Nook Color Grounded; Can’t Come Out and Google Play

Barnes & Noble announced a couple of days ago that the latest editions of their ereader tablet, the Nook HD and HD+, would receive a software update that included the addition of the Google Play app store.  I was not amused.

I own a Nook Color.  In fact, by the end of this month, it will be two years old and the extended warranty I purchased from Barnes & Noble will expire.  The last software update issued by B&N came nearly a year ago (see my post on version 1.4.3 from last June/July).

Not only am I not feeling the Nook Color love from B&N, I’m also noticing the ereader showing its hardware age.  I often must power it completely down to ‘correct’ a situation that frequently arises when it can’t seem to locate my home’s wifi.  Come June, if B&N hasn’t issued some olive branch of an update that would open up Google Play to my NC, I may just wipe it and finally convert it to an Android tablet.

Now that I have a Samsung Note II, I have invested in several nice apps from the Google Play store, including my favorite audiobook app called the Smart Audiobook Player.  I love this app’s ability to flatten all the folders and allow for a smooth listening experience (no need to switch ‘CDs’ (folders), accommodates a continuous stream).  The app also automatically pauses when a phone call comes in (and resumes when you hang up) and will automatically backtrack three seconds when an audio alert sounds for emails or texts.

Later this year, I’ll probably invest in an Android tablet, possibly a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.  Not another B&N knockoff.  While I’ve enjoyed reading ebooks on my Nook Color and using it for the occasional web surfing, Tweeting or reading e-mail, my experience with my Note II has opened my eyes to the limitless Android possibilities.

Author Two-for-One on May the Fourth

Strange first week of May so far for 2013.

My apple trees started blooming on May Day:

May Day

Terry and I celebrated (as best we can on a Wednesday) our 27th anniversary.  He bought me a bouquet and card and a gift (which I won’t share here but greatly appreciate):

Anniversary Bouquet

The very next day, May the 2nd, it snowed.  For real.  Since I had to drive through it, I didn’t take any photographs, and most of it melted as it hit the ground.   Visiting authorial dignatory John Scalzi commented on the situation via Twitter:

My own photo taken after dropping off my Hallmark riders at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday morning, May 3rd, facing north with the Sheraton (fka the Hyatt) where Mr. Scalzi was probably still snoozing:

North from Crown Center

Saturday morning, May the 4th (officially or unofficially international Star Wars day), I put $20 worth of gas in the Bonneville.

Why is this significant? I wanted to meet a couple of authors signing during a book fair at the RT Booklovers Convention hosted by the Sheraton at Crown Center.

Because I drive a vanpool, Terry and I don’t fill up our personal vehicle but once a month or every six weeks. From long experience, I know I need a minimum of three gallons of gas to make a trip to Kansas City and back home. Three gallons of premium (required for both of our Pontiacs) is close to $4 a gallon (I think I paid $3.699 at Quick Trip yesterday), so I rounded up to the nearest $10 increment. I also grabbed $20 cash from an ATM so I’d be able to buy the book fair pass ($5 at the door). Parking at Crown Center is free on the weekends (Huzzah!).

So, for $10 in gas, $5 at the door and free parking, I got to meet two of my favorite authors:

RT13 Book Fair Excursion
John Scalzi, author of The Human Division, recently released in hardcover and earlier released as a serialized ebook.  Shown here signing the only print edition of one of his books that I own, Zoe’s Tale. Oddly, it’s also the only one I have yet to read.  I own all the rest of his books, but in ebook format, and didn’t think having my Nook Color or new Samsung Note II signed would be a good idea.

RT13 Book Fair Excursion

Sarah Zettel, author of The Quiet Invasion, one of the best first contact stories I’ve ever read, and the Isvalta series.

I almost didn’t find Sarah in this chaos:

RT13 Book Fair Excursion

Authors were spread out across a dozen rows of tables in alphabetical order, except for headline authors like Scalzi, who were segregated along a back wall (or a quiet corner in Scalzi’s case):

RT13 Book Fair Excursion

Sarah should have been on the last row near Scalzi, but only one other “Z” author sat there and it wasn’t Zettel. I despaired of traipsing slowly through all the rows, mostly because all these other authors really didn’t have anything I would go out of my way to read. The entire convention was sponsored by “Romantic Times,” a genre I normally avoid like the proverbial plague. I’ll tolerate a well written romance, if it’s a subplot in a fantasy or science fiction novel. Otherwise, I’ll pass.

I did find Sarah, in a special section devoted to young adult readers. Her latest book, Dust Girl, is apparently in that subgenre.

I returned home, arriving back before noon.  Terry and I topped off our anniversary celebration by grabbing the last two available VIP seats for the 7:30 p.m. showing of Iron Man 3 at the Legends 14 Theaters.  We liked it and we sat through the credits to watch the Easter egg final scene.  Cute.  The only thing missing was Black Sabbath or even some AC/DC in the sound track.  I think it would have been a nice touch over the final montage before the credits rolled.