Is Iron Man made of Lego?

I was re-watching Iron Man recently and noticed something interesting.  During Iron Man’s first “boot up sequence”, in the “terrorist” caves of Nowhereistan, some butchered C code is displayed on a faked up laptop screen.

C source code from Iron Man Movie

The code displayed on screen, although missing some syntactically important characters such as semi-colons, is actual valid C source code.  So valid in fact that I wondered where it came from.

After a quick Google I found it. This code is in fact as follows:

    send[0] = 0x65;
    send[1] = 1;
    send[2] = 3;
    send[3] = 5;
    send[4] = 7;
    send[5] = 11;

    if (rcx_sendrecv(fd, send, 6, recv, 1, 50, RETRIES, use_comp) != 1) {
	fprintf(stderr, "%s: delete firmware failed\n", progname);

    /* Start firmware download */
    send[0] = 0x75;
    send[1] = (start >> 0) & 0xff;
    send[2] = (start >> 8) & 0xff;
    send[3] = (cksum >> 0) & 0xff;
    send[4] = (cksum >> 8) & 0xff;
    send[5] = 0;

    if (rcx_sendrecv(fd, send, 6, recv, 2, 50, RETRIES, use_comp) != 2) {
	fprintf(stderr, "%s: start firmware download failed\n", progname);

    /* Transfer data */
    addr = 0;
    index = 1;
    for (addr = 0, index = 1; addr < len; addr += size, index++) {

The code above comes from a firmware downloader for the RCX (a programmable, microcontroller-based Lego brick), written in 1998 at Stanford University by Kekoa Proudfoot. You can get the full source file here and it is distributed under the Mozilla Public License.  This is the same license used by Firefox and many other Open Source software products.

The sequence in the film in which this code appears suggests that the code is either being downloaded as firmware to the Iron Man suit or being used to upload firmware to an RCX Lego brick that is somehow involved in the operation of Iron Man.

So it appears that Iron Man is either powered by Open Source software or made of Lego.  I’m not sure which is cooler.


The power of video games to sell music.

I watched the Mirrors Edge story trailer on my XBOX 360 the other night and noted at the end of the trailer it mentioned the music was from an artist by the name of Solar Fields.  The music in the trailer being nice low key ambient trance had me interested in finding out more about the artist.  A quick Google had me at his home page and MySpace profile listening to a couple of tracks which were nice.  A quick search of the iTunes Music store had me buying the 2007 album EarthShine.  I would probably have picked up others if they had been available as DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks.

The album, by the way is very good.  The sort of dance/trance that I enjoy a lot.  I also notice that Solar Fields is playing the Earthcore festival here in Melbourne in November.

Plex. XBMC for Macs.

Plex Icon

I just downloaded and had a brief play with Plex on my Macbook.  It is basically a direct port of XBMC (Xbox Media Center) to the Mac platform.  This makes me want to buy another Mac to plug into the telly to replace my current XBMC.

The trust old XBOX is getting a little underpowered.  It can’t output HD and it can’t decode HD content on its puny 700Mhz Celeron processor.

Now, where can I find a cheap Intel Mac Mini when I need one.

Amplitube is awesome-itube.

Stealth PlugToday I went into Allans Music and bought myself a Stealth Plug electric guitar to USB 2.0 DAC. This device came with a copy of Amplitube Live 2.0.

Amplitube, made by IK Multimedia, is guitar amp and effects modeling software. Basically it makes you guitar sound awesome. As if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on amps, stomp boxes and the like. It plugs into all the usual pro audio software that you might have.

I’m a rank amature when it comes to playing the guitar and even more so when it comes to audio production software. But plugging this little widget in to GarageBand and playing along to Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple and having it sound right just puts a giant shit kicker grin on my face.