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Old 11-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #1
Ken Maltby
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Adding alternative readers to Kobo devices

Update Current builds are now working with FW 3.2.0
--------------------------------------------------------------
How to install or recover from bad install

----------------------------------------
Adds; fmon, Coolreader, Chess, other games and utilities, and Koreader
----------------------------------------
** if you have version earlier than pbchess 1.2.6.31 installed, then you also need to rename
.kobo/KoboLauncher
to
.kobo/vlasovsoft
in your Kobo before upgrading pbchess.
.**

1. Connect to your PC with your USB cable. Open the KoboReader drive that appears on your PC. Note that this is the Root directory for this process.

**Skip to step 4. if you haven't tried to install the alternative readers before.**

2. On your Kobo, delete any launcher .png files from the Library. On your PC, the .png files should disappear, if not Right click on the page and select Refresh.

OK, first if you have any script files that you have modified/tweaked for Koreader or the KoboLauncher, save them to your PC.

3. On PC; navigate to the .kobo directory. Delete the following folders: fmon, KoboLauncher or vlasovsoft, and koreader.

**
You should think of the install process as two separate installs, first adding the PNG file to your Kobo and having the Kobo software process the Image adding it to its database and home page. Then installing the software that will be launched using that image file. It is critical that the image file function normally, as an image that your Kobo displays before reconnecting the USB cable to install the rest of the program.


4. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9xqopxa4y...pS/builds/kobo and download the current "pbchess 1.2.6.#_kobo.zip".

5. Copy "launcher.png" from the zip file to the Root directory (See 1. above). Now safely eject the KoboReader drive from your PC. (Right click on the drive and select Eject). Then disconnect the USB cable. You should then see, on your kobo, the message that it is processing data/media and then the home page. Poweroff your kobo and restart it. If the .png file was not processed fully you should see the processing message during the startup.

6. The launcher image tile should be on your kobo's home page now, select it. It is just an image at this point, and you should see a full page image. Return to the home page.

** Do not continue with the install until you can do Step 6.**
If this is a real problem you might want to consider "tshering's" "Kobo Start Menu"

7. Now that you are sure that the launcher png file has been correctly and completely processed by your kobo. Reconnect with your USB cable and copy the "KoboRoot.tgz" file from the .zip file to the .kobo directory. (Be sure it is in the .kobo directory.) Then safely eject the Koboreader drive and disconnect the USB cable. You should then see the Updating message on your kobo.

8. You should now have Sergey's launcher and fmon installed on your kobo.
Selecting the launcher tile should now open a menu page With Coolreader and Chess, other games and utilities (including a good USBnet). Once you are sure that all is working, Exit the launcher and return to your home page. (You may have to tap the picture a few times to return to the home page.)

9. Now for Koreader: Go to; https://github.com/koreader/koreader/releases and download the current nightly kobo build.

10. Do the same as 5.&6. above for the koreader.png, this is important, you need to be sure that the launching image has been fully and properly processed, before going further.

11. Copy the koreader folder from the zip file to the .kobo directory of your kobo.

12. Now do 7. above again.

That's it, both launchers should work and you should have added some interesting capabilities to all that your kobo can do.

*Touch N905C users may need to fix the Koreader touch coordinates as shown here.*

For future Koreader builds you will just have to copyover/merge the new koreader folder from the build download .zip onto your .kobo directory. No further need to add the .png or copyover the KoboRoot.tgz.

For future pbchess/Coolreader builds you just need to copyover the KoboRoot.tgz into the .kobo directory.

Luck;
Ken

KOreader Wiki: https://github.com/koreader/koreader/wiki

Now with these installed you might want to consider "tshering's" "Kobo Start Menu"

For those who are trying the Alternate readers because you prefer a "File Manager" approach over the corruptible database book management approach that Kobo uses; you can easily hide your ebook files from Kobo's database and processing. All that is neccessary is to place the files and folders of your ebook collection in a hidden directory/folder. For a Linux device "hidden" files folders or directories are those that are named with a dot/period before the name ( like .kobo or perhaps for this use .library ) To make such a folder/directory using Windows Explorer you just name the folder with a dot/period both before and after the name (like this ".Library.") the trailing dot/period will disappear leaving the "hidden" name you want (like ".Library")

It can also be done using the commandline command MD.

[I have all my ebook files on my external uSD card within a "hidden" directory, ~7000.]

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 03-21-2014 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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Ken; maybe list what pre-reqs are required.... ie base Kobo f/w level
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #3
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Ken; maybe list what pre-reqs are required.... ie base Kobo f/w level
Ok, we should be able to make postings in this thread that point out any problems or prerequisites for each model.

Mark 4 Touch ( N905C ) may need to fix the Koreader touch coordinates as shown here.

For my AuraHD on fw 2.8.1, everything I use is working fine.
Edit: on fw 3.0.0 as well.
Edit: on fw 3.1.0 as well.
Edit: on fw 3.1.1 as well.
Edit: now working with fw 3.2.0

When you do a Firmware install, you will likely need to redo Steps 2., 5.&6, and 7. for the launching png files.

I think all the current builds of both Coolreader and Koreader are assuming fw 2.6.1 or above.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 03-18-2014 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Hi Ken,

Sorry for the novice questions.

Steps 4,5,6,7,8: do they have anything todo with KoReader? Is it OK if I proceed directly starting on Step 9 on a brand new Aura HD? (I don't need to play chess nor Coolreader), I just need KoReader to read PDF files.

Also is this file the correct KoReader for Aura HD? koreader-kobo-arm-linux-gnueabihf-v2013.03-633-g865220a.zip

Also where is the .kobo folder? When I connected the USB cable to load some test books into the Aura HD, all I saw was an empty folder. Should I create the .kobo folder under the root folder?
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Also where is the .kobo folder? When I connected the USB cable to load some test books into the Aura HD, all I saw was an empty folder. Should I create the .kobo folder under the root folder?
Are you using OS X? If so, the system files/folders, which start with a . like .kobo, are hidden by default. You need to show them (or search for them with "System Files" set to "Include"), then you'll see .kobo.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:57 AM   #6
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Koreader builds rely on some version of fmon, to launch the program. If you don't want the Coolreader or the games or the utilities that are included in the KoboLauncher, you can install fmon as a stand alone program:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=218283
And follow the instructions there.

But - Step 10 has you do 5&6 for the Koreader launching .png, and those are critical procedures. Step 12 is to do step 7 again.

That looks like today's nightly build.

You should have your PC set to read hidden folders/files. Is your PC running under Linux?

Luck;
Ken
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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Hi Ken,

The PC is Linux and indeed, I see .kobo folder when I enable the view of hidden files. To be safe, I followed the instructions completely. Download pbchess-1.2.6.20_kobo.zip

Unzip it and proceeded to step 5 (copy launcher.png to kobo root folder, Aura HD, firmware 2.10). Then eject the Kobo reader from the PC, the processing progression gauge moved but got stuck at 92%. After about 10 minutes, I think it got stuck and couldn't power down. I then hit the reset button (the pin hole in the bottom edge).

Now the device is stuck in a boot loop, the home screen is displayed up side down (the top of the home screen is close to the edge where there is the USB port). The launcher image doesn't appear on the home screen. The device is insensitive to any touch. During that infinite boot loop, if I keep hitting on buttons. Sometimes the GUI seems to register the touch, another GUI element is displayed, for example, the Settings screen. But then nothing can go further as a reboot is followed shortly right after.

When connecting the USB cable, hitting the Connect button does nothing. Pushing on Reset or slide & hold Power off button has no effects. I am afraid that png image had bricked the device.

EDIT #1: read on another thread that there is a way to "Factory Reset": push the reset pinhole while pressing the light button simultaneously. Hold both for about 10 seconds, then release the reset while continuing to hold the light button. Release the light button when the screen begin showing that reset begining.

EDIT #2: After the Factory Reset. I re-setup the device, using Kobo Desktop instead of the WiFi method. Then I redo the precedure described in post #1 again, starting from step 4. This time I use a Windows PC instead of the Linux machine previously. Every thing seems to work OK now. The Koreader is indeed much faster than the built-in version.

Thanks for putting up these setup instructions.

Last edited by ACGT; 11-10-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
Ken Maltby
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Yes, do a factory reset. My PC lost its internet connection, right as I was trying to post a reply, on my tablet now.
You should make sure that your Kobo is fully charged, as well.

Your Kobo should be able to process the .png file without this happening. You never got to a point where any new software was installed. It must be able to process the file properly, before you can proceed further.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 11-10-2013 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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For me and my aura hd, every time I exit koreader it reboots my machine. Is this normal?
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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For me and my aura hd, every time I exit koreader it reboots my machine. Is this normal?
Yes, there are some plans to handle the transition back to Nickel in a more elegant way, but for now rebooting works best.

Edit; The current builds return to the Kobo software (Nickel) on exit.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 12-29-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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Hi

I tried to install Koreader (and the other stuff) twice to a new Kobo Aura this afternoon. I followed the directions very carefully and again when I removed the items between tires. Everything seemed to go exactly as described but when I open the Koreader I get a file manager page which says 1 of 2 pages, listing the authors and a few individual titles. From here however, OCCASIONALLY I can get one of the author folders to go to a list of items in the folder, but nothing will open an actual book and once there, it takes a reset to be able to access the home page again.

I'll admit to being frustrated and out of time so I've removed everything, again following the instructions and will try again when I have more time. Can you think of any reason this locks up at the file manager?

All I really want is the KoReader because I have a bazillion pdb ebooks from fictionwise that I would really like to be able to read on something - yes I know I could run everything through Calibre, but it would be nice to have something that could read the pdb format.

Koreader looks like a really neat idea and I will try again, but thought maybe you might have some insights on what I didn't do or even if this will work on the Aura.

Cheers,
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:29 AM   #12
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By default the File Manager will open in:\mnt\onboard, if you know where your books are you should be able to navigate to where they are. There is a menu that you can access by poking the "File Manager" text, that provides a Home Icon, among other things. If your books are on an external uSD card, poke the "../" to go to the \mnt directory, and select "\sd".

When you see a list of your book file titles, and poke one it should open the book on page one. You might then want to change the settings in the top and/or bottom menus. I often open the top menu and select the second tab and set the "Select rendering mode" to "Auto", for .pdb files.

Did you try Coolreader it can handle .pdb ebooks also. You should see it in the top of the Kobolauncher menu.

I don't remember if there has been any post from users with the new Aura 6" running Koreader. Or of any of them having problems running it. Hopefully, we can establish the situation for the new Aura 6" through your experience.

Luck;
Ken

PS; My .pdb ebooks look great and function well in Koreader on my AuraHD.

Edit; Works on the new Aura now.

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 12-02-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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wonder whether this should be a sticky?
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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wonder whether this should be a sticky?
I wouldn't mind, but it is up to the moderators and they are a weird group.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:34 AM   #15
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Hi Ken

I couldn't click on anything. It didn't help that the text was about 7pt. I didn't get anything like you described, and the books were loaded with Calibre so think they were where they were supposed to be. I'll give it another shot I maybe tomorrow or the next day and see what happens. It just sounds too coll to give up on yet

Cheers,
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