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At Maker Faire, Jared Boone, of ShareBrained, premiered the Make: television jukebox. Fairgoers could plug in a thumbdrive, press a button, and have the selected episode loaded onto their USB drive. Here, Jared talks to Make: television’s John Edgar Park about the project.

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Make: television Vending Machine

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. StefanJ says:

    I brought a 4GB drive with me specifically to try this out. The vending machine failed to recognize it*; fortunately its tender was kind enough to give me a freebie drive big enough to haul home six episodes!

    Thanks again for that!

    I hope this machine continues to evolve. It’s begging to be fitted into an antique vending machine case, like something that would be found in the corner of an old penny arcade. Maybe with a glass window behind which is a wooden automata showing a little man working a byte pump.

    – SEJ

    * Thumb drives seem like a commodity product, but they differ a lot in performance and operation. I work on media servers in my day job; for our latest product we chose to use a thumb drive as the main file system. We had to try out many models before we found one that suitable for the job.

    1. Jared says:

      Stefan,

      Thanks for trying out the Make: TV dispenser. I hope to see you next year with an improved machine and maybe a second season of Make: TV for you to download.

      You’re dead-on about the penny arcade aesthetic. I’d envisioned something like a “love tester” like the ones you’d see in ice cream parlors. But alas, we ran out of time to really dress up the machine beforehand. Next year!

      I love the automata idea! My friend Brian, who worked with me on the Make: TV project, went to the San Francisco Musée Mécanique on Saturday night. I’ll have to pick his brain about what he learned from the myriad automata he saw there. We had six completely unused servo outputs we could’ve used for precisely that sort of thing…

  2. Jared says:

    Thanks to Nick, John, Richard and the rest of the Make: TV team for the opportunity to present the Make: TV dispenser at Maker Faire. Thanks also to my co-conspirator, Brian Richardson, and to James Provost for applying his graphic design skills toward making our plain wooden box a whole lot more attractive.

    This was my first Maker Faire, and it was, in a word, incredible. I was walking around all weekend with an insane grin on my face. It was so exciting to be among tens of thousands of energetic, creative, and skillful people, and get to talk to a few of them. While we ran out of time to do everything we’d planned for the project, the Maker Faire audience clearly recognized and appreciated what we did and how we did it. Everyone was, to a person, wildly enthusiastic, supportive, and generous with new ideas. With an atmosphere like that, there’s no stopping the Maker Revolution!

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