A community of amateur and seasoned hackers have figured out how to tinker with Kindles to make the experience a little more “theirs,” reconfiguring them with unapproved fonts and bypassing the ads Amazon injects into cheaper versions of the e-reader.
Via OneZero on Medium
Jessamyn West, a librarian and technologist in Vermont, says she was a pretty late adopter to the world of Kindles, but after a power outage left her unable to read one night, she was inspired to buy a refurbished backlit Kindle on eBay for about $50. West says she hated how her Kindle’s pages refreshed and went down a rabbit hole of Google searches to see if she could fix it. She ended up finding a community of Kindle hackers who had figured out how to do a bunch of stuff on the device she hadn’t thought of, like replacing Amazon’s stock wallpaper.
“I just don’t like looking at it,” West says of the default images that would appear when she turned the Kindle off. “It had nothing to do with my reading experience. I just didn’t want to look at it.”
West also saw certain hacks as a way to distance herself — and her reading activity — from Amazon. She figured out how to move different book formats, books from the library, and her own PDFs onto the device without having to go through Amazon, effectively finding alternatives to the tech giant’s ecosystem.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.