Friday, December 10, 2010

NYT-David Pogue home recommendations. Tip on initial battery fast-drain

David Pogue's Home for the Holidays

This is his Holidays 2010 listing of recommended tech-related gifts "perfect" for each room in the house.

Heading the list is ye olde Kindle 3  (UK: K3).

For each item recommended, Pogue has the usual whimsical VIDEO :-)

The simple description for the 'living room' Kindle is merely
"There are many e-book readers on the market, but Amazon's Kindle ($139 and up) is far superior to its competitors."

While at this page, I was struck that it included two of my recent buys, both unusual.  Since I have recent positive experience with these, I'll include these in case some readers are interested.

The one that's now always with me is the The pocketable Canon S95 which is fully automatic if you want and yet gives full manual control and is just terrific in low-light situations.  It's my favorite camera, ever (including my Digital Rebel), but it has only the screen-image (high resolution and contrast) and no viewfinder.

  For anyone else seriously looking into a really excellent low-light pocketable camera (no flash needed, my preference) with amazing image stabilization, here are reviews to browse:  Trusted Reviews (thorough), Burrard-Lucas blog (fun read), and Pogues' own florid piece

Also, the LG BD590 WiFi Blu-Ray player with a 250G hard disk. It allows you to play youtube, netflix, etc on it.

I replied to a public question on Facebook recently, and the suggestions in my post did help the person who had been having fast draining of her battery despite the Kindle being new and not doing that much reading on it.  Here, in case it might help others (as this problem does come up on the forums) is the conversation in the Kindle forum there:
' Q:  I have been reading everywhere about people getting up to a month out of a single battery charge on their K3.  I have my Wi-Fi off & use my Kindle solely for reading for about an hour a day & have had to charge it once a week since I got it in. Sept.  Is there any reason why this could be happening? When not in use, I keep my Kindle in a leather case inside my purse, along with my other devices (Cellphone, iTouch, etc.).  Can batteries drain off each other when stored together like that? May seem like a stupid question & rather unlikely but I'm really reaching for answers here.  Under similar conditions I only had to charge my Sony once every 3 weeks or so.  Any help would be just peachy - thanks!

A:  J, if you don't expect subscriptions and have wireless on at times, it should last longer if you're reading only an hour a day.

D had a good point re it not holding a fuller charge when it's new but also it's not the kind of battery that you have to discharge, as it has no memory problems, though sometimes at first maybe a few batteries might be confused for all I know.

I collected a group of official Kindle Team or Customer Service advisories put out on the Amazon Kindle forums in announcements -- about best battery maintenance practices, which is at

There are also a couple of other factors (and one important one is not to leave even your bag with Kindle in a hot closed car for awhile but especially not to leave one in a hot car with windows closed).

When a Kindle is new you tend to download more books to it than at other times.  Each book must be 'indexed' to make a list of key words for Search routines of the entire Kindle to find a word or phrase in a book, on the device and also for searches within the book you are reading.

That takes a lot of battery life initially. If you suddenly download a lot of books at anytime, it'll cause a lot of battery activity to do the indexing of each one.

Then there is occasionally a book that for some reason never finishes indexing (maybe something happened during the download).  You can find that type [of problem] by doing a kindle search for a [nonsense] word at the home screen.

At the Home screen, type any nonsense word such as 'xyyx' which will not be found in your everyday book, and press the Enter key or the 5-way button (to click it, as it will search your items on the device that way).

While the Kindle is searching every book, it will also tell you if a book (or periodical) has not been 'indexed' yet.

If one book never indexes completely, delete it. If you can't delete it using the Kindle (unlikely), delete it via your computer when you can connect the USB cable to the computer's USB port and see the Kindle files under the "documents" folder of the Kindle drive.

It's not easy to know which book is which, due to the odd titles that Amazon uses, but you can open the book, make a bookmark or a little highlight and then close it.
  That will become the "most recent" book accessed and will show at the top when you sort files by latest date.  (You can also use the free Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac apps to check that the most 'recent' book is the one that's not fully indexing.)

But it should be easy to delete anyway from the Kindle.  If it's an Amazon book, you can just re-download it.  If it's not an Amazon book, you should have it backed up.  Maybe re-downloading another copy of it will fix it.

When you DO have wireless On, to download books maybe, a bad connection or reception where you are will cause larger battery use when trying to get a file.

But you've given it a month and it should hold longer.  If it continues not to hold more useful charge than that, call Kindle Support [866-321-8851] who will do a log or record keeping with your help and if it doesn't hold a charge long enough, they will likely send a replacement while you keep the old one until you know for sure the 2nd one is okay.

4 days for an hour a day of reading is not how it should be, at any rate. (Also make sure the battery isn't left on accidentally as I tend to do with mine.)

- Andrys

Q: (and issue may be resolved)
I discovered that mine was indeed still indexing books.  I did as you said, Andrys, with the search & found it was still indexing & had 200 books to go  (BTW, I loaded it with almost 3,000 books I had converted from my Sony prior to this).
  So, yeah, it makes sense that it has simply taken it this long to index all those books.  I left it plugged in & checked it the next morning & it was down to 5 books to index.  When it was finished I unplugged it & have left it alone all day.  I'm checking the battery now...& the level is at almost full, just missing the tiny lower right corner on the battery pic.  So, we'll see over the next few days if it holds.  I mean, it seems logical that that was the problem, so hopefully it's all sorted out now.  Thanks SOOOO much 4 your help & I'll post an update later in the week. :)

Q: (Actually, a brief follow-up report)
OK, so, it's been about a week since my last charge & the battery is at just below half full. That's definitely better than before!

Q: final follow-up report seen
T - read Andrys' big post towards the top of this thread.  She gives a lot of great & very helpful information that ultimately got my Kindle's battery sorted out.  A week and a half on one charge thus far.  Try her suggestions & let us know. '

WELL, I left in the nice feedback, mainly to show all that wordiness contained something that did work for her.  But the battery drain from initial indexing is not very well known.

Also, many are not aware of the Kindle customer service battery-maintenance advisories.

 When the Kindle is new, many download as much as possible, usually from the free areas, or from a collection they already had on another Kindle or from their Calibre Kindle file-management program..

  Hope this will help people who find 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.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    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.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!


  1. I'm with you on the S90/5.

    My S90/5 review & grip recommendation might be of interest:

  2. Gordon,
    I saw people recommending that S95 people get the S90 grip but the Franiec site a couple of weeks ago said he now has one made specifically for the S95 as there are slight differences that are important.

    At not quite 5'4" I have small hands, so it is just about perfect for me as-is. I am continually amazed at the shots out-of-camera.

    But especially at extremely low-light conditions.

  3. Mine came with a wrist strap and I have always used one, being clumsy by nature...

  4. Hi Andrys. Well, I'm glad Pogue is highlighting the Kindle as the perfect Xmas gift but I find it strange he finds nothing contrary when he gives the color Nook such high praise, , in his recent review. All the things that make the Kindle such a pleasure to use as a dedicated eBook reader are lost with the color Nook; reflective backlight LCD display, twice as heavy, shorter battery life and fingerprints on the screen due to touchscreen interface. Yet he thinks his is the direction that all eBook readers will inevitably go in several years. I certainly hope not.

  5. I use '.' as the search string when checking the index queue. Search ignores punctuation, so this is the shortest string that is guaranteed not to be found. Typing '.' has also become my preferred way of launching the web browser from the Home screen, using the 'go to' search option. Since '.' is not a valid URL, it generates an error once the browser has launched. After the dialog has been dismissed, the browser will be at the last page viewed, which is often exactly where I want to be.
    The two reasons why indexing may not complete that I have identified are: 1) corrupted file, or 2) incompatible DRM (as when an item is moved from one Kindle to another). As long as kindle is trying to index it, you will not be able delete it so the procedure you have outlined above will work.


NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]