Kindle hacking and clocking…

There’s a super little Instructable on how to make a Literary clock using a Kindle. Well, I happened to have an old school original Kindle 3 about and dived it. Some observations….

  • The jailbreaking materials for the Kindle are functional but there’s so many images out there its easy to see why people can get confused.
  • The USB/Wifi Networking hack is pretty good to work with when you’re doing USB only, but I wasn’t sold on Wifi configuration, so I stuck with USB and the joy of self-assigning IPs.
  • The instructable’s own assets are easy enough to install and get running. It basically wakes up every minute and puts up the appropriate image as pre-rendered on the desktop with a Python script.
  • The time is wrong, even when set to BST and I can’t seem to correct it. Timezones seem to be odd inside the Kindle, TZ adjustments seem to only work in the negative. Still, proof of concept…
  • Swapping the display image sees the screen flash a few times which would be nice to reduce.
  • And it has to be a passive USB power supply to stop the USB disk mode kicking in.

But it is rather splendid and has set me on a course of looking at the Kindle and a slab of ePaper with a small Linux to hand and an ability to run Python. Now, thats interesting…

Rebooting Codescaling – Keyboard Kickoff

I’ve not been blogging much here, but thats going to change. Fresh lick of theme, and… we’re off.

First up, this Ortho-linear keyboard from OLKB. I have a distinct keyboard fetish and I don’t think it’ll be every satisfied. Always looking for something different and this OLKB Plank kit seems to have tickled every spot. The Ortho-linear layout puts everything on a grid, and has no proven benefits but it does feel nice to type on in terms of finger positioning.

The 40% layout is compact (numbers are orange raise and QWERTYUIOP, shifted number symbols are blue lower and the same). I spend more time mapping the 40% compression more than worrying about the ortho-linear  layout.

Building was simple and fun. The PCB was lovely to solder with and the biggest trudge was making sure all the keys were well positioned while mounting the aluminium plate. The AVR controller on the board makes it more chatty than many keyboards with a small piezo buzzer playing a wake up tune and lots of customisation options hidden away. If you are curious, it’s the QMK Firmware running on the AVR chip.

And like a gateway keyboard, I’ve already got an order in for the Preonic variant which goes 60%, and an extra row. And the Planck, it’s going onto my four-system HDMI KVM to get some working time in.