Replica Fallout Terminal

If you’ve played Fallout 4, you’re familiar with the wall-mounted terminals in the game. They’ve got a post-apocalyptic aesthetic and the glowing green screen that calls out to anyone that grew up with computers and hacker movies from the 80s and 90s. Remember the first time you set your command line text to green? Don’t be embarrassed, we were all young once.

[PowerUpProps] liked the Fallout terminal so much they developed a replica. It’s a build that leans heavily on maker standards, a Raspberry Pi and 3D printing form the basis of the terminal. With ready access to such powerful tools, it makes starting such a project much more approachable. The key to the success of this build is the fine attention to detail in the finishing – the paint job looks incredible, and when photographed appropriately, it could be mistaken for the real thing an in-game screenshot.

An interesting touch is the use of a dark green acrylic window in front of the LCD, which gives the display a tinted hue. We’d like to see this compared with a clear glass window with a classic fishbowl curve to it, combined with greening up in software. The creator readily admits that this looks great at the command line, but is somewhat of a letdown when using the GUI.

Perhaps the only thing the prop build could use is some sort of user interface — the keyboard is only 3D printed and there’s no mouse or other pointing device included. There are some creative solutions to this problem, which we often see in other Fallout projects, like the ever popular Pip-Boy replica builds.

[Thanks to Sjoerd for the tip!]

28 thoughts on “Replica Fallout Terminal

  1. Don’t need to be young to enjoy green text – it’s restful on the eyes. For at least the last quarter century, the four xterms which populate my desktop have been yellow on darkslategrey – except for the mutt window, where emails come in green.
    The biggie for avoiding eyestrain is to eschew a white background, I find.

    1. If you are writing this, then you would probably love the “f.lux” tool:
      f.lux adjusts the color temperature of the screens after sunset, and this makes a huge difference for the eyes comfort and for the sleep patterns.

      At the beginning I thought is based on some placebo effect, but I was wrong. Once you get used to f.lux, you will crave for it when it’s missing. To me, a computer without f.lux is like a mouse without the scroll wheel.

      1. IMO – f.lux looked ugly (felt like limited dynamic range or something). And where I live, in winter, day length at the minimum is less than 6 hours. So – at work, if you code, but need to look up colors occasionally… not working.

        1. Except imho the mouse wheel *increases* usability, not hinders it like Metro/Modern UI does on non-touchscreens. I just can’t see myself using Windows 10 seriously, and Modern/Metro is the secondary reason for this.

    2. Yah, first you’re a wiener and copy the grown ups without having the first freaking clue about what you’re doing or why, then you have your immature rebellion period where you try to be anti-cool and fuck up a lot, then you finally become a grown up and realise that there are actual reasons for things. Protestations against green text (And mechanical keyboards and headphone jacks.) belong in the immature category. If you can’t figure out why, then you don’t spend long enough reading text off screens and therefore your opinion doesn’t matter.

      For reasons of wanting to spend long periods COMFORTABLY reading eBooks, I heartily recommend the highly customisable FBreader available for android and many other platforms. Green on black, edge to edge, no margins wasting screen real estate (It’s got a freaking bezel around the screen, why the actual F would I need more border????) adjust font and kerning and you can read comfortably on ANY android device, yes even 3″ screen 7 year old, no you don’t get one sentence crammed in a postage stamp due to the menu and tool bars and borders. (Okay, you might at first run, but take the helm, make it so.)

      1. As far as readability, there’s a difference between a monochrome green screen, and an RGB one showing green. The old CRT terminals used a constant sheet of phosphor on the glass, not RGB dots. Some ergonomic tests or other showed it was much easier to read. Green was most popular but I’ve used amber and white monochrome screens too, and they’re fine.

        I keep wanting to find a serial terminal and hook it up to the PC, but all the ones you can buy are horribly expensive, like 300 quid or more. I suppose they’re all old stock, looking to sell them to users who have a lot of investment in an old system, where it would be expensive for them to update everything. As time goes on, I suppose there’ll be less and less people needing old hardware like that, but those that do will be more and more valuable.

        I could go hunting in skips, but where the hell do you even start? I reckon the golden days of serial-terminal salvaging were at some point in the 1990s.

  2. “Perhaps the only thing the prop build could use is some sort of user interface — the keyboard is only 3D printed and there’s no mouse or other pointing device included.”

    Mouse? Pointing device? Surely you jest?

    1. You can do anything with just a keyboard, especially in the linux console.
      If you need a mouse (e.g. for games or image editing), add a webcam and use OpenCV to track head rotation. Or add a trackball somewhere.

      1. Had a surplus Apple Monitor III attached to my Atari 130XE for a while before I got a color monitor. Also had a VT420 with a green screen. Still have a VT220 with amber screen which is nice on the eyes.

      2. I’ve probably still got one, maybe even 2. Know there’s a 90s one, that was part of a POS, with a whiter, lower persistence green. Then mayyybe there was an earlier 80s, greeny green, high persistence one still around …

        High persistence ones were ahem, “fun” to use with win 3.1 herc mono driver, you’d lose your pointer half the time in the blur. DOS games, you’d have a 2 inch long comet tail behind your sprite.

  3. Dude, it’s why not! It’s freaking awesome!

    (Although I was thinking more along the lines of the desk-based Fallout 3 terminals for my own projects if I were to make one… Still, there are some real-life terminal machines that come preeetty close actually, so I might just pick up one of those if the circumstances are right.)

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