The e-ink display, network connectivity, and low-power consumption of Kindle ebook readers make them a perfect candidate for an infrequently refreshed high-visibility display–like a weather display. Read on to see how to hack a Kindle to serve up the local weather.
Tinker and hardware hacker Matt Petroff hacked his Kindle to accept input from a web server and then, graciously and in the spirit of geeky projects everywhere, shared his source code. He explains the heart of the project:
The server side of the system uses shell and Python scripts to convert weather forecast data into an image for the Kindle. The scripts first download and parse forecast data from NOAA via the National Digital Forecast Database XML/SOAP Service. After parsing the data, the data then needs to be converted into an image. This is accomplished by preprocessing a specially crafted SVG file to insert temperatures, forecast symbols, and days of the week. This SVG is then rendered as a PNG using rsvg-convert and converted to a grayscale, no transparency color space as required by the Kindle using pngcrush. Finally, it is copied to a public location on the web server.
The Kindle is set to refresh twice a day (you could easily tweak the scripts for a more frequent refresh) and displays the forecast as seen in the photo above–with crisp and easy to read text and icons.
Hit up the link below for more information and the project’s source code.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 09/17/12