BY NORBERT RUG
“Honey, My Kindle is broken,” she said. With urgency she would have used if the house was on fire. This was at 6:00 A.M. on a Saturday, a day that I usually get to lounge in bed a little longer. My eyes were barely open.
Her Kindle was not booting up. I told her I would look at it later when I was awake and rolled over to go back to sleep. Fat chance. She said “I can’t turn it off. All it does is show me that it is loading.” So I grudgingly sat up, put my glasses on and looked at it. She was right, that little loading circle was going around and around, not doing anything but making me dizzy. I tried shutting it off to no avail.
She was having a panic attack because she had no books to read, no Facebook and no instant messaging. How was she going to survive? She said maybe she needed to go to the library to get some books. But unfortunately, the library is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s going to be a very long weekend.
She said that when I get up I should look at the website I had visited months ago to fix this Kindle the last time. I’ve looked at hundreds of websites since then but sure, I remember which website that was. I knew I wasn’t going to get any rest until I fixed the problem.
So I got up, got dressed, skipped breakfast and went on the internet to try find out how to troubleshoot a Kindle Fire. Only about 470,000 websites showed up. This is getting better and better.
They all had different suggestions, all of them guaranteed to work. But after much pressing this, sliding that or swiping something else that the sites said would definitely fix the problem, I had only managed to turn it off and on several times just to see that annoying circle taunting me, time and time again. It looks like I might be missing lunch also.
I must point out that my wife paces when she gets stressed, and every time she passed me she would ask “How are you doing?” thus destroying my train of thought.
Four hours later, I finally reached a site on my computer that asked for her password. I asked her what it was and she answered “I don’t remember it. You set it up.” My stress meter went through the roof at this point. She looked around and found four scraps of paper with multiple passwords on them, none of which were for her Kindle. It was at this point that the Kindle almost met the wall.
Continued searching revealed a 24/7/365, Amazon, tech support, website. Maybe they could help me. So I went on it and started a chat with “Carl”. He ran me through all the things I had done for the last 4 hours and said it was rather peculiar. He said he would have to put me on hold while he went and checked with someone else.
Meanwhile Donna was asking me about the hundreds of books I had gotten her, her pictures, her Facebook and her instant messaging accounts among other things. When I answered that first off, just let me see if we can get her Kindle working, she disappeared. She then returned to ask if I thought we should just go out to buy a new Kindle soon because the stores would be closing shortly. ARGAAH.
When Carl returned he asked me if I had tried the factory reset yet. I told him I didn’t know because I didn’t know what he was talking about. He told me it was very easy. I asked him about the accounts, pictures, and books and he answered the books would still be downloadable from “the cloud”.
What this cloud was and where it was I didn’t know because it was fairly sunny out at this time. He said the pictures and accounts would “probably” be lost. This is tech support talk for “kiss them goodbye.” He said we would just have to log on to Facebook to get back to her account.
We then went through what seemed like an hour of jumping through hoops with the Kindle until eureka! It started again. Of course, everything was missing. I managed to find the cloud that was holding her books hostage and had to download them all, one by one. So far so good.
Off to Facebook. She has 2 accounts there because she had forgotten her password when her first Kindle crashed so I had to start her a new one. I went to log on to the one she was currently using and I asked her for her password. She again presented me with those same four scraps of paper with passwords scribbled on them again. I might have as well have been using the menu from McDonald’s because none of these passwords worked there either.
So we had to set her up with her third Facebook account, notified all her contacts and download the IM APP. Eight hours after I started, my head hurts and my eyes are blurry. I was ready for bed. I still wasn’t finished but I called it quits for the day. We did eventually get her all set up.
Two weeks later she woke me up at 5:30 and said she could not get out of her “Alexa” APP, the voice application that is like “Cortana” and “Google Voice”. Here we go again…
Norb is an independent journalist from Lockport.