Classic Macintosh Receives Trendy ePaper Conversion



Classic computer systems are true collectors’ objects, so we don’t condone hacking them aside. However generally the unique electronics are past restore or lacking altogether. In such a case, we assist modification to convey new life to those retro beauties. Such was the case for Dave Luna, who added an enormous ePaper show to a Macintosh Traditional II shell.

The Traditional II was the final Macintosh (and Apple pc generally) to launch with a black-and-white display screen. So this 16-color grayscale ePaper show appears proper at residence rather than the unique cathode-ray tube. The display screen comes from Waveshare and is a big 9.7” mannequin with a decision of 1200×825, making it only a tad wider than a conventional 4:3 side ratio monitor. Waveshare gives a HAT for Raspberry Pi computer systems to make video output simple and that’s what Luna selected to make use of for this undertaking.

With the entire authentic digital elements lacking, there was tons of house out there inside the Traditional II shell for a Raspberry Pi 3 Mannequin B single-board pc, the Waveshare HAT, and even a pair of powered Acer USB audio system. An Arduino Micro board acts as an adapter between the Raspberry Pi’s USB port and the unique keyboard and mouse. These initially linked to the Apple Desktop Bus, however a TMK Arduino library handles the interpretation to allow them to connect with any fashionable pc as USB HID peripherals.

Luna’s major goal for this transformed Traditional II is displaying household photographs. He wrote a customized Python script with a GUI that mimics the Macintosh desktop and reveals every picture in a window. However Luna selected a singular technique to get the photographs to the pc. These photographs reside in a household Google Photographs album and Luna didn’t wish to fiddle with the Google Photographs API. As an alternative, he linked a Chromecast to the Raspberry Pi’s digicam port by means of a particular Waveshare adapter. An HDMI splitter strips the usual copy safety from the video sign and the Python script captures stills from the feed because the Chromecast runs in ambient mode.

That’s a reasonably convoluted approach to show a photograph album, nevertheless it works. The Traditional II may act as a easy digital clock if Luna will get bored with taking a look at photographs of his household.

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