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Old 01-23-2011, 06:35 AM   #1
ringerc
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Kobo firmware URLs?

Hi

I'm wondering if there's any published link to the current (1.7.4) Kobo Wifi firmware image anywhere. I want to work on developing a plugin for the Kobo's user interface app using the plugin API provided with the demo poker and blackjack games. I'm also interested in implementing a daemon that watches wifi status and downloads fresh rss feeds when the wifi goes up.

To effectively test anything like that I'll need a firmware image I can modify. The Kobo boots off SD if you hold down the enter key (which must've been a joy during development) so it's easy to nondestructively test changes. The problem is, I can't find a firmware image for the Kobo Wifi to boot, and I haven't yet found a reasonable way extract the firmware from my Kobo Wifi that doesn't involve cracking it and removing the microSD card.

So... anyone willing to throw me a line - or a firmware download URL?
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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You can ask someone at Kobo if they would be willing to provide one, but they have not provided one to us at MR, perhaps because the version changes post release have all been small fixes that they simply pushed out over WiFi.
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yep ... I've seen Kobo reps monitoring these forums, and am hoping one of them will stumble across this. They seem remarkably open as a company, with friendly and even funny reps and press releases, so it's far from hopeless.

In any case, my immediate need has been solved by popping my Kobo Wifi open, unscrewing the board to gain access to the back of it, removing the MicroSD card and taking a disk image of it via a MicroSD adapter on my laptop. The Kobo was easier to open than I expected; all I had to do was gently pop the outer bezel off the catches all around the edges then gently separate it from the soft glue binding the bezel to the eInk display. The mainboard is just held in by four screws that, once removed, let it be gently lifted up and out. Reinsertion isn't any harder. Nice device. Anyway, now with luck I'll be able to boot off the external SD (by holding down enter during power-on) and test modified firmwares that way. An official image would still be VERY handy.

What I need more, now, is info on the development environment. The version of gcc used, any abi-affecting flags programs were compiled with, and the Qt configuration would be particularly handy. I can probably dig the details out with analysis of the firmware image, but it'd be much nicer and faster not to have to - which may matter if the Kobo folks have any interest in customers going beyond device testing and into writing plugins/enhancements/bugfixes they can incorporate in future versions.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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Firmware URL

(Edit: This is only an incremental patch on the main firmware, not a full firmware download. Sigh. Still need a firmware image.)

The URL for the 1.7.4 update is:

http://download.kobobooks.com/firmwa...rade-1.7.4.zip

How to get the current firmware URL from the server:

You can find out the update URL by capturing the wifi traffic of a Kobo with an older firmware when it connects to the network. Use wireshark with the capturing machine's wifi card in monitor mode, or capture the traffic at the router. If you capture off wifi, you'll need to enable 802.11 decryption in Wireshark's protocols->802.11 preferences and enter the key of your network.

In your network capture, look for a request like:

POST /MobileRequest.ashx HTTP/1.1

and in the HTTP/XML response to it you'll find something like:

<UpdateURL>http://download.kobobooks.com/firmwares/kobo2/kobo2-upgrade-1.7.4.zip</UpdateURL>

If you don't have a Kobo with an old firmware, you can achieve the same effect by recording the POST request from an up-to-date Kobo, saving it, modifying it so that <ApplicationVersion>1.7.4</ApplicationVersion> instead reads (eg) <ApplicationVersion>1.6.0</ApplicationVersion>. Because changing the length of the request will corrupt it, you're best off using `sed' to do it. Eg:

sed -e '/^Accept-Encoding/d' -e 's/1.7.4/1.6.0/g' request.txt > request-mod.txt
nc mobile.kobobooks.com < request-mod2.txt > response-mod2.txt

The command deletes the request header that asks the server to gzip the response (for easier reading) and changes the version the "Kobo" announces its self to be running when it connects to the server.

Last edited by ringerc; 01-23-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringerc View Post
Yep ... I've seen Kobo reps monitoring these forums, and am hoping one of them will stumble across this. They seem remarkably open as a company, with friendly and even funny reps and press releases, so it's far from hopeless.
Now that they are staffing the board/resource at GetSatisfaction, they don't seem to come here as often. I can certainly understand why they need to consolidate their CS, which was pretty much a gong show until fairly recently, but it has meant less Kobo presence on MR. You can always PM JCKobo and see if you get a response.
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