Photographer: William M. Durr III

Well, that didn’t take long. Only two weeks after Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-Book reader hit the shelves, hackers have already posted instructions for converting the machine into an Android tablet PC with a free cellular Internet connection. And while no applications currently exist for the reset reader, that’s sure to change.

The instructions for breaking the Nook first appeared on the wiki nookDevs, and involve physically taking the device apart and reprogramming the microSD card containing the operating system. Since the Nook runs on Google’s open source operating system Android, developing applications for the device shouldn’t be too hard.

However, before you all start cracking your Nooks, a word of caution. Not only does rooting the Nook void the warranty, but it requires a not insignificant familiarity with Linux. So unless you’re comfortable with programing, poking around the Nook could very well just leave you with a broken e-reader without a warranty. Plus, as iPhone users discovered earlier in the year, cracking these devices can often leave them more vulnerable to security breeches.

[nookDevs, via The Register]