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.
One of my favorite custom LEGO kits of all time is Chris McVeigh’s Mac, but German programmer Jannis Hermanns has gone one step farther by building a tiny Apple Macintosh classic case from LEGO around a Rasperry Pi Zero with an e-paper display and Wi-Fi running Docker.
Jannis says in his blog post that he designed the case in LEGO Digital Designer, ordered the bricks (upon which he performed some rather shocking customizations to fit the display), and inserted the electronics he’d programmed himself.
The whole thing — LEGO, e-paper display, Rasperry Pi, power supply, and Apple stickers — cost barely over $100, and Jannis provides detailed instructions on his website if you want to build your own.
Apple cascaded its way into the public psyche with its famous 1984 commercial, directed by Ridley Scott. Jason Allemann’s wonderfully poignant LEGO version re-imagines the work with Apple itself as the all-seeing overlord. Whatever side of the fence you sit regarding Apple’s business these days, this is a fantastic piece.
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.
We love Chris McVeigh (powerpig on Flickr) for the many real-world objects he recreates so faithfully — and photographs so beautifully — in LEGO. His latest is the original Apple Macintosh. That thing over on the left is called a “mouse.”
While we’re at it, here’s a wonderful little Leica M9 camera we didn’t get to a couple weeks ago.
If you feel like buying one for yourself, it’s available in Powerpig’s store.