HackPrinceton: Piano Stairs!

princeton piano

It was Hack.Princeton this weekend and [Bonnie] and [Erica] threw together this great interactive portable piano!

The setup is very simple using six LED flashlights, and six photoresistors. An Arduino Uno reads in the values from the photoresistors and parses them to a nearby Raspberry Pi which then creates the sounds. The system even automatically calibrates itself when turned on, adjusting to the ambient light conditions. They made the project for the Hackathon and after a short scare of having to move it to another staircase for the demo, they took home 2nd place in the hardware category!

Stick around after the break to see it in action — this would make a great school project to get kids interested in hacking!

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HOPE 2008: Cold boot attack tools released


The team from Princeton has released their cold boot attack tools at The Last HOPE. Earlier this year they showed how to recover crypto keys from the memory of a machine that had been powered off. Now they’ve provided the tools necessary to acquire and play around with your own memory dumps. The bios_memimage tool is written in C and uses PXE to boot the machine and copy the memory. The package also has a disk boot dumper with instructions for how to run it on an iPod. There’s also efi_memimage which implements the BSD TCP/IP stack in EFI, but it can be problematic. aeskeyfind can recover 128 and 256bit AES keys from the memory dumps and rsakeyfind does the same for RSA. They’ve also provided aesfix to correct up to 15% of a key. In testing, they only ever saw 0.1% error in there memory dumps and 0.01% if they cooled the chips first.

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