Thursday, December 09, 2010


Over the Thanksgiving weekend I bought a NOOKcolor by Barnes & Noble. I had tried to get my wife interested in an iPad by showing it to her at the Apple store. Here response was "Is that all it does?" I didn't want to make that mistake again.

With the Nook I bought it and loaded a trial copy of a book by her favorite author before I showed it to her. That made the difference.

There's her Mary Higgins Clark book at the bottom left.

The Nook is actually an Android tablet. It has a gorgeous 1024x600 7" capacitive touch screen. It is running Android 2.1 (for now).

Look carefully and you'll see that this is an Android homescreen with three panels.

Click on the book and this is how it looks in reading mode.

You can change the font, the point size and the margins.

But this isn't just an e-reader. Barnes & Noble has added several nice apps. You access these by pressing the soft button at the bottom. Touch "Library" and then "My Files" and you can see part of the file system.

Navigate down to "Videos."

These are videos that I've transcoded using Handbrake. Detailed instructions are here.

Back to the soft button and choose "Extras." There are a couple of games and a "Gallery" and "Music."

These are simple apps but my wife liked the straightforward music player.

Press and hold on a song and you'll get a context menu.

But wait, there's more!

Back to the soft button and choose "Web." Yes, the Nook has a browser. Like the apps, it's pretty simple. I've been able to get many services working by using their mobile URLs.

YouTube even works but the playback is pretty choppy.

Content sites like work better.

Back to the soft button and choose "Settings."

That gets you information on wireless and the device.

There's lots more to the Nook.

By the way, I captured these screenshots by pressing the Nook button and the volume down button at the same time.

My next challenge is to decide whether to root the Nook or not.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bluetooth Tethering with Windows 7

Last spring I got my Asus Eee PC 1000H running Windows XP tethered via Bluetooth to my BlackBerry Bold.

Then this summer I got the ThinkPad X100e and installed Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Windows 7's networking is pretty different than Windows XP networking so I had to work some to get the tethering working.

First you have to pair the X100e and the BlackBerry. Remember that you have to make the X100e discoverable first.

Then click on the Start button and type "dial-up." Select "Set up a dial-up connection." Choose the Bluetooth link.

Here's what it looks like when its done.

This string is:
The password is CINGULAR1.

Then go into the "Network and Sharing Center" and choose "Internet Options."

Go to the Connections tab and check "Never dial a connection."

Finally go to "Network Connections" and uncheck "Cancel as default connection."