This little LEGO beige box, by Thilo Schoen, is none other than the original 1984 Apple Macintosh. Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few builds of the Mac in question. But Thilo’s Hello Mac! is sporting something special. With the real one traditionally packing 128 KB of RAM, this sweet little recreation has been retrofitted with technology 25 years its junior: a 2009 iPod nano. Built tightly around this powerful futuristic processer, Thilo has kept its iconic shaping with some seamless SNOT work. The beveled edge framing the screen hasn’t been lost in the process either. I’m particularly fond of the modified 1×2 grille bricks used along the bottom as venting. Most impressive to me though, was that he has raised the front side up one plate thickness. This subtlety allows the whole unit to give it its classic tilted face.
Just in case you thought The Brothers Brick has gone into selling electronics, you may want to take a second look, and a close one at that. It’s simply too easy to mistake this monitor for a real one than to believe it’s all made of bricks and bits at a quick glance. Timofey Tkachev is one builder that never ceases to enthrall me with his flexible skills as he builds in a variety of subjects and themes. In case you’re wondering what’s that screen on display, its the front page of the Russian Lego User Group that Timofey belongs to, phantoms.su – a loyal member indeed!
Built especially for the geek in all of us, Chris McVeigh brings us a festive LEGO blast of electronics nostalgia, all set to hang on your Christmas tree. That tan coloured monitor and CPU is what almost all Personal Computers came in back-in-the-day. And that detail of a floppy disk half shoved-in the drive delights the bits and bytes out of me.
You’ll never run out of Lego ornaments with these and more of Chris’s Christmas ornaments — check out all his building guides.
Even if you’ve not heard of Chris McVeigh, you’ve probably seen his builds in one way or another, especially his iconic Classic Mac that’s been featured quite a bit across the media. As a brick artist, Chris specializes in capturing fragments of details in tiny builds that give maximum impact. The other great part about Chris’s builds is that all of his build guides are available free for download and all you need to do to enjoy his wonderful creations are to source the bricks from sites like Bricklink or gather what you have from your very own stash. Of course, there are those that may not have the time or knowledge of the secondary LEGO market to gather all those parts, which makes purchasing a custom kit directly from the artist becomes a great option. For those that do, there’s no detail spared in the experience. Trust me on this, I’m going to bet that you’ll be impressed by the level of care and detail that Chris puts into this.
We’re huge fans of Chris McVeigh here at The Brothers Brick, and I’ve enjoyed each of the custom LEGO kits I’ve bought from his online store — custom kits that I can only describe as artisanal LEGO kits, with beautifully printed packaging lovingly arranged in the shipping box with tissue paper. We featured Chris’s LEGO Macintosh desktop last year (which I bought for myself last Christmas and love, love, love!) and his LEGO Amiga 500 last month, and now Chris has posted the final design for his DOS desk kit, which will be available on his website soon.
The desk drawers are fully functional, with a bunch of accessories to make you more productive — or keep you distracted during the workday.
One of the things that makes us love Chris and his designs all the more is that he puts his detailed instructions online for free. Yes, you can buy his kits — complete with custom-printed floppy disks and retro calculator — but you can also download his instructions and build his designs with your own bricks if you want. Be sure to check out our interview with Chris McVeigh as well.
As modern video games become more and more demanding in terms of hardware, no wonder getting the cutting edge component parts is a pressing problem. Recently, dueling LEGO builders produced a couple of brilliant microchips, and now it’s high time to get a proper motherboard for your high-end gaming station. Depending on your ambitions and budget, you can either go for the popular and reliable GIGABYTE G4M-XPZ by Tim Schwalfenberg…
For some time now LEGO artist Chris McVeigh has been bringing us palm-sized chunks of hi-tech nostalgia heaven, such as his Atari 2600 and Apple Macintosh kits. But now Chris jumps into the unfashionable-yet-practical camp of “IBM compatibles” with this picture-perfect 80’s era DOS computer. This certainly brings memories of my first tech job flooding back – twin floppies, Hammer pants, and all.
The kit is currently available for pre-order from Chris’ store. Or if you prefer, as of today you can now download the instructions and build one from your own collection of bricks. But here’s all the narly stuff you’ll get if you order the full kit:
• Custom-printed processor tile for added detail
• Custom-printed display slopes featuring a choice of two prompts, A>_ and C:_
• An extra tile allows you to switch one of the diskette drives to a hard disk
I know what I’m putting at the top of my list of stocking stuffers this Christmas! Hmmm, but I guess the important question is: Have I been naughty or nice?
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?
Chris McVeigh (powerpig) has made something of a specialty in must-have, palm-sized LEGO models of retro technology. His body of work includes some iconic videogame consoles, cameras, phones, televisions and even kitchen appliances (but thankfully no fax machines yet).
In my opinion though, his latest creation – the very first Apple home computer – tops even his amazingly popular Apple Mac. But then I’m biased, because this was the first computer I ever owned! He’s nailed it, right down to the dual floppies, side vents and internal card layout. And the addition of custom printed bricks by customBricks for the screen really brings the whole thing to life.
But fear not, fellow old-timers, you don’t have to just gaze longingly at these wonderful images. Get your nostalgia on, and head over to Chris’s website where you can download instructions for many of his creations, or even order them as kits. And you won’t even have to send a check in the mail…
Isn’t modern technology wonderful?!
Nick V (brickthing) has built something that will bring out the nerd in many of us. I never thought I would write a sentence that used “video card” and “beauty” together, but this replica video card really is a thing of beauty.
Much has been written about how mathematicians, who worked at Bletchley Park in the UK, broke the Enigma codes, thereby playing a significant role in defeating Nazi Germany’s U-boats. However, apart from aficionados of computer history or WW-II buffs, few people know about another part played by the scientists and engineers at Bletchley Park. In order to break the so-called Lorentz encryption, used by the German army, the boffins built the Colossus computer. As part of a series of models about British history, James Pegrum (peggyjdb) has built a scene depicting the Colossus Mk.2, as used at Bletchley Park on the eve of the D-Day Normandy landings.
Even though the project remained largely unknown for decades, mainly because it was classified, Colossus is significant as the World’s first programmable digital computer.
We often admire buildings and spaceships for having a “detailed interior,” but it’s not often I get to say that about a LEGO computer. This Apple II Plus (or Apple ][+ if you want to get technical) by Chiu-Kueng Tsang (chiukeung) certainly recreates the look of this classic computer from the era before Apple made its first Mac.
But I’m most impressed that Chiu-Kueng even built the internal hardware — perhaps a bit of that whopping 48 KB of RAM.