Update on our Kindles

Update on our Kindles

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.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about it, and I wanted to update you on that one…and on my replacement Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only.

I contacted Kindle Support


on Tuesday (two days ago).

That was about my Kindle Touch. I’m used to listening to text-to-speech (TTS) for hours a week in the car. Yes, I’ve been listening to an audiobook (that’s a recording by an actor/author, as opposed to the on-the-fly, software-generated text-to-speech) on my Fire…but I don’t like that as well. The problem was that my first Kindle Touch wouldn’t work with a 3.5mm audio plug, the way it was supposed to work. I tried more than one, but I was most concerned about my Coby CA-745 Wireless FM Car Transmitter. That’s what runs my Kindle through the sound system in my car.

It’s always worked for me, but the plug just didn’t seem to go in far enough. A Kindle isn’t loud enough for me when driving without that.

I got a rep with what I would presume was an Indian accent. I see a lot of…disrespectful remarks about that in the community. This rep was great! The rep got a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Touch while we were on the phone, to test it out…for that person, the plug seemed to work in both. No matter: I was given a replacement, and a pre-paid shipping label was e-mailedl to me.

Two days later, I have the replacement, and I’ve tested it. It works with by Coby! That’s going to make my drives a lot nicer…look out, Katniss, you aren’t safe from me when I’m in the car! 🙂 Yep, among other things, I’m reading The Hunger Games.

So, that’s gone fine.

Oh, and I think some of you will wonder…the new Touch is named “Roen” (pronounced “Ren” or “Wren”). The one that’s going back was Curie, and those are both because of the X-Ray feature. I learned the name of the discover of X-Rays as “Wilhelm Roentgen”. It turns out that’s was just an easier way to writeh Wilhelm Röntgen. I don’t know if the Kindle’s name could have had that ö, so I went with Roen.

Now, in terms of the Fire…

I bought a new one on Tuesday. I figured that if the other one comes back, my Significant Other really wants one anyway. I was missing owning one…and it was making answering some questions more complicated. One of the weird things: I couldn’t tell if an app was available for the Kindle Fire or not. If you don’t have one registered, the product page in the Amazon Appstore doesn’t say.

I also really missed the Pulse app, which I use to keep up on Kindle news, amont other things.

However, I still did (and do) hold out hope that the other one will come back.

I’d been waiting for somebody who could review the security footage of where I left the Kindle to be in the office.

I did get to talk to that person today…and yes, they can see somebody take the Kindle Fire! However, that person is not an employee, so they can’t identify them. They suggested I make a police report, and I did. That was interesting: the officer was nice and seemed genuinely interested. The officer didn’t really know what a Kindle Fire was…I described it as a “tablet computer” and explained it. Kindle Support had sent me the serial number. That was helpful…the officer explained that it would allow them to check a device during, say, a parole check. That hadn’t occurred to me.

Are we going to get that one back?

Hard to say…it’s not worth much the way it is. It’s possible somebody will dump it instead of getting caught with it.

The new Fire also arrived today. I’m amazed at how easy they are to set up. I just needed my wi-fi password and i was off to the races. There have been a few things that were…a bit of a challenge.

First, there was downloading the apps…that took a while.

Second, it won’t let me download a TV episode I bought…The Girl Who Waited, a Doctor Who episode. I do think that’s a great TV episode, by the way. I recommend it.

Why not?

It’s downloaded on Wheeler, the missing Fire. It’s only letting me have it on one device at a time. I can probably call Amazon and have them release the license…I’m going to wait a bit on that, though.

It also didn’t know where I was in my audiobook from Audible. No surprise there…I had listened to it in the car, and hadn’t been in wi-fi range since.

The new Fire’s name? Coventry. That one is a bit obscure…the Coventry Rotary was a very popular 19th Century tricycle (used by adults as transportation…not a kid’s toy). My first Fire was Wheeler, named after the fire-manipulating character in Captain Planet. That one had a scratched screen, so it was replaced by Schwinn (a “two-wheeler”). This is the “third Wheeler”…

I’ve also gotten a different Fire case and a Touch case…I’ll wait until I’ve been using those for a few days to write about them.

So, there you go…for those of you who wondered. 😉

Since that didn’t tell you a whole lot, I thought I’d throw in some

Random Tips

  • Kindle Touch: you can “pinch and spread” when you are reading a book to increase the text size: put your fingers together in the middle of the screen and keeping the in contact with the screen, spread them out
  • You can see to which address you sent a Kindle book gift (and resend it) by going to Your Account from any Amazon page and choosing View Your Digital Orders
  • Baen (a great source of legal free under copyright science fiction books) has made some significant changes. You’ll need to change your authorized e-mail address, for example. For more information, see http://www.baenebooks.com/t-ereaderinstructions.aspx#kindle
  • Mindle (that’s what I call the $79/$109 model): you can write a book review while you are reading the book: Menu-Book Description, next page after it connects wirelessly to the product page)
  • The most useful Kindle utility site on the web, http://www.ereaderiq.com/, has recently added new features. The free books now filter out erotica by default (but you can change), you can now choose genres to view for the free books, and you now different ways to view the listings

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

17 Responses to “Update on our Kindles”

  1. Roger Knights Says:

    I’d been waiting for somebody who could review the security footage of where I left the Kindle to be in the office.

    I did get to talk to that person today…and yes, they can see somebody take the Kindle Fire! However, that person is not an employee, so they can’t identify them. They suggested I make a police report, and I did.

    In a recent case I read about online, a videocam captured a store-customer swiping the wallet another customer had dropped. The police got the local TV station to broadcast the footage and ask viewers if they recognized the culprit. Someone did, and he confessed.

    Maybe you could get the hospital to post stills from the video in the lobby, etc., along with a caption asking, Do You Recognize This Man?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Roger!

      While putting up posters might be effective, I wouldn’t want it to be done for a couple of main reasons:

      * The person (and there’s no reason to presume gender, by the way…or age…they could have seen a child pick it up, for example) may not be guilty of anything, and this would certainly make it appear that way to many people. It could be that the person picked it up intending to turn it in…and then that person was robbed…and perhaps, incapacitated (preventing reporting to the police). I know that seems unlikely, but I’m not looking to “catch a bad guy”. I’d like to get the Kindle Fire back, certainly, but I’m not particularly interested in punishment. I know an argument could be made that not prosecuting a thief increases the chances of additional thefts for other people (who perhaps can’t afford to replace a Kindle Fire as readily as I can)…but making an innocent person look guilty is worse to me personally

      * It could create a negative and fearful experience for people going to the facility. To me, this is very different from someone committing violent attacks, which could justify warning people. I foolishly left a valuable item in a public place. What I did was way below the threshold of normal responsible behavior…most people aren’t at risk in this situation. Many people are already fearful going to the doctor…they look for any excuse not to go. Increasing that fear could really hurt people…that’s more important to me than catching the person

      That’s just how I feel about it…I”m not saying it’s “right”. If the police find it in a parole check, and they get it back and the person says they found it (which is possible…somebody could take it, find out they can’t register it, and dump it), I’m fine with that.

      • Roger Knights Says:

        OK, then how about asking security to privately circulate a still photo print-out among the staff of the hospital and asking if anyone recognizes the person as their patient? That, in conjunction with the time and date (printed on the hand-out), which could be matched to a suspect’s appointment-time, would probably turn up the likely culprit.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Roger!

        I’d be a lot more comfortable with that. HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) might prevent the clinicians from sharing that information with Security, although I presume it would be okay for them to share with the police. You’d be surprised how much HIPAA affects things…people are always aware of it (the fines are big, for one thing).

  2. R. Mansfield Says:

    Bufo, sorry to hear about your stolen Fire.

    By the way, you don’t have to call Amazon to have them “release the license.” You can simply go into to the “Manage My Kindle” settings on Amazon and deregister the old device yourself.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, R.!

      While that might seem logical, that’s not the case. My old Kindle Fire is deregistered…and is still using up a license. If you remove something from a device and sync with Amazon, that’s enough to release a license. It used to be thought that you had to do and deregister it, but then Amazon confirmed that the device did not have to be deregistered, which made it much easier.

      It could be different with a Fire than with an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle…anything but a Fire, at this point), since some content is deleted when a device is deregistered. In this case, though, it’s not working that way for me with the video.

      “Releasing the license” is basically the right terminology for what I want to do. The concern is the number of simuultaneous device licenses, not the device itself. You are correct that you can deregister one yourself. However, if it is lost or stolen, you should call Amazon so they can “blacklist” it as well. That prevents someone else from registering it (which increases the chances you’ll get it back)…simply self-deregistering does not.

      Thanks for the suggestion, though!

  3. Laura Says:

    Thanks for the report, Bufo, and sorry for your problems! We all make slip-ups from time to time!

    I got my husband a Fire for Christmas, which has been fun, though we are fairly slow to explore its possibilities, so we are still on the learning curve. Neither of us could seem to “click” on Google links for example — the screen was just not responsive at all. But then I figured out that enlarging the font made it much easier. Still have trouble with some links, but it’s much better. Just a tip that might help someone else.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Laura!

      Hey, I feel like I’m still on a learning curve tying my shoes! 🙂 The more curious you are, the more you know you are never done learning.

      I’ve always said, “The more you know, the more you know there is to know.” 😉

      I’ve always loved the response of Yul Brynner when he was asked what he would like his tombstone to say. As I recall, he said, “I would like it to say, ‘I have arrived,’ because when you believe you’ve arrived, you’re dead.”

  4. Kathie Says:

    So sorry you lost your Fire, that happend to us with a Blackberry and it’s very disturbing. I wonder what would be the best way to mark a Kindle with return options…. “Return to” or “Call xxx-xxxx-xxxx” if found” Any ideas on a sticker that would really stick without a messy residue?

    Someone may have picked it up and now feel sorry but not know how to return.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kathie!

      What I strongly recommend (but had not done in this case…I have before) is a recovery services sticker. I’ve used


      but there are other companies.

      I would not suggest putting your phone number on your Kindle…that’s one of the main reasons people steal electronics, as a way to get personal information.

      When you use a recovery services company, no personal information is exchanged between you and a finder.

      In this case, it was in a medical center…I think it would have been obvious to most people to turn it into somebody. It’s a little bit like being in an airport. 🙂

  5. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I had gotten an email from Baen a couple of days ago alerting me to the web site name changes. It also mentioned the ability to email books bought from them to a kindle’s personal document service. I hadn’t realized Baen let you do that — I had been sideloading all my Baen purchases. Is this new? It’s possible that it just passed me by in the past because on my non-wifi KDX I would have had to pay the $0.15/mb fee.

    Anyhow emailing a Baen book to my KF or KT is much more convenient than sideloading — I hope all non-Amazon ebook purveyors offer this capability.

    I had been playing around with trying to change which device on a multi-device account is the default 1-touch delivery target when you buy a kindle book from Amazon. It seems there’s no explicit method to do this. The store looks at the list of kindle devices on the account sorted alphabetically by device name, and sends it to the first name on the list. If you want to change the default, you have to change the device’s name so it’s first on the list. I tried this out, and it works. However, it appeared that the fire is not treated as a kindle — it’s always listed down a ways with the reader apps like “kindle for PC”. So it appeared to me that if your account has at least 1 non-fire kindle on the account (in addition to the Kfire), there’s no way to make your Kfire the default delivery for 1-touch ebook purchases.

    Am I wrong? Is there some other way than sorting names to control default delivery device?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Baen has had that delivery service for some time…it’s easy to miss something like that because, as you say, there may have been a reason to reject (the fees) in one circumstance…and not recheck it when that circumstance changes.

      You are right that the default device for licensing is determined alphabetically, with Kindles coming before apps. It’s very interesting to me (which I hadn’t noticed) that the Kindle Fire is treated as an app, not a device. I feel tht reaffirms my feeling that the device perhaps shouldn’t have been called a “Kindle” (but instead, “Kindle Powered”)…Amazon itself isn’t treating it as one, but as a device with a Kindle app on it. Thanks for pointing that out! I hadn’t noticed it because I pretty much just send everything to my Cloud Reader (unless I’m getting something specifically for my Significant Other).

      Allowing selection of the default delivery device seems like an easy thing for Amazon to do, but it hasn’t happened yet, to my knowledge.

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        I had posted elsewhere, that to me, the Kindle Fire is a “kindle” in name only. Other than some confusions this causes, I find this to be mostly a good thing — as the KF can do so much more than a garden variety kindle. It is really much more like a pc than an ebook reader (or even a content consumption device).

        When you look at your devices from your Amazon account web pages, this is readily apparent (as you noted in your reply).

        If you search for an app on the main Amazon webstore (from your pc — not from your kindle device), I see now over on the right under the purchase button, there is a list of compatible devices. I was recently looking for ways to put Amazon Cloud Drive stuff (other than music) on my KF (no good solution as yet) when I came across a recommendation for an app, Splashtop, which lets you use your KF as a virtual desktop controller of any “paired” pc. I went to the Amazon webstore, did a search on “splashtop”, it came up with a normal Amazon product page, and a notation under the purchase button that it was compatible with my Android phone, and my kindle fire — that’s actually pretty neat.

        BTW I haven’t bought Splashtop, but it looks really intriguing. I could use it to turn my KF into a replacement for my laptop’s keyboard and mouse. I could sit in my bed with my KF on my lap, and run the laptop in my office. Gee, I wouldn’t even have to get out of bed in order to go to work :D.

        If I was out and about with my KF, and had access to a wifi network somewhere, and I needed something from one of my computers back at the ranch, splashtop would let me get it! Apparently, you can even do a ctrl-alt-del with it.

        It come with a “streamer” app which you can place on the paired pc, and then from wherever you have a wifi connection, you can stream music or videos from files on the paired pc to your KF or android phone!

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Edward!

        I have maintained even before the release of the Fire that it would have been better not to name an Amazon Android tablet a “Kindle”.

        For my sake, that’s partially because of confusion. I’ve seen people say, “Why is my Kindle Fire hard to read in sunlight? Why would they go backwards like that from my other Kindle?” The answer, of course, is because it’s an entirely different line of hardware. It conI rfuses people.

        I also think it would have been better in the long run marketing-wise, but I could be wrong on that. I feel like Amazon thought short-term: depend on the Kindle name. I think it would have benefited them to expand the idea of Amazon (not Kindle) for hardware, and kept “Kindle” for reflective screen devices. Eventually, will we have a Kindle phone? A Kindle toaster? Kindle golf clubs? I think it will dilute the Kindle name.

        I recently got Splashtop as the Free App of the Day (FAOTD). I’m looking forward to testing it…

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        Can’t wait for those kindle golf clubs — also gthe kindle toaster — hope they both work well in bright sunlight! 😀

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