Kudos to Dale Dougherty, Phil Torrone, Dan Woods, Sherri Huss, Katie Dougherty, Louise Glasgow, Bre Pettis and the rest of the O'Reilly team for a "phenomenal" Maker Faire. The total attendance was a whopping 20,000+!! That's huge! The thing that really struck out at me was the sheer diversity of the attendees and their projects, from basket weaving to clothing-refashioning (Daryl Hannah) to robotics, to electronics to music and robo-art.  To paraphrase Dale's words, "all of these different activities are tied together by the inherent human need to create". Simple, yet deep, I like it :)

I also want to give a big thank you to Jacqueline Russell, Wendy Harrison, and all the folks who worked the Microsoft pavilion. Special shout out to Ed Kaim and team for showing off some very cool creations, including my favorite, the homemade DDR machine.

We had a big Microsoft presence, quarterbacked by Jacqueline and Wendy that included Visual Studio Express, Coding4Fun, Media Center, Windows Mobile, UMPC (read: Origami), Channel9, On10, and more.

My highlights:

Scoble shows us some double love in his posts on How to shut down Mini-Microsoft

I had a huge surge of pride in Microsoft today when I saw a very cool booth that we had at Makers Faire. Robots. People teaching kids to program computers. Xboxes. Media Centers. UMPCs (another lame name for "Origami's" — one fun thing was I was in the booth when someone was holding a UMPC and then asked "can I see the Origamis?" Um, you're holding one, was the answer.)

and on his "An abundance of great events lately" post

...But, the high water mark in my mind was the Maker Faire. This is a different kind of event from MindCamp. Sort of a "Burning Man Lite."

Michael Lehman and Charles Torre from Channel9 as well as Laura Foy and Duncan Mackenzie from on10.net will have some good videos up soon with cool demos. In fact Laura's first video from Maker Faire is now up where she interviews Dale Dougherty from Make Magazine. Duncan even has a blog post with pictures of Laura with a flamethrower that of course has been Photoshopped to make on10.net wallpaper (courtesy of Maxwell).

Alas Scott Hanselman, our trusty Coding4Fun hardware guru couldn't make it...he would've had a blast!

Maker Faire is by far the best and coolest conference I've ever gone to. Hands down. My only complaint is having to work the booth and not being able to walk around and play as much as I would've wanted to.