Standalone printer display hack

print_joke

[Sprite_tm] sent us his latest project. He has found a way to display custom messages on a laserjet printer without a computer.   He’s using an ATTiny2313 to send signals through a parallel port. This project is so cheap and quick to install it could be disposable. Just program your message before hand, pop it on and walk away.

Comments

  1. rsolmn says:

    I’m sure thatguy or gal wasn’t happy.

  2. corn brown says:

    cool except…you’ll have to travel back to 1996 to use it in a widespread manner.

  3. Coderer says:

    @corn brown: you’ve never worked with a government office, have you? We’ll have parallel ports when your grandkids are waiting in line at the DMV.

  4. mike says:

    I work in a municipal government office, and a new printer is a big thing, meaning entire departments will spend a year or 2 analyzing things then put it in the budget and get something mediocre that will be good for a couple years and need replaced, and then 10 years later they realize how old this “new” printer is. (yes, we do have old parallel stuff, shoot we still have a few tractor feed printers)

  5. anonymous coward says:

    Student: Can I get change for a dollar.
    Helpdesk: There’s a change machine next to the vending machines.
    Student: I know, but I need change for the printer.
    Helpdesk: ???
    Student: It says “INSERT COIN”
    Backoffice techs: [giggle]

  6. Jon says:

    This website (http://kovaya.com/miscellany/2007/10/insert-coin.html) has a little perl script for changing the display over the network.

    It works, I’ve tried it. Many offices use HP network printers.

  7. amk says:

    neat. it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to adapt this idea to work over USB, for those of us who don’t work in government offices.

  8. Jack says:

    ‘PC load letter?’ what the fuck??

  9. _matt says:

    “Please plug me in before printing”
    “Go away”
    “Press ctrl-alt-delete to begin”
    “WRYYYYYYYYYY”
    “Place keyboard on head then select paper size”
    “How do I printed paper?”

    The possibilities are endless

  10. ArtemisGoldfish says:

    I have an HP Laserjet 5 (got from Salvation Army, $5. Works great, too) and I’m gonna see if I can get this to work through the serial port instead.

  11. y8 says:

    “Please plug me in before printing”
    “Go away”
    “Press ctrl-alt-delete to begin”
    “WRYYYYYYYYYY”
    “Place keyboard on head then select paper size”
    “How do I printed paper?”
    ??????

  12. eMpTy says:

    ascii tongue anyone?

  13. Josh says:

    lp0 on fire

  14. null says:

    @ #6 – jon

    No need to download little programs to do this…
    Telnet onto port 9100, type @PJL RDYMSG DISPLAY=”MESSAGE”
    Simple as that.

  15. EZ Computers says:

    very cool idea, only problem is that no printers use parallel ports now a days…

  16. dazzam says:

    @jon ( and @null)

    be aware that @PJL needs to be in capitals when using telnet to change the display.

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