Ryan McDonough

Founder, Sometime Artist

CFO and co-founder @Accompany, acquired by @Cisco. Turnaround CFO @Ning, sold to Glam Media. Former seed VC. McKinsey trained. @Wharton School and @Haas School of Business.




A love of the ’80s, LEGO, and the original Macintosh has led to the LEGO Mac, a replica of the 1984 Macintosh 128K sporting an 8-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio screen. This marvel isn’t just a static model. It features a fully functional Big Sur themed Linux install, a complete System 7.5.5 emulator, and full retro gaming capabilities, thanks to the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B nestled within its LEGO case.
One Big Happy LEGO Family: LEGO Mac with its sibling, LEGO Mini Mac

1980s Powerhouse in a LEGO Package. Growing up in the ’80s, both LEGO and the original Mac have a special place in my heart. Combined that with a love of Atari & NES, I decided to put them all together into the LEGO Mac. This Raspberry Pi 4 Model B powered computer features a fully functional Big Sur themed Linux install, a complete System 7.5.5 emulator, and full retro gaming capabilities.

Screen designs by libebello’s Retrorama theme. These can be installed in the UI portion of RetroPie.


Retro Gaming. So fun to drop in and out for a quick game. Growing up, we were initially an Atari 2600 household, rocking Pitfall, Combat, Berzerk, and countless others. After winning a contest in elementary school, I had enough money to finally buy my own NES. While my first game was Mighty Bomb Jack, nothing beats my love for Super Mario Brothers 3.


LEGO® Mac. This project started nearly 10 years ago as a dock for an early iPad Mini using bricks from my childhood + some newly purchased bricks. I loved how the yellowed (and sometimes brittle) bricks created a bone box look. Over the years it has housed a Google Home and even a smaller Raspberry Pi touchscreen, but now it’s been upgraded to it’s full retro glory.



Once I started on the LEGO Mini Mac, I knew this build deserved a proper 4:3 ratio screen with a proper OS re-skinning.



True to the LEGO ethos, no kragle was used. All components were put in with pressure fits & no modifying of any LEGO parts.

Original Build: iPad Mini Dock (above) & Office Display (Below)

Build List

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 8GB

Pimoroni HDMI 8″ IPS LCD Screen Kit – 1024×768

Powered USB 3.0 Hub

8Bitdo Sn30 Pro USB Wired Gamepad (2)

USB Keyboard + USB Mouse 

Raspberry Pi case (used a passive cooling aluminum case)

Micr0 HDMI cable

5V 3A USB-C power supply with on/off switch. Switch mounted in the handle area for easy access.

USB Mini Speaker 


A couple of build notes. I chose to go wired for all the peripherals so that the computer is always available. The keyboard and mouse use the low speed ports. The powered USB hub is in a high-speed port, which makes it great for being able to back up the system via a USB SD card reader, add devices that might need more power, etc.

To keep things quiet, I went for a passive cooling case for the Pi. Given how much airflow there is in the case, it seemed like a good solution and avoided having anything noisy running in the dining room all the time. 


Pimoroni 4:3 aspect ratio screen

Enter the Matrix Of course, I needed to have this screensaver

USB Hub & Display Controls


Power Strip & Powered USB Hub


TwisterOS with Big Sur Theme. To make sure everything is compatible with the software I want, I’m running TwisterOS, which is a 32-bit system for Raspberry Pi. It is compatible with the 32-bit System 7.5.5 emulator I’m using (see below) and comes pre-installed with RetroPie + countless other improvements.


For the System 7.5 emulator, I’m running the Arm compiled version of Mini vMac. Separately, you’ll need to find a source for both your ROM and boot disk. I found this tutorial from the Macintosh Librarian to be super helpful (view on YouTube) for figuring out the software side of things. As you can see from the photo, the total memory is a bit larger than the original Macintosh (64x with a 1.1GB boot disk).

Twister OS: Raspberry Pi 32-Bit Install followed by ‘Mac OS Theme’ (LINK)
Mac System 7.5.5. Emulator: Gryphel Project’s Mini VMac 
Retro Gaming: RetroPie Included in Twister OS Install