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Scenery nerds and systems nerds: MIT's Model Railroad Club (wikipedia.org)
26 points by ColinWright on Sept 2, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 6 comments

I'd recommend reading Steven Levy's "Hackers" for a better explanation of these guys and the rest of the hacker world: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/729

For another good read, check out "Jargon File" (many may have already read this) http://www.catb.org/jargon/oldversions/jarg262.txt (1991 Revision)

The Jargon File pre-Eric Raymond is worth reading because it doesn't include all the extra information that Raymond decided to add about what he thinks the hacker culture is, who hackers are etc.


For a model railroad similar in spirit (I think) that was built out into a startup and now a successful business (by charging visitors and selling merchandise), check out the "Miniatur Wunderland" in Hamburg, Germany.

They build and program many things by themselves. Recently, they completed a very impressive addition: an airport, complete with starting and landing airplanes, cars etc. I listened to an interview with one of the founders, Gerrit Braun, where he says that for the airport alone they wrote several hundred thousand lines of code.

The airport: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz4NcTnQedo

Camera mounted on train: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBArNAyODLc

More: http://www.youtube.com/user/MiWuLaTV

Smartest thing I ever did: I went to a TMRC open house in what must have been the final year or two of their relay-based switching system. That thing was just awesome. It made all these great clacking noises.

Now if only I'd made it before MIT destroyed building 20.

Check out the video overview of it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxiuUo0y0EA

You can see the tetris in action

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