Personally, I’m a bit of a caveman when it comes to technology. Working with computers sometimes feels like interacting with a magic tablet controlled by a temperamental spirit that doesn’t like me. While I shudder at the idea of diving into code, I have friends that program games on old computers for fun. Understanding the finer details of the process might not be my strong suit but it’s easy to appreciate the process and results of their efforts. Especially when those friends often build their own computers as well. So I can’t help but think of them when I see a model like this. Builder David Strenzler, otherwise known as Force of Bricks, has built a LEGO version of a Soviet computer from the era of the Apple II and the Commodore 64. Let’s take a look at this beautiful model of the Agat 4 8-bit computer.
Entering a new decade has left me feeling nostalgic for my youth and, since I group up in the ’90s, I was amused when I saw Qian Yj’s LEGO version of an early cellphone. Back then, such phones were such phones were nicknamed bricks due to their tremendous size. This particular model is about as close to a 1:1 replica as you can get, as illustrated by this image of Qian Yj holding the brick in-hand. His replica looks spot-on, from the numbered buttons to the thick antenna protruding from the top. Lime green tiles form the screen and are a perfect choice given the then-state-of-the-art LCD technology.
The USB Type A plug has connected high-tech devices since 1996 — one of the things we take for granted for the past two decades, the Universal Serial Bus connector. Ubiquitous and functional (almost) every time — if you get the cable with the right connector on the other end. If there was an Oscar for the technology world, I think the USB connector should be honored with a lifetime achievement award. Working at a fairly large scale in LEGO, builder Joffre has created an excellent representation of the ever-present plug, with its iconic trident logo built onto the surface with a clever use of parts. So clean, smooth and perfect, you’ll surely need a second look to believe it’s all made of LEGO bricks.
Builder and photographer Helen Sham built a nostalgic Hasselblad 503CX and made it functional. The only thing it can’t do is take an actual photo (just yet), but it does come with the bells and whistles. This LEGO built camera has parts that can be separated as would the real Hasselblad. It includes a mirror for the viewfinder that will actually give you a reversed image of your frame. There’s a spring-loaded shutter button that gives you a real feeling of releasing the shutter and a running counter, had the camera have actual film in there. I’m more impressed that it only took Helen about 2 hours to put it together with an assortment of 1120 parts.
In this technology-driven age, our devices have a big impact on our everyday life. We have devices to track our sleep, devices that shop for us, and devices we wear and carry with us wherever we go. With this collection of LEGO creations, nujumetru has captured the wonderful and sometimes disturbing relationship we have with our technology.
The digital era has pushed a lot of state-of-the-art technology into vintage obscurity, and one such piece of audio equipment is the reel-to-reel tape recorder. Imagine the tape removed from a tape cassette and wound onto a reel, press a button and twiddle some knobs and voilà, your slightly crackly audio recording will be transferred onto the reel. Yul Burman has built a great looking LEGO version complete with reels, buttons, twiddly knobs and some bygone bling!
I want this on my shelf next to Carl Merriam’s vintage LEGO movie projector.
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.
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.
If you’ve actually owned all three of these technological evolutions of television as depicted by Didier Burtin then you deserve an accolade! And maybe some help blowing out all the candles on your next birthday cake. The flat screen TV may be the last of its kind, as the only thing that’s growing are its huge cinema-like dimensions, and they make it easier than ever to “cut the cord” and move away from cable or broadcast services. I took the plunge two years ago – technically the only way I consume my media now is via streaming onto my flat screen. I’m willing to bet the next step are your tablet or mobile devices, with the ubiquitous TV set slowly going the way of the dodo. There’s no going back!
Those were the days, back when you had rewind the tape to play your favourite song again or when ‘shuffle’ meant spending hours making up a mix-tape. Hudson Rippetoe, otherwise known as Brick Classics, has found a way to capture some of those sweet musical memories with his LEGO version of the cassette tape. He has kindly provided us with these instructions so you can make your own LEGO cassette tape. Giving a mix-tape was a way to impress the ladies (or guys for that matter) and I bet presenting someone with a LEGO mix-tape will have an even better effect.
Remember, you don’t need a pencil to fix this LEGO cassette tape if it gets stuck in the player.
No, this is not a Microsoft Word “Save” button, and no, this not an iPhone protective case. These three elegantly simple builds by French builder Jimmy Fortel show the evolution of memory devices over the end of the previous century. This iconic trio — a floppy disk, a VHS videotape, and an audio cassette — reminds us how important it is to keep our memories safe and sound. Each of these works was inspired by well-known Indonesian builder Kosmas Santosa, and it’s totally worth checking both builders’ photo streams to compare their building styles and search for inspiration.
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, the Apple colours on the shelves, and the original wooden Apple I computer in the background.