Orac’s coming out party

Orac’s coming out party

I recently wrote about Amazon sending me a replacement Kindle (Orac) when my current K3 (Drake) had been knocked out of my hand accidentally and developed some keyboard issues.

After I called them, the keyboard issues went away spontaneously.

I was a bit torn about what to do.  I asked my readers for advice, and I appreciate all of the responses I got.  The poll was about two-thirds in favor of keeping Orac (the new one), and about one-third in favor of keeping Drake.

I don’t know the motivations exactly of the votes, of course, but my sense is that the keep Drake crowd was more…sentimental and the keep Orac crowd thought that it would be looking a gift horse in the mouth to send back the new one.  Broad generalizations, of course…maybe that’s more how I felt about it.  🙂

One person specifically said it was “annoying” that I was anthropomorphizing Drake.  I don’t mind that being said at all, but that’s one of the things I like best about myself.  I use my imagination, and I can get fun out of a lot of things where many other people don’t.  I always say, it’s one of the best things about being a geek: “low threshold of amusement”.  😉  I like enthusiasm, and I like engagement…as long as it isn’t obsessive or interfering with other things.  I was corporatized years ago, and I can be very practical.  However, I like my emotional side, and I like that I get attached to things. 

I’d say that one of the comments that swayed me the most was that Amazon might be able to learn something by looking at Drake that would help other people.  That’s almost always going to be a motivator for me.

The other thing is that I’m going to be teaching a class away from the house for several days, and I certainly didn’t want Drake to relapse during that period.

So, I took Orac out of the box. 

The transition was easy, and that’s part of why I’m writing this post.  I know I’ve written before about moving things from an old Kindle to a new one, but I really have it down now.  🙂

In this case, both Kindle were still working, which makes it much easier.

First, I made sure I was on the Homescreen on Drake.  Then I did a Sync and Check.  That was to get my “last read” information and my annotations to the Amazon server.

Next, I backed Drake up to a computer.  That included all the folders: Documents, Music, Audible, Pictures, and so on.  It only took a couple of minutes.  I do that regularly.  It’s also worth noting that I make folders on my Kindle (inside the Documents folder) for things like Personal and Samples.  Those folders don’t show on the Kindle’s Homescreen, but they make it super-easy to do the transfers later.  I made sure I had the files in the right folders for that so I could know which ones to put on Orac.  I wasn’t going to transfer the Kindle store books from Drake to Orac.  Those files are “keyed” for an individual device…the ones I downloaded for Drake wouldn’t open on Orac.

The next step was to get Orac on my home wi-fi (I needed the password for that).  I made sure Orac was fully registered.

Then I downloaded my Kindle store books that were on Drake on to Orac.  You need to do that before you import the Collections to get the books in the same places.

Next, I copied files from the computer to Orac.  That included personal documents, music, Old Time Radio shows (they go in the Audible folder), and so on.  The documents thing was easy because of the folders I mentioned above…I moved my Personal folder, my Samples folder, and so on.  Again, those folders have to go in the Kindle’s Documents folder to work.

I did Alt+Z on Orac to get my personal pictures to show up as a book.  This is not for the sleep mode pictures (“screensavers”), by the way.  It’s just so I have the pictures.

The next thing was to import Drake’s Collections by going to the Archived Items on Orac.

Orac did not have the latest update…it came with 3.02 rather than 3.1.  For that reason, and also because all of the books I put on there would have to index, I left Orac plugged in overnight with the wireless on.  It was connected to my wi-fi, so I figured it would get the update and install it overnight…and finish the indexing.  It can do all that while it sleeps, by the way.

The next morning, Orac was updated and good to go.  The only thing that was weird, and other people have reported it, is that the power light wasn’t green in the morning.  I have some color vision deficiency, although I can tell the difference.  I don’t know what the other color is, though…yellow?  brown? orange?  Not sure.  When I plugged Orac in again, it turned green. It’s just apparently a faulty indicator rather than a charging problem.

Anyway, that all went well.  I ran Orac through the paces…listened to music, checked my personal documents to see that they were in the right place (they were…I’d copied the mbp and tan files as well as the book files), listened to text-to-speech for more than an hour in the car, played some solitaire.

Everything looks good…knock virtual wood.  😉  Seems to charge okay, and the keys don’t look like they are wearing off.

I used Orac for a day or two.  Then, I did a Factory Reset of Drake before sending it back.  That’s so my personal documents, wi-fi network information, and such aren’t on it.  I fully charged Drake (without having turned on the wireless).  I took Drake to the UPS store, where the label they had e-mailed me paid for the shipping.

I did feel a little bit like an alien or a supervillian doing a mind wipe, though.  I erased Drake’s “personality”.  That’s just that imagination thing, though…my practical side knows that.  😉

I also suspect Drake may go back out as a refurb (once they open it up and check the keyboard), so “he could go to a good home”.  On the other hand, they may be like telling the kids that the terminally ill dog was sent to a farm in Montana.  😉

Thanks again for all the advice!  I know this is more of a personal thing, but I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to help.  🙂

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

8 Responses to “Orac’s coming out party”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    Yellow light/Green light: Many months ago I called support about the issue. Quite a simple explanation came from their wise mouths. The light turns green when Kindle has fully charged, but when we leave wireless on overnight and some power is used it begins to recharge to top off its tank again and this is an ongoing “cycle of life”. If you happen to observe the light during a charge cycle the light will be yellow, if fully charged again it will appear green. One time I watched it switch back and forth a few times … must have been a boring evening in my otherwise exciting life.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      That’s a great explanation of the lights…thanks! It makes sense that it could have been fully charged, then done the update, and needed to be charged again.

  2. Harold Delk Says:

    “It’s also worth noting that I make folders on my Kindle (inside the Documents folder) for things like Personal and Samples. Those folders don’t show on the Kindle’s Homescreen, but they make it super-easy to do the transfers later.”

    Could you expand on this some time in more detail; I’m not sure which files are my personal ones and how to tell one from another. Thanks.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Sure. I put files on my Kindle…they may be books I got from other sources (I bought one from Baen not too long ago), or just documents with work information. I will not have bought them from the Kindle store.

      The sample files are samples I got from the Kindle store. Those do not have DRM (Digital Rights Management) like the book files do…they’ll work on any Kindle.

      Let me know if you need more detail on this.

  3. Shelly Says:

    I have a tendency to inanimate objects too. I think it is because I am an artist. My current Kindles name is Rocka Billy and my first cars name wqas Suzy.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Shelly!

      I think the artist thing makes sense…I’ve pretty much always had some kind of creative outlet, although I don’t paint or sculpt. We also named out toys when we were kids…I’m sure that was encouraged.

      My first car was a Malibu…and it was called the “Calibu” for Calvin Malibu.

  4. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Following your advice, I contacted Amazon again about my fading keyboard on my Kindle 3, and as I’m writing, a replacement is supposed to be on its way to my house. Thank you for encouraging me to try again. I will also follow your advice on preparing the faded Kindle for a return to the mother ship. Who knows. I may end up receiving the newly refurbished “Drake” as its replacement.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady Galaxy!

      That’s great! I really appreciate that you took the time to tell me!

      I’d be really happy if Drake went to a reader…but I don’t think you’d know. 🙂 I reset him to factory defaults, and I don’t think there were any physical signs. The serial number would be the same…but we don’t want to share those…

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