LEGO Idea Book 8888 influenced my Life

The “Expert Builder Idea Book” with set number 8888 (published in 1980) – available as pdf, and via a lot of places as separate images, too – was a real eyeopener for me as a kid in the early 1980s. Its cover might ring a bell:

Cover 8888

I have built the Excavator, the Car Chassis and the Yellow Jeep. But the most awesome model was the punch card-like Programmable Crane, as shown below:

prg crane

prg crane 2

Of course the model itself would not win in a beauty contest, but the mechanism of programming a device using gear racks blew my young mind. I have created several variations of this punch card principle back then. I think this model was one of the reasons for me to start saving money to buy my own home computer and to choose an education, and later on a profession, in the software development field..!

Who Let The Dogs Out
But there is one other model in the book I particularly like, and that is the Mechanical Dog. I will show all instruction pages here, because there are only 4, of which 2 contain the actual building steps:

Showing dogs

Building dogs

I was able to build only one dog in the 1980s but now I have created all three! They walk a bit slowly in the next video.

But when I changed the gears on the legs of one dog from 8 and 40 teeth to 24 and 24 teeth that one outruns the others..!

From Race Plane to War Plane

For his 11th birthday I bought my WW2-interested nephew (the same one I got the soldiers and assembled the ambulance for) the #60144 Race Place as seen below:

race plane

Then I used my own dark tanned, dark and light bluish gray and black LEGO bricks to change it into a war plane for him. And I created and added some matching stickers. The result is shown here:

war plane

Finally I ordered this Panzer Crew Driver with helmet and goggles – now acting as a pilot – from BRiCKiZiMO to complete the scenery…

panzer crew driver

Just build me a Church

Last December, while visiting Mini Billund, a privately owned must see little LEGO museum (plus shop) in Wagenberg, the Netherlands, I took a picture of the following LEGO set of a typical Danish church in one of the many glass cases:


On the Brickset Forum I found the following data about this set. It was made from 1957 until 1962. Its set number is 1309 in Scandinavia and was sold starting 1958 in continental Europe using set number 309.

In those days the bricks where nicely displayed in their box as shown here:


The actual building of such a model was a more challenging task, though. That is because this set did not have separate building instructions. The pictures on the box were the only help you got. So the picture on the cover plus the one shown below were supposed to be enough. I guess you needed a lot of counting and guessing back then…


Fortunately, I found a very useful .lxf file on this page. I saved a backup here. It can e.g. be opened using LEGO Digital Designer but can also be imported by (which by the way has very nice BrickLink integration). The next image shows the model after importing it in, and after I removed two 1 x 2 white bricks to be replaced by windows. I removed those bricks because I finally found one image that showed the church from the back.

Church in

Inspired and helped by the aforementioned digital drawing I have recreated this 60-year-old model using my own white and red LEGO bricks. But it took a while to pick the not so much discolored white pieces from my collection. The only parts I had to order via BrickLink were all the windows. Some pictures of the final result are shown here (click on image to enlarge):

church01    church02

church03    church04

LEGO Technic and the Commodore 64 – Part VI

During the Christmas season I found the time to create another project from the book published in 1985 entitled “Make And Program Your Own Robots for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20” I started blogging about here.

I skipped the project called “Card Reader”, some kind of punch(ed) card reader able to translate holes punched in a piece of cardboard into binary code. Maybe I will try that some other time.

This time I created the Mini Arm project. It requires two 4.5V motors and some pretty intricate wiring. I made a copy of the page and used different color felt tip pens to make the schema more readable, as shown below.

Wiring Schema

This time two homemade switches were needed, again constructed using a paperclip, some tinfoil and a small rubber band, as seen in Part V.

Two Switches

The Commodore 64 BASIC program belonging to this project has a “Teach Moves” mode and a “Repeat Moves” mode. While in Teach Mode the keys 1 and Q make the arm turn and keys 2 and W make it go up and down. At the end of each move press key S to save that particular move.

Below are some videos of the working arm. We start with an overview and end with some LEGO brick lifting.

A Brick a Day keeps the Doctor Away

Today the last bricks arrived (ordered via BrickLink) enabling me to finish building the Lego WWII German Opel Blitz Ambulance found on Brian (Fitzsimmons)’s Bricks Instructions YouTube channel. It will be a gift for my nephew, who specifically asked me if I would create this model for him. He is the same nephew for which I ordered the Axis and Allies Soldiers from BRiCKiZiMO. Below are some pictures of the finished model:

Opel Blitz Ambulance (sideways)

Opel Blitz Ambulance (back)

I also ordered this wounded soldier for him to act as a passenger inside the ambulance:

Wounded soldier

AdventureWorks2008 demo database

The complete database, consisting of the files AdventureWorks2008_Data.mdf and AdventureWorks2008_Log.ldf can be downloaded here (zip). You can attach this database using the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio for SQL Server 2008 R2 but it can also be attached to SQL Server 2014. But once attached to a higher version, you cannot attach it to a lower version again..!

Course Outline C#, EF, WCF, Web API, HTML5, CSS3 and AngularJS

Opdrachten die je zelf uit kunt voeren

Opstarten en inloggen

  1. Je begint altijd hier:
  2. Klik daarna rechtsboven op Sign in (Inloggen) en tik je Username (gebruikersnaam) en Password (wachtwoord) in.
  3. Tenslotte klik je linksboven op Create (Maak) en je kunt beginnen…
  4. Waar is alles te vinden

    CodeUur | Digi-doener | Scratch 3.0

    1. Maak een Doolhof | introductie | docentenhandleiding | lesbrief
    2. Patat?! Wat is dat? | introductie | docentenhandleiding | lesbrief | opzet


    1. Beginnershandleiding Scratch (versie 2.0)
    2. Scratch boekje TU Delft
      Dit boekje is eigenlijk voor de 1.0 versie van Scratch geschreven.
      Dus als je in de tekst dit ziet, kun je op het onderstaande plaatje zien waar je in Scratch 3.0 moet klikken om een zelf een nieuwe sprite te tekenen. Verder kom je er vast wel uit…

    Scratch opdrachtkaarten

    1. kaart 0a – blokken overzicht
    2. kaart 0b – kennismaken
    3. kaart 1 – kleur en andere effecten
    4. kaart 2 – stempels zetten
    5. kaart 3a – bewegen
    6. kaart 3b – bewegen met pijltjestoetsen
    7. kaart 4 – verschillende bewegingen
    8. kaart 5 – stel vragen
    9. kaart 6 – vraag en antwoord
    10. kaart 7 – tekenen met regenboogkleuren
    11. kaart 8 – vormen tekenen
    12. kaart 9 – dansen
    13. kaart 10 – muziek maken
    14. kaart 11 – getal raden
    15. kaart 12 – tafels oefenen
    16. kaart 13 – groter en kleiner
    17. kaart 14 – werken met de x en y positie
    18. kaart 15 – ontwijk de bal
    19. Nog 12 extra Scratchkaarten met korte opdrachten…!

    Scratch Puzzels

    Klik op een van de puzzels hieronder en klik daarna in het Scratch-venster rechtsboven op de knop om te beginnen…

    1. Puzzel 1
    2. Puzzel 2
    3. Puzzel 3-1
    4. Puzzel 3-2
    5. Puzzel 4
    6. Puzzel 5
    7. Puzzel 6
    8. Puzzel 7-1
    9. Puzzel 7-2

    Stap-voor-stap video’s

    1. Account aanmaken (hebben we tijdens de les al gedaan)
    2. Uitleg werkomgeving
    3. Je eerste script
    4. Het herhaalblokje
    5. De “als-dan” en “als-dan-anders” blokjes en variabelen

    Meer Stap-voor-stap video’s

    1. Scratch Les 1: Introductie
    2. Scratch Les 2: Basis
    3. Scratch Les 3: Variabelen
    4. Scratch Les 4: Functies
    5. Scratch Les 5: Meervoudige Selectie
    6. Scratch Les 6: De Herhaling (iteratie)
    7. Scratch Les 7: De Herhaling (uitbreiding)
    8. Scratch Les 8: Eindoefening

    Nog meer Stap-voor-stap video’s (Vlaamstalig)

    1. 01 – Taal instellen en projecten bewaren
    2. 02 – Sprite kiezen en horizontaal laten stappen
    3. 03 – Uiterlijken maken en veranderen
    4. 04 – Coördinaten – 1e deel
    5. 05 – Coördinaten – 2e deel
    6. 06 – Herhaal lus
    7. 07 – ‘Als’-blokje
    8. 08 – Stempels en scripts voor achtergronden
    9. 09 – Signalen

    Video’s van JorCademy gemaakt door de 14-jarige Nick Jordan

    Les 1 t/m 5 zijn gemaakt voor Scratch versie 1. Het scherm en de knoppen zien er iets anders uit dan in versie 2 maar daar kom je vast wel uit. De lessen vanaf 6 zijn met versie 2 gemaakt, de nieuwste versie, waarmee we ook tijdens de les hebben gewerkt.

    1. Scratch les 1 – Een sprite laten praten
    2. Scratch les 2 – Welke kant draai ik op?
    3. Scratch les 3 – Je eigen blok maken
    4. Scratch les 4 – Een sprite geanimeerd laten lopen
    5. Scratch les 5 – Appels vangen
    6. Scratch les 6 – Een discotheek maken
    7. Scratch les 7 – Frambozen schieten
    8. Scratch les 8 – Minecraft invaders (1)
    9. Scratch les 9 – Minecraft invaders (2)


    1. Les 1 – Introductie
    2. Les 2 – Appels vangen
    3. Les 3 – Tafels oefenen
    4. Les 4 – Piano maken

    Tekenen (vanuit video’s)

    1. Tekenen 1 – Spirograaf
    2. Tekenen 2 – Tekenprogramma met potlood

    Spelletjes maken (vanuit beschrijvingen)

    1. Racespel
    2. Red de prinses
    3. Scratch Invaders
    4. Muis patsen

    Spelletjes maken (vanuit video’s)

    1. Doolhof
    2. Flappy Bird
    3. Mollen meppen
    4. Blokbreker
    5. Nog een racespel

    Andere programmaatjes maken (vanuit video’s)

    1. Zonnenstelsel
    2. Namenkiezer


    1. Scratch-Wiki, Nederlandstalige Wikipedia voor en over Scratch
    2., Nederlandstalige site met verhalen, tips en lesmateriaal
    3. Beginnen met de Scratch programmeeromgeving (Jeroen Hartsuiker)

Exclusive Microsoft Azure Minifigure arrived on my Wall

Thanks to the people of the great and inspiring company Xpirit I finally have my very own copy of the limited edition Microsoft Azure minifig. I placed it between the famous geek with his laptop and C:\ prompt mug and the gamer wearing headphones and a USB key hanging on his belt. So thanks to René, Alex and Rasmus Hald for bringing, transporting and handing over this LEGO gem.

Azure Minifig on the Wall

Minifig as Promotional Gift or Treat

Today I went to a very interesting so-called Global Azure Bootcamp about Azure Service Fabric hosted by the great and inspiring company Xpirit.

One of its bright employees showed me this awesome promotional minifig:

Azure Minifig

It reminded me of the fact that some LEGO employees have minifigs as their official business card, like these:

Minifig Business Cards

And those business cards did inspire me a couple of times in the past to create some kind of promotional gift, award for special achievements or birthday treats, in chronological order:

In 2008 (for my 37th birthday) I created 50(!) minifigs holding some tool, wearing different hats or having some hairdo, to hand out as a treat to each of my colleagues. It costed a bit, but at least they last longer than a tradional piece of birthday cake 🙂

Twice Training

For this action I printed, cut out and pasted 100 company logos (front and back). This is part of the sticker print sheet I created for that purpose:

Twice Torso

In 2012 (for my 41st birthday) I created over 20 minifigs for all my birthday guests to take home after an afternoon of free gaming at the Bonami SpelComputer Museum.


As a thank you gift for the very nice owners/hosts of this great retro/video/computer/game museum, Naomi and John, I created these two figurines, which pretty much resemble them:

Naomi and John

As a Christmas gift for 2012 I created these little promotional figures for the startup company Jooroon for which I had developed a software proof-of-concept involving a smartphone app that same year.


In 2013 I created this minifig as a special achievement award during a very prestigious training bootcamp for newly hired Microsoft employees. The guy concerned earned his MCSD: Web Applications certification during these training weeks and said jokingly every time he took one of the exams: “I’ll have these MCSD exams for breakfast”. That’s why I gave the figurine a butcher’s knife and a T-bone steak. He loved it. He came from Denmark and had even done an internship at the LEGO company…