Chrome Book Day 7

Open Apps

Well, day 7! 1 full week of using only a Chromebook for all of my computing needs as a technologist. Pictures above is what you see when you hit the tile apps button on the Chromebook keyboard. I found this very useful and it can be found on just about all mainstream operating systems. I did use Beagle Term yesterday to program a new Cisco firewall using a serial to USB cable and it worked great. And I have said before now that you can install Andriod Apps the Chromebook feels more like a full computer. You have to watch because some of the Andriod Apps are written for a phone screen but many will go full screen.

Using this Dell 3380 has been fine. I do wish that they would have put a better screen on this machine. Reading the text is a little looking at the old VGA graphics of the past. But when I connected it to a good monitor I found that the resolution was great and more readable. Everything that you are going to do with a laptop of any maker will be fine using a Chromebook. So why on earth is anyone spending major dollars on other machines? I am still partial to my Macs at home because of my workflow in creating my videos and podcasts. And I still like my MacBook Air for the great keyboard. But workflows can be changed and buy a better Chromebook would solve the keyboard issue. Remember you get what you pay for. But as for the Chrome OS, it will and is a major player in computers. And I have seen in the hands of students they are doing great things with their Chromebooks.

So overall if you have been following this test you can see that the Chromebook is a machine that can be used every day for any type of computing. I will still be testing it out to see if I can use it for photo and video editing? If I come upon something to report about in these two areas I will report it here.

Thanks to Google for giving all computer users another outlet for computer usage. And if you are on the fence about buying a Chromebook, don’t be. Just grab one today you will be happy to live virus and spyware free.

Chrome Book Day 6

Server Connect

I did a little experiment with File System For Windows which can be found inside of the file manager on the Chrome Book.

File System For Windows

You will need some information about the server you are connecting to. I found that using the servers IP address was the best way to connect. Leave the port number as the default. Use your network username and password, add the domain name and then the shared folder name. You can get all of this information from your IT department. Once all of the information is added click on the mount button.  Now when you open your file manager on the Chrome Book you will see the shared folder. You now can open any of the files from your server share just as you would from your Google Drive.

All of the items that I have shown so far are items that come with every Chrome Book and Chrome OS device. When you work with a device every day you will find ways to make it fit your daily computing needs. I have been so impressed that I am really looking into buying myself a shiny new Chrome Book. I am leaning towards the Asus C302CA. This Chrome Book is a 2 in 1 which means that it is a laptop and a tablet in one unit. You can find cheaper units but I want something with a great keyboard and now that we can install Andriod Apps it will also replace my iPad. I am sure I will give you more updates if or when I buy the unit.

Asus 302CA

The only drawback I see with this unit is that it has no standard USB ports and I have to buy some dongles. It also does not have an HDMI port so I will have to buy a USB-C to VGA and HDMI dongle. But from what I am seeing it is sleek and light. To be honest I still have to play with some video editing and photo editing tools so that I can take it with us on those long motorcycle trips and produce my videos.

Chrome Book Day 4


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.

Chrome Book Day 1


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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