... I'm going to have a hard time explaining why I need a 5th Nook device to my family.
Here is my justification:
If the discount applies*, wouldn't it be the same $10 discount that the NST gets?
* I don't know if the discount doesn't apply, or if I'd just already used my discount when I bought my Nook Tablet. No I do not have too many Nooks....
Rooting, repartitioning, and getting the Amazon market running all went very fast and smoothly.
Boot from noogie, image the disk to a safe place in a linux vm, then use fdisk to resize and force an OS reinstall (either multiple failed boots or setting the boot counter will work.)
Symlinking the library did not, in my hands, work until I had root access and ADB up. (I tried it from linux, but the path wasn't correct once Android booted.)
Copy in the requisite root tools (superuser and su, basically) a few core apps (adb wireless and a launcher) to /system and /data/app respectively, copy in GabrialD's new uRamdisk, boot up and flip on ADB wireless, and away I went.
Grabbed most of what I wanted from my NST and installed it to the glowworm.
The Android market is often hard to get running; the Amazon market happens to install and run just fine on the device so I could pick up one or two things I hadn't grabbed.
The light on mine seems pretty uneven. I'm hoping that will improve over time. Bright at the top I can understand, but I also have a brighter band toward the center which is disappointing, as it means that ~1/3 of the screen looks darker than the rest (two bands, one up top, one toward the bottom; the unevenness is annoying.
If not, well, I have a disk image of the little guy and I'm happy to restore it to its original state if the second unit looks better and ask for a swap.
The light is nice, the weight is nice, and there's a decent web browser in the stock OS, which I had not realized - I'd figured that was added in with touchnooter tools.
I have company coming soon or I'd go on longer. It basically is the same, performance-wise, as the NST. The illuminated screen has already been helpful but yes, in normal light the contrast difference between this and my NST (which doesn't have a screen fitted) is noticeable but I think survivable.
While my rooting of the NT/NC was to install non-B&N apps, my main reason for rooting the e-Ink Nooks is to easily replicate my WiFi hotspot settings. Thus, I have kept the original B&N UI. However, I'm curious what rooting an e-Ink Nook can do, that is useful and practical. Questions:
- When you install an alternate launcher, does it just replace the B&N "Home" screen (ie, one of the five/six B&N "primary" screens) activated by pressing the "Home" icon in the bottom bar, or does it take over the "n" button?
- What apps are practical for an e-Ink screen? Clearly the file-explorer type are practical, but that's only useful if you have non-reader files that you need to access. In particular, I would think that apps that required typing would do a lot of screen flashing. Is that correct? I take it that "pinch/zoom" is out, as is anything that requires screen scrolling?
I have button savior as well as a launcher installed.
The launcher is set up to capture the unlock swipe and drop you to a standard homescreen (I use ADW.) The N button brings up the BN menu on the first press, and dismisses it on the second. I get back to the Android homescreen most often via button savior and use the BN reader mostly for magazines.
My NST is running, and I use in about this order of importance:
- noogie during early setup to resize /media and /data, so that /media is ~1 gig. I then copy the /data/media/B&N Downloads folder to /media, delete it from /data/media, and symlink /media/B&N Downloads to /data/media/B&N Downloads. That operation lets me manage my BN content via Calibre. This is particularly for the magazines, which I vastly prefer on the NST devices to the NC/NT devices and which read just fine on my NT in the standard epub layout used by the NST edition.
- fbreader and fbsync on the NST - this lets me sync reading positions on sideloaded as well as BN books across all my android devices. fbreader supports a ton of "binned" sort options, so I'm not fumbling nearly as much to find things as I would without shelves, and I've never been interested in making shelves, since I tend to reset my device often early in its life : )
- NewsRob, a really good RSS reader which plugs into your google reader account - no google framework required. It downloads entire articles via Google Reader, not just the RSS ledes that are more commonly downloaded. The fellow who develops it added support for the hard buttons on the NST so that one set lets you page up and page down within an article, another set lets you flip through the articles. It also syncs read and unread across devices when they connect to the network and can be configured to store as few as 100 or as many as 2000 articles.
- B-folders, a nice contact management database. It doesn't run in Google's cloud; it stores an encrypted database locally, which you unlock to search and use. On LCD / geolocation aware devices, B-folders hands addresses to Google Maps and phone numbers to a dialer if present. It replaces the palm pilot contact database for my purposes (and can import one, if exported first correctly.)
- In addition to ADB Wireless, I run TeslaCoil's ssh server, in large part because of the sftp support which I find more helpful than ADB (since it lets me inquire about the contents of directories, then pull files; ADB lets me push and pull but I spend a lot of time when pulling in ADB figuring out what it is I wanted to pull)
- an SQLite editor, to (try to) block the OTA updates.
- I have run gmail on these guys in the past, mostly because I could. I don't normally.
- I am running the Amazon appstore just now, because it works but the Android market doesn't, yet. Consequently, I have a wireless printing utility available to me, should I want to use it (I haven't yet, but I can see times when I might.)
As you can see, I agree that this device is primarily good for reading. But my library includes lots of things that don't tie back to BN, and the Newsrob support of the hard buttons is very nice - the app can also be scrolled with gestures, but that works poorly.
[...]When you install an alternate launcher, does it just replace the B&N "Home" screen (ie, one of the five/six B&N "primary" screens) activated by pressing the "Home" icon in the bottom bar, or does it take over the "n" button?
You can remap the 'n' button using NookTouch Tools to launch another app, if you prefer. I left it at default to call up the QuickNav menu. I have remapped the QuickNav menu, also using NookTouch Tools, to call up Library (default B&N), Maildroid, Calendar Pad, Astrid Tasks and Dropsync (more on these below.) I do not normally enter an alternate launcher such as ADW. I do have Folder Organizer set up to show a menu of "Starred Apps" in the notification menu, and rarely go outside of those. I have the full app menu set up like a traditional drawer as one of the starred items, so I rarely need a launcher.
What apps are practical for an e-Ink screen? Clearly the file-explorer type are practical, but that's only useful if you have non-reader files that you need to access. In particular, I would think that apps that required typing would do a lot of screen flashing. Is that correct? I take it that "pinch/zoom" is out, as is anything that requires screen scrolling?
Screen scrolling is distracting, to the point that I turn it off as much as possible. I'm not sure exactly why, but most apps that scroll tend to treat a swipe up or down as page up or down, respectively, so this is less of a problem than I'd worried about.
My list of starred apps is short:
- Evernote. Mostly to view notes, but editing works fine.
- My6sense. My preferred news aggregator. It works well enough, but launching a browser to read a full story is a slow process.
- Opera. It works, but suffers a bit. I may try a simpler browser, as I don't really like browsing on this device that much, so don't need the features Opera provides as much.
- Root Explorer. For file management.
- Search Market. To get around the search capability Google Play broke.
- Google Talk. Haven't really used it much, but it should work.
- TripIt. Travel Itinerary. It works well, but the colors are a bit washed out. Mostly for use in a pinch when I don't have my phone or other device handy.
- Google Voice. I can use it to quickly check voice mail transcripts. This one has worked better than expected, though obviously I can't listen to messages, so I have to try to decipher Googles interpretation of the message. (Usually good for a laugh.)
- WiFi Manager, Wi-Fi Web Login. For dealing with annoying wifi connects at hotels and airports.
- Dropbox. Dropsync. Automated sync of newsfeeds generated by Calibre.
- KeepPassDroid. Password safe. (sync with Dropsync).
Others that work, but that I don't use much:
- Amazon Kindle.
- Documents to Go. Mosty in-a-pinch reads.
- Mantano Reader. Turn off animations and it works fairly well. May replace stock reader for PDF handling.
- Various calculators.
- Tasker. To automate wifi on/off depending on launched apps, launch Dropsync on schedule.
Bob, have you taken a run at setting up Newsrob? I think it's the bees knees compared to the other RSS readers I've tried. It caches the whole article as a simplified webpage and displays it in the app, rather than launching an external browser - unless you want to hit a hyperlink in a news story, in which case it launches the stock browser inline.
I used Avantgo for years for this purpose, gimped along with mobinews (I think it was called) doing a daily news digest for the Palm platform for a couple of years until I got the NC, and pretty much dropped the Palm device once I had the NC up and rooted - all my contact info via b-folders, and my newsfeeds via newsrob.
Clever ideas for Tasker, too - I use it for launching fbsync periodically, but never went farther with it. One day when things are less insane at work and at home...
Bob, have you taken a run at setting up Newsrob?
Not yet. I've read a lot of good things about it.
I used Avantgo for years for this purpose,...
Wow, does THAT bring back memories. I used AvantGo for a long time.
I launched my rooted NST on its maiden voyage as my beach reader at Nauset Beach this week. I started out just reading a bit, catching up on news downloaded via Calibre. Not expecting much, I checked for wifi and was surprised to find a strong signal for public wifi. I was able to quickly check email and a few work items and relax, rather than stressing about getting back to the hotel. Also pulled down an extra ebook or two, and caught up on live news with my6sense.
The unit's the perfect size, the screen is great outdoors and rooted functionality gives me just a few more capabilities that are nice to have now and then.