Jun 142011

Yeah, I know… everyone’s probably wondering why I posted a teaser of my Nook on XDA Developers and then leave it at that for so long.  What can I say, I’m a procrastinator and I’m easily distracted into doing other things.  Hell, it took me 2 weekends just to complete the theme itself.  It looks complicated but it’s actually fairly simple.  I’m using ADW EX Launcher with Desktop Visualizer.  If you’ve used Desktop Visualizer before, you’ll know that it allows you to use images as icons on your Android desktop.  What you’ll need to do is create a background that fits the Nook screen and create the icons in a way that they line up.  Here’s some quick instructions on get your Nook Color to look like the PADD of Star Trek fame.

This is what a PADD from Star Trek looks like in 2373

First off, you’ll need a Nook Color from Barnes and Noble that’s been modified to run an aftermarket ROM.  Personally, I’m running Phiremod.  I’m not sure if the stock ROM will allow you to run other launchers or not because I didn’t play with the stock ROM much.  In fact, because I’m in Canada without a US credit card, I can’t get past the initial setup screens so I’m not sure if just rooting the stock ROM will let you run other launchers.

Once you have your Nook hacked, you’ll need to install ADW EX Launcher and Desktop Visualizer.  Desktop Visualizer is free and you can download it from the Android Market.  ADW EX however is not.  I think it may work with the free version but it’s been so long since I’ve used it that I’m not sure what features from EX are missing.  The reason why I’m using ADW and not something else like LauncherPro is because ADW allows you to hide everything and allows you to lock the desktop in place.  Android users will know that if you hold something too long, you’ll drag it somewhere by accident.  Also, what I mean by hide everything is you can hide the status bar as well as the dock.  After installing ADW and Desktop Visualizer, you need to go into ADW Settings and change a number of things


Under UI Settings, Main Dock

Main Dock Style = None
Dock Background = None (Doesn’t really matter since the dock’s turned off anyways)
Desktop Dots = Off  (Mine is grayed out anyways)
Main Dock Size = Whatever
Advanced Settings = Doesn’t matter what’s in there

Under UI Settings, Screen Preferences

Desktop Columns = 9
Desktop Rows = 10
Show Desktop Indicator = unchecked
Home Orientation = Portrait

Nothing needs to be changed in Drawer Settings and under Hidden Dockbar, just uncheck Dockbar

Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for… download the theme here….  Link. Extract the contents to a folder on your SD card

Set “PADD Background.jpg” as your wallpaper.  Make sure that when you’re on the resize screen, you drag the box to the bottom of the image and stretch upwards.  My background image isn’t exactly perfect so if the box is in the wrong place, the theme looks off by a bit.  Apply the background

Create 8 Desktop Visualizer widgets on the desktop.  Two of them should be 3×1 in size and the other five are 2×1

Tap on one of the widgets you just created and you will be greeted with the Desktop Visualizer screen.  Hit Select Icon and select Image File.  From there, select the appropriate image for the button from where you extracted the theme files and hit OK.

Next hit the Select Action button, select Launch Application and select the corresponding application from the list

Make sure the Label field is clear otherwise, you’ll have text on your button.  Now hit OK and your button.

Continue with the other Desktop Visualizer widgets until you’ve done all 8.  After you’ve done all 8, you’ll be almost complete.  All you have to do now is to create the App button and choose your widgets for the two blank areas.

To create your app drawer button, you need to long touch the desktop for the Add to Home screen.  Select Launcher Actions instead of Widgets like you normally would and select Open/Close App Drawer.  Create two of these buttons and move them to the bottom so that they cover up APPS.  Now long touch the button until a menu comes up.  Hit Edit and another screen should come up.  On the left, press the button and hit Select Picture.  Select AppButton.jpg from the theme location and hit OK.  Repeat for the other App Drawer button you created.

By now, your LCARS theme is pretty much complete and you just need to select your widgets for the blank spots.  I personally like to have Beautiful Widgets running in the top spot and a calendar in the bottom but it’s up to you.  If you can, find a widget that has a black background because any other colour really clashes with the Star Trek colour scheme.

Once you’ve selected your widgets, the last thing you want to do is hit the menu button, select More and Lock Desktop.  This prevents things from being moved around.  Also, feel free to edit the buttons, wallpaper whatever.  Grab a copy of Photoshop or GIMP and have at it, you just need to find the LCARS font somewhere on the internet which isn’t to hard to locate.


  11 Responses to “Instructions on how to turn a Barnes and Noble Nook Color into a Star Trek LCARS PADD”

  1. I must apologize for the crappy formatting, the WordPress editor really is shit for formatting. I will also apoligize for the delay in posting this up. I do live in Vancouver and the Canucks are making an amazing run at the Stanley Cup. I do have plans to update this post with pics to clarify my mumbo jumbo. For now, just try to figure out what I’m trying to say… lol

  2. Help please! No matter how I try, I can’t get the background image resized correctly! I don’t know what to do!

  3. Try resizing it as wide as you can and drag the square down to the bottom.

  4. I’m getting the same problem. No matter what, I end up cutting off the button (with the “Apps” label). Going to try editing the picture itself.

  5. I was having trouble getting everything to line up when the solution hit me. I made a transparent GIF (125×125). Then I went back and made new button labels on the original wallpaper and uploaded it to the Nook. I created the buttons exactly as you instructed using Desktop Visualizer but I used the transparent GIF as the button image. Now I have invisible buttons over the top of my already labeled wallpaper. I works perfectly and I can now create any interface I want.

  6. Just wanted to say thanks for this! And thanks to Doc as well. I’m adapting this for my new Galaxy note and your background image and instructions were a perfect starting point. I’ll be using Doc’s idea of a transparent gif and slapping labels on the actual wallpaper to finish this up. Once again, thank you. :-)

  7. Tap on one of the widgets you just created and you will be greeted with the Desktop Visualizer screen. Hit Select Icon and select Image File. From there, select the appropriate image for the button from where you extracted the theme files and hit OK.

  8. I use this as reference whenever I work on my phone – I’ve been testing various things on my LG E400 (Optimus L3) to see how I could PADDify it (personally I’m using a Nemesis-era theme – I use the LCARS47.com colour and interface guide as it works beautifully). From what I’ve tested so far with the newer ADW.Launcher it seems like you should be able to get away with just about all of this tutorial in the free version.

    I’ve found this to work alright, however I recommend Sweeter Home 2 (http://www.sweeterhome.com/ – it’s not on the app store from what I could see). It works with pictures natively, letting you use multiple pictures and stack items over each other with full screen control. It can even customize the homescreen to the extent of even placing the app drawer wherever you want – the only real limit I’ve found so far is the layout and screen amount can’t be changed (it’s 5 screens in a + formation) but that’s not too bad. This is probably the best bet for having a full-on LCARS, the moment they remove the screen limits I’d actually go as far as calling it perfect.

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  10. Oooooooooh! Silly me! Yeah, Desktop Visualizer is pretty cut and dry. The hard part is resizing the pictures but I have a trick for that. For a full horizontal bar (ex: my ‘browser’ widget) you wanna make it 470 x 132. For a small vertical bar (ex: my ‘alarm’ widget) you wanna go with 115 x 266. For a small horizontal bar (ex: my ‘Qik’ widget) you’d use 355 x 132. If you wanna use 2 side by side (ex: Handcent & Phone) make it 235 x 132. And for my 4 vertical widgets that are side by side (1st screen) I used 120 x 286 for each of them. It took a while but I found that system worked for me. Also after saving the pictures to your SD Card, Use the following guide for selecting the right size widget: 4 Vertical Side by Side & Small Vertical – 1 x 2 Small Horizontal – 3 x 1 Full Horizontal – 4 x 1 2 Side by Side – 2 x 1 The best way I found to select the correct widget size is by long pressing on a screen, selecting ‘widgets’ and then selecting the correct ‘desktop visualizer’ widget size. Once you select it, you then choose the image and the shortcut. You can add text to the widget if you don’t have text in the image. Hope this helps! Let me know if you get stumped. And thanks for the comment on my screens BTW.

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