Maker Faire

Enigma 2600

Type: Maker Table/Exhibit
Program Area: Electronics

Day/Time: Saturday, April 22

Location: To be determined

Last year I was overcome by nostalgia, and decided to try to learn how to program the old Atari 2600 video game. Whenever you choose to learn to program in a new language or a new machine, you need a reasonable project to serve as motivation, and for some bizarre reason decided to do a project related to one of my other interests: cryptography. The result: an implementation of the German 3 rotor enigma machine that runs on the Atari 2600. I even took the opportunity to repurpose an old Super Breakout cartridge, removed its ROM, and created a real cartridge that plays in the actual hardware.

I'll be around to answer questions about the development process, show how you can edit and assemble code for the 2600, run it using the Stella emulator, and then also demonstrate the EPROM burner that I bought. I can also chat with interested individuals about cryptography and cryptanalysis, and will bring some of the books that I have about codes and Enigma for people to browse over.

Related site: http://brainwagon.org/archives/2005/10/30/1674/

Presented by

Mark VandeWettering
Pixar Animation Studios

I'm pretty much your six-sigma-away-from-the-mean software geek. During the 1980s while attending the University of Oregon, I taught myself computer graphics. I must have done an OK job, because that landed me jobs at the Princeton Applied Math department and later Pixar Animation, where I've been for the last 15 years. I am a hopeless tinkerer and gadgeteer, and lately have been enjoying blogging, podcasting, and experimenting with VoIP with Asterisk.