With wearable computers like Google Glass and Apple Watch wooing the tech obsessed, it's hard not to feel bad for older machines showing their age. Printers no doubt look at fax machines and imagine a grim future of irrelevance, but they can buck up thanks to hot new game support! Printers are finally getting id's Doom just 21 years after the game came out.
Only one printer is actually running Doom at the moment. Michael Jordon, a researcher with Context Information Security spent four months hacking a Canon Pixma printer to get it to run the classic shooter. The Pixma's online access interface lets owners check on the status of their printer remotely via a web browser, but it also created a massive vulnerability to hacking as noticed by Jordon.
Once he realized the extent to which he could access one of the printers through the web, he got it running every hacker's delight. "Running Doom, that's real proof you control the thing," Jordon told the BBC.
"The printer has a 32-bit Arm processor, 10 meg of memory and even the screen is the right size," explained Jordon. "I had all the bits, but it was a coding problem to get it all running together."
It's not perfect. The printer's firmware, being fundamentally different than that of a PC despite running on an Arm processor, lacks basic functions found in most every other machine that runs Doom, from feature phones to consoles. Jordon won't be fixing Doom Pixma's color palette or other features, though.
"I'm so sick of it. I'm done," said Jordon.
[Editor's Note: This horrible headline was brought to you by Sinan Kubba.]