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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
The Mac that Lego built
I can't bear to see Macs thrown away - this seemed appropriate
Daniele Procida
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.


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

The Powerbook has never looked so different
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.


"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.


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.

Daniele Procida with his children and the Legomac
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.


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."

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