Spamming a label printer with #cookiehammer

[John] has always loved stock ticker machines. These machines are highly collectible, so short of finding one that wasn’t hurled from a Manhattan skyscraper in 1929, a stock ticker is out of reach for the casual enthusiast. There is another way to get a stock ticker-like device though: hack a label printer to print out stuff from Twitter.

The build is really quite simple. A Dymo thermal label printer was modified to accept standard 2.25″ point of sale receipt paper. Now that the printer can shoot out line after line of text, [John] wrote a little bit of Ruby code using a Twitter API, RMagick for graphics processing and a Dymo printer driver.

Every 30 seconds, the code does a Twitter search for a specific hashtag and prints those tweets. #cookiehammer was the first thing that came to mind, so it stuck. Right now there’s a few tweets for #cookiehammer, but we expect [John] will have to put a new roll of paper in his printer fairly soon.

It may not be as informative as a stock ticker machine, but we think [John]‘s twitter printer build sure beats watching CNN. Check out the walk through after the break.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    I love how the title already created two tweets with that hashtag to be created (@hackaday and @hackadayrss)…

  2. SK says:

    Cool and all, but why?

  3. Pölsa says:

    i guess you can only use old dymo pritner verisons with that?
    anyone know btw if there’s a hack to use the newer generation dymo printers with the non OEM labels?

  4. Answerawake says:

    The song playing in the background is Mt Eden Dubstep – Still Alive

    I love that song!

    If possible, play that song in the background again in the future.

  5. Answerawake says:

    What text editor is he using? I like the colors and font of the code.

  6. rasz says:

    dont like thermal printers, scared of BPA

  7. Till says:

    I did something like this two years ago:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfg/sets/72157623026358605/

    Completely useless, but kinda funny!

  8. Harrison says:

    Would you share the code as i saw this and wanted to make something the same but dont know ruby so started to learn and got HTTP Get to work but would like to see your logic.

  9. riney says:

    I posted the code to github at https://github.com/riney/tickertweet-proto

    It’s ugly. Don’t judge! :)

    –riney

  10. EtsDriver says:

    Im happy that dymo releases sdk for their printer drivers and etc. Gonna hack my new 450 soon… And my rhino5200 may too be under the screwdriver… ;)

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