Why I trashed my Kobo

In 2013 I purchased a Kobo e-reader so that I had something to read on the train when I went to work. I had originally considered a Kindle but the Kobo was not tied into Amazon and seemed like a nice device at a good price (£30). It was. Until today. 

Usually when I connect it to my computer it goes and updates itself and synchs and whatever.  After I had made my purchase (4 books) I then went to upload them to the device only to be faced with a new screen that demanded I log into their desktop. I usually keep the wifi disabled on the device but could not even access any screen inside the device to enable the wifi or do anything else with. It wanted that damn user name and password!

I then tried to connect via the computer and it asked me to log into their desktop that I was still logged into and connected to. Eventually I gave up and added in my user name and password only to be shown a captcha that had 9 blocks with a vague and out of focus picture on it where I had to select all pictures with a car. I swear those pics were 640×480 versions of what may have been cars or smears or trees. I reloaded to try a new picture and now had to choose fire hydrants and crosswalks. for crying out loud I could barely make out what the picture was and even if I did nothing happened when I hit the verify button, I could not get past that really bad captcha screen (please note: I am not a robot!!!)

I was not going to get anywhere like this so went back to the wifi setup on the device. Once again it displayed the that login screen but this time would not let me type in the details or do anything. That was the last straw and I sent the kobo to digital hell. What in the fcuk are they trying to do? it is because every company wants to use and sell your details to its dodgy “partners” who spam you with crap? I have had this device for many years, why is it suddenly wanting all this info? Or just maybe they want you to login with social media so that they can get you to tag your fricking friends or press “like”. The owner of the Kobo brand is in it for the money and they have effectively lost a  customer. I do not need this crap in my life. All I want to do is read my books in peace and nothing else but they have effectively removed me from that pleasure.  That captcha thing is illogical, it does not work. Why inflict that crap on us I do not know. Actually I do know, but if you are going to create/use a captcha make one that is legible, logical and that actually works!

So I am now koboless, angry, and ready to fire off letters to everybody and their ilk. Kindle, here I come!

Kobo with the back removed.

Update: I have placed an order for a Kindle, I am unable to get any response out of the Kobo and will take it apart when I am bored. The one nagging feeling I have always had about the Kobo was that there was not a huge selection of books for me to read at their store. If I was only reading  women’s fiction then I would have had lots to read but it appears as if they are not really interested in catering for male readers. I liked my Kobo, it was easy to use, did the job and had a great battery life although I have been noticing that the battery was needing to be charged more often lately. In my quest for a replacement there was only one that seemed to be popular (besides the Kindle) and that unfortunately is the Kobo and I am not going to touch them ever again. Where did all of the e-reader devices go to? or were they killed off by the tablet and smartphone? 

 

Kindle vs Kobo.

I bought the 10th generation Kindle and have now been using it for awhile. My verdict? I will be honest and say that I preferred the Kobo from a hardware perspective. The Kindle feels plasticy and I think if dropped it will crack or shatter. The battery life does not seem as good as that on the Kobo either. From a content perspective there is much more available though, but unfortunately you still end up being tied to connecting to Amazon. The Kobo also had a slot for expanded memory whereas the Kindle I have only has 4GB available and no options for an expanded memory and there is no way this can hold “thousands of books” as advertised. I have less than a 100 and already the memory space has been reduced. What does seem to happen is that the Kindle stores the cover and a link to the content that lives on “the cloud”, and that comes down when you want to read the book. I have also hit the situation where I have finished a book only to be taken to a screen that wants me to rate and review the book. I am not connected to wifi as a rule so it is not going to happen; but I am unable to actually finish a book because of this and that last page can only be overcome by going 1 page backwards and then exiting the book.  So far that is my theory based on my observations of the device. But, I may be wrong. Overall the Kobo was the better device although from the content side it was not. The jury is out, but I am still more biased towards the Kobo. 

 

DRW 2020 The last Kobo user has left the building on 10/05/2020 

Litter Bug!

One nasty side effect of the recent flooding has been the proliferation of litter that is now on the tide marks of the flood water. Where I stay this is particularly true and the majority of litter is plastic bottles. 

Yes, somebody was too bloody lazy to throw their litter into a bin or take it home to dispose of it. Makes you feel proud to be a member of the human race! 

Our town has an active group of volunteer litter pickers that goes around picking up other people’s crap and keeping the streets relatively clean although it is a thankless task and a never ending one too. I occasionally help out but am not a registered picker and don’t really have the bags and place to dispose of the contents in.  This morning I took my handy picker and 2 bags and tried to make a dent on the landscape. I filled 2 black bags with litter, although it was mostly plastic drinks and water bottles. It looks better already!

Before
After

I am not done yet, just after I post this I am meeting up with others who want to tackle the mess. We are going to make a difference, even if it is a drop in the ocean. Unfortunately because of the nature of the floodwater the litter is not really recyclable so it will all end up in a garbage site somewhere. 

Hopefully I will get some pics a bit later today to show what we did. Watch this space and pick up that garbage!! 

Job done…

Before
After

Unfortunately the mess on the other river bank will need to be approached from a different angle and we have not worked that out yet. But things are looking so much better now. 6 bags of litter was collected on the riverbank, and there is probably enough to be found to fill another 3.

Out of interest I worked on a recycling line way back in 2015 and learnt quite a lot while wading through the conveyor belt that rushed past me. A large portion of what went past us was catalogues in plastic bags addressed to somebody that had been thrown away unopened. People throw anything away… from clothing to food, plastic, cardboard, polystyrene, electronic waste and tons of unidentifiable rubbish. We were doing this just after Christmas so we had the additional burden of unwanted gift wrapping and decorations, food packaging, and the normal run of the mill stuff. To help pass the time I used to count clothing items to see how many people I could cloth on a shift from clothing that had been binned;  I seem to remember one evening tallying up enough clothing for 8 people! (including shoes and underwear).  Naturally some things I wanted to save, quite a lot of old family photographs passed along our line and those were sad because one day somebody may ask about them.  They were not mere photographs but often the only tangible reminder of lives that have passed. 

So, having enthralled everybody with my tales from the garbage age I would like to share two photos that I took in Johannesburg in 2012.  

This is the daily slog for many of the informal litter pickers who trudge through the streets in South Africa with their strange cart-traptions, They recycle tins, paper, cardboard and almost anything that has value. White paper is particularly favoured as it does have a high resale value. People like this do not get the full value of their collecting as it is often sold to a middleman at a fraction of the price. As much as they tended to mess up traffic with their huge loads they not only kept our streets cleaner but also performed a very necessary role in the recycling chain.  Where I used to work in Kyalami Business Park there were many cardboard collectors vying for a place in the pecking order, and we employed one to help us clear out our workshop and we even gave him a few days casual work, but his already difficult life was messed up when somebody stole his trolley, forcing him to have to carry his loads by hand, and even at the bottom of society your life can change dramatically overnight. If I had 10 of these guys we could clean this town up in a week, although the odds are 20 more would suddenly appear out of nowhere for such is the nature of poverty and need.  Remember: there but for the grace of God go I.  

Right.. let me grab my goodies and go do my good deed for the day. 

DRW © 2020. Created 14/03/2020