I first met Mitch Altman, President of Cornfield Electronics, after I called him in asshole online for inventing the TV-B-Gone. When I finally met him a couple of years later, he just laughed and said I was entitled to my opinion. Turns out Mitch is an interesting, thoughtful guy (not to mention gracious), and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with him when our paths intersect.
Which isn’t that often, because Mitch is always on the move! He’s currently traveling to a variety of hacker events across the world, so I thought I’d ask him if he’d give us some guest blog posts from on the road. And thus he did, providing this glimpse into fun of drinking out of robots bartenders.
Mitch Altman – Greetings from Vienna. I’m near the beginning my international tour of hacker spaces and conferences, living out of my backpack full of electronic parts, giving presentations and workshops along the way. My first stop was Chicago, where I hung out with some energetic hackers putting together Pumping Station 1, a hacker space soon-to-be. Here in Vienna, I’ll be giving a workshop to teach people to solder at Metalab, a hacker space established two and a half years ago, providing a warm inviting space for people to hang out, socialize, play games, and work on projects. And, like all hacker spaces around the world, it is a pool of creative, intelligent people who help with community projects.
Monochrome is another hacker-like group here, focused on the arts, with an office in the Museum Quarter, and partly funded by the government. With the help of Metalab folks and others, Monochrome puts on an annual robotics conference called Roboexotica, now in its 10th year, which is all about robots that mix cocktails (and performance, learning from one another, and, of course, socializing). Robots here took on an amazing array of shapes and sizes, from one made entirely of Lego in two hours, to one that is still a work-in-progress after 6 years that made exquisite mojitos.