Do AC adapters go bad? The answer surprises many people, but the answer is yes. The question, then, is how to lengthen their life expectancy and what to do if they do eventually go bad.
If you lost your charger for your Nook, you have some options for Nook charger replacement. What you need depends on what kind of Nook you have.
The Nook Color and Nook tablets used a special adapter and cable to help it charge faster. In a pinch, you can use a regular Android-compatible charger with a standard micro USB connector. The original charger worked faster, so getting an original one off Ebay is a better long term solution. While you wait for that to arrive, use a standard charger for any Android phone or tablet.
Nook e-readers with old-school e-ink screens use a regular Android-compatible charger. Any charger for a garden-variety Android phone or tablet will work for charging a Nook Simple Touch or other Nook e-readers.
Last and least, use a micro USB charger cable to plug your Nook into a computer. It won’t charge as quickly, but it will work if you can’t find a wall charger.
If you’d like some more generic advice about AC adapters, here are my recommendations for general AC adapter substitution.
The best ebooks site I’ve found, by far, is the archive at the University of Adelaide in Australia. The selection is outstanding, but the presentation is even better.
Steve Thomas, the curator, takes tremendous care to ensure Adelaide’s e-books display their best on any device. Most e-books, even commercial books, pay little to no attention to formatting, and the result all too often is books that are difficult to read.
If your Nook Simple Touch won’t power on, or is displaying a question mark (?) on its battery indicator, I have a four things to try. But before you go to the trouble of disassembly, try charging the device with a different charger. Some chargers fit more tightly than others, and as devices like these age, they can get picky about their chargers.
If a charger change doesn’t give you an easy fix, the next step is to disassemble it, unplug the battery, wait a good 30 seconds, then plug it back in and reassemble.
You’ll need a very small slotted screwdriver or another sharp and semi-flat object, and a T5 Torx screwdriver.
I didn’t know if it would ever happen, but experimental nightly builds for Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) have arrived for the venerable Nook Color. I installed it tonight.
Since I’ve previously run other versions of Cyanogenmod on the Nook Color, the upgrade was pretty straightforward. I had to reboot to recovery, update my recovery because my existing recovery was old and incompatible, reboot again (to recovery of course), which put me in Clockworkmod 188.8.131.52, and from there I installed the Cyanogenmod 11 zip followed by the Google Apps zip.
Newly flashed Android devices sometimes take some time to settle in before they’re really usable. On this 1 GHz, 512MB device, Kit Kat does seem faster than any of the Jelly Bean builds (Android 4.1-4.3) I’ve tried to run on it, but it’s not as quick as my Samsung Galaxy S 4G running Android 4.0.4. I’ll give it a little time.
Of course I was mostly interested in the first couple of chapters, where he talks about growing up with Lionel trains. It’s more a personal recollection than a complete history, which was his intent, but that’s good. The history of the consumer perspective often gets lost. He and his mother regarded American Flyer as more realistic but flimsier; Lionel was rugged but ran on unrealistic 3-rail track.
Here’s another interesting tidbit: Growing up in the 1950s, your big toy was either a train set or a fort playset–normal families couldn’t afford both. I was vaguely aware that the fort playsets existed but didn’t know that about them. Read more
I’m catching up on reading. Next on my reading list is The Cuckoo’s Egg, (Amazon link), Clifford Stoll’s memoir of chasing down a computer hacker in the late 1980s. In it, he describes a very different world, ruled by mainframes and minicomputers, where Unix was something special, IBM still made PCs, but desktop PCs and Macintoshes only received occasional mention, and academia and the military owned the Internet, almost literally. And, oh, by the way, the Cold War was still raging.
The remarkable thing about this book is that it’s an approachable spy thriller, written in 1989, that explains computer security to an audience that had never seen or heard of the Internet. You don’t have to be a security professional to appreciate it, though it’s a classic in the computer security world–many people read it in the late 1980s and early 1990s and decided to get into the field. Read more
I went looking for a resource-friendly browser that would run well on a 1 GHz-ish Android tablet. Everything I read said that Baidu was the lightest browser on resources. Since Baidu is a Chinese company and very low-end Android tablets are common in China, this makes sense.
I’ve never been one to shy away from alternative browsers on low-end systems on other platforms. Usually I sacrifice some rendering quality, but I frequently found that preferable to waiting around for minutes for bloatware to load and pages to render at glacial speed.
So I tried out Baidu, in spite of criticisms of its user interface and annoying defaults. The annoying defaults, it turns out, are easy enough to turn off, and I found the user interface, though out of style, makes it easier to use. It has forward and back buttons, unlike most other browsers on Android, and tapping those buttons is far more responsive than gestures on high-end browsers. I’m willing to give up 8 pixels of vertical space for that. Read more
After rooting a device and loading a ROM or two on it, it’s easy to start to wonder what tweaks and settings actually make a difference in performance or whether you’re just imagining things. For example, my devices all have the option to force Android to use the GPU for rendering (under Developer Options), but does it really help?
My Nook Color is my experimental Android rig. Since it’s aging fast, I don’t use it nearly as heavily as my other Android devices, so if I accidentally do something wrong, I can live without it much more easily than I can do without a phone or my nicer tablet.
So I tend to try a lot of different things on it, just because I can.