Star Wars IV Played on Vintage ’77 Dumb Terminal
What are we going to do with our newly acquired vintage 1977 Lear Siegler terminal? Why, we’ll play ASCII Star Wars Episode IV on it, of course! Recently purchased at the 2011 Techno Swap Fest, this baby-blue beauty has classic 70′s styling, comfortable keyboard and gets 80 columns on the screen in a lovely white uppercase font. It took some coaxing to get Baby Blue to play along with an Ubuntu-equipped laptop including tweaking some DIP switches hidden inside her chassis, some clever character substitutions in the ASCII Star Wars file, reading the datasheet for the terminal itself (thanks, Wikipedia!), and wiring up both a FTDI USB-to-serial converter and a MAX232 level converter IC. But the results were worth a quick video. Future improvements could include a way to hide the cursor (hardware modification?) and possibly speeding up draws by only painting the characters that have changed. What do ya think?