Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Death Of My 2nd Gen Kindle - Goodbye Friend

3 years ago, almost to the day, I opened a Christmas present from my parents.  Unwrapping the paper slowly, I found an already opened cardboard box, in which a Kindle had not only been present, but already fully charged and awaiting use.  I quickly named the device (Eric's Lil Buddy) and browsed the seemingly infinite titles available to me.  Ironically enough, my brother (who was 32 at the time) was equally pleased with his present, as he received a playstation.. what can I say, we're kids at heart. 

Over the past 36 months, my kindle has become quite a companion of mine.  No longer lugging around the large books I was attempting to read, nor did I have to wait til it was convenient to go to a bookstore and browse several titles before settling on one, I thoroughly enjoyed researching and purchasing a book, at a discount nonetheless since the book was in digital format.  The kindle was so easy to use, my mom eventually bought one too, the first technical device she has used consistently since a typewriter (Im not joking). 

Fast forward to present day 2013, I had spent the previous few days spending way too much time on playing games and drinking beer I received for Christmas, and to be honest, I had trouble focusing on work when I got back into the office.  Knowing I needed to settle my brain down some, I thought some good, wholesome reading was in order, as I was about 50% through my current book Predictibly Irrational.

Alas, I turned on the device, but the screen was not functioning properly.  The right half of the screen failed to refresh or change, and the left half of the screen was showing what was intended to be in the right half.. so the left most portion of the screen just wouldn't appear anywhere.  On a whim, I decided to hold the power button for an extended period of time, to see if a hard-reset would change the appearance at all, but to no avail.  What I found so upsetting was that my device was working just fine up until, well.. now.  I hadn't dropped it, scuffed it, scraped it or even yelled at it.  The device was in very good condition, except for normal wear and tear, and now.. poof!

Now, I know my device is 3 years old, but it stopped working, and frankly.. I was pretty upset.  I did want to upgrade to a newer version sometime soon.. the PaperWhite's look very cool.. but I had plans to make Eric's Lil Buddy my Kindle backup... maybe hand-it-down to my wife, and on the pretty good chance she fail to not even turn the bloody thing on, add it to Eric's personal tech hall-of-fame (my closet, where all things techie that Im too much of a nerd to throw away go). Not knowing what else to do, I hopped onto and skedaddled on over to the Live Chat support.  I would have settled on sending an email, but they were willing and able to chat now, and so was I.

I typed in my reason for chatting, which was along the lines of "My 2nd Gen Kindle has stopped displaying content, the left half of the screen is normal, but the right half is frozen.  Help me Amazon support, youre my only hope!" - hoping that the tech on the other side of the Interwebz would appreciate a little nerd humor and send me some free swag to sop up my tears.  Gian (the Amazon tech) had me perform some resets, recharges, and ultimately some mouth-to-mouth (ok, not really, but just about everything short of that).  In the end, Gian told me this thing was toast.

Fortunately, Amazon support is rock-star awesome.  They offered me the ability to send in my newly bricked Kindle for a refurb Kindle Touch, with 15-30 bucks off the price.. depending on which model I chose.  I told Gian that I respect the offer to replace my reading companion, but I really don't want to settle for a Touch, when I really wanted to upgrade to a PaperWhite.  As such, they offered me $30 off a purchase of a PaperWhite, which I gladly accepted.  In part because, to be honest, I didn't think they really had to do much for me.  After all, I had the thing 3 years, and they really didn't know if the device had been abused or not, but instead they were good enough to give me something towards my troubles.

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