The online aftermarket LEGO store BrickLink has new owners! For years this online marketplace has been the best place for buying and selling LEGO parts. It was founded and developed by Daniel Jezek, a Czech-born immigrant to the US who ran the site for many years until his tragic death in 2010. The site has been owned by Dan’s parents since then, and administered ably by Eric Smith of Northstar Computer Systems. This week, the family announced that the site has been sold to the founder of an online game company based in Hong Kong, Jung-Ju “Jay” Kim, who is also a long time LEGO fan. You can read more about this on Mariann Asanuma’s post about the transaction. I wish all the best to Daniel’s family and to the new owners of the site.
Have you seen the latest stupid decision from Yahoo? They’ve not only completely redesigned the Flickr user interface, they’re phasing out the Flickr Pro account system. According to this article from Mashable, they’ve stopped selling Pro accounts, and they’ve taken away almost all the advantages that Pro account holders have had. In fact, it would seem that Pro accounts now have a smaller maximum file size than free ones (50MB vs 200MB, 90 seconds vs 3 minutes for video)!
So for those of us who have Pro accounts, the only real advantage that seems to be left is unlimited (vs. 1 TB) storage, and the ability to see view counts and referrer statistics.
Oh yeah, and they royally screwed up the UI. Sigh. Yahoo, what were you thinking?
Should I still upload my Maker Faire photos? I’m tempted to just stop using Flickr altogether… but then I have to figure out where to put my photos, and then there’s all the past posts in the blog to think about.. Ugh.
My Kermit model fell off the table Friday evening at Maker Faire. It took me only two hours to put him back together!
See all the photos in my Kermit Dumpty set on Flickr.
This coming weekend, May 18-19, I’ll be joining a bunch of LEGO enthusiasts from BayLUG (Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group) at Maker Faire yet again. This annual event has been going on every year at the San Mateo Event Center (aka Fairgrounds) since 2006 and BayLUG has been a part every year. This year we have a 40′ by 40′ space which will feature robotics demonstrations, a kids’ play area, a working train layout by BayLTC (Bay Area LEGO Train Club), and lots of LEGO models on display. I hope you can come and see the show, and stop by to say hi.
Besides our LEGO exhibit, there are hundreds of amazing exhibitors and vendors offering everything from knitting to welding, from woodworking to electronics. It’s a celebration of all kinds of do-it-yourself hobbies and homebrew activities, and always lots of fun. Many of the art exhibits that you would otherwise have to go to Burning Man to see are there, and there are lots of great hands-on activiites for kids of all ages.
In the meantime, or if you can’t make it, take a look at my photos from previous years’ Maker Faires.
Every year the Bay Area LEGO Users Group (BayLUG) sets up an exhibit at the Museum of American History (MoAH) in Palo Alto, CA over the holidays called “Living LEGO-cy.” This year was our 9th annual show. Here are some pics I took on the last day of the show just before teardown. Click the image to view the rest of the photos, or view a slideshow.
For Christmas this year, my mom got me a sweater, a necktie, a pocketknife, a toothpaste tube squeezer, and a LEGO set – LEGO Train Set #3677 Red Cargo Train. I went over to her house last night and we exchanged gifts, and she wanted to see what it looked like when it was built…. so I suggested we build it right then and there! To my surprise she wanted to do it, so I helped by sorting out the parts and going through the instruction book with her while she put the pieces on. Her
71 27 year old fingers had some trouble getting the pieces to go on, but it went pretty well.
This was, I honestly think, the first time we ever did this! I think maybe one time as a kid I tried to work with her but I didn’t have the patience and took it away to do it myself. At least, that’s the sort of kid I was :-) but we went through the first two of seven bags (the locomotive, and the high-rail truck) and she built them all herself. But after that, her fingers were sore and it was like 11pm, so we stopped and I took the rest home.
But it was really a nice little mother/son moment, even if it was 30 years late.
Last day of the LEGO Advent Calendars!
Star Wars and City both give us what we have come to expect from LEGO Advent Calendars – Santa Claus minifigs. Santa Maul is a cute idea, though I don’t think we can count on him for some really good toys for the good girls and boys… and for the bad ones, recruiting for the Dark Side? Either way, lose-lose. But the Santa Suit is great, just swap the heads and you’re good to go. In City we have a plain unprinted red suit for Santa, so I’d combine the two and get a great Santa. But what is up with this item from Friends? A cosmetics table… with a wig stand? Are we supposed to believe the teenagers of Heartlake City are wearing wigs? Perhaps one of them is a cancer survivor? That’s a cheerful thought for Christmas. Sorry, I call Christmas Fail on this one.
The next-to-last day in our Advent calendar gives us some gift boxes and a snowdroid!
The light blue and white box is from Friends; the other two are from City. But the best part about today is the droid – look closely at the printing, he has carrots on his chest and eyes made out of coal! And of course, the top hat to finish it all off. Adorable.
Today is the penpenultimate day in the Advent Calendar, and we have a bumper crop of bonus parts!
The Friends set gives us a nice little tree, and though I checked carefully there’s no use for the 2×2 round plates or those extra red dots in the model!
Star Wars gives us another microscale ship, with the expected extra cheese slopes and half pin.
In City, we get what seems to be a sleigh trailer with no fewer than three extra robot arms! I welcome this, because these are a neat part that we don’t see often – the battle droid arms with the 90 degree rotation between the two ends, and straight elbow.