John Calhoun:

SystemSix is a desk calendar that displays the weather forecast and phase of the moon on an e-ink display. This is a kind of love-letter to my first Macintosh.

It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi 3. The display is 5.83″ e-ink display from Waveshare.

  • If you configure it to point to a public calendar it will fetch the next six calendar events and display them (see below, the events are the folder names in the window in “list view”).

  • Configure your latitude and longitude in the settings and it will fetch the local weather forecast (see below, being displayed in the Scrapbook).

  • In the evening SystemSix displays the current phase of the moon (see below, looking like a “desk accessory” in vintage-Mac parlance).

  • The trash icon is displayed “full” on the day of your choice (for me it’s Monday, to remind me to take the trash to the curb for Tuesday pickup).

There are two rubs. First, it’s not an interactive classic Mac emulator. It looks like a Mac, but it’s just a static dashboard that looks like a classic Mac. Second, Calhoun built this for himself as a project. It is not, alas, a product for sale.

Future ideas:

I’m happy with this project. It satisfied both my curiosity about e-ink displays and Python as well as rekindled fond memories for the early Mac. There’s plenty more I can do with this though. I mentioned already that there are a number of “layouts” left still to implement like a Hypercard layout or two. I also got screenshots for potential layouts of an install in progress, KeyCaps, a print panel, Chooser, etc.

Perhaps Glider would work well in one of these layouts.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022