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MAKE Newsletter

March 3, 2010


Greetings doers, makers, hackers, tinkerers, and DIYers of all stripes!

We hope you're digging out from your wintery cocoon and you're ready to bust out into a vigorous springtime of making cool stuff! As always, we'll do our best to egg you on (if you'll pardon the springy pun).

MAKE magazine -- As I write this, we're putting the finishing touches on MAKE Volume 22, the "Remote Control Everything" issue. In it, we take a wide-angle view of all types of "remote control," from radio-controlled copters and crawlers to all sorts of machinery you can teleoperate over the internet. Projects include the Lawnbot 400 ("sit back, relax, and enjoy the mow") and the Kitty Twitty, an adorable Arduino-powered twittering cat toy. There are eight great remote control projects in all, tons of other how-tos, regular columns, maker news, and more.

Makers Market -- Big news lately is the final launch of Makers Market , our geeky, online answer to a farmer's market, a place where makers we've selected can easily set up shop and sell their wares, from one-of-a-kind art to handmade small-production pieces, to electronics, science, and craft kits. The Market's been in business just a few weeks and already there's an impressive and fun community of sellers with an amazing collection of wares. Be sure to check it out. And if you've been fantasizing about starting your own maker business and opening up a little online store, this could be the virtual real estate you've been waiting for (see later in this newsletter for some sample offerings from Makers Market).

Make: Online -- Speaking of "maker business," that's still our quarterly special theme on the website. See my original posting here, now updated with links to all of the articles on the theme to date. It's inspiring to see so many makers making their hobbies into a part of their livelihood.

March brings the Academy Awards and our monthly theme of DIY Movie Making . We're covering all aspects of movie creation, from cameras and the other tech involved, to homemade special F/X, animation, stop-motion graphics, model making, you name it. We'll also be talking to no-budget filmmakers and showing you some of our favorite desktop movie projects. As always, we want you to be involved, so if you have any suggestions, desires for coverage, your own DIY movie masterpiece to show off, or anything else you'd like to share with us, please email me.

CRAFT -- Our crafty cohorts next door are welcoming a new columnist, Katie Wilson, who already wears a bunch of (smart-looking) hats for us as the designer for both MAKE and CRAFT. Katie's joining the CRAFT team to contribute a regular column on design that we're really looking forward to!

Editor-in-Chief, Make: Online

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The Maker's Dictionary explores the world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We cover emerging coinage 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 subculture. If you have any terms or slang you want to share, send them to gareth@makezine.com. --Gareth

Frankensteining -- Term used in many different fields to describe "stitching" together different pieces of something in order to make something new, different, better, and hopefully, not monstrous. E.g., in hobby model making, combining a number of different kits together to create a unique model.

Gerber -- A common file format used in the designs for printed circuit boards (PCBs). This standard was originally developed by the Gerber Systems Company as a specification to drive their photoplotter machines. It was then adopted by other photoplotter companies, and then extended to computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), where it has become a de facto standard.

verbal prototyping -- The act of discussing your projects and products online, seeking feedback, sharing details, and asking questions of potential customers, in an effort to refine your ideas before you render them. Coined by Dale Dougherty in discussing today's makers and their abiility to communicate and connect online, and the tremedous advantage of that.

populating -- Used to describe the act of putting all of the components onto a PCB.

pinky-suck idea -- A devilishly-good, Dr. Evil-worthy idea, after the "One Million Dollars" gesture of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Used by Nathan Myhrvold during his recent TED talk about shooting down mosquitoes with lasers.

upcycle -- Defined on Wikipedia as "the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value." The opposite of upcycling is downcycling, where materials are recycled, but with less resulting quality and value than the original material from which they're dervived.

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In the Market

makers_market217.pngTo give you a taste of what our new Makers Market has to offer, here are just a few of the sellers who have opened up shop there:



We like to use the farmer's market analogy for Makers Market, but the folks at Middle Creek Merchants are actual blueberry farmers from northeast Tennessee! When they're not tending their berries, they make and sell these tiny handmade solar-powered robots and robot kits in the Makers Market. Check out their store.


rareBeasts.JPGRarebeasts hail from Canberra, Australia, where they make and sell handmade electronic instruments, made from as many recycled parts of possible. Their "Wicks Looper" device allows you to create real-time noise loops and sound effects. See more Rarebeasts creations here.


Andrew, of Glowingtech, uses old computer components, exotic wood, metals, LEDs, and EL wire to make clocks and other items that glow, such as this gorgeous Sputnik II clock.

caffeineneckace4.jpg These wonderful Made with Molecules necklaces are some of the best-selling items in the Market. Seen here is the Caffeine Molecule Necklace. You can also get your favorite molecule as a phone charm. Serotonin uptake on your cellphone, anyone?


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