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Typewriter turned into a computer

Artillect converted his Brother typewriter into a Linux terminal – with documentation and files.
Published October 9, 2022

After months of work, Artillect turned his Brother AX-25 electronic typewriter into a computer – well, a Linux terminal running on a Raspberry Pi Zero.

It's a fully functional computer running Linux: you can use it to do nearly anything that you'd do in a terminal.

Here is a video of the author editing a document using the ed text editor, and also a sound test with the typewriter turned off.

The device is powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero running in headless mode, with an Arduino Nano connected to it over serial. The Arduino controls the typewriter and scans the keyboard, and the Raspberry Pi provides access to a terminal over the serial port.

The keyboard uses clicky Matias Alps switches.

The PCB was sponsored by PCBWay (discount code).


The source code and the KiCAD project files are available on GitHub.

Published on Sun 9th Oct 2022. Featured in KBD #99 (source).

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