Reset to Factory Defaults won’t work on my Kindle

kindle factory reset screenMy Kindle goes with me everywhere. I spend a lot of time at work (and at home) in front of a computer, so the e-ink screen on the Kindle gives my eyes a rest when I want to read a book. However I have had to factory reset my Kindle twice in the last few months. My wifi Kindle lost it’s wifi connection- it wouldn’t see any wifi networks and didn’t show a MAC address in the settings. This meant I could read the books on it but I couldn’t add any other books or read a book on multiple devices and sync my progress.

The first time this happened I was able to do a reset to factory defaults:

Menu->Settings->Menu->Reset to factory defaults

This resolved the issue. However it happened again and this second time, I couldn’t resolve the issue by selecting “Reset to Factory Defaults” because while it would allow me to navigate to the option, and confirm that I wanted to proceed, nothing happened.

A lot of googling later, I found a passing comment on a forum thread that revealed how to solve this most irritating problem

To solve the issue of how to reset a Kindle when the Reset to Factory Defaults doesn’t work, all you have to do is once again delve into the settings and check the box that says “device password” (it’s on page 2). Set the password to whatever you want, then put the device to sleep. On wake up enter “resetmykindle” as your password (or “111222777” on a Paperwhite from what I’ve read but I haven’t tried this myself). This will start a reset. When I did this, my wifi was working again and I was able to set up and sync the device with no issues!

I’m not looking for donation or anything, this site is supported by adverts to cover my hosting costs.

Edit: my stats tell me I’m approaching 20,000 pageviews on this post. So hopefully I’ve helped somewhere between the 100 commenters and the 20,000 page viewers solve their Kindle problem (so maybe 60 people? Heh!). Glad to be of some help 🙂

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A female Bond? A female Doctor Who?

As Daniel Craig has (or hasn’t, depending on what you read) announced that even 60 million quid isn’t enough to get him to play Bond twice more, and as Peter Capaldi has said the next series of Doctor Who will be his last, the perennial casting narrative of whether either or both should have gender or ethnicity swaps (or both!) once again surfaces.

It’s getting tiresome.

The issue with Bond being female has less to do with a woman being a(n iconic) secret agent and more to do with how it would be dealt with by the studio. A female lead worked well with Salt, which was even rewritten with Jolie as the lead when Cruise had originally been slated to star. Shane Black’s The Long Kiss Goodnight had Gina Davis as a kick arse secret agent with amnesia, and Helen Mirren was great in RED. That’s just for starters. There are plenty of great action movies with a female lead in them. Okay, there are no franchises like Bond with a woman in the lead but then there are few franchises like Bond full stop.

Casting a woman as Bond would work if it was done completely on the basis of who would work best in the role, or with the stories that they want to tell. The actor has to be a credible person for the role and not just selected for “ITS BOND BUT WITH A WOMAN!!!” reasons. You know, lots of knowing “gags” about Bond being female, all very knowing, and situational jokes like the aside Batman and Superman had when Wonder Woman appeared- “I thought she was with you?“. Ho-ho, a female superhero, who would have thought?

If it was done for the right reasons I’m sure it would work, but much like the never ending discussion over casting a woman as Doctor Who  I can’t help but think that the reasons for doing it will never be “right” as long as marketing execs and studio numpties are involved.



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Road testing the Netgear Nighthawk R8500

Netgear have lent me a  Nighthawk R8500, a tri-band quad stream WiFi router. At this point I don’t know what that means but it looks like something the Shadows from Babylon 5 might have made, so it’s all good.

Normally I don’t accept stuff for loan, the time and effort that goes into testing it properly often exceeds what I’m prepared to do for nothing but I thought I’d make an exception in this case for two reasons.

Firstly the Nighthawk has an RRP of a whopping £399.99, so I can forgive Netgear not simply dropping one on me for nothing.

Secondly, I’m really interested in seeing what a top end domestic router can do for our home. While we have an awful lot of connected devices, I don’t think we’re exceptionally abnormal in today’s connected home environment:

  • 3 wireless security cameras;
  • 1 FireTV stick;
  • 1 Panasonic alarm system;
  • 2 smartphones
  • 5 tablets;
  • 3 laptops;
  • 3 SONOS streamers on their own private WiFi network;
  • 2 Smart TVs;
  • 4 consoles;
  • 1 Blu Ray player
  • 3 FireTVs;
  • 3 NAS boxes (multiple redundancy and all that);
  • 4 PCs; and
  • a Nest alarm and a Nest smart thermostat.

Hmmm, listing them out like that makes it look a lot worse than it is. Basically, every telly has a FireTV on it, and most have a console or two by them. The sitting room has my gaming PC in it too (i5 & GTX 980 based Node 304 if you’re interested). My wife and I have a laptop each, there’s a AIO in the dining room for the kids to do homework/play Minecraft on, and a cheap laptop for whichever child isn’t on the PC to use (the only time a child wants to use the computer is when another child is using the computer. Obviously).

The NAS boxes have a combination of ripped CDs, ripped DVDs (all now in the loft), backed up photos, home video and various other stuff I’m too paranoid of HDD failure to just leave on a computer.

Our sitting room is wired to the router. Our study and bedroom our wired to the gigabit switch in the sitting room. Further, our bedroom has an ASUS WiFi router in access point mode, and the playroom has a wired connection via homeplug.

The WiFi network is often congested as the security cameras are motion activated and upload clips to Google Drive. The Ethernet network is often slower than the gigabit switches allow for, and I’ve vaguely assumed this is down to the Virgin Super Hub 2 simply failing to keep up with everything that’s connected to it and demanding either internal bandwidth or an internet connection. With VM bumping our connection to 200Mbps, I’d like to let the Super Hub just deal with that and nothing else, so I’m cloning the SSID to the Netgear, and going to put the Super Hub in “modem” mode for the next three weeks.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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I’m almost at Peak Gadget

Through hard work, dedication and an element of jamminess, I think I’m approaching Peak Gadget- the position where there aren’t really any other shinies that I either want or need. Continue reading

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I’m writing longer blog posts than I used to. On my main blog they rarely clock in at under 500 words now, and I’ve seen an increasing number creep over the 1,000 word mark. I thought I’d have a look at the three blogs I write on and do a word count for the month of March. It’s the 29th today, so that means I’ve got a couple of posts to go but the ones in draft have been included so I figure that should sort itself out.

The results are:

Daddacool 7,559 words across 12 posts

Kids Do Retro 6,223 words across 5 posts

Do it Anyway 1,937 words across 2 posts

That brings it in total to 15,719 words across 19 blog posts, averaging a little over 825 words per post. And my parenting blog actually drags the average down too- without it I’m averaging 1,165 words a post.

On the one hand, a 16,000 odd word output per month on top of a full time job isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, on the other hand I worry about my lack of self editing and focus.

To be fair, my retro gaming project I’m doing with Sam, our 8 year old, does lend itself to the longer post quite nicely. Each post starts with details about a game I played back in the dim and distant past, and a bit about my circumstances at the time, before going on to a paraphrase of the conversation between Sam and me while we play it for anything up to an hour. Initially I was going to transcribe our actual conversation verbatim but I found Sam was too aware of the dictaphone, so I now just scribble notes as we’re playing, and make sure I get the key “Sam-isms” verbatim. It generally works out as about 400 words on the context and 800 words playing the game.

Do it Anyway is also home to long form posts, rants mostly, about various aspects of blogging and social media, as well as tech reviews and commentary. The posts usually end up as long as they are as I like to qualify and explain each statement I make so there is little or no room for misinterpretation. Not that I always succeed of course, I often fail in an impressive manner. Still, I’m averaging about 1,000 words a post here too, which is probably excessive.

630 words per post on my parent blog is better but still a little excessive in the context of parent blogs.

And then there is the matter of the time I’ve spent writing it all. I am a quick writer, I couldn’t comment on my words per minute typing speed and that’s unlikely to wow anyone but I’m definitely not one of these sorts who agonises over a blog post for three or four hours. A 500-600 word post will generally take me approximately half an hour to actually write but there might be additional thinking time on top of that. Writing time of maybe 16-20 hours, add in about 10 for playing the retro games, and another 8-20 for researching and/or attending events, that’s 50 hours at the top end and 32 at the bottom end. That’s a lot of time, and probably explains why I’m not past series one on House of Cards just yet. Ironic, given I started blogging as a way of getting out of the habit of sitting in front of the telly and passively consuming all the time!


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Under pressure: competitiveness in blogging

In the fairly meta way that blog posts are now often prompted by other blog posts and so and and so forth, I give you my response to Sally’s well thought out post on whether women should be competitive, which was in turn a response to a post on how too much competition is bad for the blogoverse.

Rather than focusing per se on women, as Sally has, I’m expanding it to competition between bloggers generally because this is my blog and I can do what the damn hell I want to.

This post is really an expansion on my comment on Sally’s post. Talking of which, it’s great that Sally still has comments enabled. I recently disagreed with something a “top US male blogger” said in a post but found out he had comments disabled. Talking to him on twitter, it became apparent this wasn’t as a result of trolling or anything like that, it was actually part of his social media strategy. If people wanted to critique his opinions, they had to either engage with him on social media, or write their own blog post which backlinked to his. Devious and despite the fact I liked a lot of what he said, I decided to unfollow him as I didn’t feel comfortable with the artificial way I was made to engage with him, purely to boost his backlinks and social media stats.

It was part of the competition we all engage in as bloggers to make ourselves heard that I wasn’t happy with.

I think inherently at some base level as bloggers we do compete. If nothing else we compete to be heard, regardless of what opportunities to attend events, review products or feature in magazines may add to the competition, we want someone to read our stuff.

I desperately want more people to read my Kids Do Retro blog project (see, that wasn’t a subtle plug was it?), a thousand unique visitors a month is great but it’s not enough, and I want more. I want more, and to get more I have to compete with all the other retro gaming voices out there for traffic. It’s not a commercial blog, aside from an adsense widget in the sidebar, and it’ll never feature sponsored content or paid articles but it’s something my son and I are doing and I want it to be a success. A retro game doesn’t play itself, nor does a 1,000 words write itself every sodding week, so I want something more than the record of what we’ve done, which admittedly is nice in itself.

It’s a competition isn’t it? But what sort of competition? And that I think is the crux of the discussion.

There are two sorts of competition that people engage in. One is to my mind okay, the other unhelpful.

Competing to do the best you can and be the best isn’t inherently wrong, and in a society where we have non competitive sports day and “delayed success” in studies, I think it’s absolutely right to push competition and push yourself and encourage it in your kids.

On the other hand, for some succeeding isn’t enough, they have to succeed at the expense of others. I also refer to it as Conan Syndrome: When asked “What’s the best thing in life Conan?” the Cimmerian replies, “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you and to listen to the lamentations of their women.” This is quite negative obviously. But also really cool:

I think we all struggle to stop veering into the second when we aim for the first, especially as bloggers. That’s why I seldom enter competitions where a blog post is your entry. I have around a 50% success rate in the ones I’ve chosen to enter but it brings out the worst in me when I don’t win because obviously I should have won as far as I’m concerned.

I am fiercely fiercely competitive, which is why I chose not to compete much.

I’ve been a long standing member of a FB Dad Bloggers group. It’s mostly Americans as there are an awful lot of American dad bloggers (enough for their own conference, with hookers, and blackjack etc) but it is incredibly supportive.  Even when people are told that their idea isn’t a good one, it’s done in a constructive manner, with the intention of helping out.

But if I was to look at the one UK parent blogger group I’m still in and see the first post is by an admin warning people to be aware that members are screen shotting comments and emailing them to PR agencies for personal gain, I would feel sad but sadly not be surprised.

I made the throw away comment with regards to that admin post that whenever you get a group of women together chaos will ensue and I wasn’t really being serious but I’ve left other groups with a large majority of female members for pretty much those same reasons, so maybe I was being serious in my usual offhand flippant manner. Having said that I don’t really know enough male bloggers to know if it’s a trend there too; most of the male bloggers I know are either ‘tech or film bloggers and they’re all quite matey with each other.

When I think back to all the blogging scandals I’ve been aware of, from Ssshhh! Blogger back in 2010 onwards, they’ve all been in and around the parent blogger scene. I’ve seen issues elsewhere with people nicking content and passing it off as their own both inside and outside parent blogging but by and large the nasty personal stuff has been in the parent blog area.

It’s possible this is a false positive as increasingly I write more in that arena than elsewhere, and I do acknowledge that. How though do we try to engender an atmosphere of positive competition that sees individuals striving to be the best they can, without all the negativity that it often descends in to?

I for one am stumped and open to suggestions!

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