Thread: Firmware Update Collection Manager, anyone interested
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:53 AM   #1
noxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-booksnoxin has learned how to read e-books
Posts: 11
Karma: 884
Join Date: Aug 2010
Device: Kindle 2
Post Kindle Collection Manager

Original Post:

I recently bought my kindle 2 (love it) and updated the firmware up to 2.5.6 where the collection feature was introduced, first up, I found it to be insanely cumbersome to use the kindle to create these collections so I created a small utility in c# to create new collections and add books from within windows then apply it to the kindle (system/collections.json). It occurs to me that there might be some other users who might like the utility, I just gauging reactions at the moment, if there are some takers I'll clean it up and post it up here with instructions on how to use it.

Note on installer requests:
I do not like it when small programs require an intricate install program at ten times its size to run, so I've posted these as simple zip files with just the executable. (.Net *may* be required, but try it first, you probably already have it!)

Unsure if its works, very rough, no features.

Works: Tested it on my XP x86 laptop and it runs, uploading new version with support for whole folders (such as the author folders Calibre creates)

Automatic backup of the .json database occurs whenever it is modified.
the backups are located in the folder where the .exe is situated.
they are numbered, backup 1 will be the first modification you made this session (restarting application begins at 1 again, overwriting the backups)

2.1 beta
I find it now qualifies as a manager rather than a utility due to major changes:
-Stores your library of collections in a separate file all human readable
-Saves on close and Loads on open said file
-A nice spreadsheet-like listing of books instead of that hideous debug box in the center
-The ability to remove books or whole collections from the "library"
-IMPORTANT: It replaces the collections.json file completely with the new data rather than adding, since it maintains the collections in itself permanently (if you want the old functionality use a older version - or wait for it to be reintroduced)
-Added more user-proofing (preventing mistakes since I rarely explain myself well)

A user pointed out that you may require:
.Net version: 3.5 to run these.
Here's the download link on microsoft's site

Instructions for v1.2:
first of all, should it start you will be greeted with 2 text areas, one that should say "New Collection", one blank and a big open empty one

Change the "New Collection" to whatever you want it named (try to avoid special characters, not sure how they will work, spaces are fine)

Press the Search button and browse to your kindle, then documents folder then the book (should be something like E:\documents\Tzu, Sun\The Art of War - Sun

then press the "Add Book" right above the large text area.

you should end up with something like

,"Sun Tzu@en-US":{"items":["*49a5222ba8e7fa3d8110fb81adec13b22359cef3"],"lastAccess":1280813909602}}

in the large area

now press "Apply to Connected Kindle 2" and go to your kindle2's system directory and open the collections.json (MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE FIRST) and your done.

Once disconnected reboot your kindle (hold the power switch until the screen goes blank, then leave it for ~30 seconds while it boots up.
-UPDATE: Alt-Shift-R on the kindle achieves the same thing, there is a menu selection from within the settings that resets the kindle the proper way)
Home->Menu->Settings->Menu->Restart Kindle

remember, this is very rough stage. and improvement suggestion are very welcome.

Instructions for v2:

1. Name your collection in the top text box (Default: "New Collection")
2. Either browse for an individual book and press the Add button to create/add a book to the collection, or press the Whole Folder to add every file inside a specific folder (all paths must be on your Kindle's hard drive, not yours!)
3. You should now see your collection in the grid below, to add additional collections follow steps 1 and 2.
4. When you are ready to apply your collections press the "Apply to Kindle" button and find your collections.json file in "<DriveLetter>:\System" (creating a backup first is ALWAYS a great idea). The file will be replaced completely with your current collections in the manager (which should take over collections management (any changes done in the kindle will be replaced next time you Apply)
5. Exit the program, all your collections are saved for the next time you open the Manager and are automatically reloaded
Note: if you want to back them up its the "manager.skm" file which needs to be in the same folder as the executable.

Completely optional, if you found this helped you and want to support it:

Attached Files
File Type: zip Kindle Collection (5.4 KB, 239 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager (6.0 KB, 182 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection (6.3 KB, 224 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection Manager2.1(beta).zip (8.9 KB, 217 views)
File Type: zip Kindle Collection (9.0 KB, 1164 views)

Last edited by noxin; 08-08-2010 at 11:21 PM. Reason: 2.2 - Append Function is back!
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