Apple chap knocks up ancient Lego computer

The plastic fantastic Antikythera Mechanism


Apple software engineer Andrew Carol has rather impressively put together a replica of the ancient Antikythera Mechanism - built entirely from Lego.

The Antikythera Mechanism. Photos: X-Tek

The mechanism, constructed around 80BC, was recovered from the wreck of a cargo ship off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1901, but wasn't until 2006 revealed to be a planetary motion calculator.

Carol has, with a big bucket of Lego and the backing of Digital Science, demonstrated how the contraption may have been used to calculate eclipses:

There's an in-depth look at the machinations of the real Antikythera Mechanism down at Nature. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Biden considers removal of Trump-era China tariffs to ease inflation
    But US administration split on loss of leverage, according to reports

    US president Joe Biden is debating whether to end or cut Trump-era tariffs imposed on Chinese imports into the United States, according to reports.

    Introduced in 2018 during the Trump administration, tariffs on more than $300 billion in imports from China — including products and components vital in consumer and business technologies — were inherited by the Biden administration.

    According to Bloomberg, president Biden and his cabinet have discussed the inflationary impact of these levies with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The cabinet was looking at all of the possible ways to curb inflation and to provide some relief on cost of living for Americans, the report said.

    Continue reading
  • Semiconductor market to be hit by fresh wave of rising component costs
    Chemicals supplier warns it expects to raise prices, may cut some product lines

    More red flags about the semiconductor market are being raised with the news that a key supplier to chipmakers such as TSMC is planning to hike prices, which will likely have a knock-on effect on chip prices.

    Japan-based chemicals company Showa Denko has warned it expects to raise prices and may have to cut back some of its unprofitable product lines. The company is a major supplier of chemicals and gases that are used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry for the creation of silicon wafers and in the etching process to create chips.

    In an interview with Bloomberg, Showa Denko chief financial officer Hideki Somemiya said the company had already raised prices at least a dozen times this year, citing issues such as COVID-19 lockdowns, increasing energy costs and other factors. However, he confirmed "the current market moves require us to ask twice the amount we had previously calculated."

    Continue reading
  • Germany unveils plan to tackle cyberattacks on satellites
    Vendors get checklist on what to do when crooks inevitably turn up in space

    The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has put out an IT baseline protection profile for space infrastructure amid concerns that attackers could turn their gaze skywards.

    The document, published last week, is the result of a year of work by Airbus Defence and Space, the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and BSI, among others. It is focused on defining minimum requirements for cyber security for satellites and, a cynic might say, is a little late to the party considering how rapidly companies such as SpaceX are slinging spacecraft into orbit.

    The guide categorizes the protection requirements of various satellite missions from "Normal" to "Very High" with the goal of covering as many missions as possible. It is also intended to cover information security from manufacture through to operation of satellites.

    Continue reading
  • Gtk 5 might drop X.11 support, says GNOME dev
    Linux's Wayland-only future takes a tentative step closer

    One of the GNOME developers has suggested that the next major release of Gtk could drop support for the X window system.

    Emmanuele Bassi opened a discussion last week on the GNOME project's Gitlab instance that asked whether the developers could drop X.11 support in the next release of Gtk.

    At this point, it is only a suggestion, but if it gets traction, this could significantly accelerate the move to the Wayland display server and the end of X.11.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022