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.

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.

Thinking about Chromebook screen resolutions

Screen resolutions are very important. They dramatically change the user experience. Chromebooks resolutions seem to be designed somewhat different.

It seemed like a good idea to change the resolution on my ASUS Flip chromebook to 1440×900. I strongly prefer the 1200×800 resolution. The change lasted for a couple days. For the last few weeks I have been toying with the idea of getting a larger Chromebook. Obviously, that is not something that I need to purchase.

Weather in Colorado has turned cold. This is the season that I break out my sweater collection. It always seems like a good idea.