Kindle 4 PC & Kindle 4 Mac

Maddz

Rune Priest
#1
Beware of these - even if you've unticked the don't install updates option, Amazon is now forcing the update to 1.30 which means DRMed KFX files as standard.

For PC: there's a batch file to prevent unwanted upgrades - https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4051002#post4051002

For Mac: try running this command in Terminal
chmod -w "$HOME/Library/Application Support/Kindle/updates"

And keep an eye on these threads on MobileReads: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283371 & https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4051231#post4051231
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Have they cracked KFX yet? I’ve been lazy and not dug around about what I need to do to get Calibre updated. When I built the new Mac I suspect it has too late a version of K4Mac to avoid this.

It’s of interest now because - if all goes to plan - my ReMarkable 2 arrives on Tuesday which will happily read ePub files. A 10” screen eReader seems useful.
 

Maddz

Rune Priest
#3
Yes and no. Avoid Calibre 5x for the time being (I can't use it anyway because the MacBook is still on Mojave), and ensure your Kindle version is below 1.26. Apply the fixes in the threads above to disable automatic updates and get rid of the renderertest.exe file (or the Mac equivalent).

At the moment, Amazon are switching between DRM versions; word is there are 28 and I think they are up to version 4 or 5. Apprentice Alf has cracked earlier versions but not the most recent from what I heard.

Of course the workaround is to buy epubs from Kobo and get them to price match Amazon which can be a bit tricky for an Amazon Daily Deal. Seriously, if Amazon make it impossible to read on the application of my choice, I will stop buying ebooks from them. It will only be a problem for Amazon exclusives.

I'm also considering reverting the old iMac to Snow Leopard and using it solely for ebooks and MS Office although it's convenient to work comfortably in the sitting room. I shall just have to get everything uploaded and logged in LibraryThing before it becomes a problem (now working on RPG PDFs).
 

Maddz

Rune Priest
#7
It's not the actual Kindle; it's downloading and format-shifting the book files to a format that can be read by a non-Kindle device. Book files with DRM can't be format-shifted. There's also the issue of back-ups; it's been the case when online stores go out of business and people haven't been able to download their books they've had to re-purchase their titles. Amazon has been known to pull titles off Kindles as well (see the row about 1984).

I've never owned a Kindle; only the Kindle desktop and the iOS apps. I've always had Kobos or generic eInk devices, and side-loaded purchases onto them. I suspect I will end up purchasing more from Kobo once ADE 4x DRM is cracked; they will at least price match Amazon. Amazon is only a problem when you buy from Amazon-only authors.

To be honest, I wonder if the EU will act to tear down storefronts that are walled gardens locking you into specific devices. They went after Microsoft a while back demanding open source software.
 

Tim Gray

Rune Priest
#8
I also have a Kindle keyboard. Apart from not having spare money to spend updating something that works, I don't feel later designs have matched the hand-friendliness. It's a design that just feels good.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#9
I had two Kindle Keyboards. Both failed. Loved them when I had them :-(

I enjoyed my Kindle Voyage as it added a high resolution eInk screen (which you don't realise you want until you have it) and backlighting. As most of my reading is in bed, it works for me. It's my spare now.

I stumbled on a Kindle Oasis very cheaply on eBay; love the ability to add some amber in the nightlight, and also the bigger screen. But even more importantly, it's waterproof so no longer so nervous around the bath! Form factor is odd (assymetrical) but works for both lefties and righties.
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#11
Hmm - looks like Kindle Keyboard stops at firmware 3.4.3 and fourth and fifth gen Kindles stop at firmware 4. According to some of the links I've read, KFX arrives with firmware 5. If the USB link works to get data off, then I may have a way forward (especially as my dad has two old Kindles that my late mum had).
 

Maddz

Rune Priest
#12
@Maddz - Do older Kindles not support KFX? If so, I may well buy one and USB the books off it into Calibre?
If you can find one and prevent the firmware auto-updating, then for the moment, I understand they are OK. However, I believe it's likely USB-sync will be disabled, possibly in the next few years. It depends on Amazon's road map; I haven't been paying much attention to that beyond thinking it's a possibility. I can't say which models are safe for the time being, though - I may be interested too, so if you find something, please let me know!

Might be worth it haunting CashConverters and setting up an Ebay search.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#13
Hmm - looks like Kindle Keyboard stops at firmware 3.4.3 and fourth and fifth gen Kindles stop at firmware 4. According to some of the links I've read, KFX arrives with firmware 5. If the USB link works to get data off, then I may have a way forward (especially as my dad has two old Kindles that my late mum had).
I have absolutely no problem with DRM, I don't think that a Kindle Keyboard uses any of the later file versions and as such is just perfect..
 

Dom

Administrator
Staff member
#16
Great for note taking, and reviewing PDFs (although very slow on the initial opening). EPUB handling is slow if you change any formatting. You can hack and install a better reader, but it's not something that I'm really after as I bought it to take notes and scribble on PDFs.
 
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