One day I was waiting in the bank with a "take a number" ticket along with other 50 people in the same situation and I thought "What if I put short stories in these tickets? We will be all reading literature instead of looking at the walls" Maybe this will sound weird, but In Argentina, you cannot use electronic devices inside banks for security reasons - you cannot even use your Amazon Kindle - and banks are crowded all days.
So I started to work in a prototype.
I have decided to use a Raspberry Pi due to the size, storage capabilities for short stories texts, and the libraries for thermal printer and LCD 16x2 display.
At that time I did not have a 3D printer, so the first enclosure was done with a wooden box.
This project was "trial and error" in many aspects. I had troubles with power source amperage due to termal printer requirements, conflicts with previous software running in the Raspberry - since the same one was used for other projects - and I had to write some routines to avoid words being split due to ticket width. Since the machine could be working for 12 hours in a row, I have added a small 5v cooling fan in the back.
At one point, a small 3D design studio contributed with a new enclosure.
The machine use Raspbian as the OS and the literature dispenser software was written with Python.How the literature dispenser works?
1. You browse authors and short stories names using up and down buttons
2. You press the green button
3. The machine will give you the story printed
The Literature Dispenser has a setting to provide a number (as in classic "take a number" dispensers) along with the short story and current version prints authors face (or book cover) as well.
Thanks for your interest in this project and regards from Argentina.