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.

26 thoughts on “Kindle Terminal With Secret Key-press Activation

  1. I’m a bit disappointed that no-one has backported the kindle 3 OS to kindle 2. I’m disappointed that amazon has not done it themselves.

    The hardware (cpu, memory) is identical, granted the kindle 3 has wifi and more flash. Still, it should be no obstacle.

    It’s not like kindle 1 vs kindle 2 where the cpu was changed, ram upgraded, and a massive increase in flash. Would not be surprised if the new “os” (the java main portion) could even be run directly (without touching kernel/libs/etc).

    The most important bit is that kindle 3 gets a functional browser – that’s the only real reason I see to upgrade, currently.

  2. @osgeld

    He refers to the command to enter the terminal on the Kindle, not grammar on this site. Typing Shift+T on the Kindle during normal operations will open the Terminal, an undesired effect.

  3. I have been trying to find out if the live traffic feature of Google Maps works with the Kindle3 browser. Specifically can you tell the difference between slow and nl traffic on the grayscale screen? Can someone try and post?

    I think this would be a killer feature.

  4. @osgeld, its actually mind your capitalization.

    Anyway you dope, as DC said, its a usability thing. Its like making the number 3 on a phone launch a funlights or fart app every time it is pressed. Everytime you go to make a call with the number 3, you get that crap. In this, every time you use Shift+T, a normally encountered combination when writing, it will launch the terminal. A Control or Fn or ALT + T would be better, or lacking that, Shift+T+Some Other Key at the same time, say Shift+T+E, which would be highly unlikely to trigger the terminal in normal use.

  5. the hotkey sequences to activate terminal or other apps are completely programmable (besides, even as it is now you have to release shift before pressing T in order to actiiate the terminal mode).

  6. 1)I may have been wrong, but totally ignoring that some of us live in 2010 where programs like MS orifice does that whole “caps the first word of the sentence” thing for us, sorry for assuming that the mighty kindle did something Microsoft figured out over a decade ago.

    2)I am highly disapointed that the coal mines of the site didnt notice I misspelled English

    3)”this time, you’re just an ass.” This time? seriously? where have you been?

  7. @All – A less than ideal key combo? Agreed! Probably easy to fix as stated by luigi.

    @osgeld – Is anyone but my wife and workplace still using M$oft products? You are right, all the major word processors have that functionality now. I somehow doubt that the Kindle designers had it in mind though. It started out as an e-book reader not a writing platform.

  8. @Kaleb

    As you have noticed, the open comment system is more hassle that it is worth. There are too many angrie kiddies out there spoiling it for those with working neurons.

    Just like they ruined it at Instructibles, Youtube, and every other site, they are ruining it here too.

    You are seeing more of them because many of your regular contributors are going bye bye.

    Install a system that requires registration and wipe these cyberpukes out of here fast… PLEASE!!!!

  9. Jesus people. Now I know that I am bring a hypocrite because of this post but shut the hell up. This back and forth bantering about a key combination and then the subsequent fallout of a single comment has to stop on these forums. Focus on what has been accomplished in the post and move on dammit.

    Congrats on the simple terminal access and making HAD.

  10. HaD should take this as a lesson.

    1.) implement a “submit grammar correction button”
    then delete troll comments on site (pun intended)

    2.) encourage “constructive criticism” such as politely suggesting a combo other than a capital T. (maybe just capslock)

    3.) warn trolls once when possible then require probationary “politeness confirmation” on troll ip #s before posting.

  11. The “Shift+T” everybody is whining about is not a capital T, it is a key sequence. Press and release Shift, THEN press and release T. It is documented. Reading the manual can prevent ignorant whining.

    The latest version is myts-7 from matan. You can find all this stuff (and more) at the “Developer’s Corner” forum at

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