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So You Want to Try Your First 3rd Party Program?

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So you just got your brand new iLiad, or maybe you’ve had it for a while but have grown comfortable enough that you’d like to install one of the community applications. Below, I’ll detail a step by step guide on how to setup your iLiad to install a new application to it.

First, a few notes: You’ve paid a lot for your iLiad and you don’t want to break it. This fact alone prevents a lot of people from trying out new programs. There is good news though. If something should happen while installing or running an application. You should be able to restore your iLiad. You will need a compact flash (CF) card. I recommend anyone who’s planning to install community applications to buy a CF card. You can pick up a 1 Gigabyte card at any electronics store for under $30 US. You should place all of your applications, along with the files needed to do a reflash should anything go wrong.

This guide is extremely detailed. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks.

With that out of the way, lets get started:

  1. The first thing you will need to do is connect to IDS. To do this, you will need either a wired, or wireless network connection.
    1. Create an IDS profile here:
    2. Fill in your e-mail address in the field and click on ‘Send’.
    3. You will receive an automatic e-mail with a password in your e-mail inbox.
    4. Take your iLiad and enter your e-mail address and the password you received into the ‘iLiad Settings’.
    5. Create a (wired or wireless) network profile on your iLiad using the Wizard.
    6. You can now connect to the iDS by pressing the connect key on your iLiad for 2 seconds.
  2. Once you see your iLiad connect, it should tell you that there’s either nothing to download, or it will install any updates it finds.
  3. Now you will need to sign up for the developer package. This will give you the ability to run programs, and will also program your iLiad with what you need to reflash it from a CF card in case something goes wrong.
    1. To sign up for the developer package visit this page:
  4. If you’ve successfully connected to IDS in the past, your MAC address should appear in the “Select MAC Address” drop down box.
  5. If it does not appear, verify your email address and password in the settings screen on your iLiad, and connect to the IDS again.
  6. After you have selected your MAC address, click “Send Developer Package”.
  7. Now, connect to the IDS on your iLiad. You should see a message saying “Downloading Developer Package”.
  8. After it installs, your iLiad should automatically reboot.
  9. Now that your iLiad has rebooted, it should start up like normal, but you won’t see anything different. You’ll need to try to install an application to make sure it worked.

    1. The first program you should try to install is mrxvt.

    2. This is a terminal application. Simlar to a DOS prompt on a windows computer.

    3. I like to test with this program because it doesn’t require anything special other than the developer package to run.

  10. Download mrxvt in this thread on the MobileRead forums.
  11. You will need to unzip the download on your computer. Windows XP and up has zip functionality built in. If you need an unzipping program, I suggest 7zip.
  12. Once you have unzipped the program, you should see a folder called “mrxvt”.
  13. Simply copy this folder to the internal memory or CF card on your iLiad.
  14. Browse to the correct directory from your iLiad, and select the line that says “mrxvt: Command Shell”.
  15. If all went well, it should open up a terminal along with your keyboard. If you don’t know anything about linux, I suggest you click the “X” to close it, or type “exit” and hit enter.

So now you have shell access, and you’ve run your first application. Many apps use the unzip and run process of installing. However, others are more complicated and include an installer. This is the case with a popular 3rd party viewer I’ve ported called FBReader. I will walk you through the installation of this.

  1. Download FBReader from this thread on the MobileRead forums.
  2. Unzip it, and copy the folder called “fbreaderinst” to the Compact Flash (or other flash memory) card on your iLiad.
  3. For FBReader, and other installers, it’s important to use a CF card, USB key, or MMC card. If you install it to the main memory of the iLiad, you may run into problems with the screen refresh.
  4. On your iLiad, browse to where you have copied the installer. You should see an item called “Install FBReader”. Select it.
  5. It will take a little bit of time to install. At that time, you will see the green light flash, and the bars moving across the bottom. After it is installed it will tell you “FBReader has been installed”.
  6. You can safely delete the “fbreaderinst” folder on your iLiad.
  7. Now, to run FBReader, browse to the “Programs” directory that the installer created on your memory card. Inside there, you will see a launcher for FBReader. Simply select it, and it will start.
  8. Here, you can use the FBReader library to add books, or if your prefer, install the FBReader Registry Modifications to open books directly from the contentlister (aka the way you open PDF’s and Mobipocket books). Hopefully you now understand how to install 3rd party programs on your iLiad. In my next post, I will cover reflashing your iLiad in case something goes wrong and your iLiad won’t boot.

Feel free to comment, and let me know if there are any confusing areas or things that need to be improved upon.