Saturday, September 10, 2011

I don't need it, but boy do I want it

My brain is filled with very serious subjects.  But they’re all things I have no desire to delve into right now.  But things are slow in the call center world tonight so I figured I might as well type out an entry… What to say, what to say…  Then I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written a geek post so I figured I’d take a stab at it.

So, I think I mentioned my distaste for eReaders in theory until I magically won one, right?  Well, of course it just did it’s job to whet my appetite and make me think of all the geeky trouble I could get myself into.  At first I was pretty sated with my Kobo.  I love how it looks like paper (therefore not straining your eyes).  What did I need color for when most of my books don’t have any images past the cover.  Not like I’m staring at the cover for hours on end.  Well, it couldn’t hurt to see what else was out there.  Right? Geek’s famous last words?  Actually, I think a geek’s famous last words are “let me try… this….”  Or something like that… But I digress… SO…. I look around.

I poked around a bit and I found the Nook Color.  This thing is based on the Android system.  Hey, I’m a Google fan.  I have an Android phone.  I have a Chrome book.  I’m digging on Google+ (even though no one else seems to be).  Then I mention it on FB and a friend of mine says, “You know you can hack the [micro] SD and turn it into a tablet, right?”  Wha?!    Now, we all know what type of luck I had in my last hacking adventures (I’m so novice a hacker I can’t even be called a novice hacker as it still has “hacker” in it’s title).  However, what you do with this little gadget is you hack the micro SD!  No bricking your device!  The Nook all on it’s own seems to be pretty sweet but to run a tablet, on Honeycomb even, sounds pretty sweet.

So, I bought it. But, in my defense I’m now back at REI seasonally (call center) and the husband has a second job.  It’s probably the only frivolous purchase I’ll be making for a while.  Also, I bought it at as a “recertified” unit for $180, shipped.  The standard pricing for this guy is $249.  If I’m going to pay that I might as well save up for a real tablet that has a little more kick in the processor department.. Not there yet.  Baby steps.

Here are the specs:
  1. NOOKcolor:

    • PCB: Foxconn ML1 S 94V-0
    • CPU Processor: ARM Cortex A8-based Ti OMAP 3621 @ 800 MHz (same processor as Droid 2 and Droid X)
    • GPU Processor: PowerVR SGX530 Graphics Rendering: Open GLES1.1/2.0 Hardware Scaling: 854x480 scaled to 1024x600 Video Formats: .3GP, .MP4, .3G2 ** Video Codecs: H.263, H.264, MPEG-4, ON2 VP7 ** Image Formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP ** (same GPU as Droid 2 and Droid X)
    • RAM: 512MB Hynix H8MBX00U0MER-0EM MCM (Stacked Chips 2x256MB each die mDDR)
    • Internal Flash: 8GB Sandisk SDIN4C1-8g
    • Removable Flash: 32GB via microSDHC
    • Radio: Chip ID Ti wl1271 (kernel reports wl1273) Chip supports bluetooth transmit/recieve and fm radio functions through the same antenna, but is not enabled in software drivers. Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Security: WEP/WPA/WPA2/802.1x Mode: Infrastructure
    • Display: 7" 1024x600 IPS Display w\VividView Cypress Semiconductor TTSP Gen 3 (TMA340) Touchscreen , kernel driver , reference LG Display LD070WS1 (SL)(02) LED Backlight Pixels per Inch: 169 Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Colors: 16 Million Viewing Angle: 178° (same as HTC 7 Surround and HTC 7 Mozart)
    • Audio: Ti TLV320DAC3100 Codec 3.5mm Headset Jack (TRS 3-Pole) - no mic input Single Rear Speaker PWM Headphone Amp Headphone Detection Mic Amp and ADC (Mic input not available) Audio Formats: .3GP, .3G2, .MP4, .AMR, .MP3, .MID, .XMF, .MXMF, .RTTL, .OTA, .IMY, .WAV, .OGG, .ACC ** Audio Codecs: ACC, ACC+, AMR, MP3, MIDI, LPCM **
    • Power Management: Texas Instruments TPS65921 PMIC Integrated Power Management IC with 3 DC/DC's, 4 LDO's, USB HS Transceiver
    • Battery: "Barnes & Noble" labeled 3.7V 4000mAh 14.8Wh Li-ion battery Battery Life: ~8 hours
    • Physical Specifications Dimensions: 8.1" (205mm) L x 5" (127mm) W x 0.48" (12.2mm) D Weight: ~15.8oz (~422g)
    • Micro-B USB 2.0 High-Speed
    • Accelerometer
    • Input Virtual QWERTY Keyboard On-Screen Soft-Keys ** 'n' Home button Power\Lock button Volume Up\Down buttons
As much as I love gadgets I’m not always hip on what all of this means but I actually understood almost all of that.  I’m quite proud of myself. **pats self on back**

As sad as it is my processor on my Samsung Galaxy S Series Vibrant (3g) is faster.  But at the $180 price I paid for a refurbished unit I’m not going to complain.  I see it as a gateway tablet.  Bonus, since the last update on my Vibrant I’m now able to make it a hotspot so I can access internet on the tablet when I’m not home if I need to do anything on it that I can’t, or would rather not do, on the Vibrant itself.

So, I got my unit on Wednesday. The silly thing wouldn’t get past the register page and gave me some ugly error message.  When I pulled up the error message some forum guy on some random site said it happened to him and they had to send it back.  At that point I was ready to get into nerd mode and play with my new device.  Nope.  I called and followed their troubleshooting instructions (all of which I had already tried before I called).  Nothing worked.  Even though it was a used unit it had been “recertified”.  So this means Barnes and Noble needed to suck up the costs and pay to ship the dud I had back and ship me a new (used) one.  I asked for expedited shipping (I work in retail, I know it’s possible).  He said he’d try.  Likely story.  So, I’ll tell about my hacking foibles and all about the whole new user experience after I get it and have a chance to work on it.

I gave the Kobo (which is still pretty awesome) to my mom.  She was quite thrilled.  She’s the one to get me reading.  It’s the least I could do.

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