I received a private message from someone who had these questions/concerns. I was given permission to use them in a thread.
Being fearful of damaging something is a good thing. I was scared as well. It comes down to what do you hope to gain from rooting.
I have a stock unrooted NC without the latest 1.01 update yet. Basically, I would love to use this as a full-service tablet, but I am sort of afraid to ruin my brand-new NC, even though I AM quite computer-literate.
Am I correct in saying that the Autonooter program will root the NC automatically for me? Are there any problems I might expect? What about the expected update to Android 2.2 that is expected out in January? Would there be any advantage to rooting now or should I wait for the update? If I root now and the update goes through will that have any effect on the rooted NC or will it mess things up?
People overestimate the ease of using the auto process. Issues have been encountered with the auto process. There is no guarantee that it will work smoothly for you. You have to STARE at the rooting steps and determine if you can do it. Ask yourself, am I able to follow these instructions to the letter? If I'm stumped on something can I Google myself out of it or seek help on the right forum? That's what it's really about. Only you can answer that. Also, there is some functionality that is left out of the auto process that people overlook. At the bottom of the rooting instructions is a section called “Things to do after you've rooted your NookColor”.
This should be done as well:
I used the manual process (prior to the availability of auto). The manual process is still an option, and has been flushed out some more. When I re-root I plan to use the manual process again. For me it's about understanding what was done and having control over what is done (e.g. what version of an app to use).
With regard to the major update from B&N...if you want to root do it now. All of us who rooted will have to re-root then. I don't think anyone is disappointed with the decision to not wait.
You should disable auto updates when you root.
The NOOKcolor is virtually unbrickable. When it looks like you screwed up, you can do a factory reset.
All the B&N eReader functionality is there (this is accessed from a bottom row of menu buttons that is not removed). It just adds another layer to it for lack of a better way of stating it. The original NOOKcolor home screen is there. You can continue to use it like that. Or you could access all of the Android installed apps under "Extras" which is where the original B&N non-eReader stuff is (Music Player, Pandor, Chess, Crossword, Gallery, Sudoku, etc). All of your sideloaded content is still there.
On a rooted device, do you still have wireless access to the B&N shop etc.? Do the menus and N button still work? Does the rooting process affect the books I already have loaded? I heard also that there is a danger to the internal temperature after rooting. Is this true?
Or you can have a traditional Android home screen and still access the eReader menus from the bottom row of menus that is still there.
I know it's hard to envision, but in a nutshell you can keep the original B&N eReader look or you can use the traditional Android look. The cool thing is that you can easily switch between both, so you don't sacrifice anything at all. That's how I do it.
The Android Marketplace is an app that is enabled automatically (auto process) or manually. You click on the Market icon and view apps classified in different categories. Many popular apps are free. The app is installed directly from Market. You can also sideload apps. Apps have an ending of .apk in the file name.