I concur. Heck, I even have an old Panasonic analog PBX, so I have to dial 9 to get an outside line on my old Western Electric rotary phones from the early 20th century. They still work just fine, thank you. (There is DSL on my second line for access to Slashdot and videos of cute kittens playing in boxes.)
We have at least a hundred LEGO sets from various of the "unimaginative" series from Harry Potter to Star Wars to the underwater things. They get built once according to the book, then they gradually get taken apart and mixed in with the giant bins of random LEGO parts. All these strangely shaped and colored parts mix together quite well, and my children have had no trouble whatsoever in creating weird fan-fic style mashup vehicles and action sets.
The author could have done some research on battery packs instead of hacking up a laptop pack as he did. There is a company called batteryspace.com that sells multi-cell Li-ion packs with a protection circuit built in. They're not cheap, but they are reasonably safe.