It’s hard to remember the first thing I ever made, but I do remember a fairly endless succession of sodium bicarbonate and vinegar rockets made out of cigar tubes, trying to duplicate the success of a formed plastic one that my brother had gotten for Christmas. I was probably six or so. We used to launch ants into “space” atop Sean’s rocket (so I guess the mods we made to his store-bought rocket might also count.)
At about the same age, I remember scavenging little electric motors from supermarket advertising displays (you wouldn’t remember those, from pre-digital days) to a large wooden crate, hoping that if we got enough of them spinning propellers, we’d eventually be able to fly back to England to be re-united with our dear friend Shane O’Toole.
-Tim is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc.