A few weeks ago, I reported that at least eight Kindles no longer worked because of faulty batteries. Amazon didn’t want to help, so I asked loyal and generous Iserotope readers to purchase replacement batteries (for $13 – $18 each), and as usual, they came through quickly.
Thank you to Mary (Parkersburg, IA), Wil (New York, NY), and Laura (San Francisco, CA) for taking care of business! (And thank you, LeAnne (Fremont, CA), for the encouraging words — that I should just go for it.)
So today was the big day. Would the replacement batteries work? Would I even know how to open a Kindle? Would I get electrocuted in the process?
In general, I’m not too handy, especially with home improvement projects. When I was little, my extended family teased me mercilessly about my inability to do anything with my hands. There’s no way that I would change my car’s engine oil, for example. Hang up a painting in my house? Not likely.
But that anxiety hasn’t extended to technology. Over the years, I’ve had no trouble dabbling with old computers, taking them apart, installing Linux here or some RAM there. By no means am I a hardware techie, but for some reason, I don’t get anxious dealing with electronics. Once, I built a makeshift computer lab in my classroom, complete with 18 Pentium III computers that had no business working. It took a long time, but it was worth it.
That is all to say that this morning, there were eight Kindles that weren’t working, that Amazon told me to give up on. They would cost $560 to replace.
This afternoon, I am happy to report, six of those Kindles have been resuscitated, revived from imminent e-waste recycling doom, and ready again to be read starting this Friday by willing and eager ninth graders in the Bay Area.
But I have to say, the process wasn’t always easy. Amazon is a bit like Apple in that they don’t want you hacking into your (their?) stuff. I had to find tiny tiny screwdrivers and practice my patience.
And then, there were a few freaky moments. Here are a couple strange (even spooky, because it’s Halloween season) things that happened:
1. A replacement battery didn’t revive one Kindle, but brought another Kindle to life. But here’s what’s freaky: The first Kindle worked with a different battery (exact same brand).
2. One Kindle didn’t come back to life when charged into one wall socket, but when brought to another wall socket, it turned on. (There was nothing wrong with the first wall socket; it charged several other Kindles.)
Is there any explanation? Please let me know so I can sleep better tonight.
All right, so all of this work leaves just two more Kindles in need of replacement batteries. I’ve revised the Amazon Wishlist, so if you want to help out, all you have to do is click here. The battery is at the top of the list. For around $15 (after tax), you can get a Kindle back into a student’s hands!