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iGav
May 19, 2003, 06:27 AM
I think this is just plain cool....

For you hardcore link junkies.... click here...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/3034177.stm


For the rest of you... full article below....!!

It has to be one of the quirkiest computers on the block.

Daniele Procida could not bear to see a dead Mac thrown away - so he reconstructed it using Lego bricks pinched from his sons.

Rather than bin the Powerbook laptop, he refurbished it using hundreds of colourful pieces, set on mottled artificial green grass.

But now the Cardiff Apple consultant is selling his unique creation on auction site eBay, where the cool computer is proving a big hit.

Plastic

Mac addict Daniele chanced upon the bizarre notion when a Powerbook 5300 laptop was brought to his Apple Juice consultancy.

I can't bear to see Macs thrown away - this seemed appropriate

With a broken video connector, it was virtually irreparable.

"Rather than bin it, which seemed to me to be an almost criminal waste, I took it home to see what could be done," said the former philosophy lecturer.

"My children's Lego provided the answer."

He removed the machine's electronic innards from its laptop case and sealed it in a base unit made entirely from the children's plastic toy, borrowed from twins Anselmo and Tommaso, both six.

The result was as colourful and quirky a computer conversion as anyone is likely to find, complete with Apple's much-loved smiley face and Lego flowers.


Thesis

"It took a long time to come up with a design that met both aesthetic and technical requirements," Daniele added.

"Once I finally had it built, my girlfriend used it to write her doctoral thesis on feminist metaphysics."

Many computer enthusiasts design their own base units, but a complete re-build from a different material is a rarity, underlining typical Mac eccentricity.

The build took a month - time devoted every evening after work - and proved a perfect gift for Daniele's partner Carol.

It is a fully working 100MHz, 32Mb multi-coloured bundle of bricks running MacOS 8.1.


Bricks

Mr Procida, whose Apple Juice firm is based at Cardiff's Chapter arts centre, said: "It took quite a lot of bricks, but the Lego is actually the most expensive part.

The children's lego bricks were put to good use

"It is brilliant and really strong - it has great engineering properties. You could stand on it.

"Lego has great computer-like qualities - it is a binary toy; everything is either connected to something or it's not. And it's quite light, it only weighs about 750g."

Daniele criticised the "environmental waste" of dumped computer equipment, but his own creation comes complete with plastic Lego flowers and a collection of surrounding yellow characters.


Auction

Now, however, the machine is going up for sale on eBay, where it has so far attracted a high bid of 87.92.

"The time has come to part with it. I have too many Macintoshes," said Daniele.

"I'll be sorry to see it go. I hope it will go to a good home where it will continue to be used and enjoyed.

"Macs were always more than just black pieces of plastic - they always had a charm."

Mr. Anderson
May 19, 2003, 07:02 AM
Ha! That's great - and if you don't like the case or get tired of it you can always change it yourself :D

I just wish Lego would accept Macs in their robotic software - right now its all pc....

D

iWantAMac
May 19, 2003, 08:44 AM
Haha, thats' great.

Edit: Uh, thats' strange. (Sorry Duke, I didn't read your post before replying.)

iGav
May 19, 2003, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
Ha! That's great - and if you don't like the case or get tired of it you can always change it yourself :D

I just wish Lego would accept Macs in their robotic software - right now its all pc....

D

I know what you mean about the Lego robotics.... they're so cool as well....

I used to work with a guy that was doing an MA in Hypermedia at Westminster, and they were involved in the development of the Lego smart blocks.... So for a year they got to play with interactive Lego.....!! MA in Lego.... heh-heh!!

Mr. Anderson
May 19, 2003, 09:07 AM
The Lego Robots are amazing - we actually used one set at work as a prototype/temporary feed system for one of our products. They're easily programmable and very robust. I have a Lego Cam that has motion sensing in the software. We've used it to do all sorts of fun things.

Only problem is that we have to hook it up to a damn PC.....

D

iGav
May 19, 2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
The Lego Robots are amazing - we actually used one set at work as a prototype/temporary feed system for one of our products. They're easily programmable and very robust. I have a Lego Cam that has motion sensing in the software. We've used it to do all sorts of fun things.

Only problem is that we have to hook it up to a damn PC.....

D

That sounds pretty impressive... I'm not all clued up on everything they can do...

We need to start pestering Lego for a Mac version.... ;)

Dunepilot
May 19, 2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
Ha! That's great - and if you don't like the case or get tired of it you can always change it yourself :D

I just wish Lego would accept Macs in their robotic software - right now its all pc....

D

I did see someone was doing a beta version for the mac somewhere last year, but apart from that, there is apparently a Mac edu version (at least that's claimed here --> http://fredm.www.media.mit.edu/people/fredm/mindstorms/

noel4r
May 19, 2003, 04:28 PM
yeah, it looks kinda cool

MacFan25
May 19, 2003, 04:41 PM
That's pretty cool! I wonder how much it will go for.

iGav
May 20, 2003, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by MacFan25
That's pretty cool! I wonder how much it will go for.

It's currently at 295 or $480... :p :p :p

DavPeanut
May 20, 2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
I just wish Lego would accept Macs in their robotic software - right now its all pc....

D
What are you talking about? I go to Wootton High School, and we participate in a cometition called botball. We just got first in the region and we have extrimely functional bots that are going to get us first place in nationals. We use RCXs, which are the yellow Lego CPUs that cost a little over $100, and Handboards, built by MIT, that are basically RCXs with 5 motor ports, 6 servo ports, and like a billion sensor ports. We use a lab full of 10 year old PCs for the programming of the bots (the lab was supposed to be removed last year, but since they didn't remove it, the robotics team took control of the lab.) Anyway, I have software on my iBook that I am using right now that can be used for the programming of both the RCXs and the Handyboards with NQC (not quite C). Macs can interface with Lego CPUs! I do it all the time.

iGav
May 21, 2003, 05:06 AM
It finally sold for 365 or about $598 :p :p :p

Not bad business... ;)