If you give a Kindle a cookie…

Here’s a little trouble-shooting thing I just ran into today.

I’d sent a .pdf file for conversion to my Kindle 2‘s free account.  I do that a lot: I teach classes, and I like to put the curricula on my K2.  For one thing, I can have my Kindle read it to me in the car on the way to the class, just to refresh my memory if I haven’t taught it in awhile.

Yesterday, I had a class.  I shot the file out to Amazon, like I usually do, and (again, as usual), I got the conversion back in a minute or so.

When you send it to the free e-mail address for your Kindle, you get an e-mail back in your regular e-mail with a link.  When you click on that link, it normally asks you where you want to save it.

Instead of doing that, it took me to a log-in screen, like you would see when you went to log into your account. 

It was a little weird, because it already thought I was logged into my account.  I could tell, because it was saying, “Hello, Bufo…” at the top of the screen.

My e-mail address was already entered, so I entered my password.  I got a typical Windows message box (telling me it was taking me in or out of a secure zone), and then put up the sign-in screen again.  It did not tell me that the credentials were wrong.

I entered it again…no luck.

I had to head off to the class, so I let it go.

Today, I was trying to download a file to my computer from my Manage Your Kindle page…and I got the same thing.

So, I contacted Amazon…I had them call me.  You can do that, too…start here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/kindle-help.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200316870&type=email&skip=true#csTop .

They called me within a minute: that’s pretty typical as well.

The helpful agent tried logging into my account (didn’t need my password, by the way), and didn’t have a problem.

I realized then that it was probably in my cookies.   I suggested that to the agent, and I cleared out my cookies (and files and history, while I was there). 

Everything was fine after that.

What’s a cookie?

It’s a small snack made of dough and cooked on a…no, wait a minute, that’s not right.  ;)

Have you ever noticed that when you go to some websites (like Amazon), it already knows who you are?  It might call you by name, and show you recommendations.  How does it do that?

Well, in the future it might happen through some kind of facial recognition, but right now, it’s much simpler.  You’ve been to the website before.  When you went there, the website put a small file on your computer.  That file identifies you to the website when you go back.  It can do quite a bit more than that, but that’s the main purpose.

Sometimes, the cookies can cause you a problem.  It acts as though it’s remembering a failed time you got there, instead of a successful time, and you can’t get back in.  It’s a little bit like you having a bad passport.  They won’t even ask you who you are if your passport is no good.

So, the trick is to get rid of the cookie, and start over.  That way, it will give you a chance to tell it who you are again.

With Internet Explorer,  you can usually do it in Tools-Internet Options-Delete Cookies (although it may look a bit different in different versions).  Other browsers have something similar.

Now, recognize that if you delete the cookies that way, you are going to delete all your cookies.  You may have to log back into sites that had been using your cookie as your credentials.

Does your Kindle have cookies?

Yes!  When you are in “browser mode” on your Kindle (you can get there by doing Home-Menu-Experimental-Basic Web), hit Menu-Settings.  If you are having trouble getting into a website, try clearing your cookies and your cache.  The cache is a stored version of websites…it makes them load more quickly, but again, I’ve found it may cause you difficulties.

So, if you are having trouble getting Kindle files to your computer, delete those files…after all, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.  ;)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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