I normally don’t tinker with high voltage electricty, so when I was asked to speak at Dorkbot Austin in the parking lot of Cafe Mundi in East Austin, I was hoping there wouldn’t be rain and if there was, everything was well grounded. At the first Dorkbot Austin, I heard there was a guy and his Tesla Coil which is so powerful, it knocked out AM radio for a two mile radius.
Well, it’s Austin in the summer and rain is a rare luxury. So, I was safe to show people how to make a mic zeppelin for under $40. (Click here for online instructions.) Mic Zeppelins are windscreens that look like a fuzzy torpedo, many times hanging at the end of a long pole that you sometimes see in news shots when the sound guy gets in the picture. They cost upwards of $300 normally.
So, I took the opportunity to use my mic zeppelin and talk to people and create this story. After all, it was outside and there was a slight breeze, so my interviews were a practical example of how my mic zeppelin actually worked. Maida Barbour, one of the organizers of the 2007 Southwest Maker’s Fair to be held in Austin, somes up the importance of DIY and makers (the new name for those who tinker) by saying, “It’s all about finding solutions to the specific problem that you have…I want to know that I can fix this thing.” Dorkbot is a playful expression of our desire to regain control of technology and have it serve our own personal needs.
Table of Contents
1:44 Rich LeGrand and his robots with a Gameboy Brain.
2:35 Maida Barbour talks about makers and the 2007 Southwest Makers Fair
3:54 Jamie O’Shay talks about his Wham Cams.
6:15 Maida Barbour talks about makers, trends, and implications for society.