Kindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25

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Going through Kindle 2 Reviews at Amazon I was surprised by the fact that lots of Kindle 2 owners had put up Kindle 2 Tips and Advice. Combine these with Jesse’s Kindle 2 Hack and tips from the Kindle 2 User Guide and we get –

Kindle 2 Tip #1 – Read To Me Shortcuts

There are some cool shortcuts to use with Text To Speech –

  1. Shift + Sym button to start and to stop TTS. You have to keep Shift pressed down and then press Sym.
  2. While TTS is on – Use Shift button to Pause or Resume it. Note: this might be Space (spacebar).
  3. While TTS is on – you can switch between male and female voices, and change voice speed by using Alt + Aa keys and then using the 5 way controller.
  4. To start TTS at a particular place on a page, move the cursor to the spot BEFORE starting TTS.

Kindle 2 Tip #2 – Top Shortcuts

Here are my favorite shortcuts. Note that Alt-X means you hold down the Alt button and while keeping it pressed down press the X button –

  1. Alt-B – Bookmark.  Alternate: Press 5-way up or down to go to cursor mode, and then press 5-way twice.
  2. Alt-Home – Kindle Store.
  3. Press ‘Menu’ button to see Wireless Network on top of the screen (top right), Time on top of the screen (top center) and Memory Remaining on your Kindle 2 on Top of the screen (top left).
  4. Alt+Shift+G – Screenshots. Hold down Alt and Shift buttons and then press G.
  5. Alt+Shift+M – Start MineSweeper.
  6. Alt-G to refresh the screen and eliminate Ghosting.
  7. Alt+R = reload when in web mode

Kindle 2 Tip #3 – Change Spacing and Number of Lines Per Page

By using the Alt+Shift+ numbers 1 through 9 buttons you can change the spacing between the lines on the Kindle 2 and also the number of lines per page.

  1. Press down the Alt and Shift buttons.
  2. Keeping Alt+Shift pressed, Press a number button like 1, or 2, right up to 9 to cycle through the various spacing options.

It actually makes a huge difference visually –

  1. Close-Up [wpvideo WGyygtPb].
  2. From a Little Distance – [wpvideo 04AlznG6].

Kindle 2 Tip #4 – Pictures on your Kindle 2.

This is how to load pictures on your Kindle 2 –

  1. Connect Kindle 2 via USB to your PC.
  2. Go to the Kindle 2.
  3. Create “pictures” folder on your Kindle 2.
  4. Now create sub-folders for your photo albums.
  5. Put in images into these sub-folders.
  6. The images that you put into a sub-folder will become part of the photo album.
  7. Unplug your Kindle 2 and go to the Home Page.
  8. Press Alt-Z on home page to see photo albums among books.
  9. When you select one of these photo albums, the experimental Image Viewer starts.

While you are viewing pictures in the Image Viewer:

  1. Zoom In on the Picture – Q key.
  2. Zoom Out – W key.
  3. Reset Zoom Level for the Image – E key.
  4. Toggle Picture to Actual Size – C key.
  5. Toggle Picture to Full Screen Mode – F key.
  6. Pan Photo if its larger than the Kindle 2’s screen – With 5-way controller.
  7. Rotate the Image – R key.

Also, do not press the ‘1’ key in the image viewer as that brings up a bug.

Kindle 2 Tip #5 – Screen Saver Options for Kindle 2

Update: Customer Service does not support or provide instructions for adding custom images to your Kindle to be used as screen savers. However, should you choose to do this on your own it will not void your warranty.

At mobileread, they’ve come up with a way to change the screen-saver pictures. DO NOT use this if you are technically inexperienced. This could cause problems as it is a hack/mod of your Kindle 2 –

 Go to this page, and see Post #41 for directions and the code. Once Again, NOT RECOMMENDED unless you know what you’re doing with code and are willing to risk your Kindle 2.

Kindle 2 Tip #6 – Access Free Kindle Books via Kindle 2

Courtesy CheseM at booksummit –

After you sign into Amazon and choose Kindle store to search in:
type ” -domain ” (no quotes) into the search field.

This will give you a list of free books offered by Amazon

Kindle 2 Tip #7 – Restart Kindle 2 in 2 seconds.

  1. Go to the Home Page.
  2. Press the Menu button to go to the Menu.
  3. Navigate to Settings and press 5-way to go to Settings.
  4. Press Menu button Again.
  5. Navigate to the ‘Restart’ option, and press 5-way to select it.

Kindle 2 Tip #8 – Delete a Book or item from your Kindle 2

  1. Press the Menu button to go to the Kindle 2 Home Page.
  2. Use the 5-way to go to the item you want to delete.
  3. Press Left on the 5-way to bring up the Delete selection.
  4. Press the 5-way to confirm that you want to delete the item.

Note: Books you have purchased are available in the Archive selection even after deletion – you can reload them.
Note: There are reports (that I’ll confirm in a week or so once I have my Kindle 2 in hand) that you can use the backspace key to delete an item on the home screen. Whatever item the cursor is on.

Kindle 2 Tip #9 – Mp3 Player Shortcuts

  1. Alt+Space – play or stop background audio.
  2. Alt-F – Skip to the next audio track.

Note: When playing an Audio book, you can press Space to start or pause it.

Kindle 2 Tip #10 – Navigating within Newspapers and Magazines

  1. 5-way controller to the left – previous article.
  2. 5-way controller to the right – next article.
  3. Press the 5-way – A list of sections within the periodical will appear.
  4. On this Sections List page – Selecting the Number to the right of the Section Title will take you to a list of Articles within a section.

Kindle 2 Tip #11 – Change the dictionary used by Kindle 2.

You can change the default dictionary used by Kindle 2 from the New Oxford American Dictionary to another Kindle 2 supported dictionary. Merriam Webster is supported (although it was out of stock/not yet available on April 4th – it had been available in the past so not sure what’s going on – also, only buy the collegiate version – do NOT buy the pocket edition as it has very few words). Please check before buying any other dictionary as it might not be supported. Directions –

* First, press the Home button to go to the Home Page.
* Press the Menu button.
* Move the 5-way to underline ‘Settings’ and press 5-way to select.
* Press the Menu button.
* Move the 5-way to underline ‘Change Primary Dictionary’ and press 5-way to select.
* Move 5-way to select the dictionary you want as your primary dictionary, when it’s underlined press 5-way to select it.

Kindle 2 Tip #12 – Kindle 2 PDF Conversion

You can get all your questions on PDF conversion for Kindle 2 answered at this post on Kindle 2 PDF conversion. There’s a video included to make things easier to understand.

Kindle 2 Hack #13 – Kindle USB Internet Hack from Jesse Vincent

You can connect to the Internet via a USB connection to a computer (rather than WhisperNet).

Kindle 2 Tip #14 – Kindle 2 Customer Support

To get help from Amazon Kindle Customer Service Team –

E-Mail: Phone numbers –
* 1-866-321-8851 (if you are calling from within the US)
* 1-206-266-0927 (if you are calling from outside the US)

Kindle 2 Tool #15 – ePub to .mobi Tool by Jesse Vincent.

Jesse’s hack/tool to convert ePub files to .mobi format (which the Kindle 2 supports).

Kindle Tip #16 – Kindle Text Entry Shortcuts

Update: Don’t work on Kindle 2. You can use these shortcuts when entering Text –

Alt-6 for question mark ?
Alt-7 for comma ,
Alt-8 for colon :
Alt-9 for quotation marks “
Alt-0 for single quotation marks ‘

Kindle 2 Tip #17 – Search Shortcuts + Tips

You can use these shortcuts while using search (just enter @help in the search box) –

* @help – will show a list of supported commands.
* Instead of pressing your 5-way on ‘find’ you can move the 5-way right to bring up other search options i.e. your items, Kindle Store, Google, Wikipedia, Dictionary and your notes (if you have notes for the particular book/item).
* In Kindle 1 you could use @web, @wiki/@wikipedia, @store, @time, etc. In Kindle 2, you’ll have to see what options are available by using @help.
* @author – Narrow a search in the kindle store to a particular author by using the author’s name.

Kindle 2 Tip #18 – Recharge your Kindle Battery when it’s at 20%

Thanks to this discussion at Amazon Forums (courtesy Scott K), and the take-apart which does confirm that Kindle 2 has a LiPo battery, we know –

  1. You can re-charge your Kindle 2 battery at any time, without using up its life. There is no memory and there is no ‘let it drain completely before charging’ rule.
  2. You should maximize by re-charging your Kindle 2’s LiPo battery when it’s at 20% charge left. The worst thing you can do is let the battery completely drain out.
  3. Do not recharge it to full every day. The battery is happiest in the >20% charge, <80% charge range (close to 80% is better than close to 20%).
  4. Always keep the phone cool (not extreme low temperature cold, just cool). High temperatures are bad for the Kindle 2 battery. As are extremely low temperatures.
  5. Do read this post on taking care of the iPhone’s Lipo battery, and factor in that Kindle 2’s battery has a longer life so the charge every day tip isn’t valid.

Kindle 2 Tip #19 – Navigate through the Home Screen’s pages

  1. Jump to page ‘x’ on the Home Screen – Press the number ‘x’ on the keypad and then press the 5-way.
  2. Also you can use the Next Page and Previous Page buttons to circle through the pages.

I’ll add on more tips as I find them. Also, I get my Kindle 2 this weekend when I can confirm all these tips myself and also search out new Kindle 2 tips and hacks.

And you could also check out the Kindle Tips – Top 25 list that I had created for Kindle 1 for tips like reading blogs for free on Kindle 2.

Kindle 2 Hacks – USB Internet, Firmware updates

April 17th Update: You might prefer to check out the Top 50 Kindle 2 Tools post, or Top 25 Kindle 2 Tips & Hacks post instead of this post. Else, read on …

Jesse Vincent at his blog has been updating on some rather impressive work he’s done with Kindle 2. In particular, here are 3 Kindle 2 Hacks he’s pulled off –

  1. He’s created a quick hack/tool to convert ePub files to .mobi format.  You can actually use it right from your Kindle 2 –

    If you visit from your Kindle’s browser, it will download a copy of that ePub converted to the .mobi format so the Kindle can read it.

    Do check the complete directions, including the fact that he archives every ePub file converted.

  2. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, he used Igor’s Kindle reverse engineering posts to figure out a way to hack the Kindle 2 and get the Kindle 2 to connect to the Internet via a USB connection to a computer (rather than WhisperNet). This might well be revolutionary as it lets people outside of WhisperNet areas connect directly to the Kindle Store from their Kindle 2 itself.
  3. The third big hack he’s managed, and the one that probably is getting Amazon really concerned, is that he’s managed to get Kindle 2 accepting his hand rolled firmware updates. Which basically means that down the line individual Kindle 2’s firmware could be updated with new firmware that allows for things Amazon doesn’t like or intend.

These are all fairly advanced hacks. I wouldn’t recommend trying them out unless you are very confident of your hacking/coding skills and don’t mind risking your Kindle 2.