Posts with «typewriter» label

48 Solenoids Transform This 1960s Typewriter into a Computer Printer

Several years ago, Chris Gregg, a Tufts University lecturer and computer engineer, received a letter from his friend Erica. This wouldn’t be so unusual, except that it was typed on an actual typewriter, not a printer. Gregg is a fan of vintage typewriters, but, as with myself, makes many mistakes, […]

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Typewriter Types, Plays Music

[Chris Gregg] had a dream. He wanted to convert use a typewriter as a printer. Sure this has been done before, but [Chris] wanted to create his own version. He picked up a 60’s era Smith Corona electric typewriter, with the hopes of driving its key switches with a computer. You can imagine his surprise when he discovered the keys were not electric switches at all, but a complex mechanical system which triggered a clutch to strike the actual paper. Realizing this was not going to be a simple wiring job, [Chris] set the project aside, where it remained for several years.

A conversation with [Bruce Molay], a coworker at Tufts University reignited [Chris’] interest in project. [Bruce] suggested using solenoids to press the keys. [Chris] dove in, and quickly had 48 solenoids on hand. The first problem was mounting the solenoids on the keys. [Chris’] roommate happens to be [Derek Seabury], president of Artisan’s Asylum Hackerspace. [Derek] created an acrylic frame which holds the solenoids and fits directly over the typewriter’s keyboard. This meant that no modifications needed to be made to the typewriter itself. Simply lift off the solenoid array and you’re ready to rock like it’s 1965.

The next step was driving all those solenoids. For that, Chris worked with [Kate Wasynczuk], one of his students at Tufts. [Chris] designed a board using Texas Instruments  TPIC6A595 shift registers. The TIPC “power logic” series work like regular 74 series logic, but have seriously beefy outputs. These chips can handle up to 50 volts and 1.5 amps pulsed output current – plenty for [Chris’] 24 volt solenoids. [Chris] taught himself schematic entry and PCB layout in Eagle. After only two tries, he had a working board from OSHPark.

An Arduino Uno converts serial over USB output to a bit stream ready to clock into the shift registers. On the computer side, [Chris] wrote up a basic CUPS driver which allows him to print from his Macbook. The perfect demo for this project turned out to be musical. Click past the break to see The Smith Corona perform “The Typewriter Symphony”, by Leroy Anderson. This may be the first time this particular piece of music has been performed with actual words being typed, rather than random keys.

Here’s a classic version of “The Typewriter Symphony”


Filed under: classic hacks

In Russia, you have to type out your selfies

Dimitry Morozov, better known as vtol, is a Russian musician, engineer and artist who decided that selfies were far too modern for his liking. Instead, he wanted people to wait for their gratification, and so hooked up an iSight camera to an Arduino-controlled Brother sx-4000 typewriter. Once a person sticks their face in front of the machine, named i/o, the typewriter painstakingly hammers out a portrait in ASCII art. The hardware was shown off at the 101 festival in Smolny, St. Petersburg in Russia, which ended earlier this month - but you can still see the device in action if you watch the video.

Filed under: Misc

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Via: Kotaku

Source: vtol

Engadget 24 Apr 18:38
arduino  art  design  dimitrymorozov  io  misc  typewriter  video  vtol  

Selfie typewriter hammers out ASCII portraits

Dimitry Morozov, better known as vtol, is a Russian musician, engineer and artist who decided that selfies were far too modern for his liking. Instead, he wanted people to wait for their gratification, and so hooked up an iSight camera to an Arduino-controlled Brother sx-4000 typewriter. Once a person sticks their face in front of the machine, named i/o, the typewriter painstakingly hammers out a portrait in ASCII art. The hardware was shown off at the 101 festival in Smolny, St. Petersburg in Russia, which ended earlier this month - but you can still see the device in action if you watch the video.

Via: Kotaku

Source: vtol

Engadget 24 Apr 18:38
arduino  art  design  dimitrymorozov  io  misc  typewriter  video  vtol  

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

Student upgrades a 1930s typewriter for modern-day messaging

When people restore old typewriters, they mostly just make them (1) look new and (2) usable again. Joe Hounsham from Plymouth University in the UK, however, had other ideas in mind: he took one and added the appropriate upgrades to turn it a high-tech typewriter that connects to the internet. To be precise, Hounsham's device called Dico connects you to a random person from a chat room -- in fact, it starts looking for a stranger to talk to as soon as its ultrasonic sensor feels you approaching. The other person's messages are then processed by an Arduino microcontroller, which controls the solenoids the pulls down the keys on the typewriter. Yes, a paper serves as the device's "screen," and to reply, you need to type on it, as well.

Filed under: Misc

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Via: Physorg

Source: Plymouth University, Joe Hounsham, IBM Business Mobile Insights

Engadget 17 Oct 07:26

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

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Engadget 17 Dec 00:55