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  1. #1

    Trying to switch to Chomebook as my main device

    Hello,

    Just thought I would add an interesting experiment I am doing here.

    I have been a computer geek for the better part of my life. Always having a computer and a backup(s) in case one fails. Have spent a lot of money over time on my machines. Have every version of Windows and have an old version of DOS somewhere on floppy. Used to love to tinker and been a GNU/Linux user since around 1999. Loved the all nighters getting X working at the time.

    As I get older, computer issues aggravate me. I no longer want to spend time tweaking and making things work the way I want, I just want something to work. For this the Chromebook is the best thing since sliced bread. Since I am tired of dumping money into Windows this is not an option. I come from a System76 laptop with an i7 4810, so it is pretty high end and I was running Mint.

    The other day my internet went down. I am a geek and pretty much live online and at that moment I realized that I rely on the net and outside of the net there is nothing much that interests me. So I have decided to try something. I have here (and typing on) an HP 14 that I bought a little while back. So I am trying the Chromebook only with the use of an Android tablet. Just to see if I can make it. And if I can, I can save myself a lot of money not buying new computers all the time. I can also save me time on the setup and updates involved with owning a computer (in the PC type thing, yes a Chromebook is a computer in a different league).

    So far I am missing nothing and finding the Chromebook does everything I am needing. Time will tell but I am hoping this works out. Then I can sell my couple laptops (with Linux of course) and net a profit and be happy . This would also make my wife very happy.

  2. #2

    primary machine

    Getting printers and other types of hardware working will probably become a problem. Chrome books are great second or traveling computers, but there are still things they can't do.

    I would recommend using Linux Mint Mate or Cinnamon as a main computer. PC-BSD is also very user friendly. WINE can be important and mint makes that a breeze.

    If you just need web surfing, email, and videos; a chrome book will be just fine.



  3. #3
    I was thinking the same thing as my computer is 6 or 7 years old and shuts down if I try to do too many things at the same time. A $300-350 Chromebook has a slightly faster processor and 1 Gig of memory more than my desktop, which does everything I want. Plus you can install Xbuntu or whatever on it and it becomes a laptop. I assume you can hook it up to a large monitor and full sized keyboard if you want. And I hardly ever use the CD/DVD drive so could just transfer files to a USB thumb drive on those rare occasions. Have not checked out WiFi yet as I would want both wired and WiFi for when it is out and about with me.



  4. #4

    Chromebook vs. general OS

    Wish I could run a Virtualbox on my Chromebook, just to occasionally pretend I was running a full Linux distro. I really like tinkering with the systems stuff and software configurations, as well as getting access to various browsers. Chrome, btw, works very well on a Chromebook, but the Chrome browser has become quite a resource hog on non-Google systems. I suspect that the tweaks made to improve the Chromebook experience have lessened the browser's appeal for use on Linux/Windows/Mac/Unix systems. For simply surfing the internet or accessing cloud data, Chromebook can't be beat for the money.


    Last edited by curtvaughan; 12-13-2014 at 05:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mdlinuxwolf View Post
    Getting printers and other types of hardware working will probably become a problem. Chrome books are great second or traveling computers, but there are still things they can't do.
    I agree. I prefer my Linux box and my iMac for tinkering with the system and for flexibility in software configurations. If Virtualbox or some other virual machine software can ever be made available to Chrome OS, the Chromebook would be more appealing. BTW, network enabled printers can be easily configured via Google print.



  6. #6
    I had a similar struggle with an iPad2. I kept focusing on the limitations and the need to modify it and do workarounds. I am resisting that with the Chromebook, as I have plenty of computers I can modify, load distros on, etc.* Even the author of Puppy Linux gave the opinion that the Chromebook should be left alone.

    *I have a friend who buys estates and storage lockers, etc. and GIVES me any computers he gets. Of course, many are "ready for Windows 98.!"I tell him, "That isn't a computer, it's a divorce in a box!"



  7. #7
    >I assume you can hook it up to a large monitor and full sized keyboard if you want.<

    For those who find they want a bigger monitor, you can pick up a Chromecast unit for under $30 in places. it will display your Chromebook (or Chrome browsers on any other computer) and transmit the sound to an HDTV when plugged into the TV's HDMI connector. The one irritation has been printing from the Chromebook since you don't connect a printer directly to the USB port. But I finally set up Cloud Printing which was a breeze. Using it is a bit clunky - you need to have another computer running Chrome that has a printer attached - but it works well once you set it up. I've become quite lazy and use the Chromebook 99% of the time I'm online. My skills at being a BSD, Linux, Mac administrator have been taking a vacation since I got the Chromebook.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    If you want a ChromeOS desktop, a chromebox works well. It's cheap, and you can use whatever monitor, keyboard, mouse, or other peripheral you want. If you want the portability, you can connect all those peripherals to a chromebook. The chromebox is easier to upgrade, though, and you can add RAM or a larger SSD very easily. I've been using ChromeOS full time for well over a year. It does have a few limitations, and I solve those by running Debian in a chroot, using the crouton scripts. That gives me a full Debian environment in a ChromeOS tab. I use it for running Audacity, gparted, and some other tools not available on ChromeOS. I tried replacing ChromeOS with Debian, dual-booting ChromeOS and Debian, and finally decided that wasn't worth the trouble. Having Linux available in a tab is all I need. I have a laptop with a full Debian install on it, but it has been months since I bothered to turn it on. It's just gathering dust.



  9. #9
    Most if not all Chrome books do not include an Ethernet port. However, you can go to Best Buy and get an Ethernet to USB converter. Obviously use the 3.0 port instead of the 2.0 if your chrome book is so equipped.

    The hardware should be well under $30 & runs very fast when hooked up. When used in guest mode, wired networking is ideal for secure transactions such as accessing your bank account, viewing "exotic" content, or whenever you do not want anyone snooping on you or recording your history.



  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mdlinuxwolf View Post
    Most if not all Chrome books do not include an Ethernet port. However, you can go to Best Buy and get an Ethernet to USB converter. Obviously use the 3.0 port instead of the 2.0 if your chrome book is so equipped.

    The hardware should be well under $30 & runs very fast when hooked up. When used in guest mode, wired networking is ideal for secure transactions such as accessing your bank account, viewing "exotic" content, or whenever you do not want anyone snooping on you or recording your history.
    I haven't tried this yet, it's a good thing that you mentioned the process, thanks!



  11. #11
    I share your geeky history and, having gotten older, have made the jump to a Toshiba Chromebook II. In general, I've been satisfied with its apps and absolutely astounded by its speed. When I want to watch a movie or whatever on my HD TV, I just connect up with a HDMI cable. The biggest issue I had was printing, but after setting up Google's Cloud Printing, it all works, albeit somewhat clunkily. I do also still have a Ubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop system that I use for tinkering and a few apps, but I go to it less and less often as time goes by.



  12. #12
    I have had a chromebook for two years. I use a wireless printer and print using the email address of the printer. Then I add attached documents that I want to print. no problems so far.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Clinton Township. MI
    Posts
    3

    Device(s)
    Lenovo N22 Chromebook (previously owned an original Google Chromebook CR-48 prototype)

    Chromebooks give us conveniece and an opportunity to take a break!

    While there are definitely some things you can't do (short of putting a different operating system in place), Chromebooks can do a lot - and if you really learn how to use them well, many things you can do in offline mode and connect them with a network when it is available.

    But since we've both been around for a long time, I'd suggest that when a network is not available, maybe that's just a "gentle reminder to take a break" - we truly do not need to eat, live and breathe this stuff all of the time. I find it refreshing when I can tune out technology and spend increasing amounts of time with the people who matter most to me, and if I find them with their noses into a laptop or a smartphone, I suggest that it's time to take a break...

    - - - Updated - - -

    While there are definitely some things you can't do (short of putting a different operating system in place), Chromebooks can do a lot - and if you really learn how to use them well, many things you can do in offline mode and connect them with a network when it is available.

    But since we've both been around for a long time, I'd suggest that when a network is not available, maybe that's just a "gentle reminder to take a break" - we truly do not need to eat, live and breathe this stuff all of the time. I find it refreshing when I can tune out technology and spend increasing amounts of time with the people who matter most to me, and if I find them with their noses into a laptop or a smartphone, I suggest that it's time to take a break...



  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2

    Original Poster
    I have since purchased a Samsung Chromebook Plus and I have been wanting for nothing at all. I use Google Sheets for my financial spreadsheets, have Android apps, games run fine, my external speakers still jam with a 4 port USB dongle and it is very fast.

    I love the fact there is no aggravation at all and the things I do nowadays is covered rather well by this Chromebook. Happy .



  15. #15
    Yea, once I channeled my "user mode" instead of my "developer mode" I was quite happy. Hey, Chrome is not perfect, but is is an 85% solution to most things we do with computers. Still the need to "hack it 'n jack it" is still there, I just save it for my other devices and operating systems.



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