Get GitHub tickets IRL with a Raspberry Pi and a receipt printer

Thermal receipt printers find their way into all kinds of projects that go far beyond the point-of-sale environment they normally inhabit. And while we applaud all the creative and artistic uses that hackers have found for these little gems, this GitHub physical ticket printer has to be the best use yet.

According to [Andrew Schmelyun], seeing a fast food order on a thermal printer was the inspiration for this build. By maintaining over a hundred GitHub repos while doing so, the details of a bug report or feature request can easily get lost in the swarm of sticky notes that [Andrew] used to keep track of his work. To get this done, he linked an Epson thermal printer to a Raspberry Pi Zero W and worked out the details of sending data to the printer using PHP. Fortunately, there’s a library for that – the beauty of GitHub.

With the “Hello world!” little out of the way, [Andrew] turned his attention to connecting to GitHub. He set up some webhooks on the GitHub side to send a POST request every time a problem is reported on one of his repos. The POSTs are sent via ngrok to a PHP web server on the Pi, which formats the data and sends the text to the printer. There is a short video in the tweet below.

Between the sound of the printer working and the actual ticket with a dead tree, it will be difficult for [Andrew] to miss problems now. We’ve seen thermal printers stuffed into cameras used to send pictures to grandma, and even how they slowly committed suicide, but we say hats off to you. [Andrew] for its solid work ethic and a fun new way to use a receipt printer.

That’s why I bought a receipt printer:

Every time one of my GitHub repos gets a new problem, I now get a physical ticket printed on my desk 🪄

— Andrew Schmelyun (@aschmelyun) March 24, 2022

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