I should not have said yesterday it would take 38 minutes or less to turn my Nook Color into a Cyanogenmod-powered tablet. Big mistake.

I have it running now, more or less. It’s nice. Sluggish at times, but once it’s set up it seems to do better. Time can make it better. Getting started is the big thing. Baby steps. Baby steps.

First, and I can’t stress this enough: Forget whatever you know, or think you know, about modding. It’s really easy to make this far more difficult than it needs to be. That happened to me.

All you need is a Class 4 micro SDHC card of reputable make. Sandisk is the go-to brand. I went with PNY because I had gift cards to burn and the store I had gift cards for sells PNY. Buying off-brand cards in pursuit of savings and class 10 cards in pursuit of speed seem to be two places people run into trouble. From what I’ve read, Sandisk is the best; some have had success with PNY.

Well, you need one other thing. A micro SD adapter, if you don’t already have one. You’ll be writing files to the micro SD card with a PC, which, chances are, will be expecting a full-size SD card.

Beyond that, you need these directions. Follow them closely, and you’ll have a Cyanogenmod-powered 7″ tablet up and running in about an hour.

These instructions will run Cyanogenmod off your micro SD card. Your internal memory remains stock, so you can revert to stock by shutting down, ejecting the card, and powering back on. That’s a big advantage to some people. Others, maybe not. But it gets you up and running quickly. You can decide later if you want to blow away all the BN factory-installed stuff. What’s nice about it is that little can go wrong. If the install blows up, re-image the card.

Once it’s up and running, it’s a lot like an oversized Android phone. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is the first tablet-optimized version, and it’s not finalized yet.

Underpowered? Yes. Worth $119? Definitely. Most $100 tablets won’t be as easy to modify, and information about them will definitely be more scarce.