Since early 2011 I have owned a Barnes & Noble Nook Color e-book reader, which I “rooted” so that I can use it as a full Google Android tablet, albeit one operating under a modified version of the Android Froyo operating system called “ManualNooter.”
Actually, I have two of these devices…but one is for experimentation, which means it is usually running – or rather not running – a nearly completely unusable version of the Honeycomb or Cyanogen(Mod) versions of the Android OS.
The advantages and limitations of hacked hardware aside, my interest in this tablet has recently turned to the creative possibilities it opens up. I’ve painstakingly assembled a relatively reliable set of interesting drawing/image editing apps, an adequate CAD program, and even a resolutely-primitive 3D application. Most of these things are free, or cost less than a latte at my favorite coffee shop.
The interesting thing about art and design created on this platform is how different it is from what I normally make as an architect or artist, either on a PC or by hand. I’ve been trying to treat the limitations of dodgy software, a 7-inch touch-screen, and an under-powered processor as a set of opportunities for working differently (as opposed to restrictions). There is no precision possible under the circumstances…in many respects, these images are tantamount to digital finger-paintings.
The medium lends itself to iteration: these images and variations on them may be found in this web album.