I upgraded to the ASUS C101P

Proprietary format device charges are the worst. My original ASUS Flip C100PA-DB01 Chromebook had a proprietary charger. Locating that charger became problematic today. The charger has gone missing. It cannot be located. That meant it was either time to buy a new charger or to buy the ASUS C101P and upgrade. Finding the right upgrade path was easy enough. The ASUS C101P has USB-C charging capabilities and that is enough to make things easier. I’m going to use this device for about a week and then write a review.

The one about the time we went to see a reindeer

We ended up going to the botanical garden today. They had put up lights and had two actual reindeer. I assume they were real reindeer, but obviously my lack of knowledge on the subject leaves the door open. At the very least, they were clearly labeled reindeer and everybody seems to go with it. Some of the lights on the trees were a little extreme. This one tree literally looked like it was completely covered in LED lights. It was a tall tree. The tree had to be about 100 feet tall. My next thoughts were about how they managed to run power cables throughout the botanical garden, but that kind of questioning is pretty much standard at this point.

Our new puppy Captain Pickles is adjusting to life at our hours pretty well. Getting to know a new puppy is always interesting. Right now I’m watching the Ohio State vs. Wisconsin football game. This weekend was a pretty big weekend for college football. Major conference championship games were all scheduled for this weekend. That should have pretty much guaranteed a weekend full of really good competitive games. Things do not always work out that way. Certainly they could have worked out well, but this year has been a year of upsets and complications.

Something has to give in 2018 with respect to the things covered within my writing. Moving toward my goal of sustaining a 3,000 word a day writing habit will pretty much guarantee some additional coverage of politics and public policy. I always figured that my political views are complex and therefore should be avoided in print. That very real self-censorship will have to give way to the need to write 3,000 words a day. Stepping up to end up writing over 1,000,000 words in a year will require just going with it and writing about whatever comes to mind. That probably means a lot more content about guitar pedals, sports trading cards, and random thoughts on encryption.

Increasing my daily writing output will probably also put a strain on my proofreading skills. Most of the time that I engage in pure stream of consciousness style writing I leave the prose as written. I pretty much just remove all the red squiggles with spell check and move on to whatever is next on my agenda. Intellectually, I consider that practice of not adequately editing my work to be questionable. Given the sheer volume of my writing output I lost interest in editing my non academic writing some time ago. That probably happened over a decade ago. Sometimes I get motivated and edit my weblog posts, but some posts just get posted.

Poorly executed prose can bewilder

A little bit of a streak has started. Today marks the third day in a row executing my new writing plan. Writing generally begets writing. That is how it happens. Word after work things start to come together. However, poorly executed prose can bewilder reads. Sometimes the simple act of banging out a few pages will be enough to help push things toward a healthier trajectory. Getting back into the grove took for better or worse a wave of motivation. Getting back into a routine sometimes takes a lot of willpower.

My willpower is being tested today. My Bose Qc35 headphones only have 20% battery left. Charging will probably have to happen tonight or tomorrow morning. For some reason my Google Pixel 2 XL phone dropped all my bluetooth pairings today. That was frustrating. It did highlight the lack of battery, but otherwise it was completely annoying. My phone sports the Android 8.1 beta edition. Up until tonight I have not seen any of the Pixel 2 XL random rebooting. It seems the update that came out today brought the joy of completely random rebooting. After plugging my phone into the charger it rebooted. That was odd, but not as odd as when pairing my Qc35 the phone rebooted a couple more times.

Fortunately, things have stabilized for the moment. That is a good thing. Being a part of a software beta program is always going to present challenges. I have always been willing to beta test Windows operating systems and Android phones. Somehow those two things are probably related in some way, but I chalk it up to my need to chase the bleeding edge of technology. Today that edge involves a bunch of frustrating Google Pixel 2 XL random reboots.

Thinking about my next Chromebook

My current ASUS chromebook flip works just fine. It was ordered back on January 16, 2016. That seems like a long time ago. It might not really be that long depending on your perspective. Technology always seems to change so rapidly. For what it is worth the new ASUS Chromebook Flip C101PA looks like a strong contender to be my next Chromebook. Within the new design the Chromebook received USB Type C. That is good news for mobile charging enthusiasts. That one selling point is probably good enough to make me want to upgrade.

Buying this Chromebook was about renewing my commitment to writing. Traveling was at the time a huge part of my life. On airplanes this Chromebook worked out well enough. It had enough battery life and pretty much supported my writing needs. I’m still not totally happy with either Google docs or the version of Microsoft Word Online that Chromebook users get. In terms of a pure writing experience, I just need something with a reasonably good spell checker and the ability to save to the cloud. For some reason, those two fundamental criteria should be enough to move forward and engage in the act of writing. They are not in the end the things that seem to help drive my writing efforts forward.

Most of the writing that I have done throughout the last 20 years has been stream of consciousness related. I sit down and wrestle with the blank page or more realistically the blank screen. It ends up being a way to think about complex topics and to just engage in the act of writing. Most of the time I crank up some music and just spend some time with my thoughts. That is a process that has worked well enough and has helped me move things forward. Getting into the habit of spending 30 minutes a day writing is a great way to organize your thoughts. Sometimes I end up writing useful and pithy prose and other times things just end up a garbled mess. 20 years ago I would just hit publish and move on from my writing efforts at the end of each writing session.

Over the last couple of years, I have stopped just publishing unedited prose. That policy may or may not be the best method to move forward with things. It does mean that I have a ton of word processing files that contain oddly unedited false starts. People who want to know more about writing an article or writing a book should just sit down and sketch out a short article. They should take the time to write out a draft. That is really what separates thinking about the process of writing and just writing.

Art is art. That pretty much spells out the answer to the previous question. Striking a cord and producing outstanding and meaningful prose starts with the act of writing. Naturally, some of your efforts will be better than others. Separating out my lesser work form my best efforts is easy enough, but that does not take away from the noblest intentions of my original efforts. That noble effort is to just engage in the practice of writing.

Getting used to writing on a Chromebook

Today may be a day full of writing. Part of this week was spent traveling to Table Rock Lake. I’m not really one for enjoying the full lake experience. That is probably not going to change any time soon. It took me a long time to get used to writing on a Chromebook.

I’m pretty comfortable writing on my ASUS Flip C100PA Chromebook. It is possible that at some point I’ll make the switch up to the ASUS Flip C302CA. For a couple of weeks it seemed like I was going to end up buying the Samsung Chromebook Pro. The purchase was very close to happening. I actually got one preordered on on Amazon. Strangely, it did not ship and during the delay I elected to actually just stay with my C100PA for a little bit longer.

The keyboard has a little bit of travel. Typing for a long period of time can work out ok, but the keyboard does not have any backlights. I do not really need lights on my keyboard, but it always does seem to be something that I look for as a feature.

Today was the first day I gave streaming video no my cell phone a try. The YouTube gaming application allows streaming in 720P. It was pretty easy to accomplish. My first effort did not have enough bandwidth to work correctly. The stream kept freezing and was pretty much unwatchable. However, the second attempt at a live stream worked out ok. I must have had enough bandwidth to make it happen.

Streaming video is interesting. Without question the written word will stand the test of time. Our video quality today will probably be obsolete within a few years. Things will probably be changing significantly over the next 5 years. Both video and images will end up being an immersive experience. It could end up having a certain degree of depth, a higher quality level, and views that span from 360 degree to spherical.

Within the next 5 years the experience will probably still be from a single point of view. It will be from a single point in time and from a single place. The big push would be to have an immersive experience that does not conform to a fixed point in time or where the point of view can be moved around.

Imagine taking a hike and being able to record video in a way that somebody can retrace your steps within the video, but elect to look a different way or change the progression of time to accelerate a sunset.

Wondering where all my old laptops went

It seems like a long time ago that I wrote on a Sony VAIO Laptop VGN-T250P. Some of that writing happened back in Boulder, Colorado. That seems like a long time ago. It was a much simpler time. That little laptop worked well enough. Processing power did not really stand out. Portability and the oddly cramped keyboard are the things that I remember most about it. The device was not revolutionary, but I do remember it. Over the years I have had a few laptops. Both cell phones and laptops are something that seems to get updated every few years. My latest writing system happens to be an ASUS Flip C100P. The keyboard does not have enough travel, but you get used to using it after some time.

I’m gearing up for the 4th of July tomorrow. You could probably say that I have been slightly under the weather recently. It seems to be a rare summer cold or maybe just a bug of some type. Things like that tend to wipe me out for a little bit.

Learning how to use Twitter took me longer than I expected. For the last couple of weeks, I have been using Twitter to share links to articles that I enjoyed reading. That seems to be a great use of Twitter. It has been working out pretty well. Sharing links is pretty easy to do and is something that I will continue to do moving forward.

My research interests have pivoted almost exclusively to artificial intelligence. That may be a topic that is still developing, but it has enough occuring to keep me busy for years. I have contemplated developing a weekly artificial intelligence recap show on YouTube. That may be something that I give a try here soon. Sometime in the next few weeks I’ll give it a shot.

A day without Chromebook reboots

It appears the build from the Google Recovery Utility has stabilized my Chromebook. Dealing with constant reboots over the last few days has been highly frustrating. This weekend things have been better. Overall the Google Recovery Utility was easy enough to use. It worked well enough to get me back up and running. Getting back in the habit of daily writing had to happen eventually. In each moment we make a choice. That choice can help to push things forward.

Chromebooks are fun up until a point

Chromebooks are fun up until a point. For me that point was when it started rebooting at random. You can start removing extensions and format the device. Naturally, my thoughts turned to buying the new ASUS Flip 2 model C302CA. It looks like a solid replacement plan. That strategy does not really solve the core problem that my Chromebook software failed. Maybe something has been added that will always produce that result after login. It could be the type of error that will just follow you from device to device.

This current run is the longest my Chromebook has gone without rebooting. I switched to using the standalone Docs application. It seems to have helped bolster device stability.

Chromebook troubleshooting steps taken to recovery from a fault condition where a restart loop was occurring during Chrome tab/internet usage.

1. All Google Chrome extensions were deleted from the browser. This step did not yield any positive results. The Chromebook would boot, but during any web browsing the device would reset.

2. Settings → Show advanced → Reset Settings. This step was easy to accomplish. It did not help the rebooting condition.

3. Settings → Show advanced → Powerwash. The last of the basic troubleshooting steps for a Chromebook involved a powerwash. It was easy to delete the extensions, reset all the settings, and to power wash the device. None of those steps help stop the Chromebook from randomly rebooting after any web browsing.

4. Chromebook Recovery Utility (from a Windows box) media. This step required the use of my Windows 10 computer. I loaded the Chromebook Recovery Utility from my Chrome browser. It was easy to install the recovery files on a 4GB USB stick. That seems to have done the trick.

My thoughts on social networking live video services

Online video streaming seems to a ubiquitous application feature. Bandwidth limitations used to slow down video usage on mobile devices. That barrier seems to have disappeared. Today it seemed like a good idea to give the new Twitter Go Live feature a try. It seems like pretty much every service has a go live feature these days. Over one hundred folks viewed a video of Peppercorn the dog sitting on the floor. I’m sure it was a true highlight.