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 Update: Q3 2022

2022-08-21 07:30:00 -0500

It’s been quite a while since the last time I provided an update on any of the active and upcoming projects at Arcana Labs, and part of that is the busy summer. We’re going to have a quick little chat here about projects like the Model 2, PETI, Illuminated Arcana, livestreams, and even a new project.

Model 2, Part 3 - Failures and Lessons From Design

2022-07-19 07:30:00 -0500

The first two articles in this series talked about designing and building a mechanical keyboard - the Arcana Labs Model 2. This is a speciality keyboard that I custom designed to fit a very specific set of space and functionality constraints, and while a fair amount of work went into meeting those constraints broadly, there was a lot that did go wrong from a design perspective before laser ever met stock and solder ever met iron.

Model 2, Part 2 - Sourcing, Assembly, and Programming

2022-07-14 07:30:00 -0500

Earlier on, I discussed the process I went through trying to design the Arcana Labs Model 2, a specialty mechanical keyboard that had to fit a space constraint while also including some kind of pointing device. That post dealt largely with the process of design at a high level; how I came up with the necessary constraints, and what tools I used to facilitate things. This post is going to deal with assembly, as well as the process of getting the firmware working.

The FOSS Community Has the Same Payroll Problems As The Rest Of Us

2022-07-12 04:30:00 -0500

Enterprise operations having been interrupted by the sudden disappearance or modification of a FOSS dependancy happens so often that we have a term for it - a “leftpad moment”. Industry got a reminder of this yesterday when the developer of popular python module atomicwrites pulled their file in response to security policy changes from PyPI.

Model 2, Part 1 - Designing a Specialty Keyboard

2022-07-11 01:30:00 -0500

If you’re a member of the #secret_projects_chan on the Arcana Labs Discord or have been following me on twitter for any real length of time, you probably know that I have been designing and building a mechanical keyboard; a project I’ve been working on for the better part of half a year. As is tradition for secret projects, now that it’s more or less complete, I’m documenting it retroactively in a small series of posts on the site. This post is about the process I went through in order to design the keyboard, both conceptually and in real, preparing-for-manufacture terms.