Author Topic: Chromebook Blues  (Read 2255 times)

Chromebook Blues
« on: May 23, 2019, 06:11:45 PM »
Anyone else got a Chromebook? I've had one for about three months and it's been endless bullshit.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 06:27:13 PM »
nah mine is good cheers

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 06:38:41 PM »
nah mine is good cheers

It's not terrible really. It just forgets what's supposed to be in a tab and has to reload every goddam time. So I tab from, say, Gmail to CaB and when I tab back moments later I have to go through the reloading Gmail rigmarole.

Sometimes, I see it happen without even tabbing away: if I am transcribing from a PDF to a Doc -- two tabs in separate windows, side by side -- one of them suddenly goes white and reloads right before my eyes!

I seldom have more than three tabs open at a time, so I don't think I'm asking too much. Does this ever happen to you?

QDRPHNC

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 07:11:24 PM »
No, that never happens, and my Chromebook isn't particularly high-end or powerful.

Considered doing a factory reset?

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 07:57:53 PM »
No, that never happens, and my Chromebook isn't particularly high-end or powerful.

Considered doing a factory reset?

I like it. I'll try a browser reset first but if it's still garbage, I'll go for your nuclear option. Thanks for confirming that this ain't normal.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 08:20:18 PM »
Both I and my partner use Chromebooks running GalliumOS (a Debian/Ubuntu-derivative), and they've been very good. (My partner's is second-hand, mine - shamefully - is not.)

What actual make and model is yours?

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 10:44:16 AM »
Both I and my partner use Chromebooks running GalliumOS (a Debian/Ubuntu-derivative), and they've been very good. (My partner's is second-hand, mine - shamefully - is not.)

What actual make and model is yours?

Thanks Zetetic. Mine's an Acer Chromebook 14.

The browser reset seems to have solved my main problem. This is a delight!

There are still things I'm not totally happy with about the hardware (various keyboard problems - an ineffective spacebar and an annoyingly-placed 'search' key that I keep hitting by accident) but I love the total connection to the cloud/nothing on the hard-drive situation, so I'll carry on and see how we go.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 01:09:00 PM »
The keyboard is always the thing with a Chromebook that annoys me the most. Generally quite cramped and often non-standard.

Cracking machines for the price though, as long as you're invested in the Google ecosystem. I almost resent having to go back to my constantly overheating Mac to run Adobe CC, although Figma may make that mostly a thing of the past.

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 12:59:16 PM »
Both I and my partner use Chromebooks running GalliumOS (a Debian/Ubuntu-derivative), and they've been very good. (My partner's is second-hand, mine - shamefully - is not.)

What actual make and model is yours?

Is there any particular advantage to having a Chromebook in this instance? I just had a quick look at the refurbed and used ones on eBay and it looks like you can get better built and more powerful Thinkpads for around the same price (the x2** range aren't much bigger).

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2019, 01:27:14 PM »
I think that depending on exactly what your looking for, and which Chromebooks you're talking about.

If there's a Thinkpad with a 8-10-hour battery life, a decent 1920x1080(ish) screen, and under about £250 and not much more than 1.5kg, I would certainly like to know about it for the future. (And all the more so if they're refurbs!)

I did wonder what was the smallest physical size of screen I would be happy with - 11-inch is definitely too small, so the x2** series might be stretching it.

My partner's Dell 7310 is better built than my Acer CB3-431. The clear disadvantages in any case are the lack of local disk space, and that's a slight bugger (and a further expense) to upgrade. (So I've not bothered.)

I'm not that fussed about RAM or processor power - the most taxing things these do is probably decode video, and that's not CPU-bound.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 01:39:20 PM by Zetetic »

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2019, 02:33:18 PM »
Cracking machines for the price though, as long as you're invested in the Google ecosystem.

This is the whole thing. I use Gmail, Drive, YouTube, even Google Music. And Google authentication to log into a few other things. Through accident more than design, I'm into the Google ecosystem (as opposed to, say, Apple or Microsoft) and the Chromebook serves that very well. It has been pretty sweet to flip the bird to MS Windows and hopefully never go back to fucking MS Office.

The battery is super-impressive, lasting around 14 hours. I'm a grandpa though and I don't know what is considered normal these days. I was lucky to get two hours from my previous cheap Acer laptop.

The keyboard totally bugs me but I'm hoping to get used to it through STOICISM like how I got used to iMac keyboards/mouses/OS in university 'cos that's what the authoritarian swine who ran the place made available to us. Or I could buy a peripheral keyboard like some sort of plastic-loving consumer whore, I suppose.

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2019, 02:43:29 PM »
I just got the Acer R11, which has the screen that flips over to make it kind of a chunky tablet, it's great for browsing CaB at the kitchen table, it can be set up into a tent shape. About 2 years ago, I started using Google for everything, put my whole decades-old MP3 collection on Play, have a Pixel 2 from work that automatically syncs all my photos in Photos, and my office is also deep into it, using Docs and Sheets for everything.

14 hours battery life sounds very impressive - right now I'm getting between 6 and 10, depending on what I'm doing. Like Zetetic said, I don't use it for anything particularly intensive. Good travel laptop too - when I have my Mac in a bag somewhere, I'm very aware of the fact that I'm carrying around something that'll cost $2000 to replace.

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2019, 02:46:01 PM »
This is the whole thing. I use Gmail, Drive, YouTube, even Google Music. And Google authentication to log into a few other things. Through accident more than design, I'm into the Google ecosystem (as opposed to, say, Apple or Microsoft) and the Chromebook serves that very well. It has been pretty sweet to flip the bird to MS Windows and hopefully never go back to fucking MS Office.

The battery is super-impressive, lasting around 14 hours. I'm a grandpa though and I don't know what is considered normal these days. I was lucky to get two hours from my previous cheap Acer laptop.

The keyboard totally bugs me but I'm hoping to get used to it through STOICISM like how I got used to iMac keyboards/mouses/OS in university 'cos that's what the authoritarian swine who ran the place made available to us. Or I could buy a peripheral keyboard like some sort of plastic-loving consumer whore, I suppose.

I changed jobs and got given a mac, it actually had office on it but mac office is somehow even worse than the windows one so we used google docs for everything, it's great and all but occasionally I do get really baffled how basic functionality is missing. Like being able to have a landscape page in an otherwise portrait document. Still better than dealing with word and fucking sharepoint though.

I'm glad google docs exists though. It means not having to prat about on any system installing an inferior product.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2019, 02:52:44 PM »
Is it cool not to like Microsoft Office now? Is that what Corbyn tells you?

QDRPHNC

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2019, 02:57:40 PM »
Has it ever been cool to like Microsoft Office?

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2019, 03:00:31 PM »
Is it cool not to like Microsoft Office now? Is that what Corbyn tells you?

I've never liked microsoft office. I find it synonymous with creating information the world really doesn't need; namely the creation of documentation nobody will read and time reporting.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2019, 03:18:09 PM »
You lack the conceptual framework to truly understand your society and those who have hurt you.

Instead you take against a largely-use-neutral, depressingly actually-quite-good suite of software.

Wish they'd extend the eyedropper thing outside of PowerPoint. (Maybe that's already in 365.)

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2019, 03:19:38 PM »
I don't like VBA, to be clear. This isn't Stockholm Syndrome or something.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2019, 03:21:28 PM »
The worst thing that can be said of Office is that Excel+Macros remains the most user-empowering manifestation of computing we've yet realised.

Which is a hideously miserable indictment of our culture, and of each of us by extension, but not really Office.


Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2019, 03:45:50 PM »
You lack the conceptual framework to truly understand your society and those who have hurt you.

Instead you take against a largely-use-neutral, depressingly actually-quite-good suite of software.

Steady on, old boy.

MS office just strikes me as a heavy (as in 'bloated', not in a Neil from The Young Ones way - but that too, actually) and expensive. Too many redundant features and a patronising "looks like you're writing a suicide note" sort of vibe. Docs is light as a feather, free, simple.

I've felt this way since about Office 2000 or so.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2019, 03:50:04 PM »
That's just misplaced capitalism blues talking.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2019, 03:51:08 PM »
Apparently my recent posts in this thread now qualify me as a Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect Expert, which is nice.

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2019, 04:08:55 PM »
I don't like VBA, to be clear. This isn't Stockholm Syndrome or something.

I used to have to work on excel 'reports' that fetched data from proper databases then dumped it into hidden sheets and did horrible vlookups behind the scenes and text-based joins, finally copying the values to a plain sheet and hiding the mess it had made behind the scenes. Awful, and presumably quite dangerous as someone who knew how to access the macro pages could've opened the hidden sheets and replaced the sql queries with a delete from.

And word is terrible software that doesn't do what it's told once you've got a sufficiently sized document it'll fuck the layout right up if you try and edit parts of it. Better off just using markdown.

And they keep bringing out new versions of it, despite it not really doing much different since about 1997, apart from the ribbon, which just confused everyone who knew how to use it. It's a bit like EA Sports titles in that regard.

Part of the problem of course is due to the backwards compatability, so that corporate template your using was first created 20 years ago and has just been updated every time there's been a rebrand and acquisition; the essence of the original document lives on like a ghost haunting the current application. The fact microsoft enable this behaviour is enough to hate them.

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2019, 04:20:11 PM »
I hate how Office has changed prompts from 'Would you like to save?' to 'Want to save?'

What the fuck is that. Who do you fucking think you're talking to. Have some respect.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2019, 04:21:31 PM »
Word is not neutral. It is aggressively inhumane.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2019, 04:35:42 PM »
I used to have to work on excel 'reports' that fetched data from proper databases then dumped it into hidden sheets and did horrible vlookups behind the scenes and text-based joins, finally copying the values to a plain sheet and hiding the mess it had made behind the scenes. Awful, and presumably quite dangerous as someone who knew how to access the macro pages could've opened the hidden sheets and replaced the sql queries with a delete from.
Read-only authorisation?

Anyway, that's what user-empowerment looks like. Don't like it, build a better tool with a comparable learning curve and range of abilities.

(The closest we get is "zero-code" stuff which is overwhelming shite and a massive step backwards from Access, FileMaker or HyperCard.)

Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2019, 04:36:10 PM »
And they keep bringing out new versions of it, despite it not really doing much different since about 1997, apart from the ribbon, which just confused everyone who knew how to use it. It's a bit like EA Sports titles in that regard.

Arg, the bloody ribbon years. Is the ribbon still at large? It was what finally drew me into full-blown escape mode.

It's all such nonsense. Word needs to be kept simple. It's the absolute example of feature creep. It's a *word processor*. Frankly, a text editor like Notepad is ideal except you lose spellcheck, which we've all come to depend on. This is partly why Docs is the business. Happy medium. It's got about eight fonts.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2019, 04:40:56 PM »
Ribbon is a reasonable attempt to manage the diversity of feature and roles that Office covers well enough. Horribly inconsistent, but there we are.

Tell me field fixes the main issue which is discovery.

Zetetic

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Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2019, 04:43:51 PM »
It's all such nonsense. Word needs to be kept simple. It's the absolute example of feature creep. It's a *word processor*. Frankly, a text editor like Notepad is ideal except you lose spellcheck, which we've all come to depend on.
WordPad?

Word is fine a word processor, but it can't just be that because it actually enables people to produce reasonably large documents with moderately complex layout - without being dependent on coupling some anaemic markup system to some Heath-Robinson rendering setup.

It's not great, but it's good enough and accessible enough for a lot of 'desktop publishing'. Which might not be your need, but it's enough of a need for a lot of people.


Re: Chromebook Blues
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2019, 05:34:35 PM »
WordPad?

Word is fine a word processor, but it can't just be that because it actually enables people to produce reasonably large documents with moderately complex layout - without being dependent on coupling some anaemic markup system to some Heath-Robinson rendering setup.

It's not great, but it's good enough and accessible enough for a lot of 'desktop publishing'. Which might not be your need, but it's enough of a need for a lot of people.

Word.