Posted in Chromebook, Web 2.0 Tools

So the 9 year old said, “I’ve been singing ever since I was 3.”

Have you ever seen one of those child prodigies who are performing way beyond normal years? They may be 8 or 9 years old, but in an interview they say, matter of factly, “Well, I’ve been performing ever since I was three,” and that to them seems like almost “all their life.” I guess at my age, I would have to say, well, I’ve been doing this for 20 years.

I’ve only been using my new Chromebook for less than a week, and I already have to say, “It’s great!” It’s not perfect. It won’t do everything that I may need a PC to do, but, for the majority of things I do, especially online, it performs wonderfully.

The list of what it does well generates quickly:

· Boots within 10 or 15 seconds

· Connects well via WIFI (cause it can’t use a hardwire cable)

· Is fast (it’s a browser, so what are you really asking it to do?)

· Saves docs to the web (the Cloud), but can also be used offline for documents & email

· Displays Flash and PDFs well (not all Flash code works though)

· With even fair WIFI, can create and push video to YouTube

· Publish to WordPress via email

The device has no CD or DVD drive. I bought a cheap Cisco Linksys WIFI router from WalMart. It comes with a Setup CD. So, what do you do? Fortunately, the box hinted that if you had a browser, you could create a secure home network. No details, but when I plugged the router in, connected the Chromebook to it, it went to a web page with a Chat offering. The Cisco tech came on chat fairly quickly and I let him know I was a novice at router setup, but was an IT professional in other areas. He directed me to an IP address and there were some tabs and menus that quickly had me naming my new network, “The GIBSON Network” and adding a password to it from online. Worked great, and all without having access to a CD/DVD drive.

I plugged my Chromebook to my HDTV via an HDMI cable and the device’s port, and didn’t have to click on any other buttons. The Chromebook’s video immediately popped up on my hi-def TV. There was a little “overscan” (at least that is what I think it is called), but I later read about a way to correct this. I just haven’t gone back to test out the possible solution. Pushed Adele’s “Rumor Has It” YouTube video to the TV with sound, with no problem.

Haven’t tried the USB ports yet, well, except for turning on Bluetooth and adding a dongle that allowed me to easily connect to my Logitech Z515 (think that is the number) Bluetooth speaker system. Pushed iRadio stations to the wireless speakers from both the Chromebook and my HTC EVO 4G (Android phone).

Have heard that you can’t connect an external hard drive via these USB ports… but that surely should be possible in the future.

CTRL + “+” zooms the page larger and CRTL + “-” shrinks the page, and there is a “full screen” button to get rid of the URL window at the top of the Chrome browser.

So, I am happy with my new Chromebook and barring it becoming a lemon in a day or week or two, all the functionality that I need for most of my work it there… and it boots so quickly.

Still have to get the Citrix Receiver to work so that I can use Outlook and Word (If I ever have to again.) for work, and maybe remote into one of our servers if necessary.

We’ll see.

Bill

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