Kindle terminal with secret key-press activation

[Luigi Rizzo] has been working on some hacks for his 3rd generation Kindle. There is already a Python based terminal emulator called AjaxTerm but he wanted a lightweight standalone so he reimplemented the program in C. The 100k binary monitors the keyboard, launching the terminal emulator when it detects a Shift-T sequence. It also uses alternative key mapping to fill in for some of the keys the Kindle’s keyboard is missing.

We haven’t seen a whole lot of Kindle hacking since it was hacked to run Ubuntu. Seems like this terminal emulator is a useful and unobtrusive hack to try out on the beloved reader.

EEVblog dissects a kindle 3


[Dave] over at the EEVblog did a review of the kindle 3 recently, but never got to the good stuff, the guts.  He is now rectifying this with a full video dissection of the eReader. Full of details on how to open it up as well as specifics on the internals, this is a fun video to watch. One thing that caught our attention was the RFID tag on the inside of the case.  It is probably for inventory tracking, but we can’t help but have a few tinfoil hat type thoughts. You can watch the video after the break.

Continue reading “EEVblog dissects a kindle 3”

Add a Bluetooth terminal to your Kindle

This is an Amazon Kindle DX with a Sparkfun Bluetooth Mate stuck in it. [Darron] hacked the two together in order to have a wireless serial terminal on the device. There are three big pads in the middle of the Kindle PCB labelled GND, RX and TX, making it easy to figure out those connections. Getting voltage was a bit more difficult. He managed to find 4V coming off of one side of the Kindle’s wakeup switch which works well because the Bluetooth Mate has a voltage regulator on board. To protect the Bluetooth module he modified it to pull-up the TX from the on-board regulated 3.3V rather than the 4V coming in from the Kindle.

He’s also been doing some software work on the device now that he has easy access to it. Along the lines of the Ubuntu-on-Kindle hack from September, he’s compiled QT for the Kindle and written a couple of programs such as Sudoku to show that it works.

Kindle DRM cracked

Ding-dong, the DRM is gone. But not in the way we really want. The copy protection scheme that is used for most Kindle books has been cracked. We’d much prefer it hadn’t been there in the first place but then there’d be no challenge for security hackers.

Giving credit for the advancement gets a little messy. Apparently two folks figured this out at approximately the same time. [Labba] posted about his discoveries while [I (heart) Cabbages] wrote about his exploits in a blog entry. Either way, you can now strip the protection and use your legally-purchased books on any device you choose by using this Python script.

This means that both Kindle and Nook have had their DRM broken. Are these companies really trying to prevent copying (fair use) or do they just want to be able to tell the publishers that there are copy protections while turning a blind eye to what happens in the privacy of your personal computer?

[Thanks Sanchoooo via Slashdot]

Ubuntu 9.04 on Kindle 2


Having read books on a Palm device for years we were excited when Amazon came up with the Kindle. Our problem is that if you’re going to carry around a portable device it should do a whole lot more than just display text from a few books. [Jesse Vincent] managed to get Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope running on the Kindle 2. This opens up endless possibilities to run whatever you want on this hardware.

The new functionality was presented in a talk at OSCON 2009. Be warned, [Jesse] has a very high geeky-hacker level. Make sure you have a tech dictionary and Google at the ready when you watch the video embedded after the break. His talk starts at about two minutes in and runs for five minutes total. Continue reading “Ubuntu 9.04 on Kindle 2”

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.

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Tethering the Kindle 2


This is not an article on how to use your Kindle’s internet connection with your computer. We’ll let [Jesse] explain why:

This is not a tutorial about how to use the Kindle 2’s Sprint connection from your computer. I don’t know that it’s possible to do so without making changes to the Linux installation on the Kindle. I do know that abusing the Kindle’s Sprint modem like that would upset Amazon a great deal.  Bear in mind also that Amazon know where you live. They know your Kindle’s serial number and thanks to the built in GPS, they know where you are right now.

What this is, however, is a nice tutorial on how to connect your Kindle to your computer so that it can use your computer’s internet connection. The instructions assume you are using a Mac, so you may have to adapt it if you aren’t. Basically you put the Kindle in Debug mode and tell it to use the USB tether for it’s network connection. This should allow not only a faster connection, but possibly a chance to see what exactly they are transferring back and forth.