• wersi mk1 s3
    Reverse Engineering

    Fixing firmware bugs from 1987 in 2017

    A few years ago, I managed to get hold of something I only barely knew as a Wersi MK1, an extremely rare West-German synth from 1986. In my last article, I managed to get ahold of the firmware contents. In this article, I’ll be diving into the actual firmware to.. fix some ancient bugs! Why?…

  • hackers_conversion_service_sip
    Programming Languages

    At last, a useful phone service for hackers!

    Imagine the following, all too often occurring scenario: you are in the supermarket, and suddenly you feel the urge to convert the price of that loaf of bread to hexadecimal. But how are you going to do that with just your dumbphone? Easy! It all started with finding a service that offers a cheap SIP…

  • Blackview BV6000s
    Reverse Engineering

    Dissecting an Android ChinaPhone or hunting for spy/malware

    For a while now, I’ve been on the lookout for a proper ruggedized Android phone that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Since the low-end and counterfeit spectrum of Android phones seems to be dominated by Chinese MediaTek-based phones these days, and the turnaround time of new phone models is incredibly high over there,…

  • 20150708_140607
    Reverse Engineering

    Old school EPROM firmware dumping

    A few years ago, I managed to get hold of something I only barely knew as a Wersi MK1, an extremely rare West-German synth from 1986. The MK1 faded into obscurity due to its notoriously difficult interface, bad marketing and manufacturer bankruptcies. But in fact, it was one of the first incredibly well engineered digital…

  • Onyx: The Black Cat anti-anti-debugging kit
    Reverse Engineering

    A short introduction to anti-anti-debugging on OS X

    If you’re familiar with reverse engineering software, you may have stumbled upon the magic world of anti-debugging and obfuscation. Anti-debugging protection is often built into software that is a likely target for reverse engineering, as a tactic to hamper any efforts in that area. Many techniques exist to avoid proper functioning of a (software-based) debugger,…

  • Quick 'n dirty 2 minute PCI-Express PCB
    PCB design

    Quick ‘n dirty 2 minute PCI-Express PCB

    For those of you who would like to see some simple PCB design in action, read on! I did a quick $5.00 PCB design job yesterday for a hardware project I am currently working on, and made a quick timelapse video for whoever’s interested in seeing how the design process in Cadence Allegro works. Since I’m a…

  • 4 phase shifted clocks

    Extreme phase shifting part 1

    As part of a high-tech hardware project I have been working on I have lately been diving into the area of clock signals. Now books have been written on the subject of clocks, clock distribution, clock skew, clock gating, and much more things involving the word ‘clock’, but my specific problem was a little unusual….

  • startscreen
    Embedded Hardware, Programming Languages

    Getting Started With The GA144 And ArrayForth

    The GA144 chip by GreenArrays is unique in several ways: It has 144, 18-bit cores. It is asynchronous, so there is no clock. It is programmed in Forth, and GreenArrays provides colorForth, a version of arrayForth specifically for the GA144. Even though there is adequate documentation, getting started with this chip can still be quite…

  • mmtool3
    Reverse Engineering

    How to quickly rip apart a UEFI firmware

    Imagine this. It’s been a couple of months since you upgraded your trusty laptop with a good old SSD, the speed is fair but there’s just something wrong. Hibernation is taking ages, but why? You rip your firmware apart and find out they’ve crippled your S-ATA controller.. Enter the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 MK3, one of…

  • pcb
    General Hardware Design

    The problem of common knowledge and 2-layer differential pairs

    For one of our high-performance hardware projects, I have been diving into the myths and facts of differential pairs and PCB routing in general. The more documentation I dug up, however, the more questions popped up, leaving me with only a single question: does anyone really know what they’re talking about? Those who are into…

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We are a collective of people with different backgrounds and a shared interest in unproven technology and deep technical skills.