Quoting an excerpt from Mitch seen on Make Blog:
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.
572 Hill St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Mitch Altman mitch@CornfieldElectronics.com
Mitch is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He’s dedicated himself to going around the planet ( quite literally ) and getting people of all ages excited about making stuff. I helped Mitch run the hardware hacking space at Notacon the year before last, and it was amazing. This year was even better thanks to the local Cleveland hackerspace guys. And I’ve been pretty adamant about Notacon being one of my favorite conferences. It’s small, but it’s got great people, and one of the only demo scene events in the US. Hearing this really makes me feel horrible. I’ve been to almost every Notacon since Notacon 1, and I’ve never had an issue inside of the conference area. People tend to look out for each other. I can’t imagine what someone would be thinking when they took this stuff.
Anyways, if you have any idea where / what happened to Mitch’s stuff please step up and right the wrong.
I am not currently aware of any sort of formal effort to help get Mitch back on his feet with a supply of kits. But, I suppose the biggest issue here is time. Getting new boards, components, and kits put together for upcoming events could be tough if not impossible. Hoping whoever is responsible has a change of heart. Spreading this throughout the community hopefully will get their attention.
Anyways our thoughts are with Mitch right now.