Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kobo go boom!!! for the techie in me

After 2 Kobo e-readers I am the proud owner of the Sony Reader.  The USB port on both of the Kobos never did plug-in properly to the reader.  It was always loose and had to be jiggled around to connect.  The first one I had which was just 3 months old fried the motherboard of my computer when I plugged it in to charge.  Luckily this didn’t result in a loss of data just a $150 second-hand motherboard.  I got a “new,” meaning refurbished, Kobo from the company under warranty but it had the same problem as the first.  I didn’t bother to send it back because I just figured it would be the same with another.  Needless to say, I didn’t plug into my computer unless absolutely necessary. 

Perching it upright to charge (which was the only way it would connect) worked okay for a couple of years until around February when I plugged it into the  computer to add some books and realized that the computer would no longer recognize it.  The whole time I  had it had been very iffy with connecting to the computer with the Kobo software often not recognizing it (another dud) even if Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) did.  Now not even ADE would recognize it which meant that I could no longer put books from the library on it.  I decided to do a little troubleshooting and updated the reader firmware.  When that didn’t work I decided to do a factory reset which would bring the reader back to it’s original factory state completely wiping all books.  This was after buying 3 new books.  BIG MISTAKE.  The stupid thing still wouldn't connect to the computer and unlike later firmware upgrades, could not be updated via Wi-Fi.  That left me with an old version of the firmware and Kobo doesn’t connect automatically to the store so there was no way I could re-download my books.  In frustration, I took the thing apart and was not surprised to find the USB port to be completely unattached to anything inside the reader; worn down where the electrical components met the plug-in; and even wear against the metal frame of the reader where the port was constantly being forced to connect to the cord.

What would Kobo do about it?  NOTHING!!!  They won’t even fix the unit or replace it if you offer to pay for it.  The problem is reported widespread across the internet and is obviously such an problem that when you go to their website to send in a complaint, the USB port is included in a drop down list of issues.  There only advice was to buy a new Kobo reader.  FAT CHANCE!  It’s really too bad because otherwise the Kobo reader is a fairly good product.  All they had to do was properly anchor the USB port.  Moral of the story:  splurge the extra $50 or so and go with a different brand than Kobo.

About when this was happening, Sony users will know that Sony decided to discontinue manufacturing of their reader and switch their store to Kobo.  Perfect timing for me because although I was out a $150 e-reader (plus the $150 fee to fix my computer), I was able to pick up a refurbished Sony Reader at Factory Direct for $50.  An extra $5 extended 1-year warranty puts me pretty square with buying a brand new e-reader.

So, finally after what has only been a month but seems much longer, Sony has switched their store over to Kobo and HOPEFULLY I can download my unread books from Kobo store to my Sony Reader.  All in all, I am kinda glad this happened because Sony Reader by far is a superior product to Kobo.  What a relief to plug the USB cord into the Sony and it fits perfectly with no jiggling.  I preferred a few little aesthetic things with the Kobo but nothing compared to Sony’s superior web browser and ability to access your public library right on the reader.  With Kobo you have to download the book on your computer from your library’s website, download ADE in order to access the books and upload to your e-reader via USB.  That’s alot more effort that touching a few buttons on the Sony Reader and your done!  Now I’m just hoping I will have no problem uploading my Kobo library to my Sony Reader … fingers crossed.

As I was writing this I got some more good techie news.  A knock on my door just delivered a new, free print head for my equally troublesome Kodak printer.  Sure two years ago when I first reported the problems they told me I would have to pay $40 for a new print head but after being printer-less for way too long I called to order one and they offered to send me one for free at their agent’s discretion.  Sure it took two years but at least I had the option!  And before you make any comments about it being cheaper to go and buy a new printer I will enlighten you that the printer is actually really good and at $15 to $25 for printer cartridges, it’s one of the cheapest on the market to maintain.  But that’s just dust under the rug … I got it fixed for free!

No comments:

Post a Comment

To protect mine and my family's privacy, comments with identifying information will be edited. Comments will also be edited for obscenities.