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Old 09-30-2010, 02:25 PM   #1
pizda
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kindle as an additional PC screen

Anyone thought of that or have geeky skills and time to investigate?

I wanted to write simple socket client/server protocol to use my kindle for reading. The amazon framework is very disappointing but if I could plug my kindle as a monitor to my netbook that would become perfect reading experience.

The idea of the software is very simple: skeleton windows display driver which captures updates of screen as bitmaps and sends over network-socket connection to the kindle. Kindle listens and captured images write to framebuffer. That's all

So far I have installed usbNetwork hack and scratchbox developement on linux. Wrote simple client server part, compilet in scratchbox the server part for arm6 little endian and it works However I have troubles with writing to the /dev/fb0. None of standard framebuffers tutorials works on kindle

I have downoladed kindle kernel source from amazon. Hopefully there is source code for eink driver. However the source seems very incomplete - there are special IOCTL's in this framebuffer implementaion which handle eink update however they are nowhere defined. I am not able to guess them (or at least I am not so patient)

Amazon sucks very much ...
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:32 PM   #2
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Welcome to Mobileread!

You know that you can already read on your Kindle without a PC. . .
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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Welcome to MobileRead, pizda.

Are you familiar with Kindle4pc? Free app........downloads to your computer, all you kindle books there to read.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...Id=1000493771#
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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  1. I do not like reading on LCD that is why I bought eink - kindle
  2. Kindle does not have easy manipulators such as a mouse or trackball to move aoround zoomed pdf - only click, click, click and move very akwardly

I want to have the same ease of read, surf web, etc on my knidle as I have on netbook.

I could sell my kindle and buy pixelQi display replacement for my netbook, but actually I like reading novels on kindle too and I am very happy with the portability and battery life.

I need just the screen streaming from netbook to kindle functionality to be happy
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizda View Post
  1. I do not like reading on LCD that is why I bought eink - kindle
  2. Kindle does not have easy manipulators such as a mouse or trackball to move aoround zoomed pdf - only click, click, click and move very akwardly

I want to have the same ease of read, surf web, etc on my knidle as I have on netbook.

I could sell my kindle and buy pixelQi display replacement for my netbook, but actually I like reading novels on kindle too and I am very happy with the portability and battery life.

I need just the screen streaming from netbook to kindle functionality to be happy
I think what I highlighted above is where I think you maybe looking for something that does not exist.

The Kindle is a dedicated ebook reader, not designed to be read or controlled like a computer screen only in "eink".

You can't have both in one device.

and why do you think Amazon sucks again?
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:27 PM   #6
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I understand what you mean but I don't think the processors within the kindle would be able to fully render todays functions of a pc monitor.

I think it could be interesting provided the functions do not need to be in color..but considering how long it took to get to the lcd from the crt the next step is probably oled

But it does bring up a good point as why bother having say a color screen on a mp3 player?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #7
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Oh, I am disappointed a little of your comments

I do not meant to have fast colorfull display for movies gaming etc like netbook. Need good reading experience and good web reading experience.

Eink display do not need 60fps refresh rate, 1-5 fps will do very well for reading. But I am very annoyed by manipulating kindle UI. On netbook when I read something zoomed usually I poing mouse on a scrollbar and move a little to see another part. I think that I do not need fancy animation of the movement - in fact I turned off "display content while dragging" on my netbook since I do not see the benefit of seeing whole image when moving window. I think the same about reading on kindle, I do not need to see beautifull animation of turning pages etc, but I wish to have the easy way to do all that stuff, zooming, truning around, web sufring. Plus I will be able to use display any document format even word doc.

I hope that you get now why I wish to have that device.

-- So why I said that amazon sucks - they did not gave even complete gpl code. From the little code they gave I cannot deduce what values to use for IOCTL's in fb driver No mention that they do not want to open the box for independent developers like iRex readers does.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #8
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Would RDP (rdesktop) work for your needs? I wanted to look into getting this working on Kindle. You could run some really great apps this way, as long as you have a computer to connect to. (My example: a good Bible study software. Normal Kindle books just isn't suited for it.)

I think "easiest" would be to look at the old rdesktop which works with svgalib (no X required). I'm not sure how it will interact with the framebuffer and what patches might be necessary. Probably a patch would be necessary to be sure not to update the screen too much.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizda View Post
Oh, I am disappointed a little of your comments

I do not meant to have fast colorfull display for movies gaming etc like netbook. Need good reading experience and good web reading experience.

Eink display do not need 60fps refresh rate, 1-5 fps will do very well for reading. But I am very annoyed by manipulating kindle UI. On netbook when I read something zoomed usually I poing mouse on a scrollbar and move a little to see another part. I think that I do not need fancy animation of the movement - in fact I turned off "display content while dragging" on my netbook since I do not see the benefit of seeing whole image when moving window. I think the same about reading on kindle, I do not need to see beautifull animation of turning pages etc, but I wish to have the easy way to do all that stuff, zooming, truning around, web sufring. Plus I will be able to use display any document format even word doc.

I hope that you get now why I wish to have that device.

-- So why I said that amazon sucks - they did not gave even complete gpl code. From the little code they gave I cannot deduce what values to use for IOCTL's in fb driver No mention that they do not want to open the box for independent developers like iRex readers does.
Well, alrighty then.

I wish you the best in finding what you need...and being able to make it work.

When you do......please post here!
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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Have you considered the Alex? It has a larger LCD screen on the bottom than the nook and you can surf the web with it and have the items you want to read transferred to the e-ink screen.

I believe the dual screen reader the Entourage Edge works the same way.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #11
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The idea, I think, is that he wants to display normal computer programs on an eInk screen. Examples: Maybe for some reason you want to view an Excel spreadsheet (or some other unsupported format) on an eInk screen. Or maybe you just want to read text documents but with more features available.

Since there aren't any plain e-ink screens available with a VGA connection (at reasonable cost) to consumers, using a cheap Kindle for this purpose is next best. He wants to use his Kindle as another monitor for his computer, basically. I will have to look into rdesktop for this purpose. It would be the easiest to implement and have the option of being wireless.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:21 AM   #12
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i think he is probably forgetting to call the eink redraw command; it was something like cat 2 > /proc/eink/update?


idea seems ill advised none the less, esp. if every change causes a refresh...
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:36 AM   #13
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I could see the usefulness of this.

Consider my situation, I frequently am designing electronics and need PDF documents open for the various part-specifications. Reading PDFs is okay on the LCD but it'd be even nicer on eInk (perhaps the size of the DX).

If you had one attached to the side of the LCD display it'd be like having the document hanging there for your reference.

I do not believe the OP wishes to use the eInk display for normal interactive applications as such, rather just for reading documents or other text which isn't rapidly updating.

I'm actually getting a USB->VGA screen adapter precisely so I can do this but for me I'll have to be content with the LCD panel until a manufacturer out there provides a proper generic eInk display (I could get started with one but it's $6000 for the developer kit ).

Paul
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:35 PM   #14
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So, I think I have a really dumb way to do this. Too bad we don't hear from the OP to see more specifically what he wants to do.

The dumb method goes something like this: Enable picture gallery. (Plug your Kindle into your computer, create a "pictures" folder, create another folder within that called "Remote Desktop", press ALT-Z at the home screen.) Now, you can have a script on your computer that copies an image of the screen to this folder whenever you want to update it. Then press the next page button on your Kindle.

Improvements: If you leave the Kindle in USB network mode, then you could automatically copy the screen image to /mnt/us/pictures/Remote Desktop/image.gif and then send a key to update the screen. But in this case, it might be better to send pictures to /tmp (so you don't risk wearing out the flash memory) and then display them automatically using the eips -g command. This method would also work over wifi if you have the sshd set up to do so.

Note, if you want any kind of interaction from the Kindle keys back to the computer, then you would need a more complicated solution closer to rdesktop.

Last edited by isotherm; 10-03-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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It would make more sense to think of the kindle like a printer-replacement and have a way to print a document to it, preferably wirelessly, and have the document display automatically.
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