Driving with Chrome

I am an Apple person. Or at least I was. Our first computer (after the Commodor 64 that hooked up to the TV that lead my dad to typing swear words to the AI in Castlevania) was an Apple II E with the green screen and an actual floppy disc drive. We kept upgrading. My first college computer was a Prima. Ain’t that a kick? There was a laptop then an iMac, graphite, then iBooks. At some time during 2002 or 2003, I was happily typing away on my iBook. This iBook’s battery had long since given up the ghost. It needed to be plugged in to be used. I sat at this moment, as stated, happily typing away. Then the dogs ran by, yanking the cord and snapping off the end in the computer (This was before the magnetic doohickey ) . I had exactly seven minutes to transfer all my files to a disc (I think it still had a 3.5 disc drive.). This computer’s Apple Care plan had long since run out. All around, it was time for a new computer.

John is a computer engineer. Macs are against his religion. And they are expensive. (For a good reason.)

I ended up with a PC. There was a line of them, ending with a Lenovo purchased in 2007. By the last third of 2012 it needed to be put out to pasture. By sides missing all the arrow keys, the enter, the 6, and the u (Thank you, Toddlers), it was starting to crash a lot.

I went in search of potential replacements. Today, computers are like cars. They use to be straightforward, large beige boxes. There were only Apples first, then either Apple or IBM running Microsoft.

Now there are more choices. Like automobiles, computers have more personality. There are colors and different sizes with a variety of keyboards and other accessories. You can customize. There are more than two operating systems.

At the time I was looking for my replacement, Samsung introduced a Chromebook for $250. I would never have looked at a Chromebook prior to that. I mean why pay $400 to $500 for a system that needs a WiFi network just to function? But for $250, I looked. Because I liked using Chrome on my PC. Google has proven to be a reliable company in my experience. For the most part the Chromebook would do what I needed. There were two big issues, I couldn’t sync my phone and lack of some software such as Publisher (I do a monthly newsletter for my MOMS Club chapter.). But I took the leap and said I wanted a Chromebook.

And then I had to wait until Christmas because John bought it as a Christmas present, after all. (Usually he is a pushover about this, but not this time. Even during NaNoWriMo. Do you know how hard it is to write a novel with no enter key or u?)

Finally, Christmas afternoon, it was mine. I promptly put the “I aim to misbehave…” graphic (another present) and powered it up.

I do not regret my decision. It is a handy little machine. I like the look and especially the feel of the smallish keyboard. (I have small hands.)The keys would be really hard to pop off (I try and keep the kids away from it, but still…)  I’ll be honest and hope like hell that my computer doesn’t blow up as I type this…. It reminds me of a Mac….

OK, good. No smoke or crashing. The machines haven’t obtained sentience. Yet. Or they are above petty human competitiveness.

The size of the book is a plus for me too. It is just as portable as a tablet. And because they basically replaced a bulky hard drive with a battery, it lasts longer than most laptop batteries. And the start up is nothing. In fact, I open the device and it powers up.

I also got two years of 100 gig of Drive spaces for free. I don’t know what I will do after the two years, but that’s two years from now. Maybe I will be rich enough to pay for space. Or own Google. Just sayin’. I also find using Google to edit documents for friendly than the latest version of Word in which I feel they moved things around in a very non-intuitive way. And the computer makes all of my files available offline, so the WiFi isn’t as big a deal if I want to work on something. I have my iPhone for important tweets and instaposts. Plus, we live in a WiFi world. If I want WiFi I can typically find it. Usually with coffee. Score.

Chrome was my preferred browser on the PC, so using it as the equivalent of an OS has been seamless.

All in all, I find my Chromebook gives me smooth functionality with a great look. Something I have missed since that last iBook died.


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