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Old 09-27-2014, 06:11 AM   #1
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[Solved] Kobo H2O Hackability

I'd like to find out how "open" or accessible the H2O is. From the specs, I'm very inclined to buy one soon, but I'd need full access to the system (which, hopefully, will be Linux) to re-write the complete user interface to my needs.

If and when someone is able to provide information on how, please put it here. Thank you!

Last edited by ManDay; 09-27-2014 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:19 AM   #2
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The H20 runs the same f/w (albeit possibly a different build) as the other recent Kobo eReaders; Touch / Glo / Mini / Aura HD / Aura.

These are eminently hackable.
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:41 AM   #3
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The H20 runs the same f/w (albeit possibly a different build) as the other recent Kobo eReaders; Touch / Glo / Mini / Aura HD / Aura.

These are eminently hackable.
If that's confirmedly so, then thanks! Sounds like the Kobo H2O will be the perfect device and the best we've ever seen
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Old 09-27-2014, 06:56 AM   #4
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Just remember though; while people have opened other devices to restore the SD card in case of corruption, I'm not sure what effect on water-tightness opening the H2O would have.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #5
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Just remember though; while people have opened other devices to restore the SD card in case of corruption, I'm not sure what effect on water-tightness opening the H2O would have.
Chances are that the H2O (like the Aura) doesn't even have a internal SD card.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:04 AM   #6
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Chances are that the H2O (like the Aura) doesn't even have a internal SD card.
Which makes the restorability the same challenge as on the Aura
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:13 AM   #7
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Indeed, an important issue I overlooked! Thanks for the warning!
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #8
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I imagine that Kobo Start Menu and coolreader and koreader will work on the H2O, can anyone confirm this?
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Old 09-28-2014, 02:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I imagine that Kobo Start Menu and coolreader and koreader will work on the H2O, can anyone confirm this?
With a different screen size I would expect some changes to any screen specific values. Also if any of them use the internal model names (phoenix for example) I would expect they would need to be updated.

Remember that 99% of the f/w is the same across all Kobo eInk readers.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:53 PM   #10
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However, it's worth noting that the Kobo Aura H2O has only ONE hardware button: it has a power switch but NO light on/off switch. And so hacks that currently depend on the light on/off switch -- such as nightmode, which I find indispensable -- are, at present, incompatible with the H2O, and may in fact never be workable with that device.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertJSawyer View Post
However, it's worth noting that the Kobo Aura H2O has only ONE hardware button: it has a power switch but NO light on/off switch. And so hacks that currently depend on the light on/off switch -- such as nightmode, which I find indispensable -- are, at present, incompatible with the H2O, and may in fact never be workable with that device.
Good point; I had forgotten that fact
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RobertJSawyer View Post
However, it's worth noting that the Kobo Aura H2O has only ONE hardware button: it has a power switch but NO light on/off switch. And so hacks that currently depend on the light on/off switch -- such as nightmode, which I find indispensable -- are, at present, incompatible with the H2O, and may in fact never be workable with that device.
The night mode mod mentions it works with the custom launcher, for instance on the Mini which also has no light button. I'll miss having quick access though and it'll be more complicated to set up initially.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #13
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However, it's worth noting that the Kobo Aura H2O has only ONE hardware button: it has a power switch but NO light on/off switch.
Slightly unrelated to the hackability, but can the light be completely turned off through a software toggle?
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #14
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It occurred to me, that although the device may not be opened to write to the storage directly, it most likely has some sort of BIOS/firmware to flash the storage with replacement data from a specifically crafted SD-card. Has this been considered in the past and possibly been refuted?
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #15
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The original Kobo had the ability to upgrade it's f/w via the external SD card; however, no other device has had that ability.

Examination of any / all scripts present on the device don't show sign of it either.
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