Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Kindle Mystery Solved

My brother complained that while he was in Greece, his Kindle suddenly stopped being able to sort by "Most recent". Then the same thing happened to me in Turkey. There are very few software bugs that are location aware, so I just chalked it up to a freak coincidence. Then it happened to me again yesterday!

But this time, I figured out what happened. All these incidences happened during an internal battery change while overseas! When you take out the battery and put in a new one, what happens is that the Kindle's internal clock resets to time 0 Unix time, which is Jan 1st, 1970. Well, that means that the last modified date on the files that you touch (i.e., books that you read) get set to somewhere around 1970, which leads to odd sorting behavior.

This isn't an issue when you're in the USA, because all you have to do is to turn on wireless and the clock will get reset by the cellular phone network that the Kindle uses (no, there's no way for you to set the clock manually on the Kindle). The lesson here is that if you want to get extra reading between recharges while overseas while not losing the sort functionality, use the Gomadic Battery Extender. Or lobby Amazon.com to let us set the date and time on the Kindle in the future.
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