Twittjr

twittjr

Got an IBM PCjr laying around? Why not turn it into a twitter browsing machine? [Alex Grant] did this for the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Creativity and Innovation festival. You can enter search terms into the Twittjr and it will display the top 3 results from twitter. Leave it alone for a minute and it will refresh on its own. To make this happen, the Twittjr is connecting to another computer that is utilizing the twitter API to make the searches. The results are then pushed back to the Twittjr for display. All of this is done via the original modem. While [Alex] takes a moment to explain what twitter is, we feel it might be better to explain what a modem is. You see, back when the PCjr was new, we really did communicate via an analog signal over the phone lines at roughly 300 baud.

[thanks Chris]

Comments

  1. strider_mt2k says:

    Awww, poor thing.
    It’s cool that the other computer is there to do the grunt work for it.

    I never really equated twitter with messaging on a land line BBS, but some interesting parallels are drawn aren’t they?

    Because how interesting would it be to have a land line BBS you could leave twitter messages on?

    Where do i contact he sysop?

  2. I just can’t catch it! What is the difference between this PCJr and a serial terminal or even an LCD with a microcontroller?

    What a waste :oP sometimes seems that hack-a-day hasn’t anything better to put online.

  3. ryan leach says:

    the fact its old school and retro-like make it look so much more “hack-like” due to mixing old and new technology, half the time it isn’t about functionality but, “look what we did”

  4. OMorgan says:

    I’m sorry, why is the even news? The PCjr is just acting as a dumb display terminal. A Teletype would be interesting due to the special current loop interface required between the host and teletype … a stock ticker would be interesting … but a PCjr ? No, sorry.

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    Yes what a waste to have gotten use from a old computer.

    How unlike hackaday.

    (???)

  6. JB says:

    interesting as retro goes, but it is really a very power hungry “display” to say the least. As others said, a LCD with a controller would have been a better choice.

  7. chugdiesel says:

    I go to the school where that was made! i saw it! irl! woop! go RIT!

  8. misha says:

    does it have an RS-232 port ? it would be a lot more interesting if they did an RS-232-ethernet circuit (via an atmel or arduino) to actually connect to twitter and do the work.

    what someone needs to do is create a fake floppy interface for these old machines so people can easily copy files to them and make more hacks, since finding floppy disks is a chore.

  9. fluxster says:

    twitter is not new, if anyone that has a radio background(ham) could see that packet radio 20 years was the norm as a node…working on 2m(147 mhz) freq. coneect thru a protocol(special interface modem)then thru a computer then via radio send your packet(twitter)on down the line..local nodes..some were gateways (or wormholes)..back then it was more wattage for further transmission…and the old monitors was all we had….green and/or orange monochrome off an old hercules graphics card…now that was fun!!!!

  10. Wwhat says:

    I have to agree that although it’s cute, the space it takes and the power it uses makes it not something you’d keep running.
    It’s like building a 300 watt alarmclock :)

  11. Johnny Johnserson says:

    “Got an IBM PCjr laying around? Why not turn it into a twitter browsing machine?”

    Because twitter is fucking gay and I’d rather sacrifice a PCJr to the recyclers than force it to display the stupidest technology to come out of Web 2.0?

  12. mosheen says:

    I’v grown so tired of reading about twitter. It’s such a silly fad.

  13. will d. says:

    i like the picture, but hate for twitter and love for the pc jr equal out into a blah sort of feeling.

  14. anon says:

    @johnny johnserson
    Exactly. I’m sick of twitter articles.
    “Look! My toilet twitters when I flush lololololz!”
    Stop filling the internet with (more) useless bullshit.

  15. Misha: It does have an RS-232 port, and this is what is being used in the example setup to use the modem over.

  16. tikka says:

    The nasty comments are far worse than the article.

  17. tikka says:

    The nasty comments are far worse than the article.


    I remember using computers like these and I am feeling the nostalgia.

  18. ithink says:

    i think the nasty comments are called for in the case of twitter.
    one of the ‘news’ websites did a fashion write up on the ‘geniuses’ that invented twitter.
    good grief.

  19. Wwhat says:

    At least twitter is limited in the message length so it doesn’t impact internet that much.
    And once somebody hacks half a billion people with a tiny url link I’m sure it’ll lose popularity.

  20. original-green says:

    The reason they call it Twitter is that only Twits use it. Why would I care what ANYONE does every minute of the freakin’ day?

  21. getatme says:

    Yes, lets bash a web 2.0 technology that does nothing but allow friends to see what everyone is doing in the quick pace of modern times. Stop bashing twitter because you only have one or two close friends. That is your choice to have a a few close friends as well as your choice as how you contact them. No one judges you and the comment mechanism of almost all web 2.0 websites because that is how some people communicate. Learn to invent/hack/code and then talk.

  22. Pip says:

    300 baud, geez, I feel old now! I remember having a 1200 when it was considered fast. Then my best friend got a 2400 before I did and all I did was whine. I never had a faster modem than him again. :(

    I miss the intimacy of the BBS, my first was my neighbor.

  23. Anonymous says:

    “Why not turn it into a twitter browsing machine?”

    I can think of at least three reasons.

  24. cptfalcon says:

    @fluxter

    I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic, and I’m no fan of twitter, but what you describe is quite a bit different and cooler :)

    Just because a bike and a car provide similar functionality does not mean they are the same…

  25. Josh says:

    Making something old interface with something new is cool. Making an old computer access TWITTER, not so cool. Try making it do something more interesting, like count sand.

  26. fluxster says:

    @ cptfalcon

    no not sarcastic, just thru observation of technology, it has the same concept. we used a radio and computer with a special interface(tnc)
    on a freq. in the mhz(147)sending dos (text mesaages). twitter on the other hand uses a cell phone (which is almost technically a radio) uses a computer interface(built in)and sends text messages (dos base)over the air in the digital spectrum (gigahertz). only we were doing 20 years ago on IBM XT with 4 megs of ram and green monochrome monitors…..just look up PACKET Radio

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