posts tagged with the keyword ‘barcamp’



Back in 2009 I took this photo of myself with EXPERT written on the whiteboard behind me. I had no grandiose scheme when I took the photo. It was taken at the office of z2 Marketing, in the conference room. I’ll admit, part of the reason I took the “EXPERT” photo had to do with a (slight) jab at people who were declaring themselves “experts” at the time. The photo gets used a lot when someone posts an article and needs a photo that depicts an expert or expertise.

When the photo is used, people who know me tend to tell me about it, which is nice, as it’s fun to track the usage of the photo. Of course I really do like to get credit for my work, so if you use it, please credit it properly, because I am also an expert in Creative Commons.

The most recent use is in an article titled The Death Of Expertise. (It’s an interesting article, go read it!)

Now, as far as being an expert, I like to say “You are an expert at your own experience”. This goes back to 2006, when we had one of the first meetings about BarCampMilwaukee. We were discussion session topics and someone said “Well, I’ve installed Linux a few times, but I’m no expert at it.” I then pointed out to the person the fact that he was an expert to anyone who had never installed Linux, and that sharing your own personal experience is an important part of teaching and learning.

Through the years of helping make unconferences happen, and getting involved in Milwaukee Makerspace, and in publishing this blog, I’ve come to understand just how important it is to recognize that you need be willing to share the things you know, even if you don’t think you know enough, and you also need to be accepting of others when they don’t know everything, because really, no one does. No one is an expert in all things.

Through the open sharing of knowledge, and the willingness to accept that no one is a expert (while we are also all experts) we can all end up learning more than we ever would on our own.



Yes, we will be doing another BarCamp in Milwaukee, and yes, it will be the first weekend in October, though we’re only doing one day this time, so join us Saturday, October 5th, 2013 at Bucketworks “Summer Camp”, located at 161 W Wisconsin Ave, 2nd Floor, right above TJ Maxx in the Grand Avenue Mall.

Show up around 9am, and we will wrap it up by 9pm. In-between it will be the usual user generated conference wherein we figure everything out the day of the event. Who will be speaking? What will they speak about? We don’t know… but we will figure it all out on the 5th. Think of it as an “idea swap meet” where you share your knowledge and thoughts, and others do the same. You will leave with new things in your head, and maybe even some new friends or partners in crime.

We’re going all retro by doing as little planning as possible, but if you would be so kind as to register at we would love that.

Also, bring some lunch money. There is a food court. Hey, it’s not like were asking you to bring your own chair! (Yes, we did that before.) It’s not like were asking you to bring your own utensils! (Yes, we did that too.) Oh, we may be able to provide parking for cheap. Would you pay $5 to park all day for this free event? Let us know on Atrium, or elsewhere, somehow.

It’s all so… undefined. Exciting, isn’t it!?!?



Whew! It’s BarCampMilwaukee time! This weekend, October 6th and 7th, 2012 is BarCampMilwaukee7… that’s the seventh BarCamp here in Milwaukee, for those of you keeping track.

I’ve got a few things I’ll highlight, the first of which is the Raspberry Pi Roundtable, where people who have Pis, or want to use a Pi for a project can get together and talk about them. Having a super-cheap Linux-powered computer opens up some new possibilities, so we’ll talk about what those are.

The session I’ve got planned is titled Money. Maker. Business. and I’ll talk about how I started up my making business. At Milwaukee Makerspace (and other hackerspaces) members often talk about potential business ideas, so my talk will outline the process I went through, including touching on my Maker Business posts.

Thirdly, we’ll be doing our own Midwest version of the Nerdy Derby race. If you haven’t made a car yet, make one now! If you can’t make one now, Milwaukee Makerspace will be providing miscellaneous parts during BarCamp so you can try to build one. And it’s not just all speed and aerodynamics, and there will be style points awarded as well. (We might even call them “Moxie” points as an homage to the Power Racing Series.)

(And yeah, I’m sure I’ll also bring the RepRaster 5000 and enjoy some 3D printing hijinx as well.)

So yeah, has all the details. I hope you’ve already registered, because if not, we may not be able to feed you. Come anyway! We’ll figure something out, there are restaurants nearby, it’ll all work out, somehow, as it always does. :)


3D Printing Camp Wisconsin

It all happened pretty fast… I think it was the beginning of May when Bob Waldron floated the idea of a BarCamp-like event focused on 3D printing past me, and of course I couldn’t ignore it. I helped set up the web site and did some promotion and sponsor-wrangling, because I figured if he was throwing such an event, I wanted to see it happen so I could go to it. :)

3D Printing Camp

Getting sponsors took a lot of time, but in the end (and I mean very end!) we got what we needed, and were able to cover most of what we wanted for the event. People got fed, Sector67 got a few bucks for use of their space all day, and nothing went wrong… well, almost nothing.

If you attended 3D Printing Camp you owe a big round of applause to Bob Waldron, but you couldn’t give him one on Saturday because he was not there! Despite all the comforts of our modern world, if your plane gets delayed, and you get stuck, you miss things… and Bob missed the event. (Don’t worry, this will just ensure he does it again next year.)


So what did we do? Well, we printed. A lot. And we also had a few sessions related to 3D printing, modeling, security, repairing things, and we just generally got to meet everyone else who is into 3D printing. Remember back when you were the only person you know (not counting online) who was really into something, and if you got to hang out with others who were into the same thing, how awesome that was? Well, yeah, that was it. I think we had about 20 printers, and saw over 60 people come through the door throughout the day. Not a bad turnout at all.


For me one of the highlight was learning more about Sketchup. Kemper Smith led an amazing sessions showing tips & tricks for 3D modeling and I took plenty of notes.

And then there was Tony Warren, who showed up with a partially done RepRap and got it printing by the end of the day. I can certainly attest to the fact that having an unfinished printer is something no on wants, so getting it running is pretty awesome.


The event was pretty laid back, and plenty of people just spent most of the day (and evening!) printing, which is cool. There could have been more sessions, but when you’ve got all those printers in a room, you want to talk about them, and trade tips, and melt some plastic. It’s all good.

As for the RepRaster 5000, it started a little shaky because I could not get my bed up to temperature, then I noticed a ceiling fan above me! I moved and all was well, for a while. I printed a few things, and then I did a print that failed, then the next one failed, and then it was time to just give up. I had managed to knock things out of alignment earlier and I think things just went pear-shaped from there. Too much printing I guess. Once I got home I got everything back to normal, leveled the bed, and it’s back to normal. (It’s always a RepRap adventure somewhere…)



For me, this story starts back in October 2011 at BarCampMilwaukee6. A few of us stayed up the entire night with a MakerBot CupCake printing things. I’d pretty much caught the 3D printing bug at that point.

So when Bob Waldron pitched the idea of “3DPrintingCamp” I was interested. I helped launch the web site, and have contributed (at little bit) to organizing and attempting to get sponsors (I’ve got none yet) there’s still a lot of work to do before July 21st, 2012.

Yes, the date is July 21st, 2012. The location is Sector67 in Madison, Wisconsin. All the other details are at

And what is 3DPrintingCamp? Well, it’s a participant-driven unconference focused on the emerging technology of 3D printing. You may be interested in 3D printing for personal fabrication of functional parts, or maybe you want to create beautiful objects that would fit in the “art” category. Perhaps you want to produce organs to save lives. The people involved in this event believe that 3D printing will change the world.

If this is all a bit above your head, that’s OK. Join us and learn about 3D printing technology. Find out what a spool of plastic and an open source bot can do for you.

Oh, this event is FREE, but you do need to register. As of my writing this we’ve got 41 people registered and we’re limited to 125 people max, so sign up now.

And if you’re interested in sponsoring, we could really use the help to make this event even more awesome… thanks!

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