Saturday, March 2, 2019

Nook Simple Touch with a External Keyboard

You can plug an external USB keyboard to a Nook simple Touch and type to make your e-ink reader a tool to write documents. I really love e-ink screens as they are easy on your eyes for long writing sessions.

You will need:

  • A rooted Nook Simple Touch.
  • An OTG cable adapter.
  • A cheap external keyboard .
  • ADB Command line tools from: https://developer.android.com/studio#downloads
  • Two binary images: uImage and uRamdisk that you can download from here: https://forum.xda-developers.com/nook-touch/general/nook-glow-multitouch-usbhost-files-t2846867
  • USB Mode Utility apk from http://temblast.com/download/UsbMode-1.7a.apk

How to do it

Install ADB

I am usign Mac here so the file I downloaded is: sdk-tools-darwin-4333796.zip

Unzip the sdk tools to a folder, lets name it adb but it could be any name.

In the same folder copy the two images files uImage and uRamdisk and the USB Mode apk UsbMode-1.7a.apk

Connect the Nook Simple Touch to the computer and from the adb folder type:

./adb shell
# mount -o rw,remount rootfs /
# mkdir /boot
# mount -t vfat /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /boot
# exit

./adb
./adb shell
./adb push uImage /boot/
./adb push uRamdisk /boot/
./adb install UsbMode-1.7.apk
./adb reboot


By doing the instructions: ./adb push uImage /boot/ and ./adb push uRamdisk /boot/ you just replaced the boot files and with the UsbMode apk you will open the Host mode through the usb port to use the external keyboard.

How to type

  • Unplug the Nook Simple Touch from the computer.
  • Plug the external keyboard.
  • Open the UsbMode Utility application.
  • Click on Host.
  • The green Led lights up.
  • Open a Text Editor, I have installed Jota.
  • Type :D
  • When you are finish typing, click on Peripheral.
  • The green red light is off.
  • Unplug the keyboard.

Watch the whole thing working



Sunday, February 24, 2019

How to Watch TV on a Computer Screen or Monitor

As you may already know a computer monitor does not have a TV tuner in it, just because it is merely used to display the images from a computer, and most of them do not have a sound output either.
So you will need a tuner connected to an antenna to receive the local TV channels.
In my case I am using the TV tuner from Orange which is an Ultra HD decoder that comes with the Internet subscription, but a simple TNT decoder will do the job and they are really cheap.
As for the HDMI output from the TV tuner to the monitor I am using a cable DVD-I to HDMI because this is an old screen which have no HDMI input, but only a VGA and a DVD-I ones.

If your monitor have a VGA input and a DVD-I input too, it is better to use the DVD-I input, or at least, with the cable I had before, the VGA to HDMI  did not work. Just make sure that it is full HD compatible.

For the sound I had to find a more sophisticated solution because the TV tuner sound output is a RCA digital which is not compatible with the stereo jack 3.5 analog in my speakers
This sound converter needs to be powered through an USB cable and a charger and once all is plugged in, it works like a charm as you can see in this video.