For those of you who have been around long enough to experience some of the earlier PDAs based on flash memory like Palm's initial Pilot and later, devices like the iPaq that were based on Microsoft's PocketPC operating system, then you'll remember what a drag it sometimes was when those devices became so inoperable that you had to issue what is known as a hard reset to return them to a functioning state. Like other personal devices that have come before it, Amazon's Kindle ebook client (downloader, reader, etc.) is a flash-based device that, like anything else with an operating system (the Kindle is a Java device), is going to crash from time to time.
So, one question I had when I first unboxed the Kindle and starting using it was, when it crashes, what's the recovery like? How graceful is the comeback? Will resetting the device wipe out its memory? And if it does, will I be able to log back in to Amazon.com and re-acquire an content that I had previously paid for and downloaded. Well, I didn't have to wait too long to find out the answer to that question. Yesterday, after connecting the Kindle to my PC (via a USB wire) to test the Kindle's file transfer and viewing capability (in addition to its own .AZW format, the Kindle supports .TXT, .AA, .MOBI, .PRC, and MP3 file types), it crashed. The user interface simply froze in place and as you can see in the attached video, the digital paper continued to show the last page that was on the Kindle's screen just before the crash. Toggling the Kindle's on/off switch did nothing to revive the device. So, I turned to the manual which instructed me to remove the Kindle's back cover (in the video, you'll see how this reveals the battery and an SD slot) and insert something sharp like a paper clip into the reset hole.
What happened next? The Kindle's screen went blank, then it flashed a bunch of times, then it presented the Amazon Kindle splash screen and then, it booted to the home page where, as you can see, all of my content (admittedly, not much, but I have so far purchased two books) was still there. Cool! The Kindle gets good marks for crash recovery.