Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire Recap

A project log for Malti

Malti is a low cost open source handheld Linux platform that makes experimenting with and learning about electronics easier

rita-timmRita Timm 05/05/2015 at 07:071 Comment

From the Desk of Rita:

Jeremy and I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone who came to our table at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire this Saturday! We had a great time, and we're thrilled by the positive response Malti received.

While we were there, we asked what all of you wonderful makers would do with Malti if you had one. Quite a few teachers said they would love having a tool like Malti to use in their classrooms. Another suggested starting a coding club for avid young programmers. One maker thought using Malti to make a tricorder from Star Trek would be pretty neat. We got an overall fantastic response from our young audience. Several aspiring makers said they wanted to make a "homework machine" out of Malti, and one particularly ambitious young maker said she wants to make an alarm to keep her sister away from her stuff (but a quiet alarm, so her sister doesn't know about it).

Besides the contest, we had a blinky demo set up to show just one of the many virtues of using iPython—teaching kids. I was absolutely shocked and awed at the positive response from the elementary school aged makers that came by. With just a touch of guidance, they were able to answer age-appropriate comprehension questions posed to them. They were very excited to have understood so quickly—almost as excited as I was to see them understanding! They seemed to legitimately enjoy the demonstration, and some asked if we could teach them more!

So what's next? All of your support has certainly motivated us to work even harder on getting Malti nailed down. We're putting our noses to the proverbial grindstone, so we can get Malti in your hands as soon as possible! Jeremy's working on revising the PCB to accommodate SMD buttons for the keyboard, along with working on that finicky power circuitry. I'm going to delve into the wild world of software development, starting with an efficient application launcher for a small touchscreen.

A very special thanks goes to the fantastic team at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire for all their help, and for letting us come show off! Thank you to all the Makers who showed up and offered such positive words of encouragement. We hope you will continue to follow Malti as we develop it!