Using a Chromebook for the first time
Here in my home office I have a great, big wonderful iMac. It has more RAM and gigs than I ever use, even though I use applications like Photoshop, etc. It has a big, bright 21-inch screen and a full-sized extended keyboard and mouse. Yes, it cost a lot of money, but it's worth it, as this is my business, and in a way, my life. I'm a professional graphic designer and illustrator and it's as important to me as having a high performance car would be to a race car driver.
But when I go away on vacation for a while, I really don't need this. In fact, all I really need is the ability to check my emails and surf the web. Which is why I have been happy asking friends that I visit if I can use their computers. An internet connection and the wimpiest PC works fine for that. And that brings me to the Chromebook.
The Chromebook is not a PC. For all intents and purposes, it is a "dumb terminal". It just has barely enough brains to connect to the internet, which apparently doesn't take a lot. It uses the Chrome browser (all browsers are pretty much the same to me) and once you're inside of a browser, all you gotta know is how to surf. I have my own website so I have always been able to check my email remotely.
No, the Chromebook isn't something I would use every day. The screen is about 11 inches wide, and it's not nearly as sharp and gorgeous as the screen I'm on right now (my iMac). But it's a whole lot better than on a phone, or a tablet, if only for the size. And the Chromebook has a real keyboard. It folds up like a laptop.
There are a few bells and whistles that I will probably get to later, but mostly I just wanted the internet, which I can now access anywhere I can find wi-fi (which is just about everywhere). To start it up, I put in my Google ID and password, and then found the browser. I logged into Netflix, Facebook, and Linkedin, that sort of stuff.
The total, including tax, at Fry's Electronics yesterday was $260.74. Not even close to the cost of a "real computer" or laptop, and the reason is that it's just a box with a screen that connects to the internet. If, God forbid, I lose it or break it while I am traveling, all I gotta do is get another one, log back into my Google account, and I am back in business. I carry no data on it.
It was nice of Google to invent all of this stuff for me. Please feel free to use it yourself. If you have any questions, you can contact me, even when I'm away traveling. I'll have my Chromebook. I might be watching Netflix, but I'll stop and check my email every once in a while.
Posted by Brad Hall