“Updateringar” is the name of Update's lecture series. It is a play on the Swedish word “uppdateringar”, meaning “updates”. The lectures are free and open to everyone.
To participate, join this BigBlueButton room. Feel free to ask questions! The presentations will not be recorded. For further lectures by Update see Update's mini-conference. All times below are in CET/CEST.
- 2023-11-18, 19:00: Data management and digital preservation of (research) data
Herbert Lange (University of Gothenburg)
We are surrounded by large amounts of data wherever we look. Some of the data might be useful, some of it entertaining, some considered useless and some outdated. Usually research data falls in the first category, sometimes even in the second. We are usually interested in managing and preserving data that seems relevant to us. Because research data is usually considered very important there have been major efforts in managing and preserving it. However, aspects of digital preservation for research data are also relevant e.g. for retrocomputing. Sometimes the two even overlap such as in the diskmags project. This talk will present work on data management and digital preservation mostly from a research point of view but will also highlight similarities to issues within the retrocomputing scene.
- 2023-09-09, 19:00: Passwords, please.
Francisco Blas Izquierdo Riera (Chalmers)
This year marks the sixtieth year since passwords were first documented as being used with computers. Nowadays, entering your username and password is still one of the most common approaches to access services. And yet, despite this long time, we still cannot seem to get them quite right. In this talk we will start with a survey of the history of password security from the first time shared systems, to the modern ways to protect them. We will then discuss what makes a good password and provide tips on how to generate them. Finally we will introduce some of the latest developments in the field of password security.
- 2023-06-10, 19:00: Hackerspace Design Patterns – What can Update learn from them?
Anke Stüber (Update)
The Hackerspace Design Patterns address common problems and solutions for hackerspaces, like how to make decisions, how to keep the space clean, or how to involve new members. They are based on years of experiences from several communities. When the first version of these patterns was presented in 2007, it initiated the founding of hundreds of hackerspaces all over the world. Since then, the patterns have been developed further to incorporate lessons learned from a diverse range of hackerspaces. In this workshop I want to present some of the design patterns and discuss how they relate to Update.
- 2023-05-13, 19:00: The inspirator – Your personal table-top Brian Eno
Bjarni Juliusson (Update)
A programmer carrying a screwdriver demonstrates the use of microcontrollers and various e-waste in a random-advice-printing machine he built for his artistic mother.
- 2023-02-11, 19:00: Design for 3D printing – CAD programs and design tips for successful printing
Rikard Lindström (Update)
3D printers are cool, but despite what it might look like on social media, they can print other things than small plastic boats. When you learn to realise your own designs it's almost like a super power. Follow along and learn a bit about 3D printers, what (free) software there is for designing 3D models, and how to design for reliable and easy printing. The presenter will bring some 3D printed items that you can get a closer look at if you join the lecture on site at Update's premises.
- 2022-11-12, 19:00: The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Artificial Intelligence – BBC Basic Version
Herbert Lange (IDS Mannheim)
Imagine it's the eighties and you are interested in this hype called Artificial Intelligence. You might have heard of LISP and PROLOG but all you have is a home computer running Basic. Would it be possible to do fun experiments without having access to all the compute power universities have access to? The authors Forsynth and Naylor answer this question in their book “The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Artificial Intelligence” and provide an overview of interesting topics combined with example programs written in BBC Basic which you can type in yourself and try on your UK-built home computer. In this talk I will go through some of these examples and try to put them into a modern context.
- 2022-10-09, 14:00: Who am I? CPUID on the PDP-8
Pontus Pihlgren (Update)
Portable software must adapt to peculiarities of the target platforms. Even variations within a “compatible” family of computers may require specific code. But how does a program identify which machine is executing it? In this presentation we will dissect, line by line, a subroutine written by the late Charles Lasner (CJL) as part of the Kermit implementation for the PDP-8 family of computers. The subroutine, “MACHINE”, is capable of identifying all DEC PDP-8 models. Some familiarity with programming will benefit the listener, but the presentation includes the basics of PDP-8 assembly and the level should be approachable to most.
Please note that this talk is given as a part of the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin 2022 this coming weekend, the time and place for watching the lecture stream are different than usual.
- 2022-09-10, 19:00: How (not) to do public open WiFi
Jan-Daniel Kaplanski (German Red Cross)
With increased refugee numbers, an unprecedented high demand for the possibility of communication with the remaining family members left home arose, rendering the previous solution insufficient. That previous solution was based on one WiFi AP and one repeater each per building, connected to a 50 Mbit/s DL/UL synchronous optical fibre network via an external VPN provider to ensure network separation with the company’s staff network. The aim of this project was to provide a new fast solution with its separate external connection, by building a separate network from the ground up. This is an ongoing endeavour, which has currently reached its test phase with three operational APs across two buildings and eight network switches across six buildings, more to follow.
- 2022-07: No Updatering because of mini-conference on 2022-07-16
- 2022-06-11, 19:00: Lightning talks
In five-minute talks Update members present their projects and interests. If you also want to give a lightning talk please send the title of your talk to email@example.com.
Bjarni Juliusson: Fun with a CRT and the R6545 CRT controller
Andreas Lindmark: Minizinc
David Klaftenegger: Locking and lock-free data structures
Anke Stüber: Why you should come to BornHack
Anke Stüber: Building a new website for UCF
Michael Grunditz: RISC OS
Pontus Pihlgren: What is this thing? Random items I found in my garage
Angelo Papenhoff: VR computer museum
- 2022-05-14, 19:00: The Danish Data History Association is on the move …
Michael Ørnø (DDHF)
We, the Danish Data History Association (Dansk Datahistorisk Forening), were founded more than 20 years ago and have primarily lived (quietly) underground in a cellar in the outskirts of Copenhagen. In 2020 the municipality of Ballerup, who were our hosts, decided to use the approx. 1000 m² for other purposes than us. Two years later – in February 2022 – we had a “grand” opening of our new experimental data museum with a 600 m² exhibition. What happened? And what's the plan moving forward?
- 2022-04-09, 19:00: A tour of Update's new premises
Bjarni Juliusson, Anke Stüber (Update)
In December and January 2021/2022 Update moved out of the Uppsala University IT department's basement into rooms of its own (thanks again to all our volunteers who put in a huge effort!). The new premises offer 150 m² of space for Update's collection and activities, with a dedicated area for exhibitions. What has happened since the move? With this online tour we invite you to take a peek into our new home and at what we've been working on in the last couple of months. We will give you an insight into current and future projects and show off some of our collection items.
- 2022-03-12, 20:00: Freeing the SNESticle in just 25 years
Johannes Holmberg (Update)
I tried this one weird trick to run Super Nintendo games on my Gamecube. You won't believe what happened next! The SNESticle Liberation Project is an effort to extract a 25-year-old SNES emulator from a Gamecube game. Why is it interesting, and how does it work? A not too deep dive into Gamecube reverse engineering, SNES development, and ancient emulation scene history.
Note: This talk happens one hour later than our usual time.
- 2022-02-12, 19:00: Road Warrior – 30 Years of Mobile Computing and Wireless Network Evolution
Martin Sauter (VCFB)
From expensive voice calls in cars for the rich to affordable global high speed mobile Internet access in the pocket of everyone. The last 30 years have seen a tremendous technical evolution and this talk focuses on the devices and networks that have come and gone over the years and how they have changed the way I work and live.
- 2021-11 to 2022-01: No Updateringar, we are busy moving!
- 2021-10-09, 18:00: Update Computer Club: History and Not-So-Certain Future
Pontus Pihlgren (Update)
At Swedish universities, students organize in clubs for spare time activities like photography, sports, music and also computers! Update is the student computer club loosely connected to Uppsala University. We started out in 1983 around what was then new shiny computers and have evolved into a caretaker of the old and precious. We have kept the very DECSYSTEM 2060 around which the club was formed as well as a VAX 8650, PDP-12, a running PDP-11/70 and many other things. The club is creeping up on its 40th birthday and we would like to present a retrospective with anecdotes and trivia. The future is uncertain as the university department paying for our rooms is moving and will no longer be able to accomodate Update. What will the next chapter for this old club be? And how can you help us?
Note: This talk is a contribution to the Vintage Computing Festival Berlin 2021 and therefore happens one hour earlier than our usual time. See also our online exhibition at the event.
- 2021-09-11, 19:00: The evolution of TECO and EMACS – hands-on demo
Lars Brinkhoff (ICtech)
The Emacs text editor has long been an important tool among programmers, and has a long and rich history. I will talk about the development of the TECO and Emacs line of editors throughout history. The emphasis is on practical demonstration of programs found through software archaeology. True to form, the bulk of the presentation will be broadcast using ancient technology.
- 2021-08-14, 19:00: The Whirlwind I
Angelo Papenhoff (Humboldt University of Berlin)
The Whirlwind was a computer of the first generation built at the servomechanisms lab at MIT. It was the first computer designed to be a highly reliable part of a system, and to be controlled in real time, rather than be a programmable calculator for scientific research. Its interactive nature directly started a tradition of computer engineering at MIT which includes the TX-0, TX-2 and DEC's PDP line of minicomputers. Its role in a simulated air defense system led to the development of the AN/FSQ-7 computer, the center piece of the SAGE system. In my talk I will give the historical context in which Whirlwind was designed and built, explain its architecture and block diagrams, go into how it was built and how it evolved over its lifetime, and of course show some simple demos in my emulator. Those who want to stick around for a bit longer are encouraged to join me in a little hands-on hacking session where we look at some original code, but also write our own to get a feeling for what programming the Whirlwind is like.
- 2021-07-10, 19:00: How I ported Space Invaders to a video game console from 1978
Bjarni Juliusson (Update)
Bjarni walks us through his recent port of the arcade classic to the Philips Videopac, a second-generation video game console. He explains the hardware limitations and shows tricks used to get around them — unlike in the arcade machine there is no frame buffer, and the functionality of the hardware sprites is severely constrained on the Videopac. The development of the port was done on real hardware with a home-made USB-connected game cartridge.
- 2021-06-12, 19:00: The Oldenburg Computer Museum – Rearing and Care
Thiemo Eddiks (Oldenburg Computer Museum)
The Oldenburg Computer Museum (OCM) is a German computer museum founded in 2008 and run by volunteers. This talk presents a historical outline of the founding of the OCM. From building up the collection to opening the first exhibition to founding the supporting association and moving to the current premises – and the professionalisation that goes with it. Thiemo Eddiks presents the didactic concept, explains the museum work in the team and gives insights into and outlooks on current projects. In addition, he talks about problems associated with running a museum as a hobby.
Website, YouTube channel
- 2021-05-08, 19:00: Forth: from the minicomputer to the microcontroller
Jan Bramkamp (CCCHB)
Forth is an almost esoteric programming language in the eyes of most modern programmers, but still worth learning if only to expand your horizon. On modern microcontrollers the strengths that made Forth stand out in on 1970s minicomputers are relevant once again: fast enough execution, low worst case latency, full control over the system, powerful metaprogramming, and interactive development. This presentation will show how to overcome the initially near vertical learning curve and get the Mecrisp Stellaris Forth system running on a STM32 microcontroller without breaking the bank. Prior exposure to microcontrollers or assembler is helpful, but not required. Once the Forth system is running we will use it to explore either the hardware it's running on or its implementation and available implementation tradeoffs.
Slides, demo code
- 2021-04-10, 19:00: Get to know the PDP-8 through emulation
Pontus Pihlgren (Update)
An emulator is a program that pretends to be a computer different from the one the emulator is executing on. This allows execution of software intended for a physical computer that you do not have. In this talk Pontus will explain the basics by implementing a fully working PDP-8 emulator and explaining each instruction and feature along the way. The end result is a working emulator in less than 1000 lines of C code. And hopefully you will walk away with both an understanding of the classic PDP-8 computer and emulation.
Website with slides and links to code