Maker Faire 2014: Hackers Paradise


Billed as ‘the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, the 9th annual Maker Faire was unleashed on Bay Area hackers, geeks and nerds at the San Mateo County fairgrounds May 17-18, with plenty of drones, 3D printers and curiously cool blinky L.E.D.s. My son Henri and I took our bikes on CalTrain to avoid traffic, snarled parking and to sample free bike valet parking, courtesy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Knowing that 120,000 people poured through the aisles last year made it all the more interesting for us. Henri was keen to attend Maker Faire a few years ago, so we made it happen this year. He wanted to hear Adam Savage speak, and the popular ‘Mythbusters’ co-host obliged the crowd with his Ten Commandments of Making:

  1. Make something
  2. Make something useful
  3. Start right now
  4. Find a project
  5. Ask for help, advice, and feedback
  6. Share
  7. Recognize that discouragement and failure is part of the project
  8. Measure carefully
  9. Make things for other people
  10. Use more cooling fluid!

Henri was in seventh heaven.

I was also pleased to find out Make Magazine is published in nearby Sebastopol, and printed by our own Schumann Printers in Fall River, Wisconsin, a few ticks northeast of Trek Bicycle Corp.

There was plenty of steampunk activity, roving cupcakemobiles, freaks on stilts, beards, Star Wars and Star Trek t-shirts, plus several hands-on opportunities (lock picking, anyone?) throughout the event. At Bicycle Times, we’re exploring what it means to live The Manual Life, and Maker Faire embodies this to the Nth degree.

Maker Faire appears all around the world, so if you’re so inclined, visit


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