A Conversation with Mum about her Kindle – and Conspiracy Theories
I’ve been avoiding this one. I am a bad daughter.
Mum: I don’t like this new Kindle.
Me: (With great trepidation and a lot of avoidance) Oh (said very vaguely)
Mum: Are you listening to me?
Mum: It’s not as good as the old one.
Me: Why not?
Mum: Well. The main problem is this cloud thing.
Me: I thought so.
Mum: Also there’s the thumb thing, but you can’t do anything about that.
Me: Good. I think.
Mum: Every book I’ve ever bought from Amazon is on there.
Me: Yes, that’s the point.
Mum: Well, it’s not very helpful.
Me: It would be less helpful if you didn’t have all your books.
Mum: But I can’t remember if I’ve read them or not.
Me: But that’s the same as when your books were on a shelf. You had to pick them up and flick to a page to remember.
Mum: No it’s not.
Me: Yes it is, you used to complain you sometimes bought the same book twice.
Mum: Well, yes I did do that.
Me: So what’s the problem?
Mum: Amazon doesn’t tell me if I’ve read a book in the cloud.
Me: Amazon doesn’t know if you’ve read it—they only know you bought it.
Mum: That’s not true.
Me: Yes it is.
Mum: Oh no it’s not. Amazon knows everything I do.
Me: No they don’t. They wish they did, but once a book is on your Kindle they don’t know if you’ve read it or made soup with it.
Mum: I’ve never made soup in my life.
Me: I know.
Mum: So you’re telling me Amazon doesn’t know what page I’m up to in the Patterson book?
Me: (I don’t get an answer out quick enough)
Mum: You’re wrong. They know. That’s why I’m mad.
Me: If the Patterson book is on your device then the device knows where you’re up to, but if it’s in the cloud then no.
Mum: Well, what kind of stupidity is that then? That’s just bloody minded. I might write to them about that.
Me: Um. Please don’t write to them.
Mum: And another thing. I can’t delete anything off this stupid thing.
Me: What do you want to delete?
Mum: When I’ve read something I might as well delete it.
Me: Yes, okay. I’ll show you how.
Mum: I know how, but it doesn’t work.
Me: What do you mean?
Mum: Watch. (She deletes some title with the word Moon in it).
Me: That’s right.
Mum: It’s not. Look. (She shows me the title in the Cloud). It’s still here.
Me: (Sigh.) Yes, because it’s in the cloud.
Mum: This is just stupid.
Me: Think about it like this. You have books you’re going to read on your bedside table.
Mum: In the old days, yes.
Me: Yes, in the old days, you big geek. And you have books on a shelf that you’ve already read.
Mum: I might have books on the shelf I haven’t read.
Me: You might, but just go with me here. When you’ve finished a book from the bedside table you put it on the shelf. That’s like deleting it from the device and but it staying in the cloud.
Mum: No it’s not.
Me: Yes it is
Mum: Then I should be able to take the whole lot to St Vinnies.
Me: Well you can’t do that.
Mum: If I had books on a shelf I’d know if I’d read them.
Me: Most of the time, right. So you should know if you’ve read books in the cloud.
Mum: But I don’t.
Me: Well whose fault is that?
Mum: Amazon’s. And another thing.
Me: Fancy that
Mum: I have to charge it up all the time.
Me: Battery life should be longer than your old one.
Mum: It’s not.
Me: Is your wireless on?
Me: I need to see it, because you don’t understand the wireless.
Mum: Yes I do now, you explained it.
Me: (Picks up Kindle) Your wireless is on.
Mum: No it’s not.
Me: Yes it is. See here it says 3G and shows the bars—it’s on.
Mum: But airplane mode is off.
Me: Yes, so wireless is on.
Mum: That makes no sense. Can’t they tell I’m not in an airplane anyway?
Me: No Mum they can’t and that would be terrible if they could.
Mum: I bet they can tell.
Me: They shot Kennedy too.
Mum: (Looks at me in horror) You’re not one of those silly conspiracy people are you?
Me: No, but you are.
Mum: I am not.
Me: Amazon cannot tell if you are in an airplane or not.
Mum: I bet they get confused about you.
Me: Why would they get confused about me?
Mum: You live near the airport, that must confuse them.
Me: (Jaw flap)
Mum: Why do they call it airplane mode then?
Me: Just to annoy you.
Mum: Well they’ve got that right.
Me: So we need to turn your wireless off, which on this Kindle is turning airplane mode on.
Mum: That is ridiculous.
Me: It’s the way this one works. You need the little symbol of the plane to show.
Mum: But that would mean airplane mode is on
Me: Yes that’s what you want.
Mum: But the button says off.
Me: (She’s right the slider is confusing—if you’re Mum)
Mum: Okay I’ve got it. When the button says off it’s on and when it says on it’s off
Me: (I think about this)
Mum: It’s backwards. I just have to remember it’s backwards.
Mum: You know what. for a company that knows I don’t cook soup, Amazon are pretty dumb.