Welcome to Arcana Labs

The best puzzles are those not intended to be solved. – Unknown

Providing Security Utilities, Tooling, and other Amusements, Arcana Labs is a small, independant technology exploration and development concern operating out of Atlantic Canada. Our past work has focused on security and disaster recovery, with present work focusing on monitoring tooling and developing puzzles and challenges intended for entrants into the “hackish” fields. Our ultimate goal is to improve our own overall understanding of computing to as deep a level of understanding as practical. We’ve organized our projects into a few categories: hardware, software, and our Illuminated Arcana target virtual machines program.

Latest News

Lab Notes: Riding the Wave

2021-09-14 09:00:00 -0500

As you probably recall from the previous update, the last little push for the PETI development kit is the “back board”, an extra expansion on the existing dev kit that will add key functionality like the battery pack to the device. One such feature is the ability to do auditory alters via a small speaker. In the true spirit of known and unknown unknowns, I went 100% Dunning-Kreuger and decided that this would be relatively trivial, and since it was the part of the back circuit I understood the least, it would be the first part of the board I would proof the concept of.

Lab Notes: A Lazy August

2021-08-27 09:00:00 -0500

Wasn’t there an update for Tapestry coming out this month? Weren’t you going to keep working on PETI? Did anything get done at the labs, come to think of it? Actually, yeah. Lots of things have happened. Let’s talk about those.

Lab Notes: Releasing PETI 3.0

2021-07-27 14:00:00 -0500

Circumstance and mood have conspired to make this, the final week of July, on of two periods of paid leave from work which I’ll be able to take this summer. As a result, I spent monday night and a good chunk of yesterday updating and recompiling PETI’s firmware. Last night I published this firmware update’s source [here (permalink)] as the 0.0.3 release. This version adds a new demo functionality, replacing the old demo with a menu which allows you to cycle through the various forms PETI can take, and view all four of their currently-supported animations: idle, face right, face left, and eating. I’ll go back through and add support for the sleeping animation at around the same time I add sleeping into the game.

Reviving Tapestry

2021-07-01 08:00:00 -0500

Tapestery is probably the oldest project most Arcana Labs followers would remember me working on. It began two iterations of identity ago, back when this was “Patch Savage Labs”, followed through the Kensho Security Labs Rebrand, and three jobs and several years later, it’s still with us - a bespoke backup utility nobody asked for.

LabNotes: Expanding the PETI Character Set

2021-06-11 08:00:00 -0500

PETI has a text-based interface; I think I’ve said that enough times by now for everyone to have it burned into their brain, but in case I haven’t - almost everything PETI can display on its screen is functionally text, in that it is comprised of cells of a given size (8 by 8, 8 by 12, or 16 by 16 pixels), and the display library treats each row of such cells as a string of text, referencing a font to determine which pixels to turn on or off depending on the size needed. This places some constraints and labouriousness on managing the display which I want to talk about today, because it’s what I’ve been working on.