When I was a kid in Buffalo, N.Y., the route back to my parents' house passed a Pontiac dealership with a red Fiero displayed on the corner. I was years away from driving age, but I wanted this car. I was crushed when I learned Pontiac was discontinuing the model, and I told my dad we should just go get one and store it in the garage until I was 16. Get this! A 13-year-old Michigan girl actually did this.
Among the friends we've been making over in the PopSci booth at Maker Faire include the guys from Octoparts—an aggregate search engine for electronic components. If you've ever tried to buy resistors, capacitors, or any other component on the Web, you know how obscure and confusing some of these ordering sites can be—if you don't know your part number, you're often out of luck. With Octoparts, just type in what you're looking for and find the best price. In the works is an online app to save and share your parts list for your project. Now that Radio Shack has almost entirely moved out of the components trade in their stores, Octoparts is a new tinkerer's dream. —John Mahoney