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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Breaking in a Kindle

The Internet is so Convoluted ...

I succumbed to the eBook revolution (after all, I write about it all the time) and bought a Kindle Touch.  It's a nice gadget, light to hold, and surprisingly responsive for a six-inch (diagonally) rectangle of plastic and mysterious innards. The only problem was that I could not get it to work.

Kindles work with WiFi. "Whispernet," they call it.  They are also supposed to work with the supplied USB cable, but while my new purchase charged very efficiently when connected by USB cable to my desktop, it wouldn't buy or download books.  Or even recognize my presence.

The problem, it seemed, was that my Kindle had to be registered via WiFi.  There is an option on "My Amazon" to register online, which I took, but it didn't make any difference.

Perhaps the Kindle and/or the USB cable were faulty?  Working on that theory, I took both back to the supplier, Dick Smith Electronics.  The kid who had sold it to me (and they are always earnest kids) tried both out on a store computer, and managed to "buy" a free Kindle book, load it to the store computer, and then transfer it to my Kindle via the USB cable.  Well, this seemed too complicated and ponderous, so I bought the cheapest router in the store, a D-Link 600 for 59 bucks (NZD).  The young man warned me that it could be "tricky" configuring it with my ISP's coordinates, but I was up to the challenge.

Or so I thought.

The D-Link 600 comes with a CD that runs a manual and a wizard.  Of course I tried the wizard first.  Worked through it, hit manual configuring and phoned my ISP (Telstra) to make sure the internet protocol 4 numbers for my modem connection were the same for the router.  The nice techie said yes, and we went through it together.  Then we both gave up.  It was too tricky even for the expert on the other end of the phone.

So, after a long pause for contemplation, I had another go, this time reading the manual.  It barely made sense, but I did gather that I had to configure a "static" connection.  So I loaded the CD into my laptop (giving the desktop a break), and had another go.  Same negative result, so I hit networking on the laptop, and lo, it passed me onto a D-Link site.  How it did it, I do not know, but I scanned through the paragraphs until I came to "static."  Ticked the box, and lo again, a page came up asking for my ISP's figures.  I typed them in, there was a pause, and then it said the router would reboot.  It didn't.  So I pulled its plug for a minute, reconnected, and it worked! 

Amazon's verifier tends to be slow.  It took three attempts to get them to recognize my wireless password, but then -- and lo yet again -- it allowed me to register and purchase.

So miracles do happen.  Now for the eBook universe.

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