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Old 10-06-2019, 03:46 PM   #1
Dave Dorson
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Default Computing, differently.. ChromeOS

I got a Chromebook over the weekend. Got a decent deal on one with a view to use it as a second device.

Thing is, it does most of what I need, and probably most of what most people will need, for a lot less money, and quickly and securely.

It's sort of familiar. I'm a Mac OS fan for UI, but I work with Windows, and tended to have Linux stuff at home, with an Android phone and an iPad, so a decent mix of kit. I've always said I'm OS agnostic.

What it doesn't do, is stuff likes specialist computing tools and heavy lifting, so if you're doing massive photo manipulation, music creation, or tuning ECU's using specialist software, then it probably won't do what you need, you do really need to keep your data in the cloud which means you need to be always connected too, which isn't for everyone, but it does mean all my "stuff" is on whatever device I'm using at the time. I stream my media through paid services these days, so don't need a massive chunk of space locally.

They're limited in that they really want to be always connected. You can insert an SD Card in the model I bought, and I can run some Debian apps inside the OS too, so I do have an "offline" capability as I would with any device too.

Obviously, you do need to be comfortable that Google are going to keep your data safe, and not misuse it (calm down back there, I can see you laughing!) but I'm quite comfortable that I don't keep any data online that I'm not comfortable leaking, and I don't mind focused targeted advertising either, so that's fine for me and I suspect most people too.

Of course, other cloud storage providers exist, or you could become your own if you're that way inclined.. but for most people..

So yeah, a bit refreshing, didn't cost the earth, familiar, different, but so far I'm actually quite impressed with it.

Anyone thinking about dipping their toe, if you can find a Chromebook cheap enough (or a Chromestick if you want to try to make your TV a computer, or Chromebox for desktop replacement), then it's quite decent.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #2
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Been using one years.....great devices, fast and, if you can accept cloud storage concept, (I do), then ideal for the basics......instant boot, long battery life whats not to like !
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:38 PM   #3
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I’ve had one nearly two years, i use it mainly for browsing, youtube and most office/word processing type stuff.

For the amount i use the mac to do proper computer stuff these days once it dies its unlikely i will be replacing it as the chromebook does all i need.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:02 AM   #4
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I have been using one for years. I am on my second. I use it in bed mainly and in my camper, hotspotting off my phone. With a bit of tinkering it plays nicely with my Linux desktop, Linux media server and my home automation server. It is also great at casting audio to my network of Google Homes and video to my Raspberry Pi based Kodi boxes. For photo work try PhotoPea. I wouldn't be without one.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dave Dorson View Post
I got a Chromebook over the weekend. Got a decent deal on one with a view to use it as a second device.

Thing is, it does most of what I need, and probably most of what most people will need, for a lot less money, and quickly and securely.

It's sort of familiar. I'm a Mac OS fan for UI, but I work with Windows, and tended to have Linux stuff at home, with an Android phone and an iPad, so a decent mix of kit. I've always said I'm OS agnostic.

What it doesn't do, is stuff likes specialist computing tools and heavy lifting, so if you're doing massive photo manipulation, music creation, or tuning ECU's using specialist software, then it probably won't do what you need, you do really need to keep your data in the cloud which means you need to be always connected too, which isn't for everyone, but it does mean all my "stuff" is on whatever device I'm using at the time. I stream my media through paid services these days, so don't need a massive chunk of space locally.

They're limited in that they really want to be always connected. You can insert an SD Card in the model I bought, and I can run some Debian apps inside the OS too, so I do have an "offline" capability as I would with any device too.

Obviously, you do need to be comfortable that Google are going to keep your data safe, and not misuse it (calm down back there, I can see you laughing!) but I'm quite comfortable that I don't keep any data online that I'm not comfortable leaking, and I don't mind focused targeted advertising either, so that's fine for me and I suspect most people too.

Of course, other cloud storage providers exist, or you could become your own if you're that way inclined.. but for most people..

So yeah, a bit refreshing, didn't cost the earth, familiar, different, but so far I'm actually quite impressed with it.

Anyone thinking about dipping their toe, if you can find a Chromebook cheap enough (or a Chromestick if you want to try to make your TV a computer, or Chromebox for desktop replacement), then it's quite decent.
Sounds interesting, which model have you gone for?
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Sounds interesting, which model have you gone for?
Got an ASUS C523NA

Dual Core Celeron, 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, with expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot.

I had to rebuild one of my micro-servers last night and I did it all using the Chromebook, including burning the bootable media to a USB device (using the Chromebook recovery tool and renaming the ISO to a .bin file) Worked flawlessly.

Honestly, if I could tune ECU's with it, I'd bin my Windows home laptop off tomorrow.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dave Dorson View Post
Got an ASUS C523NA

Dual Core Celeron, 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage, with expandable storage via a MicroSD card slot.

I had to rebuild one of my micro-servers last night and I did it all using the Chromebook, including burning the bootable media to a USB device (using the Chromebook recovery tool and renaming the ISO to a .bin file) Worked flawlessly.

Honestly, if I could tune ECU's with it, I'd bin my Windows home laptop off tomorrow.
I'm very tempted with a smaller screened one that I could take with me places easily and still access basic work stuff, got me thinking now
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:18 PM   #8
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I'm very tempted with a smaller screened one that I could take with me places easily and still access basic work stuff, got me thinking now
I have an 11.6" Acer. I used to have a 13" Lenovo and I prefer the smaller screen, much more portable. I took mine to the states, not bulky like a full sized laptop and way much more useful than a tablet or phone.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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I have an 11.6" Acer. I used to have a 13" Lenovo and I prefer the smaller screen, much more portable. I took mine to the states, not bulky like a full sized laptop and way much more useful than a tablet or phone.
Thats kinda what I'm thinking, I don't like tablets to work off, bit of web surfings ok but beyond that they're not for me.

I'm building trade and with the world of email, electronic plans etc one of these would be handy to have in a case in the van for dealing with the odd bits that come up through the day with the view of tethering it to my phone, stuff that is awkward to deal with on a handheld device.

I already run a Microsoft package and use one drive thats backed up to my laptop/NAS drive so I assume I could just work from that.

What would I need spec wise really? I'm a bit of a luddite on these things.
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