As a first time visitor to both Las Vegas and DEF CON, I had quite the weekend. The sheer number of talks, villages, vendors, and interesting people to talk to was overwhelming at first, but ultimately incredibly exciting and informative. It all culminated with our annual Breakfast at DEF CON.
Members of both the Hackaday and Tindie communities gathered for pastries, coffee, and some truly amazing hardware. I saw more than a few familiar faces from the 2018 Hackaday Superconference, along with some new and exciting projects. Whether you were there and you want to reminisce, or you need a recap, you’ve come to the right place!
Breakfast With Tindie at DEF CON 27
The gathering this year took place in the beautiful Paris Hotel of Las Vegas. We reserved space in the Le Cafe Ile St. Louis in the front part of Paris and the turnout was far bigger than anyone expected. The overflow was a few hundred people who spilled out into the lounge area next to the cafe. No harm, we just had to order more pastries.
Those who arrived early were treated to some sweet schwag on the tables, but supplies went fast. It was amazing to see such a massive turnout.
Fueled by coffee and an excellent cheese danish, I set out to meet new people and witness the creativity and innovation that this incredible community is known for. Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed.
New Projects and Old Friends
The first piece of hardware that caught my eye was this excellent badge that combines a detailed face on the PCB with nixie tubes — vacuum tubes that illuminate various numbers like “1337.”
A little bird also told me it may be for sale on Tindie in the near future, something I’m definitely looking forward to!
Next, I went outside to check out a project from Qwix. This snazzy helmet hides an impressive amount of hardware beneath it’s stylish surface. The power supply, capable of jumping a car battery, connected to a myriad of wires and hardware, includes antennas on the back.
The entire setup was in fact a portable keyboard injection device, similar to a rubber ducky. It was certainly an impressive feat to make it all fit inside of a construction helmet, let alone make it portable.
Afterward, I caught up with Sarah Petkus, known for the SHE BON project, and the Robohemian store on Tindie. At the breakfast, she was sporting her robotic companion, Noodle. When I asked her what’s next for her robotic son, she informed me that the plan is to give him a new frame and to add additional functionality to his feet.
She jokingly referred to the process as Noodle going through “puberty,” which seems apt given the major changes she had in store. Throughout all of this, though, noodle’s eyes will stay the same, carrying the spirit of the project forward into future iterations.
Finally, I came across the stunning ICEBreaker LEDCube, which had been attracting a lot of attention around DEF CON, and for good reason. This project utilizes a combination of a Raspberry Pi, FPGA, a frame buffer, and over 6 months of work from Bob Miller to bring it to fruition.
Piotr Esden, who owns the 1BitSquared store on Tindie, showed me the cube in person. Let’s just say, you need to see it in motion to really appreciate the visual spectacle:
That’s all from me for this year’s DEF CON, but needless to say, I’ll be counting the days until next year’s event!
Keep Reading ›