I'm trying an experiment as part of Fab Academy. I'm going to record one short podcast each week, to help me reflect on what I've learned, and I hope share something of what it's like to do Fab Academy, as it happens.

It's called Unreliable Devices.

Subscribe here: Apple Podcasts / RSS

20 — Should you do Fab Academy?

To wrap up the series, I reflect on the whole experience, and give my verdict: would I recommend Fab Academy to others? I also talk about why coding is so hard, learning how to learn, and how useful it is to be uncomfortable. I hope you enjoy this episode, and enjoyed the series. I’ll see you on another podcast soon.

19 — What I've learned about podcasting

I started doing this podcast as an experiment, a different way to engage with Fab Academy, and a learning exercise. As we get to the end of the series, here’s what I’ve figured out.

18 — Computer superpowers

Why I get excited about computers, some of my history with the Mac, and my ambivalence ahead of this year’s WWDC about Apple’s other platforms.

17 — Things that people want to make

This week, I’ve been making a casing for my project. There’s something satisfying about making a thing that looks finished. Maybe this is a way to help more people enjoy making things.

16 — Making machines

The pleasure in making something come to life.

15 — Technology and nature

It’s summer! We all want to be outside. But our technology wants to be inside. How can we fix that?

14 — Running a sustainable fablab

How can Fablabs be run as sustainable enterprises? What kind of approach do you need to take to keep a Fablab going; what kind of organisation do you need to be? How can you be more valuable to more people?

13 — Rubber Ducks

The frustration of working on difficult things, and how a rubber duck can help.

12 — Catching up with our promises

Can we make better DIY machines? Working to improve the basic infrastructure (including tools) that supports all making – and doing it in a way that contributes to the commons – is an important piece of work. Fortunately some people are doing it.

11 — Domestic Technology

Is there something special about technology that we use at home, that allows more people to learn and play with new technology, away from the chilling effects of the professional environment and expert user? And if so, what does this mean for the future of Fab labs and personal fabrication tools. Includes some reminiscing about the good old days of the web, before it all went to pot.

10 — Halftime Oranges

Halfway through the programme, I try to sum up how it works, and why I think it’s so effective.

09 — Uneasy Tango

Inside the world of microcontrollers, and discovering the magic of programming. Plus, how do you figure out how to make a thing happen in the world?

08 — Aesthetics of machines

Why should we care about how things look? And if we want people to value the things made in fablabs, what can we do about it?

[Updated 2018-03-15 with correct audio file.]

07 — Makers and Makerspaces - what are they good for?

I had to talk to a journalist about the impact of makerspaces and fablabs, particularly their economic impact. I think I said something along these lines.

06 — The Crystal Maze

Reflecting on the experience of learning at an uncomfortable pace, negotiating machine time, and flow in the workshop.

05 — Precision vs skill

In which I pick at the idea of developing skill with digital machines, the difference between precision and craft, and finding a new way to talk about skill in a digital workshop.

04 — Bits to atoms

This week Fab Academy gets real. We crank up the machines and start making. Cue cursing.

03 — Breaking down the problem

How 3D design software lets you make complex objects from simple components, and how to make flexible objects that can be adjusted after their initial design.

02 — Frustrating scaffolding

What’s it like to enter the world of developer tools as a newbie? It’s turtles all the way down. Plus, I leave a trail of crumbs as I venture into the forest.

01 — Firehose of information

In which Fablabs take over the world, and I grow increasingly nervous about the amount of work I’ve taken on.

00 — What's going to happen here

In which I set out some aims for this new podcast, and explain what’s going on.