Recreating the PIN cracking scene from Terminator 2 with an Atari Portfolio

Bertrand Fan is an engineer for Slack but in his spare time, he does cool stuff with old tech like Slack on a SNES or using Microsoft Cognitive Services to create baby bump timelapses. But this one is pretty cool.

It involves the scene from Terminator 2 where John Connor used an Atari Portfolio to hack an ATM and steal money. While Bertrand didn’t reverse engineer an Atari Portfolio to do exactly that, he did emulate what we, the viewers, so on the LCD display using Python.

The ATM hacking scene

And then he ported the code to Pascal. By the end, he concluded the post with this:

In the spirit of owning less stuff, I’ve gone through the mental exercise of what it would take to make the rest of this a reality but will not follow through on any of it:

1. Buy an Atari Portfolio on Ebay.

2. Buy an Atari Portfolio parallel interface and probably a new screen bezel because it’s likely scratched.

3. Find a parallel cable in my box of cables.

4. Find a PC or laptop with a parallel port, install MS-DOS v6.22 on it.

5. Download FT.COM and put it on the PC.

6. Build the EXE in Dosbox-X and transfer it to the Atari Portfolio.

7. Steal a debit card.

8. Wrap part of the card in aluminum foil, buy an Atari Portfolio serial interface, run a cable to the card.

9. Run the program.

10. Easy money!

Read the full post on his blog.

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