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Desert Companion

Maker: Makers are makin' it

Pawel Szymczykowski will never forget the fire-breathing dragons, the steam-powered bicycles, the magical instruments that played music on their own. Sounds like an LSD trip, but Szymczykowski was just at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif. Put on by Make Magazine, it’s an annual show-and-tell festival where tinkerers and DIYers are the rock stars. “We walked away inspired by the things we saw.” (Szymczykowski, a software engineer for Zappos, participated too: His crew hacked a Microsoft Kinect input to turn it into a system for trying on clothes virtually.)

Now he wants Las Vegas to get on the make. He’s one of the organizers of the Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire, slated for Feb. 2 at the Historic Fifth Street School. He’s calling on all tinkerers, workbench gurus, grease monkeys, do-it-yourselfers, hackers and crafters to get out of the garage and register for the event.

“We’re looking for anything interesting or exciting, whether it’s engineering or chemistry,” says Bill Tomiyasu, a volunteer organizer. (And a maker: Tomiyasu builds desktop trebuchets.). He’s also a member of Syn Shop, a local hackerspace — that is, a community hub for makers — started in 2008.

Makers are encouraged to visit to register before Dec. 22. Since it is a family-friendly event, it might be best to hold off on showcasing that homemade nuclear reactor.

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