Alex Johnstone

Daily Notes ☕️

Monday, 1st November, 2021

⏱ 3 mins 👓 686 words. 🏷️ Daily Notes

Red-billed oxpecker

I feel like iOS 15’s display of the number of Safari tabs I have open on my phone is a constant judgement of me.

Jailbreaking a kindle

Spent last night jailbreaking my older Kindle Paperwhite. This was kicked off by my desire to be able to pull out my highlights in a more automated manner on books that aren’t purchased from Amazon - which is quite a lot more me. I’d found KOReader online and this appeared to have some automation potential with Joplin syncing, Calibre syncing or even just a SSH server on it.

The jailbreaking is very easy, and you just follow a series of steps from the forums. It installs KUAL (Kindle Unified App Launcher), this adds a button/book that you can launch from the normal Amazon system. You keep all the same Amazon library, store, options as well which is nice. Seems like you have to be wary of OTA upgrades from Amazon which can break your jailbreak. There’s some workarounds but looks like newer firmware is making it harder and harder. My kindle is quite old and I don’t think it’ll get any more firmware updates. They recommend putting it into Airplane mode when you don’t need the internet.

* Airplane mode defeats my purpose of remotely pulling the highlights…

I played about with KO Reader last night, instead of reading, and it has lots of features and customisations which are nice. I probably won’t use many of them so not sure for me if it’s worth it.

* Being able to rotating to landscape is a nice feature though. Again, probably won’t use it.

I think I’m just going to use my Tiddlywiki to capture my notes, so the Joplin sync is probably too complex. Calibre might be a good way to go. I don’t currently have it on my server, but probably not hard. I’ve never invested much time into Calibre, other than to covert epubs to mobi for kindle. However, it would be a nice way to organise my books. If I took my kindle with me, then the news feature would be good too. I think I read somewhere I can sync highlights with Calibre and then look at them there. Not sure if that’s helpful or not. I can open it and copy and paste but it adds formatting I don’t want even when copied as plain text. I wonder if the server version gives access to the highlights.

* It does mean they’re all in one place. I’m sure someone else on the internet has solved this problem.

Then there’s SSH. Basically could script my server to download the highlights from the kindle automatically. Not sure if SSH is only running when the kindle is on or when asleep too. This is probably the best way if I’m going to automate syncing of highlights. However, I don’t just want a copy, process and file away system as I’ll never use it. Some interaction for reviewing the highlights, editing, picking, adding other notes etc. is important. It also risks spending more time automating a tiny part of it versus reviewing. I think it’s between this and Calibre.

I did end up quitting KO Reader and going back to normal kindle to keep reading my book (as the place is saved). KO Reader was just the first thing I tried and maybe it’s not what I want. I should have a look at the other plugins and see what else can be done.

The jailbreaking is a bit of a faff, and makes me think a Kobo might be better from the start. I used to jailbreak my iPhone back in the day and installed lots of things and always did the dance during iOS updates. When I had Android phones I’d install custom ROMs and root them. In the end it was too much hassle and I have better things to do.

I don’t want to lose sight of actually reading books.