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The beginning of the Android Makers

From: user 8.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 10:54 AM
Hello Everyone,

I'm really excited about the reaction in the development community around this Android Makers group. We're in a really sweet spot at the beginning of a new chapter in computer science. The tools we have available to us, and the falling cost of hardware has significantly reduced the barriers to entry for designing our own devices.

I met Steve Wozniak in 2007 at the Makers Faire and he inspired me to think about how the desire to create things that enrich the lives of the people we love is actually the driver of innovation. I spoke with him for a bit after he did his speech. I kinda had to chase him and talk with him while he was walking to a "real" interview. He was really open and that conversation changed the way I think about invention. I recorded the speech he gave before we talked. I think you should see it, I uploaded it here: It's been inspiring me to look at what's possible.

Don't miss the genesis of our little club. We are at the center of something new that will change the world. We take for granted what happens in the Bay Area. That's to be expected, we do amazing things here--but try not to do it with our first meeting. There are people in many countries that wish they could attend and it will probably be rare that we meet at my house in the future. We already have had some great venues offered to us, like 1015 Folsom, who's owner wants to get involved in supporting innovation and doing daytime technology events. Expect this meetup to grow quickly.

By the end of the summer I want all of the founding members of this group to have a board running android, with wifi, a touch screen and a camera. I want us to be building whatever we think the people we care about want. Regardless of our skill level. I want us to have resources that are alive and local.

Oreilly has offered to give us books, InsideMobile has given me a few passes to the InsideMobile conference to raffle off to you. If you put your energy into this group, then you will find the tools you need. (

When I was 15 I knew how to assemble a computer. I learned from disassembling my mom's computer, breaking it, and having to fix it because we weren't very wealthy at the time. At that point in history, you could buy the parts to assemble a computer for $400 bucks and sell them for more than $1k in the classified ads. You simply had to assemble the parts and install Windows 3.1. That was where I got my start, building clones. 18 years later, I have that same feeling in my blood. What people outside this little club don't know, is that I am working to put kits in the hands of every-day developers, for less than that, that they can turn into whatever gadget they dream of.

I'll send out the address next week personally. I can tell you it's in Glen Park in San Francisco, not far from the Glen park BART station and very close to 280 and 101. --and there is plenty of parking.

At the first meeting, I'll do the un-bricking demo and the off-carrier build demo. But we also have some choices to make. We need to pick our name which I think maybe we should change to simply "Android Makers". --but I want to know what the group is like before we choose the name. We also need to decide what we want to do with the next meeting. I'm perfectly capable of leading all that myself but shy away from dictatorships, so I want to know who we are before deciding on the next meeting's content.

I've been very impressed by the level of diversity and skill that has shown up in the group, and I am looking forward to next Thursday, when we will convene our little group for the first time, and see what happens next.

I hope you are all well,

Sid Gabriel
[address removed]

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