Tag: raspberry

MEMEX @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

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The MEMEX is a historical vision of an american scientist, published in 1945, but never realized. It is a „device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library“ based on microfilm technology. The most important idea is the creation of “trails”: links between pages – the first hyperlinks.

This interpretation of the MEMEX vision is based on digital components. The user can search the library, browse documents and create trails in a way that is very close to the original idea. The user interface is very simple but powerful.

My talk on the basic MEMEX idea and this exhibit at the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin 2015 can be watched here (in german language).

Hardware 4x Raspberry Pi, Arduino with 64-button-shield, TFT
PC as database server
Software distributed python-based sofware, communicating over XMLRPC

 

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)

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Displays

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Camera

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Keyboard

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Keyboard detail

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Display detail

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Keyboard – bottom side


Packet Routing @ Das Netz

Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein

IMG_9223 This device shows a network of 18 nodes and 27 edges that form a model of the internet. Messages can be send betweeen 4 terminals. These messages are split into data packets that are reassembled at the receiving terminal. The routing of the packets depends on the different base speed of the connections and the current network load. Nodes (routers) can be disabled to simulate network outages.

The data flow is visualized using flip-dots (mechanical bistable display elements). A high load on the network can be experienced as a real motion with an acoustical effect.

The whole exhibit is covered under a glass panel, all 30 buttons are touch-sensitive capacitive elements.

Main controller Raspberry Pi, python-based software
Distributed controllers 31x ARM microcontroller (PSoC 4)
Data bus RS 485 (2-wire and 4-wire versions)

(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)

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Terminal with input and output buffer

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Node detail with controller board

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Network with nodes and connections

>> Click here to see videos showing prototypes and the development process of this exhibit


Building a MEMEX

I recently started building a MEMEX device for a new exhibition “Das Netz” in the Berlin Museum of Technolgy. The MEMEX is a vision of a scientist from the 1940s about future knowledge management based on microfilms.

MEMEX

The exhibit will use computer components instead but it will simulate the look and feel of a microfilm device. At the moment I have fully functional software simulation (coded in python) of the device to define and test the complete user interface and the typical processes.

MemexSim

In the next step we will build the components (database, displays, keyboard and camera) as independent modules. These modules will communicate over a standard ethernet connection.

The current design is the following:

Database fanless PC with a MongoDB server (Linux)
Monitors Raspberry Pi with a 13.3″ Display (software: python)
Keyboard Arduino with a 64-Button-Shield, Buttons and a transport lever
Camera Raspberry Pi with a RaspiCam (software: python)