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1. Introduction

For a long time humanity has been wondering how could a computer make coffee...

People need coffee to wake up, and stay awake for a long time in front of the computer. It is common wisdom that coding is better at night!

The main trick is interfacing a coffee machine to the computer, so that it can be controlled by software. This HOWTO will show you how to do so.

At first, it demonstrates an ON/OFF switch implemented as an electronic circuit which controls the coffee-machine's power supply. Another chapter will tell you the secrets of building intelligent, Turing Complete suitable, coffee machines!

This HOWTO was initially written as part of a debate in the mailing list linux-greek-users, on whether linux can make coffee or not. It then became an article in our online magazine called magaz. Just in case you wondered, magaz is in Greek and it will surely look like that to you!


1.1 Copyright

Copyright © 2004-08-29 by Fotis Georgatos. You are free:

Under the following conditions: Attribution. You must give the original author credit. Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.

1.2 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

1.3 Version

The Coffee HOWTO is now called Coffee Making HOWTO and heads for release v1.0, which will first appear somewhere here:

It is about time for everyone to know that Coffee Making is just one of the standard features that come for free with *any* Linux distribution. Or, does SCO have a patent on that, too? Gee...

1.4 Translations

You should be able to easily find a translation of this or previous versions of the Coffee Making HOWTO in the following languages:

and hopefully many more... (Spanish and Portugeuse anyone?)

1.5 Credits

1.6 What do you drink/smoke while writing this?

Well, to the best of my knowledge, this is a dope-free work.

But, I can tell you the secret of the music playing on the background: nearly any song spelled by Zampetas or Mpithikotsis (bouzouki and such).

1.7 Feedback

For your online commentary of your own DIY Coffee Machine steer at

If you still have comments to say, emails get lost these days, so why not send me a postcard with a picture from your great hometown, adding a recommendation of your favourite cafe' in the area?

Fotis Georgatos, 
Aliartou 32, 
TK 11142 Athens, 


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