SystemSix is a classic Macintosh emulation with an e-ink display

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Description

I’ve a non-functional unique Macintosh in my workplace simply as nostalgic ornament, however SystemSix is a super-cute home-built different. Its creator and former Apple engineer J Calhoun describes it as a ‘love-letter to my first Macintosh’ – which was a Macintosh Plus.

It’s a DIY challenge which recreates the entrance panel of a traditional Macintosh, coupled with an e-ink show to emulate the look of the unique machine, whereas a Raspberry Pi provides it a bit of performance …

Calhoun stresses that it’s not an interactive system. It merely pulls in some information and shows it, however that does make it greater than purely ornamental.

Performance is restricted to displaying the content material of a public calendar, native climate, and the present section of the moon. Oh, and as Raspberry Pi notes, there’s one different delightfully quirky characteristic:

The trash icon reveals itself as “full” on Mondays to remind them to take the bins out for assortment the subsequent day. You possibly can set this to a day of your selecting and by no means need to tear up and burn your recycling overflow within the backyard fireplace pit ever once more.

The challenge makes use of the Mini vMac emulator to create the simulated Macintosh interface.

The thought of emulating a Macintosh was really unintentional. The unique challenge was merely to show a calendar and moon phases on an e-ink display screen.

To show the moon in 1-bit (actually black and white) I assumed again to my early Macintosh days. My first Apple laptop was a Macintosh Plus — a machine additionally sporting a crisp, 1-bit show. The school I attended had a flat-bed scanner (cool!) connected to a Macintosh. The software program driving the scanner would convert the scanned picture to black and white by dithering the picture.

The algorithm to do the dithering was little questionInvoice Atkinson‘s. Root across the web and you can see internet sites;that may do the dithering in-browser. You add a picture and may choose the colour palette and the dithering algorithm you desire to.

I discovered some good photographs of the moon in numerous phases on-line, uploaded them to be Atkinson-dithered and was happy with the end result.

However one thing odd occurred on the best way to re-skinning the eInkCalendar. After I noticed the fantastic Atkinson-dithered moon I used to be taken again to the 1-bit magnificence that was my first Mac Plus. I imagined the dithered moon as some form of “desk accent”. Immediately I re-imagined your entire e-ink calendar as a psuedo-Mac desktop with a Moon desk accent — maybe calendar occasions displayed because the names of folders in a Finder window in “checklist view”… This app might double as a fond journey down reminiscence lane.

Yow will discover all the main points on Calhoun’s weblog, and the software program is accessible on GitHub.

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