Monthly Archives: December 2013

Not a Technology Expert but the Chromebook Eases My Nerves

A few weeks ago I expressed my displeasure and disgust with my Windows machine, particularly its chronic requirement to update at the most inconvenient times.  I’m still using said machine, but for music and photos only.  That may change soon as well.  However for writing I’ve chosen to use a Chromebook.

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Most of what I do is on the web and a lot of it is in the Googlesphere so it made sense for me to go with the Chromebook because I knew everything would work seamlessly, play well with my other devices and it came with ports for me to plug in anything else I may need. The next decisions were size (11″ or 14″) and brand.

The size question was easy.  I wanted something small and light that would fit in just about any bag.  The 11″ filled that requirement.  I was leaning toward the H-P but read (repeatedly) that there had been a problem with the charger and that the HP 11″ had been pulled from retailers.  It has since returned but with my nerves reaching the fraying point and not wanting to wait I went with Samsung.  Their products are familiar and their Chromebook placed better in reviews than the Acer version.

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How I use it
Writing – All blog drafts are written in Evernote most other docs are created on Google Drive (except when working with other Windows/Microsoft users).  Evernote and Drive can be used on all my devices and I was starting a lot of blog posts on my phone anyway so the Chromebook made it more convenient and comfortable.

Photos – I don’t do much with photos on the Chromebook except add them to blog posts. if the photos were taken on a camera I pull and edit (if necessary) on my Windows machine, if there is no editing photos are uploaded from the SD card to Google Drive and pulled into the blog. it’s pretty convenient and simple.

Video – I have watched a few videos on the machine and was underwhelmed.  I don’t know what the resolution is on the Chromebook but the colors are not dynamic.  However for Exercise video I use the Chromebook exclusively.  I workout in the morning and have ZERO time to wait on my Windows machine to do all that syncing and updating.  I open the Chromebook, sign in, click YouTube and start working out.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Drawbacks

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When I first used the keyboard I was a bit annoyed that the delete, end, home and caps lock buttons are non-existent.  That was fixed by Googling the keyboard shortcuts of which my most frequently used is “delete” which is alt+backspace. Additionally using a web machine requires some organization in terms of files and workflow.  I’d been subconsciously prepping for the move to mostly web-based work for a couple of years so it wasn’t a bad transition.  However if you’re heavily dependent on local files you’ll have a bit of work to do.

Recommendations
I highly recommend the Chromebook for writers.  It’s so simple, fast and convenient I really wouldn’t think of writing on anything else especially if the majority of that writing is web-based and you want to spend your time creating instead of waiting.

Do you work mostly on the web or are you a writer?  Do you use a Chromebook to meet those needs or another machine? Let me know in the comments, Twitter or Google+ and let me know your experiences.

Note: I’m not a paid spokesperson for Google or Samsung. Remember, I’m not an expert 🙂

Photos: MsThorns
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Not an OS Expert but Windows Is on My Last Nerve

20131215_221200I live a fairly regimented life. A certain amount of time is allotted for all the things that I have to do throughout the day.  This doesn’t always work to perfection at my 9 to 5 but my expectation once I walk out of the doors of my employer is that I’m the master of my universe.  Part of that universe involves writing and managing my photo and music libraries.  Out of those three things it takes me the longest to do the writing, specifically the editing.  The last thing I want to do, on a tight schedule is wait on Windows.

Scenario one:  After looking for my wireless and syncing all my cloud stuff my three year old HP Pavilion is still pretty zippy and does everything that I want it do, and do it quite well.  However it never fails that when I’m writing that BOOM an “important Windows update” needs to happen that will require me to save my work because my machine will restart in x minutes.  I usually delay it, but to have it even pop up in the first place totally messes with my writing chi.

Scenario two: Posts written and scheduled, photos uploaded, etc. Mission accomplished. I’m tired and ready to shut down but I can’t go to bed.  Windows needs to load updates and says to me  “do not turn off or unplug your computer”. This is problematic because I shut down and pack up everything at night to avoid the mad rush in the morning. Small updates usually finish while I’m prepping for bed, big ones require me to leave it on.  Windows is messing with my bed time.

Scenario three: I just remembered something I need to pull before I leave for the gym/work/wherever in the morning.  I need to  turn on quickly to retrieve said item and hop off.  Windows says no can do, it has to load the previous updates. Windows is now messing with my morning flow which always elicits a couple of F bombs and promises to myself to never try to do something “quick” on my machine in the morning.

Windows has danced around me, teased me, taunted me and is now on my last nerve and I must do something about it. Any ideas on how to get Windows off my nerves?

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