LEGO Display Stand MOC for 75325 The Mandalorian’s N-1 Starfighter

Following the destruction of the Mandoralorian’s Razorcrest, one of the happy surprises in The Book of Boba Fett was Mando’s new ship–a heavily modified Naboo N-1 Starfighter featured in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. So, when the LEGO version of Mando’s new ride debuted as set 75325, I picked it up at the local Costco for about 20% off MSRP.

The Naboo Starfighter is one of the redeeming elements for me from the Star Wars prequels.

Years ago, I had the original LEGO 7141 Naboo Fighter from 1999, and I built set 10026 Special Edition Naboo Starfighter in 2002 as seen in the photo of my bookcase from that era above. The chromed parts made this an excellent build. If only it had been designed for minifigures!

Later, I got to see a life-size Naboo fighter at the Star Wars Exhibition in London in 2007. It was the exhibit’s centerpiece in the display space adjacent to the London Aquarium and the London Eye. Being in the same space made the starfighter seem real. It’s design detail evoked the craftsmanship of a Howard Hughes hand-built race plane. It was extraordinary to behold!

When I first assembled Mando’s modified N-1 LEGO set, I was impressed with its greebling details to the engine nacells and overall design. While there are limitations to the overall smoothness at the scale used for this set, it captures important details that mark it as an inspired model based on what we see on the screen.

The thing about the Naboo Fighter is that it deserves to be swooshed. It’s design implies motion and speed. It was that feeling about what the design inspires that pushed me to design and build a stand for it.

This presented some challenges, because Mando’s N-1 is larger than the 10026 set, which came with a display stand. The 75325 set is bigger than that set, which also implies that it is heavier. Using a rotational click ring supported by Technic beams does not provide enough friction to maintain the model in the orientation desired. I devised a secondary support arm with a 2×2 turntable plate to prevent the weight of the model from changing the desired orientation of the model.

In the photos above, you can get a sense of how to build a similar model display using Technic and other LEGO bricks.

I think the displayed version of the set brings the excitement and joy that Mando and Grogru feel when they open up the sublight thrusters!

Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man vs Thanos LEGO MOC

While I have enjoyed reading Marvel comics for as long as I can remember, I have loved the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that brought together Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man to ultimately battle (two temporal versions) of Thanos with the gravitas and realism of live-action, moving pictures. This is probably because my deep love of Science Fiction is rooted in film and my memory of seeing the Millennium Falcon swoop and dive among the asteroids in a televised trailer for The Empire Strikes Back while watching television on my family’s console TV in Hortense, Georgia.

After visiting my parents in Georgia over the summer, one of the first things that I did when I was back in Brooklyn was to begin constructing this My Own Creation (MOC). Perhaps it was because I had rewatched some of the MCU films or because I picked up LEGO’s 76192 Avengers End Game Final Battle set.

I built this MOC to capture the essence of the End Game battle but not as an accurate rendition of the beginning of that fight. Instead, I wanted to depict the essence of the confrontation akin to a movie poster or comic book cover.

As with most of my MOCs, I built one version that I put aside for some months and returned to later.

In the photos below, you can see that it began with a tan/light wood simulated base beneath a dark gray dais with curved corners. I positioned the heroes in a sweeping action with the villain facing them from the corner. The configuration implied action and energy. But, the positioning placed the heroes’ backs toward the viewer and the clear support rods cut through the scene.

In the photo at the top of the post and in the photos below, you can see the second iteration of my MOC. About a week ago, I decided to return to the MOC after letting it rest on a bookshelf opposite my work area in our living room. My first concern was flipping the scene so that the villain’s back faces the audience and the heroes faces can be seen clearly from the front. This required a re-engineering of the Technic pin with ball joint assembly. Instead of having them project from bricks, I embedded the pins in the floor of the scene and I used Thanos’ body to obscure where the pins protrude from the ground. This also allowed for a more dramatic triangular positioning of the heroes so that they are focused toward a single point terminating at the figure of Thanos. Another reevaluation was with Thanos’ minifigure and weapon. In the first iteration, I used the newer Thanos minifigure from the 76192 set and a scaled down double sword weapon. In the revised version, I opted to use the minifigure from 76107 Thanos: Ultimate Battle equipped with the jewel-encrusted Infinity Gauntlet. Finally, I constructed a broken wall in the back of the scene to provide a backdrop and I built it with a tapering and cupped shape to envelop the scene and draw the eye back to the colorful figures of action in the scene.

While I have more ideas about how to further iterate this MOC, I’m happy with its current configuration. I’ll sit it on the bookshelf to look at it and let its presence feed into the percolating design ideas that might lead to a future revision.

Brief Technical Communication Program Administration Reading List

Classroom arranged in rows with computer monitors at each chair.

The City Tech English Department asked me to step up as Director of the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program at the start of Spring 2021.

The following list of books, anthologies, and articles have been helpful to me as I work to better understand program administration, development, assessment, and internships.

Bridgeford, Tracy, Karla Saari Kitalong, and Bill Williamson, editors. Sharing Our Intellectual Traces: Narrative Reflections from Administrators of Professional, Technical, and Scientific Communication Programs. Baywood Publishing Company, 2014.

Elliot, Norbert and Margaret Kilduff. “Technical Writing in a Technological University: Attitudes of Department Chairs.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, vol. 21, no. 4, 1991, pp. 411-424.

Franke, David, Alex Reid, and Anthony DiRenzo, editors. Design Discourse: Composing and Revising Programs in Professional and Technical Writing. WAC Clearinghouse, 2010.

Huot, Brian. (Re) Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning. Utah State UP, 2002.

O’Neill, Peggy, Cindy Moore, and Brian Huot. A Guide to College Writing Assessment. Utah State UP, 2009.

Sapp, David Alan. “The Lone Ranger as Technical Writing Program Administrator.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication, vol. 20, no. 2, April 2006, pp. 200-219.

Selting, Bonita R. “Conversations with Technical Writing Teachers: Defining a Problem.” Technical Communication Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 3, 2002, pp. 251-266.

Sides, Charles H. and Ann Mrvica, editors. Internships: Theory and Practice. Baywood Publishing Company, 2007.

Personal Digital Archaeology: The Power Macintosh Resource Page, Winning a Copy of BeOS, and Sharing Mac Info, February 1997

My Apple PowerMacintosh 8500/120 and PowerBook 145B at home. August 1997.

Continuing the work that I started in 2014 when I wrote about the rediscovery of a set of isometric Macintosh icons that I had created and shared in 1997, I wanted to share another rediscovery from February and March 1997 that spans a defunct Macintosh-focused blog called the Power Macintosh Resource Page and Usenet that involves BeOS, winning a magazine, and writing about a hard drive partioning trick that I developed using free BeOS and MacOS applications.

This rediscovery came about after I sent a postcard to another computer enthusiast via I wrote in my postcard about how great I thought BeOS was. She replied that she hadn’t used BeOS before but was interested in it.

I remembered that the way that I came to use BeOS for a time was thanks to a now-defunct technology blog called The Power Macintosh Resource Page. It was operated by Steve Tannehill.

On 1 Feb. 1997, Tannehill posted this message to his site (which you can find in the site’s archives saved on the Internet Wayback Machine here):

1 February 1997:

Trevor Inkpen wrote to mention that the Complete Conflict Compendium is about to have its 500,000th visitor. That visitor will win an Apple watch and an Apple hat.

Not to be outdone… ;-)

In the next 2-3 weeks, the Power Macintosh Resource Page will hit the half-million mark. If you send me a legitimate screen shot of the 500,000th hit, I’ll send you a copy of the January MacTech magazine, complete with the BeOS for the Power Mac demo CD-ROM!

Power Macintosh Resource Page, Feb. 1997 Archive, Wayback Machine.

There are a few things to unpack here. First, Tannehill mentions Trevor Inkpen’s site visitor context for “an Apple watch and an Apple hat.” That Apple watch prize was not for what we think of as an Apple Watch today. It was an Apple-branded watch that Apple sold through their campus gift shop in Cupertino.

Second, website operators used to pride themselves on how many site visitors they had. This was usually calculated with a public-facing counter enabled by a bit of code offered by a provider that logged page loads containing the code and presented a gif-based numerical counter of the number of page loads. Many of these counters only provided a simple calculation of page loads rather than the more granular information provided by webserver logs and the more advanced metrics of unique visitors, engagement, etc. used today.

Third, like Inkpen’s website with a counter nearing 500,000, Tannehill’s Power Macintosh Resource Page’s counter was also nearing that number. So, he devised a contest to reward the person who was the 500,000th visitor. Unlike Inkpen, Tannehill offered what I considered a greater prize, a copy of the January 1997 issue of MacTech Magazine, which included a CD-ROM installer for the Preview Edition of BeOS.

Before Tannehill offered this prize, I had heard about BeOS from articles in Mac magazines like MacUser, Macworld, and MacAddict. With the burgeoning world of online reporting and news, I had gleaned even more information about it. It sounded like the next big thing, especially in light of Apple’s financial troubles of that era.

Also, I had gotten my PowerMacintosh 8500/120 only a year before, so I had a computer that was capable of running the PowerPC-based BeOS Preview Edition that came with the MacTech Magazine.

After learning about Tannehill’s contest, I first thought that there is no way that I would be lucky enough to be the 500,000th visitor to his site. So, the practical solution was to find a copy of the magazine. I was attending Georgia Tech in Atlanta at the time, so I had access to bookstores with nice magazine selections–the best being Tower Records next Lenox Square Mall in Buckhead.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a copy of the magazine anywhere. Stores that sold MacTech said that they were sold out. Therefore, my only alternative to obtain a copy of BeOS was to be a super visitor to the Power Macintosh Resource Page. Thankfully, my efforts paid off on 13 Feb. 1997 after I revisited the page late that night and took the required screenshot of my browser window:

13 February 1997:

Jason Woodrow Ellis is the official 500,000th visitor to the Power Macintosh Resource Page! Jason sent the screen shot, so he gets the January MacTech magazine. Congratulations Jason, and thanks to everyone for making this page a success!

Power Macintosh Resource Page, Feb. 1997 Archive, Wayback Machine.

Tannehill mailed the magazine to my campus address at Georgia Tech, and after receiving it, I promptly began partitioning my PowerMac’s 2GB SCSI hard drive so that I could boot into Mac OS or BeOS (more on this further below).

And, I would be remiss not to remark on how grateful that I am to Tannehill for offering that magazine as a prize on his website. It was a touchstone in my memories of that era of my life and an important moment in my learning more about computers in general and Macs in particular. I owe him a debt of thanks!

While reading the February 1997 archive page of the Power Macintosh Resource Page, I discovered that I had sent in a report about a presentation by an Apple Representative at the Georgia Tech campus:

25 February 1997:

Jason Woodrow Ellis wrote an interesting note regarding a recent presentation at Georgia Tech on the future of Mac OS:

“Apple Computer, Inc.’s Higher Education Account Executive Steve VanBrackle” gave us a very good outlook for the upcoming Rhapsody and MacOS releases. Mr. VanBrackle told us about the NeXT engineers and how “cocky” they were. He explained that these guys say that they could get the NeXT OS to run on a cellular phone! The point was that they are able to port their OS to anything. …if Mr. VanBrackle is correct the engineers will have an easy time of creating it. First, NeXT had ported their OS to PowerPC several years ago to run on 601’s. Second, the Apple AU/X team had already figured out how to run System 7 apps on top of UNIX. Third, 80% of Copland’s old code will be used with Rhapsody, so Apple did not “totally” scrap those several years of research. Now their task lies in combining these things together which in effect is the “easy” part. …I asked him about Jobs and Wozniak’s role at Apple in respect to all of the rumors about Jobs “taking over.” According to Mr. VanBrackle, they are “10 hour per week advisors to Amelio.” They have no managerial responsibilities and no “code time.”

Power Macintosh Resource Page, Feb. 1997 Archive, Wayback Machine.

I vaguely remember this presentation only because I recall receiving a copy of the first Mac Advocate CD-ROM, which contained useful software updates, Apple information, and Apple-related media, and Apple rainbow logo stickers, which I later applied to the rear window of my dad’s Toyota pickup truck that I often drove when I was back home (and earned me vulgar responses from homophobic locals who were not only bigoted but also apparently lived under a rock during the first 20 years of Apple Computer’s existence).

It was exciting to me to find this email excerpt that I had taken the time to write and send to Tannehill. I have no memory of what I reported Steve VanBrackle talking about during his presentation, but the points about what would eventually become MacOS X are very intriguing. Behind these points there were a number of important developments. Apple scrapped Copland, the code-named operating system originally intended to become System 8, Apple’s consideration of purchasing Jean-Louis Gassée’s BeOS as the basis of its next-generation operating system, and Apple’s ultimate decision to purchase NeXT and bring Steve Jobs back to the company.

As a side note, I often signed my online posts using my full name at that time, because I had discovered that there are a lot of Jason Ellis’s in the world. Even in my youth, I had to fight accusations of not having had all of my vaccines or needing additional dental work–things that applied to another guy who shared my first and last names and happened to be a patient at my doctor and dentist. When I got online, I found even more people with my name, and I tried to create an identity distinct from others. Eventually, I settled on Jason W. Ellis.

Returning to an earlier point about multi-booting MacOS and BeOS, I found an old Usenet post (thanks to the remnants of Google Groups, which is unfortunately a poor instance of its former glory) that I had made on 13 Mar. 1997–a month to the day after I had won the MacTech Magazine with the BeOS Developer Preview CD-ROM. I cross-posted this short write-up called “Slick Disk Tricks” to and (I just didn’t know any better).

Slick Disk Tricks

Mar 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM

I was a crazy risk taker. I loaded up the BeOS for Power Macintosh on my 8500/120 with only one hard disk drive. Luckily I already had partitioned it when I first bought the computer. I created three partitions: HD1=340MB, HD2= 830, HD3= 830, and an allotment of 33MB of free space.

When I installed the BeOS, I repartitioned HD1 as a BeOS˛ partition. Because I quickly found that I did not find enlightenment from using Be, I wanted to get rid of it. I just as quickly noticed that Apple’s DriveSetup application would not let me repartition without reformatting. This was not an option. Luckily Be came through.

In order to reclaim my first partition I used Be’s included Mac application called BeOS Partition Utility˛ to rename the BeOS˛ partition to an Apple_HFS partition. Then I restarted my computer and a dialogue comes up at the desktop for me to choose to initialize the new partition or eject it. I opted to initialize it (which took all of five seconds) and suddenly I have my first partition back! No special programs or extra drivers necessary. Just as a precaution, I did use Norton’s Wipe Info application to do a nice government˛ sweep of all previously stored data. (OK, so I cheated a little bit!)

I am about to loose my internet connection at Georgia Tech, so I have been trying to download everything under the sun to play with when I go back home this month. This need of space reminded me of my 33MB of free space. This takes a little bit more time and effort than regaining a BeOS˛ partition (but it is exactly the same procedure, almost). These are the steps that I used. First, I used the BeOS Partition Utility˛ to rename the Apple_Free to BeOS. Next I launched the BeOS from the CD-ROM and initialized this the free˛ partition for use by the BeOS (this gives the partition a name). Next I rebooted my computer after _not_ installing the BeOS and again used BeOS Partition Utility˛ to rename the BeOS˛ partition to Apple_HFS.˛ Now one can see that this is similar to the previous instructions. However when I restarted nothing happened! Well, undaunted, I used Apple’s DriveSetup app to update the disk driver. I rebooted and now my free space is a new partition asking to be initialized. I now have my full hard disk drive available for storage purposes.

One should realize that what I did was very perilous and down right horrific. I don’t have any kind of backup solution or another disk drive to keep files on. Please use caution if you try this technique to reclaim disk space! And, remember, I am loosing my email address shortly so you have no ability for flames or other such nonsense.

Jason Woodrow Ellis

Google Groups, comp.sys.mac.system, 13 Mar. 1997.

While I wrote this with the intent of sharing a neat way to use the BeOS Partition Utility and Apple’s DriveSetup programs to resize and reclaim hard drive space without the need of paid partitioning software, it is an embarrassing piece of writing. However, I try to remind myself that it was something that I wrote about 25 years ago, which puts it in its proper context.

Also, I’m saddened to read that I wrote, “I quickly found that I did not find enlightenment from using Be.” I don’t recall exactly why I didn’t find it enlightening. From my viewpoint now, BeOS was exciting to use and had an excellent user interface (UI). But, I can imagine how it might not have been a daily driver OS due to its development stage and a fewer application options than MacOS. Also, hard drive space cost a premium, so I probably wanted to have the drive space back for other projects that I was working on at the time. So, while my 1997-self might have not found enlightenment from BeOS, my present self recognizes BeOS as something that had the potential to be insanely great (Steve Jobs would probably not appreciate my borrowing his phrase for this case, but I think it applies nevertheless). And I do know that despite my not keeping BeOS installed on my PowerMacintosh, I enjoyed using Greg Landwebber’s BeView to reskin MacOS as BeOS (and, I alternated between BeView and Aaron, for a Copland look–later, I switched to Kaleidoscope). And, I am certain that BeOS left an indelible imprint on my mind for me to think of it to this day, including its incredible design choices–isometric interface icons, tabbed windows, the application dock, and the finger pointer, as well as its amazing under-the-hood developments with its microkernel, preemptive multitasking, multithreading, etc.

I am curious about the phrase that I used: “did not find enlightenment.” It makes me wonder if an advertisement or article about BeOS used that kind of language to describe using it. When I have some time, I’ll look into that with what’s available on, Google Books, and other places online that might have digital copies of mid-to-late 1990s Macintosh magazines.

After upgrading its cache memory and its CPU daughter card to a faster 604e processor, I sold my PowerMacintosh to an ex-girlfriend. Later, I acquired another PowerMacintosh 8500/120, which I donated to the Georgia Tech Library’s Retrocomputing Lab before moving to NYC.

A few final notes: Haiku OS is trying to build something new that captures what BeOS once was and could have been. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but I certainly intend to! And, I owe a great deal of thanks to the Internet Archive for the Internet Wayback Machine and Google Groups (despite Google’s mishandling of this invaluable resource), both of which made this personal exploration possible. While many of our digital traces seem to linger, others disappear without the dedicated and important work of digital preservationists.

Videos from the Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on Access and SF

I originally posted this on the Science Fiction at City Tech website here. I used Shotcut to edit the Zoom Webinar recording into these session-length videos with video fade-in and -out, and audio gain adjustments as needed. I used GIMP to create the title cards for each video.

The Sixth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium on the topic of Access and SF was held on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 as a Zoom Webinar. You can read the full program here.

Included below are videos of each session as well as links to expanded presentations .

Many thanks again to everyone who participated and contributed to this year’s event!


Jason W. Ellis
Justin Vazquez-Poritz

Paper Session 1: Access to International SF

Jill Belli – Moderator
Emrah Atasoy – “Access to SF in Turkey and Turkish SF Abroad”
Shanky Chandra – “Chinese Science Fiction: A Literary Genre, A Tool of Teaching Science or A Secret Weapon of China’s Soft Power?”
Gillian Polack – “The Problem of Susan Australia, or, The Tyranny of Distance” | Watch Expanded Presentation

Paper Session 2: Access to Science/Fiction/World

A. Lavelle Porter – Moderator
Chris Leslie – “Reevaluating the Inclusiveness of the Interstellar Republic of Letters”
Katherine Buse and Anastasia Klimchynskaya – “Science Fiction and Citizen Science”
Aaron Zwintscher – “Star Wars Biomes: Simulacra, Nature, and Passivity in No Dialogue Nature Shows”

Discussion Panel: “Accessing the Feminist Science Fiction Archive, Or, Young Women Read Old Feminist SF”

Lisa Yaszek – Moderator
Josie Benner
Olivia Kiklica
Jessica Taetle
Edeliz Zuleta

Paper Session 3: Access, Inclusion, and Representation in SF

Joy Sanchez-Taylor – Moderator
Leigh Gold – “Confronting Language in the Science Fiction Text: Language, Access, and Trauma in Octavia Butler and Ursula K Le Guin”
Katherine Pradt – “Shipping Supergirl: Discovering and Defending Lesbian Identity Through a DC Fandom”
Sean Scanlan – “Cool Access and Access to Cool: Gibson’s Gun Moll, Dorotea Benedetti”
Ida Yoshinaga – “Corporate Employment Practices Towards Greater Diversity of Story Development for SFF Screen Stories”

Paper Session 4: Access, Accessibility, Bodies, and Minds in SF

Lucas Kwong – Moderator
Jacob Adler – “‘Everything Herein is Fantastic’: Accessibility and Inclusivity in Dungeons & Dragons”
Ryan Collis – “Autistic Speculative Imaginings: Accessing and Creating Minor Literatures”
Annette Koh – “Urban Planning for Cyborg Cities: Thinking about disabilities and mobilities in sci-fi as an urban planner”

Analog Writers Panel and the Analog Emerging Black Voices Award

Emily Hockaday – Moderator
Alec Nevala-Lee
Marie Vibbert
Chelsea Obodoechina
Trevor Quachri and Emily Hockaday – Award Presentation

Keynote: “Writing Ourselves In: Teaching Writing and Science Fiction with Wikipedia”

Ximena Gallardo C. and Ann Matsuuchi
Wanett Clyde – Introduction and Moderator

Leading up to this special keynote event, everyone is invited to join the Opening Access to SF: City Tech Science Fiction Edit-a-thon 2021 Dec. 6-Dec. 10.

Ximena and Ann’s book chapter, “My Books Will Be Read By Millions of People!”: The LaGuardia Community College Octavia E. Butler Wikipedia Project,” that appears in Approaches to Teaching the Works of Octavia Butler, edited by Tarshia Stanley (Modern Language Association, 2019), has been made accessible via the CUNY institutional repository, Academic Works: This book was awarded Idaho State University’s 2021 Teaching Literature Award.