Kindle Fire – Trials and Tribulations

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas this year!  Very neat device, with a sleek form factor, in my opinion.

The awesomeness of receiving a gift like this wore off quickly, after I unboxed it and powered it up for the first time.  I had one of the units that displayed symptoms of having a defective touch screen!  The screen was non-responsive to touch at times, and using the on-screen keyboard was next to impossible.

Every time I’d try to use the on-screen keyboard, I would get “extra” characters, like an “ñ” instead of a regular “n”, or instead of an “e” I would get a “3”.  It was as if I was holding down the key, to bring up the extra characters, and selecting the first character in that list, even though I was attempting to type as fast as I could.

Searching around on the internet, I found Amazon had released a firmware update for the Kindle Fire, so I figured out how to get that downloaded to the device, and rebooted.  The 6.2 firmware did nothing to fix my problems with the keyboard.

In the middle of trying to fix the keyboard, I did manage to get the Kindle Fire online, and downloaded a couple apps, and some free books.  I also did a device reset, and for the life of me could not figure out how to get the books I just downloaded to the Kindle Fire back onto the Kindle Fire!

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Fast forward a few days, and I’m searching for anything new about these Kindle Fire problems, and if any solutions exist.  I manage to locate a post in the Amazon support forums about how to force power-off the Kindle Fire, which consists of holding the power button for 20 seconds.  Sure enough, that put the Kindle Fire into a coma-like state, which took a few minutes for it to come out of after I plugged the charger in and held the power button for 5 seconds to bring it back to life.

After the forced power-off procedure, and bringing the Kindle Fire back to life, the keyboard problems are gone!  The screen is perfectly responsive, and all the apps seem to work just fine.  Woo!

As for getting my previously purchased books back to the Kindle Fire, you have to log into your Amazon account through a browser, click on “Your Account”, then click on “View Your Kindle Orders” under “Order History”.

At this point, you should see a list of all the items you have purchased for your Kindle Fire.  Find the book you want to load onto your Kindle Fire, and click on the “Actions” button.  Select “Deliver to my…”, pick your Kindle Fire from the device list, and then click “Deliver” (you can do this for more than one book).

Once you have all the books you wish to download to your Kindle selected, go to the Kindle Fire and perform a “Sync”.  Your Kindle will pull down the content you selected on the Amazon web site.

I’ve had the Kindle Fire for about a week now, with it functioning perfectly for less than one hour.  I like the form factor, I like the screen, and the audio is good as well.  Now that the touch screen is working like it should, I can use the device with a much lower level of frustration, and get the most out of it.  More reviews to follow!  :-)