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Apr 062010

NYC Resistor was invited to exhibit our old Teletype Model 15 at Eyebeam’s MIXER event last March.  To make life interesting, we used a small Python program to grab tweets from Twitter matching the “eyebeam” keyword.  Watching a 50+ year old device once used to bang out the news of the day turn to printing the trivialities of the moment seems to echo the fate of professional journalists as the world’s attention span dwindles. To make things more interesting, we used a sentiment analysis algorithm to parse incoming tweets for positive or negative sentiment. The results were reflected on an old chart plotter. Positive sentiments moved the mark left. The middle of the paper represented neutral sentiment. Click the image for more photos and a video awaits after the break.

Twitter Sentiment Analysis and Vintage Printing

Check out the video below for a brief explanation of how it works.  Two Arduino boards were used to drive the chart plotter and the Teletype.  Python with the Tweepy module and natural language toolkit was used for the interface to Twitter.

Special thanks to John Nagle for his guidance in getting the Teletype working, and to Trammel, Chris and Zach for the on-the-spot debugging. Thanks to Bre for the hot logos.  Credit for the project goes to Adam Mayer, Mark Tabry, Hilary Mason, and myself (wwward.)

Video by Eric Skiff

 Posted by at 8:44 pm

  3 Responses to “NYC Resistor’s Twitter Teletype”

Comments (3)
  1. I'll add more details later, I'm all out of steam for this round. Also, the historical term for a “one/zero” in this context is “mark/space.”

    The most difficult part of this project was sorting out minor timing issues. The future of this project is a chat room called “Telehax” to connect hackerspaces together using very old devices to output what amounts to a chat room.

  2. this is lovely!

  3. Quite an awesome display of very well thought out creativity.

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