NOOK Simple Touch (NST) Rooting For Practiscore

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UPDATE

Since the original creation of these instructions, the NOOK firmware has been updated from 1.1.0 to 1.2.1. As a result of this change, the rooting process for 1.1.0 does not work on 1.2.1. This page now reflects the process for rooting a device with 1.2.1 firmware with the NookManager rooting process.

Note that these instructions are in a state of flux right at the moment. Please see the NOOK Simple Touch (NST) Rooting For Practiscore (TouchNooter) for the original source.

Overview

The need to root your NOOK Simple Touch (NST) is because Barnes & Noble locked down the NST so third-party applications cannot be installed. Although it is an Android-based device, while it remains un-rooted, you cannot install Practiscore (or anything else). An un-rooted NST is only useful for reading eBooks.

The overall process will be this:

  • Deregister NST
  • Register the NST with a throw-away account
  • Root the device
  • Install ADW Launcher
  • Install the theme pack
  • Install Practiscore
  • Apply some tweaks to make it nicer
  • Install Dropbox (optional)

If you're planning on using Dropbox, it's required that an SD card be installed (this is where Dropbox downloads files to). You may also wish to leave one in there for exporting matches, scores, etc. With a 2GB SD card costing about $4, it makes a lot of sense. Note, however, that you will NOT want to use the rooting SD card for this purpose. The reason for this is that any time you power off the NST and back on, if the rooting SD card is installed, it will boot into the root installer, and you don't want to do that. If you're planning on putting SD cards in the rooted NSTs, you'll need n+1 SD cards, where 'n' is the number of NOOKs you're going to root. If you're not going to leave an SD card in each NST, then you only need one SD card.

Differences

For people who've used the TouchNooter rooting process, here's a basic summary of the differences.

  • The rooting process is now pretty much "boot and go", instead of two steps
  • There's no longer a need to install a file manager (such as AndExplorer)
  • No need to enable non-market apps
  • The ADW launcher now needs to be installed
  • A theme pack now needs to be installed
  • Many of the Tweaking & Tuning options are now set from a provided configuration file
  • The Amazon Market app is included, but Google Play is not

Overall, it's a significant improvement over the original TouchNooter process.

Personal vs Club NSTs

(more detailed text to be added soon)

Short form, if you're rooting a personal NST that is already registered with B&N, there is no need to de-register then re-register the device with the throw-away account. Skip to the Verify Firmware Version section.

If you've purchased a used NST and intend to use it as a personal device, do make sure it's de-registered first, but instead of using the throw-away account, use your existing B&N account, or create a new one.

The primary reason for using the throw-away account is to avoid having personal information on the NST that may be accidentally exposed, particularly if you're added a credit card to your B&N account for purchasing e-books.

Deregister The NST

VERY IMPORTANT! If you purchased a used NST, you will probably need to deregister it prior to doing anything else with it, including resetting it to factory defaults. If you do not, you will not be able to register under the throw-away account mentioned later.

After powering the NST on, if the first screen that appears is NOT the welcome screen, you need to deregister the device. To do this, you'll need to have a wireless network that has internet connectivity available.

  • Press the 'n' key at the bottom center of the NST.
  • Touch 'settings'
  • Touch 'Wireless'
  • Touch the entry for your wireless network
  • If your network is secured with WEP or WPA2, enter the WEP key or passphrase, then touch 'Connect'
  • After the wireless network connection has been established, touch the back-arrow button in the upper left
  • Touch 'Device Info'
  • Touch 'Erase & Deregister Device'
  • Touch 'Erase & Deregister Device' again
  • Touch 'Reset NOOK'
  • After it erases (this takes a minute or so), the NST will reboot.

Now proceed to the next step to register the NST with the throw-away account.

A problem I ran into with one particular device was the previous owner did not deregister it. Either I skipped the 'Erase & Deregister Device' step, or something got hosed. I had to call 1-800-THE-BOOK (1-800-843-2665) and escalate the issue, explaining that I purchased these from eBay for a reading program. The tier 1 tech support said they couldn't do that without knowing the information for the previous owner. The tier 2 support said no problem, and immediately after hanging up with them, I was able to register the device.

Register Your NST

After resetting the NST to factory defaults (if necessary), you'll need to register the device with Barnes & Noble. We use a "throw-away" account for this. Alan Adamson, who rooted the first NST we got, donated this account.

For this step, you'll need a wireless network available that has internet connectivity.

  • Turn on the NST by pressing the power button on the back of the device until the screen says "Read Forever / Your NOOK is starting up..."
  • When the welcome screen appears, touch 'Next'
  • Touch 'Agree' to the 174 pages of legal BS
  • Touch the button that is correct for your time zone, and then touch 'Next'
  • Touch the entry for your wireless network
  • If your network is secured with WEP or WPA2, enter the WEP key or passphrase, then touch 'Connect'
  • Touch 'Continue with Setup'
  • At this point, you should be presented with the option to sign in.
  • Enter 'adamson_alan@hotmail.com' In the Email Address box (touch '123' then 'ALT' to get to the underscore key)
  • Touch the 'Show Password' box to see the password as you enter it
  • Enter 'saratoga' in the Password box
  • Touch the 'Sign In' button
  • After a few moments, a box with 'Registration Successful' should appear. Touch 'OK'
  • On the 'Add a Credit Card' page, touch 'skip'
  • A box will appear with two options; select 'Don't add a credit card'

Verify Firmware Version

Now we need to check what version of firmware the NST has installed.

  • Press the 'n' button to go to the main desktop
  • Touch 'Settings'
  • Touch 'Device Info'
  • Touch 'About Your NOOK'

At this point, you have a couple choices. If the NOOK has 1.2.1 or higher, you MUST use the NookManager rooting process (preferred).

If the NOOK has a version below 1.2.1, you'll most likely want to upgrade it first, using the instructions on this B&N page.

However, if the software version is 1.1.x, and you don't want to upgrade, you can use the TouchNooter rooting process. To use the TouchNooter rooting process, follow these instructions on this alternate page.

If your device has 1.0.0 or 1.0.1, you'll have to upgrade the NOOK. You can probably find a 1.1.0 upgrade package somewhere on the net, but it's really best to take it to the latest version, and use the NookManager rooting process. To upgrade, follow the instructions on this B&N page.

Build The Root SD Card

The rooting image SD card only needs to be made once, regardless of how many devices you're going to root. To build the SD card you will need the following items:

  • 2GB or larger SD card
  • SD card to USB adapter (such as this one)
  • NookManager rooting image for SD card (located here)
  • File containing the ADW Launcher, Minimalist Black theme, and pre-set configuration options (located here)
  • Latest version of Practiscore (located here)
  • Latest version of Dropbox (optional, located here)
  • Windows users:
  • Image Writer for Windows program (located here (home page) or here (backup)) to generate the SD card.
  • Linux or Mac OSX users:
  • (you've already got what you need on your system)


To build the image, follow the appropriate steps:

Windows

  • Download and unzip Image Writer for Windows to a folder on your desktop named 'IWW' or somesuch
  • Download the NST rooting image and unzip to your desktop
  • Insert SD card into adapter
  • Insert SD card adapter into USB connector
  • Open the WIW folder and run 'Win32DiskImager.exe'
  • Click the folder icon, navigate to the desktop and select 'NST_Rooting_Image.img'
  • Select the drive letter the SD card appeared as
  • Click 'Write'
  • Go get a cup of coffee, this will take a while (15-20 minutes)

Mac OSX

  • Download the NST rooting image
  • Download the file containing the ADW Launcher, Minimalist Black theme, pre-set configuration options
  • Download the latest version of Practiscore
  • Download the latest version of Dropbox
  • Open the Terminal application
  • Type 'cd Downloads"
  • Type 'unzip NookManager-0.5.0.zip'
  • Type 'df -h', and look for the entry named something like "/dev/disk2s1". It will have a size of something like "1.8G" for a 2GB SD card.
  • Type 'diskutil unmount /dev/disk2s1' (replace disk2s1 with the name from the previous step)
  • Type 'sudo dd if=NookManager.img of=/dev/disk2' (replace disk2 with the name from above WITHOUT the 's1')
  • Enter your password at the 'Password:' prompt (this will take about a minute to finish)
  • Type 'diskutil mount /dev/disk2s1' (replace disk2s1 with the name from the previous step)
  • Type 'cp practiscore.apk /Volumes/NookManager'
  • Type 'cp Dropbox.apk /Volumes/NookManager'
  • Type 'unzip NST_Extras.zip -d /Volumes/NookManager'
  • Type 'diskutil eject /Volumes/NookManager'
  • Type 'exit'
  • Unplug the SD card adapter

Linux

  • Needs instructions

Regardless if you're going to install Dropbox on the NSTs or not, download it and copy it to the SD card.

After the writing process completes, you will have an SD card suitable for rooting a NOOK Simple Touch, along with the ADW Launcher, Minimalist Black theme, the pre-set configuration files, and the latest version of Practiscore.

Rooting The NST

Now we're ready to begin the actual rooting process, using the SD card we made above. The location of the SD card slot may not be very obvious. It's located under a small plastic flap on the upper right edge of the NST. Use your fingernail to pop it open. The card is inserted with the gold contacts of the card facing UP. Push the card in with your thumbnail until it clicks into place. When inserted properly, the edge of the card will be flush with the lower edge of the case. To eject the card, push it in with your thumbnail, and it will click and pop part way out.

Many people are unaware that the NST has 4 buttons on the front facia. These appears as two raised ridges on either side of the display. In normal operation, the upper button on either side will scroll the display up, and the lower buttons will scroll the display down. These are much easier to use in Practiscore than "flicking" the screen to scroll (which can sometimes result in an inadvertent selection being made). You need to know about these buttons for the following steps.

This looks like a lot of steps, at first glance. It's really not, they're just very detailed step by step instructions.

Installing The Root Kit

  • Turn the NST off (press and hold the power button on the back, then touch the 'Power Off' button)
  • Install the SD card in the NST
  • Turn the NST on
  • After a few moments, the screen will display 'NookManager / loading...'
  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'Yes, start wireless'
  • Press the lower right scroll button to select 'Continue'
  • Press the lower right scroll button to select 'More'
  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'B&N Apps'
  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'Disable all B&N apps'
  • Press the lower left scroll button to select 'Back'
  • Press the lower left scroll button to select 'Back'
  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'Root'

If this is the first time using the rooting SD card after it was created, perform the following steps. If a backup has been previously created, skip over these. (We've never had to restore from a backup, but in theory, any backup should work, since they're all at the same firmware revision, using the same throw-away account, etc.)

  • Press the upper left scroll button to select 'Create backup'
  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'Format remaining space on SD card'
  • Press the lower right scroll button to select 'Create backup' (this takes about 18 minutes)
  • Press the lower left scroll button to select 'Back'

Resume here, if you skipping making a backup.

  • Press the upper right scroll button to select 'Root my device'
  • Press the lower left scroll button to select 'Back'
  • Press the lower left scroll button to select 'Exit'

Eject the SD card and wait for the NST to restart. If it does not restart within a minute, press and hold the power button on the back for 15 seconds, then press the button again to turn the NST back on. After the NST has restarted, continue with these steps.

  • When the NST has rebooted, slide your finger left to right along the bottom to wake the NST
  • Touch the 'OK' button at the bottom of the screen
  • Re-insert the SD card (a bunch of file names should appear)

Install Practiscore

Since this is the entire reason we're going through this, here's where we install the actual Practiscore application. If you're picking up here after freshly rooting the NST, you should have a number of files displayed on the screen in ReLaunch's file manager.

  • Touch 'practiscore.apk' (right column, 6th item down)
  • Touch 'Install'
  • Touch 'Done'

Install ADW Launcher, Theme, Settings

Install ADW Launcher

The launcher that comes with NookManager is called 'ReLaunch'. ReLaunch also contains it's own file manager. It's pretty enough, but it's not the traditional looking Android desktop, and if someone hits the 'n' button while scoring, it's going to take them to the file manager, where upon they will become confused, disoriented, and probably do something stupid. We can prevent this by installing the ADW launcher. We'll assign the 'n' button to go to the desktop, and a long-press of the 'n' to bring up the file manager.

  • Touch the filename 'ADW.Launcher.apk' (middle column, 3rd item down)
  • Touch 'Install'
  • Touch 'Done'

Install 'Minimalist Black' Theme

The ADW launcher is a 'themeable' launcher, meaning all sorts of pretty colors and icon sets can be configured. Being on a black & white e-Ink screen pretty much limits what we can do. The default ADW launcher theme looks pretty horrible on a NST. By installing the 'Minimalist Black' theme, a number of the screens become much more readable.

  • Touch 'Minimalist_Black.apk' (left column, 6th item down)
  • Touch 'Install'
  • Touch 'Done'

Select & Configure ADW Launcher

At this point, we need to reboot the NST so we can select the ADW launcher as our default, and load the pre-set configuration.

  • Eject the SD card from the NST
  • Touch the wrench and screwdriver button on the right, under the gear icon
  • Touch 'Reboot'
  • Touch 'YES'
  • Touch 'Allow'

After the NST has rebooted, follow these steps

  • Swipe to unlock
  • Touch the unlabeled checkbox in the lower left so that it's checked
  • Touch 'ADW.Launcher'
  • Touch 'OK'

Load Preset Configurations

Most of the presets in the Tweaks & Tuning section are taken care of by loading the provided configuration files. The next several steps configure the 'n' button to return to the desktop, and a long press of the 'n' button to open the ReLaunch file manager.

  • Touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button)
  • Touch 'Nook Touch Mod Manager'
  • Touch 'Modify Button Actions'
  • Touch 'n button'
  • Touch 'Home' (3rd item down)
  • Touch 'n button (Long Press)'
  • Press the bottom right scroller button
  • Touch 'ReLaunch' (last item)
  • Touch the arrow button to the left of 'Modify Button Actions'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

These steps load the preset configurations for the ADW launcher behavior and the desktop icons.

  • Insert the SD card into the NST
  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'ADWSettings'
  • Touch 'Backup and restore'
  • Touch 'Restore ADW settings'
  • Touch 'OK'
  • Touch 'Restore desktop configuration'
  • Touch 'OK'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Install Dropbox

This step is purely optional. Here's the pros and cons of using Dropbox for updates.

At times we'll find that we need to update the Practiscore application. There's several ways this can be done, such as plugging the NST into a USB port, copying the updated version over, copying the Practiscore application to an SD card and updating from it, or putting the Practiscore application in a Dropbox directory and installing from it.

There's upsides and downsides to using Dropbox for the updates. It requires that an SD card be installed in the NST (at $4 for a 2GB card, you put one in and leave it). It requires internet access (since we have one person who "holds" the NSTs between matches, they're responsible for updates, and have internet service at home). Dropbox requires an account, and you likely don't want to use your personal one (however, we have a publicly available "throw-away" account for people to use).

The upside is that it's probably the quickest method. Open Dropbox, tap the 'Practiscore.apk' file, answer two questions, and it's updated. To install Dropbox, follow these steps.

  • Press and hold the 'n' button to bring up the file manager (about 5 seconds)
  • Touch 'Dropbox.apk'
  • Touch 'Install'
  • Touch 'Done'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

You may or may not want to put the Dropbox icon on the desktop. Putting it there makes it more convenient, but also makes it more exposed. Assuming you do want Dropbox on the desktop, follow these steps.

  • Touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button)
  • Swipe your finger left to right to select the first page of applications
  • Touch and hold the Dropbox icon until the desktop appears (about 2 seconds)
  • Drag the Dropbox icon to where you want it (we put it at the bottom, second position from the right)
  • Release the icon

You'll now need to log in to an account with Dropbox. We recommend creating an account for this purpose, rather than using a personal account. If someone steals the NST, or someone tinkering around with it brings up Dropbox, it may expose files you'd prefer weren't shared. You may have to create an email account for this purpose, since Dropbox needs an email address. We suggest something like <club_abbrevation>.Dropbox@gmail.com, or <USPSA_club_ID>.Dropbox@gmail.com (examples would be CGC.Dropbox@gmail.com or GA03.Dropbox@gmail.com). The reason for this versus a universal account, such as Practiscore_Update@gmail.com, is that not everyone may want to run the same versions, and some may wish to use Dropbox to upload match scores, export files, etc. Rather than deal with the mayhem of a group of uncoordinated people using the same account, it's best to create your own.

Assuming you now have a Dropbox account you want to use, use the following steps to connect the NSTs Dropbox to it.

  • Open Dropbox
  • If you've installed the icon on to the desktop, touch the Dropbox icon
  • If you've NOT installed the desktop icon, touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button), then touch the Dropbox icon
  • Touch 'Start'
  • Touch 'I'm already a Dropbox user'
  • Enter the Dropbox account email address
  • Touch in the Password box
  • Enter the Dropbox account password
  • Touch 'Login'
  • After a few seconds, your Dropbox directory should be displayed
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Tweaks & Tuning (I)

The following tweaks make the NST a little more user-proof, along with making it cleaner looking. These have to be done manually, as it's not possible to save them in a configuration file.

Set Practiscore Device Name

  • Touch the Practiscore icon on the home screen
  • Touch 'Sync'
  • Touch 'Sync With Other Devices'
  • Touch in the 'Change Device Name' box
  • Back-space over the 'Android Device' text
  • Enter your preferred device name (we use names like RBGC #1, CGC #5, etc, and apply a label to the front of the NOOK)
  • Touch 'Update'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Set Screen Timeout To 1 Hour

Setting the time out to 1 hour prevents the NST from falling off the network after the usual 5 minutes of inactivity. NOOKs are very power efficient, so being on for an hour vs 5 minutes will have no significant impact on the battery life, and actually makes staying connected to the WiFi network more reliable.

  • Touch 'Settings'
  • Touch 'Screen'
  • Touch 'Screen timeout'
  • Touch '1 hour'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Change Screen Saver

The default screen saver on the NST are woodcut-type prints of famous authors. The images are seriously creepy! The Nature screen savers are much more pleasant to look at. But even better is a custom screensaver with your club logo. See the next section for how to create and install a custom screensaver.

To switch to the Nature screen savers, follow these steps.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'Settings'
  • Touch 'Screen'
  • Touch 'Screensaver'
  • Touch 'Nature'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Load Custom Screen Saver

A custom screen saver can be created to personalize your club's NOOKs. Any 600x800 16-grey level .PNG file can be displayed when the NOOK goes to sleep. For a gallery of examples, see here.

Windows

  • Connect the NST to the PC via USB port
  • Double-click on 'My Computer'
  • Double-click on 'NOOK (x:)'
  • Double-click on 'screensavers'
  • Right-click and select 'New Folder'
  • Enter named as 'practiscore'
  • Double-click on 'practiscore'
  • Copy the .PNG file to this directory
  • Eject and disconnect NOOK
  • Slide your finger left to right along the bottom to wake the NST
  • Touch 'Settings'
  • Touch 'Screen'
  • Touch 'Screensaver'
  • Touch 'Practiscore'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

Mac OSX

  • Add instructions

Linux

  • Add instructions

Now we'll turn off some text that ruins the look of the screen saver.

  • Touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button)
  • Touch 'Nook Touch Mod Manager'
  • Touch 'Configure Mod Options'
  • Touch 'Hide screensaver banner'
  • Touch the arrow button to the left of 'Modify Button Actions'
  • Press the 'n' button to return to the desktop

We're Done!

Congratulations! You're done! You've got a NOOK Simple Touch that now runs Practiscore. Be sure to browse the Tips For Using the NST section. There's some valuable tips that will keep your NST happy and healthy for years to come.

Tweaks & Tuning (II)

These tweaks and tunes are automagically taken care of when the preset configurations are loaded. However, if you were to do them manually, these are the various steps.

Remove Favorites & Web Icon

This removes the favorites icon (star) and web browser icon from the left and right side of the applications button (icon that looks like 4 squares at the bottom center of the screen)

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'ADWSettings'
  • Touch 'UI Settings'
  • Touch 'Main Dock Style'
  • Touch '1 Icon'
  • Press the 'n' button to go back to the desktop

Change Theme

The default theme is pretty horrid, and especially difficult to read the applications labels. Change the theme to 'Minimalist Black' (a bit of a misnomer) for a much better looking desktop and applications page.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'ADWSettings'
  • Touch 'Themes Preferences'
  • Touch 'Select your theme'
  • Touch 'Minimalist_Black'
  • Touch 'Apply theme!'

Delete Un-used Desktops

By default, the rooted NST will have 5 desktops. For some reason, the developers spread icons across all of them. I prefer to have a single desktop, just to make it less likely that a shooter will change to a desktop where there's no Practiscore icon. While, in principal, deleting the extra 4 desktops is easy, because of a presentation bug in the desktop editor, it can appear to not be working.

The easiest method is to delete all the desktops, then add the AndExplorer, Practiscore and Settings icon afterwards.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'Edit'
  • Touch the 'X' under the dark square (dark square may disappear and the 'X' will move to the center of the screen. That's OK)
  • Repeat touching the 'X' until an error appears that the last desktop cannot be deleted
  • Touch the back button (left loopy arrow to the left of the menu key)

If a Google search bar is left on the desktop after everything else is deleted, do this to delete it:

  • Press and hold the Google search bar icon until a pop-up menu appears
  • Touch the garbage can icon to remove the icon from the desktop

Now add the Practiscore, Settings and (optionally) Dropbox icons to the desktop using the procedures below.

Disable 'Swipe' Actions & Home Preview

By default, the root NST will use 'swipe down' (sliding finger down the screen) to show & hide the notifications window, and 'swipe up' to show & hide the status bar. It's best to disable these so an accidental swipe while cleaning the screen or attempting to scroll doesn't cause the unexpected to happen. While we're here, we'll also set the 'Home' ('n') button not to bring up the 'preview' screen.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'ADWSettings'
  • Touch 'General Behavior'
  • Touch 'Home button binding'
  • Touch 'None'
  • Touch 'Swipe down actions'
  • Touch 'None'
  • Touch 'Swipe up actions'
  • Touch 'None'
  • Press the 'n' button to go back to the desktop

Add Practiscore To Desktop

Since this is the whole reason we're rooting the NST, it would probably be good if Practiscore were easy to get to...

  • Touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button)
  • Swipe your finger right to left to select the second page of applications
  • Touch and hold the Practiscore icon until the desktop appears (about 2 seconds)
  • Drag the Practiscore icon to where you want it (we put it at the bottom, second position from the left)
  • Release the icon

Add Settings To Desktop

Since our NSTs are used on multiple networks, I like to make it easy to get to the settings screen. If I could create a shortcut directly to the wireless settings, I would. Unfortunately, that just doesn't seem to be possible. This tweak is also optional.

  • Touch the applications button (looks like 4 squares just above the 'n' button)
  • Swipe your finger right to left to select the second page of applications
  • Touch and hold the Settings icon until the desktop appears (about 2 seconds)
  • Drag the Settings icon to where you want it (we put it at the bottom, second position from the left)
  • Release the icon

Lock The Desktop

This locks the desktop so that users cannot inadvertently add, remove, or rearrange icons on the desktop.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'Lock Desktop'

Remember that if you do want to change the desktop, you'll need to unlock it first.

  • Touch the menu button (top of screen, button with circle with three bars inside)
  • Touch 'More'
  • Touch 'Unlock Desktop'

Tips For Using The NST

Getting Back On The Network

Sometimes an NST will fall off the network. There's no need to return to the settings page. By touching in the status bar (dark bar at the top of the screen), just to the left of the battery icon, you can bring up the network connect/disconnect dialog. Even if the little WiFi symbol isn't present (indicating that it is on the network, and you shouldn't need to do anything), it will still respond to touching that spot.

Touch to the left of the battery icon, and the dialog box should appear. If the checkbox is checked, un-check the checkbox, and after a couple seconds the text to the left of the checkbox should say 'Turn on Wi-Fi'. Check the checkbox, and after a few seconds, the NST should reconnect to the network. If it doesn't, you'll have to see if it's actually still "hearing" the network. But as a rule, if you do this, it will come back up on the network.

When you're re-connected to the network, touch the 'X' in the upper right corner to close the dialog and return to Practiscoring.

Sometimes as a scorer is standing there while a shooter is running the course, I'll sneak up and do this procedure. In environments where there's range-wide WiFi, it's usually not necessary. When I have to roam around with my phone as a WiFi hotspot, the NSTs will drop off since they can't hear my phone more than a 100 feet away or so.

Scroller Buttons

The two vertical raised lines on either side of the screen are scroll-up and scroll-down buttons. Rather than "flicking" the screen to scroll through the shooters list, use the scroll buttons. These are much faster, and won't cause a fumbled flick to select the wrong shooter or add a score to a target. The majority of people I've shown this to had no idea those were even buttons.

Keep Your Screens Clean

If the NST has any single physical design fault, it's that there is a small channel under the bezel around the screen. The infrared touch system is located under this bezel. Because of the design, debris can get lodged in the channel, which disrupts the touch detection. We use a stiff bristled small paint brush to knock the dirt and crud out of the channel.

In addition to that, we also use some off-the-shelf LCD screen cleaners to periodically wipe the screens down, and to clean the infrared channel. A plastic can of screen cleaners is $6 or so at the local office supply store. They're probably even cheaper at a Sam's Club, Costco, or whatever your local warehouse store is.

Obviously, the debris problem is going to be more pervasive in desert areas than, say, Washington State. Cleaning the screen also prevents micro-grit from scratching up the surface of the screen. We clean ours every couple matches unless there's obviously been a lot of airborne dirt. Sometimes, we even clean our guns, too :)

NSTs And The Sun

Occasionally the NSTs seem to react to touches oddly. Generally this is a result of debris on the screen, but we've found the best results are to shadow the NST with your body, if you can. The reason for this is that the touch system on the NST uses infrared, and sunlight has a high infrared content. We think this may occasionally confuse the touch detection logic.

When we first started using NSTs and were learning about them, we though they were overheating. Some tests were run, and this turned out not to be the case. We then though maybe sunlight was the culprit, and while it may be a factor, the majority of the problem is debris on the screen.

Keep Your NSTs Cool

The NOOKs aren't prone to overheating, but like any electronics, they don't like to be baked. The black case doesn't help keep them cool, so when leaving them in a bay, avoid leaving the NST in direct sunlight. Toss it in the range box, put a piece of paper over it, just something to keep direct sunlight off.

Battery Charging

As a rule, the NSTs have phenomenal battery life. We've run through all-day matches (like Georgia State 2012), and still had 70%+ battery life. Nonetheless, the NSTs get thrown on the chargers the night before a match.

HOWEVER, don't leave them plugged in all the time. Even the best battery charging systems aren't perfect, and heat is the ultimate enemy of battery life. This is what kills cordless tool batteries (DeWalt *wants* to sell you batteries, at $80 a pop). Plug them up the night before, they'll be fully charged in the morning, and you'll get a full weekends use out of them with no problems.

One thing we discovered about the NST chargers: The chargers that come with the NSTs will DISCHARGE the battery if you have the charger plugged into the NST, but not into the wall. I have a power strip with 12 chargers on it, and I thought "Ah, they're charged, I'll just turn the power strip off". Next morning, they were all dead. It turns out there's a sneak-path back through an un-powered charger that will discharge the battery. Luckily, I had time to charge them all again before the match, so I didn't show up with dead NOOKs.

Screen Protectors

Screen protectors DO NOT WORK on an NST. This is because rather than using a capacitive touch sensing system (like an iPad, or a higher-end Android tablet, and usually recognizable by a reflective glass screen), the NOOK family uses an infrared touch system. If you look closely at the edge of the screen, you'll see a small gap that's about 1/16" high and deep. The infrared transmitters and receivers are behind this gap.

The NST determines your finger position by where it interrupts the infrared field. The system can determine where your finger is in an X-Y plane, but not how much pressure you're applying (the Z plane). As a result, PUSHING HARDER WILL NOT MAKE THINGS HAPPEN ANY SOONER. And, in fact, with enough pressure, you can damage the e-Ink display itself. So just >touch<, don't press.

Most screen protection systems involve putting a clear material of some kind over the touch surface. The thickness of the material and the refraction pattern it generates from the infrared light hitting the edge will disrupt the ability to sense your finger position. For this same reason, putting a piece of plastic wrap, a baggie or anything else over the screen, and trying to press *through* it will not work (trust us on this, we tried a lot of different things).

The best bet for protection your NST in the event of rain, sleet or snow is to use a 2 or 2.5 gallon freezer baggie, hold the NST in one hand with the bag over it, and reach up with your other hand into the bag to touch the screen. Better yet, if you're a really savvy scorer, you'll stand under the cover in the bay and let them shout scores to you. You and your NST stay nice and dry, and they get all wet :)

Case Protectors

Case protectors can be a good investment, especially if some of the people using the NSTs are fumble-fingered. We've had our NSTs dropped a few times, but with no serious damage. We have a couple that have some minor dings on the edge, and one or two we had to take apart to re-align the case, but we've never broken one.

There are two models of silicone case we've run across. One has a fairly wide lip on the front, and covers the scroller buttons. Pushing the buttons through the case isn't a problem, but the case fits very loosely. The other one we've found is a little more snug, and doesn't cover quite as far up. They're about $3.75, including shipping. A potential downside is that they only seem to be available in white. That's good, in that it can help keep the NST a little cooler in the sun, but it doesn't look all that great.

(Insert link to images of both, and maybe Amazon/eBay links here)

Touch Styluses

Some of the clubs have invested in a large handful of small metal styluses with rubber tips. These are about $1 each, and some people really like them. I personally don't care for them, and it seems like one more thing to get damaged or lost. I also don't find any of the buttons in Practiscore to be small enough where someone with average sized fingers has any trouble touching the correct button. However, you may want to purchase a few and have them available for those with larger fingers.

You could also have them engraved with "Stolen From <Club Name>" so everyone remembers where they came from :)

(Insert link to image and website)

Reset The NST To Factory Defaults

This is only necessary if you purchased a used NOOK from eBay or somewhere, and have trouble registering it. It's possible the NST has already been rooted, so it should be reset to factory defaults. If it's new, or a factory reconditioned unit, you shouldn't need to do this.

Be sure to Deregister The NST first! You don't want to have to end up speaking to 'Joe' @ 1-800-THE-BOOK in New Delhi to get a manual deregistration done.

(The following is from http://nookdevs.com/Nook_Simple_Touch_restore_to_stock)

Method #1

Use this if you haven't rooted your nook.
  • Press Settings on the touch pad, then Device, then "Unregister your Nook"
  • Below that press "reset to factory settings" & Confirm
  • It should reboot and be restored to the latest firmware you had installed.

Method #2

Use this to go back to the firmware the nook was shipped with (use this if rooted)
This will actually restore it to the same exact way you got it from the store. It's the equivalent of restoring your computer with your installations disks.
  • Turn off your nook completely.
    • If you are at the "home" screen then hold power button for 3 seconds and choose "Power off" when prompted.
    • If you are in the screen-saver mode then hold power button for 10 seconds until screen will freeze or go blank, or text "Your nook is switched off" will appear.
  • With it off, hold the power button until the screen flickers black for a moment THEN CONTINUE to hold it for another 15 seconds. You won't see anything happen at this point - but the animated arrows will stop typically.
  • Repeat the above step 6 times in a row. YES, Six is the magic number that tells the nook to do a restore. At the six time screen will get half white- half black and it's a good sign!
  • Now press the Power Button once to turn on the nook.
  • The touch screen will go black with a description of what it's doing (restoring). This may take several minutes - do NOT stop it.

Method #3

Note that this absolutely destroys your shelves, notes, and other information, and you will be asked to register your Nook with BN again.
  • Turn the NST off completely
  • Turn it on again by pressing and holding down the power button
  • As soon as the screen flashes, release the power button, then begin holding down the bottom page turn keys on the left and right of the device. (There is a several second window of time to allow you to get the keys pressed)
  • After a few seconds a message should appear asking if you want to do a factory reset.
  • Press the 'n' button in response to the first question
  • Press the 'n' button in response to the second question
  • The NST should begin the recovery process
To update to the latest software version, press the "My Library" button. While in the "My B&N Library" area tap "Check for new B&N content". It will get the new firmware and start updating the latest software. Again, this will take a while like above steps.