Mobileread
Kobo standalone? (never want to connect to Kobo, or activate)
#1  mutant_matt 03-09-2012, 01:54 PM
I've been reading the forums, and other blogs and stuff, including the Linux Desktop thread, other Linux threads and the FAQ, and I can't seem to find a clear answer.

If I want to buy a Kobo, and *never* connect it to Kobo (or indeed, anywhere else), nor use the desktop app (I'm running Linux and understand I *could* use the desktop .deb), some people often seem to state that you have to activate it once (and to do this, you either need a late model and use WiFi, or connect it to the app (Windows, Mac or Linux)). I don't want an account at Kobo, nor will it be of any use to me as I won't use it.

According to this blog: http://www.darkcoding.net/misc/kobo-ereader-touch-on-ubuntu-linux/

you don't actually *have* to activate it? I've played with one in the shop, and it didn't appear to be activated, and was in "Airplane Mode", and seemed to work just fine. I just want to hook it up via USB and either drop files on it, or use Calibre to do the management. I don't see myself ever buying any books from Kobo, and definitely don't want any of the recommendation stuff!

I am happy to not have the latest firmware (I plan to do those kinds of updates manually (I don't currently like the look of 1.9.16, plan to try 1.9.14 first).

Is this possible? What does activating get you, other than an account at Kobo and the latest firmware? (and presumably, stuff you don't want like the recommendations, and the more cluttered home screen? (and over time, useage tracking). Can you not activate and just start using it in "usb/airplane mode"? Does it nag you?

Any help most appreciated, as this isn't something I seem to be able to find a straight answer to, but is key to knowing before I buy (if I like it, I'll get 2,3 or 4 for the family).

Cheers,

Matt
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#2  Nietzsche 03-09-2012, 02:30 PM
If you want to use the device as a purely reading device for your ePubs, you don't have to register or connect. You can just skip setup. But you'll be missing out on firmware updates which I personally would not sacrifice. Kobo also offers free book offers every month once you activate your device which would normally costs you anywhere between 2-12 dollars. I use my device for purely ePub reading as well. Registering just give you the piece of mind that your device will be covered by warranty and customer support as well. Plus it's your choice whether you want to shop at Kobo or not. One more thing, the firmware updates also add features to your device. In the past, they've added the ability to add custom fonts and optimized page turns.

Consider all the benefits and absolutely no costs of registering, I would recommend registering on your buddy's PC if you're stuck with linux.

Welcome to the Kobo forum!
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#3  mutant_matt 03-09-2012, 03:26 PM
Many Thanks for your (prompt) reply! It was very useful to me.

From reading all the threads I mentioned, it looks like you can manually put the firmware updates on the device over USB (or even Telnet/ftp, if you go that way), if you need/want to change the firmware version!?

Also, I have a dual bootable box with Windows on it if I *really* need it (don't hardly ever use that), or Windows inside a VM when that suits, plus I run the occasional Windows app under Wine (plus I can run the native .deb linux desktop app if need be). Lots of options, if need be

Do the "free" books, you mention, come as Adobe DRM encumbered, like the usual pay-for books? Just worth knowing, to balance up if "free" is worth it. The registration/warranty stuff isn't required, at least in the EU, where you get a manufactures 2 year warranty by law, and that doesn't involve having to register it, just requires proof of purchase. ASDA and WHSmith here in the UK (the main sellers) also are usually pretty good with customer service/returns.

Thanks again,

Matt (now to find the best deal for purchase)
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#4  rashkae 03-09-2012, 03:32 PM
If you buy a Kobo with an older firmware, it will work as a pure play reader (but wifi will be disabled, so not downloading from Calibre server for you.) However, as old units eventually sell out and new units go on store shelves with newer firmware, even that function will be disabled. The new firmware will not accept new books until it's registered. New firmware is also needed for basic fuctions, (Like your own bookmarks, rather than just remembering the page where the book was last closed.)

Fortunately, you can have your cake and eat it too. Especially if you are a Linux user. If you must buy a Kobo rather than a Sony, there are 2 things you can do to get a full function device:

1. Instlal SQLite3 and open the KoboReader.sqlite in the .kobo directory.

Give it this command:

INSERT INTO "user" VALUES('aaaaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaa','aaaaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaa','xxxx@xxxx.xx','xxxx@xxxx.xx','2aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa==');

Next, you can download firmware 1.9.16.zip from Kobo. They don't publicize the link, but you should be able to find it in the Firmware thread.

Unzip the contents of the zip file into the .kobo directory. Eject/Unmount the Kobo and disconnect. It should update itself and enable all functions that are usually disabled until registered.

You can PM me if you need further clarification, but again, if all this seems like insane work to make a device you pay money for work, splurge a little on the Sony.
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#5  Koboyashi 03-10-2012, 01:52 AM
Quote rashkae
INSERT INTO "user" VALUES('aaaaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaa','aaaaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaaaaaaaaaaa','xxxx@xxxx.xx','xxxx@xxxx.xx','2aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa==');
INSERT INTO "user" VALUES('foo','foo','foo','foo','foo');
also works. Or whatever you want, except umlauts. There's no test of a well formed email address.
Quote mutant_matt
(now to find the best deal for purchase)
Good luck with Kobo-hunting
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#6  mutant_matt 03-10-2012, 04:52 AM
Thanks guys, that's *exactly* what I needed. So, you *can* use it unregistered, but not full functionality (or indeed, apparently, just able to add books), so the sqlite command sounds perfect (I'm used to using the command line and sqlite so that's no biggie for me). I've seen those firmware instructions elsewhere (presumably on the firmware thread ), so thanks for that also.

I don't want a Sony, and this might sound stupid, but I do my best to boycott Sony products wherever possible since the Rootkit fiasco. I won't not buy a Sony "to cut my nose off to spite my face", but, I won't give them my business unless I absolutely can't find a better/alternative product (or go without, sometimes). The Kobo, apart from the silly activation/Kobo account nonsense, seems to otherwise fit the bill.

Thanks again,

Matt
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#7  epubRay 03-10-2012, 07:08 AM
Just wanted to mention, I bought a Kobo Touch but had to return it because of the well known And well documented page turn bug. I had reservations about the kindle but had to give it a try. Bought one in a store, I discovered that if you buy from amazon they already set it up to your account, but if you buy from a store, it's not setup to an account. It's simple to download the firmware update manually from amazon.com. I also converted my epubs to mobi via calibre without any issue, I don't plan on ever registering it with amazon, and I'm glad I have that option.
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#8  soulfuldog 03-10-2012, 08:27 AM
One drawback with your Kindle is that you can't sort your books into collections if you don't register it.
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#9  mutant_matt 03-10-2012, 08:07 PM
The reason I dismissed the Kindle, was because a reader that doesn't support ePub was out of the question for me (and I'm certainly not going to get into converting to a non-standard format just to suit a particular device!). If a kindle isn't registered, can you not create folders, and move books into those folders? (is that what a collection is, or is that something else?).

I also wouldn't have a registered Kindle (or at least with any Amazon bought books), as they have final control over your device, and content, and that's not acceptable to me, for something I paid for!
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#10  The Terminator 03-10-2012, 11:41 PM
Quote mutant_matt
The reason I dismissed the Kindle, was because a reader that doesn't support ePub was out of the question for me (and I'm certainly not going to get into converting to a non-standard format just to suit a particular device!). If a kindle isn't registered, can you not create folders, and move books into those folders? (is that what a collection is, or is that something else?).

I also wouldn't have a registered Kindle (or at least with any Amazon bought books), as they have final control over your device, and content, and that's not acceptable to me, for something I paid for!
Pretty sure that's what collections mean, but note that the Kobo doesn't have official support for folders/shelves/collections. It will come in a future update, but don't hold your breath. There's a good plug-in that will take the crap off the homescreen and activate shelves. You can see what else the plug-in does in the Kobo Touch plug-in interface thread.
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