Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

Your Kindle, PDFs, EPUBs, file and format conversion and you


There are two irritations when it comes to the Kindle. First of those is  your collection of PDFs you bought or own that you’d like to read as a ‘book’ on the Kindle (without going through the whole long USER@[free.] email and Whispernet delivery process. The other is the EPUB Sony Book reader format files that you have — but that the Kindle doesn’t interpret. Here’s how to get around this. (more…)

Kindle Firmware upgrades


Remember to upgrade your Kindle from Amazon – there’s a new firmware upgrade available, taking the system to version 2.5.2 (24.3MB – you may want to transfer via USB…) (more…)

Kindle DX International now out

The Kindle 9" DX International

Bigger but not much better - the 9" Kindle DX International

Yes, yes – you knew that already. At 546g (250g more than the 6″ Kindle International) it’s still less than the 730g the iPad from Apple weighs in at. Half the weight of a netbook…

The Kindle International DX (KIDX from now on) doesn’t have the left-hand side page-turn button (no big worries if you’re right-handed), but from a functionality perspective, other than a bigger screen, it’s pretty much business as usual – PDFs still can’t zoom, web browser’s still the same, text-to-speech is still a gimmick, and still no (Sony) ePub support. $489 is the asking price, $230 more than the 6″ Kindle…

Rather stick to the 6″ — holding the 9″ Kindle to read is more exercise than relaxation…

Kindle Easter Eggs


Igor Skochinsky at Reverse Everything has some fun Easter Eggs for the Kindle (tested them on the Kindle International Edition). All the below is Igor’s work and time and effort.

From the Home Screen:
Alt-Shift-M Minesweeper
Alt-Z rescan picture directories
Alt-T show time

Alt-Shift-R reboot Kindle
Alt-Shift-. restart GUI
Alt-Shift-G make screenshot
due to an implementation bug, screenshots can only be stored on SD card, not the main storage. A gif file is saved in the card root.
Shift-Sym start demo
Enabled only if allow_demo=true is passed on the Java commandline. Needs a special demo script present on the SD card.

Off the Settings Screen (but you knew that already!)

411 show diagnostics data
511 run loopback call test
611 diagnostic data service call

The bit he notes about the picture viewer is quite cool:

I’m not sure why Amazon didn’t make it public (maybe because paging is kinda slow), but there is a basic picture viewer in Kindle.
To activate it:
1) make a folder called “pictures” in the root of Kindle drive or SD card. Kindle also checks for “dcim” made by cameras.
2) put your pictures for a single “book” into a folder inside that. The subfolder name will be used as the “book” name. Supported formats are jpg, png, gif.
3) in Home screen press Alt-Z. A new “book” should appear. Open it to view your pictures.
4) In the local menu you can toggle dithering, resize to fit and full screen mode.

Good to know! There’s a lot more info there about the file system structure etc, info that is useful if you pursue the discussions over at OSCON’s Ignite Allegedly, there’s also a GPS-linked item available in the browser…

Jesse Vincent gives a blow-by-blow run-down of the inner workings of the Kindle over at his blog.

Kindle format “cracked open”


So the Kindle format conversion from .azw to OTHER format was already something out there in Python some time ago, now it’s hit the news again.

828 lines of Python (posted 16hrs ago) thwarte the Kindle’s proprietary format (allegedly) to switch to the .mobi format. Seems that the new approach does not require the Kindle’s unique ID (unique decoding and encoding keys are used when creating .azw’s for DRM purposes) (as it rips it from the application). However, the code published on also has a full dependence on and actually runs that to decrypt the azw — ahm…

Ja… all this has been done before – why is this news now? Oh – slow news day, I guess… on the other hand, it focusses on the use of Kindle for PC as your interface…

In the new code, the Topaz file still seems to be the holy grail, so there’s not much new here:

raise UnswindleError("cannot decrypt Topaz format book")

Kindle International Version now with Screen Rotation


As you probably know already, a quiet version upgrade of the Kindle 2 has resulted in new functionality for the aA key – Screen Rotation is now an option, through a full 360°!

And web browsing on Wikipedia and Amazon work (though a Wikipedia page on Bumble Bees draws 158kB – which is the size of a smallish book..?)

Amazing what switching on your wireless now and then allows you to find out! And, what’s more, there’s now native PDF support! New firmware here or by Whispernet delivery :) In addition, longer battery life with Wireless on (1 week) and off (2 weeks!)

Beware: The update can take ages… the Screen might say “Your kindle is starting up. This can take a minute.” The Kindle will be completely unresponsive — after a few hours, it’s back in action and happy. That’s the Kindle 2 International Wireless Edition. YMMV…