I was playing a game of Contract Bridge with my Kindle Fire yesterday, when the screen suddenly went black. I thought that either the battery had run down without my noticing it or that it had crashed, since both have happened before. When I couldn’t restart it, I put it on charge. I have had some narrow escapes before when crashes have occurred while playing but not when I’m writing.
However, I went into a panic this morning when it still wouldn’t boot, as I do most of my writing on the Fire while I’m having an evening break and a beer. This can amount to 2,000 words a day when a book is in progress, otherwise about five hundred, so that’s between 180k and 700k words per annum – quite a chunk and I consider it ‘free’ as I’m doing it in my spare time.
I couldn’t accept that it had been caused by a virus, because twenty-four hours before, I had noticed the machine was slow, so I had downloaded a malware checker, and it had been clear.
Therefore, I entered the Kindle help page URL on my laptop and waited for it to load. The screen went blue and it switched itself off. I rebooted and declined safe mode, but I couldn’t help harbouring the thought for the briefest moment that they had infected each other with the same disease.
To my relief, the laptop recovered and revealed that the cure for its cousin, the Kindle, was to hold the power button down for at least forty seconds. I did fifty, pushed it again and it booted. Two narrow escapes.
The first thing I did was back up my manuscripts off computer. They are also in the cloud, but I don’t know, I’m never really sure which version of my files is up there. At least with an external hard drive you can see the properties of the files easily.
The second thing I did was go to the shop for a beer and write this. I’m pleased to report that all the old problems with slowness have disappeared, so what looked like a huge catastrophe turned into two narrow escapes, but with the added bonus of extra security and a faster Kindle
All the best,
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Podcast: Narrow Escapes