Sunday, July 31, 2011

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on Nook Color SD card

My nook came with BN 1.1 and then they updated it to BN 1.2, basically a light version of Android 2.2. Of course I rooted both versions...but I was never that happy with the results. My calendars wouldn't sync, and Google Maps didn't know where I was.

Other than that it worked fine.

So I left it alone.

Then I see a few articles about putting Android 2.3 on an SD card, with minimal fuss...I delayed it, because I only had one big SD card...and it had a bunch of movies on it...

I looked around and found a 16GB Sandisk Class4 SD card, and decided to give it a shot...

I followed the instructions at the XDA developers site, and it was probably the easiest hack I have done.

I used the win32diskimager to write the first file to the SD card.

Follow the instructions exactly.

BTW the googleapps download is at the very bottom of the linked page...

So far it works well, only issue is the headset volume is low playing movies and videos...but it isn't horrible...I had an ok listening level on a noisy airplane...but it could be a notch or two louder.

Calendar sync works, google maps knows where I am, the alternate Netflix app works.

Note, this install will put about 2GB on your SD card, the rest will be formatted like a normal SD card...when you plug the Nook into your computer, the Nook will ask you if you want to allow USB access to the Nook storage. When you allow that the CM7 install will show as one drive and the rest of your SD card as the second drive...just like when you plug an unmodified Nook into a computer.

I am enjoying.

Video Skype on EVO 3D

The EVO 3D has front and rear facing cameras. It was designed for video chatting. It includes the Qik software for video, and Skype for chatting...but not Skype video.

Recently Skype bragged on how they added Skype Video to Android Phones...but only a few phones were supported, and not the EVO 3D.

Luckily some folks out there edited an older version of Skype .45 to allow the video on all works on the EVO 3D.

This is the link I used (mycricketforum)...Here is one of the XDA Developers forums on the subject.

The trick is to uninstall the Skype that is on it...and kill the Skype background task using Task Manager

To do this, start Task Manager
- then bring up the submenu (the second soft key on the bottom of the EVO 3D...looks like a stack of dashed lines) and select Advanced.
- while you have this menu up, check the box marked "Unknown sources" (this will allow you to install a downloaded app, that is not from the market)
- now select "Running Services" , select the Skype app, and select "Stop"

Now you can download and install the modified Skype app. (I use the EVO 3D's browser to download and install)

It works under WiFi and 3G (I assume it will work under 4G also since that is faster than 3G).


Friday, July 22, 2011

Astrophotography (revisited)

So I finally gave up on my little point and shoot Canon camera and decided to join the adults. After some reviews, and deciding that a 5D wasn't anywhere near my price range, I picked up a Canon EOS Rebel XS (otherwise known as 1000D).

It was an ebay special with 2 batteries, the charger, the camera body and the 18-55 lens.

Out of the box it will do some long exposure shots, but does not have an intervalometer built in.

So I did play around a bit with 30" and 20" (" means seconds to Canon...I always thought it was minutes when dealing with angles) shots and ISO 800 and 1600. But I wanted to take a series of shots.

After some search/research I found two options...and got both of them. Both devices are sold by StudioHut (but made in China by a two different companies) The first is a Vertical Grip battery holder...with timer, and intervalometer. (StudioHut sells it as a LCD pro vertical grip...however the instructions say Jenis J-C450D-B-P Professional Battery Grip.

This surprisingly well made grip (ok the LCD screen leaves a lot to be desired) can hold 2 batteries or the supplied 5AA battery pack. (holder is included, not the 5 AA batteries). I thought I might need that much battery to shoot all is more than enough for all night, now I am seeing if I can shoot on just one pack.

It has a couple of timer settings, for delay, interval and Bulb duration...but can only do up to 99 shots.

I also picked up the Pixel Timer Remote Control (TC-252). It has a few more timer options...and will take many more than 99 shots...I don't know exactly how many...the display shows 9999...I only took a few hundred.

As for usage the Pixel timer does exactly what i need, I can set any duration of shot, any interval of time between shots, 9999 total shots, and even a delay prior to the first shot.

So if you are in the market, those are two devices that I recommend.

(note, the video was taken in my back yard...quite a bit of city light...and you need to view the HD version for the best quality)