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About jxu

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  • Which LEGO set did you recently purchase or build?

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  1. Exactly. Though I will probably still try to make my own because this is slightly out of date, only going up to 2018 (so recent ex. Harry Potter don't show up), and I would like to color code more than unlicensed/licensed.
  2. I definitely would not list out every set, just a general timeline of themes. My thought was that I think Brickset provides a data dump of every set and which theme it comes from: https://rebrickable.com/downloads/ btw if you're interested in data visualization it's a great resource. If I remember I'll try to make something this weekend.
  3. jxu

    [REVIEW] 40516 - Everyone is Awesome

    "Why don't the Lego people have faces?"
  4. jxu

    [REVIEW] 40516 - Everyone is Awesome

    First thing I thought of was LEGO Movie's "Everything is Awesome" - ironic, considering it is obviously portrayed in the movie as saccharine vague corporate feelgood messaging, fencesitting and vague enough to not offend anyone. I never got the fascination for monofigs anyway, but I'm not a minifig person.
  5. jxu

    What is Your Dream LEGO Set?

    I don't have one, not old enough :P Maybe the original Mindstorms RCX, although that's not really a set and more a box of building parts. I built little robots with a friend in a summer camp back when NXT 1.0 was already out so RCX was already out of date and probably cheap (not that RCX sets are particularly expensive yet - a lot of minifigs cost more than the RCX brick itself)
  6. Is there a bar timeline for all Lego Themes, like this one but for the whole history of Lego? http://www.brickinvesting.com/blog/uncategorized/lego-sets-timeline.html If not, I may try to make one using Brickset data.
  7. jxu

    Bible stories wishlist topic

    I would love Bible sets, and I'm not even a Christian! I was just reading about the Tower of Babel, and my impression was that God destroyed it, but the Wikipedia page says the Book of Genesis actually says no such thing. The Tower of Babel was possibly inspired by Babylonian ziggurats, which along with the Wonders of the Ancient World would make excellent adult sets imo.
  8. I hope this post is in the right place, as I don't know of a subforum dedicated to youtube videos. I've started a new channel where I anticipate most videos will be on set reviews or small custom Technic builds. In this video I visited the King of Prussia mall store and shot video of all the stuff inside. It may be of interest if you're looking for some sets and can't find them online.
  9. Since Bricklink is owned by Lego now, ideally they could include Lego's own store prices, but that would interfere with the whole community seller aspect of it. The Brick Wizard tool is interesting, but according to its website it is broken ever since the Brick link UI change. That means it probably scraped pages instead of using an API because I don't think BL exposes an API for bulk things like that. For a single user, you can scrape on demand, but in the hypothetical situation for many users it would be more efficient (but less for BL) to be constantly crawling all parts pages and maintaining my own database. I also skimmed the page and I didn't see any description of the algorithm, and I don't feel like mucking around in Matlab code. The author says each additional store adds exponential time so it is likely an exhaustive search algorithm instead of a more clever but significantly more involved approximation algorithm.
  10. I've been thinking about buying many pieces for MOCs I want to make as cheaply as possible as a classic combinatorial optimization problem, like the kind done by businesses with operations research. The cheapest approach is not to order individual pieces on-demand but to buy lots and lots in bulk (ex. 10 lb boxes on ebay) and maintain my own stockpile of pieces. But I don't have the time and money currently to maintain my own inventory. (I think every kid dreams of having a giant drawer warehouse of bricks like in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xcGgfOVpPM) I first thought about this problem when using Bricklink's wanted lists. By default, when clicking "Buy All", the site sorts by stores with unique lots. I think the reasoning is, if I am buying a decent number of lots and I can get it all from one store, then I will only pay for one store's S&H, which has a good chance of being cheaper than buying from two or more stores. Often this is not possible and I need to buy from two, three, four, or more stores. My approach was to buy using a greedy method for unique lots: try to have one store cover say 90% of lots, then have another one or two stores cover the remaining 10%. The idea here is to minimize the number of stores to buy from to minimize S&H costs. But I haven't actually done experiments to see if this is really a good method or not. It could very well be that buying roughly the same proportion of parts from multiple stores ends up cheaper. Then I found about Bricklink's "Easy Buy" option. Whatever algorithm they use, it usually does a good job in keeping costs low while not buying from too many stores. Some BL stores don't list S&H which can drive up costs, especially for international orders. It doesn't consider Lego's own parts shop which I haven't gotten a chance to use. But it is a lot easier than manually trying combinations. What really inspired me to think about this algorithmically is Rebrickable's Multi-Buy option. They give you more options to tune the algorithm by providing three starting points: cheapest stores, largest stores, and minimize delivery (you can put in an estimated average delivery cost). In my experience, minimize delivery (almost the same as minimizing number of stores) gives the best total prices. Unfortunately they don't have an option for setting two different delivery costs, one for domestic and one for international, since domestic costs are usually a lot lower. Although they both have access to BL seller data, BL's Easy Buy still seems to do a better job finding combinations. I wonder if there are any other automatic tools to try to do this price optimization. As a Bricklink seller I have access to their API but I believe that is for my own store. These weighted set cover type problems are computationally hard but with a strict limit on the total number of stores then they become reasonable to solve fairly well (and the trivial O(n^k) solution for choosing k stores from n total). Here's a CS paper on these kinds of problems if you are interested: https://people.cs.umass.edu/~barna/paper/ICDE15_research_131.pdf (I wouldn't have spent so much time thinking about this if Legos weren't so frickin expensive!)
  11. @Coder Shah I never had those sets. I found the Classic Clock programs on a Reddit post, though I probably have them on my old computer. I think I only have 8527 which should be easy to find programs for I assume.
  12. jxu

    Minifig collecting rant

    It is kinda a blatant cash grab, like loot boxes in games. Loot boxes have come under legal assaults because they supposedly encourage children to gamble. Personally, I think gambling is over-regulated, but my stance applies for adults.
  13. Still, I don't see the difference between older teens and adults in terms of build preference. Older teens aren't playing with toys usually.
  14. More expensive, but not prohibitively so. IIRC the original Shapeways cost was about $6, I could likely do it cheaper, and it could be much cheaper in bulk. That's comparable to the price of some rare old Technic components in new condition. Anyhow, this is more of a product by a Technic fan for other fans rather than a serious money making venture.