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Photos: Crave visits the Maker Faire

Veronica and I ran ourselves ragged trying to cover all there was to see at the 2007 <a href="http://makerfaire.com/">Maker Faire</a> held in San Mateo, CA. Here are some highlights from a day spent with our geek volume set to 11.

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Donald Bell
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1 of 13 Donald Bell / CNET Networks
Amazing aluminum robot sculptures by Nemo Gould.
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2 of 13 Donald Bell / CNET Networks
The folks at Blinkybug had these little, framed LED lightboxes on display. Each lightbox had an array of LED lights that would shift color behind opaque plastic and create a beautiful diffuse glow.
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At 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, performers dropped a bowling ball through this awesome giant Rube Goldberg mousetrap. No mice were harmed, but a birthday cake was permanently damaged.
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The Microsoft pavilion was fairly humdrum, but there was a nostalgic display of vintage computers in all their beige glory.
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As PEZ dispensers go, this guy was pretty huge. I believe it dispensed entire sticks of PEZ.
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There's just something about robots that goes hand in hand with a post-apocalyptic Mad Max vibe. Don't overthink it. Skulls + Robots = Cool.
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Roboticist Crabfu won us over with his steam-powered homage to R2D2.
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Lindsay Lawlor's mobile robot giraffe got an update from last year's Maker Faire. Now with an open-source Daisy MP3 player in its head, the giraffe responds to having its nose touched.
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This year's Maker Faire had a strong showing of crafters thanks to the launch of Craft Magazine. The plush meat pillows were definitely my favorite craft item. There was even a little plush block of seeded tofu for vegetarians.
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10 of 13 Donald Bell / CNET Networks
In the kids corner of the Maker Faire, the folks from Blinkybug were selling their simple Blinkybug kits for only a few bucks. The bugs are simple to make and require no soldering (just tape and wire). I really wanted to make one but felt a bit awkward sitting at a table with a bunch of 8-year-olds.
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Ernie Fosselius rode around the fairgrounds showing off his ingenious and hilarious human-powered automata.
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Three fire-shooting cannons greet fair attendees right inside the entryway. Fire not nerdy enough for you? They've got Tesla coils too.
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At the Instructables booth, we came across a dead mouse that had been stuffed and repurposed as a computer mouse (complete with scroll wheel sticking out the back). Gross. Of course, kids loved it.

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