Chromebooks

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Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:08 pm

Does anyone use a chromebook...

The last time I got away from an X86 I ended up in PiLand, and that's not ready for the desktop yet.

So more recently I picked up an Asus C302 and for browsing, it's really quite nice. And they are telling be that by the end of April I will even have the Android Playstore.

Is that the end of the PC?

Is that the end of the Raspberry PI?

Is that the end of teardrop?

Okay, I got a bit carried away! And it's not even April Fools Day...

but here's my Chromebook...
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby greygoos » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:13 pm

I use a Chromebook. Great for surfing the internet, plenty of speed, easy to carry around, I have no need for anything else.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby Mike B » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:59 am

mikeschn wrote:Is that the end of the PC?

Is that the end of the Raspberry PI?


Being a retired programmer, I have accumulated many computers. I have three laptops (which is ridiculous, because how many do you really need?) One is a Pi-Top (guess what drives that), one is a dual-core AMD from Acer and one is an Intel i7 from a place in California called ZaReason. None of them run that crippled, buggy, so-called operating system from Microsoft. They all run fast and well using Linux Mint as their O/S.

I have more needs than your ordinary person, who just browses the Net, so I need more capability. That is why I was never tempted to go the Chromebook route. I use the Acer as a programming platform for Arduino microcontroller boards. I use the other two to impress my friends - the Pi-Top because it has a Raspberry Pi at its core, and the zaReason because it runs eight CPU threads simultaneously.. 8)

Yesterday I did come partially into the Chromebook world by installing the Chrome web browser. It seems to run fine on my Acer and if I let go of Firefox, I can eliminate the frequent 40MB Firefox updates.

In summary, no - the desktop/laptop is not dead. It's just resting until it moves on to more important things.

BTW, I also have four desktop computers, all running Linux. One of them is my Personal Video Recorder, and another is a multimedia server for the Roku box I have hooked up to my TV. I've been runnning Linux since 1995 on one machine or another.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:57 pm

Wow, there isn't much activity in the Chromebook world!!!

I guess I have to give it more time to catch on... Android Apps should be available on Chromebooks by the end of April, and then it's just the adoption rate. We are very low on the S curve right now.

Mike B. You don't have nearly enough computers yet. You should see what I have. And to get more I started downsizing the cases. First to shoebox size, and then to mac mini size. I even have a Gigabyte Brix! :lol:

And I too am trying to avoid the mess coming out of Redmond. You know, it's not an operating system any more. It's an advertising platform. So I've been working on switching... my favorite was Mint. But it's wasn't sizing well on my desktop. I have a high DPI Screen, and I only have 2 choices of scaling. Normal or Double. I finally gave in to Ubuntu and the Unity Desktop because it supports fractional scaling. Ubuntu is gorgeous on a hidpi display. But I have a lot to learn yet.

But getting back to the chromebook, you know why I like it? Cause it's fast. Really fast. And not just from a cold start, which is measured around 10 seconds or so... but in everything I do. Wanna surf? It's quick. Wanna run Planmaker? It's quick! And no viruses... no malware... and if you run a good ad blocker, no ads either! Adblock Plus was good, until they started whitelisting paid subscribers, so I switched to Ublock. Seems to be better.

Okay I've rambled on enough... If anyone needs a good blog for Chromebooks, my favorite is https://chromeunboxed.com/

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Re: Chromebooks

Postby AzAv8r » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:55 pm

Thanks for posting! My C302 order has been in limbo on Amazon for a month, and I was contemplating cancelling it. I'll hang on.
Oh, and I also have a Gigabyte Brix, just bought another for my Mom, and will replace mine when the Kaby Lake Brix' (Brices?) can actually be ordered. And then there are the 8 other computers of various flavors and OSs I have running around the house (excluding the special-purpose devices).

Wrt Chromebooks, have you found anything that can be used for CAD? I was thinking I might be able to run Sketchup under Wine under Crouton, but that's a pretty-optimistic set of redirections. I ordered an X86 Chromebook to maximize the likelihood of zero-effort compatibility.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby jstrubberg » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:51 pm

My problem with the Chromebook idea is that they assume good connectivity so that you can keep and access everything online. Way too often when we travel, that just isn't the case. Enough bandwidth to do email can be a challenge at times. I'm staying with a laptop, a PI and an external hard drive for now.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:36 pm

I got a C302 early on, from Amazon. I guess I was lucky, because I heard they can't keep em in stock. Don't cancel your order, it'll come eventually. Of course, if you are not patient, and you have a Best Buy in the area, you can get the Samsung Chromebook Plus. It's in stock, at least here. And if you wait a few more days, the Samsung Chromebook Pro will be out.

I'm not sure I'd try to do any serious CAD on a Chromebook. I've used Crouton. It's not perfect. It feels like running beta software. Before doing Crouton, I would probably try loading seabios and then either Ubuntu or Mint. I haven't tried that yet. Then I might try Freecad. But your best bet for CAD is to keep an old Windows 7 Box, offline, just for running one of the myriad CAD programs that are available for Windows. I do. Having said that, I am going to look at CADtouchfree someday... time, I just need more time!!!

The Brix. Isn't that cute? I've got the i5_6200 running Ubuntu on a 4K, and it's gorgeous. There's room in it for a SATA hard drive, but i am using a M.2 drive instead. Really fast boot times.

I think the way you have to think about a Chromebook is that it is a web appliance. A browsing appliance. Keep it around for the quick browsing. Keep it next to your desktop. Surf the Chromebook while doing real work on your desktop. You get the idea...

Just for grins, here's a pic I just took of my C302...

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Mike...

P.S. Did you ever consider using onshape for your cad work? You can access onshape from windows, mac, linux, chromebook, etc...

AzAv8r wrote:Thanks for posting! My C302 order has been in limbo on Amazon for a month, and I was contemplating cancelling it. I'll hang on.
Oh, and I also have a Gigabyte Brix, just bought another for my Mom, and will replace mine when the Kaby Lake Brix' (Brices?) can actually be ordered. And then there are the 8 other computers of various flavors and OSs I have running around the house (excluding the special-purpose devices).

Wrt Chromebooks, have you found anything that can be used for CAD? I was thinking I might be able to run Sketchup under Wine under Crouton, but that's a pretty-optimistic set of redirections. I ordered an X86 Chromebook to maximize the likelihood of zero-effort compatibility.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:09 pm

I know what you are saying. But that's been changing. More and more offline applications are available. And soon you'll be able to run android apps! At that point I think the only time you'll need to get online is to surf or check your email.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ ... hromebook/

Mike...

jstrubberg wrote:My problem with the Chromebook idea is that they assume good connectivity so that you can keep and access everything online. Way too often when we travel, that just isn't the case. Enough bandwidth to do email can be a challenge at times. I'm staying with a laptop, a PI and an external hard drive for now.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby jstrubberg » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:01 pm

mikeschn wrote:I know what you are saying. But that's been changing. More and more offline applications are available. And soon you'll be able to run android apps! At that point I think the only time you'll need to get online is to surf or check your email.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ ... hromebook/

Mike...

jstrubberg wrote:My problem with the Chromebook idea is that they assume good connectivity so that you can keep and access everything online. Way too often when we travel, that just isn't the case. Enough bandwidth to do email can be a challenge at times. I'm staying with a laptop, a PI and an external hard drive for now.



:thumbsup:
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby working on it » Sat May 06, 2017 11:46 am

My Toshiba PC just bit the dust, again. Second time for it, but I like the 6GB ram. My wife gave it to me, years ago, after buying two others (I'm not allowed to make any large purchases, now that I'm retired). If the repair bill exceeds $250, I'm faced with the choice of a PC with 6GB (my Toshiba, repaired, on its' third life), a new 4GB PC (that's all $250 will buy), or a Chromebook (with 4GB ram, and cloud memory, and only 16 or 32 GB storage onboard). I like Windows only for two features (MS Paint, and Snip), which I use everyday, and haven't found an Android substitute for my tablet, yet. And, the ease of drag and drop, copy and paste, and the windows filing system are things I probably can't live without. Does the Chromebook OS offer such ease of use? I know I can't do those procedures on my Android tablet, so I assume the same is true for Chrome OS. Or, if it does, then the added Android apps coming (soon?), Would make Chromebooks a viable choice for me, an old dog who can't/doesn't want to learn new tricks. I don't need Microsoft Office, or Cortana, or the constant anti-virus fighting I have to update with Windows 10, so if Chromebooks offer a good alternative for $250-300, then maybe I could use one. I'm sure that the old Toshiba was great when new, but on its' third life, I won't count on its' longevity. And, since I mostly surf the web, edit photos, and make drawings/sketches with Paint, do I really need 6GB ram. What would you guys do, in my place...old PC, new PC, or try a Chromebook?
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Sat May 06, 2017 11:55 am

I only use my chromebook for surfing. Android apps are not available yet, and until I've tested the android apps, I can't suggest a chromebook.

I use a real pc for creating, even if it's just a snip and ms paint.

Since you are thinking $250 to $300, you can find a Windows laptop that'll do the trick.

Use passmark.com to make sure you are getting a reasonably quick CPU. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

Don't accept anything with less than a CPUmark of 2000.

FHD would be nice too. But I think I'm asking too much...

How about something like this, with a CPU mark of 3874? (It has 6GB ram!) $279 or open box $251 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-15-6 ... Id=5707528

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Re: Chromebooks

Postby working on it » Sat May 06, 2017 12:26 pm

mikeschn wrote:I only use my chromebook for surfing. Android apps are not available yet, and until I've tested the android apps, I can't suggest a chromebook.

I use a real pc for creating, even if it's just a snip and ms paint.

Since you are thinking $250 to $300, you can find a Windows laptop that'll do the trick.

Use passmark.com to make sure you are getting a reasonably quick CPU. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

Don't accept anything with less than a CPUmark of 2000.

FHD would be nice too. But I think I'm asking too much...

How about something like this, with a CPU mark of 3874? (It has 6GB ram!) $279 or open box $251 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-15-6 ... Id=5707528

Mike...
Are you saying that Chrome OS is completely different than Windows? No drag and drop, or cut and paste? If that's true, I will either keep my old laptop, or follow your suggestion for a Lenovo. My wife got one in January, and I got a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3(8) then, too. We like the build quality of both.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Sat May 06, 2017 12:41 pm

Oh Chrome, and linux and mac are all very totally different than windows. And unless you are willing to spend lots of time, and lose lots of hair, learning a new operating system, I suggest staying with windows. And even then the difference between windows 7 and windows 10 is significant enough that you will still lose a few hairs. Start10 could help a little bit with that... http://www.stardock.com/products/start10/

You didn't mention what OS you are using now, but if it's an older version of windows, than maybe you can find a laptop with your version of windows.

I have both Windows 7 and Windows 10. Windows 10 is nice, but you have to turn off all the advertising, and run start10. Operating systems really have come a long ways since the early days of Windows 7.

You have to block a lot of stuff when surfing too, but that's another subject.

Mike...



working on it wrote:
mikeschn wrote:I only use my chromebook for surfing. Android apps are not available yet, and until I've tested the android apps, I can't suggest a chromebook.

I use a real pc for creating, even if it's just a snip and ms paint.

Since you are thinking $250 to $300, you can find a Windows laptop that'll do the trick.

Use passmark.com to make sure you are getting a reasonably quick CPU. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

Don't accept anything with less than a CPUmark of 2000.

FHD would be nice too. But I think I'm asking too much...

How about something like this, with a CPU mark of 3874? (It has 6GB ram!) $279 or open box $251 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-15-6 ... Id=5707528

Mike...
Are you saying that Chrome OS is completely different than Windows? No drag and drop, or cut and paste? If that's true, I will either keep my old laptop, or follow your suggestion for a Lenovo. My wife got one in January, and I got a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3(8) then, too. We like the build quality of both.
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby working on it » Sat May 06, 2017 3:58 pm

mikeschn wrote:Oh Chrome, and linux and mac are all very totally different than windows. And unless you are willing to spend lots of time, and lose lots of hair, learning a new operating system, I suggest staying with windows. And even then the difference between windows 7 and windows 10 is significant enough that you will still lose a few hairs. Start10 could help a little bit with that... http://www.stardock.com/products/start10/

You didn't mention what OS you are using now, but if it's an older version of windows, than maybe you can find a laptop with your version of windows.

I have both Windows 7 and Windows 10. Windows 10 is nice, but you have to turn off all the advertising, and run start10. Operating systems really have come a long ways since the early days of Windows 7.

You have to block a lot of stuff when surfing too, but that's another subject.

Mike...



The only reason I was considering a Chromebook was that Google makes syncing easy, and I really don't like the problems I've had since Windows 10 ruined my Windows 8 (which worked the way I wanted it...except for not letting me run my old Microsoft Air Combat discs anymore). I'll have to look up the start10 you mentioned. I should hear back from Geek Squad by Tuesday, so I can decide then. Thanks!
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Re: Chromebooks

Postby mikeschn » Sat May 06, 2017 4:18 pm

There's certainly more than one way to skin a cat. You'll figure out what works best for you! ;)

On a chromebook you can do a full screen capture or a partial screen capture. You can also use PaintZ for example. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... j?hl=en-US

But try it out on a friends chromebook... to see if you like it. If you are used to the openness of windows, you probably won't like it.

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