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FIRST: READ THE WIKI
While still valid information, you should also look at the updated version of this guide. http://www.slatedroid.com/pandigita...e-beginners-guide-white-pandigital-novel.html

There's been a tremendous amount of fine work that's been done on the PDN since Nate the Great first told the world about Meth and Clockworx installing a new Home screen and remapping the volume keys. If you haven't done that yet, read on. If you have and want to know what to do next, like installing all those cool apps everyone is talking about, keep reading as well.I wrote this last night to help someone who had the Home Screen and Button hack done but didn't know where to go next. You can get started cold out of the box with one of the alternative methods below as well. I gave my daughter a PDN this evening for her 18th birthday and she was up and running within 20 minutes - including download time.

These geniuses, the folks mentioned above, as well as Roebeet (my personal savior), nchntrman, and so many others throughout this community have tested, coded, suggested, shared, wiki'd and pulled out their hair to make this little toy a sleek computing platform that simply cannot be touched (for the price you paid) by any other manufacturer.

So here goes: If you already have hacked the volume keys & home screen...You need either Market access, or you need to be able to install files you download from the web and copy to your SD Card. There's a section in the Newbie Guide on Market access. The good news is you're at the 3rd stage, 1 & 2 were getting you the volume hacks and a new launcher (Panda). Bad news, it's also the advanced (but last) stage.

There are two other ways to go. The direct install (non-market) method. This thread has links to several sites where you can directly download apk's (android installation packages). Our comrade geebekazoo also has several apps you're interested in (e-readers plus other goodies) at his site.

You'll need an app to install all the other apps you want. AppsInsaller.apk is what you need. Once you have AppsInsaller.apk, copy it on to the root level of your SD Card, open your web browser on your PDN and type the following in the browser's URL box. file:///sdcard/AppsInsaller.apk [UPDATE: The file I sent you to is called: Apps_Installer_0.2.1.apk when you download it. I forgot I renamed it when I installed it on my system. Either rename it to AppsInstaller.apk (or something similar) before you try to install it OR when you do the browser install type file:///sdcard/Apps_Installer_0.2.1.apk. Just be sure to type the file name exactly as it appears on the SDCard - which the PDN always calls "sdcard" AGAIN: file:///sdcard/Name_Of_Your_File.apk /UPDATE ] Note the three "///'s" If your SD Card isn't named "sdcard" don't worry, just type exactly what you see above because that's what the PDN recognized in that slot. If/when it sends you to a settings screen, check the "allow 3rd party" box then try again.

Next time you open PandaHome it should be in your app tray which you can now use to install any other app you put on your SD Card. OR (Although not as much fun - but far easier even though it re-does your volume key hack and Home Screen replacement work you already did...) Install one of the pre-installed modified Firmware updates. With Market Access and Google Experience preinstalled. OR Without Market Access or GE, but lots of useful apps already in there, and it includes the notification bar fix which removes a minor irritant/quirk of not being able to access the top bar unless you cancel a power-down after holding the power switch for a couple of seconds. ///Install the Smart Bar app and you can put a soft Home Button there plus other goodies. You can learn more about what's in the Google Experience here.

Read up on the stuff, the quirks and benefits of how you want to go forward. If you don't want any hassles, want the latest upgrades and support for software you install, Market Access is what you want. If you don't mind hunting around, (there's a lot of freeware available and of course there's pirated/cracked software to be had) you don't need the Market. I went the Market route, which still leaves the me the option of hunting for all the free stuff too. (There's a ton of free apps at the Market as well, and don't forget that you can see more stuff in Landscape mode in the Market than Portrait -- which doesn't let you scroll). I'm not exactly thrilled with the Google Experience and it will make your WiFi flaky until the Dev's (like HaTaX and clockworx) work out the bugs, But having the Market is the only way you can get some of the premium stuff, like the Works package, DocsToGo.Good Luck. Hope this helps and that you enjoy your PDN as much as I do.

Edited 3/24/11 (format fixes) Please report any broken links or additional mistakes. Thanks, -MrsB
 
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Bumped, cuz Roebeet just put together a new package installation based on the 8/20 firmware release.

This may be his last version as he's going to make the move to 2.1 (or even 2.2) since it looks like the devs are very close to finishing pre-Alpha - and they just got some help from one of the original graphics accelerator developers.

For my money, it's also the best version to date since it includes the notification bar and WiFi sleep hacks.

Blazingwolf has also mod'd the 8/20 FW, only so slightly. You have to do the button hack and Google Experience (or other home page hack like Meth originally did) plus anything else like WiFi and Notification Bar yourself. BUT it leaves your UserData alone.
 

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Great work, Mark! Sure you can edit and upgrade your manual as the development develops rapidly, lol.Couple of things might need some clarifications: newbies continue to ask where are instructions/HOWTO for rooting the device. Another one is my PITA: no matter what the FW iteration I have, the upgrade from the external SD card fails 3 times out of 4 because of falsely determined SD card as blank or damaged at the boot time, if that SD card is 1 GB or more. And I believe it was not only me with this quirk. What is missing here is an app (written by our Dev's) called something like "PDN Flash, or Updater" consisting of a simple script, downloader of ROM, fuse as installer, and reboot. Or whatever, only without manipulations of buttons -- which won't stand that much wear very soon. So we can be just like Samsung Spika phone owners.
 

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Roebeet's mod gives you root access, so any apps they try to put on the thing that needs it will have it if they go that route.

I think the larger SD Cards are a problem too, at least the cheap ones (and why buy retail?) I saw a Twitter friend laughing when he found a half gig SD the other day and told him to keep it safe as he might need it one day.

With your "Updater," the real problem is the infernal lack of source code ... or the fact that PDN thinks it's selling a competitively priced eReader when we all know it's the cheapest Android tablet on the planet. If we had source, upgrading/modifications would be as simple as flipping buttons and there'd be eighty different mods out there already.

But where would the fun be in that?
 

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I'm working on getting us wiki space, then this should go there. Stay tuned.
 

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I will tell you where's the fun lies. As soon as our Dev's compile a true Android 2.1-2.2 ROM for PDN of their own, nobody would need a buggy native PDN code that can't handle Calendar, or orientations, or any video, or even its own ebook stores. Then the fun begins. I'm proud to tell that I incited some interest in HWgeek to bring in a mic HW hack (skype and Google Voice, and overall voice commands) to PDN. Next will be USB host, Bluetooth, Web and still cameras, 3G radio and SIM card, GPS, IR transmitter, true accelerometer, Pixel Qi upgrade kit. PDNs will disappear from the shelves of all Bad Bath & Beyond the Toilet and Kohl outlets very soon, even black one (which I believe has something short-circuited to prevent rooting) so you'd better get yourself some more of these devices. At around ~$100, and with these developments, it looks like a HUGE bang for a buck.Sure, the developments look like lightning fast now, but they better show some good fruit before November 26 -- a date of Google/Verizon/possibly Motorola or Tosh will release their 10,2" Tegra 2 tablet, and I'm absolutely sold on what it can do -- for the price between $0 and ~$400 depending on the contract. But I will never forget my sick little puppy PDN -- at least because I made it look much better by hacking better fonts into it (fineoils.blogspot.com), so it will become and remain the best eReader out there, a true Kindle killer, reading me books in dozen languages by the nicest and naturalest sounding voices.
 

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Don't take this wrong, but your ambition seems to exceed your talent, and you're writing checks you can't cash. Aside from the fact that major hardware mods are a curiosity, not a stable option, and it's not even entirely clear this thing can run 2.2, we all understand there is better hardware out NOW and that this hardware will be obsolete before too long. The devs are doing great work, why not leave the bar-setting to them? Why not focus on the near future, rather than pipe-dreams? 0-$400 is quite a range... I prefer the low end of that, personally.
 

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Mark Adams said:
Got the Wiki Burnin for the Noobs. Pandigital Novel - Wiki
By the power vested in me by the state of confusion, I name you the PDN wikimod. Live long enough to make my life easy and prosper.
 

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I need help. I downloaded the zip file and transferred it to my sd card. I shut off my PD, put in the card, held the power and vol+ for 5 seconds like I was told. And there is nothing happening with my device. No update or anything. Its just showing an exclamation point inside a triangle right above the android. Please help!!!
 

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Use a paperclip in the reset hole. You did not extract the zip, did you? Where did you get the zip? What mod are you trying to install? It could be the file, a bad card...

Sent from my Hacked PDN TriCorder via Tapatalk
 

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Mark, if a thread is outdated, feel free to close it.
 

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