The schedule includes several full-length and mini talks on a number of relevant topics by local experts and enthusiasts. Abstracts and more details on each continue to be added.
Demoscene and Retrocomputing
- [3:30-4:30pm Sat] Amiga - history, platforms, hw mods, workbench tutorial
- [1:00-2:00pm Sat] Apple (early and classic Macs) - history, platforms, cool features, common failures, Lisa tour
- [3:00-3:30pm Sat] Apple IIgs - history, hackability, popular demo platform
- [8:00-8:30pm Fri] DOS-era PC Sound and Electronic Music - sound cards, tracking, classic mods
- [5:30-6:30pm Sat] Embedded demos - microcontrollers, FPGAs
- [1:30pm & 6:30pm Sat (depending on interest)] Processing introduction and tutorial - language features, review of basic demo effects, demo competition!
- [6:30-7:00pm Sat] Retrocomputing restoration and preservation
- [4:30-5:30pm Sat] Sinclair - history, platforms, hacking culture, clones
- [7:00-8:00pm Sat] Video - standards, connectors, signals, crazy conversion strategies
Hacking and General Geek Interest
- [2:00-3:00pm Sat] Android phone hacking - rooting, basic system-level hacking, developing your own apps
- [12:00-1:00pm Sat] Embedded assembly hacking - reverse engineering embedded firmware, IDA intro, security analysis
- [1:00-1:30pm Sat] Lockpicking tutorial - basic training, why this is fun and useful, lots of practice material
VolunteeringAre you really well versed in some relevant topic or just have some cool ideas you'd like to share? Contact the organizers, submit a short (1-2 paragraph) abstract, and if we like your idea, you'll get free registration!
The Commodore Amiga has been a favored platform for demos through much of the demoscene's history. But what properties do Amigas have that make them so well-suited for demos? This talk will explore the hardware and software features that made the Amiga platform innovative (and the demo-coder's dream machine!), provide a brief history of the platform with contrasts to its competitors, and then conclude with a Workbench tutorial and display of several of the CMU Computer Club's Amigas.
Android Phone Hacking
A survey of the Android operating system from application development and platform hacking perspectives. This talk provides a brief history of Android, discusses the benefits of application development on Android, and demystifies the whole "rooting" thing. The presenter, an enthusiast, also shares his experience with Android kernel and platform hacking in his attempts to make his phone actually phreaking work.
Were Apple products cool before the MacBook and iPod/Phone/Pad? Definitely! Come hear about the amusing and weird history of Apple's early products, a few of the zany stories of Steve Jobs antics, what went in them, and what industry firsts Apple gets to really claim credit for. You'll also get to see a live demonstration of a restored Apple Lisa, almost the first commercial GUI-based machine. Finally, common failure modes and repair facts are discussed to help keep your old Apples humming along in the 21st century.
The Apple IIGS, the Last of the First Personal Computers
A brief presentation of the Apple IIGS, the last in the Apple II line of computers that spawned the personal computer revolution. This unique device bridged the two eras of easily-hackable micros and the (then) new GUI-based platforms with focus on multimedia (graphic and sound) capabilities. This machine, quickly obsolesced and forgotten, still served as an inspiration to many budding hackers with its ethic, tricks, and even cool demos in its day.
DOS-era PC Sound Cards and Tracker Technology
A brief talk that covers the early history of PC sound technology. From the PC speaker, to the Soundblaster and Gravis Ultrasound, discusses why these technologies were highly sought and how the "mod" and tracking scene inspired modern electronic music. See the software used to make classic demo music, how they were composed, and how you can rip them apart to see what's in them.
Introduction to Embedded Reverse Engineering
Explore the basics of reverse engineering and modification of embedded binaries and firmware. This talk will show you the basics of using IDA (the Interactive Disassembler) to perform static analysis on binaries for the purposes of security analysis or reverse engineering. We will walk through the first steps of analyzing several different platforms using binwalk, 010 Editor, and IDA. A working knowledge of an assembly language will be useful, but we will see several different assembly languages.
Lockpicking Tutorial and Challenge
Get a brief tutorial on how locks work... and how to exploit their weaknesses. This is a simple introduction intended for beginners, but of course all are welcome to attend. We will cover traditional picking techniques in depth as well as discuss high security style locks and how to bypass them. Some locks and picking tools will be made available for those interested in hands on experience, and a small competition will be held to see who can pick a few locks the fastest. Prizes will be awarded!
Watch two embedded demos running on AVR microprocessors. There will be an explaination of some of the code and hardware involved in generating realtime graphics and sound with 1KB of ram. A guest speaker will present a chiptune player and a graphical demo, both also running on an AVR processor.
Retrocomputing Restoration and Preservation
This talk briefly covers the many common issues that arise in attempting to dust off that old Apple or Commodore in your basement. Learn to recognize a few typical failures and how to fix them yourself, what things aren't worth trying to fix, and how to get parts. A number of examples of restoration efforts performed on the CMU Computer Club's retro collection will be shown, including recent efforts enabled by increasingly cheap rapid prototyping such as laser-cutting and 3D printing to replace or graft on compatible parts. The talk concludes with a brief philosophical discussion on ways to best share restoration knowledge and experiences.
This talk sheds some light on the oddly popular Sinclair brand of home computers that was much loved and hated in the UK. The often-hilarious history of Sir Clive Sinclair's company including forays into radios, watches, cheaply built computers, and... bicycles(?!) among others are reviewed in the context of trends in home computing. Enjoy a show and tell of many of the popular models from a local collector's personal collection and see some classic games and demos running. You'll also get to hear about the still-thriving hardware modding and hacking culture surrounding this platform and the many clones created in the Soviet bloc. A modern implementation of one such clone from the Ukraine will be shown (with pointers to schematics and source -- build your own!) along with some demos nobody else gets to see outside of eastern Europe.
Video Signals Demystified
Composite, component, s-video, RGB, what's it all mean?? What's better than another, and how can they be converted? What are those connectors called? How do you get modern video (let alone good-looking video) out of that classic machine in your basement? Why does stuff for European TVs look weird on US TVs? Get the answers to these and more. You'll get to hear all about how we got nice-looking video output from all these retro machines up on the big screen, as well as a sneak preview of an upcoming device that will let you get HD digital video out of them (with no analog conversion!).