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Stop Gap Solution - Livescribe Display. (update 2019 at end)

Livescribe Controls - mute

Livescribe's dimming display.

I can't deny my Livescribe pen revolutionised how I deal with and cope with text. With Livescribe, I am able to take notes and notate the audio taking place around me. This took away a lot of anxiety I often experience where I need to note down relevant elements but equally, pay attention and be present in a room. Where there is a pressure to produce minutes or notes for circulation, striking a balance between documentation and participation came with a disorientation that prevented me doing either satisfactorily. Then....

I was introduced to Livescribe. I remember it well. The iPad had just launched and a colleague bought hers to a meeting where I bemoaned not being able to justify to myself a very expensive pdf reader! She did then show me her Livescribe pen. I immediately bought one! And now I have an iPad (still 2nd generation) I wouldn't be without either.

Recently however my Livescribe pen has faulted in securing its initial and valued purpose in providing confidence to enable me to 'keep up' with the world as I see it. It's a Dyslexic thing.

The Livescribe display screen is rapidly fading into blankness.

At first, I thought it was due to the brightness in the rooms my meetings were taking place in. After some research, I discover it's a 'known' issue
one which Livescribe seem to have addressed with new pens bought after January 2015 having an extended 3 yrs warranty but that doesn't help me. Anyone reading this far and experiencing this display failure I have a 'keep it going a while longer' fix/fudge. 

It takes a small leap of faith! It takes the settings you had when you last configured the pen with the screen visible.

One touch of the power button to turn the pen on. Then I tap/prod the activity sounds volume mute button twice. Once to mute the sound cues and a second prod of the icon with the pen reactivates them with a Livescribe 'tock' sound. 


This is the only indication that my pen is on! That 'tock' sound.

Occasionally and at the bottom of each page before turning a page I tap
the volume mute twice to reassure me the pen is still on. (I just did it then!)

Well, that's my post. Why do I love Livescribe? Why am I sharing a fix/fudge? I can take this handwritten post, upload the pages, convert the handwriting to text in MyScript for Livescribe then copy and paste the text to my blogging app. (as I have done with this post)

I'm very angry about the failing display, don't get me wrong. I can't afford a new pen right now and I'm massively disappointed in Livescribe the company but this capability afforded by the pen as an assistive technology aiding the management of my dyslexia is essential to me and for now after much sulking and badly notated meetings recently not knowing if the pen is on or off, making do with the handwritten 'backup' without accompanying audio I feel I can use it properly again, at least for a while.

Before I posted this I reviewed the search results for 'Livescribe display fail' and thought I'd give Livescribe's Live Chat customer service a try.

This is what happened... 

I visited the customer support page and started a Live Chat session.

It went like this...

Can you help at all? I rely on my Livescribe as an assistive technology to help manage my dyslexia. After searching the issue I know the dimming display modules are a known issue to you and for a while, you offered a discount program to replace failed pens. Is there anything you can do for me as I can't afford a new pen right now. I am currently preparing a blog post to share my current fix/fudge of relying on the audio cue produced when muting and unmuting the pen's voice instructions and playback volume.
It has been a struggle recently not having the pen working and this is a way I can self-rely on it working.I have had my current pen since 2012 and it has been well used and lovingly cared for.
I do hope you can help me.
This was me vlogging my very first Livescribe pen in 2010. 
The Pulse pen in the linked blog post was stolen in 2012 and my professional association insurance with Equity paid out for me to get a new one as it was accessed as being essential to me doing my job.
Best Regards
Caron @pcmcreative
The resulting dialogue in the chat session (edited for easier reading)
Rizek: Hi, my name is Rizek. I'll be helping you with your chat request. 
Caron Lyon: Cool, I forgot it was text chat as I was writing the question. 

Rizek: Can you please confirm if you tried the brightness 
Caron Lyon: Yes its at 100% 
Rizek: OK. 
Rizek: Now, we will need to verify your smartpen warranty. To verify your smartpen warranty status, please provide us with the following information :
- Where are you located ?
- Where did you purchase your smartpen ?
- Smartpen memory size :
- Email address you used to register your smartpen :
- Smartpen serial number :
Caron Lyon: I'm in the UK. The pen was bought through Amazon (I have the paperwork) but it was 2012. Memory size is 4GB. Email used to register is
Caron Lyon: I'm trying to locate the serial number 
Rizek: OK. 
Caron Lyon: can't use the display obviously 
Rizek: I see. 
Caron Lyon: (I found a serial number) 
Rizek: Ok allow me one sec.  
Rizek: The smartpen is registered 2010 
Caron Lyon: yes that's when I got my first pen. It was stolen and registering the replacement seems not to have updated. 
Rizek: Can you please send me the logs file? 
Caron Lyon: The log file. Yes. I was looking for that when I found that serial. hold on. 
Rizek: Sure. 

File attachment upload has started.  
The file (899.89KB) was received.
Rizek: Thanks! 
Rizek: Your smartpen is not registered.  
Caron Lyon: Is that a problem. 
Caron Lyon: It was all a bit complicated when I had the original stolen. The software has changed since then but I was never sure if it had registered properly. It has been working just fine though. It's just the display. 
Rizek: Allow me one sec to investigate. 
Caron Lyon: ok 
Caron Lyon: Thank you for taking time with this. I really appreciate it. 
Rizek: You're welcome. 
Caron Lyon: Eventually, I'll have to buy a new one if you can't help. I just thought it was worth making contact. Also, I've recommended Livescribe to many who in turn purchased pens and if this happens to them I want to have a good customer service story to tell them. 
Caron Lyon: Current warranty on new pens is 3 yrs I understand so even by those standards my pen had a good innings!

Rizek: Ok 
Rizek: My manager has seen your situation and he has approved me to replace your smartpen with a 2GB echo as per customer courtesy. 
Rizek: Can you please confirm your address. 
Caron Lyon: Cool that would be fantastic 
Rizek: Please make sure to review this article to help avoid any future issues with your replacement smartpen: 20104 - Smartpen maintenance and cleaning

Once we receive this information we will send you a replacement.
Caron Lyon: My address is (I confirmed my address)
Rizek: Thanks 
Caron Lyon: I've read the care instructions. It's a valuable tool for me so those are obeyed. 
Rizek: Phone number? 
Caron Lyon: Mobile: +44 (0) 78892xxxxx 
Caron Lyon: Is that all you need? I am so pleased. 
Caron Lyon: 2GB will do fine. I rarely reached capacity before archiving. 
Rizek: Yes I have all the information I need 
Caron Lyon: Thank you Rizek. You have been most helpful. And you changed the ending of my next blog post about to be published. I love a happy ending. 
Caron Lyon: I hope the screen behaves this time, well for 3 yrs at least. 
Rizek: You're welcome. 
Caron Lyon: I look forward to receiving my new pen. 
Caron Lyon: If that's all I'll say goodbye 
Rizek: You will receive the tracking information between 24/48 hours. 
Rizek: Have a good day! 
Caron Lyon: and you 
I'll do an update when it arrives.
Let me know if you are a Livescribe fan and have had this happen to you.
S000... Yes, the pen arrived and has been my go-to faithful pen ever since.
This is one of my read posts and received the best questioning comments.
The screen has not dimmed. I have bought clients Echo Smartpens from Ebay at around £50 with notebooks and even Livescribe folio cover on occasion.
I recently bought a Livescribe 3 which I discovered is NOT an upgrade to the Echo but an evolution of sorts even a devolution in some respects.
I use both Echo and 3 for different purposes. Blog post to come on that.
As for this dimming issue, it's worth quoting this post should you be contacting support.
Do let me know your experiences.
Check out my comments to specific comments.