 10th, 12pm PDT, so you have time to build your bot! Check out the CoasterBot tag on Flickr to see what others are doing. Perhaps you have a brighter idea! All entrants will get a Maker's Notebook, courtesy of Maker Shed!

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