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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nook to Android, Come in Please

Today has been cold with a stiff breeze and some rain showers.  The wind is forecast to gust to 50 though it has not been that strong yet. 

We did drive over to Costco in Astoria today to do a bit of shopping.  The key item we bought was a scale for the RV.  We are both in the process of losing some extra pounds but on our RV trips, we have no feedback on how we are doing.  And with a 3+ month RV trip coming up, that just won’t do.  So we got a scale at Costco that is a real futuristic model that looks like it might have come from Star Trek.  The part where you stand is all glass!

2012-11-28 14.17.53

I’m not going to brag for Carol, but she has been doing really well on her “Calorie Budget” and I will let her give any details on her blog.

We are back in the RV now and watching the showers pass through.

Our cell booster is working great.  It turns no signal into 2-3 bars of 3g which is great.  One interesting thing to note though is that after dark the signal degrades to 1-3 bars of 1x.  I suspect this is because the cell providers turn down their signal at sunset.  I recall that many radio stations have been required to do this for years.  The clear channel stations (identified by a 3 character call sign – KFI, KGO, WHO, etc.) are not required to degrade their signal at sunset but all other are.  I bet the cell radio towers have to do the same thing.

According to my cell provider app on my phone, we are getting the cell signal from Seaside, which is some 26 miles away as the crow flies, so that is a pretty good distance.  Unfortunately, there is a hill blocking us from a direct shot at Astoria which is much closer.

On another technical note, about a year ago, I purchased a Nook tablet.  I’ve been pretty pleased with it except for one thing.  You have to get apps for it only from Barnes & Noble.  Unfortunately, they have only about 5% of the apps that are available for the Android OS and they charge for a good many of them while they are free from Google Play Store.

That has been a real frustration because we use a system called HUDL for watching and exchanging football game videos for our officials.  It allows us to comment directly on the video screen and telestrate it just like on TV.  We can use a regular computer through their web site to do this or use the free HUDL app for IPad and Android.  But, of course, this is not one of the apps that Barnes & Noble offers so I am out of luck.

Fortunately, I let Carol in on my frustration and a few days later, she remarked that she saw on one of the blogs she reads about some guy who had converted his Nook to an Android device.  This sounded too good to be true.

So I checked it out.  The outfit is called N2A  (Nook to Android, get it?) and they offer the ability to convert your Nook to an Android device without affecting the warranty! The way they do this is quite ingenious.

The Nook has a slot for a micro-sd card.  You can load their $19.99 android image onto this card and insert it into the Nook.  Then when you power on the Nook, it becomes a true Android device.  You can then execute an app to go back to normal Nook mode or you can remove the micro sd card and boot as a normal Nook.  Pretty cool!  And it works great!

1 comment:

Russ Krecklow said...

Just don't lose sight of that new scale, or you might trip over it in the dark! That's very interesting news on the Nook to Android thing. I might have to try that on mine. I agree, getting things only from B&N can be a bit tedious. Enjoy the rain.