Round up #62: bad day for our Kindles, acceptgift, KT page numbers

Round up #62: bad day for our Kindles, acceptgift, KT page numbers

Giving a Kindle gift book without e-mail

One nice thing about my life (and there are many): I get to serve as a guinea pig for all of you. ;) I do think that’s nice, actually…since I live the Kindle life, I can share experiences with other people, and sharing that information hopefully helps those others.

A sibling got me the first two books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy for the holidays:

I have been wanting to read these…before the movie comes out on March 23rd of this year. I like books and I like movies. Given a choice, though, I’d rather read the book before I see the movie. Why? I think that books, by the nature of the medium, tend to have more depth than movies and may be more cerebral based versus the emotion/visual based nature of the visual media. A book doesn’t spoil a movie for me…but a movie could reveal a plot point that would “spoil” the book. That may have to do in part with something I’ve written about before, that I generally don’t visualize when I read. I know that’s a problem for some people…when the actors don’t “look like” the characters in the book.

Even though we’ve recently gotten the ability to choose a date when a Kindle book gift is delivered via e-mail, well, it’s hard to be sure I’m not going to see that e-mail before the gift giving occasion. :)

So, my sibling chose a “print” option, and gave me a paper with the gifts printed on it.

It looked similar to the e-mail we get, with that big bow.

When you are e-mailed a Kindle book as a gift, it’s easy…you just click a link, and the book opens on the computer, then you can choose to accept the gift.

I went home and looked at the paper…hm, tapping on it with my finger didn’t do anything. ;) There was a claim code…I went to where we redeem gift certificates in “Your Account” on my computer. That didn’t seem like it would work to me, but I thought I’d try entering the (long, complex) code. Nope.

So, I went to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

The only information I could see there

Getting a Kindle Book gift Amazon help page

was how to redeem it by e-mail.

I asked my sibling to e-mail the thing that they had printed and was going to redeem them that way.

I also checked at

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

where you can see the gifts you’ve sent (under Pending Deliveries)…nope. I didn’t really expect them to be there, but I do want to try what I think other people may try.

Then, I looked more carefully at the print out. There was a URL (Uniform/Universal Resource Locator) there I hadn’t tried:

http://www.amazon.com/acceptgift

There it was!

Yes, I probably should have seen that. :) I would think, though, that it would also explain that on the help pages…

That’s the information that may help you…you don’t have to e-mail a Kindle gift book (even though everybody who has an Amazon account has an e-mail address, I think)…you can give somebody a print-out so they get a physical object.

If you think that made me feel stupid… ;)

Friday, I was working in one of the medical centers. I had my Kindle Fire with me, so I could take notes. That’s one of the main reasons I have it. When I’m walking through a clinic helping people, I can’t carry around a laptop very well. With the Fire, I can just pause for a few seconds and jot a note. It’s a lot easier than on the small screen on my phone.

I sat down for a minute or two before heading out. I was in a chair in the lobby. I read some, and did test out the Free App of the Day (FAOTD) I’d gotten…

Warp Dash

It was definitely something different on the Fire for me…you tilt the device to steer a spaceship kind of thing to avoid obstacles and pick up triangles. It worked, using the Fire’s inclinometer. That’s a different interaction with my Fire, and I like that idea. It’s not free any more, but I did think it was fun.

So…

I had to text somebody, and my phone wasn’t connecting in the building. I also had a bag with me.

I negligently stepped out of the building to get a connection. I realized in less than five minutes that I’d left my Kindle Fire on the seat! I ran back inside, but it was gone.

Yep…I know that doesn’t help my credibility, but I lost my Kindle Fire.:(

I haven’t ordered a replacement yet, but I will today if it doesn’t show up. There are some reasons it might.

First, Friday was the day before a three-day weekend for many people. Somebody might have just turned it in at one of the reception areas and that person might not have called it into Security immediately.

Second, there is security video of that entrance, and they’ll review it probably today (the security staff there knows me, incidentally). Unfortunately, the person who normally reviews the video wasn’t there on Friday at that time. We know very close in time when it happened, and sent them a picture of me as I was dressed (I took it that day), so they can identify me. I’ve also sent them pictures of a Fire and of the Boxwave sleeve it was in.

I’m not too concerned about somebody having gotten it and doing bad things with it, by the way. I was able to call Kindle Customer Service from my Samsung Captivate and have them “blacklist” it. That means it can’t be registered by someone else (but I can register it again if I get it back). Could somebody have bought items on it? Maybe…but they would have had to get to a wi-fi area first. :) I’ll check my charges, but as soon as it was deregistered, it couldn’t do much. I didn’t have confidential information on it (except maybe e-mail…I’m not sure if the local copies of my e-mail could be read when deregistered). I should have had a recovery service sticker on it, but I really didn’t expect to lose this one. I shouldn’t expect to lose any Kindle, of course, so that’s not a good excuse.

I do think there’s a chance it is recovered today. If I don’t hear about it by the end of the work day, I’ll order another one with Prime. My Significant Other loves the Fire, and wants one anyway. Even if the first one shows up later, it probably makes sense for us to have two (I like to have Kindle models as a reference for when you ask questions*…and I did like my Fire. :) I’m expecting to get a second model of Kindle Amazon tablet when it’s released, and my guess is that it is announced soon).

Do you want to know how much my Significant Other loves me? That same day, my SO squished a Kindle Keyboard in a weight machine at the gym…just so I wouldn’t feel so bad about the Fire. ;) It was an accident, but I’m going with the empathy thing (it was our anniversary yesterday). :) Fortunately, I had another Kindle Keyboard (we’d both owned them at the same time), so that transition was easy. I’m reading on my Kindle Touch most of the time anyway.

* I’ve very happy I did my book, Love Your Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet. I did a walk-through of every menu item, and updated it when 6.2.1 came out. So, if I forget where something else, I can just check the book. :)

Kindle Touch and page numbers 

I think there is a bit of a tendency to presume that there are things missing on the Kindle Touch compared to the Kindle Keyboard. That is true on some things…landscape mode, the ability to highlight across pages. A lot of games designed for the Kindle Keyboard don’t work on the Kindle Touch (not surprisingly, given the different interface).

That made it interesting to see this

Amazon Kindle community thread

asking about the lack of page numbers on the Kindle Touch.

The page number thing can be tricky, because not all books have them.

One thing that got me was something from ShirleyKat, who has earned the “Kindle Forum Pro” badge (I don’t have one of those) from Amazon. That means ShirleyKat is a helpful person in the forum…another Kindle owner like me who answers questions.

ShirleyKat is knowledgeable and nice…a great combination. :)

Anyway, SK posted this, reportedly from Amazon Customer Service:

“”I’m sorry,currently the feature to display page numbers is not available on Kindle Touch. “

That was part of the post.

Well, that seemed odd…and I do intuitively believe ShirleyKat’s post is an accurate reproduction

I checked my KT, and posted this:

“I’ve tested this on my Kindle Touch with Water for Elephants.

When I tap the top touch area (so I see the Menu), I get the page number. Prior to that, I see the location and percentage. Oh, and with the menu displayed, the location also shows me total locationsThat does make ShirleyKat’s e-mail a bit odd.Miss Eve, let’s go through a little bit about how the page numbers work, and why they aren’t automatically available for every book.Rather than just making up a page number, Amazon actually maps it to a specific print edition (and they cite which one they used on the book’s Amazon product page). The page numbers can be different in a hardback and a paperback, for example (the pages are different sizes), and can be different with different additional material.

That “map” is a separate file (the publisher doesn’t provide this, I believe, so it isn’t part of the book file) with an extension of APNX (presumably, Amazon Page Numbers “X”). They are apparently still creating these map files…and of course, some books have never had a a paper edition (that’s increasingly true), so they can’t be mapped.

You might have the same book on two different Kindles (same model or not), and not yet gotten the APNX on both. Syncing with Amazon (Home-Menu on any current model except the Fire) can help with that.”

Bottom line: the Kindle Touch does have page numbers. I just find it interesting that: Amazon Customer Service apparently doesn’t know that (even though it is on the device’s Amazon product page; and that people were willing to believe that the Kindle Touch had one more “omission”…
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.
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17 Responses to “Round up #62: bad day for our Kindles, acceptgift, KT page numbers”

  1. Zebras Says:

    We mourn the loss of your Fire and your K Keyboard with you! Our family broke two keyboards within two days of each other in two different states last month, so maybe things are happening in twos now.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      I appreciate that! I hope it’s happening in twos…and not more than that. ;)

  2. Jane Says:

    I think I’m the stupid one. What is a recovery service sticker?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jane!

      That’s not stupid…that’s just not knowing something. :) What I meant by “stupid” was that I knew better, and didn’t do it.

      There are companies that provide recovery services. The one I’ve used is called TrackItBack. You pay a one time fee (about $20) and buy a hard-to-remove sticker that has a toll-free number and an identifying number. When someone calls it, the recovery services company gives them a reward (you can add to it), picks up the Kindle, and returns it to you…with no personal information being exchanged between you and the finder, and no additional fee.

      Full disclosure: TrackItBack gave me some stickers after I wrote a post on them once, but it was afterwards and it has not changed my recommendations.

      http://ilmk.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/what-to-do-if-your-kindle-is-lost-or-stolen/

  3. A Year of Reading My Own Books Blog Says:

    Hi Bufo: so sorry, hope you got it back today. Do Fires allow passcode locks?

    I use locks on all my apple gear, from imac to iphone since my iphone was stolen from my yard. I did get it back using find my iphone, but carefully lock since then.

    On another note, I know you suggest either returning to home or putting to sleep when breaking from a book to more definitely sync place in book. Have you ever suggested putting it to sleep to avoid accidental typing when putting down the kindle?

    I used to have many screen lock problems when I would carry around my kindle without putting it to sleep first. I was hitting keys, typing something like zzzzzzzzyyyyyttttttt, and maybe also the enter key. I always use folding covers. It would lock up, probably searching for the letters.

    Anyway, since I figured out to put it to sleep when I put it down, especially before I carry it, I have not had this problem. It was especially happening before getting on planes where it was put in a bag getting pressed by other items. Kathy

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kathy!

      I checked in with Security: no word yet. Sounded like they still hadn’t reviewed the security footage.

      Yes, you can lock the Fire. I hadn’t. I probably should, but I often need to make a note quickly.

      The main intent of sleeping the Kindle is to prevent just the kind of thing you suggest. An RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) sleeps after ten minutes of inactivity, but I think that’s intended as a safety net, not as the usual method. It’s good that you are sleeping it.

      One other comment: avoid having your Kindle screen pressed by other items. RSKs are clearly sensitive to pressure on the screen. That’s what happened to my Significant Other’s Kindle on Friday.

      I caution people not to put an RSK in a laptop bag/backpack/purse where other things are pressing on it.

  4. Marian Says:

    Bufo,
    it looks like KS is getting worse after you reported they were #1 ;)

    Here is an inquiry I sent:

    Hello. I have Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine subscription. When I read it on my basic Kindle and I access the menu, item “Sync to furthest page read” is grayed out. When I access this magazine on Kindle for iPad app, it does not sync to the furthest page. Sync option is set to enabled on my account, it works for other books, also for personal documents but not for this magazine. Is it an expected behavior ?

    And here is the answer:
    —————–
    To change delivery options for your Kindle subscription content, visit the Manage Your Kindle Subscriptions Settings page (www.amazon.com/manageyourkindlesubscriptions). You’ll see all your subscriptions and can change which registered device or reading app all future editions are sent to. You can also choose to deliver a past issue to one of your devices or to download it via USB, or cancel a subscription from this page.

    Subscriptions are device specific. Subscriptions are unable to be shared between different devices, but you can purchase a subscription for each device on your account. Each device will receive a free 14-day trial period subscription.
    —————

    As you can see they were not even close to what I was asking. This was my second interaction with KS, the first one was asking them to reset furthest page read, that worked.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Marvin!

      Being best doesn’t mean being perfect. ;)

      That’s one of the things I see when somebody says something like, “The Kindle doesn’t have my favorite book for a dime! I’m getting a NOOK,” when, of course, the NOOK isn’t going to have it for a dime, either.

      My guess is that a (software) robot answered your question. It analyzed your question, saw that it was about a magazine on two different Kindle systems, and made a wrong conclusion about your question.

      Let’s say that ninety percent of the time when two Kindle systems are involved with a magazine, that is the question (which wouldn’t surprise me). That ninety percent of people would have gotten the answer to their question (most likely very quickly). Amazon would have been able to use the human customer service person to answer a more complicated question, where it might be harder to satisfy someone. If you followed up (when they sent you a link to click if it didn’t answer your question), they probably would have offered to call you. That’s expensive for Amazon, but I think that “second wave” answer would have satisfied many people.

      That’s how you get to 88%…and not 100%. :)

      To answer your question:

      Yes, that’s expected behavior.

      Periodicals don’t work like books…they don’t sync your position. I can see a few reasons for that:

      * Although you and I both apparently read a magazine from the front to the back, that may not be the normal process. I’m sure many people skip around (reading “juicy” articles or stories first). You wouldn’t want farthest (Amazon says “furthest”, but I think “farthest” would be right here) page read, necessarily, but last page read…which we don’t get (when syncing) on books either (if you read to the end and have it sync, then go to a middle chapter in a book, it still wants to go to the end…as you know in having the reset done)

      * You can have the same e-book on two devices at the same time. In the case of e-magazines, we can’t have them delivered to two devices. We have them delivered to one…and then we can go and get a back issue from the archives on a different device. That’s a very different model, and hypothetically, you aren’t reading the same current issue on two different devices at the same time

      * Some magazines are apps, produced by the publisher. I’m seeing very different behavior in different ones…I like the Wired paper version, but didn’t like the e-version. National Geographic, on the other hand, has a great implementation

      * I’m not sure that the magazine knows where you are overall. I’ve seen a magazine change the appearance of the article title in the Table of Contents after I’ve selected it…but not, I think, after I’ve finished reading it. It may treat each article as a separate thing…this is geeky, but like the difference between a database (where each record is an individual document) and a word processing document (where the whole thing is seen as one piece)

      You aren’t the only person I’ve seen mention this, and I do think it would be nice. I’m guessing it’s not high on the list of future features development, though.

      • Marvin Says:

        Bufo, you are absolutely correct, I did not think how other people might be reading magazines. In that view it makes perfect sense not to keep the furtest page. This is what I love about your blog, getting also other perspective, not just my narrow minded view.
        I too guess the answer was a template from some robot, or preprogrammed human. And yes, they offered to call after I said I was not happy with the answer, but I don’t prefer calls because of my spoken English.

  5. A Year of Reading My Own Books Blog Says:

    Thanks, Bufo, I had not heard that about pressing and will be more careful in future. Kathy

  6. Karen Says:

    Bufo,

    Please give us an update on your Fire. We felt so bad for you. I have mine glued to my body!

    Karen

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      I appreciate the sympathy!

      I bought another one, but it isn’t here until tomorrow. That’s a very short amount of time, but I thought I’d wait until I had it to do an update post. :)

      No word yet from Security…

  7. Roger Knights Says:

    Then, I looked more carefully at the print out. There was a URL (Uniform/Universal Resource Locator) there I hadn’t tried:

    http://www.amazon.com/acceptgift

    There it was!

    Yes, I probably should have seen that ….

    It would help if Amazon used a larger type size on its print-outs (and the code numbers on its gift cards), instead of following in the footsteps of Apple’s hip minimalism.

    (What’s with these minimalistic manuals for the new Kindles, BTW?)

  8. Roger Knights Says:

    ShirleyKat, who has earned the “Kindle Forum Pro” badge (I don’t have one of those) from Amazon.

    It’s probably one of those 90%-right software robots that’s doing the evaluation, which is why it’s missed you.

    But it’s a great idea for Amazon to be awarding these badges. They have great big ideas, but often fall short on the details of the implementation.

  9. Update on our Kindles « I Love My Kindle Says:

    [...] I wrote recently about having foolishly accidentally left my Kindle Fire alone for less than five minutes in a public place (on Friday 12/30), and that it was gone after I ran back. [...]

  10. Steven King (@stevejk) Says:

    The more I learn about the Kindle Touch, the less likely I think I will get one. I am perfectly happy with my K3 (aka Kindle Keyboard). While touchscreen plus unrestricted web browser would be nice, I think I’d rather have an unrestricted web browser than a touchscreen on an e-ink device.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the price of a refurb KT w/ 3G/wifi.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Steven!

      Sure, the only big advantage I see of a Touch over a K3 is X-Ray. I like that, although the device does have other disadvantages (not highlighting across two pages, for example…I love quotations, and that can be a bit awkward).

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