Saturday, April 2, 2016

Update Worries and Wars

I have mentioned in previous posts, that I currently am teaching computer classes at a retirement center here in the Kansas City area.  This is a independent living community as opposed to assisted living.  Think of it as a cruise ship, minus the  ocean,  the casino or the norovirus pandemic, but everything else is pretty similar.  Yep, lovely place full of lovely people.

Those lovely people, however, occasionally get very stressed with modern technology, which, of course, is equally true of all age groups. The difference being that they didn't spend the bulk of their lives using computers, smartphones and tablets.  This type of technology has made an appearance late in life and changed the way they had been accessing news, managing finances,  accessing their medical records, organizing photos and a host of other things. Therefore when things aren't working right, some (not all)  don't tend to "roll with it" in quite the same way younger generations do.

I mention this because in any given week, I get a few emails from one or more of them concerning various problems they are having with their devices. Sometimes they tend to get a bit panicked that something is "broken" or that their documents are at risk.

This particular problem, at hand, was an update problem with e-readers. I guess it goes without saying that updates can be a real pain in the ass.  If you are one of the (supposedly) 270 million that are still bruised from the Windows 10 update, I would think you would agree.

Anyway, the update fiasco that was causing a bit of havoc on March 21st was related to Amazon Kindle e-readers.  It first came to my attention when I woke up to a couple of emails waiting for me before 5:00 AM from students in my class at the retirement center.   They  had received  an email from Amazon concerning their Kindles that read.... CRITICAL UPDATE IS NECESSARY NO LATER THAN MARCH 22, OR YOUR  DEVICE WILL BECOME INOPERABLE.

As I read the emails about the update, critical no less, it caught me off guard. I have a Kindle and yet I knew NOTHING about this update or it's deadline. (Despite the fact, that people on various forums keep insisting we were all which I would respond to them that they are incorrectly using the word ALL.)

BUT...Let's not panic folks!! The Amazon site tells us that there are several ways to correct this situation. One of the options tells us that if we connect to the Internet, the update may/should/could possibly download automatically during the night OR you could connect to WIFI, go to the settings and "sync and check for updates" or you could manually update with the use of a computer and USB cable.

Given the fact that this update was mandatory for any Kindle that was purchased before 2012 and required for any version prior to Paperwhite 6th Generation...AND failure to do this would result in the  loss  of your ebook library, the more expedient options of downloading the update NOW seemed like the better plan.

OK..with three options to salvage your obsolete version of Kindle, it didn't seem all that alarming...well at least  not on the Amazon site but if you looked to any of the various  other tech related  websites...IT WAS CRUNCH TIME. They were splashing headlines like the one that follows from Cnet.

Amazon warns Kindle users: Update by March 22 or else!!

Followed by:

This is pretty much your final warning: If you have a Kindle, you need to update it before March 22 or it's going to lose Internet connectivity.
That, just to be clear, would be very bad, because without the update you'll no longer be able to access the Kindle Store or sync your device with the cloud, not to mention any other Kindle services you might be using. According to Amazon, the update is required to ensure the Kindle remains compliant with continuously evolving industry web standards.
You'll know if your Kindle didn't get updated in time because you'll see the following message on your device:
Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again.
If you've been using your Kindle regularly then it's most likely going to be fine. Kindles will update automatically via Wi-Fi, but if the device has been turned off or out of battery for a while, charge it up and make sure you Sync and Check for Items.

Seriously...I now have been threatened with an "OR ELSE" and a "FINAL WARNING' in reference to my Kindle becoming more electronic trash that I don't know how to get rid of.  All of that had an threatening sound to it.

Despite the  meager and half-hearted reassurance that "if I've been using my Kindle regularly, then is most likely going to be fine", I wasn't entirely comfortable at letting it go to chance that my Kindle  along with it's couple of hundred books, would be kaput in less than 2 days.

So I kick into high gear....I looked to see what my version of software was on my 3rd Generation Kindle and sure enough, it needed the update.  As luck (bad luck) would have it, after trying unsuccessfully a couple of times to try to load the update the easy way, it became clear that my machine wasn't capable (or agreeable)  to the "Sync and Check for Updates" shortcut.  Da-ham...Now I am forced to actually go to the Internet and get the instructions for the manual download.

Before I went THERE...I decided to read a couple of forums to see how the masses of Kindle users were faring the day before the "end of their little Kindle's World".  Frankly, I find it rather interesting to read forums where people are panicking about something only to find anonymous  "experts" that tell them how stupid they are.  Nothing like kicking a man when his computer is down.

These are actual excerpts from a community forum of Amazon users:
By Ataboy 13 hours 33 minutes ago 
I am so pissed off right now just heard about this UPDATE crap.
and have no idea how to do it my kindle is already saying it can not connect have done every thing they said to do and it will not work.......... we need to file a class action lawsuit thousands of us have now suddenly got kindles that are worthless and there is no number to call and get help

By sleekgeek, 13 hours 31 minutes ago      In response to Ataboy  
Uh, you are so beyond wrong it's almost laughable. If your Kindle is one that requires an update, you received an email a while ago. There are also dozens of posts about this in the Help forum because instead of actually reading the answers, people just keep creating new posts.
As for "no number to call and get help", I guess you can't see the "Help" links at the top and bottom of every single Amazon page or the "Contact Us" button on the right side of this page.

By **Avocado** 13 hours 29 minutes ago   In reply to Ataboy
Class Action lawsuits only apply if you've been physically harmed. You know, like your car blowing up? I'd suggest that you contact Kindle Customer Support.

By Ataboy 13 hours 22 minutes ago    In reply to sleekgeek
 I have is the early ereader with the buttons.. and one kindle fire gen1..... and no I got no notices of any thing on this.... and i have hit the contact us button and got sa dropdown screen

By  sleekgeek 13 hours 19 minutes ago    In reply to Ataboy 
So...wait for it...use the drop down screen and pick a response!

By Ataboy 13 hours 17 minutes ago    In reply to **Avacado**
and it say if your calling about the update...... just go to the web addressyayaya 
the wait time is over an hour ..... just had my 4 open heart of mechanical heart valves in 3 years ..... this is not what i need  the stress is harming me

By sleekgeek 13 hours 12 minutes ago     In response to Ataboy
Oh, please. Get over yourself. You having heart surgery does not mean a malfunctioning Kindle is causing you harm.

By  Ataboy 13 hours 10 minutes ago   In reply to sleekgeek
hope you have a few open hearts and see 

By sleekgeek  13 hours 6 minutes ago      In reply to Ataboy
Wow. You're wishing open heart surgery on someone. How nice.
I've had multiple surgeries in my lifetime, thank you very much. Had a kidney removed as a toddler, had multiple renal artery bypasses by the time I was 10, had my aorta ripped open while conscious on the operating table when I was 16. I've had my fair share of surgeries.
But having surgery doesn't mean my life is suddenly over because my Kindle stopped working. It's not going to kill you or put your life in danger. You're being way over dramatic. Take a step back and a deep breath. Read a paper book. Watch some TV. Listen to some music. Seriously.

By ** Avacado **13 hours ago  In reply to Ataboy
Wow! No wonder you had open heart surgery. You need to take a chill pill. 

By Myohmy 13 hours ago     In reply to Ataboy
Mechanical valves make people mean

From there it went into hours of people talking about their various health issues including a lot of renal failures in sleekgeek's family. 

So, my friends...last week we learned that Selfies can kill least more than shark attacks will and NOW we know that Kindle updates can possibly lead to making people with heart conditions MEAN. I can hardly wait for the major update that is scheduled this summer for WINDOWS 10. That one is being called the 1st Anniversary Build, so I am sure it's quite festive.

No comments: