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Old 03-28-2012, 01:58 AM   #1
Hrafn
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Customising NST as Pocketbook replacement

Hi. I'm a current Pocketbook 360 owner, who is looking at upgrading. Whilst I like the software interface of the Pocketbook (principally FBReader and hierarchical/directory-based library), I'm aware that Pocketbook's hardware is lagging behind (even the new 612), and isn't even close to being competitively priced.

I'm therefore looking at the possibility of rooting a NST to offer a similar software experience on updated hardware. I'm outside the US, and will be making no use of the B&N bookstore, but will rather be using DRM-free epubs on a microSD.

I therefore have a few questions:
  1. How does Nook's default reader compare to FBReader? Does it allow adding fonts and/or overriding (often idiosyncratic) CSS-settings for a consistent user-defined reading experience?
  2. How compatible is (Android) FBReader with the NST?
  3. Is there a suitable hierarchical/directory-based library/fire-manager available for Android? (I really don't want to have everything in a single directory, and then having to muck about trying to sort everything back out to authors and series again with Nook's 'shelves' -- dealkiller.)
  4. Is it possible to have this alternative library/fire-manager come up by default (rather than the default Nook Home Screen or Library, and having to navigate to it from them)?

I've also got a few questions on the rooting process:
  1. If I don't intend ever using B&N's bookstore, is there any need to register my Nook before rooting, as many (all?) guides state I have to?
  2. Is it possible to root a NST without Wifi? (I don't current have it, or a need for it, and purchasing, and setting up, the hardware for it, simply to root an eReader, seems excessive).
  3. Given that I'm only wanting to add a very limited number of Apps, is there any way of doing this as part of the initial root, as opposed to setting up the various App markets, and downloading the Apps off them?

Finally, are there any alternatives/issues I should be looking at, that I haven't brought up?

Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
Hi. I'm a current Pocketbook 360 owner, who is looking at upgrading. Whilst I like the software interface of the Pocketbook (principally FBReader and hierarchical/directory-based library), I'm aware that Pocketbook's hardware is lagging behind (even the new 612), and isn't even close to being competitively priced.

I'm therefore looking at the possibility of rooting a NST to offer a similar software experience on updated hardware. I'm outside the US, and will be making no use of the B&N bookstore, but will rather be using DRM-free epubs on a microSD.

I therefore have a few questions:
  1. How does Nook's default reader compare to FBReader? Does it allow adding fonts and/or overriding (often idiosyncratic) CSS-settings for a consistent user-defined reading experience?
  2. How compatible is (Android) FBReader with the NST?
  3. Is there a suitable hierarchical/directory-based library/fire-manager available for Android? (I really don't want to have everything in a single directory, and then having to muck about trying to sort everything back out to authors and series again with Nook's 'shelves' -- dealkiller.)
  4. Is it possible to have this alternative library/fire-manager come up by default (rather than the default Nook Home Screen or Library, and having to navigate to it from them)?

I've also got a few questions on the rooting process:
  1. If I don't intend ever using B&N's bookstore, is there any need to register my Nook before rooting, as many (all?) guides state I have to?
  2. Is it possible to root a NST without Wifi? (I don't current have it, or a need for it, and purchasing, and setting up, the hardware for it, simply to root an eReader, seems excessive).
  3. Given that I'm only wanting to add a very limited number of Apps, is there any way of doing this as part of the initial root, as opposed to setting up the various App markets, and downloading the Apps off them?

Finally, are there any alternatives/issues I should be looking at, that I haven't brought up?

Thanks.
I have a few answers for you.

1.- You can't modify the fonts on the default reader, you have to stick to the choice of 6 they offer you (3 serif, 3 sans)
2.- You can use ES File Explorer to navigate folders. You can also use 3rd party readers, like Mantano, which allow you to sort by series, author and such.
3.- You can set your 3rd party reader as default. When you try to open a book, you'll get a pop-up to choose the app to open the file; if you click on the checkmark, the app will be the default and you won't be prompted again.
4.- You have to register if you want to use the stock software (rooted or not). There are reports of battery issues if you skip the registration. There is no reason to skip it, just provide a name and email address - no credit card is needed. You don't even need to use real names or email addresses if you don't want to.
5.- You don't need WiFi to root, the process is simple, just boot with the rooting SD card inserted.
6.- It is possible, but it is more convoluted. The rooting SD card roots the device, installs the market and some other stuff. If you only want to install a few apps, you would have to gain ADB access and then install the apps manually.

My 2 cents, I would say it is not worth to root the NST, as a reader it does a pretty good job as is, but feel free to experience.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by afv011 View Post
1.- You can't modify the fonts on the default reader, you have to stick to the choice of 6 they offer you (3 serif, 3 sans)
I can probably live with those -- the Malabar font doesn't look too different from preferred Droid Serif.
Quote:
2.- You can use ES File Explorer to navigate folders. You can also use 3rd party readers, like Mantano, which allow you to sort by series, author and such.
Is it possible to make either of these the default interface, as opposed to the Nook Home Screen/Library?
Quote:
4.- You have to register if you want to use the stock software (rooted or not). There are reports of battery issues if you skip the registration. There is no reason to skip it, just provide a name and email address - no credit card is needed. You don't even need to use real names or email addresses if you don't want to.
"I don't current[ly] have [WiFi], or a need for it..." Registration requires WiFi, and thus would mean wandering out to find an open WiFi hotspot. Not a biggy -- but an extra hassle.

Quote:
5.- You don't need WiFi to root, the process is simple, just boot with the rooting SD card inserted.
6.- It is possible, but it is more convoluted. The rooting SD card roots the device, installs the market and some other stuff. If you only want to install a few apps, you would have to gain ADB access and then install the apps manually.
Do you need WiFi to install market apps?

Quote:
My 2 cents, I would say it is not worth to root the NST, as a reader it does a pretty good job as is, but feel free to experience.
On closer reading of the User-Guide, it seems that the NST may be able to navigate folders on the microSD card ("Your NOOK displays folders and files on your microSD card"), which therefore may sidestep my explicit "dealkiller" on its Library function. I take it that this allows reasonably hassle-free navigation from any position in the microSD card's directory tree to any other position? The User Guide makes no further mention of it beyond the above quote, and it it likely to be the only part of the Library system I would actually use -- so that it works well becomes a fairly prominent issue.

Would the NOOK drop me back into this subsystem when I exit the Reader (this is what happens with the Pocketbook), or would you have to navigate back to it from the Home Screen each time, past all the B&N-specific guff?

I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable about the idea of an unrooted NST -- but aren't quite there yet.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:25 AM   #4
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I'm aware that Pocketbook's hardware is lagging behind (even the new 612), and isn't even close to being competitively priced.
Check the new PB622 model.
At the moment available only in Europe for approx. 170Eur, including VAT and 2 year warranty.
Multitouch Pearl display.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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Check the new PB622 model.
At the moment available only in Europe for approx. 170Eur, including VAT and 2 year warranty.
Multitouch Pearl display.
Pluses:
  • Slightly lighter than NST
  • PB software
Minuses:
  • Capacitive, rather than IR, touchscreen
  • Less convenient button placement
  • Twice the price of the NST

I must admit I occasionally have trouble keeping the 612 & the 622 straight (neither is listed on the Wiki Matrix, so its easy to get them mixed up).

I am however still tending towards the NST.

As an after-thought I would point out that the newly-released 622 is slightly behind the NST, but that B&N is expected to be introducing a new eInk-based device very shortly. I think that counts as "lagging behind".

Last edited by Hrafn; 03-28-2012 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:05 AM   #6
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  • Twice the price of the NST
Unfortunately, this price is "Normal" here in Europe for devices that DO sell here. Like, for example Sony T1. Sigh ...

EDIT:
Nook Simple Touch is extremely interesting device and when friend of mine went to USA for a business trip, I have asked him to bring one NST for me. It didn't work out, unfortunately.
If I had an opportunity to buy NST for list price in USA, or even sale or refurbished unit, I wouldn't hesitate a single moment.
NST has one feature I like very much - physical page-turning buttons on the side of the device. And it runs on Android.

Last edited by kacir; 03-28-2012 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, this price is "Normal" here in Europe for devices that DO sell here. Like, for example Sony T1. Sigh ...
I'm in New Zealand. T1 goes for around US$180 (140Euro) here. I can get a refurbished NST off eBay from US for US$80-90 + US$20-40 shipping. 170Eur (plus shipping) is a price I'd only pay for a product that was demonstrably significantly superior to either -- not one that was arguably inferior.

While part of it is regional pricing/lack of strong local competition, I also suspect there's an economies of scale thing going. Where the main competition is PB (or similar), Sony et al can price at PB prices (and make some extra profit) -- where their main competition is other major players (as in the US), you see their full volume cost savings reflected in the prices.

Buying off the US there isn't a major difference in prices between the major players, so I'm able to decide based upon features -- and like you I prefer the NST's buttons (slightly to the T1/622 setup, majorly to no physical buttons at all).

I'm currently waiting to make my mind up between the NST, the new PAGEone HD (same 764 × 1024 screen as the iriver Story HD, but in what looks like a nicer package) and the soon-to-be-announced NOOK eInk (whose introduction has a reasonable possibility of depressing the NST's price even further).

Last edited by Hrafn; 03-28-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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I'm currently waiting to make my mind up between the NST, the new PAGEone HD (same 764 × 1024 screen as the iriver Story HD, but in what looks like a nicer package) and the soon-to-be-announced NOOK eInk (whose introduction has a reasonable possibility of depressing the NST's price even further).
Where can I buy PAGEone HD?
There was video on "the-gidital-reader.com" showing that it has backplane made from mettalic foil instead of from glass. They were throwing golf balls on it and it survived, even as aluminum frame got slightly bent from a direct hit.

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...-abused-video/

For such indestructible screen, *and* the one with a really high resolution, I would be able to forgive missing features in SW.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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Where can I buy PAGEone HD?
All I've seen is reports of it in the hands of advance reviewers, not reports of it available-for-sale. Doen't help that PAGEone/Next Papyrus doesn't seem to be bothered about telling anybody who their distributors are.

Quote:
There was video on "the-gidital-reader.com" showing that it has backplane made from mettalic foil instead of from glass. They were throwing golf balls on it and it survived, even as aluminum frame got slightly bent from a direct hit.

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...-abused-video/
Yeh, I saw the-digital-reader's writeup of it & mention of this video. Don't know if that level of abuse-resistance is really a selling point to me (if my eReader took that level of abuse, then chances are I'd have bigger worries than whether it was still working -- assuming I was even in a state to worry about anything).

Quote:
For such indestructible screen, *and* the one with a really high resolution, I would be able to forgive missing features in SW.
The only missing feature that matters to me is the touchscreen, and I'd definately at least contemplate giving up that for the higher resolution.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrafn View Post
Hi. I'm a current Pocketbook 360 owner, who is looking at upgrading. Whilst I like the software interface of the Pocketbook (principally FBReader and hierarchical/directory-based library), I'm aware that Pocketbook's hardware is lagging behind (even the new 612), and isn't even close to being competitively priced.

I'm therefore looking at the possibility of rooting a NST to offer a similar software experience on updated hardware. I'm outside the US, and will be making no use of the B&N bookstore, but will rather be using DRM-free epubs on a microSD.

I therefore have a few questions:
  1. How does Nook's default reader compare to FBReader? Does it allow adding fonts and/or overriding (often idiosyncratic) CSS-settings for a consistent user-defined reading experience?
  2. How compatible is (Android) FBReader with the NST?
  3. Is there a suitable hierarchical/directory-based library/fire-manager available for Android? (I really don't want to have everything in a single directory, and then having to muck about trying to sort everything back out to authors and series again with Nook's 'shelves' -- dealkiller.)
  4. Is it possible to have this alternative library/fire-manager come up by default (rather than the default Nook Home Screen or Library, and having to navigate to it from them)?

I've also got a few questions on the rooting process:
  1. If I don't intend ever using B&N's bookstore, is there any need to register my Nook before rooting, as many (all?) guides state I have to?
  2. Is it possible to root a NST without Wifi? (I don't current have it, or a need for it, and purchasing, and setting up, the hardware for it, simply to root an eReader, seems excessive).
  3. Given that I'm only wanting to add a very limited number of Apps, is there any way of doing this as part of the initial root, as opposed to setting up the various App markets, and downloading the Apps off them?

Finally, are there any alternatives/issues I should be looking at, that I haven't brought up?

Thanks.

I am/was a PB360 user who was in the same position you were. I would of never switched on my own since I had the PB360 set to just about perfect. But I did covet a 6 inch reader with an updated screen. I ended up getting a NOOK STR as a gift. And I loved the screen hated the software and the library management (if you can even call it managment).

So I rooted it using SalsichaNooter 0.4 at first I thought it wasn't going to be what I wanted it to be (a replacement for the PB360). I ended up getting a Speck case which gives it a similar feel to the PB360 (see my picture to the left). Added Coolreader3 which gives you library management which is very poor on the nonrooted Nook. And is similar to FBReader and gives you a lot settings to make changes to how your ebook looks. For the most part I keep the device in android mode but you do have an option to go the B&N homescreen and use the device that way. As well as use the default reader. But FBreader spoiled me.

Last edited by Guns4Hire; 04-11-2012 at 12:17 AM.
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