Kindle 2: Linux eBook from Amazon

Mar 10, 2009

Kindle eBooks have been around since the '90's, and although sales are still uncertain, Amazon has now upped the ante by not only releasing version 2, but also publishing parts of the Linux source code.

Linuxdevices.com has taken a closer look at the device. First of all, it looks good and is thinner than Kindle 1.While the display hasn't changed that much, the device now has 16 gray shades which help greatly with contrast adjustment. Pages turn 20% faster and thanks to the new user interface, turning the page, making notes and skipping pages has become a lot easier.

Hardware:

The SoC (System on Chip) is a Freescale I.MX31 processor, based on ARM11 architecture with a 532 MHz tact. Kindle 2 has 32 MByte RAM and 2 GByte memory with 1.4 available to the user. Large enough for 1.500 books, says Amazon. The original SD slot of its predecessor has been replaced by a mini USB 2.0 port and a 3.5 mm audio line-out has been added. Improved battery performance should keep the device running for four to five days.

Presently aimed exclusively at the US market, Kindle 2 will cost 360 USD, with downloads available via the 3G wireless Whispernet.

Source Code:

The source code for Kindle 2 can be downloaded here. The 138 MByte TAR.GZ archive contains a U-Boot 2.6.22 Linux kernel, Alsa, Busybox, Powertop, Gstreamer, Bootchart and other popular open-source programs. Developers are calling attention to the short boot-time and energy saving functions of the device. More information on Kindle 2 can be found here.

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