April 2020 - present
An Olivetti Te-318 teleprinter (tty) is used as a terminal or console for a Raspberry Pi single board computer running Linux. A modified version of the Perl application oysttyer enables the teleprinter to be used to receive the timeline for the Twitter user account @OlivettiTTY. The
oysttyer client is interactive -- tweets can be sent, liked, and retweeted. The teleprinter creates a paper hardcopy timeline, and can also record it to paper punch tape. An incoming tweet rings the teleprinter bell once.
A tweet sent to @OlivettiTTY with
ppt: in the body starts and stops the paper tape punch (reperforator) using control characters
DC4 (0x12 and 0x14, respectively) in the modified
oysttyer client. The accompanying tweet text is punched to paper tape. Each "pptweet" rings the teleprinter bell twice as an indicator to the operator that a punch tweet was received. Sequences of certain ASCII characters can be used to generate bit patterns that read as roman letters and numbers in the punch tape.
While the teleprinter is running, a video is streamed to provide real-time experience for remote users to see (and hear) their tweets being printed and punched. Multiple modes of interaction -- by sending, liking, retweeting, and replying to tweets on twitter and watching and commenting through the online streaming platform -- produce a multi-user collaboration experience.
Olivetti TE-318 for more information on the Olivetti TE-318 teleprinter.