Watch any tech-inspired film from the Eighties (we’re considering Wargames, Aliens and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and there’ll inevitably be a scene with low-res textual content slowly scrolling throughout a burnt-out CRT display screen. This venture from SomePeopleCallMeJJ (Jeff Jetton) takes a unique angle to the numerous “magic mirrors.” It makes use of an outdated CCTV monitor and a Raspberry Pi to indicate us the most recent information, with an Eighties twist.
The RetroFeed venture makes use of a Raspberry Pi — we’re unsure which mannequin however provided that it outputs scrolling textual content, any mannequin can have the ability to do that. With the appropriate equipment, even a Raspberry Pi Pico W may do the job. The Pi is related to an outdated CCTV monitor, utilizing composite output, which slowly scrolls a sequence of stories and finance headlines, climate information and the placement of the Worldwide Area Station throughout the display screen. Relatively than dump the whole lot directly,the venture slowly varieties the textual content, which Jetton likens to Don Lancaster’s TV Typewriter, utilizing random horizontal parking positions to scale back display screen burn in. Every little thing is text-based and on the tremendous low decision of 80×24 characters.
So the place does the info come from? The Raspberry Pi scrapes the info utilizing the Python requests library, with every feed (information, finance, ISS, climate) having its personal module. These modules are imported by the primary newsfeed.py file, and with just a little parsing and formatting the info is output to the delightfully old-school CCTV show.
Jetton is sincere in regards to the state of the venture, “At present that is simply doing a little very clumsy web-scraping, with refreshes at sure intervals. Anticipate the scrapers to interrupt in some unspecified time in the future, if they are not already damaged by the point you learn this.” However we actually do not thoughts this method. It’s sincere, enjoyable and quirky. The retro output of the venture lends itself reasonably nicely to the occasional difficulty. Jetton mentions that the venture is also achieved utilizing APIs and RSS feeds, one thing that we did again in 2020.
Jetton has detailed the steps crucial to recreate the venture through his GitHub repository. You will must route video output to the composite jack (the three.5mm jack on all however the first Raspberry Pi), then modify the boot course of to drop you right into a terminal.