The NSTG turns 10! Time for a makeover.

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nmyshkin

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Nov 21, 2013
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The impetus for my project was the purchase of a (surprise!) late production line NSTG with a flawless light-dispersing layer. And I thought...this deserves a rethink. Thanks to @Renate for help with the status bar background color and clock color. The rest is a combination of DesktopVisualizer, Simi Folder, Tasker apps (only 2), Minimalistic Text, a little judicious wallpaper design, and fooling with the framework-res.apk.

home.png

Features:
-glowlight instruction banner removed from screensaver image
-status bar background changed to white
-modernized "now reading", "back", and "menu" buttons
-date/greeting widget (updates automatically)
-weather widget (3 hr updates from data scraped at 3 am)
-"Now Reading" bookcover widget with reader "badge"
----image is automatic for non-DRM epubs, requires one button press for others
----image (whether automatic or manual) is possible to set as screensaver
----image is "smart", duplicating function of "reading now" button, and knowing which reader to open for which book (button also is now "smart")
-icons in dock are Simi folder shortcuts (except for drawer icon) and open groups of apps (stock reader, Kindle, EBookDroid, as an example)
-QuickTiles fully integrated

More screenshots below.


(YouTube insisted on muting the short segment featuring Ella Fitzgerald, if you can believe it...)

"How-to" guide begins in post #11
 

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aiamuzz

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Dec 24, 2011
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WHOA !!! Seriously ?

hahahahahaha ... LOVE IT !!!

What is this ? ... a concept yet to be realised or an actual working 'Neu Home' for our awesome little NSTG's ?
 

nmyshkin

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Nov 21, 2013
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475
WHOA !!! Seriously ?

hahahahahaha ... LOVE IT !!!

What is this ? ... a concept yet to be realised or an actual working 'Neu Home' for our awesome little NSTG's ?
It's a real thing. I've been using it for a few weeks, tracking down small issues. Think I've got them all. But...it's just ADW launcher dressed up with some nice features. The underlying B&N system remains.
 

aiamuzz

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2011
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It's a real thing. I've been using it for a few weeks, tracking down small issues. Think I've got them all. But...it's just ADW launcher dressed up with some nice features. The underlying B&N system remains.

Excellent ... where is my Nook Manager SD Card !!!

When are you planning to release it for the public with the instructions set ? ... Look forward to it.

An NSTG specific ADW launcher ... Fantastic !!!
 

nmyshkin

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Nov 21, 2013
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When are you planning to release it for the public with the instructions set ? ... Look forward to it.
Mmm....not sure. I actually have not tried applying this to a second device. I'm sure I can do it, but there are a lot of moving parts. I need to try and simplify the process. I didn't actually think anyone else would be interested!

Probably some kind of of gradually increasing functions, like just the status bar change (easy). That's just an update of the framework-res.apk using CWM. Then add in the smart "reading now" button (without the bookcover widget). That's just a pair of apps in which I can disable all the widget stuff.

That, I think, would be doable by anyone. The rest really is window dressing. It suits me, but not all the elements may suit others. I need to look at the portability of the widgets. If that were possible it would simplify things a lot.

Edit: Well, some good news for a change. The widgets can be "exported" in a file and then read into a different device. So for people who want to duplicate any of the widgets they see on my screen (or use them as starting points), the path is smoother.

Anyway, that's my next "job".
 
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jun127

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Dec 25, 2012
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Really good stuff. Wish I had another NST to experiment on, it's crazy what you can still do with them.
 
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nmyshkin

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Hey ... is there anyway to know if my NSTG is from a late production line ?
Not to my knowledge. I've only ever read about the change in background color and beefing up of the dispersing layer in one place. They could have made it up, but there is no doubt about background "white" when I line up an NST, my new NSTG, and my older NSTG. There's a clear progression to a darker background.

Now there could simply be something wrong with my old NSTG that makes the background so dingy, but I don't think so.
 
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nmyshkin

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How-to

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything odd you do to your NST/G. Make a backup.

"My habits protect my life, but they would assassinate you."--Mark Twain

Which is to say that not everyone wants/needs the same things to be content. I recognize that what I think is a good idea for my NST/G you may think is stupid. To that end my intention here is to describe how to get to the screen you see in the first post incrementally. There's no reason to think you might want to exactly duplicate what I've done, but I hope there is enough information in each section to allow you to make your own choices and come up with a design that suits you. I'll try to indicate at each step whether the change is critical to the overall result or not.

1. Status bar update (not required for anything else, purely decorative)

You will need a CWM card. If you don't have one, go here and make one from either of the two sdcard images. Download the framework-update.zip file attached below and copy it to your CWM card. Shut down your NST/G, insert the CWM card and boot into CWM. Despite the name of the file, this is not an update, so you will select "install zip from sdcard" in the menu. When you are done, return to the main menu where it says to "reboot". Remove the CWM card (replace it with your regular sdcard if you use one) and press the "n" button to reboot. When you replace the framework-res.apk the initial boot can take a little longer. Do not panic.

Edit 11-17-22: I have updated the framework-res.apk in the CWM zip. I had intended to include a few changes I made to the styles.xml awhile back which addressed some issues with invisible text in dialog and alert boxes, but discovered I did not. Those small changes are included in the updated zip.

In addition to the altered framework-res.apk, the CWM package also updates /system/framework/services.jar. This was necessary to get the clock to be black on the white background. This jar file is the one patched for NookTouch ModManager. I do not believe the patches will make any difference if you rooted by some other means.

If you get buyer's remorse, you can revert to your backup (which you made...) or you can copy the framework-res.apk and services.jar from a B&N update zip into the zip file and run CWM again. If you used NookManager to root, you'll want to use a patched copy of services.jar which you will find on your NookManager card.

2. "Smart" Now Reading button (not part of actual "package"/optional)

What this does: this pair of apps works together to do two things, 1) create screensaver images of the covers of books, and 2) make the "reading now" button know and remember which kind of book is currently being read and open it in the proper reader app (stock, Kindle, EBookDroid).

This is only for the "we don't need no stinkin' widgets" folks who might find the idea of a "smart" button enticing, but that's all they want. Well, you can almost get it. I thought it would be sort of easy to disable the widget aspect of these two apps. I was sort of right. Spent too much time. I knew it would be very difficult to untangle the screensaver image aspect, so I didn't even try. Just don't select that screensaver folder option if you don't want them. However, you need the supporting plugin app, ScreenshotEasy. Download it from here, install and configure it according to the three images you will find here. You should also create the directory /sdcard/Pictures/Screenshots, if it doesn't already exist.

The two apps I created (SetCover and NST UI) are both Tasker-generated and like Tasker itself and all its "kid" apps, have a dependency on two small files. These are included in the zip below along with the two apps. If you don't already have one of my other Tasker-generated apps you will need to copy these onto your device as below:

/system/etc/permissions/com.google.android.maps.xml
/system/framework/com.google.android.maps.jar

Set permissions for both files to rw-r--r-- and reboot.

Once you've done that install SetCover and NST UI. Tapping on each app in turn initializes any needed variables and creates directories. Also, root access permission is requested. After initialization you should check to be sure the directories have been created. I've seen a lot of squirrely behavior around this lately and I just don't trust it so check for the existence of:

/media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover
/media/NowReading/BookType

If they are not there create them yourself.

Now use NookTouch ModManager to assign any hardware button of your choice to SetCover and the "reading now" status bar button to NST UI.

That should do it.

How it works

When you open any non-DRM epub from the stock Library, the correct cover image is located and a copy is placed in /media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover. At the same time a file named "1" is placed in /media/NowReading/BookType. When you tap on the "reading now" button, the value "1" is read and the stock reader opens (to where you left off, we hope).

This will actually work with pdfs as well, if you use the stock reader for them, but this rightly belongs in the "manual" category that follows.

Any other book (DRM epub, Kindle, or a pdf opened in EBookDroid) requires the press of the button you assigned to "SetCover" to achieve the same thing. So on the page that displays the book cover in whatever reader, you press the button. A screenshot is taken (smaller image is briefly displayed). That image is moved from the screenshot folder into /media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover and an appropriate value is written into /media/NowReading/BookType (1=stock, 2=kindle, 3=ebookdroid). Sometimes the oddest mess is in the image buffer and you end up with half a page or something. Just move the page back and forth and take another shot. For best results with the Kindle app, you should "exit" the reader by using the "n" button, rather than backing out through the menu. Otherwise you are likely to end up at the main screen rather than at your place in the book when you return. EBookDroid can be set to open the last read book on startup.

"I don't use EbookDroid". OK, so this is actually easy to change if you use some other app for pdf reading (the stock reader app requires no additional changes). If you will PM me with the pdf reader you do use, I will make a custom version of these apps for you (change may only be in one...don't remember).

To undo everything, uninstall ScreenshotEasy, SetCover and NST UI. Delete /media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover and also media/NowReading. Change your button settings back they way they were with NookTouch ModManager. You can leave the two small dependency files in place. They actually don't do anything. That way if you ever decide you'd like to try another of my apps, you'll be one step ahead.

3. ADW Launcher configurations and wallpaper (needed to get to the screen shown in post #1)

The problem with most launchers is that the dock is a "sacred cow" of sorts. I wanted that real estate to do with as I pleased, but even when you tell a launcher there should be no dock, the space is still there and still off limits. I tried all the usual launchers mentioned in the forum and finally returned to ADW. Even when there is "no dock", anything that is not a simple app icon that you drag into the area simply bounces off and ends up on the screen somewhere else.

Unless...they are Desktop Visualizer shortcuts. I discovered this by accident while muttering many words that do not come from children's books. I have never used such a shortcut before, only the icon/widgets. As far as I can tell the main difference is that the shortcut icons are not resizable but rather adopt the icon size set in the launcher.

So, the launcher is set up with a dock but I use the space for DVR shortcuts which refer to Simi Folders. More on those in the next installment.

Originally the wallpaper was white with two lines, one to delineate the dock in portrait and one to do the same in landscape where the dock moves to the right side. The rest of the static content (the horizontal bar above the book cover image and the "Now Reading...") was MT widgets. I did that to "solve" the problem of switching to landscape and having the wallpaper elements out of place. I've since decided to bite the bullet and design two different wallpapers. If you don't care about the static wallpaper elements, you can just use a plain white image (white.png). Otherwise, you want "NST UI Background_p.png" (that's the portrait version). To finesse the wallpaper transition when switching to landscape and back I have modified my QuickTiles app (version 2.2 below--follow installation and setup directions in the original app listing ). This includes in the screen rotation option the correct sequence of wallpaper changes so everything looks right in either display mode and you don't have a couple of static widgets to deal with. If you use QuickTiles 2.2 you will need all three wallpaper images. I found that making the transition through the white.png as a middle choice gave a much more fluid change, so the app expects to find all three images to work with. Similarly, if you design your own wallpaper and want to use the QuickTiles app to finesse the change from portrait to landscape, you'll need to keep the file names the same.

To get to the desired result, download and unzip the ADW package below. It contains the launcher app, a WallpaperChanger app, three wallpaper files and the backup settings for ADW that gives the proper icon spacing, etc. to allow for maximum flexibility in dealing with the widget positioning. If you already are using ADW, there is no reason to start all over again. Just read in the configuration file and clear the desktop (if it doesn't clear by itself).

1. Copy the wallpaper pngs to /media/Wallpaper
2. Copy the ADW backup file folder to the root of your sdcard
3. Install the WallpaperChooser app (you can get rid of it later if you want or you can skip it altogether if you have my Nook Settings app which has a wallpaper option)
4. Install ADW Launcher if not already present. Reboot.

When your NST/G boots you will be asked whether you want to use ADW or "Home" (the B&N Home screen) or something else for a launcher. It is possible to make this choice "sticky" by checking the little box at the lower left of the dialog. Choose ADW and wait for the screen to settle down. It looks pretty awful right out of the box. We'll fix all that.

There may be some "look at all the features" screens in your way. The "back" button on the status bar may make them go away, otherwise swipe through them until they are gone. You may have the default device wallpaper (big "n"). We'll fix that. For now, tap on the "menu" button in the status bar and select ADW Settings from the little window that appears. Go all the way to the bottom of the list to "System" and from there select "Backup and restore". Choose the "Restore" option. The app should find the configuration file you placed on the sdcard. Tap that and you'll get an indication that it's working. There seems to be a bug because this will go on until your battery runs down if you let it. So don't. After a minute or so just use the "back" button on the status bar to make it go away. This should take you back to a cleaned-up home screen with an error message. Just say "no".

To fix the wallpaper, open the WallpaperChooser app. The display print is really tiny... Navigate to /media/Wallpaper, locate the file (either white.png or NST UI Background_p.png) and select it. (or, if you have my Nook Settings app, go to Display>Wallpaper and select the file from there).

[Just a hint on ADW if you're not familiar with it. It is possible to hide apps in the drawer (like Device Registrator and so on, as well as apps you already access from the home screen). The three-dot menu at the upper right of the app drawer has the option "Setup group". Checked apps appear in the drawer. Uncheck those you don't want to see. It's also possible to create additional compartments (tabs) in the drawer if you want to categorize apps. That's "Manage groups"]

The "canvas" is now prepared :)

4. DesktopVisualizer and Simi Folders (required to reproduce screen in post #1)

First, if you have an idea for your dock that consists of single app icons, then you don't need Simi Folder and can ignore that part of this section. If, like me, you want home screen access to a bit more without cluttering up the view, then you might want Simi Folder. You can produce multi-app folders in ADW and even dress them up with your own icons and labels, but you can't drag them to the dock. Hence, Simi Folder.

So...think of Simi Folder as a separate app for controlling the contents of something like a folder you might construct with your launcher on the home screen, but with more customization options. Alas, some of those options don't seem to work on the NST, but the ones we are interested in do. Simi Folder allows you to create and customize these folders but not display them. That's where DesktopVisualizer comes in. It can be used (via ADW) to create either a shortcut or a widget which points to a Simi Folder. You can customize the icon and label. That's how I produced my dock.

a. Simi Folder

Install the app from the attached file below. On the main screen, you are interested in "Folders", but I'll just mention here that "Applications" allows you to substitute your own icon for an app icon. I've done that with the Nook Library app as well as Contacts and Email (maybe others).

Tap on "Folders" and then "Add Folder". Name the folder. This is just for your reference and is not seen outside the app. For "Folder type" choose "Combined". The next two sets of settings are a bear to deal with the first time through. But note the last option on this screen which is "Copy Settings". So once you get a folder set up how you like it (background color, direction, etc.) you can copy those settings for any subsequent folders. A real time-saver. Here's a rough approximation of what I have:

Widget settings:
Layout = Folder name
Text color (all 255)
Text size=13
Background color (all 0)

Launcher settings:
Layout = vertical
Show foldername
Show title
Animate launcher (unchecked)
Icon size = 60
Item column count = 5
Launcher style = custom
Background color (all 255)
Frame color (all 0 except last which is 200)
Arrow color (as above)
Text color (all 0 except last which is 255)

Whew! Within a folder you can manually place the icons in the order you wish or else it will alphabetize them (sorting). From that same screen you can add or subtract apps from a folder (both from "Add")

I think that covers the basics. Bookmarks and Shortcuts (from the main screen) do not work in any way I have been able to determine, not even on a device running KitKat. There may be some strong juju there of which I am not aware.

OK, so you've made your Simi Folders. You may have fewer or more than I did (be sure to leave room for the app drawer icon!). You can go into the ADW Settings if you need to cram more icons into the dock. Maybe not.

Icons? I've attached my icons in a zip package below. Feel free to use them if they meet your needs (they're not "mine" anyway!). I put my icons in /media/Icons, just to keep things organized, but that's me. If you make/find your own icons, keep them more or less the same size as the ones I supplied.

b. DesktopVisualizer

If you're not using Simi Folders and are not interested in the current book cover widget as shown on my home screen, then you don't need DesktopVisualizer. Otherwise, read on.

Install the app from the attached file. Long-press a vacant spot on your home screen, choose "Add" from the ADW menu that appears, then "Shortcuts". You should see DesktopVisualizer listed as an option. Tap that and you're at the main screen of the app. You need to select an icon for one of your Simi Folders, so browse to the proper location to choose the icon you want. Next, you need to select an action. Tap that and select "Others". This takes you to a list where you will see Simi Folder as an option. Select that and then choose the correct folder for the icon. Finally, you will not want an action label (it would not display in the dock in any case) so leave it blank or trash it if the app has chosen something for you. Then tap OK.

You get an icon on the home screen which will open your Simi Folder. Drag it down to the dock. Continue in this way with your other Simi Folders. You can rearrange the icons in the dock if they get mixed around.

The fuzzy app drawer icon is an ADW default. You can replace that by double-tapping on it to reveal a small menu which includes "Edit" (this works for all app icons in ADW). I've included a drawer icon in my set of icons which is in the same style as the rest. You can use that or something else.

5. Minimalistic Text (required to reproduce screen in post #1)

There are two types of widgets on the home screen. The current book cover image is a DesktopVisualizer widget, so if you want that, you've presumably already installed the app earlier. I'll get to the specifics later in this section.

My home screen as shown in the first post actually contains two Minimalistic Text widgets. There is the date/greeting widget (non-interactive) and the weather widget (really optional and controlled by my NST Weather Widget app). If you don't want either of those or anything else that might be designed with Minimalistic Text, then you don't need the app but you will need a custom version of the NST UI app, either the "no widgets" version already discussed (v. 1.1) or one for the book cover widget only (v. 1.2). Read on for information about the second.

1. Minimalistic Text

This app is a big pain to get working properly on the NST. Sorry, but it's true. It doesn't seem to install properly. Maybe there are permission issues. Here's the gist of my instructions given in the NST Weather Widget app writeup:

Install Minimalistic Text. What I ended up doing was installing a copy on a KitKat device and copying out two of the xml preferences files from the /data/data/de.devmil.minimalitext/shared_prefs. I've included copies of these files in the MT zip. One is a general preferences file. The other is a global settings file which contains the location of custom fonts. All attempts at getting MT to save Global preferences on the NST have failed for me, but this seems to suffice to get the information. So install the app, then copy these two files into the folder referenced earlier (overwrite if there is already a file of the same name, or rename the file to the same name as the existing one before copying). Set permissions for both files to rw-rw-rw and reboot.

If you already have a working install of Minimalistic Text, you may only need the global.xml file, although you could try setting the font directory from the app (/sdcard/Fonts). If the setting doesn't persist when you exit and return to the app, then copy the global.xml file into /data/data/de.devmil.minimalitext/shared_prefs as described above and set the permissions.

Create the folder /sdcard/Fonts. Copy GillSans.ttf and GillSans-Italic.ttf from /system/fonts to this folder. You can, of course, use other fonts (or even the app default fonts) but the widget files I am attaching are going to be looking for those fonts.

You can't check that the app is configured properly unless you have at least one widget (another annoyance). Also, this app is from the days when everyone seemed to want white text on a black background. We, of course, want the exact opposite. So when you actually do get into the app the main screen is black and since we will use black text, you won't be able to see your widgets except as a white outline of a box. Not to worry. You can see it in the configuration section.

Finally, if it doesn't already exist, create the folder /sdcard/MinimalisticTextPreferences. Download the MT_widgets zip from below and unzip it. Place the contents in the folder you just created (you can leave out anything you don't want).

One last thing: MinimalisticText has a range of day/date stuff that can easily generate the date part of the "greeting" widget. It can't however, determine whether it is "morning" or "afternoon" or "evening". That is handled by the NST UI app. What I have found is that introducing a Tasker app variable into an MT widget causes the native variable updates to freeze--that includes ALL the various widgets on that page. Hence, all of the changing stuff in the "greeting" widget is controlled by NST UI. There is also a lot of dead weather stuff in MT, so don't waste any time there.

2. Adding the MT widgets

To control the "greeting widget", you will need to install the NST UI app (this app also works in tandem with the SetCover app to regulate the book cover screensaver and the "smart button" feature). Like all Tasker-made apps, this one has a dependency on two small files which are included along with the zip below. If you don't already have one of my Tasker-made apps, you need to copy these two files as shown below:

/system/etc/permissions/com.google.android.maps.xml
/system/framework/com.google.android.maps.jar

Set permissions for both files to rw-r--r-- and reboot.

Then install NST UI and afterward tap on the icon. This initializes the variables, requests root permission and should create the folder /media/NowReading/BookType. I've seen this work fine and I've seen the folder creation fail so check to be sure it's there and if not, create it yourself.

[if you are only interested in the "smart button" feature and the current book cover widget, you'll need a special version of NST UI, discussed in the next section.]

There are two widget profiles used on my home screen:

1. Greeting (5x1 hor)
2. Weather (4x2 hor)

After each widget name I have placed the size of the widget.

To add a widget, long-press on a blank spot on your home screen and choose "Add" from the ADW popup that appears, then "Widget". You'll get quite a lengthy list of DVR and MinimalisticText options (as well as other stuff perhaps). For the sake of an example, let's go with "Greeting", so you would select "5x1 hor". When you do you are shuttled to MinimalisticText. Here is where the rubber must meet the road. The first thing to do is give the widget a name. Use the same name (Greeting). Then scroll through the settings options to the very end where you will see a Save/Restore option. You want "Restore" which should bring up a list of the widget profiles you copied over. Select "Greeting", confirm your choice and it's done! (well, almost)

Time to check on the Global Settings which is where the custom fonts are controlled. Tap that and scroll down to Fonts (near the end). It should indicate that the font directory is /sdcard/Fonts. If it doesn't then you need to go back and check on the permission settings of the file you added earlier to /data/data/de.devmil.minimalitext/shared_prefs. If that looks OK you may need to reboot and try again. But before you do, save the widget. Back out of the Global Settings menu until you are in the regular menu again (don't use the status bar "back" button for this). Once in the regular settings menu, tap on the status bar "menu" button. A small menu slides up from the bottom. Tap "OK". This is how to finalize changes to a widget when you make them.

If your Font directory setting was OK, then all you need to do is customize the widget with your name (currently "YourName"). To do that, scroll back through the general settings until you reach the Layout section. Tap on "Custom Layout". There you will see the components of the widget in little boxes, the last of which is labeled "static text". Tap on that and you see the contents displayed in a form and if you tap there the keyboard will come up and you can change "YourName" to your name. Use the status bar "back" button to dismiss the keyboard and then once again to dismiss the layout view. Then tap on the status bar "menu" button and tap on "OK" at the bottom menu. Use the back button to work your way out of the app and you should return to the home screen where you will hopefully see a widget!

The Weather widget, if you want it, involves the installation of another app, a custom font, and a data folder. This is all described here, but you don't have to go through all of the material, much of which is duplicated here. And you don't have to create your own widget (unless you want to) because I have included one in this package. I stress that the Weather widget is optional. I like it and so included it on my home screen. You may not want it.

To resize a widget, long press on it until a small menu appears:

menu1.png

When you choose "Resize" you get something that looks like this:

menu2.png


Actually making a widget space smaller (or even larger) can sometimes help in placement because of the invisible grid used by ADW, so you may need to play a bit if you find widgets pushing each other around and not wanting to stay where you put them.

To move a widget around on the screen, long-press on it until that little menu appears and then just drag it around with your finger. When all the dust has settled you can lock your home screen from the status bar "menu" button if you're concerned about accidentally moving things.

3. Adding the DVR (current book) widget

First, if you are interested in this feature but really don't want the MinimalisticText widgets described in the previous section, you can install a special version of NST UI (v. 1.2) found in a zip below. If you've already installed the regular version, uninstall it and install this one instead. Installation and initialization are the same as for the full-feature version, but only the bookcover widget will function.

At last we arrive at the Catch-22. If you want to try this you should know that each setup requires a custom SetCover app. Let me first say that I have no problem with this. I don't anticipate hundreds of requests and the changes that need to be made are trivial, but unfortunately they have to be made prior to compiling the app and not even within Tasker, but rather at the xml level of the Tasker procedures. The reason for this is that the Tasker plugin for DesktopVisualizer does not allow for a variable in the place of the widget ID number, thus there is no way to get this information into the app post-compiling (say, by a user set-up sequence). You can't even enter just any number while in Tasker because it will reject values that don't actually exist on the device. But changing the value at the xml level does work and the app will compile fine (and work!) after that.

First, you need an image to work with. You can copy one out of .docThumbs (either on the sdcard or in media) if you have some epubs side-loaded. If not, grab a jpg bookcover image from Google or something, somewhere around 500x300 and place it in /media/NowReading. Rename the image "NSTcover.jpg".

Long-press on a blank spot on your home screen, select "Add" from the ADW pop-up, and then "Widgets". There's a long list of DVR or DesktopVisualizer widgets. While bookcover images are not square, I have found that 4x4 works the best. You can resize as needed and you'll get a better image quality, IMO.

This places a funny looking place-holder on your screen and if you tap it the app will open to a setup screen for the widget. Here is how you should fill that out:
DVR_setup.jpg


Then tap OK. This returns you to the home screen and you will see the image which you can now move around and resize as you did the MT widgets. It takes some fiddling to get both the aspect ratio of the cover to be correct and the placement on the screen to be correct. Take your time, but try not to delete the widget.

Why? Every time you delete the widget, the new one will have a different ID number. So you really want to have this thing nailed down before you PM me and ask for a custom version of SetCover. Does that mean never any repeats? Of course not. But let's try to keep this simple.

When you think you have things the way you want them (resizing and moving are always options with no consequence), you need to find out the ID number of the widget. Don't imagine it's something like "1". It might be, but for the second device I just finished doing it was 126! To find the ID number, open the DesktopVisualizer app and use the status bar "menu" button to open the menu at the bottom of the screen. At the right of the top row of options is "Refresh Widgets". If you tap that you will see two options. The first is for a normal refresh (you can use this if you decide you want to crop a cover image, but you will lose the badge). The second option is for Editing. Choose that one and you return to your home screen where you will see there is now a tiny (magnifying glass time...) badge on the cover image which has the widget ID number:
widgetID.jpg

That's what I need to make you a custom SetCover app. Also, in this mode if you tap on the widget you go back to the configuration page in case you want to change something, maybe show touch feedback or whatever.

Before you can install your custom version of SetCover you need to install the plug-in app, Screenshot Easy. Download it from here, install and configure it according to the three images you will find here. You should also create the directory /sdcard/Pictures/Screenshots, if it doesn't already exist.

When you get your custom version of SetCover, install and initialize it (check that the folder /media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover has been created and if not, do it yourself). Installation is just like all the other installation instructions for the other various versions. Assign a hardware button to the app for taking screenshots of the covers of everything but the non-DRM epubs. The first book you select (let's assume it's a non-DRM epub) will activate the widget and you should see the new cover image along with a badge that says "nook". Also, there will be a copy of the cover image in /media/screensavers/CurrentBookCover. You can set your screensaver to that, if you like (or not). There will also be a copy of the image in /media/NowReading which has been renamed "NSTcover.jpg" as well as a file called "1" in /media/NowReading/BookType which tells the widget (and your "reading now" status bar button) which reader to open for the current book.

Anything other than a non-DRM epub will require a manual screenshot to achieve all of the above. Just one button press while you are looking at the cover page.
 

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aiamuzz

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Dec 24, 2011
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@nmyshkin ... thanks for the instruction set ...
I can't guarantee "easy", but it will be my usual "overly detailed" :)

agreed ... your instruction sets are comprehensive and detailed !!!

quite a bit of understanding and tinkering needed ... will try and get back i i like it ... currently my NSTG is an a state of ZEN ... thanks to your masterpiece of the RN button with my custom menu ... Its like i've already achived nirvana ... my mind is ONE with this current version(only cos of your RN Menu app) !!!
 

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    The impetus for my project was the purchase of a (surprise!) late production line NSTG with a flawless light-dispersing layer. And I thought...this deserves a rethink. Thanks to @Renate for help with the status bar background color and clock color. The rest is a combination of DesktopVisualizer, Simi Folder, Tasker apps (only 2), Minimalistic Text, a little judicious wallpaper design, and fooling with the framework-res.apk.

    home.png

    Features:
    -glowlight instruction banner removed from screensaver image
    -status bar background changed to white
    -modernized "now reading", "back", and "menu" buttons
    -date/greeting widget (updates automatically)
    -weather widget (3 hr updates from data scraped at 3 am)
    -"Now Reading" bookcover widget with reader "badge"
    ----image is automatic for non-DRM epubs, requires one button press for others
    ----image (whether automatic or manual) is possible to set as screensaver
    ----image is "smart", duplicating function of "reading now" button, and knowing which reader to open for which book (button also is now "smart")
    -icons in dock are Simi folder shortcuts (except for drawer icon) and open groups of apps (stock reader, Kindle, EBookDroid, as an example)
    -QuickTiles fully integrated

    More screenshots below.


    (YouTube insisted on muting the short segment featuring Ella Fitzgerald, if you can believe it...)

    "How-to" guide begins in post #11
    1
    When are you planning to release it for the public with the instructions set ? ... Look forward to it.
    Mmm....not sure. I actually have not tried applying this to a second device. I'm sure I can do it, but there are a lot of moving parts. I need to try and simplify the process. I didn't actually think anyone else would be interested!

    Probably some kind of of gradually increasing functions, like just the status bar change (easy). That's just an update of the framework-res.apk using CWM. Then add in the smart "reading now" button (without the bookcover widget). That's just a pair of apps in which I can disable all the widget stuff.

    That, I think, would be doable by anyone. The rest really is window dressing. It suits me, but not all the elements may suit others. I need to look at the portability of the widgets. If that were possible it would simplify things a lot.

    Edit: Well, some good news for a change. The widgets can be "exported" in a file and then read into a different device. So for people who want to duplicate any of the widgets they see on my screen (or use them as starting points), the path is smoother.

    Anyway, that's my next "job".
    1
    Really good stuff. Wish I had another NST to experiment on, it's crazy what you can still do with them.
    1
    Hey ... is there anyway to know if my NSTG is from a late production line ?
    Not to my knowledge. I've only ever read about the change in background color and beefing up of the dispersing layer in one place. They could have made it up, but there is no doubt about background "white" when I line up an NST, my new NSTG, and my older NSTG. There's a clear progression to a darker background.

    Now there could simply be something wrong with my old NSTG that makes the background so dingy, but I don't think so.
    1
    now i am getting impatient ... hope you are able to toss in a easy tutorial for us to try this !!!
    I can't guarantee "easy", but it will be my usual "overly detailed" :)