When: Sunday, March 30, 2008, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, and, like most geek events around Portland, tends to have the addition of spontaneous speakers, finish about an hour later as a result, and use way too many commas in a paragraph.
Where: PNCA Graduate Studios, one of PNCA campuses that’s located beside REI, wherein my journey to get to the said place can be described as thus: 1) Left a friend’s apartment nearby, 2) Approached main campus, 3) Attention diverted by two guys talking in front of the PNCA entrance across the street, thought that the event might be held there, proven wrong, 4) Walked across the street to the main campus, asked receptionist, directed to “the building across REI,” 5) Went to the instructed building, which was in the same block as the one where I asked the two guys, 6) Instructed that I approached the wrong building again, and that the phrase “across REI” really meant “across from REI’s side entrance,” 7) Realized mistake/silliness/bad sense of direction, 8.) Proceeded to the correct building, wherein a ‘DorkBot PDX’ sign was conspicuously posted on the inside window, set in all caps (typeface: probably Helvetica), each letter printed on a sheet of paper. Entered with glee.
What It’s About:
- Lego robots built by highschool girls to make art, thereby ensuring that “web developer” and “computer engineer” were firmly planted as their future career choices. The most concrete and decidedly un-geeky out of all three presentations.
- Biologically inspired robots that also make art, but were composed of $1 processors, conceived and explained by the founder of Wiki himself, Ward Cunningham. In Mr. Cunningham’s own word: “I make stuff that’s simple enough, the whole thing can be illustrated in ASCII art.” Bonus: robot that waves flag around (that I truly regret for not having any evidence thereof.)
- Constructing your own programming language from FORTH. Based on a premise that if “all human languages are convivial, why aren’t all computer languages?” Bonus: ASCII-style presentation in a text editor (!) on Linux.
Technicality: ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝ ☝
Translation: if the premise of an all-out vi–Emacs war doesn’t give you an instant hard-on, you’d be better off staying home.
Interestingness: ☝ ☝ ☝
Translation: I loved the concept, but wasn’t geeky enough to get it.
What I Learned From The Event In Six Words:
Intelligence +2, Wisdom +2, Charisma -2