Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook



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  1. #1
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook Color:

    Since rooting I've come up with a lot of questions and know the great people here can help me and others that don't know Android as good as we should get the most out of our NC. I've been working with PC's since the 80's but am not a programmer (Unless it's BASIC ) so I'm pleading with the experts here to help us Android amateurs out.

    ADB - How does this work? Is it a command line interface on the PC to use like the old DOS command prompt? What do I need on my PC to make this happen? This seems to be the most essential thing to get the most out of the root from what I've read. Nookdev's and other development web-sites are geared to advanced users and sometimes are hard to follow for us amateurs. They have great information over there but leave a lot of basic stuff out (I don't blame them they are just writing to their audience). Any step by step help written to the armature level to get started with ADB and basic commands would be great.

    Android SDK - I know this is to develop apps and do I really need to learn and use it if I don’t plan on developing apps?

    Android file system - Just like we use in DOS/Windows how is the file system setup and where should we, as amateurs, concentrate on so we don't mess up the operating system. Do's and don'ts would be great.

    I've read a lot about Android and most of it has just confused the mess out of me. I really want to dig in deeper and lean this but I don't have time to go back to school. I think I am computer savvy enough (along with a lot of us here) to take whatever you experts give us to get started with the basics and run with it. I also hope others members here will contribute to this thread with question that have been burning in their brains similar to what I am asking. Maybe if we get a good enough database of questions and answers in this thread the mods can make it a sticky to help other new members in the future.
    Thanks in advance to all the good people on Nookboards

    -John


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  3. #2
    Mowgli
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    In a nutshell:

    The Android system is basically a modified Linux kernel running Java applications on the Dalvik virtual machine. Libs written in other languages can be compiled to ARM native code. (whew, how's that for some hardcore tech speak!)

    ADB is the debugger that runs on Android. Installing the Android SDK gives you a server that allows you to run a shell via ADB to your Android device. The ADB shell give you a CLI (command line interface) to the running device. The ADB shell is more like a Linux/UNIX command line rather than a DOS command line. People running Linux or Mac already have access to a UNIX like CLI in the terminal app.

    The SDK also gives you the tools needed to compile and test applications. If you want to use ADB the only thing you really need to know about the SDK is how to install it and start the ADB server for your machine. It's worth the trouble if you really want to explore a rooted Nook, do backups, delete and move files and all that. For someone who likes to play around with that kind of thing ADB is the most fun you can have and still keep both hands on the keyboard.

    The file system is more of a typical Linux file system. On a Nook Color the interesting bits for most users will be in system/apps (the applications) and media (all the B&N stuff, books, photos and such) The system is usually mounted as RO (Read Only) and it's pretty tough to screw things up even if you try. The worse you can do is figure out how to mount system as RW (Read Write) and format or delete the boot partition. Even if you wipe the whole system you can create a bootable sd card and still reset to stock.

    If you are so inclined you can download and install the Eclipse IDE and the Android Plugin for Eclipse and write and compile your own applications for Android.

    Off topic, there is a nice primer on the philosophy and history of the CLI by Neal Stephenson called "In the Beginning...Was the Command Line" available in both Kindle and Nook editions.

    Hopes that helps some.
    'Eating solid food since 1957'

  4. #3
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    Thanks that does help.
    With that said now what do I need on my Windows machine to get things started? Any step by step instructions to get me started from the experts would be great.
    ADB - and where would I download that.
    SDK - I guess I can find that but links are great!
    Technical - When working in ADB my guess is I have the NC connected via USB and work through the command line interface to work with the files on the NC?
    Sorry but I'm very new with Android and would like to lean it. I regret never learning linux so at this point I am starting from scratch.
    I'll get the book you recommended to help.
    I also have and Android phone and I want to root that in the future but it seems to be a bit harder than the NC. I'd really like to experiment and lean on the NC before diving into my phone.

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  6. #4
    Oliver
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    ADB is part of the sdk. you can get the sdk from android.com. just follow the links to the developer section and to the download from there. there will also be gobs of documentation there if you want to learn more.

    you are basically right about how ADB works. in theory you can just plug it into your computer and type "ADB shell" and have a command prompt for your nook. you may have to jump through some hoops though to get windows to play nice with your nook though. nookdevs.com has decent instructions.

    another option if you have the market working is to install a terminal emulator app. that will get you to your nooks commandline too and let you do many of the things ADB will. of course the keyboard wont be as good for typing commands and plugging it into you computer. but then again you don't have to plug it into your computer ;-)

  7. #5
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    Awesome - I think I am starting to get it. I downloaded SDK etc. and am reading all I can on what I should and should not do. Basically all I want to be able to do is side load apps from my computer and stop B&N's auto-updates. Any help in those areas like commands etc. would be great.

  8. #6
    Mowgli
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    If you are just side loading books you shouldn't need adb otherwise here are some useful scraps, be careful.

    Getting into the shell:
    adb shell

    Use ls to list the files in a directory
    Use ls -l for a long listing
    cd to change directory ie: cd /system/app

    To mount the system read/write:
    adb mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mmcblk0p5 /system
    if you are already in the shell drop the adb part:
    mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mmcblk0p5 /system

    Push a file from you computer to the nook, the system needs to be set read/write for this to work
    adb push <YOUR_FILE> <DESTINATION>
    example:
    adb push someapp.apk /system/app

    A pull, copy from the nook to your machine:
    adb pull <file> <local destination>

    That's the more important basics.

    'Eating solid food since 1957'

  9. #7
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    Now we are getting somewhere. I just want to say thanks to all. You guys are awesome!
    Now more questions
    To rename files particularly the auto update file (etc/security otacerts.zip) I'd have to be in read/write mode to make the change necessary to keep auto updates from occurring correct? BTW - This is from another thread on how to keep auto-updates from happening. https://www.nookboards.com/forum/index.php?topic=8544.0 And is this the thing to do to keep auto-updates from downloading?
    Pushing apps from my computer to the /system/apps will only move the apk file to the apps folder then I'd still have to use Astro (or equivalent) to install it?
    Sorry for all the questions but I am a noob at this whole android thing.
    How do you log in as root user?

  10. #8
    Mowgli
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    Just a quick post I don't have a lot of time today.
    You are already root as soon as you 'root' your nook

    To rename a file use the mv command (move) as in
    mv original.txt. newname.bak
    'Eating solid food since 1957'

  11. #9
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Help me (and others) get the most out of our rooted Nook

    So I've finally found time to play and here is what I'm getting (not far )
    I turned on USB debug on the NC using Nook Color tools (autonooter installed that). There is no other place on the nook that I see to set that.
    Started my command prompt and navigated to where I have SDK installed on my WIN7 machine.
    I connected the NC to the usb and on it it says it is ready to move files etc. I did not see any drivers or other messages in Window but I've connected the NC to this machine before so I was not expecting any, is this correct?
    used the adb devices command and it comes up with List of attached devices but nothing is listed. I tried adb shell and it give me error:device not found.
    The nook and the SD card show up in Win explorer as normal.
    Any help would be great.

  12. #10
    Mr. Darcy
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    49

    Default Gingerbread on the NC - such small icons

    I have Gingerbread running off of an sd card in my NC. It runs great, but the icons are very small. I have rooted around (no pun intended) looking for some way to increase the icon size, but cannot find anything. Does anyone know a way to change the display size of the app icons so I can make them larger?

    Thanks in advance.

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