Kinda-vintage internet-connected spinning-LED bulletin-board
Timespan: June - August 2022
Last year I co-opted an Olympia InfoGlobe display with an ESP8266 and made the code public here.
A middle school teacher was cleaning out their closet and wanted to throw away their InfoGlobe. A valid decision, considering that it's useless without a landline phone and spheres don't pack efficiently. I promised them I'd make something cool with it and saved it from the landfill, at least for a few years.
I started playing with Arduinos to make this thing say what I wanted, and I got kinda close but never figured out the delays in the IR messaging protocol.
I revisited it a few years later, while working at a software company. During the day, I'd get tired of looking at computer screens for hours on end, and wanted some way to talk to my friends when I got home that didn't involve typing at them on my phone or computer. The reader may mention letters or other physical artifacts, but I also wanted semi-instantaneous communication.
With my newfound electrical engineering skills, I vanquished the timing issue and got consistent messages to show up on the InfoGlobe.
Then I created a website where anyone could leave messages to be displayed on my 'globe. This is totally unmoderated, so do not get mad at me if it says something mean about anyone.
I also added the time and date as possible messages, because it was easy. Actually it wasn't super easy, since the ESP8266 has no geo-locating features and I didn't want to add them. Basically, there's a secret webpage I can visit on the infoglobe site which sets the time zone offset for the infoglobe. Assuming only I visit the page, then the infoglobe's time will always match my timezone.
Here's what the the current website looks like. If you are a designer and want to make it look less like an eyesore please hit me up. I have no money but it is a very simple page, and maybe you like the concept enough to send me a Figma link :)
Anyway, here's the website where you can write messages: aksuper7.pythonanywhere.com