Open and Shut

How would you write text on a laptop without touching the keyboard at all? Have you tried opening it and slamming it shut repeatedly?

Open and Shut is a bash script that allows you to do exactly that. It turns the laptop into a telegraph key, where you push the computer closed to mark dots—or for longer durations to mark dashes—and pause in the open state to start a new letter.

Jesse Li, a computer science student at Swarthmore College, created this while holed up in his childhood home, a creative piece coming directly from the downtime of the caronavirus quarantine. He describes how the project came together:

The idea has probably been simmering in my unconscious for quite a while. Some of my friends at college are weirdly into Morse code (they don't even do amateur radio! Or anything that requires Morse code!) so about a month ago I enabled the Morse code mode on my phone's keyboard and tried out Google's Morse code trainer.

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This entry originally appeared at esoteric.codes/blog/open-and-shut, and may be a summary or abridged version.