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Old 05-11-2010, 01:59 AM   #1
indranet
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Completely NEW duokan's firmware for Kindle 2 & DX (Chinese interface only)

Everyone here is talking about the 2.5 firmware.
While I've been frustrated with the failure to download the .bin file to upgrade my device, a post in HI-PDA really surprises me:-

http://www.hi-pda.com/forum/viewthre...extra=page%3D1
(Hint: Google Translate is your friend )

The firmwares of Kindle 2 (both Int'l & US) have been completely re-written by a team called "duokan".

I don't have a Kindle 2, so I'm not sure how well it works. (Maybe you can give some feedbacks after you try it.)

Here are some key features that draw my attention:-

- supports TXT, EPUB, PDF only (i.e., no mobi/azw, and no DRMed files I guess)
- TTS in English, Mandarin and Cantonese
- dictionaries are still there, of course!
- TXT & EPUB files: similar to the functionality of TXT & MOBI files in the official firmwire. For TXT, you can switch between several pre-installed fonts instantly.
- PDF: optional blackening of fonts (?), support TOC, text reflow, zooming, cutting white edges, note taking, bookmarking and highlighting, ALSO specialized feature to read two-column PDF!
- option to switch between 2 firmwires, switching back to official firmwire would be extremely easy!

LASTLY:
- interface in Simplified Chinese ONLY

I don't like the Simplified Chinese interface. I prefer either Traditional Chinese or English. But I'm still very eager to wait for a KDX release from duokan. Hope it won't takes too long!

The blackening of fonts is extremely interesting. Some fonts are not 100% black. So they appear grayish in Kindle. Seems that this firmware has find a way to the problem.

I think Amazon really hasn't done well enough in their firmware. The PDF support, which I need most, is barely minimal in the Amazon's firmware. If enthusiasts like duokan can write such an excellent firmware, why couldn't Amazon?

Perhaps Amazon doesn't care PDF at all! All they want is to sell more DRMed AZWs through their website.

Download link for duokan's firmware (May 8 release)

Last edited by indranet; 08-06-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:56 AM   #2
ttluisa
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I don't know. The only thing I like about it is the simplified Chinese interface. About others, first of all I really don't like the epub much, I don't see the advantage of it. As for the PDF, reflow would be nice but does it show correctly? I've heard on some devices reflowed PDF doesn't show very well. About the font darkening, I say why bother? The contrast on kindle is good enough. The firmware switching thing might sounds good but since I've never tried it, I really don't like the idea of it, sounds little unsafe to me.
While I admire my fellow citizens incredible works, I must say this firmware is only practical if you own a kindle in China, or you really need a lot of features focused on PDFs instead of books, of course only if those features work out smoothly(to my knowledge cracking up PDF formatting is always not a very good idea).

Last edited by ttluisa; 05-13-2010 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:43 PM   #3
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Duakan's firmware for kindle is an excellent complement to the official one. It has native support for Chinese fonts and epub format, and has a very good PDF reader. You can switch from the Duokan system to the original kindle system in a very easy manner (but not vice versa, obviously). The best part is that, you don't need to uninstall the system before an official firmware update.

The Duokan system is under dynamic development so far. The team collects ideas and suggestions from us users directly, and try implementing them as far as possible. It is not perfect so far, but it getting better at a very fast pace, much faster than that of the kindle official firmware.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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Wow... with the ePub I could but book from B&N also and read the on the Kindle for the few books that are either cheaper or only available at B&N that is
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
rainmen
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The duokan firmware is more fast and easy to use than original kindle system.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:30 AM   #6
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That's so cool! I don't know if I'm ready to muck with my own firmware just yet, but I think it's a great idea to hack it. Keep Amazon on their toes!

That said, though the Chinese text is beautiful (and I love their menus and stuff), the mono-spaced English font (in post #33 of the thread) causes blood to pour out of my eyes... Kerning is not optional, it's the life blood of good-looking Western text.

The PDF font darkening is something I've wanted ever since I started putting my own scanned-and-PDF'ed books onto my K2i. They all display very washed out on the e-ink screen and I haven't figured out just how to massage them to display better (in Photoshop before I combine the individual page images as PDF). I have lots of these scans though, so having an on-board PDF darkener would be a godsend to me.

I'll be keeping an eye on this!
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:58 AM   #7
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Some hackers can make a better firmware than the uber-powerful Amazon?

Amazon should really step up their game. At least add Unicode support if you intend to sell the devices worldwide.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #8
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I wouldn't say it's hackers. I mean kindle is linux based so by that alone.....
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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Linux is the very definition of a hacker-friendly OS! People who go spelunking into the guts of a machine and uncover all the niftiness for the rest of us... Love 'em!

A company has to pay their programmers; these people (I'm assuming) are doing it for the sheer coolness (and props) of it! Stay up late nights and get into that caffeine-wired productivity zone all on their own. That's why most copy protection tends to be broken sooner or later: it's a simple question of the number of work-hours put into a project. Either concentrated inside a company's programmer pool, or spread out over the worldwide enthusiasts of a project, which one wins?. If a project starts to capture the imagination, there's no way for the original company to keep up with the cumulative innovation of a zillion over-caffinated enthusiasts!
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmen View Post
The duokan firmware is more fast and easy to use than original kindle system.
Can I use it without reading Chinese? I have been trying to figure this out.. is it uninstallable if I don't like it? and does it use Whispernet in any way? I really want to use it; it is sitting here on my HDD but I want to make sure I don't wade into a Chinese language river of squiggly lines
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:27 AM   #11
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The firmware for KDX has reached beta6
-> http://www.duokan.com/viewthread.php...extra=page%3D1
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:18 AM   #12
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Is there something similar for Japanese?
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:14 AM   #13
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Sorry for not updating you guys about the "duokan" firmware.

I've been using this firmware for my KDX (US) for some weeks. It's excellent! This firmware is extremely useful if you need to read plenty of PDF files. You can re-flow the text, adjust the darkness of the letters, zoom it in any ratio, etc..
It supports DJVU files.
The support for MOBI and EPUB is there but minimal.

You can read English ebooks, but all menus are displayed in Simplified Chinese. No English. No Japanese. And there seems to be no plan for an English version.

The whole installation is easy - no need to use Whispernet. Just copy all installation files to the root directory and update the Kindle just like the official ones.
You'll then have a dual boot system (official & duokan), and you can choose which firmware to use every time you restart the Kindle. You can also uninstall it by simply deleting the installation files.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:28 AM   #14
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indranet
thanks for the info.

how's the performance of the firmware in comparison to the Kindle's firmware?
Do I understand correctly the DXG is not supported yet?
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:50 AM   #15
indranet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eLiNK View Post
indranet
how's the performance of the firmware in comparison to the Kindle's firmware?
Do I understand correctly the DXG is not supported yet?
Yes. DXG is not supported yet. But the duokan team promised that they will support DXG soon. They have a good track record of keeping promises.

For the performance, it depends on your reading habits.

If you only buy ebooks from the Kindle store, duokan firmware is useless. It only supports mobi files to a limited degree. Most formats for the fonts are lost.

If you read a lot of PDF files, duokan firmware will be miles better than the official one. You'll have re-flow, better zooms, darker fonts, table of contents, a workable reading function 2-column layout...

The duokan firmare is less stable, but it's gradually improving through its weekly updates. The machine reboots by itself occassionally, but it's still acceptable.
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