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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!

PS,
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 Box.net. It just doesn't make sense. Rumor has it that Google owns a domain known as drive.google.com 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, Box.net, 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!

PS,
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.

PS,
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! =) 

PPS,
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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So What's Next?


Now that Netflix has finally landed on ChromeOS it got me to thinking. What is still left as a major complaint/issue with ChromeOS? Below is a list of the most highly requested/whined about features I have seen in the Chromebook Central forum. 

1. Offline Google webapps (Docs, Gmail, Etc.) - Google has stated time and time again that offline support for some of their most popular products will in fact launch by summer's end. 

2. A better file manager - In the latest Dev channel release they have added the ability to copy/paste. It is just the beginning of an "Improved" file manager. They have set no time frame or given many details about what they mean by that. All we know is they are working on adding more features to it. 

3. Zip support - Google Docs now supports Zip files. It is a step in the right direction for sure!

4. Subtle UI changes - There have been a few minor UI tweaks in the latest Dev channel as well. It appears that Google is giving many of it's products face lifts right now and ChromeOS seems to be no exception to that.

5. Chromium OS (Google ChromeOS's open source cousin) has some early tablet support designs in the works. Whether we are a fan of that OS on a tablet or not, it appears only a matter of time before there is a full blown version of Chromium OS running on a tablet. Will ChromeOS follow suit?

So now the question is simple. What's next? What features does ChromeOS still lack that it truly needs to greatly improve it's worth and usability while not compromising it's original premise and design purpose? Sound off in the comments below and let me know! And while your at it... Submit a feature request to the big G!



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Netflix and ChromeOS Together At Last!


Oh yes it's true! Netflix now plays on ALL Chromebooks (Including the CR-48). It plays on all channels as well (Stable, Beta, Dev). I tested it on my CR-48 (Dev) and on my SS5 (Beta) and it worked flawlessly. What a truly wonderful day today is. Now if you will excuse me... I have some Weeds to catch up on =)

*Netflix does work in Dev mode for obvious reasons. Gotta keep that DRM intact =) Remember that the Dev channel is not the same as Dev mode. Dev mode is when you flip the developers switch.

Wishful Thinking: Gtunes or What Google Music Should Be


What can I say? I am a dreamer and a big thinker. Today was one of those "Oh how I wish" moments. My favorite of band of all time Evanescence released it's first single in 5 years. They released it on iTunes with Amazon to follow up very soon. Seeing as how I own a Droid and use it for all my media needs iTunes does nothing for me and Amazon is subpar at best. 

That is when I closed my eyes and dreamed of Gtunes or rather Google Music that ACTUALLY SOLD MUSIC. I dreamed of a web based store where I could purchase a song or album that was just released and have it synced to the cloud and thus synced to my Android phone automatically. It is so disappointing that Google Music does not have a music store built in. I understand that they would have to ink a deal with the labels but c'mon it's Google after all. They have the power, influence, and money to get what they want. So make it happen Google! Wipe iTunes and Amazon off the map =) 

BTW if you are interested in purchasing the new single "What You Want" by Evanescence then click here and hit up iTunes. The brand new self titled album will be released October 11, 2011. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Google +: The Social Network You Should Be Using


If you are an internet user at all you have undoubtedly heard about a little project called "Google +". It is THE Facebook killer. In fact it makes Facefail look like Myspace. So if you haven't been invited to join the project simply click this link and you will be sent an invite from yours truly. Know it, use, be social! =)

Here are my favorite Google Chrome Extensions for Google +.

1. GTools+
2. Replies and more for Google+
3. Usability Boost for Google Plus
4. +Comment Toggle
5. Plus Minus

These make Google+ even better! So go now, join Google + and leave Facefail behind in the dust with Myspace and all the other old and dying social networks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Google Chromebook: A Godfather's BFF


Being a Godfather is a blessing beyond words. I have a beautiful God Daughter who I love as my own. Today was the longest amount of time I have ever baby sat anyone. I am not the best daddy and this was really my first rodeo when it came to taking care of a kid all day long. 

However, I didn't fear because I had my trusty Samsung Series 5 Chromebook waiting to help me out! So first came lunch. I Googled what the most popular foods were for a girl her age as well as healthy and organic options. I am no chef but Google Chrome has a few recipe apps and besides that Google search worked just fine for everything else. 

Then came after lunch entertainment. My God Daughter Ella really loves Mickey Mouse. So off to Youtube and Sidereel I went for her to watch for a few hours. She actually feel asleep to it. Nap times are the best LOL. During her nap I had some "Me" time on Google +, Twitter, and caught up on the latest episode of Torchwood. 

Then came pre-dinner time. I hit up the Grooveshark App and found some good jams for me and her to dance to as I made dinner. Thank God for microwave ovens LOL. I actually kept the Chromebook running during dinner so we had some good background noise to drown out the rest of my loud and crazy family. 

Finally I finished the night with some more Sidereel and a few rounds of Angry Birds (Every kid needs to be exposed to Angry Birds!). All and all the Chromebook was a perfect companion to have with me all day long to help me survive being a Godfather for a day! =) I wouldn't wanna live a day without it! 

Oh and PS,
This thing is still going strong on a single charge. Yay 11 hour battery life! And thanks to Verizon 4G LTE I can stream whatever I want without having to wait for it to buffer. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What On Earth Is a Web App?


So what the heck is a "Web App"? The word App is being thrown around everywhere these days between Droids, iPhones, and tablets alike. Apps usually refer to small applications you install on your smart phone or your tablet. They are now even bleeding over into the computer market (See Mac OSX Lion and Windows 8). 

However, Google has started a whole new type of app. Enter the Chrome Web Store. It hosts apps (Mostly FREE) known as web apps. The main difference is that these are simply links to websites that look and feel like an app. They are usually coded in HTML5. It is a fairly new thing and there aren't many good ones as of yet. My favorites that I use daily on my Chromebook include Tweetdeck, Grooveshark, Google Music, Google Docs, Amazon Cloud Player, Flixster Movies, and WeatherByte. Pandora is also set to release an HTML5 powered web app here very soon. 

So as you can see the web app era has only just begun. Hopefully more websites will be designed to look and act like an app in the near future. Together it will make the web and Chromebooks much much better indeed. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No Netflix? No Problem!

Lets be honest. As a Chromebook user it sucks that we still don't have the use of Netfilx on our Chromebooks. To add insult to injury Netflix just doubled their pricing! So this means some if not most of us are going to look other places. There are paid routes... But there are also free alternatives as well.  My favorite free site is sidereel. It has my favorite show "Weeds" on it. It also has a huge selection of other TV shows and movies. It works by linking you to other websites where the videos are hosted for free. They are usually high quality and usually always work just fine on the Chromebook. So if you lost your patience with services like Netflix then head on over to sidereel and check it out for yourself. You will be glad you did =)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Is Netflix For ChromeOS Almost Ready For Release?


The Netflix plugin continues to be worked on and updated for ChromeOS and Google. We are told Netflix is actively working on getting switched over from Silverlight to another format that will play nice with all OS's including running natively on Linux and ChromeOS. 

Here is the latest from Engadget - Engadget Link

So cross your fingers and think happy thoughts! And maybe soon we will see some Netflix on the Chromebooks! Or maybe we will see Ke$ha, rainbows, and unicorns on our Chromebooks first... Oh Wait... LMAO.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Google + Interview With The Pittsburgh Post Gazette

My local paper, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently interviewed me about Google +. Check it out! I hope I have made the Google Chrome community proud =) I am honored to have been chosen as a Guru and will continue to serve as long as I can! =) Pittsburgh Post Gazette Interview

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Price Is Right?


I have a challenge for my readers. Someone posed a very important question to me the other day. They asked if the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook was worth it's $499 price tag. There is no easy answer. I answered in the standard way. If you are looking for a power house that can do everything imaginable and do it with ease then maybe you missed the point of a Chromebook in the first place. I then reminded them that the target audience is users who simply use the web and don't do much else. I challenged him to find a netbook or notebook running any OS with hardware specs and design that matched or beat the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook.

He was unable to do so. He never came close. That is my challenge to you all. Find me a netbook or notebook that has the same or better specs as this Chromebook. It has to be at or around the same price. No higher. It also must have all the features this currently has. It needs to have a clean and minimalism design that matches or beats this Chromebook. I have yet to find one myself. I searched for hours.

Goodluck! If you think you found one, post a link to it in the comments. If you do happen to best this Chromebook then the prize is a virtual hug from yours truly! Ready? GOOOOOO! =)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Verizon 4G LTE VS. Verizon DSL

As promised here is the speed tests comparing the difference between Verizon 4G LTE and Verizon DSL in my area.

Verizon 4G LTE:





Verizon DSL: 




Yea my usual internet sucks that bad. My 4G is gonna run out in 2 weeks. So I will enjoy the speed while I have it! So as you can see... If Verizon 4G LTE is available in your area you should check it out for sure. Especially in the case of a smartphone or tablet. 


Verizon 4G LTE: Mobile Data Speeds You Have To Experience To Believe



Let me start this article off by saying I am a very blessed young man. I have had the privilege of getting to know  some pretty amazing people since I started beta testing for Google. With that being said, today I was blessed with a Samsung Verizon 4G mobile hotspot. It was given to me by a Chromie named Earl. He is a wonderful soul. So thank you so much Earl! You are blessing to me and to others! 

Now to the techy details! First off, I currently crawl the web using Verizon DSL 256K. It actually never gets above 86K in my area but that is a whole other story. Enter Verizon 4G LTE. The device itself (Pictured above) is another fine product by Samsung. It is light, clean, easy, and portable. It also has pretty decent battery. Within seconds I was online and flying into the world wide web. It blows my DSL away. I feel like I just switched from Dial Up to Cable. Like for real. I can actually watch YouTube video's in 720P without having to wait all day just for it to buffer. I can have multiple tabs open and do things without having to wait. This network is bad ass! 

I will admit I had my reservations. 4G is being touted by every major company out there it seems and I thought it was all just bait and switch. With Verizon's 4G LTE all of my expectations and reservations were BLOWN AWAY. It's the real deal. I have my Samsung Chromebook and my Droid connected to it all day at home. It fly's through everything I do on both without missing a beat. 

I understand that many people have yet to have this network available in their area. I also realize that it is not very full of traffic yet. However, it is still a huge increase over my current connection and I could not be happier. I would recommend getting a 4G LTE phone from Verizon if you have it available. Also if you are looking for a mobile data solution this is the way to go. You will be glad you did. 

*I will post speed test data in a different post later on this week!* 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waking Up With My Chromebook

My morning routine (On the days I actually wake up in the AM that is) is simple and always involves my Chromebook. I grab my Chromebook first thing and head to the table with my coffee and fruit loops. I open up my Chromebook and I am on Google News and Google Reader in an instant. No waiting and now hassle. I haven't picked up a news paper in YEARS.

I usually turn on some good jams while reading all the daily happenings as well. My Chromebook is my breakfast buddy. Hey if you can't have a significant other then a Chromebook is a close second right? =) I couldn't and wouldn't go a day without my Chromebook. Oh yea and I get 11 hours of battery... (Here's lookin at you $1000, 11in Macbook Air. Mister 5 hour loser). Just sayin. Yay cloud and yay Google =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unofficial Webstores For Google Chrome

I am not sure why it has taken me this long to post this but here it is. The official Google Chrome Webstore is wonderful truly it is. However, it lacks certain apps for one reason or another. Don't you ever find yourself wishing there was another place that had the apps that the official Google Chrome Webstore is missing? Well take heart! There are two very well maintained unofficial webstores that I use daily.

1. Unofficial Chrome Apps - Is my favorite. It has a huge selection and you can even submit to have an app made for free!

2. Chrome Underground - This is also a very good resource for unofficial apps.

Know of any other sites that offer Chrome web apps? Post below in the comments and let us all know about em!

My Chromebook Is a Jukebox!


Do you remember going to those old diners and finding a jukebox hiding in the corner all dusty and forgotten? I used to love to go out to places like that and put a quarter in and rock out to some Cher or Elton. Well recently I discovered that Chromebooks could be just as exciting as those old things sans the quarters! Chromebooks offer a wide variety of music webapps. Below I will discuss my favorites. At the end of reading this you will be able to turn your Chromebook into a jukebox and party like its 1955!

1. Google Music Beta - This is currently by invite only. Once you have an invite you can upload all your music (Windows/Mac support only for the upload). After it's been uploaded you can stream that Green Day or Incubus day or night straight from the Google Music Beta web player. There is an UNOFFICIAL Web App for it as well.

2. Grooveshark - Another awesome and amazing webapp that cranks out the tunes. I am partial to Grooveshark. It is my webapp of choice for music usually. Check out the UNOFFICIAL Web App for it as well.

3. Amazon Cloud Player - This is a lot like Google Music Beta. It allows you to upload your library to it and then stream it from your web browser. I use this rather often as well. One unique feature this one has is the ability to purchase music through Amazon MP3 and have it upload straight to the cloud after the purchase. Very handy and works well on Chrome and Android. Get the official Web App here.

4. Pandora - The good old trusty Pandora. I have used this service for years. It is not the best but it gets the job done. The good news is Pandora is set to release a brand new HTML5 powered web app here soon. It looks pretty streamlined and clean. So check it out and enjoy.

5. Last.FM - Another one of the classics. It has had it's ups and downs for me over the years but it is still a usable option that should not be ignored. Check  it out as well.

I am sure there are more alternatives that work just fine on the Chromebook but those are my top 5 favs. Do you guys have any that I may have missed? What are the pros and cons of each alternative you have? Please share below in the comments! Chrome on! =)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chromebooks: The Future Of Computing is NOW



When Google decided to create Chrome OS and Chromebooks they knew they were on to something amazing. They single handily helped to propel cloud computing into overdrive. Now every major company is making "Web Apps" for their services. Give it a few years and ChromeOS will be the dominate OS among most of the younger generation. Affordable hardware, insanely long battery life, crazy light weight/portable, all with an amazingly social and cloud based OS running on it. What more could you want from a future computing device? The future starts now! Best of all We will never have to see that damn blue screen EVER AGAIN.

Ready to join the ChromeOS party? Two Chromebooks are now available with more on their way!

Acer AC700 - Click Here To Purchase Via AMAZON

Samsung Series 5 - Click Here To Purchase Via AMAZON


Monday, July 11, 2011

Storm Knock Your Power Out? There's a Chromebook For That


Today I was reminded of just how much I love my Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. The skies were going crazy outside and the storms got so rough it nuked my power thus nuking my internet. So all was lost right? WRONG. Enter 3G. All I did was turn on my 3G and I was right back on G+ looking at pictures of cats and chatting away. I was on like 15% battery power and it lasted all the way until my power came back on. Everyone else in my house came over to me and just sat and watched in amazement as I continued to Tweet and read the news on My Chromebook. So I would say that is yet another win for the Chromebooks!

Let's Talk Limitations



Okay so I feel it is only fair to point out the serious limitations a Chromebook still has. I want to have this blog be a place where potential buyers can come and see what the Chromebook is all about. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Though I have yet to find any ugly.

Here is a list of limitations I have encountered. This is not everything it is just what I have come across since I started using Chromebooks both the CR-48 and now the Samsung Series 5.

1. No Netflix support - To be fair Google has the plugin ready for testing they are waiting on Netflix to make the needed changes so Google can put the Netflix plugin into action.

2. Very limited native file support (.zip is just one example) - Google has been constantly improving and adding more file types to ChromeOS so this is simply an issue of when not if.

3. The built in media player is VERY limited (Cannot play a lot of file types) - Google is working to add more codecs and file types to the media player.

4. Lack of streaming plugin support (DivX, Real Player) - Once again it doesn't support a lot of closed, 3 party plugins in system wide.

5. Doesn't support any native apps (VLC Player, Transmission, Cheese, etc.) or native printing or most any device that needs drivers (Like my Logitech USB headset) - Don't hold your breath for much change on these. Native client will help with some of this but it will still be really limited.

6. No java - Once again this is unlikely to ever come to ChromeOS.

7. Little to NO offline apps - Google is working to bring more offline apps by the end of summer and more in the future. Again this is a when not if issue.

8. Poor and rudimentary file manger - No easy way to move files and folders and no easy copy and paste function. It is very limited and needs some serious work.

9. If your an owner of an "i" device (Apple) good luck. No iTunes and no native support. This does not effect me but it will effect many.

10. No CD/DVD drive and no CD/DVD burning support for external CD/DVD drives. (Once again not a big deal to me.)

Even with all the limitations the Chromebook does what it was designed to do. It was designed to be a thin client a cloudbook. It was not meant to ever compete with systems running full fledged OS's. So if your like me and live in the cloud already then what are you waiting for? Acer ships for $349 and Samsung ships for no higher than $500 for the 3G model. ChromeOS is only gonna get better with time. Many of those limitations will be overcame sometime in the near future. This is a Beta OS after all and truly the first of it's kind.

A friend of mine just bought a 3G Samsung Chromebook and couldn't be happier. He came from a Windows 7 machine. Remember different strokes for different folks. If you need to do serious audio/video/picture editing I would say move on to something else. If you just wanna check your Gmail, Google +, Twitter, and browse Reddit all day then this baby is for you! It is a web browser based OS after all and it does just that! =)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chromebooks: The Art of Simplicity



Simplicity. Its the mantra of Google Chrome and Chrome OS. The Chromebooks scream simplicity in the hardware design and the OS that runs on them. Chromebooks weren't meant to tackle all your heavy duty tasks such as audio, video, and picture editing. They weren't meant to be used for coding and application creation. They weren't meant to play WoW and or The SIMS on either. I think there is a huge misconception and or confusion about what they were meant for. They are not here to compete with any product (Netbooks, iPads, Xooms, Etc.). They were designed with PURE web users in mind. Users just like me. 

I spend like 98% of the time on the web when I am on a computer. I don't do anything heavy and crazy like some people do. I Tweet and +1 things as well as email and watch YouTube. I listen to music and keep up with the news, weather, and social lives of my friends and family. I also watch the TV episodes I may have missed if my dish goes out. I video chat and hangout with my buds online all day and night. That is pretty much my daily online life. The Chromebook works for all of those things and it does it in a FAST and SIMPLE way. If you ask me, for someone who just uses the web, there really is no better option. I think you don't realize how much you don't need a full blown OS until you leave it and try something like ChromeOS. It will change your perspective trust me on that one. Being able to go from a cold boot to Google + or Twitter in under 10 seconds is INSANE. That alone is worth the price of the machine. Oh an the 10 hour battery life isn't to shabby either =) 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

WiFi Only Acer Chromebook Finally Gets Release Date (Hopefully)

























Reports are coming in that the Acer Chromebook will be released on July 11th from Amazon. The WiFi only version will be available at first with the 3G model coming later this summer. At just $349 it looks rather tasty if ya ask me.

Specs include:

  • 11.6” HD Widescreen CineCrystal™ LED-backlit LCD: (1366 x 768) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Dual-core Intel® Processor
  • 2GB DDR3 Memory
  • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
  • 16GB Solid State Drive
  • 1.3 Megapixel HD Webcam (1280 x 1024)
  • High-Definition Audio Support
  • Two Built-in Speakers
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™
  • 2- USB 2.0 Ports
  • 1- HDMI™ Port
  • Full-sized Chrome Keyboard with dedicated keys for the web
  • Oversized, Multi-touch Touchpad
  • Memory card slot for storing photos, music, and video
  • 6 hours of continuous use
  • 3.2 lbs 
So what say you? Are you excited for it to finally be released (Almost a full month late)? 







Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So Is It a Laptop Or a TV? I Say BOTH!




I have to say, my internet in my home is cheap and slow. It does the job and stays within the budget. However my satellite TV is not that way at all. It is premium and EXPENSIVE. Enter the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. This baby can handle streaming from thousands of popular streaming websites (Hulu, Sidereel, Youtube, etc.) Soon it will even have Netflix support! This means I can watch all my favorite TV's shows and movies on my Chromebook all in an instant. It just goes to show that this device is much more then just a piece of hardware that runs a browser. Once Netflix comes (It will come very soon) I will be all set. Goodbye expensive TV bill and hello True Blood, Weeds, Glee, Teen Wolf, and... Well you get the picture =)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Angry Birds or Pandora? How About Both!


Yesterday as I sat on my couch plunking away on my Samsung Series 5 Chromebook I was presented with a dilemma. I was really in the mood to play some Angry Birds but at the same time I also really wanted some of my Elton John channel on Pandora Radio. I thought to myself "There is NO WAY this little Chromebook can handle them both at the same time can it?" Much to my surprise and delight I loaded up Pandora Radio and then launched Angry birds in a new tab. This thing loaded them both effortlessly. This little baby is packing a punch! I wouldn't wanna bump into it in a back alley, its a beast!

After about an hour of that, I put Angry Birds on pause and checked my email as well as edited a spreadsheet in Google Docs all while Pandora was still streaming away. As Elton John would say, this thing didn't let the sun go down on me ;-) There is literally NOTHING I haven't been able to accomplish on this bad boy! The more I use this Chromebook the more I LOVE IT! Google did something very right with this one. Kudos to Samsung for the sexy look as well! =)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Samsung Chromebook: A Writer's BFF


Even though Chromebooks still lack the option of offline Google Apps. This Chromebook is truly a writers best friend. Maybe it's because I have the 3G model or maybe it's because I have WiFi on every street corner (Thank you Starbucks, Panera, Subway, and Micky Dee's.) But I never find myself not being able to use this little guy to write my short stories or talk to my readers. I am always connected and the battery lasts forever. It is so light and portable. It is a dream come true. On top of  that ChromeOS is only gonna get better and faster not worse and slower (Here's looking at you Microsoft). Now if you'll excuse me, Google Docs is calling me... =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh Verizon...



So I spent the morning attempting to get my Samsung Chromebook activated with the Verizon 3G. I knew this was going to be fun because the area I live in has very low signal from every body. The Chromebook refused to activate which I wasn't surprised by as I said. I called the special support number for Chromebooks and other mobile broadband products from Verizon (1-800-786-8419). I was greeted by a very well spoken and knowledgeable woman.

She walked me through to check my signal strength. I was only at -71 dbm. She said most 3G modems won't activate automatically if your signal is below -90 dbm. So she walked me through the manual activation. As I said she knew the Chromebook and all it's screens very well. We went into Crosh (Ctrl-Alt-T) and manually activated it from there. Now 3G works wonders and she even gave me a free unlimited day pass to use anytime I wanted! Verizon is known for it's amazing customer service and I wanna say thanks to the woman I spoke with for being so patient and helpful.

Have any of you guys activated your 3G yet? Let me know!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are You For Real? This Battery is Still Going...



So day one with my Samsung Chromebook has come to an end. This Chromebook doesn't want to quit though! This baby is still cooking. I have been using it regularly for almost 10 hours now. I call that a WIN =) That alone is worth the price tag. Try getting that on your machine!

V8 Benchmarks and More Observations

So here are the V8 benchmarks of the Samsung Chromebook running on the latest Dev Channel. Not to shabby!

On another note, the ambient light sensor works way better on here then on the CR-48. It is way less sensitive and doesn't change or flicker the screen as much. The keyboard feels slightly smaller but I am ok with that. I ave been running this thing with tons of tabs open and haven't had any lag or crashing. Color me impressed Google and Samsung.

First Impressions of the Sammy Series 5 Chromebook



Coming from a CR-48 the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is a HUGE step forward. Youtube and Hulu are flawless at 480 and stable at 720. I wouldn't use 720 all the time but it is usable. Scrolling on web pages is very smooth. The screen is very bright and has a matte finish on it. This thing is sleek and sexy. It is very light and very thin.

I switched it to the Dev channel right away because I prefer to live on the edge. It's mostly stable but has its quirks. I had to reboot once already because the screen was flashing. That is one of the many bugs I have found in the Dev build. All and all it is wonderful. I have an extremely slow internet connection and this thing still flies. Facebook and Twitter load in a snap. Google Reader used to lag like crazy on the CR-48. That lag is gone. In fact I haven't seen lag anywhere on this machine. I am pretty sure this thing boots even faster then my CR-48. I didn't think that was possible.

In conclusion, I would give this thing a 9 out of 10. My biggest complaint is still the lack of Netflix and offline apps. I know those are coming though so I patiently await that. ChromeOS is still a beta OS so that's why it's a 9. As for the hardware and the build quality itself, it is flawless and sexy. I would highly recommend this Chromebook to anyone who wants a cloud computing device hands down.

- AC

Unboxing of the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook Feat. J-Lo

video

I was one of the few chosen by Google (The best company in the whole wide world!) to be a Chromebook "Guru". Google just sent me this brand spanking new 3G/Wifi Samsung Chromebook. This is the exciting unboxing! I added a J-LO song to distract you all away from my abysmal filming skills! =) 


Here are the boring bits such as the VGA connector, the AC adapter, and the paper work/quickstart guide.