back to article Dev rigs up receipt printer to spit out GitHub issues

Sometimes the best things are the most simple. A case in point: sending GitHub issues to an old thermal POS printer via a Raspberry Pi. Developer Andrew Schmelyun was faced with the thorny problem of keeping track of issues posted on his various GitHub projects. A problem familiar to many: emails tended to get lost in the …

  1. Wanting more

    PI Pico would be tricky

    The RP2040-based Pi Pico would be tricky to use, I'm sure it could talk to the printer ok, but getting it to go onto the internet and collect the information from GitHub wouldn't be possible without extra hardware to give it ethernet / wifi. The other Pis are basically linux boxes with all that stuff built in and either an ethernet jack or wifi built on board.

    1. Peter Mount

      Re: PI Pico would be tricky

      I do have sitting here for another project an add-on board for the RP2040 with an Ethernet jack on it (did see they had one with the pico chip on the same board).

  2. teknopaul Silver badge

    He could set up a picam to vídeo the github page and reprint the ticket if anyone leaves a comment.

    And feed the paper tickets to a book scanner, if he needs to search the tickets for keywords.

    And automatically photograph the tickets coming off the printer and send an MMsms so he has access to the data on his phone.

    I really don't grok why some people see this as anything but ridiculous.

    1. Contrex

      Ever since I was urged by a stoned hippy to read 'Stranger in a Strange Land' in 1970, and having done so, found I had yet another reason to dislike Heinlein, I have had this unreasoning dislike of people who use the word 'grok'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        More weed

        You must have needed more weed in order to grok the fullness. Good book, #spoilers weak ending.

      2. Robert Moore

        I quite enjoy Stranger. Just finished reading it again. Of course I discovered it when I was quite young, so I may be reading through rose coloured glasses.

  3. John Robson Silver badge

    Been using one to help the kids organise homework for a while... If only the schools homework portal was slightly less crap.

  4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "However, this writer can neither confirm nor deny that a substantial part of last weekend was spent considering how to spit out comments from The Register articles..."

    With the shit we write?!

    (But if you do do it: SANITISE YOUR INPUTS. Just think what fun we could have.[40m)

    1. Korev Silver badge

      On the other hand, the mere threat of The Moderatrix will scare people away from even thinking about it....

  5. andy gibson

    Needs audio

    Needs "you are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute" with every print

    1. Anonymous Custard

      Re: Needs audio

      And a 3D printed case for the Pi with 3 seashells on it...

      1. Robert Moore

        Re: Needs audio

        I don't know how to use the 3 seashells.

  6. TRT Silver badge

    It should be mandatory for Agile teams...

    to have a line printer like the one in The China Syndrome for bug fixes..

    Just seeing the line

    03.29.22 12:46:31

    +++EVENT ENDS+++

    rolling out of the printer would be glorious.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: It should be mandatory for Agile teams...

      Or even

      +++ Out Of Cheese Error +++

      +++ MELON MELON MELON +++

      +++ Redo From Start +++

  7. Plest Silver badge

    I know....'s a proof-of-concept, it's bit of tech fun, just a bit of a laugh but not that cool for the environment mate!

    Sorry to get all "green" but there's enough shit clogging up landfills and the ocean, let's just take it easy on the old dead trees.

    Bring on the downvotes!

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: I know....

      Fair enough, but for all we know his previous method of tracking his github issues might have been to tattoo them into the flesh of small endangered flightless birds using microplastic beads, so…

    2. aschmelyun

      Re: I know....

      I definitely agree with this sentiment, that's why for this particular project I adamantly went second-hand for everything: printer + paper was acquired on Ebay.

  8. Doctor Huh?

    A great example of failing to consider

    Sure, I _can_ do it, but _should_ I?

    It is always great to see paperless systems reverting to paper (not).

    This is in the category of printing out E-mail for The Boss, and is just barely less fanciful than putting the Internet on a CD for Jen.

    El Reg doesn't offer Moss or Roy as icons!?!?!?!

  9. Gene Cash Silver badge


    Originally I was using CUPS in Linux, but it didn't give the results I was looking for

    Ah, you mean like an actual printout. I found CUPS to be a major step down in functionality from lpr. As much of an nasty crawling horror as lpr is, at least it tries to send something to the printer. Unfortunately, there are things now that won't talk to anything else.

    1. Jad

      Re: CUPS

      While I spent years convincing systems to use pure lp or lpr, cups does have its uses.

      In the world of label printers you do need to set the queue up in "raw" mode though, although it's not a standard model, and it's really hard to get it to do it on a Mac ... and don't get me started on Windows printing to labels! Sacrilege!

    2. aschmelyun

      Re: CUPS

      Yeah, as much as I saw discussions surrounding using CUPS with Epson receipt printers, I really don't fathom how well they were actually being used in real applications. It acted as basically a desktop printer, running through one 'page' at a time, and basically printing a column of what would be a typical 8.5x11 page (even though I had manually changed the page size).

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Fit to purpose

    This is a perfect example of one person's project that does one thing and solves one problem for them.

    It is what the Raspberry Pi and, indeed, the FOSS movement was based on.

    Have a pint, Andrew.

  11. yetanotheraoc Silver badge


    Is the project available on GitHub?

    1. aschmelyun

      Re: recursion

      It is!

  12. innominatus


    (What Would The BOFH Do?)

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