Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Death of a Nexus 7

A few days ago, the Nexus 7 I bought secondhand from Walmart as a refurbished tablet began to act up. For no explicable reason the screen would shut off and refuse to come back on. That necessitated powering it off then on again.
Today the situation became intolerable with the tablet just freezing after it had been powered up. Reading around, there was a recovery mode/factory reset function available. Recovery mode brought up a list of failure messages where the tablet was apparently looking for files on a partition that didn't exist. My best guess is that in the refurbishment process, somebody had reflashed the unit but had flashed it as a single partition. This is not really surprising as there are a lot of semi-skilled illiterates with A+ "qualifications" that really couldn't tell the difference between a computer and a bowl of beef stroganoff!

The upshot of today's shenanigans was that the tablet after being given a factory reset now just comes up with the word "google" on the screen and that's it. It progresses no further. Clearly this is the end of the road for this tablet - or is it? This could well feature in my next video on the rifle range - just like my old Virgin phone did!

Clearly $100 for a tablet that lasted barely 14 months is not good value. I had forgotten my golden rule which is that like shoes, you never buy used electronics. I have ordered a new tablet - a cheaper brand. This time it's an RCA tablet for $45 from Walmart. That shluld be here on Monday. Unlike my previous RCA tablet which was incredibly limited by having a miserly 8gb of memory, this one has 16.

Overall, I find tablets  to be a very useful addition to my technology arsenal. Given that they're so disposeable, it's really good news that everything is automatically backed up to the cloud - despite the uncomfortably close relationship between sinister government bodies and Google. I'm hoping that my interest in photography, travel and busses does not land me on the government naughty list!

My other adventures with technology today have been equally frustrating. First, on my way home, my GPS refused to kick in until I'd been driving for 20 minutes. Then, when it did, it told me I was driving across the Pacific at 423mph whereas at the time I was stationary at a stop light in the backwoods of South Carolina. I wasn't sure whether the TomTom was playing banjo music or somebody lurking in a tumbledown cabin beside the road! The next frustration was an old frustration - I tried updating my blog on my macbook but the screen kept shutting down. That's probably a battery issue. Getting tired of  flicking the brighter and dimmer buttons just to get brief flashes of light on the screen, I turned to my phone. Remembering I'd purchased a bluetooth keyboard for it, I started using the keyboard. After half an hour of getting multiple keystrokes appearing when the keys had been pressed just once, I remembered why I didn't use that keyboard. I did what I should have done months ago and tossed the blasted thing in the trash can.

So, technology - bah! None of it seems to be working today. That pretty much tells me not to blow any more money on newer cameras!

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