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Saturday, November 5, 2011

One For The Road...

I regret to inform you all that I am retiring from the Chromebook Guru program as of today. I have serious personal issues I need to deal with in my life. I did not make this decision lightly. If there was anyway to avoid this I would have. I am so grateful to have been able to be a part of this program.

I want to personally thank Melissa Daniels and the whole Google Chrome OS team for choosing me to be a CR-48 test pilot and then a Chromebook Guru. I have given my Chromebooks to amazing people who will continue to test and use them DAILY. I also want to thank all the people I have met through Chromebook Central and Google+. You ALL have made this Google experience life changing and nothing short of AMAZING. Be blessed always!

Please do not contact me and press me for more info on this subject. I ask that you respect my privacy on this. Thank you.

- AC Monroe

Friday, September 30, 2011

Plugin Woes

Oh the plugin woes. Chrome OS is wonderful it truly is however, it has some serious drawbacks. The lack of native plugin support is truly frustrating. Things like QuickTime and Xvid for starters. Then there is Silverlight and random proprietary plugins used on premium websites as well (Xfinity TV streaming is a big blow for me).

Things like native client and other avenues may play out in the future to allow said plugins but for now us Chrome OS users are stuck dealing with websites that simply do not work on our Chromebooks.  I look forward to the day that I can ditch my other computers in my house and run completely in the cloud and completely using Chrome OS. No matter what no one can deny that the Chromebooks are shaping up to be amazing even with said drawbacks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cloud Storage: Minus Is King of the Hill

If you are like me then you probably scratch your head and wonder while Google does not have an official "Cloud drive" such as popular services like Dropbox and It just doesn't make sense. Rumor has it that Google owns a domain known as and it uses HTTPS. Perhaps it has plans after all to give us a cloud drive for Chrome OS sometime soon? Maybe.

Until then there is Dropbox,, and now my new favorite cloud storage known as Minus. It is the first service out there to give you 10GB of FREE online storage. It doesn't stop there though. It has an Android app that works beautifully, it has a Chrome web app and extension, and it offers even more free storage if you invite a friend! So go check it out. Click the link below to sign up. It will give me and you both an extra GB free of storage!

Sign up HERE.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Offline Gmail, Docs & Calendar + New Blogger Interface!

Today is quite a day for ChromeOS and the Chromebooks. Today Google announced a new web app called "Offline Google Mail" which does pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Yay for Gmail offline! This is really the biggest news of the day. Offline Gmail access is killer! Now thanks to Google we have a snappy and beautiful new web app to use it with! I love web apps! It makes me feel like my Chromebook is a tablet LOL.

That is not all though! They are also slowly rolling out the ability to access Google Calendar and Google Docs 
Offline as well. Once you get the feature rolled out to you, you can go to the gear icon on the top right of the screen and enable offline access. It is still rather limited though. For example, Google Docs is read only offline which means no offline editing (BOO!). Google promises that is in the works though so take heart! All and all today was a good day for Chrome/ChromeOS/Chromebooks!

Check out the Google Chrome Blog for all the deets!

The new Blogger interface which was previously in beta just went live as well! Go get your changes on! =)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Adobe Flash + Linux/Chrome OS = FAIL

I have tried my best to stay totally objective while doing this blog. I believe I have done that. With that said there is a hemorrhaging issue we as Linux users can NO LONGER IGNORE. Adobe Flash Player has never worked well at all on any Linux distro. As you all know Chrome OS is built from Linux therefore it suffers the same issues as all the other Linux distros. 

Any issue I have ever had (Crashes, freezes, slow/sluggish web pages, choppy streaming video performance, etc.) on the CR-48 and the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook have ALL been Adobe Flash Player related. It's truly AWFUL. If I disable Adobe Flash it runs like a cheetah in heat! However, I miss out on a TON of the web (Like 98% of all web pages use some sort of Adobe Flash) so its a lose lose right now.

Google needs to put some SERIOUS pressure on Adobe to work hard on improving on their flash plugins and give us a half way decent plugin for Chrome OS and Linux as a whole. Until then Chromebooks as well as any other machine running any type of Linux will SUFFER greatly in performance on web pages that use Adobe Flash.

I have switched to the HTML5 player on YouTube and it truly makes a HUGE difference. So if you are a Chromebook user I urge you to switch over now. That way you can get the best performance out of your device! =) 

On the bright side... Chromebook prices have already came down on Amazon! Head on over and check em out! The Samsung models are now $399 (WiFi) and $449 (3G). 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Google "Bubble"

Something occurred to me yesterday that I cannot believe I am just noticing. Google literally is a part of almost everything I do online. Whether I access the web from my Droid or my Chromebook. Hell even if I use my old Windows XP machine I ALWAYS browse with Chrome. Google services are a part of almost everything I do online and off.

Google is my OS, my dominate social network, my chat client, my email, my search engine, my smartphone OS, my GPS navigation, my voice mail and VOIP, my video and audio chats, my picture sharing and editing, my music storage and player, my video player (YouTube), my office applications (Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.), my blogging service (Blogger soon to be Google Blogs), my source of news and updates (Google Reader and Google news), my calendar and event planner, my ebooks and shopping source, and many many more that I can't even remember at the present moment.

Google has created an internet inside the internet. A bubble if you will. I for one love this. Most everything I do is synced across my devices automatically and secured by Google. I can access all my content from my Droid, Chromebook, or regular desktop PC running the Chrome browser. It is truly wonderful to say the least. Pretty much ANYTHING I want or need to do online, Google has a service for.

It doesn't do everything yet though. I would still like a music store from Google (Coming soon if the rumors are true) and not EVERYTHING syncs between devices. However I am encouraged. Google has a track record of rapid and active development on most all it's services and products. I see a future of all Google all the time for everything I do. Online and off. So keep it up Google! I welcome you and your services to rule my life one beta service at a time =)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Games Games and Oh Yea More Games!

If you are at all a fan of mindless time wasters (Such as Angry Birds) then rejoice! Google Chrome and now Google+ both have games built in! They run smoothly and load instantaneously. They are tucked away in your new tab page (For Chrome) or in a separate stream and notification center (In Google+). This means they are out of your way and not in your face when you don't want them to be (i.e. Facebook and its mess of games and app notifications.) Google Chrome had games available in its Web Store for awhile now. However, with the addition of games to Google+ it got me to go back and check those out as well. Perhaps someday they will merge. For now however they are two separate entities.

I myself do not spend much time playing games. However, the way Google went about this was intelligent and beautiful. They are essentially there when you need them and out of your face when you don't want them. Google+ has done almost everything right. It's still a beta project and just keeps getting better. Just like the Chrome browser and Chrome OS. They only get better with time. So stay tuned and invite all your friends to Google+ today! Tell them it's time to leave Facebook in the past with it's ugly twin brothers Myspace and Friendster (I still got love for Twitter though!).

*If you do not see games in Google+ yet please be patient. Google is rolling them out to everyone as we speak.