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From the Tips Box: Easy Nook to Android Conversion, Customizing YouTube, and Tracking Battery Usage

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Every week we open up the tips box and highlight some handy reader tips and tricks. This week we’re looking at a no-fuss way to boot Android on your Nook Color, customizing your YouTube experience, and tracking laptop battery usage.

No Fuss Android Booting on the Nook Color

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Stewart writes in with a tip for those interested in turning their Nook Color into a full Android device:

I saw your post a few months ago regarding how you can turn a Nook Color into a true Android tablet. While I didn’t mind messing around with the guide and eventually creating my own bootable microSD card I figured some readers might be interested to hear about Nook2Android. It’s a website that sells microSD cards already set up. All you have to do it buy it, pop it in your Nook, and boom, you’ve got an Android tablet. They cost $35 which is like a 60% markup over a blank 8GB microSD card but if you don’t want to much around making your own and you do want to play with your Nook like it’s a full on tablet, it’s worth it.

Thanks Stewart! We’re big fans of geeking out and DIYing but if you’re looking for an instant fix without mucking about with your Nook it looks like a good solution.

YouTube Options for Google Chrome Makes Customization Easy

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Eric writes in to rave about his favorite YouTube tool:

I love watching stuff on YouTube but increasingly the interface has gotten uglier and more cluttered… and don’t even get me started on all the ads everywhere. I started using YouTube Options for Chrome… it lets me hide ads, annoying annotations, disable auto-play (I don’t like being surprised when I click on a video), and make all sorts of layout tweaks (like hiding comments… because most YouTube comments are as dumb as you’d expect).

Ditching the comments and tweaking the interface is as good a reason as any to install the extension. Thanks for writing in.

Monitoring Your Windows Laptop Battery

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Jerry writes in with an application tip for monitoring your Windows laptop battery usage:

Ever since I started keeping an eye on my Android battery life after reading your Android battery guide I’ve also been keeping tabs on my laptop. I use a program called BatteryInfoView. Some people might think it’s information overload but I really like using it to gather data about battery life. It tells you just about everything: the power state, the capacity, the rate of discharge, etc. You can really see how different activities and applications impact your battery life!

You weren’t kidding about the buffet of information supplies by the application. If you’re curious about the nitty-gritty details of battery consumption, however, it has you covered.


Have a tip or trick to share? Send us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and you might just see it on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/14/11

Comments (5)

  1. Atomsk

    That whole Nook2Android thing is a ridiculous travesty. The person who is profiting from what people created for free is not what the scene is about. Devs from XDA-Developers are the ones who created these tools and these jokers are profiting that’s just horrible!

  2. Vincent

    @Atomsk
    They’re not really selling the software, just the card and the “labor.”(Though that seriously does not take ANY labor…)

  3. Tom

    @Vincent – Technically, they are. Much of that stuff is licensed under the GPL and directly profiting from it while making no ‘novel’ changes yourself directly violates that. XDA – Devs created the U-Boot files, the SD images, and the guides on how to make them. I know because I helped make some of them, as well as use these tools on a daily basis.

    To be honest, it would be more responsible of HTG to overlook profiteers like this and simply reference the 3 step guides that many of these bootable cards use. In the end, everyone will be happier.

  4. Morely the IT Guy

    I don’t see any difference between paying someone to send you a pre-made SD card, and “hiring” your nephew to set up the card for you. I can do it myself, but lots of people aren’t as comfortable with computers as I am (I’m not comfortable with lots of people, so it’s a fair trade), and if you actually read the warnings when you run the software to set up the card, they’re pretty dire (bloody lawyers, grumble grumble…).

  5. Phil

    I bought a nook2android.. i believe in OSS – but, for me to buy a card, muck around with it, etc… i would rather pay an extra $20 or so to just have it work, and not spend hours playing with it – when all i want is a tablet, not another hacking toy..

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