Bay Area Maker Faire blasts off Saturday

It’s crunch time at California’s San Mateo Event Center, where crews are busily assembling rocket ships, singing Tesla coils and animatronic giraffes and dragons in preparation for the 2010 Bay Area Maker Faire, taking place this weekend.

Returning for its fifth year, Maker Faire, if you’ve not had the pleasure, could be described as 50 percent science fair, 50 percent county fair and 50 percent Burning Man reunion. And if that doesn’t seem to add up, you’re right — it’s sensory overload, a hands-on, warranty-voiding explosion of futuristic technology, down-to-earth crafts and nine dollar pulled pork sandwiches.

If you’re planning on attending, hit up their web site for all the information on tickets and hours, recommendations for parking or — perhaps most importantly — public transit options. The event has been growing every year, even disrupting traffic on nearby U.S. Route 101, so you’ll want to set out early or research alternative options. We’ll be posting goings-on from the event as it unfolds, connectivity permitting.

Power drill solder spooler

[Scott] over at curiousinventor.com has posted an instructable detailing how to use an Arduino and a power drill to spool solder. The Arduino senses the speed that the drill is going via an opto interrupter and a laser and adjusts with a servo hooked to the trigger. While we don’t think many people will be dying to spool some solder, this system might be useful for all kinds of things, like winding yarn or making coils.

Ubuntu on the ClarionMIND MID

[DeadHP1] has been rolling and optimizing his own Ubuntu distributions for the ClarionMIND. He calls his work Mindbuntu and he’s squeezing out quite a bit of performance from the mobile Internet device. The video is running at 800×400, as well as wireless, sound, Google Earth with GPS support, and even compiz. Install the image using unetbootin to place it on a thumb drive and you’ll have Ubuntu 9.04 to go in no time.

[Thanks Bob]

[ClarionMIND Photo courtesy of Mobile Tech Review]