Cool Kindle Easter Eggs To Discover

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Easter Sunday is here, and unlike last time (see: Top 50 Software Easter Eggs of All Time) we won't be revealing any software-related Easter eggs. Instead, we'll be looking for Easter Eggs in Amazon's popular Kindle device. Even though last week we mentioned some excellent Kindle tips, Kindle has many more tricks up its sleeve. Here's a look at a few of them:

Activate Picture Viewer: Kindle does have a basic picture viewer, but it's not activated by default, here's how to make it work:

1 Create a folder titled "Pictures" in the root of Kindle drive or SD card. Kindle also checks for DCIM made by cameras.
2 Create another folder inside it and drop all the pictures there. The pictures saved in this sub folder will be read as a single book. Supported formats are jpg, png, gif.
3 In the Home screen press Alt-Z. A new "book" should appear. Open it to view your pictures.
4 In the local menu you can also toggle dithering, resize to fit and full screen mode.

Searching For 'Pi's Directly From Home Screen: Searching for the letter 'e' without quotes from the home screen shows the value of the mathematical constant E. The same works for pi.

- Typing in @time shows the current time on the screen.

- Adding @wiki before any search term performs a search in Wikipedia.

- Adding @web before a search term searches for the term on Google.

Kindle as a calculator: Another hidden functionality in Kindle is its use as a calculator. And it's not just a simple calculator; in fact, it can compute even trigonometric functions pretty accurately. To use the functionality, just type in the expression you want to evaluate and press enter, the answer will be displayed instantly. For example typing in sin(98) displayed the answer accurately up to 15 digits. Here's what else you can compute with it: Multiplication, division, square roots(sqrt), power functions (^), trigonometric functions (sin,cos,tan,atan). However, unless you are Chuck Norris, dividing by zero still yields infinity. The above functions work well on Kindle 3 and Kindle DX, they might not work on older models.

Minesweeper: We've already mentioned this tip in an earlier post. Nevertheless, here's the trick again: Pressing Alt-Shift-M in the home screen opens up the uber-popular game of Minesweeper. For those living under a rock for centuries, Minesweeper is a single-player game where in one has to clear an imaginary minefield without detonating a mine. The game has been around since the 1960s and is also included by default in many operating systems. Ubuntu also comes with its own version of the game titled Mines. Enough talk for now, here are the keyboard shortcuts for playing it.

Alt-Shift-M - Start Minesweeper

At the start, you'll be presented with an empty grid. Move around the grid using Kindle's five-way controller. Click an empty mine using the middle button, and if you're not that unlucky, numbers will show up on and around the opened cell. If at all you expose a mine, you lose the game, and in that case, you'll have to restart by pressing R. Minesweeper involves a lot of guesswork, so if you think a particular cell contains a mine, you can mark it by pressing M.

GoMoku: Also known as Five in a Row, GoMoku is an ancient strategy board game. It is more like a leet version of Tic Tac Toe. The winner of the game is the first player to get an unbroken row of five crosses or zeroes horizontally, vertically or diagonally. To play the game, first start Minesweeper by pressing Alt-Shift-M. Then, once the game starts press G to play GoMoku or Press N to start a new game. During the game, use the five-way key to navigate around the grid. Pressing the middle button marks the cell. You can press S to swap positions. To go back to Minesweeper press M and to go back to the main menu press the Home button. The game may look easy at first; however, Kindle is a pretty tough opponent here. So, Good luck!

Geolocation: Yes, you heard that right; Kindle does have geolocation facilities built in. There's no GPS, but it uses its wireless hardware to determine location, a la iPhone. To use the feature, just open the browser by going to Menu > Experimental and clicking on launch browser. Then, Press Alt-1to show your current location on Google Maps. Note that on newer models, Q key represents 1, W represents 2 and so on. The map can be zoomed in and out just like on the PC using Kindle's 5-way navigation button. Pressing Alt+2 together finds the nearest gas stations, and pressing Alt+3 looks for the nearby restaurants. Sounds cool, but why didn't Amazon tell us about it?

Sources: Thanks to Reversing Everything blog for most of these awesome tricks.

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

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