computer DIY LEGO


LEGO Lamp 1

Brian Slevin of Brickablocks has put together this nice set of directions to build your own spherical LEGO Lamp.  Wiring, bulb, Lamp Shade, and LEGO bricks not included of course.

The Instructions (available for free in PDF form), call for just about 400 individual pieces of different size and type.  Color doesn’t matter, that’s up to you.  I kind of like the blue lamp he made, but I think the more artistic people among the world could design some cool patterns into the lamp.  Overall, it doesn’t look too difficult to build, especially with the instructions provided.  I don’t have all the required pieces, and I don’t have room for a lamp, and I have just a bit too many other things to work on, but, if you’re interested, hit him up for those instructions, and then let me know so I can see what a wild finished product looks like!

Building LEGO Lamp


awesome computer DIY led

Computer Control Panel

Control Pannel

Have you ever wanted a borderline useless master control panel for your computer?  You know, something that looks like the controls from Star Trek, or Star Wars.  Well, reddit user smashcuts has built his own.  Why, because he wanted to, that’s why.

Daylight Controls

If you ever wanted to hang something very heavy that served almost no practical purpose above your desk, this control panel is for you.  He used an electrical junction box as the container, and filled it with wires (duh, it’s electrical), and wood, and LEDs, and USB controllers and a fan or two.

mess of wires

Have you ever wondered where all the wires come from on Sci-Fi shows and movies when control panels inexplicably explode?  Well, now you can rest assured and know that not only is the mess of wires realistic, but the possibility of the panel exploding is all too possible.

control buttons

All the buttons he has, which number over 100, do something on his computer.  These control iTunes, the volume, and starting specific playlists.  Among some of the other buttons he has are links to YouTube videos, shortcuts to open most used programs, shortcuts to paste in canned text into IM windows, and random fun buttons because he had the space.

He has posted tons of photos of the build process on this imgur album, you should check it out.



awesome computer DIY electronic news science

Digital Analog

Bernie Rohde makes clocks.  That’s nothing special to be honest, in the last hundred years or so clock making has gone from being a master level skill, to something overlooked and simple.  Sure, the science of time keeping has advanced greatly over the years, they even decided to add a leap second to the day for some unnecessary reason this evening, probably breaking much of the internet in the process, but making clocks, that’s not that hard anymore, mostly because it can be so forgiving because we have so many other things that we rely on for the accurate time.

clock - 1

Well, Rohde’s clocks are something different.  He started out life as a TV repairman.  Except, in the last decade, TVs have gotten much less repairable, and more consumable.  So his line of work dried up as more and more of the relics from the 70s and 80s were replaced.  He still had many of the various electronic pieces used in the TVs transistors, resistors, capacitors, all the important things.  He decided to use those various electronic pieces to make clocks.

A circular grid of LEDs makes up the face of the clock, then a circuit of these simple resistors, and transistors, and capacitors keeps the time and illuminates the LEDs as the hands of the clock face.  He does all of this by hand, for truly unique, one of a kind art pieces.  No two are alike, but each one is made of the same guts.

I like this blue & green clock below, with the see through face.  But I also like the one above that just takes you back to the 1960s when computers were this complicated and scary and also full of wonder.

Illuminated Clock


awesome computer DIY haha!

Very Custom PC Case

cutting beaver
People are ingenious, we will do crazy things, all because we can.  Well, this imgur album shows the process of taking a stuffed Beaver, hollowing out the inside, and installing a motherboard.  It’s all come to light from reddit user KingsBlade, but this looks like a very old album (3 years according to imgur), and the rest of the setup seems even older, the consensus on reddit is from 2005.  Either way, it’s strange, and questionable, but unique, and hey, it’s her time and money.

beaver rear

awesome computer DIY internet photo

Aviation Desk

the desk

I have a thing for desks.  I built my own oversized one (now that I think of it, I don’t think I ever posted that DIY, I should get on that), and I’ve wanted to make another one  of a different theme for some time now.  Well, reddit user SirLanceOlong decided to make his own desk based on an airplane wing design.  The design is just about the only thing aviation about it though, there’s far too much heavy wood involved in it.  I’m sure the desk is sturdy enough to put a small car on top of, but it’s grossly over-engineered, just my type of design!

desktop frame

Here’s a closer up view of the table surface as he adds the sheet metal to the frame:

adding metal

desktop view


I think my favorite part however is the pin-up girl painted on the side.  That really makes this desk transcend from a regular over thought out airplane wing desk, to a truly dedicated work of Aviation art.

desk pinup girl

He has two large (100 photo) gallery over on imgur and a smaller 50 photo gallery of the more final product.  Feel free to look it over, including the first inspiration photo.  I got to say, he did a good job of coming close to the inspiration.

awesome computer science video

How Sorts Work

Sorting things is hard, there’s various different methods involved, some better than others based on the data you’re given and so on.  All of them are involved be it memory, or time.  Some are easy to explain, but overall unless you’re really paying attention to the math at hand, you don’t get it.  This is where the AlgoRythmics YouTube channel comes in.  They use traditional Hungarian folk dancing to visually explain 6 of the most common sorting methods.  It’s very easy to see how the algorithms work.  If it’s not, I think it should be included in introductory classes


awesome computer electronic news internet science strange video

Manual Bitcoin Mining is Useless

Manual Bitcoin mining

Computers really are magical machines.  Unfortunately, it’s not until you do some things by hand that you truly appreciate it for yourself.  Ken Shirriff can now appreciate computers better than anyone I know.  You see, he decided he wanted to mine his own Bitcoins, by hand.  Using a paper and pencil.  At first glance you’d think that that’s impossible.  Well, it’s not, apparently it’s a rather simple process, if you’re a math major.  But he outlines the whole process and the calculations needed and everything.

His initial time took just under 17 minutes to mine a single block.  To put that into comparision, current dedicated hardware can mine bitcoin blocks a quintillion times faster than that.  If that’s not enough, someone on reddit asked him how much energy he expended doing this.  He’s 10 quadrillion times less efficient than the above chip.  And the cost of this, (just the energy, pencil and paper wasn’t included), was 67 quadrillion times less efficient.  Truly this is the wave of the future.  I can see hipsters mining this at coffee shops right now.

He even has a video of himself doing it, it’s 8 minutes long:


a stumble computer video

Animated Masterpieces

B E A U T Y – dir. Rino Stefano Tagliafierro from Rino Stefano Tagliafierro on Vimeo.

Rino Stefano Tagliafierro has used some nifty computer work to give an animated look and feel to old school paintings.  Some of them are pretty good and lifelike, while others are just OK.  I like the landscape ones best, because those are easy to loop with minimal effort, it’s hard to loop a person moving their hands up and down and make it look natural.  Regardless, it’s something that I wouldn’t be able to do, so you should at least respect that.


a stumble computer DIY internet

Mesmerizing CSS

See the Pen Rollers! (infinitely unwrapping prisms; 3D, pure CSS) by Ana Tudor (@thebabydino) on CodePen.

I don’t usually post cool coding things that I find around the web because for the most part, I’m pretty sure the audience here doesn’t care too much.  But this is too mesmerizing to watch, so I figured why not. (Also, it’s my blog, and I don’t really care).

It has no real world uses on any website I can think of, it’s more of a proof of concept then anything else, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive in my book.

a stumble computer DIY science

Get Lost!

Jan Thor has written a python script that generates a maze, and then solves the maze.  In the process of solving the maze, it paints a pretty picture colorized based on various different parameters.

Below is the same maze, but colorized differently:

rainbow maze

Start with a maze, then find the longest path through the maze.  Then color the path in a rainbow that gets darker the further away from the chosen path you are.  Then color all the open spaces based on that rainbow.  Like I said, it makes for some pretty neat pictures.

Changing the base color of the maze makes interesting pictures as well:

maze tree

You can read more about it and see tons more renders on the site.