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Nook Simple Touch

Posted by Dennis

Sadly B&N has decided to discontinue the Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch Glow.    It's a shame as for a dedicated e-reader for my needs it was perfect.  Perfect enough I own 7 of them, one for each member of the family and a couple of spares.  The new model is a couple steps backward in my opinion and I'll only be picking one up assuming I absolutely have to.

One of the kids developed an issue where it would only run when plugged in.  The battery appeared to be fine, it would charge and hit 100%.  You could start it off the charger but a few seconds into the home screen it would lock up.  Plug it and it would restart and be fine until you unplugged it where it would run for a few seconds then lock up.

I tried several things, a Erase and Deregister from inside the Nook OS as well as a 8 canceled reboot wipe and re-image.  I even rooted it and tried different launchers.

In the end what worked was pretty simple.  I popped off the power button and used one of those little screwdrivers you get with an eyeglass repair kit to remove the torx screw under it.  The screw was covered with a little 'anti tamper' piece of paper but out of warranty and not working that little paper didn't scare me.   If you're a proper nerd you might have the Torx 5 (or 6) driver for it.  I didn't so I used what I had which worked fine.

You then push the back so it slides about 1/4" the it pulls right off.   The battery is attached to the back and a power cable connects to the system board.   Pop the power cord off of the system board and then press the tiny white button that's on the system board where the power button cover was and hold it for 30 seconds to discharge any lingering power.

Plug the battery back in and the nook should start up.

If you're lucky like me your NOok should be fine at that point.  What you've done, I believe, is cleared the NST and basically told the nook it has a new battery.

Time will tell if this is a permanent fix but it's been working for a few hours now and I'm calling it good until proven otherwise.  So if you're having this problem, don't throw out that Nook just yet, it might be a very simple 5 minute fix and you'll be back to reading in the sunlight and avoiding buying into the 'We'll delete your books any time we like" Amazon dicatorship.

Unlike many other  tablets, ereaders etc, the Nook Simple Touch and Tough Glow are very easy to replace the battery and you can pick up batteries online for between $15 and $30.


Nook Color Update

Posted by Dennis

Had to return my Nook Color last night as it was one of the ones exhibiting the sound issue.   The issue is that sound doesn't work after the device goes to sleep and you wake it back up.  You have to power it off/reboot it to get sound back.  As a feature that's just not acceptable.

A quick search revealed lots of people with the problem.  So I called my Barnes and Noble and asked if I could exchange it.  Some people were saying their B&N's had stopped honoring exchanges for this issue as it was a 'known issue' and 'being worked on'.   That sounded like ass to me as I listen to podcasts a lot and didn't want to have bounce it every time I walked away for two minutes to be able to listen again.

Happily my B&N replaced it without any significant issue, it probably helped I had the receipt.  I tested the new one in the store before leaving using Pandora and it was a good one. To test open and power up the Nook there at the store.  A quick test is simply to set it down for 2 minutes while it goes to sleep.  Once the screen has gone dark wake it up with the N button and side the unlock.  If you don't hear a sound then it's a bad on.  You can 'prove' it better if you have to by using Pandora if they give you a hard time about it.

Since the problem persists from 1.0.0 and 1.0.1, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 and some Nook's have it and some don't, this screams hardware problem to me.  A software update 'might' fix it eventually but it'll be a work around for a bad batch of hardware.  I'd rather have a good one myself.

Android 2.2 Froyo is still not really worth it in terms of using it as a daily driver.  2.1 AutoNootered works just brilliantly.

I've also been able to flash with a custom kernal and boost the performance from 800mhz to 950mhz while saving 15% battery life.  How awesome is that?

Filed under: Life, Modding, Technology 1 Comment

Jailbroken Iphone 3GS TV Out Issue

Posted by Dennis

Just wanted to post this as it took me a bit to find.  If you happen to have a Jailbroken Iphone 3GS (other models may also be affected but it seems to be the 3GS) and its only 3.1.2 or higher or you used limerain or greenpoison (I forget the l33t spelling for those and too lazy to look it up) and JB a 4.x then you've probably broken your TV Out function.

I found this out because I use Air Player to stream videos from my media server while I use my treadmill but as the iphone screen is, let's face it, pretty damn small for video watching especially while running, I picked up a TV to mount in front of the treadmill.  Then found out I couldn't get any video out of the phone. Research lead me down a lot of avenues "3gs not supported, a big lot of bad cables out of china, bad settings, broken updates" before I finally found some valid information.

The root cause appears to be something the Cydia app does called 'stashing' where it moves some files out of the private data area.   Obviously this only affects Jailbroken phones.  If you have a problem and you don't have a jailbroken phone and you're using the overpriced Apple able then you have a different problem.   I should mention also that with iOS 3.1.2 Apple changed the firmware to require an Apple cable only to get working TV Out, there's a chip in the cable that the phone can check.  No chip, no TV output.  When third party cables can be had for 1/5th price, it seems like another typical Apple policy.

The symptons is you get sound out from your iphone AV out (composite and component) cable but the video is blank.  It outputs a video signal but it's blank.

The Resupported4 app available through cydia MAY fix it.  For me it just caused every app that normally does TV out, Photo's iPod to lock the phone requireing a hard reset.  YMMV of course but as it's a pay to play app, I'd avoid it.   I mention it here only because some people said it worked.

What did work perfectly is TVOut2.  This is a free app available through Cydia and not only fixes the TV Out function or replaces it or whatever (it just works which is all I care about) but it can be used to output everything through the TV Out cable which for some unknown but undoubtedly stupid reason Apple doesn't want you doing.

Anyway there you go.


Left 4 Dead Custom Map – Exodus Streets

Posted by Dennis

Tomato, tomahtoThis a dev map of an idea for a Left 4 Dead 'movie' I'm doodling with.  A movie as defined in L4D terms is simply a number of levels loosely tied together with a fitting climax at the end of a horde or three of infected (they're not undead so zombies isn't a great term although technically it does work by general definition).

Anyway here's a video of a rough draft.  I'm still working on the parking garage which will be the new ending with an appropriate crescendo moment.  I ran into a limitation of Source engine (yet again) and now I have to model a lot of it as props rather than as brush work.  Which means I have to beat my head against XSI (I'm a Studio Max / Lightwave 3d modeler ever since Studio 4d for DOS and the Video Toaster 1.0). Â  I've used a lot of other 3d apps, Silver, Sculpt 4D, Imagine, Maya but I never did like SoftImage or Soft ih mawghj as seems to be the l33t way to pronounce it.  I didn't know it was french based  (sacasm alert) so I'm not familiar with it.  It took me a couple of hours to get a wall with pillers, openings and slants modeled and textured in it as a result and then another hour and a half to get it compiled and in game because there is a shit load of misleading and simply wrong information out there on the compiling process.  But eventually I got it working and now that I've worked out the process the next one might take 5 minutes to compile and get in game.

Why you ask am I forcing myself to use XSI instead of my beloved Max when there are perfectly good export tools for Max that are every bit as good as the so called official mod tool?  Simple, learning new things stimulates the growth of neurons in your brain and these new neurons can take over when the old ancient ones are beginning to fail. Â  Alhzheimer's scares me. 🙂

Click the video above after it starts to play and you can go to the actual youtube site and watch it in hd as well.

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