Tagged: Lego

Open Source Explained by Lego

One of the many lessons I cover in teaching digital technologies is the Open Source movement.

My explanation hinges on how computer software is based on human-readable code, when run through a compiler, results in binary that a computer can run. In order to improve the software, such as fixing a bug or adding a new feature, one needs access to the source code. Most commercial software keeps its code locked up, and they treat it as their own property. Open Source presents an alternative. It allows anyone to modify, improve, and redistribute the code as part of a collective effort to create a better product.

The folks at Bitblueprint and Moving Monday have produced a video explaining Open Source, using LEGOs.

We learn about open source through two “non-technical” examples: skateboarding and house building. However, those struck me as highly technical examples.

A less technical approach might be to explain what happens with musical compositions performed live by a cover band. In this case, a written musical composition would be the source. A composer could perform and record that song and allow others to perform and modify it as well. With this open source license, any other musician could the perform the composition and even rearrange it. Others could follow suit and adapt the composition into a variety of different genres. By releasing the musical composition into the world, the composer arguably gave it a much longer life than it would have had as the sole property of the composer.

The only drawback would be to distinguish between open source and public domain.

(Via WP Tavern.)

Andrew Whyte and Legography

Andrew Whyte, a long-exposure photographer working in London, made a series of photographs featuring a Lego-sized photographer and Lego-sized camera. At first, it’s funny and cute.

But then you really start to appreciate the remarkable attention to detail of each image. The Lego figure sports different outfits matched to the climate and setting. The poses in each photograph evoke the struggle of finding unconventional vantages photographers seek when shooting an image. Finally, the variety of terrains in the series arouses my own wanderlust to go out and shoot more.

Consider me moved. I bought a print, and it came today.

Lego, Bicycling, Summer, Photography: Everything in this photo makes me happy.

Lego, Bicycling, Summer, Photography: Everything in this photo makes me happy.

Speaking of long exposure photographers, check out the work of Matt Lambros. His photos of abandoned movie theaters is not only a great documentation project for architecture and film exhibition in the United States, the photos themselves are hauntingly beautiful.