We Came, We Saw, We Made Stuff: NVIDIA’s GeForce Team Hits the Maker Faire

by Brian Caulfield

A choir of mechanical lobsters, bass, trout, catfish and sharks mounted on a blue Volvo sedan belted out tunes. Children wearing t-shirts proclaiming “Will Render For Food,” clutched bags of kettle corn. Young and old stepped out of the California sun for hands-on workshops on soldering. This is our kind of scene.

NVIDIA’s GeForce team put on a show at the Maker Faire for the tens of thousands of do-it-yourselfers crowding through the grounds of the San Mateo County Event Center for the weekend event.

The Faire is at the center of a movement of do-it-yourselfers who take pride in mastering the technologies in the world around them, whether that means turning scooters and sheet metal into cupcake cars — complete with sprinkle-adorned hats — or learning how to mix Diet Coke and Mentos into magnificent, and messy, displays of do-it-yourself science.

Hands on
Hands on: NVIDIANs walked fairgoers through the process of building a PC.

NVIDIA’s GeForce team fit right in, leading attendees through hands-on workshops showing them how to build their own PC, overclock a GPU and turn a PC case into a work of art.

“The reason we’re here is we want to celebrate the spirit of do-it-yourself,” NVIDIA’s Peter Kingsley said as he toted his 20-month-old daughter around the show.  “Building your own GeForce gaming PC is easy, cost efficient, rewarding and a lot of fun.”

In between sessions led by NVIDIANs clad in black and green t-shirts, the GeForce hardware on display at NVIDIA’s booth drew lustful glances.

“What I would give for that PC,” said Chris, as he eyed a machine equipped with three NVIDIA GTX Titan graphics cards.

“I’m a total NVIDIA fanboy,” said David, a freshman at Harvey Mudd College, before diving into a session led by NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen explaining how to tune up your GPU. “All this hardware is first rate.”

Also drawing gawkers: Brian Carter — who runs Bods Mods, a custom PC case shop — hand assembled a robot-shaped PC case out of acrylic over the course of the weekend as fair-goers asked him about his work.

The clear plastic case, and its motorized robot arms, drew plenty of comments as Carter pieced the machine together.

“Amazing, that’s just amazing,” said Andy, who was showing his son, Rob, around the Maker Faire.

Andy, who hand-built his own gaming PC for sessions of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” was inspired.

“We need to build him one at some point,” he said, gesturing towards Rob, who grinned. “In fact, I think it’s time to get started.”

Mission accomplished.

NVIDIA will be at the Maker Faire all weekend at booth #328. Check our list of workshops and plan your day here: http://ow.ly/l8ODO