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Mitch Altman travels around the world doing electronics workshops that teaches everyone from all walks of life about making things. I’ve seen Mitch work for 48 hours straight showing hundreds of kids how to build electronics, it’s amazing.

In this video we talk about a great event he was at, but there was one person who took off with over $600+ worth of electronics Mitch uses for these workshops, he doesn’t make money on these workshops at all – so we made a quick video and we’re hoping the person who took them just sends them back, we’ll even pay for the shipping – no questions asked.

Notacon was way wonderful this year. The Hardware Hacking Area was way bigger than last year (as is the case *everywhere*!), and it was totally hopping! More than a third of people at the con made something!

Me and Jimmie joined in on the Hardware Hacking Area set up by the new Makers Alliance hackerspace in Cleveland. We love giving these workshops at hacker conferences and hackerspaces around the world! It is just so incredibly gratifying to see so many people happily making cool things together! That’s why we do this! We actually don’t make any money from doing it — but we do break even, which means that we make enough from each workshop to allow us to pay for the overhead of the next one. And it works out really well! We love teaching people how to make cool things!

The only bummer about Notacon this year (besides for my train being canceled, necessitating me taking a Greyhound to NYC!) is that someone(s) stole a bunch of my kits and Jimmie Rodger’s kits. $585 worth of my kits were taken, including a pile of FTDI cables, a pile of MiniPOV3 kits, plus a bunch of other kits. Jimmie had 2 Arduino boards taken plus a few of his kits, which comes to about $250 of his stuff taken. Last year was my first Notacon, and though I loved it more than enough to come back this year, $690 of my kits were stolen there (again mostly FTDI cables and MiniPOV3 kits).

Out of all of the workshops I’ve given over the last few years, I’ve never had kits stolen from any of them — Notacon is the only place. That is so odd, because Notacon is such a great conference! It draws a great group of people, most of whom get to know one another over the weekend. The organizers do a great job of creating an intimate atmosphere with lots of interesting talks, demos, workshops, and way fun activities. I’d recommend it to anyone. I’d also love it if whoever has taken my kits would return them.

Cornfield Electronics
572 Hill St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Mitch Altman [email protected]

I told Mitch this will be an interesting experiment to see if the items are returned, I hope so – there’s not a lot of uses for those kits and cables outside the maker community. If the person went to the conference, attended and then took off with all that stuff – they likely read the MAKE site too. Cleveland, Ohio is a pretty tight-knit city – surely someone knows something about this? If the stuff isn’t returned I’m going to donate $50 worth of FTDI cables to Mitch directly to help keep the workshops going.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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