Continuing my instructional series for a less technically inclined relative of how to do activities on a Chromebook, this one is a walkthru of how to print an Amazon return QR code. The catch is there is no printer so the QR code will be emailed to Staples and printed there. Luckily, it is a “simple” three step procedure. (Well, I think it is simple)
Step 1 – Initiate the Amazon Return
Log into amazon.com
Click on “Returns and Orders” on top
Scroll down to the item you don’t want and choose “Return or replace items”
Select a reason for return from the pull down
Enter a comment/reason why
Choose how you want your return credited – Amazon credit or Credit card return
Choose how you want to return ex: UPS store. Note that some choices are hidden and you can expand to see them
Click “Confirm your return”
Step 2 – Download the QR code
There are three ways to download the QR code to a file. Listing all three here in case Amazon moves things around. Also note that if you don’t do this right away, you can go back to orders and click “View return label and instructions”. Option 2 and 3 both work with that approach as well.
Option 1: Click “Download Return Code” – this automatically downloads to a file
Option 2: Click “View return code”. Then under the QR code, click “Download Return Code”
Option 3: Click “View return code”. Right click the image and choose “Save images as”. Then type in a file name and click “Save”
Step 3 – Email the QR code
Regardless of which option you chose for step 2, you now have a file in your downloads folder with the QR code. Here’s how to send it in gmail.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the paper clip (attachment icon) at the bottom of gmail
Click on the image you downloaded (it will probably have a bunch of numbers in it)
Click “Open” (this will attach it to your message)
Send the email
Click ok that you are sending the email without a subject or body
Optional Step 4: Deleting the QR code
On the Chromebook, go to the bottom left circle and click
The Chromebook has now been with its real owner for a month. Mostly positive experiences.
Issue #1 – Adding bandwidth when almost out of bandwidth
The Chromebook gives you a warning when you are about to run out of the free 100MB for the month. This is good. It gives you time to register for the 1GB plan. Successful so far. Unfortunately, the 100MB ran out DURING this transaction. In particular, it ran out between the payment and the acknowledgement screen. Which made the acknowledgement screen say “waiting” forever.
What went well: You can pay by phone which means you can upgrade your plan even after you run out of bandwidth.
What could have gone better: When calling, the answer was that the plan had already been upgraded (from the online attempt) and the solution was to restart the Chromebook. Which could have been done without the phone call
Issue #2 – “Old” version of Chrome
The Chromebook is currently on Chrome version 21. One website required “Chrome 22 or later.” Chrome 22 came out in September. The problem occurred in November. I don’t think it is reasonable for a website to demand the very latest browser. This isn’t a technical website – people shouldn’t have to upgrade constantly. Plus you can’t upgrade the Chrome browser until the Chromebook itself is ready to upgrade. It’s only one website so I find more fault with the website than the Chromebook.
Solution: I used the website on my Mac reading it over the phone to the Chromebook user.
A good thing
When I used the Chromebook, I’d get “dropped connection” type issues and need to refresh the page. Apparently I was pushing the Chromebook too hard by having two tabs and changing pages often. The Chromebook’s real owner never does that and hasn’t had any such issues. This does make sense – we are on 3g and I’d never seek to do so much on my phone.
Hook up my mother’s old tv to the Chromebook as an external monitor and use the new tv for tv.
Back in NY, I tried to setup the Chromebook to use an external monitor and failed because I needed a display port to VGA adapter. So I ordered one.
Why this still wasn’t trivial
When the adapter got delivered, I encountered some other problems. Fir st a surprise. I paid $2 extra to Amazon for fast delivery. It came via the Postal Service in 3 days. It was fast, just odd because it said the package was coming via Fed Ex.
Anyway, I tried testing the Chromebook and new adapter with the new TV to make sure the adapter was good and the Chromebook could handle an external monitor. It could of course.
Challenge 1 – DCI vs VGA
The old TV I wanted to connect it to had a DCI-I port and not VGA. It didn’t even occur to me this might be a problem. Radio Shack doesn’t sell a converter. Suprisingly Staples does. Which I found out when Radio Shack suggested I look at Staples.
Challenge 2 – The missing remote
This particular TV had a lost remote. And a remote is needed to change from TV mode to DCI or PC mode. We found a universal remote and the instructions for it. Then we switched the mode.
Challenge 3 – The TV isn’t long enough
The VGA wire plus adapter is longer than the horizontal space in that part of the tv. In particular the stand blocks it. Hmm. What to do about this. I tried shoving it in to no avail. I then tried unplugging the adapter from the VGA cable. I inserted just the DCI adapter into the tv and screwed it in tightly. I then inserted the VGA cable into the adapter at an angle and screwed it in as tight as I could. Amazingly this worked!
It was a lot harder to do this than it should have been. But the result was an external monitor and a new tv. Interestingly, setting up an external monitor for my mac was trivial. I already had a mini display port to vga adapter from when I used to plug the mac into my real tv. From then on, it was plug and play.