They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me


The Ongoing Problem

I've mentioned previously that Mrs. Dr. Phil's 1st gen early adopter opening day Amazon Kindle Fire has gotten squirrely. First the loose micro-USB charging port. Then it was complaining about not enough memory when in fact it wasn't out of memory.

So Thursday she asked me which of the two 7" Fire models to get new. Naturally the less expensive Kindle Fire HD, not to be confused with my 2nd gen Kindle Fire HD, didn't have the video camera and microphone to support Skype, so it was the Kindle Fire HDX 7" for her. Amazon promised delivery on Saturday...

Faster Than Fast

... and she got it the next day, today, Friday.

And with that, this summer's Kindle Fire HD is no longer the top dog in the house.

Sometimes I talk about OOBE -- the Out Of Box Experience. Amazon has worked hard for the Fire remodels to have good OOBE. We've been impressed that the machines arrive all set up and ready to go with simple, effective, elegant packaging.

For the 3rd gen Kindle Fire HDX 7", it looks like Amazon has taken a page from Apple's packaging. Much like our 3rd gen iPod Nanos, there is no wasted space. The box isn't much bigger than DVD packaging. Oh, and besides the USB cord, they included the compact charging unit hidden under a flap in the box. My Fire HD had a promotion to get the charging for cheap when I ordered the unit, so all told, the cost of the two 16 GB units was the same.

Huh, it says it's Mrs. Dr. Phil's 2nd Kindle. And the apps she'd bought for the first Fire? Ready to download again. There isn't an HDMI port now, but it's a quad core processor instead of a dual core. And the cool new cover she bought can be folded open in multiple ways. And with Bluetooth, she can borrow my Amazon Basics Bluetooth wireless keyboard, if needed.

I went off to take a nap before dinner, Mrs. Dr. Phil happily configuring things. When I came back 45 minutes later, I jokingly asked if she'd used up all the electrons already. Nope, plenty more.


The Woe Of Mrs. Dr. Phil... About three hours after starting to play with her new toy, the Kindle Fire HDX 7" blue screened. Why is it always blue? Since my Kindle was still working, I started Googling.

I quickly found an Amazon Kindle forum which included some discussion of this. The suggested treatment was press and hold the power button for thirty seconds, release, then tap the power button. Voila! Machine begins to boot.

Alas, it locked up again. And again. And again.

Next level was to click on the Help button on the Amazon Kindle page and select the Call Back option. I barely had time to tell Mrs. Dr. Phil what I was doing and the phone rang. Impressive.

Alas, again, much like the failure of the 1st gen and 3rd gen Fires, the setup was sweet, the implementation, not so much.

The call center was off-sourced somewhere, we were somewhat divided by a common language -- English -- and a sad devotion to the script. I'm sure it works fine when dealing with people clueless about technology, but my wife was prepared to explain in great detail what happened and in what order.. And NO the unit hadn't been dropped, mistreated, etc. There hadn't been time for that!

Eventually we moved up the food chain, tried some things, but it was still bricked and so the replacement merry-go-round began. Meanwhile, based on half a conversation, I began Googling for UPS drop boxes -- oh, there's still one next to the Admiral gas station in Allendale at 68th and M-45.

Meanwhile,I suggested leaving it to charge overnight and we'll test it in the morning.

We've had good luck with hardware. Used to be that computers were burned in for 24 hours -- anything that still works after 24 hours will probably last a couple of years. Not sure they had time to do that and after buying dozens of desktops, laptops, tablets, PDAs, etc., this is the first not-quite-a-DOA failure for us.

I'm optimistic that the Gen 3 Take 2 model will be fine. But man... can't my bunny have a new toy that works?

Three hours. Reminds me of when I bought the used 1985 4WD 2-door S-10 Blazer ... And I got it less than five minutes on the way home and the electrical system died. Thankfully I had a cell phone, as Mrs. Dr. Phil had driven on home already, and though it was just a few minutes after the dealership closed at noon, my used car guy was still there. I joked that if you took the money and the time, this was the most expensive hourly rate I had ever paid for a car. Dave said don't say that, and for a vehicle sold As Is without a warranty, they replaced the dead electrics for me.

I should never have joked about using up all the electrons -- who knew it could be true?

Dr. Phil

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