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Old 10-03-2010, 11:15 PM   #16
perry261
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Dear Zog,
I am using Infibeam PI Ereader in India which is based on same hardware as Kobo (Netronix Eb600 ). I would love to try out Cool-er firmware booting from SD card ,so that my ereader firmware is not affected. If I like it then I can think of changing/flashing the firmware.

Can you please post weblink for Cool-er firmware or send me a PM.

Thanks for your interesting posts.

I have joined this forum recently and would love to try out hacks to improve my Ereader.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCKobo
Hmm - that seems to be an oversight. Let me see what I can do to get that added to github.

Any other missing dependencies?
That's the dependency which I got stuck on although I've had very little experience with coding for ARM on linux and no experience at all with QT. When I wasn't able to get the existing poker app compiled I moved on to other things since like I said, the poker app is where I saw interesting possibilities for homebrew.

Going back to the original topic I see 4 different homebrew approaches:
1. Total firmware replacement.
2. UI-less changes.
3. Extending the current UI.
4. Hacks which replace various parts of the existing firmware (to change the off screen, etc).

For #2 we probably could alter the bootscripts so we can run our own compiled code before starting Kobo's UI (appears to be codenamed Nickel?). This could lead to some interesting homebrew tools to be combined with the Calibre plugin which works with the sqlite DB. I haven't used the Calibre plugin myself but I assume it's modifying the sqlite DB on the Kobo's on-board memory, with homebrew we could develop a tool to sync between the onboard sqlite DB and a memory card sqlite so that the Kobo could be used completely without a PC.

I see the use-case for #3 being the most useful/interesting, it would be possible to write our own readers for text files and develop other apps. Perhaps even work with the onboard sqlite DB if the current Kobo software doesn't keep the DB locked all the time.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:51 PM   #18
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PluginInterface.h is there now. If you find any other gaps getting it to compile, let me know and I'll see if I can get some help from our team.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:30 PM   #19
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After 5 days I finally have my dev box up again so in the next few days I should have a chance to check this out again, I'll let you know how I fare. Thanks for adding it to git, I hope we're able to put it to good use
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:38 PM   #20
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Cool-er system on the Kobo

Trying the cool-er system on the Kobo:

Basically the Kobo can boot a root filesystem from an sd card if it is formatted correctly. If you look at the contents of the firmware update for the Kobo found here:

http://www.borders.com.au/uploads/bo...u-full-1_4.tgz
http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/upl...r-full-1_4.tgz
http://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/uploads/...s-full-1_4.tgz

you will see a small linux filesystem designed to flash a new uboot, kernel and filesystem to the kobo. What we need is the normal Kobo filesystem which is a tgz file located inside the firmware tgz file at files/eb600em/fs.tgz. So to extract this on a linux system:

tar xzvf bordersau-full-1_4.tgz ./files/eb600em/fs.tgz

So we now have the fs.tgz file. To make an usable sd card I created a single linux partition on an sd card and extracted the contents of fs.tgz onto it.

Using fdisk on linux I created the partition on the sd card:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sde1 1 1024 999393+ 83 Linux

formatted it:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sde1

mounted and extracted the new filesystem:

mount /dev/sde1 /mnt
cd /mnt
tar xzvf ../files/eb600em/fs.tgz
cd ..
umount /mnt

What you end up with is a an sd card that can boot the normal Kobo system. This is useful if your Kobo isn't booting properly and you want to recover/backup the filesystem all your books are located on before you flash the/a new firmware.

To run the cool-er filesystem the difference is where you get fs.tgz from.

I got the cool-er firmware from here:
COOLER-vfat-eb600em-0203 5th February
http://www.coolreaders.com/downloads...600em-0203.zip

Just extract the zip file and again look for files/eb600em/fz.tgz
Uncompress this onto your formatted sd card. I also modified the /etc/init.d/rcS file in the cool-er filesystem by using the # sign to comment out msd.sh so that it doesn't try to mount the sd card. This may not have been technically necessary as if the system tries to mount an sd card that is already in use as the root ext3 filesystem as vfat it will probably just fail out.

If you want to flash the cooler filesystem to your Kobo replace the files/eb600em/fs.tgz file in bordersau-full-1_4.tgz with the one in COOLER-vfat-eb600em-0203.zip and follow the sd card flash procedure for the Kobo:

http://bordersau.zendesk.com/entries...am-using-linux


Things to know:
Both of these processes keep the uboot and kernel from the Kobo firmware. If you try to flash the cool-er kernel onto your Kobo it will run for a few seconds and crash. I think this is due to the fact that the cool-er has mp3 playback functionality in its hardware that is not there in the Kobo. I think it's better to keep the Kobo uboot and kernel just to be safe.

When running the cool-er filesystem you lose bluetooth functionality and cannot access books in the Kobo sqlite database or I expect anything with DRM. Don't expect all you books to be there. Non DRM epub files that were put on the device via direct file copy will show up. Adobe digital editions DRM will work but you will most likely have to set it up again.

Its unlikely you can use a vfat formatted sd card as vfat does not support the symbolic links required to run the linux root filesystem.

Maybe shortened battey life running from the sd card?

If you booted from the sd card the sytem will go back to normal on next power cycle.

Don't remove the sd card if your running from it!


How to boot a filesystem from the sd card on a Kobo:

1) Power off your Kobo e-Reader.
2) Insert the SD card in to the slot on the top of the Kobo e-Reader.
3) Power on your Kobo e-Reader.
4) Whilst pressing down the middle button of the D-Pad, press the reset button on the rear of the device with a paperclip (do not release your finger from the middle of the D-Pad button).
5) Keep the D-Pad depressed until five blocks appear in the lower-left corner of the Kobo e-Reader screen.
6) After five blocks have appeared in the lower-left corner of the screen you can release your finger from the D-Pad.
7) The Kobo e-Reader should boot the new filesystem. It may take a bit since it's running from the sd card.


Note: I am aware these instructions are for linux systems. As I have not used a windows (or Macintosh) operating system as my primary operating system in more than a decade I have no idea how to create a linux partition and format it with ext3 in windows nor do I want to learn. If you want to follow these instructions the easy way I suggest you use tinycore linux (http://www.tinycorelinux.com) as at the very least you will become familiar with a tool that I have used to save windows machines under quite a few circumstances. Also note: I am not responsible for your actions. If your worried about warranty violations or damaging your Kobo in any way don't mess with it. It works on its own just fine. I'm just the curious type. If I brick it because of my own actions the last thing I'm going to do is be an idiot and bring it back to the store expecting a new one and/or refund.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #21
farrioth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zog View Post
How to boot a filesystem from the sd card on a Kobo:
3) Power on your Kobo e-Reader.
4) Whilst pressing down the middle button of the D-Pad, press the reset button on the rear of the device with a paperclip (do not release your finger from the middle of the D-Pad button).
I believe it should be possible to simply hold down D-Pad Center and press the power button (while the Kobo is off), rather than use the reset button.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:24 PM   #22
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The poker app does compile now.

Now I just need to setup a proper toolchain cause right now I'm just crashing the Kobo so it needs resetting.

Thanks for the tip on booting the Kobo from the SD card, I'm using the reset method at the moment and I'll see how simply holding down the D-Pad when starting the Kobo next time.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zog View Post
Trying the cool-er system on the Kobo:
If you want to flash the cooler filesystem to your Kobo replace the files/eb600em/fs.tgz file in bordersau-full-1_4.tgz with the one in COOLER-vfat-eb600em-0203.zip and follow the sd card flash procedure for the Kobo:

http://bordersau.zendesk.com/entries...am-using-linux


Things to know:
Both of these processes keep the uboot and kernel from the Kobo firmware. If you try to flash the cool-er kernel onto your Kobo it will run for a few seconds and crash. I think this is due to the fact that the cool-er has mp3 playback functionality in its hardware that is not there in the Kobo. I think it's better to keep the Kobo uboot and kernel just to be safe.
Is it possible to use the COOL-ER firmware from the internal drive (rather than the SD card) despite the error, or does the flashing fail?
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:12 AM   #24
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While I'm waiting for a firmware update, i was thinking of trying the cool-er from SD trick. However I can't download the firmware. Anyone care to point me at a functioning download location? Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:46 AM   #25
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OK, got hold of the firmware, tried it on the SD as per Zog's great post, and then went the whole hog and replaced the 1.4 firmware on my Kobo1. I've played with it for a while and am actually going to keep it until the new Kobo firmware shows up. Why?

Pros:
- Very fast page turns compared to 1.4 - nearly as fast as my Sony PRS650
- Justified text (can select left though)
- Goto page, goto start, goto end
- Fast forward/rewind through pages
- Real navigable TOC
- Bookmarking
- Search in book
- Landscape mode
- User selectable auto power off (but no sleep)
- Hideable status bar

Cons:
- Interface and folder based navigation pretty rough around the edges
- Calibre can't cope with hybrid Kobo/Cool-er device and won't connect (but device is simple USB mass storage for drag drop
- Boot time is no faster than Kobo 1.4 (although it does include the book page resume)

My wife uses the Kobo and she's impressed with the increased speed. I'm impressed with the fact that some of the speed and functionality so many of us asked for with Kobo firmware seems perfectly doable on this hardware.

Last edited by tpw; 12-13-2010 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:33 AM   #26
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Out of curiosity, what is a proper cool-er link?
Further, It should run from sd card and not be installed to the
flash memory, as far as I understand. Next boot without the
card gives kobo software.
Yep, u-boot is strange little beast! Used on sheevaplug also.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:37 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpw View Post
OK, got hold of the firmware, tried it on the SD as per Zog's great post, and then went the whole hog and replaced the 1.4 firmware on my Kobo1. I've played with it for a while and am actually going to keep it until the new Kobo firmware shows up. Why?
Sounds amazing! Landscape mode is the real win for me here, but I am not well versed in Linux unfortunately. Faster page turns are nice, but I always seem to press the next button while I'm reading the last line anyways. I'm hoping that the 1.8 update includes landscape mode and the ability to reassign buttons, both to prolong the life of the 5-way, and to allow me to turn pages while holding the device with my left hand.
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Old 12-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoran View Post
Out of curiosity, what is a proper cool-er link?
Further, It should run from sd card and not be installed to the
flash memory, as far as I understand. Next boot without the
card gives kobo software.
Yep, u-boot is strange little beast! Used on sheevaplug also.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...42&postcount=8

There is no should/shouldn't involved. Install to SD if you want or to flash if you want a more permanent solution.

Running from SD card does allow you to boot the normal Kobo FW, but I'm not interested in that. Also, running the Cool-er from SD causes it to crash if plugged into USB, and doesn't allow to boot back to last read page.

If I get sick of the Cool-er FW I'll just put the Kobo FW back.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:30 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by tpw View Post
OK, got hold of the firmware, tried it on the SD as per Zog's great post, and then went the whole hog and replaced the 1.4 firmware on my Kobo1.
Can you please explain how you installed the firmware? Did you put files/eb600em/fz.tgz into the kobo update or just put the or just put the COOL-ER update on the SD card?

I use my Kobo for work (reading journal articles) so I want to make sure I have the instructions right before I flash anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpw View Post
Pros:
- Very fast page turns compared to 1.4 - nearly as fast as my Sony PRS650
Is page turning faster for PDFs too?
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farrioth View Post
Can you please explain how you installed the firmware? Did you put files/eb600em/fz.tgz into the kobo update or just put the or just put the COOL-ER update on the SD card?

I use my Kobo for work (reading journal articles) so I want to make sure I have the instructions right before I flash anything.



Is page turning faster for PDFs too?

OK, firstly all credit to zog for this, I just interpreted his instructions.

1 - Download the kobo update http://www.borders.com.au/uploads/bo...u-full-1_4.tgz

2 - Download the Cool-er update http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...42&postcount=8

3 - Format a 2Gb SD card to ext3 (I used gparted under ubuntu)

4 - Extract the kobo update to the SD card (I used the built in function of midnight commander)

5 - Extract the Cool-er update to a temporary directory somewhere

6 - Copy files/eb600em/fs.tgz from the expanded Cool-er directory to overwrite file/eb600em/fs.tgz on the SD

7 - Turn off the kobo, insert the SD, and turn it back on whilst holding down the centre D pad button

8 - Once 5 boxes have appeared on the kobo boot screen, you can let go and the firmware will update. Takes a few minutes and the device appears to restart several times.

Of course these instructions may be pretty worthless if the just released 1.8 firmware is any good


Edit: haven't tried PDFs yet

Last edited by tpw; 12-13-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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