Hackers made Doom run on a $15 Ikea smart lamp

nanoguy

Posts: 798   +12
Staff member
In brief: One of the most rewarding challenges a hacker can take on is to run a game like Doom on a device that was never intended to run games, using as little extra hardware as possible to make it happen. That now includes the lowly Ikea smart lamp, which is an impressive achievement that will most likely be followed by even crazier attempts.

There are very few things out there that have not already been made to run one version of Doom or another -- everything from calculators, iPods, inkjet printers, a Porsche 911, a single keyboard key display, the Touch Bar on Apple MacBooks, a McDonald's cash register, John McAfee's "unhackable" crypto wallet, the Playdate handheld console, the Commodore 64, and various ATMs.

There's even custom silicon designed to run nothing else but Doom, and a CAPTCHA that is actually fun to complete.

Perhaps one of the most impressive attempts yet is that of a team of hackers over at next-hack led by software engineer Nicola Wrachien, who was able to run Doom on the hardware that powers a $15 smart lamp from Ikea.

Initially, Wrachien wanted to use an older Ikea Trådfri Zigbee lamp with a low-power embedded platform based around the Arm Cortex-M4 that runs at 40 MHz and 32 KB of RAM, but that quickly proved to be an impossible challenge.

After a few months, Ikea released an updated model that's equipped with an Arm Cortex-M33 embedded CPU with 108 KB of RAM and 1 MB of NAND flash storage. To fit the game, the team needed more space, so they also used 8 MB of additional NAND flash storage. The screen they used has a resolution of 160 by 128 pixels, and the controller is a simple protoboard with eight push-buttons.

There's no sound, however, and Wrachien explained in a now-deleted post that he needed to use a modified version of an existing Game Boy Advance port of Doom in order to make it run well on the resulting contraption. But this is possibly one of the cheapest ways to run Doom on a device that was never designed to do so.

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kiwigraeme

Posts: 371   +302
I didn't know to yesterday that games are still being made for retro consoles like the C64 .
I imagine it is also like a zen purity to it -64k of machine language to get the essence of a game .
Geneticists do the same for life - how many genes are needed for life 20 ? 15 ?

Also is a great way to learn craft - here's a camera , here's 50mm 1.8 lens - go shoot some great shots - ( but I want the 14mm - no P.O. ) - I use to watch a YT channel where a funny camera reviewer use to give top photographers cheap junk cameras like a barbie camera - They nearly always succeeded in getting artistic shots
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,979   +5,751
Genes, not chromosomes.
Bacteria typically only have a single chromosome, containing anywhere from 500 up to 7500 genes, for example
And you really think I don't know that? Instead of going through all that 'splainin', I elected to simply play along..

But then, "how many genes are needed for life 15, 20", was nonsense in and of itself. and that's the CATG of it.
 
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kiwigraeme

Posts: 371   +302
And you really think I don't know that? Instead of going through all that 'splainin', I elected to simply play along..

But then, "how many genes are needed for life 15, 20", was nonsense in and of itself. and that's the CATG of it.

A lot of effort/money going into this nonsense Captain . with syn3.0. ( human made life form ) they have normal division by adding just seven genes to syn3.0.- whether this life is another question.
If may be just 1 gene needed for successful division . I was reading a story the other day - that scientists have found a lifeform without some stuff that they thought was necessary for life - they at the time had no idea how it propagates.

how big a game can you create with limited memory . The sinclair zx81 run chess in 1K

Conway's Game of Life and fractals can take a few inputs to create quite complicated structures , Even though Life is deterministic - is practically impossible to determine stable patterns - with just the input values
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,979   +5,751
A lot of effort/money going into this nonsense Captain . with syn3.0. ( human made life form ) they have normal division by adding just seven genes to syn3.0.- whether this life is another question.
If may be just 1 gene needed for successful division . I was reading a story the other day - that scientists have found a lifeform without some stuff that they thought was necessary for life - they at the time had no idea how it propagates.
This sounds like it's an experiment to determine how, "primordial slime", became sentient (?) Not the right term, I know. Or rather, how how it transitioned to reproductive capability. (Maybe I'm stating the obvious here.).
Conway's Game of Life and fractals can take a few inputs to create quite complicated structures , Even though Life is deterministic - is practically impossible to determine stable patterns - with just the input values
Ah yes, fractals. My only contact with them is as an art form. However, I'm assuming the same principals are in play here.

As for fractal art, it's very intense. IMO, too intense for desktop wallpaper, but tastes vary. In case you haven't visited it recently, or aren't tired of it:
https://www.deviantart.com/tag/fractals