Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Electronic Glitch; or, Why I Didn't Get Much Done

As I mentioned in a previous post, here, I've been listening to the book about George Washington on my Kindle Fire with the Audible app. This book takes 42 hours to listen to. My plan is to listen when I am doing something that requires hands but not brains, so I can concentrate on the book while getting something else, like folding laundry, done.

Yesterday I started listening while eating my breakfast. When I was ready to move on to something else, I tried to turn off the book and the Kindle. Oops! The Kindle goes into power saving mode while a recording is playing; the screen goes blank, but the recording still plays. The Kindle Fire has only one button on it, the On/Off power button. Everything else is touchscreen. To bring the picture back and manage the Fire, you tap the power button.

Well, I tapped. I pushed. I held it down. A lot. And the picture never came back. With a blank screen, you cannot do anything. So the narrator kept talking. I didn't want to just walk away and leave him talking while I was missing a lot of the book. That would mean that if I ever got the Fire working properly again I'd have to try to find where I last listened--not so easy on such a long book.

When electronic gadgets develop a glitch, the cure is often to turn it off, then turn it back on and it resets itself. But I couldn't turn the Fire off. My solution? Well, the battery had to run down eventually--automatic off!

I really didn't have anything terribly pressing to do, so I just kept listening. I printed out some photos, started some laundry, and played a lot of computer solitaire. I also was very drawn into the account of the early phases of the Revolutionary War. Then, in the middle of the story of the horrible winter in Valley Forge, which was helping me understand why it was so bad, the battery finally ran down. The Fire turned off. I recharged it and, sure enough, it now works fine.

What caused the problem? I have no idea. As far as I am concerned all electronic things work by magic anyway! And, now, it is magically working properly again.

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