back to article Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

In a perhaps desperate bid to drum up sales, Barnes & Noble is selling its Nook E Ink-based e-book reader for a pound less than 30 quid - a discount of £50. If you want the version with an illuminated screen, it’ll be £69 - £40 less than it usually is. Oh, and the firm’s 9-inch Nook HD+ tablet has also had its price slashed, …

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Knowing little about these things

Is it possible to read books purchased via Amazon on these things? if it is then maybe buying up a few would be worthwhile.

If the reader isn't that expensive then it really becomes a good tool, even taking the experience closer to the old books (reading in the bath, by the pool etc)

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Re: Knowing little about these things

For some reason El Reg ate my earlier reply.....

They can be rooted and have the Amazon app installed (I saw instructions somewhere, but couldn't be bothered!) - I do it the other way and just use Calibre for managing my Nook.

There's a couple of us in this office that are very very tempted by this - I might grab one or two just to use as spares!

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Re: Knowing little about these things

Lifehacker has a post on it. http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99-nook-into-a-fully-fledged-android-tablet-in-four-easy-steps

I suspect it'll need a bit more updating (see XDA forum, http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1199 ) from the guide, but the basic premise stands no doubt.

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Re: Knowing little about these things

I've heard that if you use Calibre and some DRM-removing software, you can very easily convert Kindle books to work on other e-readers.

Not that I'd know anything about such a thing, of course...

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Knowing a smidgen more about these things (maybe?)

A few weeks ago we bought a Nook HD for £119 at JL.

As an ereader it is a bit of a loss (I would definitely buy a different product, probably the Kobo one), but the "great enabler" for this device is that it can boot from SD.

The first step was to get the Google apps onto the Nookified Android. A 4GB microsd card is needed - instructions here:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2062613

The result is pretty good, the only problem is that some Play Store apps are listed as not available - e.g. Evernote had to be installed from the B&N shop thing.

However there is an even better plan - get a fast microSD card (e.g. UHS type) and install vanilla Android on it, run the thing from the SD card:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2063968

That's working really well for me, all apps install happily (Evernote and Skitch included) and the device has a nice his-res screen that's bright enough to be usable in sunshine.

As a device it *does* have e-reader type limitations - no cameras, no GPS...

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Unhappy

Methinks

They are in the sh*t.

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Re: Knowing little about these things

Easy for you and me: totally beyond my mother in law, for instance.

And actually it wasn't that easy for me to piece together the various forum posts and scripts available to come to a working procedure to do the job.

(Calibre + Apprentice Alf's DDRM scripts + Kindle for Mac download client registered to the account holding the books).

I got a generic chinese android tablet for 50 quid when my last kindle broke I am totally not going back to Amazon. The fact that this is cheap and a bit more open-ish makes it very attractive offer though.

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Stop

Re: Knowing little about these things

I decided last night that I'd try buying books from somewhere other than Amazon, so I ended getting a couple direct from Penguin. They use the Adobe copy protection, which took me so long to work out how to activate (turns out you don't need an Adobe ID, you can just authorise one computer), that getting it into Calibre was the easy part of the deal (the same plugin works for kindle and adobe drm).

My kindle is about 3 years old now, so I might drop £30 just to have a backup device for when it dies...

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Re: Knowing little about these things

It would seem that this is quite a capable device once rooted:

Nook Simple Touch plays Toy Story < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8MY26rwXuc >

So whilst it is an e-ink device and so you shouldn't expect it perform as well as a normal android device, it is sufficiently capable to be a useful complement to a conventional smartphone/tablet.

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Well - in theory since it's Android-based, it should be possible to get the Kindle app on there somehow...

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like you can.

http://nookdevs.com/Nook_Simple_Touch/

That'll show you how to root it. Then you can whack the kindle store etc on it by the looks of it.

I've just pulled the trigger. As I've still been using analogue books up until now.

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android apps

actually yes, mine has opera mini installed and a few other bits

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOK-Talk/How-to-root-a-new-Nook-Simple-Touch-running-1-2-1/td-p/1429199

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alternatively...

The other option is to, erm, "unlock" your DRM-encumbered files from Amazon, and convert them using Calibre into ePUB.

Quite where you would find the "DRM removal tools" required to do this is left as an exercise for the search-engine-equipped reader.

Of course, this brings the added benefit that you won't be subject to any 1984-esque moments, too; but you wouldn't get all the automagic synchronisation of books and bookmarks over wifi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: alternatively...

Of course, this brings the added benefit that you won't be subject to any 1984-esque moments, too; but you wouldn't get all the automagic synchronisation of books and bookmarks over wifi.

Though if Amazon get to find out that you are doing this sort of thing then I think you can get a lifetime ban from Amazon (plus immediate revoking of rights to acces all exisitng kindle "purchases")

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Re: alternatively...

"Lifetime ban" from Amazon "If" they find out then you "think" that they "could" ban you. - lots of ifs and maybes in there.

I didn't realise Amazon had teams going around checking Nooks for copies or books they think may have come from Amazon - or even searching peoples computers for installs of DRM removal software. Is there actually a way Amazon would know what is on your Nook? And even if they did know this, why would they care, it's not as if you hadn't paid for it - and given Amazon the dosh.

Worst case - on the assumption that Amazon can find this out - you set up another Amazon account (or does the ban apply to everyone in your house).

Perhaps the threat of the BAN is a good reason for people not to get their books from Amazon in the first place - let's face it, if the threat is "we will ban you if we find you are removing DRM" then the most obvious option for users who have multiple devices is to acquire e-books where somebody else has already removed the DRM - and then Amazon will lose.

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Lifetime ban from Amazon (was Re: alternatively...)

Ooh, there's a threat.

I already get most of my books from non-Amazon sources (Calibre itself will find sources for you, and there are still these things called "bookstores" out in the real world). My e-reader is not a Kindle, and just in general there is no reason to yoke oneself to Amazon anyway.

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Re: Lifetime ban

Won't be so funny later when they're the only shop still in business.

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Re: alternatively...

"a lifetime ban from Amazon (plus immediate revoking of rights to acces all exisitng kindle "purchases")"

while they can do the former, they could be estopped from doing the latter (legal term meaning 'prevented by a court, under its 'fairness-related' jurisdiction, from going back on a promise which you relied on to your expense/detriment'). that would be expensive for them both financially and reputationally. alternatively it could be an unfair term per the unfair terms in consumer contract regulations, and again they'd be dragged through the courts and lose.

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Re: alternatively...

""Lifetime ban" from Amazon "If" they find out then you "think" that they "could" ban you. - lots of ifs and maybes in there."

Amazon are very thorough; I hear they're looking in every Nook and cranny...

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Re: alternatively...

"Of course, this brings the added benefit that you won't be subject to any 1984-esque moments, too; but you wouldn't get all the automagic synchronisation of books and bookmarks over wifi."

Just open a books folder on your dropbox account (my low-tech version of this), or pay a couple of quid to get Moon+ reader, which .... opens a books folder on your dropbox account, and also (probably) uploads a few bits and bobs of metadata, bookmarks etc.

Mines the one without a kindle in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

What Calibre of person would do such a thing!

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Good price

Really good at this price, maybe B&N should have sold them at this price to get a bigger market share first of all.

Always playing catchup with Amazon/Kindle.

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£29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

ASDA had none in stock in store last night, out of stock on line

B&N had problems on line today

John Lewis - out of stock online

Argos - 10 nearest store have none to reserve/out of stock on line

Got bored looking

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

I did the same as you, but I just ordered one using the link at the top of the article, worked for me (cue email in 5 secs saying they're out of stock)

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing? Don't think so...

I ordered mine from nook.co.uk last night. Colleague in the office ordered hers this morning from the same site. Both are on their way to us.

It was highlighted in the Evening Standard last night (as B&N are donating 1,000 units to the ES reading scheme). I suspect most stocks got wiped out last night.

Best thing is being able to borrow eBooks from my library online, something the wife's Kindle cannot do (shame on you Amazon!)

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

Provided they honour the price and don't take too long (i.e. taking less than a Sinclair[*]), I'd be prepared to wait a bit.

[*] I'd like to propose this as a Reg unit of measurement for delivery times.

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Happy

Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

I ordered one online with B&N, but without registering for an account. Failed after a couple of minutes with a "payment refused" message.

Tried again after registering, with the same card, and I now have a "scheduled to ship" email.

That'll do for me.

Mum will be getting my Kobo.

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

Just ordered one online, no problem....

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

nook.co.uk have them. I ordered a GlowLight and a Simple Touch (for my mum) yesterday, and just ordered another Simple Touch for myself to turn into an outdoor-readable simple tablet. For £30 I won't be massively upset if I brick it in the process...

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

@Paul Westerman, @NoOnions, @Number6, @Anomalous Cowturd, @omnicent, @Alan Edwards

I took you all at face value and tried again (Thursday) and got the order accepted email

Fri 21:20 I got this email :

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your purchase. We want to provide an update on your order. You should expect to receive your NOOK® Simple Touch within the next 4-5 business days. We will email you parcel tracking information when your NOOK has shipped.

Thank you,

The NOOK Support Team

Saturday 00:27 I got this email

Dear Valued Customer,

You recently received an email from NOOK customer service indicating that your NOOK Simple Touch would be shipped shortly.

We apologize for this error but your credit card was not charged as NOOK Simple Touch is temporarily out of stock. We’re pleased to let you know that we do have inventory of NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight and you may place an order by visiting http://uk.nook.com/.

Thank you.

The NOOK Support Team

I look forward to reading your experiences

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Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

Exactly the same here. Lying buggers. They've formed a contract and decided not to honour it. Tossers.

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Unhappy

Re: £29 e-reader dodgy marketing?

I got the same reply to my attempt to buy a tablet and simple then to top that there was a phone call from the bank to confirm that it was a genuine purchase by yours truly or had I lost or had my card stolen.

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WTF?

"the closest thing we have to a universal DRM system: Adobe’s copy-protection software."

I've seen Adobe Desktop Editions or whatever it's called discussed in many articles - this may be the only time anyone's ever referred to it positively.

In my experience it's a rancid bag of scrofulous spanners which is just as restrictive as anything amazon do, but minus the 'seamless and asy-to-use' aspects. It's possibly the biggest single negative to the whole Nook propostiion.

Fortunately Calibre does a great job of scrubbing away the Adobe grime, judging by how easily it lets me get Adobe books on my Sony or Kindle, or kindle books on my Sony.

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So, do I spend £30 on a replacement battery for my 350 or buy one of these?

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Overdrive

If it supports Overdrive, then (location depending) could just use it for library ebooks. More limited selection but no cost.

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Re: Overdrive

From what I can determine the Nook Simple Touch interfaces to Overdrive in the same way as other eReaders such as the Kobo namely sideloading the files from a computer using Adobe Digital Editions and a USB cable.

However, there is now an Overdrive app in the Nook App store that works with some Nooks. See http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2012/10/02/overdrive-app-comes-to-nook%C2%AE/

.

For the Nook Simple Touch, if you can get a native Android up and running then you should be able to run either the Aldiko Book Reader or BlueFire Reader app. Having used BlueFire on an iPad, I would not like to go back to sideloading, particularly as the main iPad user can download library books to BlueFire without assistance...

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Coat

The NookE perfect in 'shades of grey'

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I have one of these and they're good bits of kit

I and my children have entry level Nooks, I saw them as a bargain at £59 and it's a no-brainer at 29

The battery life is enough for a holiday and it can hold as much as I'll read before I die.

At that price point I don't freak if (as happened) one got crushed in a car door, though to be fair they've withstood quite a lot of other shit.

Can it run Linux ?

No.

Nor can my TV, it's a consuming device.

I *like* the fact it can't run games, means I can give them to my kids and know they'll be used for reading not Angry Birds. Sadly this price drop tells me that it's dying, so I'm going to buy a couple of spares.

It doesn't do colour, the annotation facility is basic, it won't play MP3s and there some file formats it won't understand, but it's cheap and tough and does what it is supposed to do, I like things that are cheap and do a good job.

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Linux

Re: I have one of these and they're good bits of kit

It *does* run Linux. It's Android under the hood.

You can find the source files at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/Terms-of-Service-NOOK-Simple-Touch/379003279/

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Re: I have one of these and they're good bits of kit

"I *like* the fact it can't run games, means I can give them to my kids and know they'll be used for reading not Angry Birds."

Actually, it apparently can play Angry Birds (and other Android games) if you root it and tweak the screen refresh settings. Although I suspect still not very well in mono with slightly iffy touch, if the infra-red touch interface has the same performance as the Kobo.

Ordered one - at that price good as a backup, good for tinkering with and should be able to run the Overdrive Android app natively for borrowing library books rather than have to go through the convoluted mess that is Adobe digital editions on my PC to download and transfer to my existing Kobo.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I have one of these and they're good bits of kit

Wonder if the screens are any better than the PRS600?

The big problem with touch screens is that they are very reflective off axis, which ruins them for outdoor use.

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Linux

Re: It *does* run Linux. It's Android under the hood...

Android is based on Linux kernel version 2.6 and, from Android Ice Cream Sandwich onwards, Linux kernel version 3.x

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So, they're making a loss ...

So, let me check if I understand it correctly, they're currently making a loss but they hope to fix this by increasing their loss per unit and then make it up with volume ... ?

I suppose it might just work (for them) if they sell enough more books. How are their ebook prices, compared to Amazon?

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Re: So, they're making a loss ...

They don't even have to make a profit on the books - they may just be trying to postpone the day that an all powerful Amazon crushes them.

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In or out of stock?

Ordered mine yesterday from B&N online - received a response during the night saying that the order had not been authorised. Guess they're out of stock, even though the website shows it as being instock!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In or out of stock?

Ordered mine and pretty quickly got a 'credit card authorisation problem' email. Email customer services at the address on their site and got a bounce back (user not found). Opened a chat window from their site and it has been 'waiting' ever since (hours now; it pings them every second!).

Not looking hopeful, but I was only taking a punt because of the price so if I don't end up with one, so be it.

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Re: In or out of stock?

I had the card authorisation problem. Failed to get hold of them via email, chat, etc.. So I submitted another order, and this one has authorised, and is now "scheduled to ship" - within 10 mins of order.

Hopefully I won't get two!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In or out of stock?

Me too. I also didn't bother registering, like a twat.

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Go

Re: In or out of stock?

Just ordered mine, just received a 'scheduled to ship' email, so perhaps try again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: In or out of stock?

Yeah, re-ordered this morning and it's gone to 'Scheduled To Ship'.

Worse case scenario, I've got two. I'm sure I can manage to palm the other off on to someone.

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