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Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rebuttal-of-disposable-culture dept.
California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.
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Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    sinkers or floaters?

  • Maybe Steampunk will some day be related to the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement (such as it is). I think I'll wait on making such connections until there's evidence of such connections.
    • by cxbrx (737647)
      Most of the steampunk hardware is DIY. It is not like one can go down to Home Depot and buy a steam engine. Vintage steam hardware requires rehabilitation, including fabrication of impossible to obtain parts. I participated in making a Snail Art Car [snailartcar.com], which we wrote up for the DYI website Instructables. Another car, the Wrecker [formandreform.com], is an electric carriage with hand-built wheels. Yah, he did not mine the lead for batteries and the differential came out of some old car, but the vast majority of this car is D
  • by Baby Duck (176251) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:26PM (#31149582) Homepage
    The Ultimate Maker Convention is where all con-goers construct together the convention grounds themselves.
  • MAKE sucks (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874)

    I got MAKE when it first came out, and after the 2nd or 3rd issue, when someone basically shined off the workings of a PID controller as "I don't know how it works but who cares, the $5 chip just works", I threw it into the trash. Science and technology are not 'pop' subjects, despite however many Mythbuster episodes you've seen.

    • Re:MAKE sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmai l . c om> on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:14PM (#31150152) Homepage

      And dangit, you want it to *stay* that way so you can feel elitist and justified in telling those kids to get off of your lawn!

      • Personally I'd just like people to realize that dropping mentos in coke bottles isn't "doing science". Mythbusters is good as an introduction, as something to draw people's attention to what you can do if you understand the more fundemental nature of things, but Mythbusters in and of itself is not really educational in a meaningful way, and the same would apply for Make. I think that Gothmolly's overall sentiment is the same as a programmer watching hackers [imdb.com]. In a way, making science "pop-culture" demeans it
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tetsujin (103070)

        And dangit, you want it to *stay* that way so you can feel elitist and justified in telling those kids to get off of your lawn!

        I don't know - I was just disappointed that a magazine that seemed like such a promising work of applied technology turned out to have such a large incidence of fluff... It's kind of motivated me to check out "Nuts n' Volts" again, though, see if it can do better.

    • by coaxial (28297)

      Science and technology are not 'pop' subjects, despite however many Mythbuster episodes you've seen.

      Why not? Given the constant bemoaning of state of science and technology education and the lack of interest in it, I would have thought fun projects and that fact that the Ardrino was featured in a mainstream magazine [theatlantic.com], that would be good news. But I guess not. We should maintain the status quo.

      But yeah, go back to your pithy dismissive one or two line comments, hipster attitude [dieselsweeties.com]. By the way, how is that working out for you? That's just super.

  • by aldld (1663705)
    Took me a moment to realize that "con" was supposed to mean convention. I first saw this as a warning about steampunk scams that makers think would be fun.
  • by Rollgunner (630808) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:48PM (#31149866)
    ... to die in public due to a boiler explosion. Order your tickets now !
  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:13PM (#31150132)

    Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months...

    Awww, now it's not cool anymore. The mainstream had to take cyberpunk from us, and now this too?

    Hmm, I guess it's time to think of what's next. How about, a genre where the Ancient Greeks actually had advanced technology, powered by water wheels and quicklime? We could call it "marblepunk". Fame, here I come!

    • Re:Damn (Score:4, Insightful)

      by derGoldstein (1494129) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:51PM (#31150480) Homepage
      Most steampunk is crappy anyway. It's been so every since the steam engines started featuring LEDs. Now it's not really possible to define it, most of it looks like a low-budget sci-fi from the 80's.

      Cyberpunk died of "natural causes", it wasn't because it got mainstream -- there was simply too much of it for a span of time and the market got saturated. I miss is though, especially the stuff that was written by people who knew what they were writing about. The hard-science cyberpunk, that was mostly based on things you could, in theory, pull off. Now everything is "cyber-saturated", it's simply not 'exotic' anymore.

      (yes, I was born old)
      • by TOGSolid (1412915)
        I've had that issue for a while with Steampunk. A lot of times it looks more like something out of Flash Gordon rather than something out of The Difference Engine.

        Thankfully there's always a few hard steam fans to keep the Flash Gordon wannabes in check.
      • most of it looks like a low-budget sci-fi from the 80's

        I'd like to see if you can make anything better.

        Most of this stuff *IS* low-budget sci-fi. Much of this stuff is designed, stitched, welded & hammered at home or a shared studio. You make do with the materials that you can fit into your time and budget. Not everyone has the time or money to build high-budget factory in their garage.

        Homebuilt stuff may not look as cool as the shiny stuff you can buy at the store, but it will look better as the maker'

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ae1294 (1547521)

      Ancient Greeks actually had advanced technology

      But the ancient Greeks had advanced technology like steam engines [wikipedia.org], robots [wikipedia.org] and computers [wikipedia.org]...

      I'm afraid it's really been all down hill since then.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        You know what that means, don't you? The only option left is to go prehistoric, and introduce Stonepunk. Advanced technology, built from nothing but wood and chipped stone lashed together with vines or sinews, and occasionally powered by Fire!

        Where's Oog the Open Source Caveman when you need him?

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          Where's Oog the Open Source Caveman when you need him?

          He's dead man.. Saber-tooth got-em... sad really..

        • by DwySteve (521303)

          You know what that means, don't you? The only option left is to go prehistoric, and introduce Stonepunk. Advanced technology, built from nothing but wood and chipped stone lashed together with vines or sinews, and occasionally powered by Fire!

          Where's Oog the Open Source Caveman when you need him?

          Haven't you noticed that all of the Ancients advanced technology on Stargate-SG1 looks like it's made of stone? Super-advanced wormhole-creating intergalactic transportation device? Yeah, made of stone. Control panel for said device? Big stone buttons. Transport rings? Stone. Arguably, the stone and wood look has been done by sci-fi for a while.

      • by coaxial (28297)

        A spinning wheel is not an engine, no more than a pinwheel is a turbine.
        A windup toy is not a robot, no more than a top is a robot.
        A slide rule is not a computer, no more than a t-square is a computer.

        • by ae1294 (1547521)

          A spinning wheel is not an engine, no more than a pinwheel is a turbine.
          A windup toy is not a robot, no more than a top is a robot.
          A slide rule is not a computer, no more than a t-square is a computer.

          You are so totally wrong that it's painful.

          • by coaxial (28297)

            A steam engine does useful work, the Aeolipile didn't, and was never used for anything beyond "Ooos and Ahhhs".

            Heron's wind-up cart, was clockwork, not a robot.

            The Antikythera mechanism was a glorified lookup table. It was not general purpose, and could not "reprogramed." The Jacquard loom is the generally accepted as the earliest programmable machine.

            But hey, I also bet you believe that Archimedes "Heat Ray" was a laser.

            • by ae1294 (1547521)

              A steam engine does useful work, the Aeolipile didn't, and was never used for anything beyond "Ooos and Ahhhs".

              Here's your Citation [wikipedia.org] -

              The aeolipile Hero described is considered to be the first recorded steam engine or reaction steam turbine.[4]

              In recognition of the Aeolipile's contribution to steam engineering, the U.S. Navy chose a semblance of the Aeolipile for the Boiler Technician rating badge.

              It is not known whether the aeolipile was put to practical use as an 'engine' in ancient times.

              • by coaxial (28297)

                Your aeolipile citation is full of fail. "[It] was presumably intended as a temple 'wonder', like many of the other devices described in Pneumatica."

                If it was a steam engine as commonly understood, then were what the hell did Thomas Newcomen and James Watt create? Where were the steam shovels and trains?

                I don't agree with with Noel Sharkey, as it was more of a spring driven clockwork, and as wikipedia says, "A clockwork car is never considered a robot." More importantly, Hero's cart contained no agency a

                • by ae1294 (1547521)

                  Where were the steam shovels and trains?

                  The Chinese invented gun powder but not the gun so does that somehow mean we take away credit from them? Nope...

                  My citations all say and mean exactly what my original post did. Hey I even gave references where you just spout off your opinion but I'm full of fail? Me thinks your ego needs a reboot...

                  Anyway as far as Hero's 'steam engine' just being a temple wonder I'd point out that steam engines have little to no value in today's world outside of being wonders of the 19th century. I guess that means we gott

        • A windup toy is not a robot, no more than a top is a robot.

          No, that would be a clank.

    • And what if Greek science were right [wikipedia.org]?

      • by boxwood (1742976)

        You could accurately model the universe with the ptolemaic system. basically the planets wouldn't be orbiting the earth directly, but they'd each be orbiting a point in space and that point would be orbiting the earth. Well its more complicated than that, the point would be orbiting another point that would be orbiting another point, etc. etc. and the planet would be orbiting that. With enough calculus you could make an accurate solar model. Similar things would have to be done for the galaxy.

        Of course it w

  • It would be great if the inventive, creative minds involved in steampunk would use something less crassly-modern than flash on their websites. I got bored waiting for the flash to load on some of the websites in the summary, and promptly gave up.
  • Next:

    Caveman crafts!

    The new craze!
    With real-life Flintstones-style “machines”. ;)

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