Laser etched Kindle 2


After seeing the xkcd comic where they call the Kindle2 the hitchhiker’s guide, [Ladyada] couldn’t help but laser etch the Kindle 2 with “Don’t Panic”. We think it looks pretty good, if a bit bubbly. You can see the video of the entire process after the break. Now that xkcd has infiltrated our interwebs, hearts, and minds, maybe he can put just a tiny bit of effort into learning to draw. If you don’t have access to a laser etcher, you could always make your own. Just be careful you don’t accidentally go full out and cut your kindle to shreds.

The kindle isn’t the strangest thing we’ve seen etched by far. We’ve seen Pizza cut by laser and even laser tattoos.
[via the Hack a Day flickr pool]


  1. Laslow says:

    Not-so-nice video – all I can make out for most of it is sun reflecting off the glass cover and the laser head moving back and forth. Weeeee.

  2. albert says:


    wtf with the learning to draw comment? not really on topic, and stupid regardless. the point of xkcd isn’t to be a life-like comic. if you want to look at better drawn comics, check out; it’s much more realistic and probably right up your alley.

  3. tech123 says:

    yep, sorry vid, cant see it. not quite up to hackaday standards

  4. Timothy says:

    That’s awesome.

  5. Dan says:

    He might be poking a bit of fun at xkcd.

    Anywho, cool hack. I did always envision the Hitchhiker’s Guide as being a little more of an open platform, but this is a great start :-).

  6. JB says:

    You should seriously think on investing in a circular polarizer lens for your camcorder. Kills those reflections and they are cheap ;) Nice laser etching BTW.

  7. Vince says:

    Not a hack, but cool etching nonetheless.

  8. vonskippy says:

    What’s next, a lasagna “hack” where you put it in the microwave to cook?

  9. Falcolas says:

    “maybe he can put just a tiny bit of effort into learning to draw”

    Eh, I hope he doesn’t. It’s part of the draw of the comic to me.

  10. ex-parrot says:

    “I did always envision the Hitchhiker’s Guide as being a little more of an open platform”

    Hardly! The great publishing corporations of Ursa-Minor-Beta would like nothing more than to ensure 100% vendor lock in ;)

  11. anonymous says:

    I would stop reading xkcd if it were not drawn with stick figures anymore.

  12. Nick says:

    Lol my grandpa has one of those for his company “” but he will do other stuff besides picture if you pay him.

  13. You might realise that in several strips (notably some of the early sketches and also he has shown a good ability to draw. He just doesn’t use it all the time; perhaps because he’s first and foremost a storyteller as opposed to a visual artist.

  14. albert says:


    that was hilarious, and pretty much how i felt about this post…etching things isn’t anything new, and while i love ladyada and all she does this link could have been provided on a “link dump” post that you see every once in awhile instead of a dedicated post. a dedicated post is a hack, something new, or good info on the presentations at defcon, etc. i don’t mean to sound preposterous, dictating what hack-a-day, something i didn’t invent and have no contribution towards, should be. that being said, if you put something up and allow comments, some will be critical. this is one of the few times i’ll post with a criticism, but i’m not a big fan of caleb kraft in the first place.

  15. jon says:

    the letters aren’t bubbly they are large friendly letters.

  16. Nitori says:

    I really don’t see the big deal with this device it’s not even color.
    I can do all the same stuff and more on an eee PC.

  17. Caleb Kraft says:

    @whoever about xkcd

    The swipe at xkcd was a request of a co writer here who shall remain nameless. Frankly, I couldn’t care less how xkcd is drawn. I do, however, find the comparison of the Kindle 2 to the hitchiker’s guide tenuous at best. Wouldn’t any web enabled portable device have even more ability to answer questions? I almost hate to say it, but maybe the iPhone is closer.

  18. I think xkcd looks like crap. Swallow your pride; hire an artist.

  19. IceBrain says:

    @caleb: Kindle 2 *is* webenabled, with _free_ 3G access, and has 2 weeks of battery duration. I think it’s much better as a Wiki reading device than any phone.

  20. marz says:


    wtf is wrong with you people. xkcd IS a fucking COMIC, if you need something more realistic go watch pr0n or something.

    Worst article yet.

  21. albert says:

    @ eliot

    who cares what you think about xkcd’s art style? it’s not meant to be renoir, it’s meant to be a comic that is written by a guy who is obviously some sort of applied science major. what is depicted in the comic is the main theme, not making it as realistic as possible, or even as art heavy as possible. two stick figures talking about coding in c, frequent raptor themes, or talking about the lhc make the main body of the comic the topic being discussed. people like me appreciate it because it’s hilarious and quite unique.

    as far as your comment on swallowing pride and hiring an artist, go fuck yourself. xkcd is the creative outlet of whomever writes and illustrates it. artists don’t have to fit your mold of what you consider “good” to be good. there’s plenty of art i can’t stand, but i don’t go around saying how the person needs to swallow their pride and shape up. it’s creative expression.


    why is it that you feel it necessary to oblige other writers in your posts? if they want to say it, let them post the topic and say it. don’t be a patsy. it’s not like this topic was something so cool you just had to post it anyway. it’s not a working scale model of fermilab or a diy electric car that’s actually feasible.

  22. ross says:

    now i’m going to wind up buying a kindle just to laser etch my own guide to the galaxy. :)

  23. bob says:

    Ooooo, handbags at dawn!

    Don’t diss teh xkcd!

  24. That is one sweet laser etch; bravo!

    a href=””>laser etching

  25. Mike Hamton says:

    The best kindle hack app is released by – there is an excellent support for PDF with zoom, ePUB and doc files.

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