The moment folks look at this project, they get both nostalgic and confused at the same time. It is, almost, what it appears to be: a floppy disk shaped item ("the save icon" to the young ones) with a color display showing what files are contained within.

With classic floppies, we always wanted to know which files were on a disk - this shows the files rather than having a paper label.

This project is a functional storage device with a display. It is a solid state device with 8MB of storage transferable via USB. You can store your files in style and have an interesting item to show your friends and colleagues (and confuse the kids).

This is a fun no solder project realized with CircuitPython.

Inspiration

The 19A0s (not a typo) was a wild decade for design. Vividly described by Boing Boing and Reddit, the 19A0s saw the creation of fabulous art, culture, and technology which was not present in other decades of the 20th century. 

A Boing Boing article on the technology in the television series Loki illustrates how design and function morph as we look back at the past, at a decade which is now hazy to remember.

lcds___displays_loki.png
"19A0" retro technology in the series Loki (via Boing Boing)

Dana Sibera posts on social media wonderful retro inspired designs. These throwbacks to a bygone era elicit nostalgia yet cannot be pinpointed to any particular time or place.

lcds___displays_sibera.png
Designs by Dana Sibera (via Twitter)

This project draws inspiration from one of Sibera's designs at the bottom of the picture above: Floppy disks with a display built-in to see what files are on the disk. It's a fun thought that this was possible.

There was some technology which had icons, but they were mainly focused on PDA (personal digital assistant) function selection.

Due to this implementation, the case is slightly larger than a 3.5" floppy in length and width and sixteen millimeters thick to accommodate the Adafruit PyPortal display module. One wouldn't want this stuffed into a vintage 3.5" drive, would we (?)

Parts

The Adafruit PyPortal features a beefy SAMD51 processor, a lovely color display and 8MB of flash storage with optional microSD card (not used in this build but extendable by the reader). There is also WiFi capability, again not in use at present.

Front view of a Adafruit PyPortal - CircuitPython Powered Internet Display with a pyportal logo image on the display.
PyPortal, our easy-to-use IoT device that allows you to create all the things for the “Internet of Things” in minutes. Make custom touch screen interface...
$54.95
In Stock

This USB micro B cable is actually reversible like a USB C connector. Adafruit has quite a selection of USB micro B cables, please ensure it has data & power wires and is long enough for your setup. The project (as designed) is powered from USB (no battery), so plan accordingly.

Fully Reversible Pink/Purple USB A to micro B Cable
This cable is not only super-fashionable, with a woven pink and purple Blinka-like pattern, it's also fully reversible! That's right, you will save seconds a day by...
$3.95
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This guide was first published on Feb 22, 2023. It was last updated on Apr 20, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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