Fun with technology

posted in: Life and things | 2

In these days of rapidly advancing tech I’ll bet we’re not the only people who upgrade their equipment and then have a perfectly good, not particularly out of date piece of equipment that they might as well sell. I had a Samsung Tab A which was now superfluous to requirements, so we listed it for sale on Gumtree.

Naturally, I checked on the net to find out how to remove my data and restore the device to factory settings. It’s not hard, just requires a bit of dexterity because you have to hold down the home key (on the front) while also holding down the power key and the volume up button (both on the side). [1] That all worked. People came, paid us money, and left with the tablet – and, as it happens, a second tablet which we hadn’t yet listed – also in good condition, but a little older.

These folks live in Maryborough, about 40k from us. Not long after they would have reached home we received a message that while Pete’s old machine worked just fine, my ex was asking for a google sign-in from the owner. Me.  The message says “This device was reset. To continue, sign in with a Google Account that was previously synced on this device.” They’d set up Pete’s old machine without any problems. WTF?

I was nonplussed, to say the least, and started digging around on the net. The lockout is an anti-theft approach developed by Google for units running its Android OS. I had used the tablet to check my mail on Gmail, and to make purchases from Google’s Playstore. Naturally, that required a username and password, so the device was registered as mine. Without my username and password, the device was rendered useless.

Well, that’s pretty nifty. But I’ll bet I’m not the only one who ever wanted to sell a phone or tablet.  Eventually, I tracked down a site which explained the situation. BEFORE I reset the tablet to factory settings I should have removed my user account. Samsung’s own site says nothing at about a Google account – which I think is pretty ordinary. However, (armed with a print out of instructions) we took a drive to Maryborough to fix the machine.

But it was one of those days. We were a kilometre up the road when I asked Pete to go home so I could write down my Google password. Then the Merc’s useless navigation system failed us again, trying to send us down what was left of the road after that part was blocked off. Then, when I logged into the device it sent a confirmation code to my mobile phone. Which was… at home. So we took the tablet home. BTW, Pete’s old unit didn’t have that problem because he didn’t have a user account on the machine.

I had intended to cook a whole chook for dinner, but by the time we got home, it was too late, so we went to the golf club’s restaurant for dinner, and wasted a few bucks on the pokies. (I’m over it, really. There’s no skill involved, just dumb luck – and we didn’t have any.) We ate a nice meal and went home. As soon as we turned into our driveway, I said, “Oh fuck, I left my bag at the restaurant.” I don’t take my bag anywhere much, unless I’m on my own. But for this trip to the golf club it was a bit like the old lady and the fly. I took the bag to carry the purse, I carried the purse to carry the membership card… So Pete turned the car around and headed back the way we’d come. It was going on for nine, but the place had been virtually empty except for us and maybe two other tables, one of which left before us. While we were there we asked if Sunday night was always that busy. They said it was hit-and-miss, but they thought all the regulars might have been all partied out after Saturday’s John Farnham et al concert. On the way back we thought they might shut up shop early. But we were in luck. The nice lass who’d looked after our needs all evening had found the bag. She tried calling us, which was possible because we’d signed in with our club membership. No, I didn’t have my mobile with me – I rarely carry it since I’ve retired. And anyhow, the number on our membership was wrong. The nice lass returned my bag, and fixed up the phone number while she was at it.

So there you go. You’re allowed to laugh. Here’s the link to the article about removing your account from a Samsung device. We’ll deliver the device back to the new owners today. And I’ll take my bag, and my phone – just in case.

2 Responses

  1. Colin

    Sorry Greta, but I did laugh out loud when I got to the bit where the Google code went to the mobile phone you’d left at home.
    Bet you needed a scotch at the end of that day.

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