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Old 12-17-2011, 04:06 AM   #1
Touch
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Kindle Touch - disable special offers & change screensaver [update]

With a trial and error approach I have sucessfully jailbroken my ad supported Kindle Touch, blocked and removed the special offer ads, replaced the screen saver and the banner ad at the bottom of the screen. I am extremely happy with the result.

It took me awhile because I had no previous experience with Linux commands. Changing the screensaver and banner was made possible using Yifan Lu's jailbreak and USBNet installation (http://yifan.lu/). Many thanks to him.

What is in the steps below is how to jailbreak, connect via SSH to a Windows7 PC using a Telnet client, block new ads and copy a screensaver and new banner graphics to your Kindle Touch. The banner replacement is optional, I think it looks cool to have some fancy scrollwork at the bottom of the page.

If you do not have basic computer skills, are not good at following instructions and figuring things out STOP RIGHT HERE and go back to reading your book. I take no responsibility for what you do. I am only saying what I did. Hopefully this will make it easier for others to do it, code a tool to make it more automatic and share it on their blog.

Place the screensaver image (600x800 greyscale .png) named screensvr.png and the ad banner replacement you want to use (600x90 .gif) named banner.gif in the main directory while connected via USB.

Step One:
On the Windows7 side you need to install RNDIS drivers. I got the driver by installing the Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center Driver (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en....aspx?id=21783). Also make sure you have Telnet Client turned on in Widows Features.

Step Two:
Jailbreak and install USBNet per Yifan's instructions. While you are at it also change your password with the instructions he provides. Then put your Touch into usbnetwork mode by entering ;un in the search field on the Touch screen (again read his instructions) and connect the Touch to your computer via USB cable.

Step Three:
The RNDIS adapter should now be visible in your Network Connections window. I found how to set up the adapter here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...95&postcount=8). The key here is to turn on "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet Connection.
Here is where things differ a little from the instructions at mobileread.com. You need to set the IP address for Internet Protocol Version 4 to 192.168.15.1 for connection to the Touch.

Step Four:
Install PuTTY (free telnet/ssh client) on your PC. I already had PuTTY installed on my computer to run terminal commands on my iPhone. Run PuTTY and enter 192.168.15.244 in the Host Name (or IP address) field and click Open.

Step Five:
In the terminal window you will be prompted for the ID which is root and the password you created in step two above. At the promt type "mntroot rw" without quotes. This command allows you to change files.

Step Six:
Remove current ads and block their replacement:
rm -rf /mnt/us/system/.assets/
mkdir /mnt/us/system/.assets/
chmod -w /mnt/us/system/.assets

Copy your replacement screensaver and banner as follows:
cp /mnt/base-us/screensvr.png /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/screensvr.png
cp /mnt/base-us/banner.gif /usr/share/blanket/ad_screensaver/banner.gif
Type exit and through the Touches menu option restart the Touch. Done.

Note: This is reverable by doing a Reset to Factory Defaults.

Update: Much simpler method without jailbreaking. Backup your Touches documents folder to your hard drive. Create an account at opendns.com (it is free). Using opendns's block feature, block address "adpublisher.s3.amazon.com". Enter OpenDNS's 2 DNS addresses in your router DNS fields or in your PC's IPv4 adapter settings. Do a Reset to Factory Defaults on your Touch. Copy the Documents folder you backed up back to your Touch, set up your Touch like you did when new and re-register. You will have the 19 sequential default screensaves and no ads. Turn off your wifi before leaving home and only use wifi at home or the ads will re-appear. Tested this on my wife's Touch and it works fine.

Last edited by Touch; 12-20-2011 at 06:37 PM. Reason: update
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Old 12-17-2011, 06:18 AM   #2
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You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheus Phreak View Post
You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...
Which seems like the right thing to do.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:53 PM   #4
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Be warned that if you do this, there's a high chance that you won't be able to update your Kindle Touch when Amazon releases an update. Rule of thumb is to never modify/remove files on the rootfs since the updater checks for that and only includes patches, not the actual files.

Also, note that this only gives you one screensaver, if you pay amazon $30 and remove the special offers, you can install my simple screensaver hack that supports shuffling through up to 99 screens.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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@yifanlu exactly. If you payed a cheaper price, then you shouldn't cheat amazon out of that $30. It's not a huge price to pay, and its worth it. Even if you are a Linux genius, I wouldn't recommend ever tamping files on the rootfs.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:13 AM   #6
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You could also just do this on Amazon.com...by choosing to deregister the Kindle from the KSO program...
Or buy the non-SO Kindle.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:30 AM   #7
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Or buy the non-SO Kindle.
Indeed, but the thread was targeted at existing KSO model owners.

I was pointing out that the easier (and morally correct) way to do this would be to just de-register it from the program officially through Amazon.

I actually enabled the KSO stuff on my Kindle on purpose just to see what the program is like and how it works. So far I'm leaving it on, but will probably turn it off again at some point if I don't see any good offers after a while. I still have admash installed and use that to vote for the ads I think look best.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Morpheus Phreak View Post
Indeed, but the thread was targeted at existing KSO model owners.

I was pointing out that the easier (and morally correct) way to do this would be to just de-register it from the program officially through Amazon.

I actually enabled the KSO stuff on my Kindle on purpose just to see what the program is like and how it works. So far I'm leaving it on, but will probably turn it off again at some point if I don't see any good offers after a while. I still have admash installed and use that to vote for the ads I think look best.
Glad to see this thread. Just got my Kindle Touch today (yay for Christmas, thanks mom!) and was a little disappointed to see the ads, as I didn't know there were ads were on Kindles (I guess why wouldn't there be though, right?). Not that the ads are the end of the world, but it's not like they handed out the Kindle for free. I (or in this case my parents) paid for it, why should I look at ads?

I think I'll just go pay the fee on Amazon and keep my ability to get updates intact. But I also wouldn't paint this decision in moral terms; it's not like anyone is going to Hell for jailbreaking their Kindle. Amazon released the code for the programming thus allowing jailbreaking, so it's not like I'd be cheating them. And so the $30 is essentially a fee to continue getting updates. It's not a moral choice, it's an economic one. I'd like my product not to become obsolete when Amazon updates the software, so I will pay the fee.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:11 AM   #9
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But... it's $40 plus tax. Still, happily paid.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:37 AM   #10
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Not that the ads are the end of the world, but it's not like they handed out the Kindle for free. I (or in this case my parents) paid for it, why should I look at ads?
No, but they gave a $30-40 discount of the price for you to have the ads there.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by yifanlu View Post
Be warned that if you do this, there's a high chance that you won't be able to update your Kindle Touch when Amazon releases an update. Rule of thumb is to never modify/remove files on the rootfs since the updater checks for that and only includes patches, not the actual files.

Also, note that this only gives you one screensaver, if you pay amazon $30 and remove the special offers, you can install my simple screensaver hack that supports shuffling through up to 99 screens.
I shortly got bored with the same screensaver and paid the $40 to get rid of the ads so I could use your screensaver hack. I was blown away by all of the nice wallpapers at kindlewallpapers.tumblr.com.

If I'm not able to update it is still worth it to me to have a choice of wallpapers.

Last edited by Touch; 12-18-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
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Is the amount to remove ads different for each person? Some say $20, some say $30, and some say $40
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:52 PM   #13
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I think it's time for Amazon to change the name of the program from Kindle with Special Offers to Kindle with Sponsored Screensavers.

The offers of late have been really pathetic and are causing quite a bit of disappointment for new buyers. Many were hoping to get deals similar to previous offers; but, I'm afraid that's a thing of the past. On top of that, many of the offers have been non-exclusive and Kindle ownership isn't even needed to take advantage of them.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:12 PM   #14
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I think it's time for Amazon to change the name of the program from Kindle with Special Offers to Kindle with Sponsored Screensavers.

The offers of late have been really pathetic and are causing quite a bit of disappointment for new buyers. Many were hoping to get deals similar to previous offers; but, I'm afraid that's a thing of the past. On top of that, many of the offers have been non-exclusive and Kindle ownership isn't even needed to take advantage of them.
Yeah, I'm starting to get bitter. I was really excited about this option. The discount on the lighted cover for the Touch still hasn't shown up. Now would be the time!
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #15
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Is the amount to remove ads different for each person? Some say $20, some say $30, and some say $40
For the WiFi Touch it is $40. The difference between the subsidized with ads and ad free (139-99=40). It may differ by model.
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