Version 20180922

Lecture: Freeing the Binary Format of the reMarkable e-ink Tablet


This talk shows further progress in understanding and documenting the binary file format created by an e-ink tablet with fast pen input, called reMarkable. We present the methods on how the format for drawings was decoded, our own open source file format API and how it plays with a wider community of open source enthusiasts around the device.

This talk is about hacking around with a binary image format for fun and freedom. We will present how one can make sense of an unknown binary blob created by a proprietary hardware+software in order to gain more control over one's user data.
Equipped with this knowledge comes responsibility: people want to use it so we obviously need an open source library for it. Files shall look well described on a Unix command line, so let's write a "file" magic. Default renderings are boring, so let's try to not only understand them but also add our own. We will geek our way through all relevant levels of a desktop FOSS software stack, embrace open (source) communities and show how easy it is to join one, enable creative applications and start to truly own our data.