Kindles are really neat eink devices for hacking. There is a pretty big home brew community, although they tend to hang out on message boards and not gutter or slack.
I did a similar investigation myself a couple years back using Go, although I stayed firmly on the software side of things.
I recently dug out an old e-reader that has been unsupported for a few years.
I searched the web for rooting tools and managed to get it to work, allowing me to install an .apk which loads a web page and refreshes it every N minutes. It also auto-connects to WiFi if required- and shows the last refresh time and the current battery charge in small letters at the edge of the screen.
With a few lines of code I also had an HTTP server that it could connect to. This just grabs the current weather and the forecast from an API and makes a pretty-enough page (similar to the iOS forecast widget). This now sits near my front door. Every few days I connect it to a charger for a bit - I’d run a wire, but it would look ugly.
This was a fun hack, but I notice the article ends with some text on the screen - and that’s it. Any ideas for really useful applications for these?
My girlfriend has an e-reader tablet set up to be a medication reminder thing that sits in the bathroom. Take your pills, tap the button that says “I took my meds”, and it logs it so you don’t have to try to remember if you took them this morning.
Obviously not as useful if you don’t have medication, but you could generalize it to other things like brushing your teeth that you always do in the same location.
That’s a really good idea, thanks!
What model? I have an iRex Iliad that I keep pondering doing something with. The battery is dead, but it ran an X server and so I could potentially use it as a remote display. Unfortunately, it’s a 2.4 Linux kernel and I don’t think anyone has updated the software stack since iRex went bankrupt in 2010. It’s a shame, because it was a really nice bit of hardware and it’s just been gathering dust for a decade or so.
Mine is a Barnes and Noble Nook. I think it’s on some ridiculously old version of Android, but that’s okay if it can still pull up one web page!