The Joopyter Personal Terminal is a homemade portable computer that combines modern tech with 1980s design. Designed and built by a hardware hacker that goes by the name of Gian, the system was inspired by the discovery of a mini thermal receipt printer, but evolved to include a custom keyboard, hinge, and display placed alongside that keyboard.

The design and build process is outlined in a Github repository.

At the heart of this custom computer is a Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer. But it’s connected to a thermal printer, a 2.8 inch piTFT display, a 15,600 mAh power bank, and everything is stuffed inside a custom 3D-printed chassis with a custom-designed and hand-wired keyboard plus a hinge that was inspired by another DIY retro-inspired computer: YARH.IO’s THEBRICK.

While the Joopyter may not be the most portable laptop available in 2022 due to its chunky design, it has a built-in handle that makes it easy to carry.

Not only does the device look like a product from a bygone era, but Gian produced some fake marketing material to further sell the illusion.

via HackADay and Adafruit

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6 replies on “Joopyter Personal Terminal: DIY retro-inspired portable computer with a thermal printer built in”

  1. very good keyboard, i dreaming about sony vaio pocket with better keybooard

    1. Well it’s not ideal because it’s all lined up. A regular keyboard has the rows of keys offset a little.

      1. Those are called ortholinear keyboards.

        We are used to offset in rows of keyboard, but the reason is historical: old mechanical typewriters need that offset to accommodate mechanism (if you have looked inside a typewriter you will understand perfectly). And that design was maintained in computer keyboards, but there is no reason to do so more than “it’s like always”.

        One of the best points in ortholinear keyboard is that you can reorder keys as you want, you can make design you want, because there is no restriction on size key as all keys are the same size (only some ortholinear has a double size blank space key).

        If you look at numerical keypad, you will see it’s already ortholinear and you can use it very well.

        1. I’ve built 3 ortholinear keyboards, and they are fantastic for ergonomics. They only take a week or two to get used to them.

          However I just can’t use them. At the end of the day, I still need to use standard layout keyboard (laptop, etc), and switching back and forth is too hard.

          1. Thank you David and Grant very much for this info. I didn’t even know there was a term for this, nor why the offset rows existed in the first place! I would need to try for myself to find out how difficult or easy it would be for me to type on an ortholinear.

    2. I would love that keyboard design (and mechanical) on PinePhone keyboard, even with 4 rows if needed instead of 5.

      I suppose the good point is that, as PinePhone case design and connection is open, someone can do it with a 3D printer, knowledge, time+money.

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