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Hello Google Chrome!!! Goodbye MS
Old 08-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Hello Google Chrome!!! Goodbye MS

Hello all,

Normally I don't push products but if you are like me and your computer(s) + printers are getting old you may want to consider this option. I am doing it.

Problem;

Cranky(it has been reliable) old MS computer running your in-house network and holding all your files. Needing constant virus protection, application and software updates. Have to perform regular maintenance to improve performance. I have to do this regularly and my little IT shoulder angle is sending out the borrowed time warning. Get all your data backed up notification!!!

One solution,

Yesterday I purchased a new ChromeBook(like a laptop) for ~ $200 for my son to take classes @ work. Much cheaper then the $400 large laptop with all the setup work.

This got me thinking that I could revamp my in home network where I have 5 people depending on all that wireless goodness!!! Since the Chromebooks do not have an Ethernet connection - how would I connect my cable modem.

And, of course, Goggle has a ChromeBox, and a deployment guide, that replaces your PC and with a tiny box(1.4lbs) with lots of connections. I will simply attach the cables and were off since Google controls all the app and virus protection I don't have to keep paying Norton to keep my 5 PC's safe, as they are gradually being replaced by ChromeBooks/Kindles/Ipads.

Whats all this cost - well I paid $149 for a ChromeBox/$62 for a new Cannon wireless printer and I am done! Just over $200 bucks and I revampt the whole house and can carry the whole setup in one small box. In addition when we move and if we have a WIFI connection we do not need to pay for an ISP(ComCast/Charter etc...)

What's the catch,

> You need to be comfortable storing your documents on-line. If not you can attach an external harddrive (my plan). You can work off-line and then it synchs when you re-connect.
> You get 100Gig free for two years and then have to pay $1.99 per month for it. Not required.
> Get used to using web apps and not desktop ones - this is the way the world is going anyway so its not a big deal.

Other then that everything is better.

I will be setting everything up this weekend and will report back how it goes.

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Old 08-28-2014, 01:39 PM   #2
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When Chromebooks first came out my reaction was "Who would want this thing?"

Now, between Google's improvements to the Chromebook ecosystem and the number of people who are sick and tired of having to be a Geek to safely use their, I think it's a good idea for many people.

Not me. But, then my Geek badge gets shined daily.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:42 PM   #3
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Good idea there! I haven't played with ChromeBox yet.

For file/movie storage I moved to the consumer level NAS devices (WD). For TV I've had the same Roku since 2009 and it still works great (Netflix, Amazon Prime, home NAS, etc) playing in HD. For web browsing we have iPads, a Windows 8.1 touch screen notebook and another IBM laptop for more intense stuff. I also have a couple of servers running HyperV and VMWare but that's another topic
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:25 AM   #4
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Classic life example!!!

I go to backup my PC last night to an external HD - everything is fine - it hangs - and now its in PC trying to recover its self mode. Which means that I will need to spend $, since it old, to get it to boot and recover the files.

I have been in IT for 15 years and am an MSCE so I am very tired of this cranky old PC behavior.

I will provide an update of the saga and results.

Update - I had to spend $200 for a restore and data retrieval of my data for the PC. GRRRRRRR ;-)
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:18 AM   #5
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I use and love my chromebook too. The part you didnt emphasize enough is how frickin fast the Chromebook is...blazing! It's all solid state and doesn't have all the bloatware as a result, runs FAST. I had to use my windows based laptop for a brief time recently and it reminded me how really fast the Chromebook is.
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mam734 View Post
I use and love my chromebook too. The part you didnt emphasize enough is how frickin fast the Chromebook is...blazing! It's all solid state and doesn't have all the bloatware as a result, runs FAST. I had to use my windows based laptop for a brief time recently and it reminded me how really fast the Chromebook is.
Where do you store all your data/ Pictures etc... ? Looks like Amazon is $3 to $1 per mont for 1 TB and Google and MS Ondrive is $2 for 100GB.

I may just share out a 4TB external drive and virtually connect to the Chromebox via other devices. We shall see.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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To some of the older, stodgier forum members (like me), the very thought of keeping everything on the cloud, instead of on my own computer, is just horrifying due to the potential for future invasion-of-privacy issues. The thought that everything syncs with the cloud as soon as you get online is appalling to me.

I know this is the way the world is moving and I need to mentally adjust to the idea, but maybe I'm just too old for that.

You'd think that after giving birth, I'd have given up on privacy forever. IIRC there were 16 doctors and nurses present for that event, plus a half dozen medical students although I was too busy to object to the group nature of this very personal event at the time.

I haven't had any slowdowns or other issues with my laptop for years and years. I do get new ones pretty frequently and keep everything updated, scan frequently for malware in several ways, and do not do much of anything that is very CPU intensive any more.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:46 PM   #8
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I am now comfortable with my Chromebook and think it is fantastic, as long as I am careful of what I do. Google Drive is a blessing.

W2R: everything you post is "in the cloud" and thank heaven for that.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
To some of the older, stodgier forum members (like me), the very thought of keeping everything on the cloud, instead of on my own computer, is just horrifying due to the potential for future invasion-of-privacy issues. The thought that everything syncs with the cloud as soon as you get online is appalling to me.

I know this is the way the world is moving and I need to mentally adjust to the idea, but maybe I'm just too old for that.

You'd think that after giving birth, I'd have given up on privacy forever. IIRC there were 16 doctors and nurses present for that event, plus a half dozen medical students although I was too busy to object to the group nature of this very personal event at the time.
Ha Ha

I hear that I did not even know the people in the room when our three kids were born. As with all things you need to be careful. So, I treat my storage solution like my bank, so Google + Snapfish(HP) and an external drive will be my choices. The big difference here is if someone gets to my data they will see a picture of one of my kids 20 yrs ago. Which is not too risky.

The truth is, I think that we are at a tipping point with technology. Everyone is working to drive costs down and provide more value. Old PC's and laptops are really costly in the long run and have with the advent of Smart phones and WIFI is most establishments data accessibility is easy and immediate. I started to notice and feel this way when I purchased a Kindle 4 years ago to read books and do some basic stuff. Know I do all my electronic communications and transactions on it in a flash.

I will keep all posted - the ChromeBox should be here tomorrow!
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by In-control View Post
Where do you store all your data/ Pictures etc... ? Looks like Amazon is $3 to $1 per mont for 1 TB and Google and MS Ondrive is $2 for 100GB.
Your post made me look at amazon pricing - I think you mispriced amazon storage prices by factor of 10.
It's $30 per month for 1TB storage plus some small amount for access.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:08 PM   #11
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Your post made me look at amazon pricing - I think you mispriced amazon storage prices by factor of 10.
It's $30 per month for 1TB storage plus some small amount for access.
You are correct - I was looking at the developer site and not the cloud pricing.

Here is what I think that I am going to do. Use the 100GB google drive, free for 2 years then $1.99/month for all files. A External HD for all the files as a backup and archive, when the google drive of 100GB is close, the old photo files to Snapfish, photo's are free and unlimited.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:28 PM   #12
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Chromebooks ROCK! (and I am real old).

Asus with touch screen, external drive, blazing speed...what's not to like?

Plus, it doesn't weigh 7 pounds and I can use it anywhere there is a wireless connection. All my *important* files are burned to a disc at home in a desk drawer no one will probably ever look into.

Pictures, have them scattered all over the place (flash drives, CD's, DVDs, hard drives, old albums, Picassa, NAS, etc. We have more pictures than we know what to do with...I suppose I can trash the ones of my Ex wfie's cousins kids?

Just rambling here folks....but I do love the Chromebook. Actually, I tried to give my 2 year old Lenovo laptop to our granddaughter in college, but she declined. Somehow gets by with her Chromebook.
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:58 PM   #13
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My Chromebook is a 1st generation (silver) one. The only thing I don't like is that the keyboard is not backlit. I suppose that's a power thing.

I bought it when visiting friends a couple of years ago. One had an iPad, and when I showed it to him he compared and said "they're about the same!"

We all got used to getting boxes with software on discs you fed into your PC and never-ending updates. No more.
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Old 08-30-2014, 06:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
To some of the older, stodgier forum members (like me), the very thought of keeping everything on the cloud, instead of on my own computer, is just horrifying due to the potential for future invasion-of-privacy issues.
After my last computer crash/total wipeout (4 month old laptop!) I swore that this would never happen again.

My first step was to go to Chrome browser and put everything in the Google cloud. I'm 100% Google: documents, photos, music, etc.

That was almost two years ago now and I haven't looked back! There is a minor half-second lag time on the spreadsheets but considering that I'll never lose anything is a huge, huge plus.

Access from any computer, instant sync with my phone... I love it.

My current PC laptop is fading and I'm on my way to a Chromebook!
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by In-control View Post
Where do you store all your data/ Pictures etc... ? Looks like Amazon is $3 to $1 per mont for 1 TB and Google and MS Ondrive is $2 for 100GB.

I may just share out a 4TB external drive and virtually connect to the Chromebox via other devices. We shall see.
My data/files/odd stuff is on Google Drive.
Photos stored on Google Plus (auto syncs with my Android phone which as become my default camera)
Music on Google Music (got tired of the tyranny of iTunes anyway)

Took a few days to transfer everything over (and convert Excel/Word to GoogleSheets etc) but worth it...
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:57 AM   #16
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I'm on my second Chromebook, was early adopter and liked it enough to do it again after 2 years with first one. I still have a desktop PC but that is only because I'm a software engineer and need it for work.

Trying to get my wife to make the switch too, every time she's calling me over to ask whether to click okay when it wants to update the antivirus, adobe, windows, etc. she gets the speech.

Quote:
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Where do you store all your data/ Pictures etc... ? Looks like Amazon is $3 to $1 per mont for 1 TB and Google and MS Ondrive is $2 for 100GB.
from google = Google+ Photos: Only photos over 2048x2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit.

If you're okay with that size limit maybe you're golden for unlimited?
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:09 AM   #17
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My only reservation about using Google's services is their habit of suddenly discontinuing services when their use drops. I fear becoming dependent on their services and having to do heroic things to retain my data. Of course, that sort of thing can happen with any software or service that I might use.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by In-control View Post

I hear that I did not even know the people in the room when our three kids were born. As with all things you need to be careful. So, I treat my storage solution like my bank, so Google + Snapfish(HP) and an external drive will be my choices. The big difference here is if someone gets to my data they will see a picture of one of my kids 20 yrs ago. Which is not too risky.

The truth is, I think that we are at a tipping point with technology. Everyone is working to drive costs down and provide more value. Old PC's and laptops are really costly in the long run and have with the advent of Smart phones and WIFI is most establishments data accessibility is easy and immediate....
Agree cloud security remains a HUGE issue. Seems like every week we hear another news story of some health or financial firm being hacked with compromise of sensitive personal records. I use cloud services as little as possible, and even then everything gets backed up to personal ext HD's at least every few days. With BU programs so good and TB HD's so cheap there's just no excuse not to keep you own BU's -even if you do choose to use cloud services.

Must disagree that PC's and laptops are too costly. While every tech item becomes obsolete (or dies) over time, the cost of these traditional devices continues to come down. Entry level laptops or desktops can be had for ~$US200, and I've even seen bundling home version of Office for around that price during sales. Over time I suspect we will see that Chromebook reliability will be similar to laptops of same age. And I suspect malware will somehow creep its ugly head into the Chrome world as well.

FWIW- My impression of Chromebook is....meh. It's big initial price advantage is largely gone now. Add-ons bump up their total cost (e.g. Google drive, cloud storage fees, etc.), and laptop prices have dropped. With Chromebooks you are basically locked-in to Google's cloud environs, at least to get the best experience. Which is fine if you love Google. But there are differences vs traditional laptop/PC's. Like printing can be a PITA (no USB printing- only Cloud Print). Working with Office docs is getting better but is still rudimentary (at least for 'power users'). Chromebooks seem fine for web surfing and games. Another Chrome advantage I see is that Google is essentially marketing easy BU services. But overall functionality remains better with Win or Mac. And easy BU's are not hard to accomplish with either Win or Mac, an ext HD, and a decent BU program using a scheduled BU feature.

Speed, reliability, & (perhaps most importantly) security of roaming WiFi remains HIGHLY dependent on your specific location. I live in a nice suburb of a major Midwest US city and public WiFi here can still be quite spotty. That can be a real PITA when an important contact (e.g. financial transaction) is lost mid-transmission. And real world phone/tablet security remains way behind traditional PC's. Smart phones are fine for fun stuff, but NO WAY do I trust 'em (yet) for most important data transactions.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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I don't have a chromebook yet but I love chrome the browser. I got chrome and cleaned up my hard drive. I feel like I have a new computer now.
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Old 08-30-2014, 11:19 AM   #20
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I don't have a chromebook yet but I love chrome the browser. I got chrome and cleaned up my hard drive. I feel like I have a new computer now.
+1

I have found the Chrome browser to be very fast.

I would not recommend a Chromebook to many people here, but if you wish to just read e-mail, look up articles in the paper, view Youtube videos andNetflix streaming, or just look up recipes for preparing the 4 pounds of fish your brother-in-law brought caught over, the Chromebook is great, IMHO.

Security is always updated and if you suspect your Chromebook has been violated there is a 'power wash' setting that will restore it to original status. IOW, a factory reset.
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