I got a Kindle for Christmas.
Late last night, seven months and three weeks later, I turned it on for the first time.
In yet another battle of man versus very small machine, I won. It took more than three hours, but my Kindle and I are now on a last name basis. It’s such a simple device. How could it have been so difficult?
I won’t go into all the gory details; or maybe I will. It was a chicken-and-egg, O. Henry, Catch 22 kind of thing. I had to connect the device to a wireless network in order to use it, but my wireless password contains characters that the Kindle doesn’t support. Or so said the nice lady at Amazon’s help desk at midnight last night.
I had spent about an hour reading various chat threads about this technical conundrum and read all of Amazon’s instructions, each of which began with “Connect to a wireless network,” when I finally gave up and called. (After doing business with Amazon.com for 10 or 15 years, this is the first time I’ve spoken with a live person.) She confirmed I had to have the guy who set up my password change it for me. Unfortunately, for him and for me, but especially for him, he is gravely ill in the hospital; I guessed he wouldn’t want to take my call. The only option was to contact the wireless router manufacturer for help. I was two-and-a-half hours into this adventure, and not looking forward to bringing in another party, especially as I expected this would involve crawling under my desk in the wee hours.
The story took a turn. Despite Amazon’s telling me the device could not support my password, I did a little fancy fingerwork and tricked the Kindle into accepting it. I registered it and gave it a name. I don’t know why devices want us to name them; it’s not like they’re our pets, but I went ahead and did it. If my Kindle were a pet, and considering my existing pets are named Ricky and Lucy, and I was still high off a recent Lucy marathon, then it would stand to reason that I name my Kindle Mrs. Trumbull.
I chose a book and ordered it. Lo and behold, the book is now in the good hands of Mrs. Trumbull.
When I saw Midnight in Paris earlier this summer, I promised myself, once I activated the Kindle, I’d re-read some Ernest Hemingway. That’s going to have to wait.
The first book is … drum roll … The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health by Gerard E. Mullin M.D., and Kathie Madonna Swift, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., Foreward by Andrew Weil, M.D.
Why? I won’t go into all the gory details.
I’ll just say my condition didn’t improve with a three-hour dose of tech diff.
By the way, is it me or would the average adult suffer late-night indigestion upon reading the following message from the Amazon help desk:
When setting up your WiFi, please make sure of the following:
-Your Router is B/G-Wireless Compatible and not broadcasting solely in Wireless-N Mode.
-You will need to know what encryption you have. If you have WPA encryption, your WiFi password will work, however if you have WEP encryption, you will need to use your 8 or 10 character WEP Key.
-Make sure that your router is not filtering MAC Addresses.
4 responses to “Meet Mrs. Trumbull”
Ron has wanted to buy me a Kindle since its premier. I have fought this tooth and nail. I love a book, the pages, the feel, the smell, but lately have been at least considering a Kindle….but NO MORE. I am technologically challenged as it is and the last lines of your blog may as well be written in Greek. Unless it comes with a techie attached, no Kindle for me!!!
I didn’t want one either. The idea, though, was that it would be easier to travel with (The Help was too big to carry on a plane). My problem was unique. I kept thinking, if my mother can do this, so can I. My mother and her Kindle are inseparable.
The author of those tech instructions should be arrested.
Hi, Monica, Hi, Mrs. Trumbull
I bouight my own Kindle several months back, and I love it. I admit, I did not have the problems you had in the setup, I pretty much turned it on. typed in a password, and started downloading the free books (a ton and a half of them) from the Amazon Kindle library.
The only real drawback I’ve seen is that I buy books wantonly these days. I am paying what I remember paying for paper-back books and getting bits and bytes for my money.
True, my eBooks will supposedly last longer, and can be retrieved for free if I lose or replace my Kindle, and true, I can read my Kindle books on my Smart Phone if I want…
In fact, true. I love the thing. My only fear now is leaving it behind some day.