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Old 05-31-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
Ken Maltby
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Kobo-Adding alternative readers using Kobo Start Menu

Kobo-Adding alternative readers using Kobo Start Menu

UPDATE:
----------------------------------------
Adds; Kobo Start Menu, Coolreader, Chess, other games and utilities, and Koreader
----------------------------------------

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.

2. Now for tshering's "Kobo Start Menu" You can find the Version 7 here (FW 2.6.0-3.12.1, all models including H2O). Do not use older versions, especially on H2O. Version 8, here.
Copy the "kbmenupngs" folder into the root directory of your device (See 1. above). Then safely eject the Koboreader drive and disconnect the USB cable. You should then see the "Processing" message on your kobo. Reboot your device and check that the pngs are in the Library.

3. Reconnect to your PC 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.

4. Now for Koreader: Go to; https://github.com/koreader/koreader/releases and download the current nightly kobo build. New nightly download site.
Copy the koreader folder from the zip file to the .kobo directory of your kobo. [As of KSM7, copy it to the .adds directory.]

5. And for Coolreader:
Download the current pbchess build. Or here. Then easiest way to do it was to just 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. Now, it is even easier, just place the "valasovsoft" folder, from the download .zip, into the ".adds" folder.

6. That's it, you should now see the Start Menu or Nickel on powering up your device. It defaults with the option set to alternate how it starts. If you open "runsettings.txt" in "Notepad++" it will be easy to change to your preference. (and easier to read)
(A note from the program's author: Not everybody likes editing configuration files. There is also the possibility to change the start settings via the menu. From the home menu select "scripts" > "activate" > "set runmenu settings.msh." There you will find the options "always," "once," etc. Choose "always" to make the Kobo Start Menu appear after each time you power the device on.)

*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 .adds directory.

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

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

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 necessary 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.

For calibre: (Stolen from a Davidfor post)
An alternative way if you are not using nickel is to disable the KoboTouch driver in calibre. Then use "Connect to folder". That will prompt for the folder to treat as a device. You can use any folder on the device. (Including a hidden folder, like .library) Calibre will then scan the folder looking for books.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 11-10-2016 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
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Thank you for this tutorial, Ken! Thank you also for your continuous support of the Kobo Start Menu!

There are one ore two things I would like to add.

Regarding points 2 to 4: If any of the KoboLaucher, vlasovsoft, Koreader packages is already installed on the device, there is no need to remove it, before you install the Kobo Start Menu. That means you could start with point 8. The pngs you used for launching these applications from nickel however will not do these jobs any longer (if nickel is started via the Kobo Start Menu), but they also won't do any harm.
The advantage of leaving these things as they are is that if you don't like the Kobo Start Menu, you can just uninstall it and everything will work as it did before. That makes it easier for people who just want to try the Start Menu. Another effect is that if you select Options > Emergency Exit (on the top menu bar of the application) from the home menu, instead of selecting "start nickel," then nickel will be started as if the Kobo Start Menu would not be there. That means, you can start KoboLauncher and so on from nickel via the pngs as before, and you cannot return to the Kobo Start Menu (without a powering off and on again).
Warning: After you select Options > Emergency Exit, there will appear a box "... Continue? [No] [Yes]." If for some reason you cannot access the buttons [No] [Yes] (this happened to me once, way before I uploaded the Kobo Start Menu for the first time), you have to force the device to power down (Hold the power slider in the off position for 20 or more seconds).

At point 10: Not everybody likes editing configuration files. There is also the possibility to change the start settings via the menu. From the home menu select "scripts" > "activate" > "set runmenu settings.msh." There you will find the options "always," "once," etc. Choose "always" to make the Kobo Start Menu appear after each time you power the device on.

Since there are different ways to do things, it is difficult to describe the installation processes in a way that will appeal to everybody. One point, I would like to mention is that if you have the Kobo Start Menu on your device and you install anything via a KoboRoot.tgz file, there will appear a further menu item in the home menu, namely "handle update." If you poke it, you will be presented with the options "install partial update," "install update," and "delete update." For Koreader and KoboLauncher you can select "install update."

I guess the easiest way (although not the best for everybody) of installing alternative readers to work with Kobo Start Menu might be:
If the alternative reader is already installed, leave things as they are.
If the Kobo Start Menu is already installed, and you want to install an alternative reader newly, install it in the regular way (as described here, or in steps 4 to 7 of post #1 of the present thread), and additionally select "handle update" > "install update."

Last edited by tshering; 06-04-2014 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thumbs up A recommended hack

Using it on Aura HD fmw 3.3.0 and it is great to jump right into Koreader without having to first launch the Kobo software.
Is it possible to launch Koreader with the latest book opened ?
I have followed instructions here and although this works when lauching koreader from nickel, it doesnt work from the start menu.
Other than that, I need to also go through Nickel, launch the browser and then go to koreader (through the png) if I want to connect to Evernote.
But those are minor issues, this hack is simply superb, thanks.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:33 PM   #4
Ken Maltby
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A few tips to get started:

Koreader opens in the File Manager. Tap the top of the screen to bring down the menus.

Tap the ../ to navigate backwards.

Once you have navigated to the beginning of your library, you might want to "long press" on the link to that page (the "./" at the top of a page that you can select from the beginning page) and you should be given the option to "Set as HOME directory".

(That is an example of one of the conventions used; A long press on setting options will often let you set that option as default. This is used for many of the menu items.)

On my 10.1" tablet I set the Progress Bar to "Full" [bottom menu, gear icon] and long press that to make it default. Then I go to [top menu, gear icon] "Status bar" and uncheck "Current page", as it is in the header for the "Full" progress bar.

One of the most useful features is the "History" menu item. It provides a listing of your previously opened files, with your current read at the top of the list. Selecting an item brings you back to wherever you were in that book. [ One thing I do on occasion is to extract the maps from an .epub or sometimes, download a better map, and convert them for display on my device as PNG files. Once I've opened them, they will appear in the History, along with the book. I can then, leave the book and go to History and select a map. After looking at the map, I can got to History again and select the book, returning me to where I left off.]

Oh, I should add that, for PDFs, you can set the default to "Zoom to fit content" by long pressing on that selection, of the "Switch zoom mode" menu item.

That should be a start.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 07-06-2015 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:53 AM   #5
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Is it possible to launch Koreader with the latest book opened ?
one reason why i prefer coolreader.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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one reason why i prefer coolreader.
Why, because it IS possible with Koreader?
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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one reason why i prefer coolreader.
Your Mileage May Very.

Ask and you shall receive.

If you feel like it you can make the modifications to the scripts listed (there are 4 changed files with 54 additions and 16 deletions) yourself, or just wait for the nightly which contains the changed code. Might be a few days.

Edit: Looks like it is in today's "nightly".

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 06-06-2014 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:01 AM   #8
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The "koreader_kobo.sh" that the Start Menu uses is located here: /.kobo/kbmenu/onstart/koreader_kobo.sh this is the one you need to change for starting reader.lua using the Start Menu.
(Added the above to referenced post)

Luck;
Ken
Hi Ken, yes, I had modified the sh file, not the lua.
So basically Koreader launches the latest book (as expected) when koreader is being fired by the png.
It doesnt when it is fired by the start menu.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:28 AM   #9
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Hi Ken, yes, I had modified the sh file, not the lua.
So basically Koreader launches the latest book (as expected) when koreader is being fired by the png.
It doesnt when it is fired by the start menu.
I don't think you have modified the file Ken mentioned (which is used by the start menu) but the one in the Koreader directory (which is used by the png)
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:22 AM   #10
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I don't think you have modified the file Ken mentioned (which is used by the start menu) but the one in the Koreader directory (which is used by the png)
Well.. it may not matter as it looks like the changes (with the open in last file menu option) are in the current nightly.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #11
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The link for pbchess is down, can you please re-upload?
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Old 06-14-2014, 05:30 PM   #12
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The link for pbchess is down, can you please re-upload?
Fixed

Luck;
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:01 AM   #13
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Tnx,
Installed,
I'm now running nickel, KOreader, and Cool Reader.
I'm "almost" satisfied with my reading experience now, but I have that itch to try android on KOBO, before deciding which one I settle with forever.

KOreader offered the most pleasant reading experience for me,
Most of my books are medical/chemistry textbooks in PDF (very complex layouts, impossible to convert into EPUB).

I view PDFs in KOreader with these options:
- landscape
- zoom to fit content width
- show page overlap

I'm happy with KOreader's PDF experience so far, except:
The "Show page overlap" is working incorrectly, it must gray out the lines from the last page, however it is greying out those lines, PLUS the first line(s) of the new page.

A proper "show page overlap" option would be my last wish towards reaching a happy textbook reading life.
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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For me the "Page Overlap" is too intense, I would like it more transparent. I seem to remember some talk of some way to adjust that. I haven't noticed the first line problem, but then I have only used that option a couple of times just to try it out. I haven't had trouble finding where the new part of the page starts, with it turned off.

Most of the PDF manuals I have on hand came from here. The First Aid and Engineering Manuals and Tech Manuals are looking great in KOreader on my AuraHD.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:41 AM   #15
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I have some experience with Ruby and Python, I noticed the KOreader is written in Lua, the code looks familiar to me, looks like it's times to get my hands dirty.
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