Context is everything

There's a non-story going around the tech blogs right now that I was planning to ignore. But then it got picked up by TechDirt and then CrunchGear. There's still no real news here, but the fact that 2 major blogs have picked up on it is interesting. Let me sum up the background before discussing it:

Someone did a firmware update on his gadget. The gadget deleted content during the update.

I'm surprised that there are so many people who don't know that firmware updates can bork files. Seriously, step one of any update is to backup your data. But apparently this is news, hence the shrieking going around the web right now (the Nook can Delete Your CONTENT! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!).

BTW, the blogs I linked to didn't bother to read the source carefully. All files were deleted, not just user content. It sounds to me like the gadget had to repartition the internal Flash storage so it had more space for the new firmware. Again, this is a normal concern for updates.

The gadget in question is a Nook, but that really doesn't matter here. One might also think that B&N customer service handled this poorly (read the source), but all we have is the word of the original source, and he's obviously an idiot.

Context is everything. There was no story here, and now that I've explained the context I hope you can see that.

About Nate Hoffelder (11468 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Context is everything

  1. I put a lengthy comment up at TeleRead, but I’ll summarize it here.

    The problem wasn’t the update. The update was a symptom of the real problem, which was that the NOOK did a Factory Fallback in which the unit is completely reset to the “fresh from the factory” conditions. This removes all user content and resets the software to the originally shipped version. Then it finds there’s an update and applies the update.

    A few NOOKs have been known to spontaneously perform a Factory Fallback. Those units are defective. The Factory Fallback is only supposed to be triggered by a specific and somewhat lengthy sequence of operations with the power button.

    If the B&N Customer Service rep did blame the data loss on the update, the rep was in error.

    This incident is mainly an annoyance. The B&N e-books are kept available on the B&N account and can be downloaded again. Presumably, all non-B&N material still exists on the computer it was copied from and can be copied again. The main data loss is user-created highlights, notes, and bookmarks, and the current page number being read on each book, because those currently aren’t being stored “in the cloud” and can’t be retrieved to be backed up.

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