… since the Tyrolean spa had the chess boys in it.  Scratch that, wrong song. But it has been quite a while since I last updated here.

MakerFaire:NC 2011 was great — easily twice the size of the previous year.  This year Tony Montouri came down to Raleigh to help with the Chaos, and we had a great time.  We spent most of Friday assembling the framework, planning the stunts, and getting the initial track layout done.  That left Saturday for fleshing out the build and showing off to all and sundry.  This time we built a large U-shaped layout, with a high bridge across the top of the ‘U’.  This allowed us to run marbles completely around the machine, which reduced the need to keep shuttling marbles from one side of the machine to the other.  Once again, there was barely time to look around at the rest of the exhibits.  The machine was a great draw for the show, and Jon Danforth has asked me to bring it back next year.

TCEP 18 was lots of fun too.  No where near as many people as MakerFaire:NC, but the chance to spend an entire weekend building and improving the machine is always good.  This year the Chaos Machine was used as a prop in the LARP (Miskatonic Class Reunion).  Another nice thing with the longer, slower pace is that I get to spend time teaching the kids how to troubleshoot the machine.

It looks like the next venue for the Chaos Machine will be the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Festival which is being held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, April 27-29, 2012.  This should be a huge show, but at least it’s local, with Friday for pre-build, and Saturday and Sunday for full exhibition.   I wouldn’t normally be able to afford the exhibition fees, but the organizers have arranged with Gary Mauler (RobotFest and Midatlantic Mini Maker Faire) to make a large number of booths available to local area Makers.

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