Friday, May 17, 2019

Probably the last year.

I wasn't going to do Maker Faire this year, but Mr S. talked me into going today. The past few years it had gotten really corporate. Which I don't care about one way or another. But this year all of that was gone, and I'd say the whole thing was pretty hollowed out. Lot's of rumors about it not coming back.


  1. I'd been planning to go - last chance before I relocate to Tennessee - but the weather forecast didn't look favorable, and the combination of crowds (it's still crowded, right?) and rain was enough to keep me away.
    Sounds like I'm not missing that much...?

  2. That's why Mr S. was able to convince me to go on a Friday. Usually not able to do that, but this year it worked out. The crowds there are especially frustrating. The weather also was clear on Friday. I don't know how it's going for them today. Even I didn't think we would get this much of a soaking.

    I would say all things considered I would be super cranky if I went today or tomorrow in the rain. With the crowds. There was just less of everything. Less robots. Less art. Less social justice warriors, less fire! Less corporations except google. It's like there was a skism in the organization in some way. I'd love to know the story because that was the sharpest change ever. You kind of get used to steady decline. This was not that.

    Well, I'm sad to have never gotten to meet you before you blew this popcorn stand. I wish you luck in TN. At least you've got BBQ. Now are you going to chop off the Silicon Valley part of Redneck? Seems kinda redundant at that point.

  3. I won't be disappearing completely right away - probably be around, on and off, for parts of June and July; there's still various business to be wrapped up at this end. (And the move, with people, cats, and stuff, looks like a game of farmer-fox-goose-grain-lizard-Spock. Likely involves a combination of air travel, a moving van, a U-Haul truck, and maybe an RV.)
    The move to TN calls for a whole new blog with a whole new title, yet to be determined. Probably not "Dogpatch Nerdboy", but something appropriate to the new location (closing next week!) and role (TBD).

  4. A lot of opinions on the "why" here,

    Out of Calif & into Tennessee? Big change, probably for the best too. What's your blogs name now? I'd like to watch the new one & see how it goes.

    I left Calif back in the mid-80s, it sure looks different from a distance!

  5. That's an interesting article Rob. I heard some people trying to say the economy is too good, and that's why it's stopping. Which didn't make sense to me.

    I tend to agree with the commenter that said all the hype around 3D printing and CNC has abated. For many years they were trying everything with 3D printing. New materials. Diffent types of machines. All kinds of stuff. But that space has matured and stagnated. 3D printing had an enormous footprint at Maker for many years. Now we are all bored. And while I can find a few things worthy of 3D printing - not enough to buy machine.

    And it isn't different enough year to year. And the crowd are intense and oblivious.

  6. Rob: Tennessee will indeed be a big change. But staying put would be a big change too, and very much for the worse; Silicon Valley is pretty much unrecognizable now compared to a couple of decades ago, the small-business habitat has been mostly demolished, and the politicians have gone quite mad.
    Current blog is Silicon Valley Redneck; I expect I'll leave it up for a few years, with a final post (sometime this summer) pointing to the new one.

    I was actually wanting to look at some of the CNC stuff this year (in particular, to stop by the Tormach booth), and to see what might be new in the way of benchtop SMT assembly equipment. Not really mainstream "maker" stuff, but I'll be equipping a new workshop and electronics lab over the next several months, so a chance to look at the shinies would have been a good thing.

  7. California crushes small business. Just even to get a place opened is seriously insane. It could take you six months to a year. You have to have some very deep pockets. And those that California doesn't crush Google and Facebook destroy. Everyone gets acquired by the Borg or dies. It's very messed up.

  8. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, May 19, 2019 2:09:00 AM


    Eric knows when to PANIC NOW AND AVOID THE RUSH :-)

    Tennessee is a much better state for a lot of things ...

    ... unless you're in a business that collects money from intellectual property and royalties, in which case you are better off in another state.

    Such as Florida. :-)

    BTW Google ... why palm trees this week in Our Daily Captcha Challenge?


  9. If low attendance resulting from this weekend's weather finishes off the Maker Faire...
    It's another disaster caused by climate change!
    Never mind that the climate changed back to what it used to be, before the recent multi-year drought. I can remember rainy Memorial Day weekends in the 1990s.

  10. Cap refugee - why is TN so bad for this "collects money from intellectual property and royalties"?

    Mr S. is a patent holder. And I can't rule out that might be the case again. He doesn't collect royalties, but who knows what the future brings? Maybe ~I~ will become a patent holder.

    And what would I do with my overactive brain in a place like that? Mud gigging only goes so far. I do think about leaving all the time though. But I've been doing that since I was in my 20's.

  11. Moving "away" is a big deal. Gotta have a reason... too much work involved not to.

  12. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, May 19, 2019 8:14:00 PM

    One of the deals with Tennessee is that there isn't a personal income tax, but ...

    There are certain classes of passive income that are taxed regardless of whether they're earned by an individual or a corporation.

    When we looked into this, there were some problems, specifically whether IP and royalty income was taxable by the state or not. There were no clear court precedents one way or the other.

    And so given that I could receive a surprise tax bill if I let certain IP and royalty payments pass through to me personally, I chose Florida.

    But since we're working close to but not exactly with certain industries that have been growing in Tennessee, living in Nashville would have had several benefits, and in fact would have been a better deal overall than Miami.

    Mister Instapundit lives in Knoxville -- it can't be too boring, obviously.

    There are a lot of boring rich people to deal with in Miami if you just happen to fall within their social orbit somehow.

  13. Oh, huh. Good to know. It's not like that is a very common occurrence, but still good to keep in the back of your mind.

    It was rainy this weekend so I watched that movie you recommended. Lives of Others. We aren't all that far off from that right now with our digital dictators. The part where they said hope dies last really stuck with me. If you've been in bad places sometimes all you have is hope. it's a pretty true statement.

  14. "digital dictators", I need to remember says a lot.