Posts with «ascii» label

The Other Kind of Phone Hacking

While it’s true that your parts bin might have a few parts harvested from outdated devices of recent vintage, there’s not much to glean anymore aside from wall warts. But the 3×48-character LCD from [Kerry Wong]’s old Uniden cordless landline phone was tempting enough for him to attempt a teardown and reverse engineering, and the results were instructive.

No data sheet? No problem. [Kerry] couldn’t find anything out about the nicely backlit display, so onto the logic analyzer it went. With only eight leads from the main board to the display module, it wasn’t likely to be a parallel protocol, and the video below shows that to be the case. A little fiddling with the parameters showed the protocol was Serial Peripheral Interface, but as with other standards that aren’t exactly standardized, [Kerry] was left with enough ambiguity to make the analysis interesting. Despite a mysterious header of 39 characters, he was able in the end to drive the LCD with an Arduino, and given that these phones were usually sold as a bundle with a base and several handsets, he ought to have a nice collection of displays for the parts bin.

With how prevalent this protocol has gotten, [Kerry]’s post makes us want to get up to speed on the basics of SPI. And to buy a logic analyzer too.

Filed under: misc hacks, teardown

Hacked typewriter prints selfies as ASCII art

Last year, Moscow-based artist Dmitry Morozov — known by many as ::vtol:: — came up with a far less modern way of taking selfies. The Maker modified an old Brother SX-4000 typewriter to create portraits in the form of ASCII art.

The machine, called “i/o,” is controlled by an Arduino Mega and works by capturing an image using an iSight camera (with the help of a lamp for proper lighting), converting it into ASCII art using Pure Data and MAX/MSP, and then gradually printing it onto a piece of paper — one alphanumeric character at a time.

Arduino Pinout ASCII art ready to go

To enable easy documentation of pin assignments, BusyDuckMan created a couple of ASCII art of Arduino Uno and Mega boards marking ports, PWM and coms. You can now then simply copy and paste as a comment into your code and document in an easy way how the arduino is connected to other devices:

They can be pasted into code comments, (use /* and */ in the arduino IDE to create a block comment). They can also be useful in forums, when you need a quick arduino diagram, but don’t want to fire up an image editor.



ASCII Art With Pure Data And A Typewriter

[vtol] is quickly becoming our favorite technological artist. Just a few weeks ago he graced us with a Game Boy Camera gun, complete with the classic Game Boy printer. Now, he’s somehow managed to create even lower resolution images with a modified typewriter that produces ASCII art images.

As with everything dealing with typewriters, machine selection is key. [vtol] is using a Brother SX-4000 typewriter for this build, a neat little daisy wheel machine that’s somehow still being made today. The typewriter is controlled by an Arduino Mega that captures an image from a camera, converts it to ASCII art with Pure Data and MAX/MSP, then slowly (and loudly) prints it on a piece of paper one character at a time.

The ASCII art typewriter was recently shown at the 101 Festival where a number of people stood in front of a camera and slowly watched a portrait assemble itself out of individual characters. Check out the video of the exhibit below.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks
Hack a Day 21 Apr 21:00

Clack-Clack FACE gives a typewriter new life as a text-based portrait painter

There's something oddly romantic about taking a piece of archaic technology and giving it new life as a work of 21st century art. Take the Royal Empress typewriter you see above. This particular model was built in 1961 and eventually landed in the hands of Amanda Gelb as graduation gift. She and her fellow classmates, Jinyi Fu and Quingyuan Chen, looked at the hunk of aging metal and saw potential instead of an obsolete writing tool. For their installation at the ITP Winter Show, they wired up each of the keys to an Arduino for tracking what a user types, then paired that with a tiny projector that displays the letters on a sheet of paper wrapped around the platen.

The "face" part of the equation comes from the webcam mounted to the top of the typewriter case. It uses brightness to map a silhouette of the person sitting in front of it and fills only the darkened areas with letters, creating an ASCII portrait in real time. The code also automatically loops the letters you type, so even if you press only a single key the picture will appear. Of course, you could also type out a love letter or a quick blog post and the whole thing will be wrapped inside the confines of your outline. When you're done, you can press the re-labeled print key and a laser printer spits out your portrait.

While there are already plenty of apps and sites out there that will automatically create ASCII versions of images, there's something alluring about sitting in front of gorgeous piece of hardware and creating it live. Plus, there are few things in this world as satisfying as pressing down the stiff keys of an old typewriter, hearing the titular onomatopoeia and seeing the letter appear before you. Especially when you know you're creating a work of art, even if you're a terrible writer.%Gallery-slideshow157402%

Filed under: Misc, Alt


Engadget 17 Dec 00:55