Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire Recap

Last weekend, we were proud to take part in the first ever Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire. In the United States, pretty much everyone has a Barnes & Noble Booksellers nearby, so it was a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about what we do. We hope that Barnes & Noble can continue to be a meeting place for our community.

I want to thank our volunteers who went to their local B&N to share what they do with Raspberry Pi: Robert, Chris, Jordan, Chad, Don, Kellyn, Ethan, Ron, Dustin, Cody, Taryn, Gavin, Trevor, Chris, Jim, Hal, Rex, and Brent. We’re so fortunate to have such a dedicated community and we are deeply grateful that you’re a part of it.

Here are a few photos from the event, collected from social media:

It looks like this year’s Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire could be the first of many. We hope we’ll see you at next year’s event!


John avatar

We really enjoyed being a part of this! It was a fantastic event, thanks Matt for putting it together!

W. H. Heydt avatar

And a big thanks to Matt for an excellent presentation (especially given time and space constraints) and for putting up with ad hoc assistance.

ameyring avatar

Although I’m a Pi user, I happened to be in the store tending to another activity with my kids. They had a text version of Doom (if I got the game right) running on the Pi and teenagers were checking it out.

Cody Erekson avatar

This was an awesome event! I’m thrilled to have been part of it.
Much thanks to Matt for his part in arranging it and inviting me to spend a day as a Raspberry Pi Evangelist!

I’ve gathered all of the pictures I could find from the #bnmakerfaire that took place in Layton, Utah. They have been posted to our maker group’s Facebook page:

Jim Manley avatar

It was an hono(u)r and a privilege to represent the Pi Faithful and spread The Word according to the Gospel of Saint Eben and His Acolytes (yes, while we weren’t looking, The Powers That Be anointed who we thought was a candidate for knighthood to become a full-fledged miracle-worker in the form of a Saint :) Cucumber sandwiches with the crusts removed and Raspberry Pi (of course) were reportedly served at the ceremony :D

Over the course of the weekend, over a thousand people got to see the Pii in all their glory at the Brentwood, Murfreesboro, and Hendersonville B&N stores in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. I’ve asked if they can host recurring Jams at those sites going forward, and we’re on the calendar starting after the holidays. B&Ns (as well as other book stores and libraries) have hosted regular reading events for many decades for the youngest of the young (all the way up to the 100-year-olds-plus :) and we’re proposing those kinds of events be extended to include writing, which can naturally also cover developing software.

Since B&N carries the Nook series of tablets, I’m planning to have Pii act as servers over WiFi and then participants can use their Nooks (or other tablets/smartphones of any make) to ssh in via a suitable terminal app, or VNC in to their own desktops via a remote-access graphics app. The B&N managers are ecstatic at this possibility as it combines a number of technologies and expands their customers’ knowledge in a variety of ways.

Robots and mini-quadcopters were also prominently featured at these Faires/Jams and the extension of using Pii to control them is a natural next step. I’m looking at add-on daughter-boards with 3-axis accelerometers and compass ICs to attach to a Pi 2 B/B+/A+ equipped with the Pi touchscreen as that will provide the means for remotely controlling robots and quadcopters by tilting the touchscreen. Adding WiFi-distributed video from robots/quadcopters to the Pi touchscreen will be another step on the way to world domination ;) Pi’s the name, James Pi … I have a License to Skill! :D

Rex Roper avatar

It was very exciting to be able to talk about the Raspberry Pi to people who really wanted to know what it is and what it can do. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to “bible-thump technology” with a Raspberry Pi in the palm of my hand. Maybe it is the Tennessee blood that runs through me, or maybe it is me trying to grab the glory days when I bought my first computer in 1983, the wonderful ZX81 (Timex Sinclair 1000). Either way, just like Mr. Manley, I too exude exuberant enthusiasm just like a kid when I can show others what can be done with a computer, and more importantly that they can tell computers what to do also.

I am very lucky. I stumbled into technology at a very early age. In some sense, the knowledge I have gained by learning problem solving with technology has actually saved my life, and probably more than once. If nothing else it has provided me with a livelihood, not a job, so to speak. When it comes to right down to it one could say I am a product of the product.

Many thanks to all who’s efforts make it possible for people like me to give back our knowledge and experiences.

…and it was written: “Spread Ye, The Mighty Word according to the Gospel of our Beloved Saint Eben and His Acolytes so Ye shall bless thy neighbor with knowledge.”

…oops, sorry, I forgot to turn of the bible-thumper! Jim, you understand? Don’t you? :)

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