Chrome Book Day 5

Skype

I had to use Business Skype today and found a little quirk with the Andriod App. When I had the app open on my second monitor which I use in extended mode I noticed that when I bought the mouse on the laptop screen the Business Skype went blank. When I moved the mouse back onto the extended monitor the message came back.

This is still not enough reason to say not to get a Chromebook. You won’t always be using the second monitor and may never use the Skype Andriod App? But as I report to you the good points I felt it was only fair to report the bad findings.

I also tried to connect to our local shared drive off of one of our Windows servers. I only gave it a few minutes but could not connect. I will give that a little more attention today and see if I can connect to the local shared folders. I will give you more on that tomorrow.

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Chrome Book Day 4

SSH

On day 4 I had to work on one of our switches in a networking closest. So I grabbed the Chromebook off my desk and headed to the networking job. Once we got the wiring completed I opened the Chromebook and then opened the Andriod App Termius which is a telnet and SSH client. I added the address for the switch in a very nice interface and clicked on connect. The screen opened as you see above. I was able to work on the switch using SSH just as I would on any machine using Putty.

I feel really strongly that with Google adding the Andriod Apps it opens the Chromebook up to working just as an everyday computer. There is no reason for professional technologist that you can not use a Chromebook. One of the selling features to me is that it is instant on and fast to load a program. But even more than that you can just get work done.

This Chromebook I am using is the Dell 3380. It is the same one that we hand out to our students. I am not a supporter of handing out 11″ screens to the students, this one is 13″ and has a very clear screen. The keyboard is okay but the keys are a little noisy. It does have two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and HDMI out which is nice to connect to an external monitor which is how I use it on my desk. If I think in our next round I might look for one with a better keyboard? But overall this model has been holding up and the students really enjoy using it because it is fast to start and they say they can get work done faster.

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Chrome Book Day 3

Evernote

First, let me say the more you use anything the more you will become familiar with whatever it is. I wrote my Monday Tech Tip for work using Evernote and the screenshot/clipping tool built into the Chrome OS. To use the clipping tool hold down Ctrl/Shift and tap the windowed key.

Once I created all of my screen grabs I was able to open Evernote on the web. The Android client is not great and really not even good on the Chromebook. I think it made more for a touchscreen. But the web version of Evernote works great. I was able to get my Monday Tech Tip completed and then emailed it to all of our users.

With each day my nerves and worry about using only the Chromebook/Chrome OS for one week is diminishing. I am almost to the point of buying one for myself. Some pointers would be, but it with 64 Gig Storage and 4 Gig of ram. If you have to settle for a 32 Gig model you will be fine but with installing Andriod Apps you may fill it quickly.

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Chrome Book Day 2

On day two I started digging into some of the applications that I use on a daily bases. Since I can now install Android Apps on the Chromebook I was happy to find MS Word. I was really excited until I tried to use the Android version of Word. It is very stripped down version which makes sense it is for a tablet or phone screen. The first picture is the Andriod version of Word.

Android Word

As you can clearly see from the toolbar it is very stripped down. I guess in a pinch it will work but for real work, I would suggest that you use the Office 365 online.

Word Online

You can see from this toolbar that it is more of a normal view of what we get on the desktop version of Word.

I am also creating YouTube videos of key points about the Chromebook. I hope between the blog and the videos it will help you better learn more about using the Chromebook and Chrome OS on a daily bases.

 

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Chrome Book Day 1

Desktop

Day 1 of my life without a traditional computer went well. For the next 7 days, I will only be using a Chromebook. I did luck out today I found that the Chromebook I am using allows me to install Andriod Apps. How would this make a difference?  Well for starters I was able to install Business Skype, Microsoft Word, a Telnet Program, Twitter App and my trusty Evernote. This is a huge leap in the right direction for the Google Team and the Chromebook.

I can tell you that if you don’t have an Office 365 account you will not be able to use the MS Office Apps. It does require you to log into your account. If you don’t have an account you still have access to all of the Google Apps. If you buy a new Chromebook you will also have 100 GIG of online data storage.

I was also shocked to find out that I could connect my DropBox and One Drive cloud storage directly to the file explorer program. Now it really does not matter where your data is stored you can have access to your files.

My partner at work asked me to remote into her desktop computer. I searched the Andriod Apps and found a Microsoft Remote Desktop client. I opened it and logged right into her machine. So yes the Chromebook can be used in a technology environment.

Using Google Cloud print which I set up for our students I was able to install a printer and print just like I normally would from Office. Is there a learning curve? Sure, but overall I had a successful first day with the Chromebook connected to an external monitor.

External Monitor

I will give you more updates on the weekend. I want to post something daily so that I can keep on task with learning how to survive with only the Chromebook.

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ChromeBook or iPad

ChromeBook or iPad

I have set myself up for a challenge. I am calling it one week in. In what you might be asking? I want to try to be all in one of the newer OS’s that have been said to be a replacement for the standard computers that we have been using for years. The two OS’s I am challenging myself with is the ChromeBook and the iPad IOS. I have to admit I am already having some anxieties over only using one device for an entire week!

This post is being written using the iPad. Normally when I write I use the program Grammarly. I just installed the Grammarly keyboard which seems to be working. However, it will not allow me to use my external keyboard. I am touch typing this with the on-screen keyboard.

So why do I want to do this challenge? Mainly to see if a normal computer can be replaced by one of these newer devices? So today I will be removing my trusty MacBook Air from my laptop case and I will be carrying and using a ChromeBook for the first week. Next week I will switch over to the iPad. I will blog each day to let you know where I am with the test.

As for this morning post, I am using the Word Press app on my iPad. I hope you follow me on this test and once and for all we together will see if one of these new devices can in fact be used for day to day computing without using a normal Mac or Windows PC?

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Does Operating Systems Matter

Operating Systems

I have been working with computers since the early day’s of DOS, yes we didn’t even have a graphical user interface. When you wanted the computer to do something most of the time you would have to be able to write a program and then do the project.

Then came Apple and Windows with their pretty point and click graphical user interface. You wanted to open an application you simply double clicked on it and it opened. What was even more impressive was the fact that you could have multiple applications opened at the same time. Which I believe was the beginning of giving all of us a little OCD. This is because we could be working on one project and quickly switch to another application and look at the news. You may do this today? You are working on a large project and you open another tab and check your email or facebook?

At one time the operating system meant that you choose it because of the application you are used to using. Such as running Microsoft Windows because you are a Microsoft Office user. Or using a Mac because you enjoy using Final Cut Pro. Or you might have been a FREE type of person and you went with Linux?

In today’s modern computer world the operating system is really the less important thing on the computer. Why is this? Easy most software vendors have found that programming for the web is the best choice for their applications. I am working on a large database program now and after careful consideration, I decided to write it for any web browser. Why would I choose to do this? I am like the big guys. I want my application to work on any operating system as well as any device that may could be invented for years to come. As long as there is a way to view the Internet I can adjust my program to run on that device.

We see in schools today most of the daily work is done inside of the browser. We have Google Suite and Office 365. Kids take their tests using a web browser. Teachers are teaching from the web browser. So you can see that the operating system basically boils down to what you want to look at all day.

One last thought of today’s post. This is why when Google released the Chromebook it is such a great hit. Because people who use a computer know that the only place they will be spending their day is inside of a web browser and most people choose to use Google Chrome so why not buy a full function laptop for a few hundred dollars and put the saving into some other form of technology.

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Will Robots Replace Humans

Service Robots

I have been watching some of the new releases from CES. I have been amazed by how many robots are being displayed this year. It reminds me of when computers or TV’s were the hot topics. I am not talking about a robot the sweeps your carpets or even ones that mow your lawn. I am talking about full-fledged service robots. These are robots that interact with people as well as provides a service to the food and hotel industries.

There is a hotel in Japan that is entirely run by robots. As soon as you check into the lobby you are greeted by a robot. There is a robot who will help take your baggage to the room. Then there are robots cleaning the rooms and bringing room service. I guess the only bright spot in all of this is that we will not have to tip the robot for the added services?

Next, I found a restaurant in Japan who are using robots to bring your food to the table, take your orders and even bus the table when you leave. It won’t be long before they are also cooking your food.

These robots from what I have seen stand four feet high, cost $5000.00 each and will last 5 years before needing to be replaced. If they were paying someone $10.00 an hour each year it would cost $20,800.00 for a human worker. Then we have to have human sick days built into that as well as vacations, taxes, and insurance. We can see just on a cost savings why these companies would be doing this. But where does it leave the human race?

We have seen for years where robotic arms do a lot of the manufacturing jobs in the USA. These machines have been putting the working man out of many companies. So with this write up you might think I am somehow excited? Not the case at all. I am really worried about our future generations growing up just to become people who service the robots that will be servicing all of us. Then what happens when the robots can service themselves?

Technology is a great thing. It helps us in our daily lives. And I see it is even good for doing tasks that we don’t want to give time to. But when I see this as a movement to replace us and take all of our jobs I get really worried. I just hope the government is making plans to have some sort of cash flow to give all Americans to allow us to live a normal happy life.

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New Technology In 2018

2018 Tech

With each passing year, we always see new technology coming to our hands. I have to sit and wonder what will be next? Often I have people ask me what will be the next big thing? My reply is if I knew that I could be a very rich man. But I like most of you reading this normally sit back and waits to see what the next thing will be in technology.

Let me begin by saying this might be the year for VR, Virtual Reality? I think VR will be used for more than just gaming. I think we might see VR pushing its way into the entertainment world. This would be great to help bring back movie theaters. It might be for awhile anyway something that most of us do not have at home? Instead of just watching a movie we could be in the movie or a part of a scene?

The next push I see coming is flat everything. From flat card-like phones that we can roll up and put in your pocket to flat TV’s that will be hanging on the walls. Not flat as we now know, there will be paper flat that might be put up with double face tape?

My wish is that someone will invent a credit card system where there is no standard numbering system. I feel that credit card companies can come up with a chip that mixes your numbers up everytime you use it. As long as there is a standard numbering system hackers will be able to get those numbers and use them for whatever they wish.

I have been in technology working now for the past 25 years. I am like most of you who are always amazed by what comes out next. Just look at our camera’s we use every day. I now use a mirrorless that weighs almost nothing compared to the large Nikon I use to carry around. Now that smaller is better it is just easier to carry around.

I would like to know what you think might be coming to the technology landscape? Or do you have an idea of what we need that we do not already have? Only time will tell what the next big thing will be.

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Happy Holidays Did You Remember Batteries

Batteries Chargers

It seems like today everything takes a battery? From a simple toy for the kids to that toothbrush you bought your spouse for Christmas. I remember years ago we forgot batteries for the kid’s toys only to be rushing out Christmas morning to buy some at a high priced convenience store. Now we move years later and everyone in the house is looking for a plug to charge something they are carrying or wearing. I guess the one positive thing to come out of all of these gadgets is that the battery companies and seeing stock prices go up, and that is good.

I find myself each night as many of you. I plug in my laptop, plug in my phone and take my watch off and connect it to its little cradle.  Then I can safely go to sleep knowing all my gadgets will be ready for me in the morning. One of the worse feelings is waking up and finding the plug was not all the way on my phone and it is running on fumes. Never fear I can plug it into my car on the way to work. Yes, we have become a battery/charger nation.

Sometimes I have to reflect back on the simple days. When you had to get up to change a channel on the TV, and when the phone rang we didn’t ask who’s phone was ringing we ran to the kitchen to answer it. When we left home we worried everyone was in the car not who gets to the car chargers first. But I must say I do enjoy the convenience of having a world of information in my pocket and now on my wrist. And I can honestly say since I have had my smartphone I have never been lost anywhere.

Let me hear how you handle a plugged in charged world that you live in? And have you ever thought of investing in a battery company?

Posted in Andriod, Apple Watch, Cell Phones, Computers, Gadgets, IPad, IPad Mini, IPhone, Tablets, Technology, Thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment