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]

26 thoughts on “Twittjr

  1. 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’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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!!!

  6. 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 :)

  7. “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?

  8. @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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. @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…

  14. 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.

  15. @ 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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