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an in-depth look at a library of congress ebook reader

some technical info about an old library of congress ebook reader. these are few and far between on the internet due to the general rarity of these players and the very specific people they were given to. this might be the most anybody's ever documented about these!

basic info

this is an old ebook reader (this one's from at least before 2011 and their site claims to still be distributing these today, despite the updates being gone from their site) by the library of congress, designed to be given to handicapped/visually impaired people to listen to e-books on. there are large, texturally distinct buttons that are easy to identify without any visual info. books were played from either small, various colored usb flash drives through a port on the front end of the device, or with the usb port on the side.

the cartridges

what about the cartridges? these were ~256mb flash drives that would insert into the front of the reader. i think theyre supposed to look like a cassette tape. the idea is that the library would lend you these cartridges and you could plug them in to start listening.

what's inside

here's the fun part! all of the screws on the back use the same security bit. the battery cover is easy to get to. two screws and you're in..! but its not that interesting. its a 7.2 volt 2000mah ni-mh battery pack.

so, lets get into the actual brains of this thing! there's 8 more screws to take out. the two next to the battery cover were the most annoying since the ifixit bit was just barely too short to reach, but i managed to make it happen.

okay, there's quite a bit going on in here.

inside of the media player

obviously, the power supply is integrated inside the unit. explains all the scary stuff on that side. also, the speaker is massive!! they really wanted you to hear this thing.

the usb ports appear to just be a breakout to the power, ground, and data cables respectively. nothing too special.

there also seems to be some test pads on the right of the motherboard intended to let service people test the buttons and functionality without having to have the buttons pressed down.

let's look at the main chips. the biggest one will most likely be the most interesting: its printed with "MC9328MX21VM". searching this up, it appears to be a now out-of-production arm-based multimedia focused microprocessor running @ 266mhz. if theyre still making these like they claim to be, they likely use a different microprocessor now. the microprocessor supports two usb 1.x ports, which means that the ports exposed to the user are most likely usb 1.1.

there's another chip nearby the microprocessor labeled with "9EK47" and "D9JTP". ive been unable to find any info about this as of right now.

there's more?

yep. there's more to this. there is a video on their youtube channel intended for staff/volunteers, that proves the existence of downloadable software updates, other types of models, and some discrepancies between this model and theirs. mine doesnt have retaining washers on the battery door.

update archive

don't sue me

to wrap this up: this player has not been sold to me. i did not purchase it from anybody and nobody has profited from this documentation. this documentation is intended to be informative to those who wish to learn more about the player, access its various software updates, and various other info surrounding it. i have no interest in selling or reproducing this software or hardware and i do not and will not make any profit out of this.