NookManager did the trick for rooting NST running version 1.2.
Instructions here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2040351
After that, I used adb to install apps (those are .apk files).
To use adb, you install the Android developer SDK which runs the adb command on your computer. With the ADB Konnect that NookManager loads on the NST, you connect wirelessly and it gives you the IP address you need to connect the SDK/adb running on your computer to the NST. Using adb is explained here: http://www.geek.com/articles/mobile/...e-it-20120124/
The typical adb commands to install an .apk file are like this (on a Mac terminal, executed from the directory that contains adb):
./adb devices [shows devices that are connected]
./adb connect 192.168.1.71:5555 [this is whatever address ADB Konnect supplies]
./adb install CNN_1.0.9.apk [you may have to supply the path to the directory with the .apk file, e.g.: ../filename.apk]
The best site I found for downloading .apk files was here: http://www.androiddrawer.com/
You also can download apps to an Android device, connect the device to your computer via USB, and use ES File Explorer to put the .apk files in a backup file on the NST SD card that is accessible via the USB. That is explained here: http://mauweb.net/3.0/en/technology/...r-android.html
I was not able to get Astro File Manager to put .apk files into the backup folder on the SD card.
I was able to move many apps to the NST (CNN, LA Times, Kobo, FB Reader, HF Scientific Calculator). Others got an INSTALL_FAILED_OLDER_SDK error (Google Maps, Al Jazeera). I assume this error means the SDK used for the app is incompatible with the Android version on the NST.
I haven't tried to set up access to Google services and, given the minimal physical security on the NST, I'm inclined not to set up Google services. Don't need someone snatching my Nook and compromising gmail, etc.
I can download apps from the Amazon app store, but cannot install them.
This is all a bit clunky, but for a $50 NST, clunky is acceptable. I've connected the NST via USB and downloaded PDF files I want to read to the SD card. All the Nook store functionality works fine. Still testing Kobo, etc.
I like the long battery life and ability to read outside. Saves carrying around books and magazines on trips. I can catch up on news or download new books when Wifi is available. A good tablet costs more, has shorter battery life, is heavier and bigger, has much better responsiveness, has more apps and is harder to read outside.