Chromebook For The Win
For my birthday this year, my wonderful wife got me a new Acer C720 Chromebook. I would like to share my thoughts after a couple of months with the device, but I have a couple of comments first.
First of all, for anybody who might not know, a Chromebook is a light weight laptop computer running Google’s ChromeOS. This is a Linux-based operating system that is built on the foundation of Google’s Chrome Browser. Chrome is my browser of choice and I also use Google’s Apps for Domains to manage my email. (I have also made great use of Google Docs and other Google services, but that’s another article).
Second, you may have seen some (idiotic, IMHO) commercials from Microsoft about the Chromebook. They were referred to as the “Scroogled” ads. In these ads, various people spent time insulting the Chromebook as being “only a browser” and “useless offline”. While the first is “kinda” true, the second is completely false.
Ok, so, I have been using my Chromebook since the last week of March, pretty much every day for everything. It is light, it is quiet, it has a great keyboard; for the most part, it totally rocks… for what I do with a computer. My daily computer use is mostly made up of writing, watching videos, keeping up with my social networks (fb.com/matt.mcgraw75, google.com/+mattmcgraw, twitter.com/sahg33kdad), doing email, etc. Mostly, I consume content and create written content. I am also kicking off a small business venture so there are clients to contact, websites to maintain, and an industry to follow. I can do all of this, and more with my Chromebook.
For me, the web and my local network are my resources for everything I do. To that end, my Chromebook is my front-end for just about everything. This website and my business website run on WordPress (www.wordpress.org). WordPress is an amazing web app for creating content on the web. It began as a blogging platform but through the inclusion of community suggestions and an awesome plug-in enabled architecture, it has become much more. Because it runs on a web server, the control dashboard is accessed through a browser. I use webmail for my email and cloud based calendar and contact syncing. I also have a couple of servers on my local network and I can access them through a Secure Shell or ssh connection. That means I can sit on my couch while my daughter is watching Netflix (www.netflix.com) and update my servers, install new packages, or do other management; all from my Chromebook.
This particular Chromebook from Acer has an HDMI (High-Definition Mulitimedia Interface) port, so I can watch youtube or other streaming videos on my big screen tv.
All in all, I have to say, my Chromebook is perfect for most things. If I want to edit photos or record a podcast, or rip a CD, I still need a full-fledged operating system (Linux) on a desktop or laptop.
What say you, blog reading public? Do you own a Chromebook? Are you interested in getting one? Any questions? Leave your comments below!
Matt aka the G33k Dad