Feeds

How to hack a Sony Reader

Inside the Linux-based e-book viewer

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Universal Flasher

When you plug your Reader in over USB, you don’t see much in the way of control files. There’s a /tmp folder, a folder for Digital Editions, and a database folder, below which you’ll find the various media – images, music and e-books that are on the Reader – and a few XML files related to them.

Universal Flasher running

The Universal Flasher is simple – just press 5 and then 6 to customise the firmware on your Sony Reader

What you won’t see are any of the files that control how the Reader behaves. For that, you need Universal Flasher, which is available from the MobileRead forums. Unzip it, and you’ll have a collection of files that’s designed to be copied onto an SD card, together with an autorun.xml that allows you to flash your Reader with updated firmware.

For the most basic customisations – such as controlling different button functions – that firmware incorporates more XML files. For example, the current UK firmware for the PRS-505 is version 1.2.00.18050. The Universal Flasher kit includes a directories for each model and firmware supported, called files.{model}.{firmware}. Within that, the /opt/sony/ebook/application/resources folder contains a file called applicationStart.xml and another folder, /scripts, which contains main.xml. It’s in these two files that the bulk of customisation for the reader is done. You can also replace some of the image files for the reader, by placing them in the scripts folder, changing the icon set, for example.

When you insert an SD card containing all the files from the flasher kit into the Reader, you’ll be presented with a menu that allows you to flash a new firmware, or make a copy of the existing one.

So, customising button functions is a matter of editing the applicationStart.xml or main.xml files in the folder for your Reader’s version of firmware, copying the whole lot to an SD card, plugging it in and picking the right option from the menu.

Universal Flasher

Igorsk’s Universal Flasher provides the tools you need to start customising your Sony Reader

As well as the Flasher itself, download the originals.zip file, which contains the unmodified scripts and images from the reader. Icon customisations are perhaps one of the easiest: the file kBookIcon.png contains most of the icons used in navigating round the Reader, while kBookAssets.png contains the ‘Reader’ logo and some other symbols.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.