Thursday, 15 September 2016 16:00

4PM Coffee: ChromeBook Edition

4pm coffee chromebook edition

It's 4PM And I Really Need This Coffee Break! Seriously.

Well, after 4 years of daily use, thousands of miles of travel, and even a new power switch, I think my main laptop finally has died for good.

This morning when I got to work, it wouldn't power up. 

I tore it apart and tried everything under the sun to fix it. I can power it up, boot to the Ubuntu desktop and begin working. At some point while I'm working, the whole computer freezes and gives my a Undefined FIFO Error. I have no choice but to hard restart, losing anything I might have been working on.

Not Good.

I've got my little $199 Acer Chromebook sitting on the main laptop and connected to the LCD monitor for my second screen.

I've never used the Chromebook for my 9 to 5 work purposes, so this is kind of a weird experience. I am running all my work stuff in an incognito browser, and I'm logged into Chrome under my personal account.

While I'd much prefer using my main Ubuntu laptop, this works in a pinch, and 9 plus hours of battery life with full screen brightness isn't bad at all.

I have four browser windows open and two tabs going in each. The Chromebook keeps bumping into the RAM memory limits and spills over into the swap (I can't add more RAM... it's all embedded) so work is slow, but manageable. 

The biggest issue I have with Chromebook isn't the amount of hard drive space, nor is it the fact that it's designed to work on an active internet connection. but that it doesn't have a good media player. I can't play a lot of the videos that I'd normally be able to play on my main laptop, and the music player is horrible.

I have enabled Chromebook Developer so I can actually run XUBUNTU if needed, but that's slow as well. I mostly try and use the Chrome OS to do work because it is faster when the laptop is used for blogging and other light-duty stuff.

It's saving my life (and productivity) today, but I definately don't want to have to use one of these full time. The functionality just isn't there. For you more development savvy guys and gals out there, the Chromebook doesn't have a good FTP/SFTP interface (it's web based) and I can't add packages and apps outside of what's available in the Chrome App Store.

The Chromebook is a great long life computer for doing extremely light work (writing, watching YouTube and the occasional spreadsheet via Google Drive), but if you demand a lot from your laptop as I do, this really isn't a good solution that can last past a severe emergency.

What's In The RunePi?

Every 4PM Coffee Break, I share what happens to be in the Raspberry Pi RuneAudio Player right at that time. It's a good way for me to find new music that I like and to share it with you. Perhaps it might be something you want to rock out to as well!

celtic woman

The Call (cover by Celtic Woman)

I just love their voices. Celtic Woman has gained popularity for their cover renditions as well as their own original music. Listening to them makes the work day a bit easier.