Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wings almost clipped


When it comes to service we tend to remember the times we've had cause to complain about something far more than the times we've been well-treated.  So by way of amending that approach, I want to tell you about ClippingsConverter.com and Jim, who's the man behind it (he's a Brit working in the US).  I'm not entirely sure of Jim's role, but I suspect he may be Clippings Converter.

Anyway, those of you who use Amazon Kindles will know that you can make notes as you're reading, or highlight passages, or do various other things.  The  'My Clippings' file includes some other things which I don't use much, so I can't remember what they are offhand.   I don't tend to use the features when I'm reading a novel, although occasionally a phrase or word will catch my eye, but when I'm reading non-fiction, I use the clippings feature a lot.  It's the equivalent of scribbling in the margins or underlining in a 'real' book.
Bird with clipped wings by iglazer

I came across ClippingsConverter.com because I'd been trying to sync the clippings for a particular book (Hannah's Child, by Stanley Hauerwas) and for some reason - and this is the only time it's happened - the notes wouldn't sync to my computer, however much I tried.  You can read the notes and highlights online at Amazon's Kindle pages, but normally I would read them in relation to my 'copy' of the book on my computer.

ClippingsConverter.com offers to upload your My Clippings file (once you've transferred it to your computer (in the My Kindle Content folder, a folder that arises automatically once you've got Kindle on your computer) and turn it into an Excel file or a Word file or even to send it to Evernote.  (Since, for the first time ever, I've used up vast quantities of my monthly allowance on Evernote, I thought I'd forgo that option this time round.)

I went to ClippingsConverter, got the file, uploaded, and then found I had to register.  No problem, except that from then on I couldn't get back into the system with my username and password.  I asked for a resetting of the password and got the most horrendous and unmemorable password you've ever seen (certainly one that's hacker-fullproof, I'd think) but this wouldn't let me log in either.

I emailed the feedback section and Jim emailed me back, saying he was puzzled about why the password wouldn't work, as it worked at his end.  Finally he offered to check out remotely what was happening on my computer when I tried to log on.   Which meant he had to set up a 'meeting' online and ring me on my ordinary phone.   At his expense.

The problem was very quickly solved: somewhere between my original registering and my subsequent attempts to log on, the username had been changed from what I'd put in to my email address - the username is similar.  I don't think the system did it; I suspect in the confusion of going back and forth I may have gone for the email address instead of the username proper.   And according to Jim, that should be acceptable.   The system should take both.

He was grateful that working through my problem meant he'd found something that wasn't quite working according to Hoyle.  So that was pleasing all round, as I guess he may have had other people with the same issue who've given up on the site.   But what was most pleasing was that someone would take their time to deal personally with a problem. even if it meant a call from New York to Dunedin, New Zealand.

Good on yer, mate!
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