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Today was a very long Saturday, the first of the two days of the World Maker Faire 2012 in Queens, New York. As previously announced on Cemetech, I presented a cross-section of my hardware and software calculator hacks with the help of long-time member Alec "Qazz42" Szigeti and Sara Nodroff. The projects displayed include a five-calculator CALCnet setup, floppyTunes on a TI-83+, CALCnet Chat! running live on a TI-84+, the Ultimate Calculator 2, and interactive gaming on the TI-84+SE and the Casio Prizm. Hundreds if not thousands of visitors lined up to check out the projects, and close to five hundred took custom bookmarks proudly inviting visitors to come learn and code with us at Cemetech. We introduced many people to the idea of hacking calculators, from learning to code to the challenge of pushing the boundaries of existing hardware. We also had plenty of attendees who were familiar with my and our work, including one who had just purchased my recently-released book. We're looking forward to a great second day tomorrow, but first, two important items of interest.

First, my table was awarded the Educators' Choice Award from World Maker Faire 2012, an honor that I am proud and humbled to have achieved. I hope that we at Cemetech will continue to teach programming and introduce people to the fun of hardware and software hacking for many years. Secondly, I got to chat with Brian Benchoff of Hackaday, the illustrious site that has published quite a few of my projects over the years. He interviewed me for a Hackaday video and article entitled "Giving Graphing Calculators A New Life". Feel free to check out the article, and help the commenters understand the proper way to pronounce "Cemetech" (I kid, of course).

Here's to a great day tomorrow, and if you're in the tristate area, you should stop by Maker Faire for all of the fun, including my table.


Congrats on the recognition! Looks like you guys had a great exhibit. Wish I could have been there! Did you get to plug your book at all?
elfprince13 wrote:
Congrats on the recognition! Looks like you guys had a great exhibit. Wish I could have been there! Did you get to plug your book at all?
A little bit. I wanted to be respectful about the fact that marketing isn't allowed unless you pay a fee, but I did have a few people ask me about it. One teacher told me that he's teaching a course about calculator programming next semester, so he's going to use my book as the textbook. Another visitor said he just bought it online; I was stunned at the coincidence.
That's really cool! Impressive that people have heard of it and bought it already!

Also, I noticed our awesome rocketry video was one of the related videos to the interview. I'll have to keep an eye on my Youtube stats this week and see if I get some secondary traffic from that this week.
Ah man, this was probably one of the best days I've had this year. Great people, good food, got to meet Kerm (and bwang, as he made a little guest appearance). Overall it was really fun, showing off how the calculators worked, impressing a bunch of tech nerds, and even meeting some whovians.

I cannot wait to do it again tomorrow Very Happy

(wow, what's up with the coloration on that picture of us?)
Apparently there's one going on in VT this weekend as well, I'm bummed I didn't know about that.
Awesome! I look forward to the remaining days and the recognition and awareness it'll generate.
comicIDIOt, me too! Don't forget to be welcoming to all our new members, everyone, including guiding them to introduce themselves and making topics if they need help.

Qazz, it was awesome for us too. Looking forward to more of same tomorrow!
KermM: Yup, and hopefully we'll get to see the Doctor Who table that my friend was telling me about:D

Comic: Oh yes, we generated a lot of interest and excitement from the people there. A bunch even got Kerm's card, I do think. I can't wait for the influx of new users who we will add their biological and technological nerdiness into our own. Resistance is boring. We are Cemetech.
KermMartian wrote:
comicIDIOt, me too! Don't forget to be welcoming to all our new members, everyone, including guiding them to introduce themselves and making topics if they need help.


Like I ever don't Rolling Eyes
(I'm certain that wasn't directed at me, however)
The ", everyone," made is pointed at everyone. Wink Alec: Quite so, including an engineer from TI on the Launchpad team, who is going to get in touch with me about some Launchpad/calculator stuff!
Yeah, looks like an awful lot of fun. Wish I was there to see it in person. I wonder how I can get a bookmark?
What is the Launchpad, anyway?
I believe there was a Raspberry Pi stand there too, selling Raspberry Pis.
The Launchpad is a board not unlike the Arduino, with a smaller microcontroller and the ability to connect to sensors and circuits. Yes, I think you're right, but I don't know if they have physical Raspberry Pis here. I can put up the PDF for the bookmark if you want.
It would have been awesome if somebody got on the internet with one of your calculators to buy your book Razz
Hey Kerm, just wondering, have you advertised LuaZM much? If you have have you shown off any of my ports?
This looks awesome Kerm, wish I could be there to see it in person! It's great to see how the calculator programming community has emerged from the underground and is now becoming recognised as a great learning tool for budding software & hardware enthusiasts.

Calculator programming being taught in a school - that would be a fun class to take Smile
Spence, I have, and I mentioned it in the Hackaday video as well. I didn't get to demo any of the Lua games/programs specifically, but I did talk it up a lot, especially mentioning the fact that the TI-Nspire and Casio Prizm can both be programming in Lua. Speaking of that, a lot of people asked about the TI-Nspire both days, and why we didn't seem to be hacking that. Qazz42 and I explained the conflict between TI and the community over open programming on the TI-Nspire, and guided a lot of people towards the Casio Prizm.
Ah yes, as Maker's Faire comes to an end I am only regretting that it wasn't longer. It really was a fantastic time and I hope that next year more people join us, shaun and elfprince and comic too.

and yes, we did lean people to Casio and TI-83+ series of calculators. It was shocking how many people there used TI-89s and Titaniums, considering out low count of community members who do.
qazz42 wrote:
Ah yes, as Maker's Faire comes to an end I am only regretting that it wasn't longer. It really was a fantastic time and I hope that next year more people join us, shaun and elfprince and comic too.


I would love to! It seems like a fun event to carouse around in. I'll have to coincide a second vacation at the same time next year.

Two trips to New York in one year, I got this!
Great booth guys, had tons of fun!
  
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