the maker/DIY trend isn’t about Arduinos or 3D printers. it’s not about laser cutters and hackerspaces. it’s about creating instead of just consuming.
you don’t have to be an artist or a scientist. many makers/hackers have both strong left and right brain tendencies. you also don’t need to know how to write code or operate a CNC mill to get started (though you may find yourself soon wanting to learn). it starts with just modifying the world around you.
“making” could be as simple as hot-gluing (or Sugru-ing) a handle onto something so that it’s more useable. i’m never happy with anything i purchase; everything needs to be customized or improved. i see opportunities to make, mod or hack everywhere i look. the only thing stopping me sometimes is a missing skill or tool, but not for long.
…that’s another defining attribute of a maker/hacker – a thirst for knowledge. we take things apart just to know how they were put together. we master something new not only when necessary to achieve a goal, but because we enjoy the act of learning.
you have to allow yourself to see things as changeable. removing the mental block that regards technology as unapproachable can be hard if you didn’t start out life as a natural geek. remember: just because something was created by a complex automated manufacturing process doesn’t mean you can’t modify it, customize it or fix it.
no rant is complete without an anecdote…
so here’s my 2-minute mod from today. see i hate things moving around my Jeep when i’m offroading. something flying off the dash due to a sudden turn or hill-climb can be distracting or even dangerous.
i bought a new point-n-shoot camera yesterday which was destined to become one of these in-car projectiles. 4 holes, 2 zip ties, and a $9 small zipper pouch later – problem solved.
when the pouch is a quarter way zipped i can easily slide the camera in and out with one hand, yet it’s secure enough to stay put.
while i was at it, i cut the stitching off the rubber logo and removed it to make the whole thing black so it would have a more “factory” look.
there was nothing spectacular about that
i hear ya! it was just to illustrate that you can get started as a maker with simple things.
get into the hacker mindset and see where it takes you. soon you’ll be building a metal donkey with lasers & touchscreen! then maybe one day you’ll create something amazing…
i didn’t realize the “maker revolution” was old enough to be teething! check out this guy’s post from 2008 entitled “Are DIYers Making a Comeback” – http://www.motormayhem.net/2008/05/02/are-diyers-making-a-comeback/