EdwinJ85
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Nook e-ink display only £29!

Wed May 01, 2013 1:53 pm

I've just seen that Barnes and Noble have dropped he Nook 6" unit e-ink device to a silly price:

http://uk.nook.com/tablets/nook-simple-touch

Would we be able to use this as a display device in the same manner as an original Kindle for low power pi usage?
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fanoush
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Wed May 01, 2013 2:35 pm

it may be even better than kindle. It runs android 2.1 inside and there are lot of mods on xda developers for it like usb host mode or fast b/w mode that can show videos (i.e. refresh quickly)
check http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1198

as for hardware it it omap3 chip with 256MB ram and it has microsd slot (unlike kindle), you may even use it standalone without pi as the cpu/ram is similar to pi and it runs linux kernel and is hackable and unbrickable - like all OMAP based nooks (color,tablet,hd,hd+) it could boot u-boot directly from microsd card without touching internal emmc memory

EdwinJ85
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Wed May 01, 2013 3:51 pm

As it's a TI chip, would we be able to root it and stick debian on it?

You could still use the pi as an interface to your home network (it's got an ethernet controller on it and output for speakers if you need it) but that A8 @ 800mhz looks crazily OP for an e reader!

I really hope somebody smarter than me can tell me how feasible this all is. :)
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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Thu May 02, 2013 12:58 pm

Looking forward to trying this out.

Since it is running android in the background it seems like it is just a case of rooting it to open it up.
Details are here:
http://www.babblingengineer.com/how-to/ ... r-monster/
http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99 ... easy-steps

I've ordered one, so will report back when I've had chance to try (I can't confirm any of it will work until I've done it).

Once you have android running, you should be able to use apps like, ConnectBot (for SSH) and Free bVNC (for VNC) control of the Raspberry Pi. It would be good to get these to work via the USB if possible, so that it remains lower power (although wifi would work well for untethered use). Also, if you use OpenElec (or XBMC) then BubbleUPnP allows you to control the content remotely.

Does anyone know of a good android app to act as an X11 server (probably not suitable for eInk, but great for using tablets as displays). Currently found X Server (Darkside Technologies Pty Ltd) and Nito Martinez's Xvnc:X/X11 server w VNC backnd / QVD client Beta, but not tried them yet.

Of course, the added bonus will be that you could download all 12 issues of the MagPi, the Raspberry Pi User guide and various Python books and have them easily available to read while not running your RPi (double-win!).


As for loading Debian on it, from what fanoush says, it may be possible with uboot (would be interesting to see that). Although how usable it would end up I'm not sure, would the usb support a real keyboard for instance.
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EdwinJ85
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Thu May 02, 2013 1:24 pm

meltwater wrote:Looking forward to trying this out.

Since it is running android in the background it seems like it is just a case of rooting it to open it up.
Details are here:
http://www.babblingengineer.com/how-to/ ... r-monster/
http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99 ... easy-steps

I've ordered one, so will report back when I've had chance to try (I can't confirm any of it will work until I've done it).

Once you have android running, you should be able to use apps like, ConnectBot (for SSH) and Free bVNC (for VNC) control of the Raspberry Pi. It would be good to get these to work via the USB if possible, so that it remains lower power (although wifi would work well for untethered use). Also, if you use OpenElec (or XBMC) then BubbleUPnP allows you to control the content remotely.

Does anyone know of a good android app to act as an X11 server (probably not suitable for eInk, but great for using tablets as displays). Currently found X Server (Darkside Technologies Pty Ltd) and Nito Martinez's Xvnc:X/X11 server w VNC backnd / QVD client Beta, but not tried them yet.

Of course, the added bonus will be that you could download all 12 issues of the MagPi, the Raspberry Pi User guide and various Python books and have them easily available to read while not running your RPi (double-win!).


As for loading Debian on it, from what fanoush says, it may be possible with uboot (would be interesting to see that). Although how usable it would end up I'm not sure, would the usb support a real keyboard for instance.
Thanks! We need more brave experimenters like you. If all goes well I will almost certainly pick one of these up, even if all you can do is root android and NOT run linux properly.

There are Android X11 server applications but I'm not qualified to tell you which ones are best. TBH, if you have an SSH client and a decent web browser you could do quite a lot as is.
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0117blocky
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Thu May 02, 2013 6:13 pm

I may get one to read reference manuals in pdf format.

Ravenous
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 8:30 am

0117blocky wrote:I may get one to read reference manuals in pdf format.
Yeah, it seems a bit difficult to find out exactly what they will do out of the box, but I am hoping they can be wired via USB to a PC to transfer across PDFs. Hopefully without having to set up accounts and so on! (I'm just being grumpy because these days it seems harder and harder to do anything without giving a credit card number first :D )

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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 11:10 am

0117blocky wrote:I may get one to read reference manuals in pdf format.
Yep mine will be fully loaded with datasheets! :)
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Holliss
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 11:56 am

Same £29 price in Tesco and most places now it seems, real bargin for the money.

Ravenous
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 12:03 pm

meltwater wrote:
0117blocky wrote:I may get one to read reference manuals in pdf format.
Yep mine will be fully loaded with datasheets! :)
So many people on this forum seem to have exactly the daydreams I do! Almost tragic really :lol:

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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 12:53 pm

Ravenous wrote:
meltwater wrote:
0117blocky wrote:I may get one to read reference manuals in pdf format.
Yep mine will be fully loaded with datasheets! :)
So many people on this forum seem to have exactly the daydreams I do! Almost tragic really :lol:
The internet, bringing together like-minded freaks since day one. :)
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Ravenous
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 1:01 pm

The internet, made by slightly eccentric compulsive hoarders of occasionally useful information, for slightly eccentric compulsive hoarders of occasionally useful information... (People will be quoting this one day.)

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tzj
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 1:26 pm

You should patent that quote before its too late ;)

So long as you install an on screen keyboard and screen rotation, debian should work even if it is soft float. But don't hold me to that!
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0117blocky
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Fri May 03, 2013 8:39 pm

I have read that the nook is not very good at displaying pdf formatted books, but you can down load free programs to improve it. Most reviews talked about books and documents scanned and converted into pdf files.

It will be great if linux can be booted on the nook.

PS I got payed today so I will buy one.

pjc123
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Mon May 06, 2013 9:04 pm

tzj wrote:You should patent that quote before its too late ;)
I think a quote patent troll got it already.
My Raspberry Pi Project Page:
https://www.flaminghellmet.com/launch/

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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Tue May 07, 2013 10:55 am

tzj wrote:You should patent that quote before its too late ;)

So long as you install an on screen keyboard and screen rotation, debian should work even if it is soft float. But don't hold me to that!
At least I know where to come knocking if it doesn't work. :) [I missed fanoush's link, indeed external keyboard is an option once patched]


I imagine the PDF support is only an issue in the standard software (I know the kindle also struggles with some), however plenty of PDF readers which should work nicely once routed.

Will be interesting to see how the CPU compares, although the Nooks is better, the RPi may be more optimised by now. The processor was also used by the Motorola Defy, which was a half-decent phone (ran gingerbread although also hacks right through to JellyBean - but that had 512Mb rather than 256Mb).

I guess it could be an interesting system for developing android apps with (develop on the RPi and deploy to the Nook). If all else fails, mine will get stuck to the fridge as a family calendar.
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fanoush
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Tue May 07, 2013 7:36 pm

meltwater wrote: If all else fails, mine will get stuck to the fridge as a family calendar.
There is nice hack on xda forums, someone made a hole in the plastic cover on the back and attached it securely to bike for navigation (just showing maps, no gps I guess, there is no bluetooth). With some modding it could work even as a replacement for cyclocomputer (showing speed etc), e-ink is good outside and £29 is not so expensive for this.

EDIT: the relevant thread is here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... ?t=1661902 , now I see I mixed it up a bit, it is not primarily about bike mounting, that was just one idea, others are interesting too :-)
Last edited by fanoush on Tue May 07, 2013 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tzj
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Tue May 07, 2013 7:46 pm

That's a pretty sweet way of using an eink display! I'd still make it detachable tho.
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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Wed May 08, 2013 8:05 am

fanoush wrote:
meltwater wrote: If all else fails, mine will get stuck to the fridge as a family calendar.
There is nice hack on xda forums, someone made a hole in the plastic cover on the back and attached it securely to bike for navigation (just showing maps, no gps I guess, there is no bluetooth). With some modding it could work even as a replacement for cyclocomputer (showing speed etc), e-ink is good outside and £29 is not so expensive for this.

EDIT: the relevant thread is here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... ?t=1661902 , now I see I mixed it up a bit, it is not primarily about bike mounting, that was just one idea, others are interesting too :-)
GPS wouldn't be totally out of the question, since USB hosting is available a bluetooth dongle could be used.

Oh I love the mini-tripod idea, I can see that would be excellent for disabled persons (or when following instructions for soldering, cooking etc.).

Another use mine might end up with in fact is a eCookbook, by collecting up useful recipes into evernote.

Just need to get some GPIO access for some serious modding.
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Read Online or Download for Free.

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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 2:33 pm

Just a quick update, got a nook now and all hacked nicely.

Drafting a post now for details:
http://pihw.wordpress.com/guides/guide- ... pi-screen/
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Rene_is_I
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 2:44 pm

meltwater wrote:
Just need to get some GPIO access for some serious modding.
Does this help?

http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProdu ... 30&pcid=41

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ukscone
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 2:45 pm

if you are in the states and you are lucky enough to live near a radioshack that still has them, i wasn't although i have feelers out and have sent about 30 friends in various places around the country to hit every radioshack they can find you can get the Nook SimpleTouch for $19.97

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tzj
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 5:39 pm

don't forget the fast refresh (diagonal 4 touches) in your post.
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meltwater
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 7:03 pm

tzj wrote:don't forget the fast refresh (diagonal 4 touches) in your post.
whats the fast refresh, not spotted that yet.

The PL2303 driver sounds good, have an adaptor with that chip (used it before on a tablet).

$19.97? Wow, soon be wallpapering your house in eInk.
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tzj
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Re: Nook e-ink display only £29!

Sat May 11, 2013 8:38 pm

Not exactly a instruction but shows the newer version working.

http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2012/ ... Y6rCIy3N-E
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