E-book readers are amazing: Capable of storing more books than you can read in a life-time, with electronic paper displays that only cost energy when updated, last for weeks on a charge, viewable in direct sunlight and available used for $20. Unfortunately most e-book readers come with bookstore lock-in and DRM that prevents you from sharing or reselling: They're basically tiny book prisons. Over the past year I've been hard at work creating fread.ink a free and open alternate GNU/Linux based operating system for electronic paper ebook readers that will liberate your device and your books! I'm planning to have a developer release ready some time in Q2 2016.
fread.ink development was stalled for a while but has been moving forward over the past couple of months. I've been documenting and making it easy for new developers to build every part of the system from scratch by writing scripts that automate the setup of various build environments using a combination of vagrant virtual machines, cross-compilation toolchains and QEMU chroot. You can check out the recent activity on github if you're curious. I've also been setting up an apt repository for the fread-specific packages. Hopefully a 0.1 developer release will happen in late June. The developer release will happen as soon as wifi or usb networking are operational so development becomes possible without physically opening the e-reader and soldering a serial connector.
After spending most of my holiday free time hacking on this I finally got graphics working on fread! Not only is graphics working, it's working with 100% open source. I also decided to ditch buildroot and move to a slightly modified Debian Jessie as a base. I managed to get it down to about 180 MB _and_ now apt-get works! Next step is to integrate the Awesome from my last post :)
I got the patched Lab126 release of awesome updated enough to compile with a modern Xorg by manully backporting some patches from the official awesesome repo! I'm getting really close to a working X on 4th generation Kindle devices! Find the code here and here. Now all I need is a bit of lua glue that gets XDamage events from the modified awesome and tells the EPDC kernel module to update the relevant region!
All humans deserve to be educated to the limit of their capabilities. If this opportunity is denied them, basic human rights are violated.
Did you know?: In the U.S. it is illegal to circumvent DRM even if you do it just to read your own e-book on another device?
What if there was a library which held every book? Not every book on sale, or every important book, or even every book in English, but simply every book - a key part of our planet's cultural legacy.