When is owning a Chromebook a worthy choice vs. owning a Windows Laptop?

Below my post here is an article from c|net explaining the differences between a Chromebook vs. a Windows laptop and how Chromebooks have progressed to the point that they are a worthy choice; but, when is that choice really worthy.

In my opinion (and experience), a Chromebook is a choice for someone that is pretty much limited to being tied to the internet. From what I am seeing out there in the “real world” of home computing, a Chromebook will suffice for the kids growing up and the parents that are retired. The Chromebooks are lower in cost, simple to operate and very low maintenance. There are no antivirus software to install and updates are transparent. I own a Chromebook and let me tell you, I love it. For what I do these days (i.e. blogging, writing letters, exploring the internet) it gets the job done and gets it done at a lower price point than a full-blown Windows-based laptop. Once you get past the low learning curve, you will be dragging your Chromebook everywhere through the house.

Examples of Chromebooks and Their Prices

Now again, using real-world thinking here, if you are the high school student, the college student or the working business person, go with a Windows-based laptop. The reason for that thinking is that people in those life categories are using power-intensive applications (Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Video Conferencing, etc…) that are the industry standards. There are ways to use a Chromebook to run these standard applications, but you will get frustrated; whereas, the Windows-based laptop is engineered to handle these applications with ease. With a Windows-based laptop be prepared, as you probably already know, for a higher cost, with a higher learning curve, and a higher level of maintenance.

Examples of Windows Based Laptops and Their Prices

Continue reading “When is owning a Chromebook a worthy choice vs. owning a Windows Laptop?”

Photopea – A Perfect (online) Alternative To Photoshop Or Gimp.

This is a great online web alternative to Photoshop or Gimp… If you own a Chromebook, Photopea may be the image editor you are looking for.

Photopea is an advanced image editor, which can work with both raster and vector graphics. You can use it for simple tasks, such as resizing images, as well as complex tasks, such as designing webpages, creating illustrations, processing photographs and more.

Open and edit PSD, XCF, Sketch (Photoshop, Gimp and Sketch) or any other image files. Inspect PSD and Sketch files. Convert Sketch to PSD. Apply photo effects and filters. A perfect alternative to Photoshop or Gimp.

Source: Photopea | Online Photo Editor


More “Cloud Computing”

Quick Post: Chromebooks vs. Laptops | What’s the Difference?

I am a Windows OS user, as well as a Chrome OS user… I like both operating systems; however there are big differences. These differences are notable when you are shopping for a “Laptop” or “Chromebook”. Which should you choose? Learn more by clicking on the source link below.

Thanks for visiting… Rick @ What’s On My PC

When you hear people talking about Chromebooks as if they were a different species from regular laptops, there is a good reason: Chromebooks are in a class of their own. Yes, they’re similar to ordinary Windows or Mac laptops in many ways, being essentially highly mobile, speedy laptops. But they run a totally different operating system, one that favors those who prefer Google and Android services. Let’s take a look at Chromebooks versus laptops, and if buying a Chromebook is right for you.

Acer Chromebook 13 review

Continue Reading @ Digital Trends

Here Are “Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops”

Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, at ZDNet makes a good argument with “Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops“.

I can honestly attest to being a Windows user all my time being associated with computers, until last year when I purchased my first Chromebook. Yes, Windows can be a powerhouse; but, there are so many negatives with Windows vs. the positives of a Chromebook that I came to the conclusion for home-based users, a Chromebook is all you really need.

Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook, Intel Core M3, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS

I encourage you to read Steven’s article to see the five reasons he listed. In his final closing summary to his article, he said this (for which I totally agree):

“If you want a laptop that does all the bread-and-butter internet and office work, get a Chromebook. If you have a friend or relative who needs a safer machine, give them a Chromebook. If you need a flexible system that can juggle Android, Linux, the web, and a bit of Windows, get a Chromebook. You’ll be glad you did.”

Source: ZDNet – Five reasons Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops


See More “Tech News”

10 Essential Chromebook Tips for Students | Laptop Mag

While navigating the operating system is simple, the pool of students underutilizing their Chromebooks gets larger with each semester. From shortcuts to multitasking, we’ll help you make the most out of the speedy and lightweight operating system. Bust out your comfy sweatpants, grab yourself a pumpkin spice latte and prepare to free up your schedule this semester with these back-to-school tips for Chromebooks.

lenovo-chromebook-c330-010-HERO1

Learn More @ Laptop Mag

Today’s Deal: A Ruggedized and Water Resistant Chromebook

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS04 is ready for drops and spills with rugged construction with reinforced rubber guards, easy-grip handles, and a spill-resistant keyboard. This Chromebook is lightweight (2.65-pound body) and rugged (can be dropped from 3.9 feet).

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS04

Powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 Processor (2M Cache, up to 2.48 GHz)
4 GB DDR3 RAM; 32GB Flash Storage


Click Here To See More Tech Deals

Quick Tip: See All Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts By Using A Keyboard Shortcut

The Chromebook, which runs off the Google Chrome OS platform, is a different beast in itself; BUT, let me tell you this, “I love my Chromebook”… I find myself using it more and more. If interested in seeing the different Chromebooks and their pricing — CLICK HERE

If you are the proud owner of a Chromebook here is a quick way to get to a guide that will show you all the “Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts”. To get to the guide, simply Press Ctrl + Alt + ?  at the same time on your keyboard. You can browse through the different keyboard shortcuts or you can search for them. Below is a screenshot of what I am seeing on my Chromebook. If your Chromebook OS has not been updated you may see a screen overlay of a keyboard instead.

My favorite keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + Shift + []]] button (above the 6 key). This shortcut will allow you to take a partial screenshot.


More “Quick Tips” Here

Quick Tip: How To Find, Lock Or Erase A Stolen or Lost Android Device

There is nothing more distressful than losing your smartphone… If you own an Android device, such as a smartphone, tablet or Chromebook, you most likely performed the initial set up using a Google Account (i.e. Gmail account). As a result, you have a feature where you can remotely find, lock or erase the device in the event the phone is stolen or lost (Note: The phone must be turned “on” in order for this to work). You can even ring the phone and send information to the phone requesting that the phone be returned. You will need to go to a computer, log into your Google account, in order to make this work. Follow the steps below to put you on the road of recovery. You can go ahead and practice this…

  1. Open a browser, like Chrome Chrome. If you’re using someone else’s device, use private browsing mode.
  2. Open your Google Account.
  3. In the “Security” section, select Find a lost or stolen phone.
  4. Select the lost phone, tablet, or Chromebook.
  5. Follow the step-by-step suggestions to help find and secure the device.

ADDED TIP: Also, did you know, if you have a Google Account, and you are logged in, you can perform a Google Search, type in “Find My Phone” and Google (with a map) will find your phone within about 50 feet.

Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop – A Reasonably Priced Chromebook

The Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop is worth taking a look at for the price. One thing that jumped out at me is that there is 64GB of storage on this Chromebook vs. the 16GB and 32GB that you typically see. (see full description below).

Lenovo Chromebook S330 Laptop

  • HIGH PERFORMANCE LAPTOP: The Chromebook S330 is equipped with a MediaTek MTK8173C Processor, Chrome OS, 4 GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC 5.1 and so much more.
  • SLEEK & STYLISH DESIGN: Sleek, stylish and secure, the Lenovo Chromebook S330 is less than one inch thin and 3.3 lbs. light with a 14-inch FHD Display perfect for day-to-day computing and multimedia, on or offline.
  • POWERFUL PROCESSING: Perfect for all your daily computing needs, the Lenovo Chromebook S330 delivers a host of performance features. Enjoy powerful processing for daily tasks, LPDDR3 memory for multitasking, eMMC storage for quick boot-ups, fast software loading and additional 100 GB of cloud storage via Google Drive.
  • BUILT TO CONNECT US: Full I/O support comes standard on the laptop computer with USB-C, microSD and USB 3.0 for effortless connectivity. Further this Chromebook also features powerful 2 x 2 WiFi ac with Bluetooth 4.1, a 720p webcam and two 2W speaker systems for effortless collaboration, all supported via a suite of collaborative apps via Chrome OS.
  • EASY TO USE: The Lenovo Chromebook S330 is easy to use, offers built-in virus protection and keeps going with long battery life. Further no setup is needed, just a Google account so your stuff stays with you via cloud storage of your emails, maps, docs, pics and more.

Quick Tip: Where is the “Caps Lock” key on my Chromebook?

When I first started using my Chromebook (Acer Chromebook 15), coming from using Windows all my life, the first mystery I encountered was; “Where is the Caps Lock Key?“. You know; the key you push down to toggle between lower and uppercase text.

Well, Google had to be different. Where the “Caps Lock” key typically is located (or labeled) on the keyboard (left side above the “Shift Key”),  you will notice there is a magnifying glass icon on the key. That key on the Chromebook is the “Search” key. On the newer Chromebooks this also can serve as the “Google Assistant” key that allows you to use Google Assistant. Typically, If you push the “Search” key on the Chromebook, the search option will pop up where you can search your device, apps and even the web (or Google Assistant will be activated, if you have the newer Chromebook). So, if that key is being used for search purposes, “Where is the Caps Lock Key?

Mystery Solved: In Google’s method to their madness strategy, the “Caps Locks” key is not a readily identifiable key; instead, you must use a keyboard shortcut. If you hold the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key in combination, this serves the same purpose as the “Caps Lock” key (to change to uppercase text). When you do that you will see in the notification area (bottom right corner) a small notification popup alerting you that the “Caps Lock” is “on”. To toggle it “off” either hit the “ALT” key + “SEARCH” key” again OR simply hit the “SHIFT” key.  Also, as an added note, if you really do not like this at all, you can go into your Chromebook settings, look for “Keyboard” and you will see an option where you can change (or remap) what the “Search” key performs.

If you can overcome some of the keyboard quirks on the Chromebook you will come to find that these Chromebooks are great computers; especially, for folks at home, kids and our elders (which is the category I am now heading into : ) …

Chromebooks are becoming the choice computer in many of the schools due to their ease of maintenance, better security, and low cost — CLICK HERE — to see what is out there.

 

Chromebook Support Sites and Phone Number

Here is a handy list of Chromebook support sites and phone numbers…

Google Chromebook (Googles Main Help Site)

Acer help site | (866) 695-2237

ASUS help site | Chat with us | (888) 678-3688

Chromebook Pixel (2013 & 2015) | Request a call

Dell help site | (800) 624-9897

Google Pixelbook Help Center | Contact support

Google Pixel Slate Help Center | Contact support

Haier help site | (877) 337-3639

Hisense help site | (888) 935-8880

HP help site | (800) 474-6836

Lenovo help site | (800) 426-7378

LG help site | (800) 243-0000

Samsung help site | Chat with us | (800) 726-7864

Toshiba help site | (800) 457-7777

Thinking of buying a new Chromebook but not sure which one to choose?

I love my Chromebook… As a matter of fact, I drafted this article using my Chromebook. If you are unfamiliar with Chromebooks, let me explain in simple terms. The Chromebook is not a Microsoft Windows OS-based laptop; instead, it is a Google Chrome OS-based laptop (or notebook). DO NOT let that scare you. If you have ever used the Google Chrome web browser, then using a Chrome OS-based laptop is super easy. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend Chromebooks for our Mom’s and Pop’s out there because of their ease of use, portability, low maintenance, built-in security, and affordability. Many of the schools have gone to these for the same reasons. Not only that; Google is on a mission to make Chromebooks a mainstay and work hard to upgrading and improving the operating system (to include Android apps and the ability to run Linux). Interested? Check out some of the Chromebooks at Amazon (CLICK HERE)

If you are considering purchasing a Chromebook and want to learn more, take a look at this recent article about “Chromebook Specs & Performance Comparison Chart (2019)” that provides a specs comparison table and buying guide to quickly see the differences between each model, and find the best Chromebook for your needs.

chromebook-specs

Source: Zipso – Chromebook specs & performance comparison chart (2019)

How to print from a Chromebook | Android Central

Android Central provides the steps necessary to get your Chromebook prepped to work with your printer, by using Google’s Cloud Print. I have been using Google’s Cloud Print since its’ inception and can vouch for its’ reliability. The good about this is you can be around the other side of the globe and send a print job to your printer. Now how cool is that…

Change

Chromebooks can’t download and install the tens of thousands of printer drivers in existence, but that’s why Google Cloud Print exists. Google Cloud Print is a internet-enabled printing standard that allows users to print on any of their devices — Chromebooks, Macs, PCs, Android phones, iPhones and iPads — whether they’re trying to print from the next room or the next state over. Google Cloud Print has been around for the better part of a decade, now, and the majority of printers on the market today are “Cloud-ready printers” that just need to be registered with your account before you start printing. That said, not all printers have it yet, so check and see if your existing printer is Cloud-ready or if you’ll need to grab a printer that is.

Source: How to print from a Chromebook | Android Central

TechRepublic Instructs You “How to enable Night Light in Chrome OS”

I have to admit, I love my Chromebook… The Chrome OS keeps getting better and offers options that make good sense. One such option now baked into the Chrome OS is the “Night Light” feature. The goal of the “Night Light” feature is to help reduce your exposure to blue light for good eye health and to help you sleep better.

So, how do you get to this feature? Below is a brief summarization on how to activate this feature; however, to get the full blown tutorial on this I encourage you to visit TechRepublic (see source link below).

To enable Night Light in Chrome OS, open Settings, and look for the Displays section, where Night Light can be enabled. Adjust the slider to turn Night Light on, and then you’ll also be able to adjust two other features: Color temperature of the display and the schedule.

Screenshot of Night Light setting enabled, with color temperature (cooler to warmer) and schedule options drop-down shown.

Reduce exposure to blue light from your Chrome OS device screen at night by changing these settings.

Source: How to enable Night Light in Chrome OS – TechRepublic

Chromebook’s Built-In Screen Capture Utility

Every Chromebook has a keyboard, and taking a screenshot with the keyboard can be done in a couple ways.
  1. To capture your entire screen, hit Ctrl + window switch key.
  2. To capture only part of the screen, hit Ctrl + Shift + window switch key, then click and drag your cursor to select the area you’d like to capture.

The Best Android Apps for Chromebook – Make Tech Easier

I love my Chromebook and always on the hunt for good Android apps that will run on it. Here is a good “recent” listing that I can vouch for being good apps that will run perfectly on your Chromebook (that supports the Android platform.

Chrome OS now comes with support for Android apps, but which Android apps for Chromebook should you use? Here are some of the best apps you should use.

Source: The Best Android Apps for Chromebook – Make Tech Easier

An Android File Manager That Works Seamslessly On The Chromebook

If you have a Chromebook that has the ability to run Android Apps, I highly recommend “Solid File Manager” as a substitute for the default file manager that is built into the Chrome OS. This app, when installed, will give you 14 days to play around with it then you will have to buy it. It was well worth the $1.99 that I paid (at a discounted price from $2.99). This “dual panel” Android file manager is the first one I have come across that can actually access the SD card (drive) on my Chromebook; plus, the network shares on my main computer. I also like that Solid File Manager allows me to encrypt files and the ability to easily access my online files from Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, etc… This Android file manager is the first file manager that I installed on my Chromebook that works seamlessly with the Chrome OS.

Screenshot Image

Below is the features of this file manager.

Features: – Material Design! – Two independent panels serving as file browsers – Rich customization options: icons sets, color schemes, themes – Drag and Drop inside and between panels – FTP, SFTP, WebDav, SMB/CIFS clients – Ability to read and extract ZIP, 7ZIP, RAR and TAR archives, even encrypted – Ability to create password protected ZIP and 7ZIP archives – Cloud file manager: Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive, Sugarsync, Copy, Mediafire, Owncloud, Yandex – Root access makes Solid Explorer a fully functional root explorer – Extensibility: more features in separate plugins available in Google Play – Indexed search finds your files in a couple of seconds – Detailed file information with storage usage statistics – Batch rename: change names of multiple files at once using regular expressions and variables – Useful tools: hiding unwanted folders, FTP Server (plugin), bookmarks, Chromecast support, media browser

Source: Solid Explorer File Manager – Apps on Google Play

Photopea | FREE Online Image Editor

A FREE online image editor that you may want to take a look at (especially, if you are a Chromebook user)…

Open and edit PSD, XCF, Sketch (Photoshop, Gimp and Sketch) or any other image files. Inspect PSD and Sketch files. Convert Sketch to PSD. Apply photo effects and filters. A perfect alternative to Photoshop or Gimp.

Source: Photopea | Online Image Editor

Chromebook Tip: How To Perform A Screenshot

Here is a handy tip if you are using a Chromebook and need to perform a screen capture.

To do this, you have two options:

Hold down Ctrl + “Switch window” key to capture a full screenshot

OR

Hold down Ctrl + Shift + “Switch window” key to capture a partial screenshot.

You Need To Check This Out (The World’s First Chrome OS Tablet)

If you have not used a Chromebook, you don’t know what you are missing. It is about the easiest form of a computer you will find that is based on the Chrome operating system. The schools are big fans of Chromebooks and I highly recommend them for home use (and for our Mom’s and Pop’s). I am big on computers and technology, worked in the field for years, worked with (still do) the Windows platform for years; BUT, now I am finding the Chromebook the computer I go to at home. NOW, there is something new in the Chromebook world that be of interest to you (see below) that has really caught my attention.

It’s a Chromebook. It’s a tablet. It’s both. Acer just unveiled the world’s first Chromebook tablet: the Chromebook Tab 10. And yes, you can play Fortnite and PUBG on it. But outside of fighting tooth and nail for that illustrious chicken dinner, Acer is targeting educators and students with this handsome new slate. The company has yet to share pricing or launch dates. Instead, here are my first impressions.

Source: Hands-on with the World’s First Chrome OS Tablet

Nice Listing Of Chromebook Apps

If you are a Chromebook user, you are probably looking for apps to install; especially, if your Chromebook can handle Android Apps. After some research, I found the following article at Computerworld (from 2017) that is still very relevant and current in the recommendations. Many of these apps I have installed on my Chromebook and  I am very satisfied.

Turn your Chromebook into a uniquely versatile modern computing machine with these Chrome-OS-enhancing apps.

Source: Android apps for Chromebooks: The essentials | Computerworld

How To Turn An Old PC Into A Chromebook (sort of)

Let’s face it, our notebook and desktop computers get old. Some die and some just keep chugging along; but, get very slow. If you are in this dilemma, don’t throw it away. You can take that old computer and turn it into something useful. A firm called Neverware has created a variant of the Chrome Operating System called CloudReady that can be installed to repurpose that old computer.

So, how do you go about this?

I found a great step-by-step article, “How to install Chromium OS and revive your old Windows PC” that will help walk you through the steps (see source link below)…

 Source: How to install Chromium OS and revive your old Windows PC – MSPoweruser 

Popular Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

My Chromebook has become my primary “go to” computer in the house. I like the concept of simplicity. Open it up, it turns on and I am on the internet doing what I need or want to do.

Today, I decided to post some popular Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts that you may be interested in (if you own a Chromebook). If you don’t own one, check out the one that I own by clicking here… I love it…

Popular Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Take a screenshot: Press Ctrl +  switch window (or Ctrl + F5)
  • Take a partial screenshot: Press Ctrl + Shift +  switch window (or Ctrl + Shift + F5), then click and drag
  • Take a screenshot (if your Chromebook converts into a tablet): Press Power button + Volume down button
  • Turn Caps Lock on or off: Press Alt + Search
  • Lock your screen: Press Search + L
  • Sign out of your Google Account: Press Ctrl + Shift + q (twice)
  • See all keyboard shortcuts: Press Ctrl + Alt + ?

Tips On Using The Touchpad On Your Chromebook

The touchpad on your Chromebook is more versatile than you realize. Below is a list of maneuvers you can perform for specific tasks. I especially like the one that simulates a “right mouse click” by tapping with two fingers.

Move the pointer Move your finger across the touchpad.

Click
 

Press or tap the lower half of the touchpad.


Right-click

Press or tap the touchpad with two fingers. You can also press Alt, then click with one finger.


Scroll

Place two fingers on the touchpad and move them up and down to scroll vertically, or left and right to scroll horizontally.


Move between pages

To go back to a page you were just on, swipe left with two fingers. To go forward to a page you were just on, swipe right with two fingers.


See all open windows

Swipe up or down with three fingers. If you have Australian scrolling turned on, swipe up. If you have traditional scrolling turned on, swipe down.


Close a tab
Point to the tab, then tap or click the touchpad with three fingers.

Open a link in a new tab
Point to the link, then tap or click the touchpad with three fingers.

Switch between tabs
If you have multiple browser tabs open, swipe left and right with three fingers.

Drag and drop

Using one finger, click and hold the item you want to move. Drag the item to its new spot, then release your finger.

iChrome – Customizable New Tab Page or Home Page Extension For Google Chrome

Since owning my Chromebook I have been experimenting with just about anything and everything I can get my hands on. My most recent discovery is a Google Chrome browser extension called iChrome. I currently have iChrome set to load when I open a new tab; however, it can also be configured to be used as your home page.

Why iChrome? Well, first off, it ties in nicely with my other Google apps by displaying (for example) my email, calendar, notes, drive, etc… in a nicely layed out customizable panel with the options to customize the background, as well. Displaying of these items is done through a widgets selection page. I especially like the widget for Facebook where I can browse Facebook and at the same time have view of my other widget panels such as my email, calendar, notes, drive, weather, stock market; PLUS, the widget panel I have setup to launch the Google apps I have installed. You can even set up additional tabbed pages.

iChrome is the best of the best, in my opinion, for creating that new tab page or home page. Kudos to the developer on making a very fine product that serves a very useful and productive purpose. The FREE version does contain an advertising bar that can be moved around and is not obtrusive at all.

iChrome includes nearly 50 widgets, thousands of stunning backgrounds, and powerful features including:

Dozens of widgets including: Weather, Sports, News, Stocks, RSS, Bookmarks, Gmail, Recently Closed Tabs, and more! Drag and drop customization on 1-5 columns or a grid! Fully featured voice search and “OK Google” hotword detection Buy Pro and get dark and transparent themes, live backgrounds, maximizable widgets, hourly weather forecasts, and more Navigate between an unlimited number of customizable tabs, each with their own widgets Work completely offline anytime, everything (even the backgrounds) is ready whenever you are! And hundreds more features! Install iChrome now and check them out!

iChrome is an open source project, check it out on Github

Source: iChrome

This Google Chromebook Is Beyond Awesome

I currently own this Chromebook and I will tell you that I now very seldom use my Windows-based computer anymore at home. This has been a personal test of mine to determine if I could do the same work on the Chromebook as I do my desktop; AND, the answer is YES. This particular Chromebook is mid-range in performance and specs. I highly recommend it for home-based computing and for those Mom’s and Pop’s out there, due to its’ ease of use. This particular model by ACER is at a good price point now…

2017 Newest Acer 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS Chromebook – Intel Celeron-3205U, 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics, HDMI, WIFI, Bluetooth, Chrome OS-White (32GB)

Acer Chromebook 15 Is The Biggest Thing To Happen To The Chromebook

The “Acer Chromebook 15  is the biggest thing to happen to the Chromebook”,  is a line I have taken from Amazon where this Chromebook is now under $300. I purchased this Chromebook prior to Christmas last year and I have not put it down since. I have always been a Windows user, worked in the IT field with only Windows-based systems, and can tell you this. If you want a computer for home-based use to get on the internet, I highly recommend one of these Chromebooks. I hardly ever visit my desktop computer anymore because I can carry the Acer Chromebook 15 around the house where all I have to do is open it up and I am on the Internet. This particular model has the 15 inch screen with a LED backlight display (which is very bright and very clear); is a solid build; smooth keyboard with lighted keys; smooth touchpad; no moving parts (very quiet); powered by an Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor 3205U (1.5GHz, 2MB L3 Cache) with 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory. The hard drive is a SSD drive with a 32GB capacity. That may not seem like much; but, you have to remember the Chromebook is designed with cloud computing in mind where most of your work is done on the internet with web-based applications where your files are stored in the cloud. You can also store files on the SSD drive or on external drive devices that you can connect to the computer. This model is one of the newer models that is set up to run Android apps; the same Android apps you have on your smartphone. This is an early development and I have found some Android apps run better than others on the Chromebook. This will only get better as Google moves forward with the Chrome OS.

In the end, after approximately 4 months of use with this Chromebook, I am sold on the Chromebooks. My advice is to get a good one, like this particular model. I have been recommending the Chromebooks to people for at home use and for our Mom’s and Pop’s out there who do not need the constant hassles that are associated with Windows based computers.

Acer Chromebook 15

SOURCE: Amazon – Acer Chromebook 15

 

Best FREE Office Suite For Your Chromebook (Andoid support required)

If you have a Chromebook, with Android support, where you can install Android Apps, I highly recommend that you install the Android version of WPS Office. I currently have this office suite on my Windows based computers, Android devices (smartphone) and now found a home for it on my Acer Chromebook.

This office suite is probably the most compatible that I have found to the Microsoft Office products. As a matter of fact I use WPS and do not have Microsoft Office installed. The reason for this is that WPS Office is FREE (with ads).

View, edit and create of almost any document type – all fully compatible with Microsoft Office ® and Google Docs. The main types of compatible file fromats: doc, docx, dot, dotx, wps, wpt, txt, rtf, ppt, pptx, pps, ppsx, pot, potx, dps, dpt, xls, xlsx, xlt, xltx, et, ett, pdf, html

All-in-one Free Office Suite App

  • Integrate with Memo, Document, Spreadsheet and Presentation, lets you make quick office documents editing, creating and reading on-the-go
  • Fully compatibility with Microsoft Office( Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Txt), Google Docs, Sheets, Slide and PDF, Adobe PDF

Free PDF Converter and PDF Reader

  • Support PDF files reading and viewing
  • Convert all office documents ( word, text, excel, powerpoint,doc ) to PDF files

SOURCE:  Google Play Store – WPS Office (for Android)

If you buy a Chromebook, buy this one…

For Christmas, I landed a deal on a Google Chromebook by Acer at Bestbuy that included a $100 off, plus a Google Home Speaker thrown in (for free) to sweeten the deal. I don’t think that deal will resurface; however, I am seeing the same Chromebook at Amazon for $50 off the retail price (see below). If you want to explore the world of Chromebooks, I highly recommend this one (see below). I have always worked with the Windows operating system (since its’ inception) and I must say, “I am hooked on this Chromebook and the Google Chrome OS”. If you are someone looking for a computer solely for internet-based activity, get a Chromebook. If you have a mom or pop, with little or no computer expertise, get a Chromebook. It does not get any easier than this (very little setup and maintenance).

This particular Chromebook is setup to run Android Apps, as well as apps from the Google Chrome store.

 Acer 15.6″ FHD IPS Touch-Screen Chromebook-Intel Quad Core N4200 up to 2.5 GHz, 4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, Webcam, WIFI, Bluetooth, Chrome OS-Aluminum Chassis

Model: CB515-1HT-P39B

  • 15.6-in Full HD (1920×1080) IPS multitouch screen for hands-on control. LED backlight.
  • Intel Quad Core N4200 up to 2.5 GHz. 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM. The Chromebook will then download any available system updates, so you automatically get the latest Chrome OS features.
  • 32 GB Solid-State Drive (SSD); No CD or DVD drive. Cloud based device with free Google Drive storage.
  • Intel HD Graphics. Up to 12-hour battery life. Weighs 3.97 lbs. and measures 0.7″ thin.
  • Can open/edit MS Office files using free embedded QuickOffice editor or Google Docs, and can download Microsoft Office Online (an online version of Microsoft Office) for free. Cannot install standard MS Office software.

SOURCE: Amazon – Acer Chromebook CB515-1HT-P39B

 

Best List I Found On “How To Use A Chromebook”

I am exploring the Google Chromebooks and in the process, I am collecting various tips (and tricks) on how to use it. My goal is to learn this thing, “in and out”, with the intent of recommending the Chromebook to people at home. From what I am seeing, the Chromebook, just works, easy to use, updates are transparent, is inexpensive and there are a ton of Chrome apps and Android apps that can be run on the Chrome OS platform.

To get started with any device it is nice to have a “how to” list available and the best list I could find on the Chromebook was from c|net (see below)…

12 keyboard shortcuts every Chromebook owner needs to know

A dozen keyboard shortcuts to make Chrome OS even easier to use.

How to print from a Chromebook

Google Cloud Print for the win.

How to force quit apps on a Chromebook

What’s the Chromebook equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete?

3 ways to pin apps to a Chromebook’s shelf

Help the app shelf help you.

How to keep your Chromebook from falling asleep

Stay woke.

This setting makes Chrome OS feel like more than just a browser

Open as window, says me.

How to use an external drive with a Chromebook

Not all of your files are stored in the cloud. Learn how to move files between your Chromebook and an external hard drive, thumb drive or SD card.

The best way to use Dropbox on a Chromebook

Accessing Dropbox from Chrome OS’s file manager is preferable to accessing it through the Chrome browser.

Run Windows software on a Chromebook

Can’t live without a particular Windows program? Here’s the trick for running it on your Chromebook.

How to take a screenshot on a Chromebook

Screenshots are a quick and easy way to save information or troubleshoot an issue.

Why a Chromebook isn’t the same thing as a budget laptop

They may look the same, but a cheap laptop and a Chromebook are more different than you might expect.


SOURCE: c|net – How to use a Chromebook: Tips, tricks and shortcuts

Acer Chromebook 15 Unboxing & Hands On

I ordered an Acer Chromebox 15 for Christmas and prior to ordering I did some research and watched the following video. I have always been a Windows user; however, as we continue to tread down that path of computer technology, I am finding that most of what I do on the computer these days is strictly internet based. I have found that nearly all people that I know who use a computer at home are using it to strictly browse the web and really for nothing else. If you fall into that category, then what you may not know is that you can save a lot of money and tech headaches by going with a Chromebook.

By definition, a Chromebook is a laptop that runs Google’s Chrome operating system and Chrome Web browser. Providing a total Web-based operating environment, all applications are downloaded from the Web, and although an Internet connection is mandatory, some apps may run offline as well“.

If interested in exploring a Chromebook, [ CLICK HERE ] to see the various Chromebook options at Amazon. If you get really serious, go to a local Walmart or Best Buy and play around with one. Very inexpensive and simple to use (and maintain) compared to the typical Windows based computer.

Acer Chromebook 15 Unboxing & Hands On


SOURCE: Amazon – Acer Chromebook 15

A Quality Chromebook For Work Or School

Chromebooks are often described as a “browser in a box” due that they run the Google Chrome operating system and browser where the apps are internet dependent. Chromebooks are often seen in the schools these days due to their low cost and ease to maintain (and use). The Chromebooks I have tested boot fast, have long battery life, brighter screens and built in protection against malware and viruses. I have always loved the Windows operating system, but Chromebook computers makes great computers for grandparents due to their simplicity.

A Chromebook I am looking at is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4. This Chromebook is on the high end when it comes to price and specs. If you want to explore cheaper Chromebooks, then CLICK HERE

The two reason I am looking at the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is that it is one of the first Chromebooks that comes with native Android app support and the fact that ASUS builds great computers. This particular brand of Chromebook is an Amazon Choice and was most recently featured at ZDNet. Also, this Chromebook is, so far, carrying great customer reviews at Amazon.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

  • Flexible 360 degree hinge and 12.5” Full-HD touchscreen lets you use the C302 in tablet or laptop mode.
  • Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds with the protection of a sleek aluminum metal body.
  • Unlock the power of Chromebooks with access to your favorite Chrome Web Store apps like Google Docs and it is Google Play Store/Android app ready.
  • Starts up in seconds and lasts all day, thanks to a long battery life rated up to 10 hours*.
  • Work anywhere online or offline regardless of your internet connection. Enjoy your favorite games, entertainment, and keep up with work, wherever you go.
  • Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for fast and efficient performance.

SOURCE: Amazon – ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4

Learn How To Find and Use The Windows Snipping Tool

A forgotten feature (or app) in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 is the Windows screen capture utility, called the “Snipping Tool”. Personally, I use a third party screen capture utility called FSCapture; but, there are more times than I can remember where I was away from my computer (such as at work) and needed to quickly capture something on the screen and did not have FSCapture available.

If you are not familiar with the “Snipping Tool”; it is a built-in Windows Accessory (software app), once launched, that gives you the ability to take a snapshot of anything you see on your screen, whether it be full screen or just a specific region of the screen. After you take the screenshot, you can then save it to various graphic file formats (such as PNG, JPG GIF), that can be inserted in a document, sent via email, archived, etc… As a blogger, I would be lost without a screen capture utility and my productivity (and presentation) would diminish.

Typically, on Windows 10, the tool can be found under the Windows Accessories folder on the Start Menu; however, here is several ways to get to it, using the search box, on Windows 10, 8.1 and 7: 

For Windows 10 – Select the Start  button, type snipping tool in the search box on the taskbar, and then select Snipping Tool from the list of results.

For Windows 8.1 / Windows RT 8.1 – Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Search (or if you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search), type snipping tool in the search box, and then select Snipping Tool from the list of results.

For Windows 7 – Select the Start  button, then type snipping tool in the search box, and then select Snipping Tool from the list of results.

In Snipping Tool, select Mode (in older versions, select the arrow next to the New button), choose the kind of snip you want, and then select the area of your screen that you want to capture. After you are satisfied with the result, simply save it to the file format you desire.

Snipping Tool mode options


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Using Minitools Partition Wizard To Extend The System Reserve Partition

… and, SEE MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAKS’ BELOW

Ran into an issue when I went to upgrade my Minix NEO Z83-4  mini PC to the Windows 10 Creators Edition. The update would not install and I kept getting Windows error code (0xc1900200) when using the  Windows Update Assistant. I ended up researching the issue and found that the “System Reserve Partition” (64MB) was too small. I decided at this point to wait until the update made its’ rollout to my computer (to see what would happen) and when that day did come, the update started to install but soon failed. After concluding I needed to find a way to expand the system reserve partition, I went to the MiniTools Partition Wizard (free edition). What I ended up doing with this partition tool, to make the System Reserve Partition larger in size, had me sweating bullets. I backed up my computer, just in case this did not work out as intended.

MiniTool Partition Manager

In a nutshell, I used the Minitool Partition Wizard to delete an unidentified 16MB partition on the drive (which I had to do in order for this to work), then took 250 MB from drive C:.  I then took the 64MB System partition and added the 16MB space from the partition I had deleted and added the 250MB that I removed from Drive C:, giving me a total of approximately 330MB for the System Reserve Partition. At this point, I crossed my fingers (and toes) and rebooted.  The PC rebooted with no errors or problems detected.

Since the Creators Update had attempted to install previously I went into the Windows Update Settings, clicked on “Check For Updates” and the Windows 10 Creator’s Update started the installation process (which is a time consuming process with numerous reboots). I probably could have used the Windows Update Assistant tool to download and install the update, as well… In the end,  I was able sucessfully to install the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Hopefully, as a result of expanding the System Reserve Partition, using MiniTools Partition Wizard, I will not have to worry about doing this again when future major updates occur.


MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAKS’

Multiple security holes discovered in Linksys routers – 

The flaws could allow attackers to:

  • Cause a Denial of Service (DoS) by sending requests to an unamed API. Admins would be locked out until the attack stopped.
  • Use CGI web server scripts to reveal connected devices and computers, dump the WPS Wi-Fi PIN code, and list firmware version and configuration settings.
  • Create a hidden “backdoor” account with root privileges and the ability to run commands.

Source: Naked Security

Ingenious Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech – Check out this article at PC Mag that provided ingenius ways to repurpose your old tech… READ MORE

Ingenious Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech

Kaspersky System Checker 1.1.0.228 – Kaspersky System Checker is a handy system diagnostics utility that allows you to check your PC system for different kinds of issues. The software then provides a detailed report about possible threats, hardware problems, and system-related issues… READ MORE

Microsoft To-Do: the end of Wunderlist – Microsoft launched a preview of To-Do, a new cross-platform task management service the other day that is “designed to make it easy to plan and manage your day”… READ MORE

microsoft to-do

 #1 Hot New Release – Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible Touch Laptop… READ MORE

How to create a single-column Start menu in the Windows 10 Creators Update – To do this, open the Settings app and go to Personalization > Start. Scroll down past the preview to the list of on/off sliders. Turn off the one that’s labeled Show app list in Start menu. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get to your app list… READ MORE

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