Hackaday BAMF Meetup Reaches Critical Mass and Overflows Awesome

I love the Hackaday crowd. Despite a long day standing at a booth or crawling the fairgrounds as a spectator, everyone still made it on Saturday night to the 2nd Annual Hackaday BAMF meetup and made it one for the annals of hacker history. Just look at that crowd… I see a couple of Hackaday Prize Judges, a friend I met in Germany (who I actually found out I first met at this same event last year), and many many more great people. I don’t want to spoil the fun so check out the full size over on [Rich Hogben’s] photo log and see how many you can identify.

We started this gathering last year as a come-as-you-are and bring-what-you’re-proud-of after party to Bay Area Maker Fair. We don’t rent out the bar — O’Neil’s Irish Pub in San Mateo — but we had a handshake agreement for drink tickets (thank you to Supplyframe for buying the first round for everyone) with the bartenders. The place feels like the perfect size, and before long we were packed into every available space. The ramp to the restroom area in the back was a gauntlet of conversation — enough room to walk by but you felt like you were interrupting people talking to those across from them.

The amount of hardware on hand was spectacular. Taking pictures of it was tough in the tight quarters. I got a look at the first prototype of the Pebble smart strap. I really enjoyed seeing OSHChip (pictured above) which is an ARM Cortex-M0 chip and BLE rolled into a DIP-16 form factor. [Sophi’s] HeartBeat Boombox was a big hit; it uses the heartrate and blood oxygen sensors seen above to drive a drumbeat. Those blinky glasses should look familiar. [Garrett Mace] and his colleague [Jason] were on hand. These Macetech glasses are from a couple of years back but don’t worry, they were sporting the newest RGB flavor which I’m told will have black solder mask and integrated controller among other tasty goodies.

Perhaps the best way to tell the success of the night is that there were a lot of friends in the room that I never realized were even there. The next day I met up with [Sarah Petkus] and [Mark Koch] and was surprised to find they had been at the Hackaday meetup and I missed them. The same thing happened when I looked at [Rich’s] album from the night and saw [Trey German] was there too. I wasn’t hiding and I wasn’t stuck in one conversation, it was just that kind of a party that makes the room feel like a TARDIS but somehow the night doesn’t last forever.

It’s hard to imagine BAMF without this Saturday gathering. If you missed it this year, add it to your calendar for next.

10 thoughts on “Hackaday BAMF Meetup Reaches Critical Mass and Overflows Awesome

  1. I wanted to go, planned on it, but did not make it this time. so sad. looks like folks had fun, though!

    next time, it would be a lot easier for those of us who would bring things a bit larger than ‘pocketable’ to have a room set aside. we could leave our boxes and backpacks there and not have to worry about things disappearing/etc. I imagine you could do better demos in a less noisy area; a bar is really just not the right place for something like this. for eating/drinking/talking, sure! hardware demos? wonder how it worked out for those that brought stuff.

    maybe another meetup could be arranged; I know many companies open up their conference rooms to hobby groups and such, after hours. a cisco building I used to work in has ‘toastmasters’ meetings pretty regularly at that san jose cisco building. there are tables and its a bit more sane to talk and demo things there. just a thought.

  2. Fun to go there and meet folks that I’d previously only read about. Definitely a bit crowded and so a bit difficult to see everything that was going on or to discuss ideas with people… but impressive to see the number of hackaday readers there (maybe there really _are_ more than 5!) 8^)

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