Little Box of Geek from Geek Gurl Diaries
The magnificent Miss Philbin from Geek Gurl Diaries has been having fun with a Raspberry Pi, a thermal printer (the sort that till receipts are printed out on) and a big shiny button. She’s made a little Python fortune-telling box, which prints off geek pronouncements when the button’s pressed.
Miss Philbin is the sort of teacher you always wanted. She has some video which will take you step-by-step through setting up the printer, connecting it to the Pi’s GPIO, sorting out the serial port on your Pi, pulling thermal printer Python libraries off Github and getting the thing printing. That sort of thing might sound intimidating to beginners, but Carrie Anne is so good at explaining what’s going on that even those who have never picked up a Pi or used Linux before will be able to follow the tutorial. It’s a really good project if you’re somebody who wants to dive straight in to electronics engineering from a standing start. You’ll learn something, you’ll have made something fun, and you’ll never be afraid of wire strippers again.
There’s a full and very detailed blog post to accompany this video at Geek Gurl Diaries. You’ll find part two of the tutorial at Geek Gurl Diaries too (part two is, if anything, even more fun) along with more video. Get to it – and let us know if you give it a whirl!
Thanks Carrie Anne!
Looks fun can’t lie, but thats a $200 project! :S
Raspberry Pi Staff liz — post author
You can always cannibalise parts later for other projects. Every part in there can be used again for something else.
I’m wondering of its possible to print small PCB layouts with a thermal printer… is the pixel density big enough or is there gaps?
What a hoot. Very well done vid too.
Thermal printers cause bph poisoning brahs, be careful.
i mean bpa
This is a most impressive video series. I watched it and also Part 2 and I am amazed by how great the content is. Especially appealing is how the videos are accompanied by blog posts giving the exact project details textually. This will help me work more with my own Raspberry Pi. I hope that these videos will still be around in 10 years so that younger generations can benefit from them. Perhaps DVDs of the “Diaries” series can be sold along with he blog content. I am amused to see that Tesco packaging can support a thermal printer. The box top does seem to “give” a little too much when the button is pressed. Perhaps the box top can be strengthened from the underside? Maybe by gluing popsicle sticks or ice cream sticks to it to act as a kind of frame. Thanks for a great series!
I’ve made a similar comment on Geek Gurl Diaries, but I think it bears repeating.
Showing someone how to make something is good, but showing how to test as you go along is superb! It is something that should be emphasized (emphasised) more often.
Nice job, Geek Gurl.
Carrie Anne Philbin
Thank you for your kind words and support for my work. I will endeavour to make sure I always show testing phases in all my future videos. If you have any further ideas for content then please let me know via @GeekGurlDiaries or
I’m new, and i’m wondering, if I were to use it as a computer, does it have to run linux or is it compatible with other OS’s too?