Welcome to the Make: Newsletter
After a lengthy pause, the Make: Newsletter is back! We had something of an identity crisis, trying to figure out what the newsletter was for. We wanted to make sure it was worth the effort, for us to put together, and for you to read. We decided it's worthwhile for a few big reasons. First, it's our way of giving you a behind-the-scenes peek at Maker Media, the inside scoop and what's on the horizon for us, and to point out things you might have missed -- on the website, in the magazine, in the Maker Shed. Second, it's a way to give you content you can't get elsewhere -- original columns, exclusive content that's here only, sneak preview content you'll see here first -- and special deals, on magazine subs, Maker Shed special offerings, and the like. Third, it's a great way for us to ask you what you want more of in MAKE.
One way we're revealing more of the goings-on at Maker Media is our new "Intern's Corner" column on Make: Online. This biweekly column chronicles the exploits of the folks who intern for us in Make: Labs, our workshop at Maker Media HQ, where this group of super-smart, creative interns build and test the projects we publish in the magazine, and some of their own impressive projects too.
In the latest installment, engineering intern Steven Lemos shows off his working hovercraft model. It took him one month to design, two months to build -- and one afternoon for the MAKE interns to wreck! All of the Intern's Corner columns can be found here.
Big improvements are afoot at Make: Online, starting with the newly revamped Projects section. We're now intent on putting up regular, original, step-by-step projects online, like those we feature in the magazine. The above project shows you how to make a polycube puzzle out of blank dice. You'll find this and many more new projects under the Projects tab at the top of the site and via this link.
We're also revitalizing our online Events Calendar. We get dozens of events submitted to us each week -- so many we can't post them all on the front page -- so now we're encouraging people to post their Dorkbot, Make: City, hackerspace, craft fair, hobby club, or other meetings and events to the new Maker's Event Calendar.
Matt Mets will be posting a "This Week in Maker's Events" item each week, highlighing interesting upcoming events in the Calendar. To add your event, or to see the full calendar, click here.
So we hope you'll enjoy the new, improved Make: Newsletter. We'll be introducing some new features next month and tweaking things here and there. Let us know what you think and what you'd like to see in such a monthly publcation.
See you next month!
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We're ecstatic about the launch of our new microsite, the Make: Science Room
. It's a virtual classroom and laboratory designed to teach our readers the fundamentals of science and to offer fun and challenging experiments and hands-on projects for them to conduct and discuss. We want to help build a community of citizen scientists, to do for DIY science what we did for DIY tech. We have dozens of articles and labs posted already and will be posting many more in the weeks to come. In the Maker Shed, we've added hundreds of new DIY science-related products. Remember the chemistry sets of your childhood (at least you oldsters in the audience)? Well, MAKE is bringing them back, via a curated collection of serious kits, chemicals, laboratory equipment, and supplies, all at amazing prices! Check out the Shed's new Science Room. --Gareth
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Microchip Technology, Inc. and Make: Online have teamed up to present the Make: Halloween Contest 2009
! Show us your embedded microcontroller Halloween projects and you could be chosen as a winner. We'll be giving away nearly $1,000 worth of Microchip products. Use any microcontroller to make anything from themed lawn decorations to creative costumes - the possibilities are endless. The Make: Halloween Contest will run for eight weeks, and the prize winners will be announced on Friday, November 6th. Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. PST November 3, 2009. We're excited to see what the maker community comes up with. --Becky
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One of the exclusive newsletter columns, the Maker's Dictionary, will explore the diverse world of DIY through its technical terms, jargon, and slang. We'll try to cover emerging terms you might be hearing floating around, but don't really know what they mean, the tried and true argot of various technical disciplines (that all makers can benefit from knowing), and fun slang that helps paint a picture of a DIY subculture. After we've collected a decent number of columns, we'll post the dictionary someplace on the site. If you have any tech terms or slang you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. --Gareth
Augmented Reality (AR) -- A view of the physical world with virtual elements overlaid to create a mixed reality where data, images, and other computer-generated content can be added to one's visual field. For example, you could hold your phone vidcam up to a building and the camera would display both the real building and info about the building floating around it (provided via location-aware sensing and wireless computer networks). Lots of hardware hackers are experimenting with various applications of AR. See,
Dead Bug Mode -- Said of an IC chip when it's on its "back" (with its pins in the air). With the pins down, it's in "live bug mode."
Gonzo Engineering -- A term coined by Steven Roberts, the so-called "high-tech nomad," that embodies the maker ethos of "following the mad bliss of invention" and using your creativity, smarts, and social engineering skills to make your dream projects real and sustainable (see his Gonzo Engineering "manifesto" for more).
Percussive Maintenance (aka the "Technical Tap") -- The fine art of whacking the crap out of someting to get it to work again. Amazingly, it frequently works.
Tang -- The part of a fixed-blade knife, sword, or tool that extends into the handle to which it's fastened. A full tang means that the metal of the blade/tool extends all the way through the handle (and usually conforms to its shape).
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Glider Project from MAKE, Volume 17
We love it when people actually do the projects in MAKE and send us pictures and details of their build experience. Jason Hitesman saw the "Medicine Man Glider" project in MAKE, Volume 17 and decided to take the plunge and try his hand at constructing one of these old school balsa "stick and tissue" flyers. You can see the photos of the build
here. The author of the article now offers a kit. More info here. --Gareth
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