I had resisted the idea of the Chromebook when I originally heard of it. I applaud any alternative operating system just on principle–competition is healthy–but the idea that the thing would be largely useless unless connected to the internet was kind of a deal breaker. I was going–or planning to go–enough places that didn’t have reliable wireless internet so, yeah. Notsomuch.
But that was a while ago. My situation–and Chrome’s–has changed. It was time to revisit this. So why was I willing to shuck out for what amounts to a low-end laptop that is limited on program choices?
1) I’m not traveling to as many un-wired areas these days. The original deal-breaker for me has, realistically, become less of an issue. Unless my parents move someplace more remote than their current location (possible, but not probable at least not if my Mom has any say in it).
2) Chrome has increased what you can do while you are disconnected. So even if I am someplace where I don’t have wifi, the system isn’t a paperweight. I can transfer files off my camera and work on text documents. On assessing my usage these days, that pretty much covers what I need when I’m offline and on the road.
3) I want to play with the new toy. I’ve never been a bleeding edge adopter, and I’m rarely even in a position to be on the early side of the technology adoption bell curve (I’ve been there once in a blue moon on a software tool, but never a whole system). Chrome, however, I wanted in on because I held the opinion way back in college that the browser was the great equalizer of systems. Why were we fucking with porting shit everywhere when you could write so much to run browser-based and then it didn’t matter? This is the realization of that: The OS is essentially, just a browser. How delightfully simple that is. And how delightfully prophetic I am.
4) I’ve already sold my soul to Google. I’ve got a Google Nexus cell phone. I use Gmail for everything. All my searching goes through Google. I use Google Docs for 90% of my writing (all the Coffee With’s? Saved into Google Docs so Kristy and I can share to add our respective contributions). I schedule my non-work stuff in Google Calendar. Might as well stay consistent. Maybe I ought to feel bad about this. After all, I know they’re building weird data center that’re probably part of some kind of alien cyborg foothold set up, and they are totally responsible for hooking me up with my own personal NSA Analyst (everyone, wave to Olaf), but then I look at the glassy-eyed, slavish fuckers lining up for the latest device from Apple, and realize that if I ought to be ashamed, I’m not alone.
5) If I hate the operating system? I now known there’s an easy way to run Linux via Crouton, side by side. If I can run Linux, I can run the Universe (except for the part controlled by Olaf and our new alien cyborg overlords)
6) The price is right. I can’t get a Windows-based netbook for under $300 like I wanted, but Chromebooks fell right into the price is right range.
So, the general decision made, I shopped around and wound up with a Dell version. While my opinion of Dell hardware has diminished in recent years, I heard rave reviews from multiple sources on their Chromebook 11. So, with Ros the desktop continuing to fail a piece at a time, I went for it. Decision made. It was time to buy my Chromebook…