SystemSix is an e-ink display powered by Raspberry Pi 3B and designed to look like an old Mac interface. It’s a delightful whiff of nostalgia for your desk.
What can it do?
Maker j_calhoun has configured their e-ink display to suit their needs. The trash icon shows itself as “full” on Mondays to remind them to take the bins out for collection the next day. You can set this to a day of your choosing and never have to tear up and burn your recycling overflow in the garden fire pit ever again.
The next six calendar events are retrieved from a chosen public calendar and displayed in list view. Calhoun configured their latitude and longitude in the settings so the device can fetch their local weather forecast and display it in the Scrapbook tile.
And in the evenings, SystemSix displays the current phase of the moon.
How is it made?
SystemSix is powered by Raspberry Pi 3 and the display is a Waveshare 5.83″ e-ink display. Source code is written in Python and available on the project author’s GitHub (along with handy installation instructions if you scroll down).
j_calhoun tweaked the project to reduce the number of updates because they found the flickering of frequent updates too distracting. The whole system updates at midnight, and again at 4:05am when local weather forecasts are more accurate for the coming day. The device does attempt an update every hour, just in case something didn’t pull through, but the display will only update (and flicker) if it finds something it missed. At 5:05pm, a final update displays the moon phase image and checks for new calendar entries.
The Mini v Mac emulator is responsible for SystemSix’s retro on-screen aesthetics. To provide a vintage Mac-inspired appearance for the moon phase application, the maker found a photo of the moon in each phase they wanted to display, and uploaded them all to be Atkinson-dithered. (If you too have an image you’d like to see under the classic Macintosh 1-bit filter, you can simply drag and drop it here.)
Everything is housed behind a laser-cut piece of acrylic.
All the images in this blog are lifted from the maker’s project blog, with thanks and kudos.