Category Archives: eReaders

Dead Kindle Voyage, resolution

On Saturday, I finally asked Amazon customer service to call me, which they did about 10 seconds after I clicked ok. Pretty amazing. Unfortunately, tier 1 and tier 2 customer support were clearly following a script and would not skip any steps. Paraphrasing…

After a few minutes of What does it do? What is on the screen? etc. the real diagnosis begins. Please hold power button for 40 seconds. I already tried that, many times, without success. Ok, but please try it now, I will tell you when to release. Ok. Did it work? No, still stuck on the screensaver. Please charge the Kindle for 15-30 minutes, I will wait for you. I have already gone through several full charge/discharge cycles. Please charge the Kindle. Ok. 20 minutes later. Please press the power button now. Did it work? No.

After over 30 minutes on the phone, tier 2 finally declared my Kindle dead and they would send out another one. But wait, we’re not done yet. To confirm your identity, please tell me the last four digits of the credit card you used to purchase the Kindle. Uh, I use several cards but I soon found the correct card. I need to mail a return mailing label to your wife’s email address [to whom the Kindle is registered]. What is her email address? Oy, she has a long email address, success after 5 attempts. Please verify you received it. Hold on, I need to find a machine I can use to read my wife’s email. Confirmed.

The new Kindle arrived on Monday, already registered to my wife’s account. Again, very impressive. Now I just need to return the dead one.

Amazon’s reply to my dead Kindle Voyage email

Wow, can this really be Amazon’s boilerplate response email? First, I said “my Kindle Voyage does not boot” along with the order number in my email but that became my “Kindle Fire’s volume” in their reply.

And then there is the rest of the message. Current phish from Nigeria has better grammar and style than this. I cannot believe Amazon has not provided their customer service representatives with better content.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 22.10.12

Dead Kindle Voyage

Our latest Kindle, a Voyage, died after only 4 months. Amazingly, our 1st gen Kindle still works.

The Voyage will not boot and only displays one of the built-in screensaver images


But the image is corrupted at the bottom, lines of non-refreshed pixels:


This is an odd way for such a simple device to die. I am guessing the images are stored in flash not ROM so maybe the memory is corrupted? If the display is broken, it should still boot but not refresh those rows. Going to ask Amazon for a warranty replacement.

Taking screenshots of eReaders


I often take screenshots of my stable of eReaders to show clients how documents actually appear. Software previewers are often wrong to very wrong. Also they do not show the actual user experience, like menus and links, on the device. The one problem with device built-in screen captures is that they show you what the device thinks it is displaying (the contents of the framebuffer) instead of the display quality. What you actually see is affected by many factors – lighting, eInk ghosting, brightness, etc. Photographing all of the different screen technologies properly is very difficult.

Many websites show how to take screenshots for specific devices but not all of them in one place, nor where the screenshots live on the device. After you are done taking screenshots, connect the device via USB and (almost) all will present themselves as a storage device.

Kindle 1Shift-Alt-gThere is no confirmation that a screenshot is taken. My K1 has an SD card which mounts as Untitled. GIFs are in Untitled (root directory), named screen_shot-xxxx.gif.
Kindle 2Shift-Alt-gScreen flashes once. GIFs are in Kindle → documents, named screen_shot-xxxx.gif.
Kindle 3Shift-Alt-gScreen flashes once, then again a few seconds later once the capture is complete. GIFs are in Kindle → documents, named screen_shot-xxxx.gif.
Kindle PaperwhiteTouch bottom-left and upper-right of screen at the same timeScreen flashes once. PNGs are in Kindle (root directory), named screenshot_YYYY_MM_DDTHH_MM_SS-xxxx.png. For every screenshot here is a wininfo_*.txt that contains xwininfo output (object tree debug information).
Kindle Fire (1st gen)Found these How to take a screenshot on any Kindle Fire and How to take screenshots on the Kindle Fire but have not tried them yet. Photographed instead.
Nook (1st gen)I use a flatbed scanner which unfortunately does not capture the color LCD very well.
Nook ColorNook key + Volume downCamera icon will appear in notification area (lower left) when capture is complete. PNGs are in media → Screenshots, named yy-mm-dd-x.png.
Nook Simple Touch/GlowBoth use an infrared grid touchscreen which seems to be overloaded by the flatbed scanner’s light. The touchscreen is unresponsive for several seconds after a scan. I now photograph rather than scan.
Nook HD/HD+Nook key + Volume downAnimation showing slightly reduced version of screen appears plus a notification that the “Screenshot was captured”. PNGs are in MyNOOK → Pictures → Screenshots, named Screenshot_YYYY–MM–DD–HH–MM–SS.png.
Kobo TouchIts infrared grid touchscreen seems to be overloaded by the flatbed scanner’s light. The touchscreen is unresponsive for several seconds after a scan. I now photograph rather than scan.
Kobo AuraIts infrared grid touchscreen seems to be overloaded by the flatbed scanner’s light. Touchscreen was unresponsive until I rebooted with the paperclip reset button. I now photograph rather than scan.
Kobo ArcPower + Volume downScreen flashes and shutter sound plays once the capture is complete. The device does not appear as a storage device. You need to run Android File Transfer. PNGs are in Pictures → Screenshots, named Screenshot_YYYY–MM–DD–HH–MM–SS.png.
eMatic EB105B
eMatic EB106
No detectable mechanism. Photographed.
iPhone/iPadPower + HomeScreen flashes and shutter sound plays once the capture is complete. PNGs are in standard camera roll. Use Preview to import.
Android 4.0 (ICS) and abovePower + Volume downAppears in gallery.
Microsoft Surface RTWindows + Volume downThe touch Windows logo on the front face, not on the keyboard.