New project site launched for Augen The Book e-reader

I've just heard over at MobileRead that someone is starting a project with the goal of hacking Augen's ereader. His long term goal is to be able to use The Book as a limited netbook computer. This could be shiny, but only if Augen follows through and hands over the source code (as required by the software license). I'm excited because I can see the potential of the design.

The The Book is a Kindle clone with a 7" LCD screen, Wifi, and support for Adobe Epub. It runs Linux and it has a reasonably useful keyboard. I reviewed it in August.

This general design could be the next netbook. Right now the only thing stopping that from happening is the limited software on these devices. If the Book gets hacked it will be so much more useful.

I'm also thrilled to finally meet someone who gets it. Here is why Chris started this project:

Well, that's a good question. TheBook really doesn't have the battery life to be the greatest book reading device, but the software platform is mostly based on open stuff, and it's an interesting little piece of hardware. The same LCD display that makes it hard on the battery makes it respond more quickly than the E-Ink based readers for things like web browsing and games. It might be nice to adjust the built-in software bundle so that it does more of what it does well. Also, I have one.

Open The Book

About Nate Hoffelder (11479 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

8 Comments on New project site launched for Augen The Book e-reader

  1. Hi Nate,

    I’m pretty positive about the project regardless of Augen’s action with regard to the source code. As you’re aware, the GPL requires that they hand over modified code to their users upon request. This license covers at least the kernel and some basics, but almost certainly doesn’t cover (for example) the GUI.

    Here’s the good news: the GUI is QTopia, which is open source so I can get the unmodified source elsewhere. Even for the kernel, which I’m sure has been modified, the modifications seem very minor and if I had to build it from stock distribution code without seeing Augen’s modifications, it’s probably not too big of a deal.

    Of course it would be nice of Augen to provide the source. I’ve intended to give them a couple more weeks to see what happens before I start seriously trying to string the whole thing together on my own. It will be easier with their help, obviously. I’m sorry to report that I’ve heard no news at all yet, but I’d like to make some allowance for their potential flood of holiday customers.


  2. I wish you good luck, but when I was looking to see if anyone else had tried a project like this, I ran across this page:

    It looks like several other people have tried to get them to comply with the terms of the GPL with no luck. So, if they do, great, but don’t be surprised if they don’t.

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