After chaos of an impending – but – not-too-sure – unexpected General Election, here I am back to some sensible blogging, deviating from political blogging. This time I am going to talk about some tech stuff. In fact, this was written some time back but got held up in my BLOG POSTS UNPUBLISHED folder for some reason or other till today. Hope this is not stale news by now.
Till I was given a Chromebook laptop computer as a gift by my long-time friend, Mr. Lionel Balasuriya from Orange County, California, USA, I was never interested in cut down versions of any computer. I easily transformed myself into a fully loaded laptop from a desktop, but I was never convinced about using OLPCs, tabs, handheld computers and not even smart phones at the beginning.
But now using this Chromebook computer for a while, I have changed my mind.
Mr. Balasuriya who gifted me the Chromebook computer became an e-friend of mine for 14 years, since 2004. He visited Sri Lanka twice since 2004 but I missed the opportunity of meeting him during both these visits. But this time, I was not going to miss him for the third time. So, we met at his temporary residence in Uswetakeyyawa, aka UK, in Western Sri Lanka. I never expected him to surprise me by giving me a Chromebook computer.
What he gave me was an Acer-brand Chromebook but on the web, I found there are other producers of this mini laptop too. Check this link if you are interested in. https://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/laptops/best-chromebooks-top-5-chromebooks-in-the-us-1233696
It is so easy to carry the Chromebook. It is only a little bigger than a regular woman’s purse. You can carry it in your hand easily. No backpack is needed. Kids could take this to school with their books. You can open it and work even in a not-so-comfortable place. Even this post is being written inside a Colombo bound train from Jaffna. Even though I am in a shaky third-class compartment, I have no problem in compiling this post with the Chromebook. It is soooo comfy.
You need a Google e-mail account to open a Chromebook. None of the others can access your Chromebook and steal your data or sabotage all your work as nobody can access your data without your password.
Android is the operating system in Chromebook and it is more or less the very same software (apps) you see in an Android-run smartphone. Since I have been using many a model Samsung smartphone run with Android, I took no time to get used to this device. It is pretty smart, handy, small, and … err … cute. Chromebook saves your data into your Google Drive in the clouds and you don’t have to worry about timely data backing up. Replacing hardware can be done with some money. A data loss could make you very uncomfortable and leave you devastated. But what is good about the Chromebook is, it prevents an even worse risk: your data being in some idiot’s hand when you lose a laptop and your privacy being compromised. But with your Chromebook, you don’t have to worry. Your data is being stored in your Google Drive safely as ever and even though your Chromebook is stolen, it is automatically switched off and goes to sleep. Once opened, the thief cannot access any of your data and play havoc with them.
Since, I am not much of technical person, I am just copying and pasting the technical part below sent by my friend who gave me the Chromebook, Mr. Lionel Balasuriya. Read this if you are interested in knowing more before committing to buy one for yourself, for your kids or maybe even to your spouse, girlfriend or partner, who knows? Decision is yours.
“A Chromebook is a laptop running the Linux-based Chrome OS as its operating system. The devices are primarily used to perform a variety of tasks using the Google Chrome browser, with most applications and data residing in the cloud rather than on the machine itself. Some Chromebooks can also run Android apps.
One big advantage of Chromebooks is that they update automatically in the background and they start up fast so they feel like new, long after you’ve bought them. Plus, with the best of Google built-in, the Google Play Store at your fingertips and multiple layers of security, you can be sure they’ll continue to feel fresh.
With apps from the Google Play Store, flexibility to go anywhere, and the hardware you need to get things done, the Chromebook is a new type of computer for everything one loves to do. It’s easy to use, has virus protection built in, and keeps going with a long-life battery. The chrome book laptop is equipped with built in virus protection and updates automatically when one is on line. So, you will have the latest features without slowing down. Plus, one can sign-in with your Google account.
The Google Play Store is filled with apps that can help you do everything from work to play. The best of Google is built right in. All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, so you’re ready to go from the moment you log in. Chromebooks let you seamlessly move between your favorite apps on the desktop and in your browser, so you can always pick up where you left off. You can work offline on a Chromebook. Read your Gmail and compose new messages? Sure. View your Google Calendar? No problem. Edit documents in Google Drive? You got it.
Beyond the basics, one can download Kindle eBooks videos, music and PDF’s to view off line. Use a Chrome app like Google kept compose notes or manage your ‘to do’ list with an app like “Wunderlist”. You can even purchase TV shoes & movies from Google Play Movies & TV and download them to watch them offline. Also, you can install games that run offline.
Sure, many things on a Chromebook can only be done online, but let’s stop pretending that’s unique to Chromebooks.
Google isn’t only focusing on the bad stuff happening on rival platforms, but also makes sure to actually promote its latest product, giving the viewer plenty of examples of why Chromebooks are a better choice than Macs and Windows 10 PCs. Google is working toward allowing all Android apps to run on Chrome OS. They recently released just four Android apps for Chrome, but enterprising hackers (the good kind) have found ways to make (almost) any Android app run on a Chromebook. Yes, this means you can now use Skype on a Chromebook. Microsoft likes to trumpet how Chromebooks don’t have the full desktop version of Microsoft Office, and that’s true. But unless you’re an accountant, you probably don’t need all those fancy features.”