In the past days, telex machines and dot matrix printers with continuous paper feed output large amounts of data in hard copy form in offices around the world. [Jan derogee] wanted a bit of that old-fashioned charm, so he began to build an RSS news printer with an old printer in his hand.
This version relies on esp8266. The microcontroller supporting WiFi can jump online and query the content in RSS feed at any time. It gets the title, description and publication date information from the XML file and formats it for output to the printer. Then, the microcontroller outputs the data to the brother hr-5c printer through the Commodore serial interface. Unlike contemporary dot matrix printers, hr-5c is a thermal printer. Once a suitable roll of paper is loaded, it can print continuously without any ink ribbon that is difficult to obtain.
With the continuous supply of wireless Internet and 210mm thermal printing paper, [Jan]’s system should be able to provide him with news summaries for the next few years. We’ve seen similar retro news programs before. Video after break.