Maker Faire 2010 occurred at the San Mateo Expo Center. Now, San Mateo is a little suburb on the Peninsula, about 1/3 of the way from San Francisco to San Jose. Nothing ever happens here. Except for this. The Bay Area Maker Faire. This was the original, the first, and people still flock to it in droves despite the $25 ticket ($20 if you buy it at one of the participating local businesses - yay Whole Foods!).
We got there around 1pm, and parking was ridiculous. The city of San Mateo had set out parking enforcement officers, who very kindly gave us maps to 7 nearby parking lots where we were allowed to park mostly for free. Those maps had everything - the location of the railroad tracks, the Expo Center, the extra parking lots, the names of important streets...everything except the lines that represented the streets. Umm...what? You mean you're not going to show me one of the things I need to understand where I am on the map? It was okay for me since I knew where the K-mart was, but for anyone from out of town, it would've been a bit difficult.
At any rate, once we got inside, we started in the Fiesta Hall, where our attention was drawn to the guy in the chain mail/Faraday cage suit playing with the lightning to the music. Maybe that's not quite the right way to put it, since it was actually the lightning that was playing the music. ArcAttack's musical Tesla coil performance was...dare I say, electrifying?
We then walked around a little, looking at some battlebot type robots. One was named Ethel, and appeared in her magazine article to breath fire. Apparently, she also likes music and dancing and having a good time. Well, judging by the scandalous way she was dressed, I suppose that was not unexpected.
Pictures from the Team K.I.S.S. website - all credit goes to the builders, especially because I totally forgot to take my own photos here.
Nearby was a booth with the people who make Pixar stuff. There was a replica of the steering wheel-eye robot from Wall-E, as well as a Pixar logo, complete with real-life lamp. The cage next door held a multitude of R2-D2s. I got some pictures and videos of them, because they were ultra-cute, though sadly not real. They were being remote-controlled by their owners, who were lounging about in the R2-D2 corral.
I'm not a hardcore Star Wars fan, but I think Artoo is one of the most recognizable figures George Lucas created - and I doubt there are more than a few people who don't like cute little robots that beep and whistle and can only be understood by Luke Skywalker.
Anyways, I've hardly gotten through the first bit, so stay tuned for more posts about the Maker Faire!