Tag Archives: Technology

The Birth of Apple

Ohio-based builder JD Keller has built this great minifigure scale vignette that depicts Steve Jobs in Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak’s garage back in the mid 1970s. Amazingly, the billion dollar company Apple Computing started out as Woz’s garage-based hobby so we are witnessing the ‘Birth of Apple’. I love the panelled garage walls and the various electronic bits and pieces on the shelves. Don’t miss the classic large red toolbox with sliding drawers,┬áthe Apple colours on the shelves, and the original wooden Apple I computer in the background.

Birth of Apple - Jobs and Woz

Back when a press photographer needed a camera, not a smartphone

It’s time to put your smartphone camera back into your pocket and embrace the wonder of the Graflex Speed Graphic camera.┬áBack in the 1960s, Graflex cameras were the standard camera used by press photographers (before some were renamed paparazzi). Milan CMadge has built a LEGO version of this famous camera that is remarkably accurate compared to the real thing.

Graflex Speed Graphic

The method of building the flash housing is particularly clever, as Milan has used 3mm flexible hose to shape the reflector and a couple of curved cockpits for the bulb. Interesting bit of trivia now: the 3-cell Graflex flashgun was modified and used as the prop for Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber in Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

Painfully transparent

As my two teens head off to high school today for the start of another school year, I’m pretty certain one of the things they won’t see in their laptop / smart board / PowerPoint saturated academic environment is an “overhead projector”. And in case any of you are scratching your heads wondering what that is, how it worked, or what “transparencies” might be, Jeffrey Kong of Artisan Bricks has kindly created a miniature version of one using LEGO to give you a rough idea…

Presented without comment or explanation and leaving Chris McVeigh wishing he’d thought of this first!

SpaceX Falcon 9 Landing in LEGO

Space is dangerous. Getting there maybe even more so, what with riding a controlled explosion to overcome gravity and all. In the United States, the majority of the space flight innovations came from NASA with a significant amount of help early on from the Air Force and German aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun.

Max Schellenberg gives us an intro to modern space travel with this brilliant microscale version of a Falcon 9 landing in the Atlantic Ocean. This is adorable and I love it.

Lego Spacex Falcon 9 Landing

Now, there are a number of private companies developing new technology: Boeing and Lockheed Martin regularly launch the Delta IV rockets under United Launch Alliance; Boeing is developing their CST-100 crew capsule. Sierra Nevada has their Dreamchaser. Jeff Bezos has Blue Origin, for tourist space flight, launching out of Texas.

And Elon Musk has SpaceX.

Off all of these, I get the most giddy about SpaceX. Because the first foray into reusable equipment with the Shuttle program still required going and fishing the boosters out of the Atlantic, along with the orbiter returning safely to earth. SpaceX has developed their Falcon 9, capable of launching a payload into space, and having the booster return to a fixed point. Namely, their “autonomous spaceport drone ships,” the Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You. They’ve recently leased one of the former launch complexes on Cape Canaveral Air Force Base and converted into a landing facility as well.

That is amazing.

You have arrived at your destination

Every new Apple product has it’s (well publicized) teething problems. While my older iPhone has remained un-bent, no matter how many times I put it in my industrial jaw vice, it still to this day enjoys sending me either 1 mile North or South of my intended destination. And Brick Vader clearly knows what I’m talking about, as evidenced by this beautifully put together vignette:

Insane in the mainframe

Regular readers may have concluded long ago that The Brothers Brick are just a bunch of old farts who are obsessed with Miami Vice, Ataris, and Hammer pants. And you’d be right. So I’m gonna worsen that stereotype and take you back to an even older, fartier era when men were men and computers were, well, absolutely enormous:

LegoJalex‘s recreation of a vintage NCR Century Series mainframe reminds us of an era when computers had to be kept in specially cooled rooms, and one IBM executive famously predicted “there is a world market for maybe five computers”. Extra points (and a tube of Prep H) to anyone that can correctly identify any of the components represented in the scene above!

And to round off our little 70’s nostalgia trip, here’s a BONUS ITEM from the same builder: an adorable microscale version of the classic LEGO set 381 Police Headquarters. Ah, it’s like my 5th birthday all over again!

 

…can you dig it?