Hacking the Sony Reader

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The Register has a nice piece on hacking the Sony Reader, allowing you to install all sorts of goodies onto the Linux-powered e-reader. I’ve never been a big fan for the Sony Reader but clearly hackers prefer this device over the closed Kindle.

Some is simple customisation: you can change the fonts, icons and logos, or add your name and contact details to the About screen, for example. Buttons can be reassigned, or disabled too, so if you prefer to shut the Reader down rather then send it to sleep, then you can add that function to an easily accessible key, instead of having to work through a few menus to find it.

It’s actually possible to go a lot further than that. The reader is controlled using JavaScript and XML, and there are even applications such as dictionaries and Sudoku that can be run from an SD card.

Interestingly the device can run programs right off of an SD card, ensuring you don’t totally hose your device. You can add new firmware with a program called Universal Flasher, a program that sounds like something that happens when Dad gets drunk and then goes on the Shrek ride.

I just wonder if they’ll ever be able to crack into the Kindle. I suspect since it’s not very European right now there’s really no impetus to play around.

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