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Ubuntu 9.04 On Kindle 2

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the general-insanity dept.

Hardware Hacking 194

JO_DIE_THE_STAR_F*** writes "Jesse Vincent managed to get Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope running on the Kindle 2. The new functionality was presented in a talk at OSCON 2009."

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First (0, Flamebait)

SmarkWoW (1382053) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304047)

But can it run Crysis?

Re:First (2, Funny)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304059)

The real question is, can it run Lin...oh, never mind.

Re:First (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304171)

No, the REAL question is... why?

A Netbook is cheaper, faster, and designed to run it. Why pay Amazon for an overpriced specialty item then make it do something it was never intended to do? I can't imagine the thing can still access the 3G network for free (the author replied "YES BUT DON'T DO THAT" to someone who asked)...

And, yes, I know... "because we can". And I congratulate the person who managed this. It's an impressive technical achievement.

Still doesn't make it something I see a lot of people wanting to do. Why would anyone really want to take a one-trick pony and change the trick...?

Re:First (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304263)

Just the answer you gave is answer enough.

Keep it in context. This was a guy at an open source conference, showing off a new example of something that Linux people take pride in. If he were trying to make a business of selling Ubuntu Kindles then he might need to concern himself with the practicality of it.

Re:First (1, Redundant)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304373)

That's about what I figured. :)

Smart dude, significant accomplishment, and not to denigrate his success but I'd love to see him using all that brainpower on something else.

But I can't criticize - we all have our hobbies. I can't say the time I spend kayaking really helps humanity out all that much either (grin).

Re:First (4, Interesting)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304913)

I can't and don't claim to be an expert, by any means, but I think the other thing you have to keep in mind is that it's a good proof of concept. If Ubuntu can be put on it, that might mean that other, slimmer distros might be able to be put on it. What if you could take Android or WebOS, rework them to move a cursor around for item selection (rather than through touch), and run that? Either of those would obviously have no problem running on a 3G network, and you'd have the kind of light apps that the Kindle should be able to handle.

Like I said, I'm not an expert, but being able to install a new OS on the Kindle does open up some possibilities, I think.

Re:First (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304345)

You can't read a netbook easily in daylight. A kindle is also much smaller and lighter than even a netbook. However, I pretty much agree with you that there is not much point in doing this.

More Books (2, Interesting)

wembley fraggle (78346) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304419)

I don't know why you'd particularly want to run X11 on a kindle, or certain apps. But there's definitely a space here for stuff like other eBook formats, word-processing (eInk looks great when you're outside), and improving on the general Kindle user experience. For example - the DX has PDF reading, but there's no real organization of PDFs other than by filename. What if I want to organize all my work PDFs (journal articles and whatnot) by journal, author, keyword, etc? Wouldn't it be cool if someone ported Papers to the Kindle DX?

Generally speaking, I love the Kindle hardware as a display device. The interface and user experience is pretty terrible, especially coming from a regular computer where there's always SOMETHING you can download to fix your problems.

Re:First (3, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304433)

Still doesn't make it something I see a lot of people wanting to do.

This is why I stopped reading Linux Journal. There would be some nice technical articles, but there seemed to be a lot how-to articles that only 1 or 2 people would care about. (i.e. Linux powered sump pump)

The "because you can" argument is getting old. I like the "because you can AND you can benefit from it".

Re:First (2, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304717)

Presumable the person who built a linux-controlled/monitored sump pump did benefit from it. Just because you don't have an application for it doesn't mean that none exists. And if you've ever had a failed sump pump, or more incoming water than the sump could drain, you might understand the benefit of having a "smart" pump that could alert you to failures.

At the very least there's the benefit of having done something he enjoyed and produced a demonstrable product -- it's not any different than someone who likes woodworking and builds birdhouses/furniture/whatever that they don't strictly need.

Re:First (1)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305159)

I think, though, what the GP was trying to get at is that the Linux Journal is kind of a "mainstream" Linux publication. Articles about Linux-powered sump pumps are great examples of "look what we can port it to", but overall they do nothing to encourage widespread Linux adoption by average users.

Re:First (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304475)

Well, I don't have one myself, so in some sense I must agree with the not-worth-it assessment. But it's not really expensive compared to a netbook, if we're talking about the Kindle 2 (the subject of this article) rather than the Kindle DX. It costs $299 [amazon.com] , which is basically the going rate [newegg.com] for netbooks. So it'd be really deciding on features rather than price.

Kindle wins on: battery life, daylight visibility of the display, weight, free 3G internet

Netbooks win on: hardware (CPU/ram/hdd/etc.), color display, can run a normal OS without heroics

Just depends on what you want, I think. Do you care more about the 1.6 GHz Atom vs. 400 MHz XScale? Do you care more about a weight of 2/3 lbs vs 2 lbs? Etc.

Somewhat Meta. (2, Informative)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304479)

No, the REAL question is... why?

A Netbook is cheaper, faster, and designed to run it. Why pay Amazon for an overpriced specialty item then make it do something it was never intended to do? I can't imagine the thing can still access the 3G network for free (the author replied "YES BUT DON'T DO THAT" to someone who asked)...

And, yes, I know... "because we can". And I congratulate the person who managed this. It's an impressive technical achievement.

Still doesn't make it something I see a lot of people wanting to do. Why would anyone really want to take a one-trick pony and change the trick...?

My question is... doesn't it ALREADY [blogspot.com] run linux?

Re:First (5, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304489)

You have got to be kidding! I have a netbook and an ebook reader, and they are absolutely not replacements or each other! OK, I'll spell it out for you in detail.

Things the Kindle can do that the Netbook can't:

  • eink display: It's easy on the eyes, works in bright sunlight, has the same viewing angle as paper.
  • Three weeks of battery life. The best netbooks can run for seven hours. The Kindle is in an entirely different class
  • Free, unlimited 3G internet connection that works anywhere a cell phone works.
  • Onboard GPS
  • Access to Amazon's ebook store: This should not be easily dismissed. I read scifi novels, and every one I have looked up has been available. They are also several dollars cheaper than printed books, and I can buy them without getting out of bed :-)

I have a high-end PC, a netbook, an ebook reader, and a smart phone. I am very glad I have all of them. Each of these devices has capabilities or conveniences not available on the other devices. These are great times to bee a technophile; anyone who dismisses this tech is pointless has no idea what he is talking about.

Re:First (3, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304605)

Finally, someone who gets it.

I'm a grad student, and I can't begin to tell you how many PDF files my professors have distributed to classes as reading material. Hundreds of pages, probably thousands. Sometimes I find torrents of books I'm supposed to read for class; other times, the Kindle version is cheaper than any available used copy (and I get it instantaneously, no waiting a week for shipping).

I'd like a netbook too, mainly for taking notes, but they're different devices with different purposes.

Re:First (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304733)

My post was not critical of the Kindle, per se. I haven't a use for one myself, but I recognize that others do.

My criticism was directed at the utility of hacking a Kindle and replacing the operating system.

Re:First (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304837)

Likewise, I wasn't trying to criticize you. I agree with you, replacing the Kindle's OS is probably pretty pointless right now. (Actually, not totally, there are alternative versions of it that allow you to do stuff like download PDFs directly on it, change the screensaver images, and view unicode characters).

Re:First (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304699)

*IF* the 3G connection survived, I'd be inclined to agree with you. But the author himself merely replied "YES BUT DON'T DO IT" when asked if the 3G connection was still there.

Even with the loss of 3G, though, I suppose you have a good point. If you don't care about the thing talking, but you want to have a better index of books, or use it as a large GPS unit, or whatever, I suppose the tradeoff might be worth it.

Re:First (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304987)

things it also does From Vincents presentation:

1.) Amazon knows where you are
2.) has your credit card #
3.) Your home address
4.) Sends syslog to amazon 2 times a day
5.) Profit !

Re:First (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305111)

I have a high-end PC, a netbook, an ebook reader, and a smart phone.

And money.

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29305193)

Not any more.

Re:First (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304635)

A netbook is no more "designed" to run Ubuntu than the Kindle is.

The form factor of the Kindle might make more sense to a lot of
people. That's why it's successful as a book reader. Perhaps not
everyone wants a proprietary book reader. Perhaps it's time for
the advent of the "PC clone" version of book readers.

Re:First (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305227)

A netbook is no more "designed" to run Ubuntu than the Kindle is.

Depends which netbook [markshuttleworth.com] you get.

Re:First (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304905)

Please define "overpriced".

Re:First (4, Insightful)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304921)

Whatever happened to doing things because they're fun or cool? I don't understand...he does something that is, by all accounts, really neat, and people ask him "Why? What's the practical purpose?"

He did it for the "Can-I-really-do-this?" factor. Isn't that enough?

Re:First (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304715)

Why not Debian? I know Ubuntu is built on top of Debian, but Ubuntu, to me seems to be the XP, Run on i386, look pretty and be easy to setup version of Debian that doesn't seem like it'd be suited for a Kindle.

Especially some of the emdebian stuff 'designed' for routers and other tiny appliances.

Re:First (1, Informative)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305215)

Why not Debian?

Because Debian is crap on the desktop? And I'm a Debian 'fanboy' so I have a right to say that.

I have been developing some desktop virtual machines, I've tried Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) and Debian Lenny.

Lenny is just not comparable with Jaunty for desktop use, and I'd imagine the same would apply to Kindle or Netbooks.

I'm not dissing Debian; I use Debian on servers, pretty much exclusively. I'd be very averse to using Ubuntu on servers.

data connection? (4, Interesting)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304109)

I can't help but wonder - is the kindle's data connection still available?

And if so, on what end is the code that limits the kindle to accessing wikipedia and amazon?

Re:data connection? (4, Informative)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304183)

I can't help but wonder - is the kindle's data connection still available?

And if so, on what end is the code that limits the kindle to accessing wikipedia and amazon?

It should be; the data connection (sprint) doesn't use an account-name system. It's based on hardware. The hardware hasn't changed, so one can assume connectivity will work.

Re:data connection? (4, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304303)

Someone on the project page asked the guy who did this if the data connection worked.

His reply was rather cryptic: "YES BUT DON'T DO THAT".

If the person who managed it is recommending against it, the very same hoopy frood with the smarts who managed to go to all the trouble to hack Ubuntu onto the Kindle, then I gotta go with "it either doesn't work well enough to bother, or there's a really good reason why you shouldn't use it if it does".

Re:data connection? (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304427)

His reply was rather cryptic: "YES BUT DON'T DO THAT".

The reason he typed in all caps was because he was running from Amazon's black helicopters.

Re:data connection? (3, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304469)

I was wondering about their patent on "One Click Kidnapping".

Warner Brothers might have prior art... (1)

weston (16146) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304981)

... that not only did something similar, it one-up'd one-click with voice recognition. I don't know if you've watched Freakazoid! [wikipedia.org] , but there's a guy on that show named Candleja

Re:data connection? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304485)

I doubt that there is any particular technical reason; but it might well be an excellent way to have the data connection cut off. Much worse, from the perspective of the linux enthusiast, who the presenter presumably is, would be Sprint, or any other carrier considering a future deal to provide a whispernet-like service, insisting on hardcore cryptographic device crippling as a condition.

Enforcing network security in the client wouldn't be a terribly good plan; but a carrier's attempt to do so could make a project like that of TFA much harder in the future.

Re:data connection? (2, Insightful)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304493)

Not sure why he states not to do that.
Granted, if the volume of traffic for a kindle goes way up beyond what Amazon and Sprint negotiated, there would be flags raised.
I'm sure there are some data usage catch-all's buried in the license agreement.

Re:data connection? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29305109)

It's in the video. "Amazon knows where you live, who you are, and what your credit card number is."

Re:data connection? (4, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304541)

He probably doesn't want to draw attention. If the data connection is abused then Amazon may try and block people from installing Linux.

Re:data connection? (2, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304619)

Then the correct answer is "NO", at least to the public. :)

snip snip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304963)

If Amazon can delete books on a per device basis then it stands to reason they can cut off data access on individual devices too. It's only fair though, they are paying for the connection. Likely the cell carrier rips them off because books aren't very big and the typical traffic usage would therefor be very low.

Re:data connection? (3, Interesting)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304999)

I can't say for sure, but I imagine the reason he said "YES BUT DON'T DO THAT" isn't because it doesn't work, but because neither Amazon nor Sprint intended the Kindle to use the 3G connection for heavy browsing. (Otherwise, it wouldn't be free.)

Amazon has locked people out of their store (and the Kindle accounts) before for misbehavior. Best-case scenario, if you go wild, is you'll find yourself without access to the online bookstore and/or your Amazon account. Worst-case scenario, probably, is having to pay a hefty bill for the access and losing access to Amazon and the Kindle bookstore.

Re:data connection? (2, Funny)

popo (107611) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304341)

Wait, really? You mean to say that if I have the right hardware, I could conceivably get free wireless access (at least to Wikipedia) anywhere -- and there's no system of authentication to shut it down without shutting down every existing Kindle?

That seems like huge news.

If true, I'm surprised there aren't black market chips that do this.

Re:data connection? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304449)

Given that the connection is just a standard cellular modem, it'd be easy enough for either Sprint or Amazon(depending on exactly how their access deal is structured) to flag an offending device and just stop talking to it. It may well not be automated at this point, the process might even have be improvised on the fly for the first couple of times; but it should be doable enough.

I assume that Amazon is getting a much better deal, per modem in use, than most other users are because of bulk and because the Kindle is a lousy device for heavy data access, so I'd assume that they would be displeased by widespread use of Kindles as general purpose internet devices; but Sprint should just be able to cut them off one by one, same as any other cellular account.

Re:data connection? (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305237)

You mean to say that if I have the right hardware, I could conceivably get free wireless access (at least to Wikipedia) anywhere -- and there's no system of authentication to shut it down without shutting down every existing Kindle?

Actually, Amazon has built pretty good authentication into the system. The system stores:

1) Your Amazon account information
2) Your credit card number
3) Your location (via the GPS)

So if you do decide to piss Amazon off, like someone else implied above, you might as well just sit down, have a cup of coffee, and wait for the black Amazon helicopters to land on your lawn. :)

Re:data connection? (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304185)

The Kindle isn't limited to accessing Wikipedia and Amazon even with the default OS-- there's a web browser under the "experimental" features in the default menu. Amazon doesn't play it up much partly because it's not very good [techcrunch.com] , and partly because presumably they'd lose money if people bought Kindles just for web browsing.

Re:data connection? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304307)

Priced at $299, I doubt they lose any money on the hardware.

Re:data connection? (3, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304503)

Amazon presumably pays Sprint for the service connection too. My guess is Amazon pays per byte, because they charge to wirelessly transmit books to the kindle (unless you buy the book from Amazon, in which case that's baked into the price).

If my guess is true, using it purely as a browser could cost Amazon a decent amount. Fortunately for them, the browser is terrible and the screen is too slow to browse quickly.

Re:data connection? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304509)

They don't lose money on the hardware, but they're selling you the hardware and a few years of unlimited 3G connectivity for that $299.

Re:data connection? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304675)

I love the use of the term "unlimited" in contexts like this. I think I'm going to publish my own I.T. industry dictionary with revised definitions that match reality.

unlimited (\-Ëli-mÉ(TM)-tÉ(TM)d\, adjective) - for data transfer, any amount less than approximately 500 GB per month.

Re:data connection? (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305163)

Here in Australia, "unlimited" apparently means 12GB. >:(

Re:data connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29305067)

Priced at $299, I doubt they lose any money on the hardware.

You seriously believe that? Did you bother pricing what OEMs pay for E Ink displays and controllers and cell modem modules? If you pull the Kindle 2 apart it's obvious that it was not made low cost like a cell phone, there are off the shelf components in there that are quite expensive.

Re:data connection? (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304207)

And if so, on what end is the code that limits the kindle to accessing wikipedia and amazon?

In your head? Or is that just a Kindle 2 limitation? 'Cause the DX can visit any site its primitive browser is capable of displaying. I've got a slashdot bookmark on my DX.

Or, did you mean the code that prevents you from tethering it?

Re:data connection? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304221)

I can't help but wonder - is the kindle's data connection still available?

And if so, on what end is the code that limits the kindle to accessing wikipedia and amazon?

Yes, the data link is still available.

And kindle doesn't limit users to Wikipedia and Amazon! I can check my emails, get books from Project Gutenberg etc - I think the limit is Javascript (AFAIK).

One obvious question (-1, Redundant)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304179)

...why?

Seriously, what is the purpose of running a regular operating system on the Kindle? I don't see how that would make it more useful or practical in any way.

Re:One obvious question (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304255)

It gives you a better base on which to start customizing the device--- e.g. once there was Linux on the XBox, people started producing software to turn them into media centers. The built-in OS on Kindle can't do much, and it's not easy to modify it to have it do more. For example, even on the Kindle's hardware it should be possible to have a better web browser than the really bad one that's built in.

Is the ultimate answer still "because we can"? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304673)

So the purpose of running a regular operating system on a Kindle is to give you a base on which to start customizing the device, right?

So ... What is the purpose of customizing the device?

Re:Is the ultimate answer still "because we can"? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304681)

Well, to get a better web browser, for one.

Re:One obvious question (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304259)

because you can.

(Mod me redundant too please)

Re:One obvious question (4, Insightful)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304261)

Because under *nix you can use file permissions to prevent Amazon from deleting your files.

(This is partly a joke - but only partly)

Re:One obvious question (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304323)

Even better, you can use the device to store anything you want, with the ability to copy it anywhere you want.

You can already do that. (2, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304409)

You can already do that. The Kindle appears to the computer as a USB mass storage device.

Re:You can already do that. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304685)

I want the ability to copy my stuff anywhere I want without having to go the USB route.

Re:You can already do that. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304763)

Then it sounds like you want an external hard drive.

The Kindle doesn't have 802.11b/g/n or Bluetooth. Putting (a different distro of) Linux on it won't magically make that hardware appear.

Maybe, just maybe, putting this distro on it will make it possible to e-mail files as attachments over the Kindle's 3G connection (for all I know someone may have already figured out how to do that with the stock distro), but what's the point of turning it into a glorified USB pen drive?

Re:You can already do that. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305197)

No, I don't want an external drive, nor do I need one with Ubuntu installed on this thing. Out of curiosity, why would I email files around when I can simply use scp, rsync, or [insert other network copy tool] to do it? Internet connectivity works fine.

Re:One obvious question (4, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304347)

I recently bought a Kindle book (was cheaper than used copies), and discovered that it appeared to have been scanned, and poorly at that. There were OCR artifacts, and the font was crappy. I read up on the situation, and found that Amazon offers refunds for 7 days after a Kindle book purchase. I called, complained, and was refunded the price for my purchase. (Not sure if the 7 days is accurate, read that online, but it worked for me).

I had backed up my Kindle files, and I was curious what would happen when I 'synced' the Kindle with its wireless connection. Sure enough, the book I was refunded for disappeared. Also out of curiosity, I restored the backed-up file of the book to the Kindle, and it was still readable.

Re:One obvious question (2, Informative)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304523)

Until the next time it does a full sync with Amazon to confirm purchases. I wouldn't expect it to stick around forever.

Re:One obvious question (2, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304543)

I already synced again, to see what would happen. It didn't disappear. (I had renamed the file, not sure if that has any effect).

Re:One obvious question (1, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304501)

Chances are that *nix also prevents you from being able to use the device as it was intended as well, so its double the bonus. Amazon can't make the device any less useful to you because you've already done so!

Re:One obvious question (1)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304871)

Perhaps by renaming them?

Re:One obvious question (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304271)

You're approaching the problem all wrong.

The innovative side of human creativity comes from asking the opposite. You should not ask Why... but rather...

WHY NOT????

Re:One obvious question (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304301)

Your post sums up all the things that are wrong in the popular mind, and exactly why research budgets are falling at a time when they need to be drastically expanded.

Furthermore, it's rather arrogant to diminish the very deserving accomplishments of others just because you simply lack the imagination to think past today. If you don't find any use to it, don't use it. This developer felt it was necessary/cool/practical/etc. to put Ubuntu on a Kindle. This is basically THE tenet that guides software development by individuals. You develop what you use and keep to yourself re: the things you don't use.

Re:One obvious question (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304721)

So we should start spending our limited research dollars investigating how to install full Linux on devices that weren't meant to support it?

How exactly does that further the state of the art?

Re:One obvious question (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304573)

...why?

Seriously, what is the purpose of running a regular operating system on the Kindle? I don't see how that would make it more useful or practical in any way.

I will admit that I'm not familiar with the Kindle as a device, but personally I consider the addition of just about any new mobile that can run vim (at least) to be a good thing.

Also, in some cases, the corporate world appears to want a scenario where dedicated devices are the norm. In other words, you buy a Kindle to read ebooks, but you have to buy an iPod as a seperate device to listen to music. This not only creates waste, but is also usurious for the consumer.

If the Kindle has a USB port, it can probably now be made to do both.

Re:One obvious question (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304641)

Now you can use the Kindle to author documents, and not just view them. You can probably also use a decent web browser for a change. Maybe even play some games, or IRC or whatever. Use your imagination.

Guh... (0, Offtopic)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304217)

I love how SonicWall thinks HackADay is "[malicious] Hacking/Proxy Avoidance".

I've requested the site to be re-rated as Arts/Entertainment, but they refused.

Re:Guh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304369)

Sitting at Panera right now, blocked by sonic wall with catagory of other.
nessus.org and insecure.org both work?

Re:Guh... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304559)

So 'ssh -D' into your home machine, and tunnel all your web traffic through there.

Crap, now I'm going to get /. blocked for "proxy avoidance".

Why? Because it is there? (3, Interesting)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304227)

This is very highly cool. I wish I had the time and money to spend on such an endeavor. However, my question is - how does one get to the CLI and type in the inevitable commands that must be run to make things work??

Re:Why? Because it is there? (3, Informative)

Psyborgue (699890) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304783)

It has a keypad. Check the picture.

Re:Why? Because it is there? (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305047)

Yeah, my bad. I saw that was a keypad upon further inspection of the very quick video. Kind of reminds me of the TRS-80 CoCo.

Re:Why? Because it is there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29305077)

Seriously. You'd think someone who's so impressed with the feat would have some idea of what the hardware is actually like.

Imagine (1, Troll)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304233)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

There, beat everyone else.

help me out ... (4, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304285)

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 minute in and runs for five minutes total.

is there a new rating system i don't know about? what are the other options besides "very high geek-hacker level"?

Re:help me out ... (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304535)

Here is the scale:

1) Stoned geek-hacker
2) very high geek-hacker
3) high geek-hacker
4) one-puff geek-hacker
5) sober geek-hacker

Re:help me out ... (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305151)

The post office is starting to have problem because no one uses it for personal mail. Before everyone had email, it did just fine. ANd it still delivers a letter cheaper then the other carriers.

You might have a point if everyone started carrying a doctor everywhere they go.

How about a salient argument with relevant examples?

Re:help me out ... (1)

notmyusualnickname (1221732) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304607)

is there a new rating system i don't know about? what are the other options besides "very high geek-hacker level"?

I think it's based on something like the rate of neologisms/minute and the viewer's ability to parse them out based upon context.

Interesting test of Amazon's Legal Dept. (4, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304309)

From their terms of use [amazon.com] :

No Reverse Engineering, Decompilation, Disassembly or Circumvention. You may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, modify, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Device or the Software, whether in whole or in part, create any derivative works from or of the Software, or bypass, modify, defeat or tamper with or circumvent any of the functions or protections of the Device or Software or any mechanisms operatively linked to the Software, including, but not limited to, augmenting or substituting any digital rights management functionality of the Device or Software.

I wonder what the legal team will do? This is a derivative work and the guy did reverse engineer how things worked (a little) to get Linux on it.

Re:Interesting test of Amazon's Legal Dept. (4, Interesting)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304463)

Did Amazon put a lease on the Kindle? No.

It's yours. The debt was paid and you own the device. You can bash it in with a hammer if you wanted. There's nothing stopping you from doing anything to the hardware, including damaging it. There's no law against hacking hardware, and you can already put your own ebooks on it so it's a moot point that it promotes piracy like you can argue for consoles. There are laws on the effects and results it can cause, mostly to do with the FCC and radio frequencies, and other illegal things you can do with any normal computer. The EULA has no sticking power.

Now, the idea that the 3G internet connection still works is interesting. There's no login credentials. So technically you DO have unlimited access to their network, until they decide to ban your chip ID. Then someone could make a class-action lawsuit and say they gave me unlimited access, you can't ban me.

Re:Interesting test of Amazon's Legal Dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29304529)

Well it's not a derivative work; he's not using the orig software at all and that part applies specifically to the software.

They could probably get him for "reverse engineer[ing] ... of the Device", "bypass, tamper, ... circumvent any of the functions of protections of the Device", and "substituting any digital rights management functionality". If that EULA is enforcable(which it probably is).

Re:Interesting test of Amazon's Legal Dept. (2, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305051)

The Kindle runs Linux already. All he did was disable a few protections, which you would know if you had watched the video. That TOS has absolutely zero applicability, since they have already released the modifications they made to the Linux kernel (as required by the GPL.)

In fact, given the fact that the Kindle is Linux, the software provisions of their TOS are patently absurd.

Kindle Vs N900 (1)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304421)

I may now re-think about getting a Kindle.

Underwhelmed (2, Funny)

Drunkulus (920976) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304537)

If a Segway could somehow be incorporated then the fanboy circle would be complete.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304597)

The Segway has fans?

Apple has an opportunity, take it or leave it. (1)

hovercycle (1118435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304551)

Fact: The kindle is as big as a laptop. Apple could (in addition to the online music business) steal the book market with a tablet.. An eight hour, low power setting, would be more than enough to merit e-book reader status.

Re:Apple has an opportunity, take it or leave it. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304695)

Fact: The kindle is as big as a laptop.

Fact: no, it's not. I have the largest Kindle, and it's much smaller than a laptop. Probably even thinner than the MacBook Air.

An eight hour, low power setting, would be more than enough to merit e-book reader status.

No, it would just be a tablet computer with long battery life.

Eight hours for an ebook reader is a joke. The Kindle manages a week of heavy usage. I'm not saying that Apple can't make a decent e-book reader, but tablets and ebook readers are different devices with different uses.

Re:Apple has an opportunity, take it or leave it. (1)

hovercycle (1118435) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305013)

I've read peoples comments. Just like you, they don't realize that the books people want to display aren't just ASCII and have color. The tablet will prevail. Mark my words. On the subject of an eight hour battery life... If your gone for more than a day you probably packed your (LARGE) laptop with all the other stuff you need for an overnight stay. The one device philosophy would work the best in this case. Camping is the only thing I can think of... But who the hell would bring a Kindle to the Boundary waters?

Re:Apple has an opportunity, take it or leave it. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305103)

Just like you, they don't realize that the books people want to display aren't just ASCII and have color.

The Kindle is not limited to displaying ASCII. Graphics, charts, photographs look quite good on the DX. Any kind of PDF I throw at it looks great.

As for color... probably 95% or more of my printed, physical books are black and white. And FWIW, I believe they are making progress on color e-ink displays, so that's probably just a matter of time. Maybe you're in a field where color is critical, in which case a tablet might be a better choice for you, but I doubt that's the case with the majority of people.

The one device philosophy would work the best in this case.

My experience has been otherwise. Aside from the fact that reading on an e-ink display is simply worlds better than reading on a backlit LCD display, I like having a separate device to take notes on.

Re:Apple has an opportunity, take it or leave it. (2, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 5 years ago | (#29305231)

I think the weeks-long battery life is excellent for convenience. By the time I'm leaving for work in the morning, it's too late to charge stuff up.

Also, it's much, much nicer to hold an eBook than a netbook. With a netbook on a train I pretty much have to have it on the table, but I could hold up an eBook -- the Sony one is lighter than a normal paperback (IIRC).

(I don't own an eBook. The only thing stopping me buying one is the public library, which happens to be next to my local station. And that I don't read books on my commute since I started cycling to work...)

oblig (0, Redundant)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304683)

Ubuntu, which is an ancient African word meaning "can't install Debian".

Re:oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29305135)

Except Debian is easy now. :-(

A couple notes... (5, Informative)

jesse (306) | more than 5 years ago | (#29304689)

What I did was to get a Jaunty _chroot_ running on the Kindle 2. The interesting bits were mostly around making X work and beating the 5-pad into submission.

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