One drawback of using your Kindle 2 in an area without wireless connectivity is that the date on your Kindle will not be set correctly, but instead be set to sometime in 1970. (UNIX timestamps start from January 1, 1970 and Kindle’s software runs on Linux.) This is really not a very serious problem except that your bookmarks, notes and clippings files will have bogus timestamps.
Fortunately there is a hidden option to enable networking over USB connections. If this connection is enabled and properly set up, then one of the things it will do when connected is set the time. The time on mine was set to UTC (sometimes called GMT) time zone instead of Taipei time (UTC+0800), but at least it is only 8 hours off instead of 39+ years.
I learned how to set up USB networking on Kindle from Jesse Vincent’s blog post Tethering your Kindle 2 where he explains how to do this on MacOS. Since Windows systems are a bit different below is a shorthand version for Windows XP. If you get confused by anything, see Jesse’s original post for more detail. Vista procedure is probably a bit different.
- Get the driver here: http://www.davehylands.com/linux/gumstix/usbnet/linux.inf (If you run XP x64 or Vista 64-bit, you will need to modify the driver as documented here: http://docwiki.gumstix.org/index.php/Windows_XP_usbnet#Step_7.)
- Enable Internet Sharing on your Windows box. Open the “Network Connections” Control Panel, right click on your main network connection and select “Properties.” Select the “Advanced” tab and enable “Allow other network users to connect …”
- On your Kindle press “HOME”.
- Search: ;debugOn
- (Optional) Search “`help” to verify debug mode is on; you should get a list of available commands.
- Search: `usbNetwork
- Search: `usbQa
- Connect your Kindle to your computer’s USB port. You should see a network connection detected. When it asks to install a driver tell it to manually install, and point it to the directory you saved linux.inf to.
- The “Network Connections” Control Panel will now have a new network connection listed. Right click on it, select “Properties,” click on “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” at the bottom of the scroll box and press “Properties.” Enter the following: “IP address: 192.168.15.200” “Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0.”
- Shortly after connecting to the Internet you Kindle should update the time setting. You can confirm if it does so by searching: @time
- To get your Kindle back to normal USB mode, restart it: “HOME” “MENU” “Settings” “MENU” “Restart”