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 a blog.

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Latest News

Combined Lab Updates Headed Into Summer 2023

2023-05-23 08:30:00 -0500

Today we’ll talk about something changing around the lab, dive fairly deep in to the state of our currently-flagship project, PETI, and drill down into some side projects for the back half of the year. We start in with bad news and then it just gets better and better as you go, so tear the proverbial bandage off under the cut.

Rest Full-Stop, And What It Isn't.

2023-02-27 06:30:00 -0600

Last time I wrote a fair bit on the idea of productivity. I think I even took some time to explain that I was counting the winter out from actively pushing on technical projects - which hasn’t been entirely true - and focusing instead on “Rest and Preparation”. For better or worse, I’ve ultimately done far more of the latter than the former, so I find myself walking into a spring meant to “Spring Forth” but feeling instead like what I really need is a “spring break”. Why? Rest is more than it seems.

Refining Toxic Wellness and Productivity

2023-02-04 06:30:00 -0600

As I mentioned in the last post, I’ve been taking the winter season as a general period of rest and relaxation. Part of that has been putting a lot of thought into the ideas of “wellness” and “productivity”, which are both pretty loaded terms in common parlance, much to my annoyance.

A Season of Rest and Preparation: Lab Plans for Winter 2023

2023-01-11 06:30:00 -0600

As a bit of a new experiment, for this year when doing my quarterly goalsetting and planning I’ve decided to also bear in mind two additional ideas: CGPGrey’s Themes-over-Resolutions Framework and Seasonality. In our part of the world, it’s currently meteorlogical winter; a time when the animals that can’t just escape to the global south are resting, and the seeds of plants like Lavender, Lupines, Sage, and a whole lot of bulbs are currently stuck in the ground halfway froze solid, biding their time for an inevitable explosion of vitality come spring. I like this imagery a lot. It helps me hold on to an understanding of the importance of a desperately miserable season while I’m stuck in a body with a brain that goes completely haywire once we start to enter astronomical winter and lose all our daylight.

Linear Congruent Insufficiency: A First Pass at Randomness for PETI

2022-11-29 06:30:00 -0600

Last week in our quarterly update post I mentioned implementing a Mersenne Twister for PETI. This was a bald-faced lie, made possible by not consulting my notes. A Mersenne Twister would have been much more effective than the Linear Congruential Generator I implemented instead. I want to talk about how we got there, as well as what is wrong with it.