There’s no point in denying it — if you’re a regular reader of Hackaday, you’ve almost certainly got a favorite chip. Some in the audience yearn for the simpler days of the 6502, while others spend their days hacking on modern microcontrollers like the ESP32 or RP2040. There are even some of you out there still reaching for the classic 555. Whatever your silicon poison, there’s a good chance the Macrochips project from [Jason Coon] has supersized it for you.
The idea is simple: get a standard 100 mm x 100 mm (4″ x 4″) slate coaster, throw it in your laser engraver of choice, and zap it with a replica of a chip’s label. The laser turns the slate a light gray, which, when contrasted with the natural color of the slate, makes for a fairly close approximation of what the real thing looks like. To date, [Jason] has given more than 140 classic and modern chips the slate treatment. Though he’s only provided the SVGs for a handful of them, we’re pretty sure anyone with a laser at home will have the requisite skills to pull this off without any outside assistance.
[Carnivore] tried to break as many (unofficial) records as possible when he modified his Apad/M002 into what he calls Project Apex. Record number 1: [Derek] claims this is the first Apad mod, ever. Record number 2: 8500mAh battery, giving the device a 12 hour life which is longer than any other Android slate. Record number 3: beautiful factory-looking finish. Okay, so that last one isn’t really a record, but we thought Project Apex deserved it anyway. There are a few other modifications done to the device as well; click the link or catch a video of him showing off the slate after the jump.
Slate is running an interesting article about taking new security approaches to lock vulnerabilities. In the past, lock makers such as Medeco have been able to quietly update their product lines to strengthen their security, but as movements such as Locksport International gain popularity and lock picking videos on YouTube become dime a dozen, lock makers can no longer rely on security through obscurity. It’s no question that an increased interest in this field helps lock manufacturers to create more secure products, but because patching these flaws often means changing critical features of the lock, it becomes a very expensive game of cat-and-mouse.
Traditional lock picking has employed the use of picksets, like the credit card sized setgiven out sold at The Last HOPE, but more recent methods of lock hacking have used bump keys or even magnets. However, as manufacturers make their locks less susceptible to picking and bumping, not even high-security locks will ward off someone determined enough to create a copy of the key, either by observing the original or using impressioning, as [Barry Wels] covered in a recent talk at HOPE 2008.