Tuesday, October 19, 2010

If Wireless never connects -- Expanded Call Me feature -- x11 info pages - UPDATE

I was reminded today by commenter JoaquĆ­n Avaria about some features that many don't realize are available, as one of them I mentioned some time ago worked well for him.

See UPDATE of 10/18/10 for added information.

One day, while at the Amazon forums, I saw a tip from a customer whose Whispernet on his new 3G Kindle-2 model (Global) wireless had suddenly stopped working in that he could not connect to the Internet .  Because he was not in the U.S., he couldn't easily call Amazon voice support w/o charges to his phone.  (U.S. residents, on the other hand, can always call Kindle Customer Support at 1-866-321-8851 for a quick response and no time charges.)

  After writing Kindle Support (kindle-cs-support@amazon.com) about his problem, he received e-mail from Kindle Customer Support advising him that he should sign in to Amazon to use the Call Me feature, which used to be available only in the U.S. but is now also available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany Hong Kong, Japan, and the United Kingdom, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

  Once at the Call me form, you select your country and your phone number and whether you want a call-back 'Now' or 'In 5 minutes.'

  Those for whom this option is not available but who need phone support would call 1-206-266-2992 for that, but long-distance charges probably would apply -- in that case, you can use the same form to select the 'E-mail' Tab at the top to receive an e-mail response usually within 12 hours.

  Customer Phone Support asked him to go through some steps with them and those worked to get his 3G wireless working again.   Here are the steps he reported but first you'd need to turn ON the Wireless and also go to Kindle Settings page by pressing the Menu button and then 'Settings' ...
' On the Settings page I had to press 311 - this opened up an application that searched for al the wireless providers in the area.
I chose one that I knew had good signal in the area and that was that... '
(The "311" feature doesn't work for the Kindle-1 or for the Kindle-2 U.S. models, as they use the U.S. Sprint cellular network rather than the AT&T one.)

UPDATE 10/18/10 - (Original posting was 10/17/10)
  1. Commenter Ted reminded me that on the Menu/Settings page, you can't use the Sym box to type numbers when you don't have a numbers row on your Kindle model.  The top row lets you type numbers but the numbers are hidden.
  The numbers start with '1' on the 'Q' key and go to '9 on the alpha-O key, and '0' or zero is found above the "P" key.  To access the numbers, you use the Alt-key + (hidden) number combo.  See my earlier, longer explanation of how to input numbers here.
  Essentially, as mentioned, you press the Alt-key and the appropriate number key at the same time (requiring two hands), but you can also type the Alt-key and then the hidden-number key in a quick sequence rather than together.  You can also hold the Alt-key down and type a series of hidden numbers.

  2. Commenter bojzi adds that you can reach Amazon Kindle Customer Service at their toll-free 866-321-8851 line by using Skype

Thanks to both for the additions.

  Any of you who have a Global (or International) 3G Kindle and have great difficulty connecting via 3G cellular wireless can try it out to see if it helps.

  Here's the way you can check which type of Kindle model you have.

For all Kindles
At the settings page, inputting '411' will get you device info, such as whether the Kindle is registered, the Kindle Serial Number, the Radio Serial Number, Roaming Version Number, and other info we normally don't care about -- but the Kindle Serial Number is handy for earlier Kindles especially because the one on the back of the Kindle is so small it can be quite hard to read when you need it.
  The Kindle Serial Number can now be found on the Menu/Settings page.

For all Kindles with 3G cellular wireless -- Any Kindle 1, Kindle 2, Kindle DX's, and also Kindle 3's purchased with the 3G feature:
  Inputting '611' there will get you modem and 3G cellular network info.

For all Kindle 3's  (UK: K3)
  Inputting '711' there brings up a page with WiFi status info.

When you're done with any of these pages, press the 'BACK' button to get back to where you were and press that button again if you want to go another 'jump' back.

Also, be sure to turn your Wireless Off at that point (unless you're using it).

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. Keep in mind on the Kindle 3 there are no numbers on the pad. You need to use alt and the top row of letters to enter numbers. Amazon should have printed the numbers above the top row with an "Alt +" to the left, but no such luck for us.

  2. Andrys - a general question: do you know of a way to reset the "furthest location read" on a book? E.g., if I finish reading a book and my wife wants to read it, she gets a message asking if she wants to go to my furthest page read (the end of the book). But she wants to read the book and sync it with her iPod or PC - how can we get rid of "end of the book" as the last location, and reset it to the beginning? I know I can call CS, but would like to know of there's a way I can do it myself. And I'd rather not get involved with turning off suncronization on the web page, as that might get rid off the last page read for any number of books I'm currently reading (or she is).

  3. Paxton! Haven't seen you for awhile --
    My only experience with this, and it's happened a few times lately because I test ahead, is that when I answer No -- that I don't want to sync to my furthest page -- it doesn't seem to ask me again after that if I make sure my other copy of the book on another device lines up with the earlier page on the current book.

    If that doesn't work, and you have no notes or highlighting you want to keep in that book, then you could use your computer to view the files and delete the '.mbp' or small associated-file that keeps track of last page read maybe and then do a sync & check to see if you can override the server's copy of info for that. I haven't had to do that.

    But I don't keep track of what happens when I go back and forth except that I don't remember being asked a 2nd time and right now I'm keeping 3 devices going with sync & chk on.

    But I'm no expert on this situation... Good luck on it and better help from one of others on the forum maybe who might know more from experience than CS.

  4. Amazon's customer service can always be reached via Skype on their toll free number. :)

  5. Ted,
    Thanks for the reminder! -- I should add that to the blog text and link people to http://bit.ly/k3-numbers.

    Thanks for that added tip for people reading this entry.

  6. How do you input from the settings page? I can't get a Symbols box to open using either the Enter/Return key or the Del key.

  7. RaggBoy,
    I must add that into the article as an update. Ted had mentioned it and I meant to and forgot. Here's how though. See http://bit.ly/k3-numbers.


  8. Wireless network select opens on the DX as well. Haven't tried to see what it does, but good to hopefully remember next time I loose connectivity and it doesn't return.

  9. Andrys, it was to the Ted-mentioned link that I was referring when I said I couldn't get a Symbols box using either key recommended there. Still can't.

  10. RaggBoy,
    Please read my update in the article -- also my responses to comments. The solution is in there.

    Hope that helps.


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