Teaching TCP/IP headers with legos

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26 Responses to “Teaching TCP/IP headers with legos”

  1. PhasmaFelis says:

    “Since 2010, the lego patent has expired and cheapish wire-extrusion 3D printing has become a reality — and there’s cool procedural models for generating arbitrary-sized bricks and labelling them with arbitrary type.”

    Wait wait what. Where’s the link?!? That’s more interesting than the actual story!

    • Boundegar says:

      It makes me a little sad.  This is one patent I wish wouldn’t expire.  If 3d printing really catches on and every kid can make his own legos, are the nice people in Denmark going out of business?

      • PhasmaFelis says:

        Maybe, but probably not, for three reasons:

        1) Lego’s precision manufacturing tolerances are unbelievable. The difference between “too loose for a solid fit” and “too tight to easily snap on/off” can be as little as low as 10 micrometers. Competing products like Mega Blox just don’t fit as well, and they’re using the same steel mold technology as Lego. I’ve never heard of an affordable 3D printing technology that can get within two orders of magnitude of that. I thought from the article that Cory knew something I don’t, but if he’s talking about MakerBot-type filament extruders, I call bullshit. That particular technology will never be able to make Legos–you’d need a filament finer than spiderweb.

        2) Even if there were a home 3D printing system that could make Legos, it would probably be significantly more expensive (therefore not a real threat); even if it were significantly cheaper, Lego could simply switch to that manufacturing technology and cut their prices without losing profits.

        3) …Hang on, I’m not a patent guy, but Lego lost its court cases to stop Mega Bloks etc. decades ago. What does this patent expiration change? Anybody with the means was allowed to make custom “Lego” bricks already.

  2. anansi133 says:

    The 8-bit scale seems worthy- if you’re not worried about pissing off the lego purists, glue together smaller more colorful bricks with ABS plumbing glue.

    -and if you *are* a lego purist, or care about not distracting them out of the lesson, put a 2×4 plate underneath your synthesized blocks.

    I may have to play along at home with this, I’ve got more bricks than I know what to do with.

    • Cowicide says:

      if you’re not worried about pissing off the lego purists

      He should be more worried about pissing off the TCP/IP purists. ☺

  3. Diodeus says:

    “Lego” need not be pluralized. Building something out of “legos” sounds like building something out of “clays”.

  4. xzzy says:

    This probably brands me as a huge nerd, but I would think that a 2×8 brick actually stores 16 bits of information, or two bytes. Each nub on a brick would be one bit.

    This is bad news because a TCP header only allows up to 60 bytes of information and this lego header is 80 bytes. The IEEE is going to run this guy over the coals.

  5. John Smith says:

    the 2 x 8 Lego bricks acome in much more colors than the ones mentioned , just look at Pick-A-Brick at the lego website

  6. Cowicide says:

    This should be made into a YouTube video presentation and also a little online video game.

  7. GeorgeMokray says:

    Some MIT students were teaching Boston high school students chemistry with different colored Legos.

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