This Rack-Mount Server Is Built from LEGO Bricks

If you’ve ever been to a data center, you know they’re ice cold rooms filled with racks upon racks of computer and networking equipment, and neatly bolted into 19″ wide server racks. Most of those servers are made from steel and/or aluminum components. Despite having spent way more than my share of time amongst said server racks, I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never seen a server made from LEGO, until now.

This awesome 2U rack-mount server was created by custom computer builder and LEGO expert Mike Schropp of Total Geekdom. Not only does it look exactly like the Silicon Mechanics server that it’s based on, but it contains a fully-functional server inside, using the hardware from the actual server that inspired the design.

It took Mike over 2000 LEGO and Technic parts to replicate the server enclosure, which has a number of overlapping plates in its base in order to support the weight of all of its components. He also used holes in some of the Technic pieces to provide mounting points for screws and mounting hardware to pass through and secure the electronics inside.

It also took some real creativity to replicate the look of the curved faces on the removable hard drive units up front, but the end result is spot on. In fact, I think it looks better than the real server.

For more pictures and info about this amazing build, head on over to Total Geekdom for all the details! While you’re there, be sure to check out his other sweet LEGO computer builds.

[via HackADay]

Origin Big O 2019 Computer Packs a Gaming PC, Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch

We’ve seen some pretty amazing computer builds over the years, but this just might be the most impressive yet. The guys at Origin have created a custom gaming rig that not only is a high-end gaming PC, but has an Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch built right in.

The 2019 Big O pays tribute to a gaming rig that Origin built back in 2009. The original machine was impressive for its era, with a couple of 6-core Intel Xeon x5860 CPUs and an Xbox 360 built into it. But 10 years later, everything is just that much faster and more powerful, so the new Big O packs an Intel Core i9-9900K CPU, NVIDIA Titan RTX graphics, 64 GB of super-fast RAM, a pair of 2TB Samsung SSDs for the OS, and a monstrous 14TB Seagate Barracuda HDD for storage.

Along with the PC hardware, Origin stripped down and installed the motherboards from an Xbox One X and PS 4 Pro, connected each to a 2TB Seagate SSD, and added colorful liquid cooling pipes and logo graphics for each system. Since the brains of the Nintendo Switch are in the handheld itself, they simply included a custom docking slot for the system up front.

Everything then gets piped through a 4K HDMI switch and a single Ethernet port on back, so you can connect all of the systems to a single monitor, and quickly switch between then.

Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy was lucky enough to get his hands on this beautiful beast, and shares some up close footage of the system in action:

This is a truly epic build, and I want this thing so badly. I wish Origin would put it into production, but I’m sure I’d have to get a second mortgage on the house in order to afford one.

[via The Awesomer]

Computer password inventor Fernando Corbato dies at 93

Computer security just lost one of its founders. Fernando "Corby" Corbato, credited with inventing the computer password, has died at the age of 93. The MIT researcher devised the concept of password-protected user accounts when establishing his Co...

Love Hulten’s EvoBoxx Plays the Game of Life

Designer Love Hulten has created some truly amazing pieces of retro-inspired technology, from arcade cabinets, to computers, to giant LEGO replicas. Love’s latest build is unlike any that has come before it. The EvoBoxx is a visual synthesizer that’s designed around the classic cellular simulation Game of Life.

The portable wooden box contains a small screen that displays a rudimentary, pixelated simulation of virtual lifeforms based on the classic 1970 computer program by JH Conway. This version of the program was created by Love’s former art school classmate happybits. The EvoBoxx has a monophonic speaker for delivering audio feedback, and provides a series of analog controls – four dials and a trackball – for influencing the world on screen.

You can check out a video of the system in action below, and when you’re done with that, you can play with a cool online version of the Game of Life simulator here.

The Turing Pi Clusterboard Runs Seven Raspberry Pis at Once

Raspberry Pi computers have been quite the revolution for makers, encouraging experimentation and creativity thanks to their low cost and compact size. And while the tiny computers are by no means high-end in their processing power, they continue to get faster with each generation. Now, you can gang together multiple Raspberry Pi boards into one machine.

The Turing Pi is a Mini ITX size motherboard that’s designed to cluster together up to seven Raspberry Pi compute modules to harness their power, and for designing and prototyping applications that run in a clustered environment. It’s specifically designed to support container systems like Kubernetes and Docker, as well as machine learning apps like TensorFlow.

All seven microcomputers connect into slots on the board, which provides power and and a number of shared ports for the system. It’s got a total of eight USB ports, HDMI and Audio out, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port.

You can pre-order the Turing Pi Clusterboard now for $128. It’s expected to ship in sometime this fall. With Raspberry Pi compute modules starting around $28, you can have a fully-equipped seven system clusterboard for about $325.

‘Unprecedented’ 3D magnetic interactions could change computing

The field of spintronics, or spin electronics, uses an electron's spin and its magnetic movement to encode instructions and other data. It's sometimes seen as an alternative to electronics, which relies on the electron's charge to encode data. While...

This Eames Inspired Mouse Is Like Furniture for Your Desktop

Fans of Eames era furniture are probably sad that they don’t have a computer setup to go with all of their other mid-century modern furniture. Well, this mouse inspired by Eames furniture would be the perfect compliment to your decor.

It’s called Lounge Mouse, and it is a concept design for a mouse created by industrial designer Shane Chen. Its curved wooden base and black top resemble the iconic Eames lounge chair, and especially its ottoman.

The idea was to create a mouse with the ergonomics and style of Eames furniture and I would say that this was a success. It isn’t easy to blend electronics and furniture in a way that is pleasing to the eye.

If produced, the mouse would be made from bent plywood, and feature a leather surface just like the iconic Eames chair. For the moment, it is only a concept, but you never know. Maybe one day we will be able to use a mouse this stylish. I’m just hoping that it won’t be too expensive if it ever does become a reality.

It’s always nice when our electronics don’t actually look like electronics.

[via Yanko Design via Mike Shouts]

Gavin Belson Signature Edition Box 3 Gets Real

The HBO series Silicon Valley is one of my favorite comedies on TV. It’s a hilarious take on the software and hardware industries, and the crazy stuff that happens in pursuit of funding and customers. Among the show’s colorful characters is Gavin Belson, the egotistical CEO of Hooli – a corporate buffoon who epitomizes the Peter Principle.

Among his many idiotic decisions was the creation of a piece of server hardware embellished with his own signature. But since his handwriting was horrible, they went with an employee submission instead. It just happened to resemble a cartoon drawing of male genitalia. Now, a fan of the show has replicated the Hooli Gavin Belson Signature Edition Box 3 for his own custom computer system.

Builder Ben Hoad created this custom version of the iconic server as a usable ITX-compatible case for a small form-factor PC. After thinking he’d build the whole thing from scratch, he came upon the Silverstone ML08, which offered the perfect base for his project.

Ben still had to do lots of customization to replicate the look of the on-screen prop, including a custom front, and of course Belson’s iconic green backlit signature. Kudos to Ben for a great build that’s both useful and inappropriate; two terms I often use to describe myself.

Apple Mac Mini review (2018): A video editor’s perspective

The Mac Mini has had a rough few years. Its last update, in 2014, was disappointing. After offering quad-core CPUs on the 2011 and 2012 editions, the 2014 model was stuck with a dual-core CPU. This meant it was actually slower at some tasks tha...