Setting Kindle Date and Time Without Wireless Networking

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.

  1. 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.)
  2. 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 …”
  3. On your Kindle press “HOME”.
  4. Search: ;debugOn
  5. (Optional) Search “`help” to verify debug mode is on; you should get a list of available commands.
  6. Search: `usbNetwork
  7. Search: `usbQa
  8. 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.
  9. 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.”
  10. Shortly after connecting to the Internet you Kindle should update the time setting. You can confirm if it does so by searching: @time
  11. To get your Kindle back to normal USB mode, restart it: “HOME” “MENU” “Settings” “MENU” “Restart”

12 thoughts on “Setting Kindle Date and Time Without Wireless Networking”

  1. um, not that i have a Kindle (if i had that kind of money, i’d be saving it for a Touch Diamond2 :-), but why 192.168.15.200? or is that the address someone hardcoded into it?

  2. The Kindle’s address is hardcoded to 192.168.15.244. The PC address could be anything in that subnet but I chose to follow the convention of the original tethering guide.

  3. Thank you for this is a great guide on Kindle tethering. Bit how to reverse everything back so that I could you my Kindle in USB mode?

    Thank you

  4. Hi Jim,

    Question about the Kindle. I’m currently contemplating whether or not it’d be worth getting one. I have a ton of books and am constantly running out of shelf space, so it’d be nice to be able to tote them all around on one device. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that the Kindle can replace the look/feel of holding/turning pages of a real book.

    There’s also that DX model coming out as well, so I’m not sure if I should go smaller for portability, or go big for….convenience? Anyway, I know you’re a Kindle owner, so any insights would be appreciated. You can just email me if you want.

    Thanks!

  5. Hi, I manage to follow up to step 9 but after that, I can’t connect to either wiki or kindle store on the kindle. I tried to ping 192.168.15.200, it worked. But pinging 192.168.15.244 (which I understand is the hardcoded IP of the Kindle) was unsuccessful; I have to say mine is a Kindle DX but I don’t think that would make a difference, would it?

  6. Just connected my kindle to a wireless network for the first time in 4 months. it froze up and said it was updating the software. when it was done the option to turn off the wireless connection was gone. since I spend a lot of time in places there is no electricity, let alone wireless service, I value my battery life, which had now decreased by more than half. Can anyone tell me how to turn the wireless off?

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