Kobo Glo HD, how not to register.

By | February 29, 2016

Being very happy with my completely modified Kobo mini (It boots straight into a custom menu and uses coolreader) I had just one small issue with it, without lighting its obviously unreadable at night!  If I’m unable to sleep I don’t want to disturb my wife… I did try for a while with my tablet, but however I set the backlight and even when I changed colour themes about, it was still just too harsh on the eyes for nocturnal reading (with the hope of sleep!).

Last year Kobo released the Glo HD and I thought with the gentler style of backlight and higher resolution, this might just do the trick, and I have to say its a really nice screen to read even in complete darkness or in sunlight with or without the backlight – it remains to be seen how expensive the backlight is on battery life, but given weight there is a decent battery in there (and thankfully an SD card looking at pics – hopefully there’s a good chance its the boot device…  >;)  )

Of course Kobo still have the cheek to prevent you using your property until you register with them, if they ain’t making a decent profit from the cost of the Glo HD they need to ask some pointed questions of their manufacturing partner….  As there is no warning about the need to register at the point of sale or on packaging, I have to wonder if this tactic is even legal – its certainly odious.  Its also counter productive, had registration been optional and there were a reasonable selection of DRM free books I’d have probably had an ongoing spending relationship with them.

There does apparently seem to be some ongoing differences with the registration so I will document what I had to do to be able to use my property…

After the very quickest trip to startpage.com I managed to find these instructions… http://max.kellermann.name/tricks/kobo.html

The first thing I did (and I’m not sure if you actually need the MAC address but I suspect you do) was to start the registration process and connect to my wifi (stopping as soon the wifi had connected) – this then allowed me to look at my router and find the MAC address of the device.  Once you have the MAC address shutdown the reader (it didn’t seem to have saved the wifi key later – I wouldn’t suggest allowing this device to connect to the internet for privacy reasons)

Long story short there seems to be extra fields but nothing terribly critical.  I was able to cobble together the following SQL statement.  You’ll need to use uuidgen to generate a couple of “unique” numbers…

INSERT INTO user(UserID,UserKey,UserDisplayName,UserEmail,___DeviceID,FacebookAuthToken,
HasMadePurchase,IsOneStoreAccount,IsChildAccount,RefreshToken,AuthToken,AuthType,Loyalty)
VALUES
('first UUID here','second UUID here',
'private individual','no@spam.thx',
'put the MAC (with :'s) here','','false','true','false','','','','');

The sqlite DB is located at <mount point>/.kobo/KoboReader.sqlite and the command to exit sqlite is .exit (notice the leading dot!)

I did have an issue where the device decided to boot-loop and I had to do a factory reset after doing the “registration” again everything works fine (Cold boot and post usb transfer have both worked fine multiple times without boot-loop)

I’ve since installed coolreader and bunch of other “unofficial” software and it all works just great…

I did notice I needed to do a slight modification to get USB networking going

the usbnet.sh script has a section near the start

PLATFORM=ntx508
if [ $DEVICE == TOUCH ]; then
    PLATFORM=freescale
fi

just after this I added

PLATFORM=mx6sl-ntx

From memory I think DEVICE contains something like GLOHD so you can probably just alter the top PLATFORM= line….

don’t forget that with the launcher installed, scripts in the vlasovsoft  are run as root so creative use of yes and passwd should allow you to login with ssh via usb networking, remember that you need to bring the network device up on the desktop, better look in dmesg if you haven’t turned off network name mangling because the predictable usb0 could be different even for the same device…

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