As I’ve described before, the Kindle has a lot of potential, but it seemed to be wasted in the 1.0 version. Well, apparently that wasn’t quite true. There is more potential in the Kindle, they just didn’t want you to see it. Fortunately, there are people out there who are never satisfied with what we’re given. I learned about this while listening to Leo Laporte’s Tech Guy podcast.
Igor Skochinsky has a blog called Reversing Everything. He got a hold of a Kindle and decided to see what made it tick. Taking it apart both physically and hacking the software, he found some interesting programs residing in the Kindle, just out of reach of the user; a picture viewer, minesweeper game, and some GPS capabilities through the browsers.
The program of interest to mangaphiles is of course the picture viewer. It allows for a “picture” folder to be created, and the pictures can then be loaded into a sub folder to create a “book” that will appear on the home screen. It’s a little slow at turning pages, but will view jpg, png, and gif. So if you read a lot of scanalations, this might be worth a try.
A word of warning though. This is not a quick and easy hack. The Kindle runs on Linux and Java, and you may have to understand these programs to pull off the hack. There are some zips on the site of programs he used as well as explanations of what he did. Only the tech-savvy and/or very rich (that could afford to buy a new one should anything go wrong; this isn’t covered by warranty) should attempt this. (But if you do and it works, let me know)