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robertogreco : chromebooks   58

Auto Update policy - Google Chrome Enterprise Help
"Chrome devices receive automatic updates regularly that enhance both the device itself and the software on the device. Chrome device updates are designed to be simple for the user and, therefore, include updates to the device, Chrome operating system, browser and firmware. However, end-to-end updates for all our devices to ensure the highest levels of security requires dependencies on many third-party hardware and software providers so we cannot indefinitely ensure that older Chrome devices will receive updates to enable new OS and browser features."

[contains full listing of Chromebook models and their "Auto Update Expiration date"]
chromebooks  google  chromeos  updates 
may 2019 by robertogreco
iPad Pro (2018) Review: Two weeks later! - YouTube
[at 7:40, problems mentioned with iOS on the iPad Pro as-is for Rene Ritchie keeping it from being a laptop replacement]

"1. Import/export more than just photo/video [using USB drive, hard drive, etc]

2. Navigate with the keyboard [or trackpad/mouse]

3. 'Desktop Sites' in Safari [Why not a desktop browser (maybe in addition to Safari, something like a "pro" Safari with developer tools and extensions?]

4. Audio recording [system-wide like the screen recording for capturing conversations from Skype/Facetime/etc]

5. Develop for iPad on iPad

6. Multi-user for everyone [like on a Chromebook]"

[I'd be happy with just 1, 2, and 3. 6 would also be nice. 4 and 5 are not very important to me, but also make sense.]

[Some of my notes regarding the state of the tablet-as-laptop replacement in 2018, much overlap with what is above:

iOS tablets
no mouse/trackpad support, file system is still a work in process, no desktop browser equivalents, Pro models are super expensive given these tradeoffs, especially with additional keyboard and pen costs

Microsoft Surface
tablet experience is lacking, Go (closest to meeting my needs and price) seems a little overpriced for the top model (entry model needs more RAM and faster storage), also given the extra cost of keyboard and pen

Android tablets
going nowhere, missing desktop browser

ChromeOS tablets
underpowered (Acer Chromebook Tab 10) or very expensive (Google Pixel Slate) or I don’t like it enough (mostly the imbalance between screen and keyboard, and the keyboard feel) for the cost (HP x2), but ChromeOS tablets seem as promising as iPads as laptop replacements at this point

ChromeOS convertibles
strange having the keyboard in the back while using as a tablet (Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro, ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA, Google Pixelbook (expensive)) -- I used a Chromebook Pro for a year (as work laptop) and generally it was a great experience, but they are ~1.5 years old now and haven’t been refreshed. Also, the Samsung Chromebook Plus (daughter has one of these, used it for school and was happy with it until new college provided a MacBook Pro) refresh seems like a step back because of the lesser screen, the increase in weight, and a few other things.

Additional note:
Interesting how Microsoft led the way in this regard (tablet as laptop replacement), but again didn't get it right enough and is now being passed by the others, at least around me]

[finally, some additional discussion and comparison:

The Verge: "Is this a computer?" (Apr 11, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7imG4DYXlM

Apple's "What's a Computer?" iPad ad (Jan 23, 2018, no longer available directly from Apple)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llZys3xg6sU

Apple's "iPad Pro — 5 Reasons iPad Pro can be your next computer — Apple" (Nov 19, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUQK7DMys54

The Verge: "Google Pixel Slate Review: half-baked" (Nov 27, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOa6HU_he2A
https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/27/18113447/google-pixel-slate-review-tablet-chrome-os-android-chromebook-slapdash

Unbox Therapy: "Can The Google Pixel Slate Beat The iPad Pro?" (Nov 28, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lccvHF4ODNY

The Verge: "Google keeps failing to understand tablets" (Nov 29, 2018)
https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/29/18117520/google-tablet-android-chrome-os-pixel-slate-failure

The Verge: "Chrome OS isn't ready for tablets yet" (Jul 18, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu9JBj7HNmM

The Verge: "New iPad Pro review: can it replace your laptop?" (Nov 5, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LykS0TRSHLY
https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/5/18062612/apple-ipad-pro-review-2018-screen-usb-c-pencil-price-features

Navneet Alang: "The misguided attempts to take down the iPad Pro" (Nov 9, 2018)
https://theweek.com/articles/806270/misguided-attempts-take-down-ipad-pro

Navneet Alang: "Apple is trying to kill the laptop" (Oct 31, 2018)
https://theweek.com/articles/804670/apple-trying-kill-laptop

The Verge: "Microsoft Surface Go review: surprisingly good" (Aug 7, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7N2xunvO68
https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/7/17657174/microsoft-surface-go-review-tablet-windows-10

The Verge: "The Surface Go Is Microsoft's Hybrid PC Dream Made Real: It’s time to think of Surface as Surface, and not an iPad competitor" (Aug 8, 2018)
https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/8/17663494/microsoft-surface-go-review-specs-performance

The Verge: "Microsoft Surface Go hands-on" (Aug 2, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmENZqKPfws

Navneet Alang: "Is Microsoft's Surface Go doomed to fail?" (Jul 12, 2018)
https://theweek.com/articles/784014/microsofts-surface-doomed-fail

Chrome Unboxed: "Google Pixel Slate: Impressions After A Week" (Nov 27, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfriNj2Ek68
https://chromeunboxed.com/news/google-pixel-slate-first-impressions/

Unbox Therapy: "I'm Quitting Computers" (Nov 18, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3oRJeReP8g

Unbox Therapy: "The Truth About The iPad Pro..." (Dec 5, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXqou3SVbMw

The Verge: "Tablet vs laptop" (Mar 22, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm_zQP9JIJI

Marques Brownlee: "iPad Pro Review: The Best Ever... Still an iPad!" (Nov 14, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1e_voQvHYk

Engadget: "iPad Pro 2018 Review: Almost a laptop replacement" (Nov 6, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZzmMpP2BNw

Matthew Moniz: "iPad Pro 2018 - Overpowered Netflix Machine or Laptop Replacement?" (Nov 8, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZFlFG67kY

WSJ: "Can the New iPad Pro Be Your Only Computer?" (Nov 16, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMCyI-ymKfo
https://www.wsj.com/articles/apples-new-ipad-pro-great-tablet-still-cant-replace-your-laptop-1541415600

Ali Abdaal: "iPad vs Macbook for Students (2018) - Can a tablet replace your laptop?" (Oct 10, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIx2OQ6E6Mc

Washington Post: "Nope, Apple’s new iPad Pro still isn’t a laptop" (Nov 5, 2018)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/05/nope-apples-new-ipad-pro-still-isnt-laptop/

Canoopsy: "iPad Pro 2018 Review - My Student Perspective" (Nov 19, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4dgHuWBv14

Greg' Gadgets: "The iPad Pro (2018) CAN Replace Your Laptop!" (Nov 24, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3SyXd04Q1E

Apple World: "iPad Pro has REPLACED my MacBook (my experience)" (May 9, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEu9Zf6AENU

Dave Lee: "iPad Pro 2018 - SUPER Fast, But Why?" (Nov 11, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj6vXhN-g6k

Shahazad Bagwan: "A Week With iPad Pro // Yes It Replaced A Laptop!" (Oct 20, 2017)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhHwv9QsoP0

Apple's "Homework (Full Version)" iPad ad (Mar 27, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IprmiOa2zH8

The Verge: "Intel's future computers have two screens" (Oct 18, 2018)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deymf9CoY_M

"The Surface Book 2 is everything the MacBook Pro should be" (Jun 26, 208)
https://char.gd/blog/2018/the-surface-book-2-is-everything-the-macbook-pro-should-be-and-then-some

"Surface Go: the future PC that the iPad Pro failed to deliver" (Aug 27, 2018)
https://char.gd/blog/2018/surface-go-a-better-future-pc-than-the-ipad-pro

"Microsoft now has the best device lineup in the industry" (Oct 3, 2018)
https://char.gd/blog/2018/microsoft-has-the-best-device-lineup-in-the-industry ]
ipadpro  ipad  ios  computing  reneritchie  2018  computers  laptops  chromebooks  pixelslate  surfacego  microsoft  google  apple  android  microoftsurface  surface 
november 2018 by robertogreco
CoCalc - Collaborative Calculation in the Cloud
"CoCalc is a sophisticated online environment for

• Mathematical calculation: SageMath, GAP, SymPy, Maxima, …;
• Statistics and Data Science: R Project, Pandas, Statsmodels, Scikit-Learn, TensorFlow, NLTK, …;
• Document authoring: LaTeX, Markdown/HTML, ...
• General purpose computing: Python, Octave, Julia, Scala, …

Zero Setup: getting started does not require any software setup.

1. First, create your personal account.
2. Then, create a project to instantiate your own private workspace.
3. Finally, create a worksheet or upload your own files: CoCalc supports online editing of Jupyter Notebooks, Sage Worksheets, LaTeX files, etc.

Collaborative Environment

• Share your files privately with project collaborators — all files are synchronized in real-time.
• Time-travel is a detailed history of all your edits and everything is backed up in consistent snapshots.
• Finally, you can select any document to publish it online.

A default project under a free plan has a quota of 1.0 GB memory and 3.0 GB of disk space. Subscriptions make hosting more robust and increase quotas."
computing  collaboration  cloud  math  python  latex  chromebooks 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Mike's List of Chrome Extensions — Mike Elgan
"Chrome extensions collectively make up the building blocks of what I call the Super Internet [https://www.computerworld.com/article/3286185/internet/dispatch-from-the-super-internet.html ]. This list will be improved and updated constantly. Please come back early and often for the updates. Go here to subscribe, sign up, follow and generally stalk me online. Please Email me with your suggestions and ideas!"
chrome  extensions  chromebooks  mikeelgan 
july 2018 by robertogreco
EquatIO Math Writing Software. A Digital Math Tool For Teachers & Students Of All Abilities | Texthelp
"easily add equations, formulas, graphs and more to g suite for education apps and microsoft word"

"We’ve made math digital
Made to help mathematics and STEM teachers and students at all levels, EquatIO® lets everyone create mathematical equations, formulas, Desmos graphs, and more on their computer or Chromebook.

Input’s easy. Type, handwrite, or dictate any expression, with no tricky coding or math languages to master. There’s a huge library of ready-made expressions to save you time, from simple formulas to complex functions. And when you’re done, just add the math to your document with a click."
math  mathematics  applications  chromebooks  android  mac  windows  osx  webapps  chromeos 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Uses This / Julia Evans
"But I have a story about hardware for comics! I started drawing comics one day because my wrists hurt and I couldn't blog. It turns out that they're a good way to explain stuff even if you can literally only draw stick figures like me so I kept doing it. I started out by drawing comics about computers in Sharpie on paper! That was fun, but it's hard to erase Sharpie and cleaning up the photos was too much work and I am pretty lazy. Today I use either a Samsung Galaxy Tab, or a Samsung Chromebook Plus. It took me a long time to find the tablet of my dreams -- the iPad & Apple Pencil are beautiful, but also incredibly expensive and, well, they don't run Android. It turns out that Samsung makes cheap Android tablets that you can draw on! A Chromebook Plus is half the price, runs both Linux and Android apps, and lets me go from programming to drawing a comic about computer networking in 60 seconds! The stylus is laggier and less magical than the Apple Pencil but the software is so much more useful to me that I don't mind."



"Anyway, I use Squid on Android and it's very very good. There are some weird gotchas -- I have to pick from maybe 8 fixed canvas sizes and I can't add more (want 200 x 300 pixels? Too bad!!), and it's impossible to copy documents (if I want 2 versions of a 10-page document I can go page by page and copy each page one at a time).

I use it to draw small drawings that I put on Twitter, 20-pages zines (like about computer networking!) and slides for my talks. It's great.

What would be your dream setup?
I don't really like desks. I spend most of my time working on the couch, so I would like a couch that is good for my back. Also a tablet that has hardware as nice as the Apple Pencil but runs Android."
chromebooks  android  cv  juliaevans  thesetup  usesthis  2017  ipad  stylus 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Screen Shader - F.lux for Chrome - Chrome Web Store
[See also: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/glux/hinolicfmhnjadpggledmhnffommefaf?hl=en-US ]

"Shades Chrome to a soothing orange color to decrease eye-strain, eye fatigue and to appease your brain's day/night cycle.
Do your eyes a favor! Install Screen Shader!

Screen Shader is a chrome extension for anyone that automagically changes the color of your screen to match up with daylight cycles in your timezone. Computer displays produce white and blue light which can irritate your eyes and interfere with your sleeping cycle. Screen Shader is designed to tint the screen a “cozy” orange color to reduce eye-strain, eye fatigue, and restore day/night balance, while also providing a wide variety of settings for everyone's different tastes!

Q: Why do i need this? Can’t i simply change the luminosity of my screen?
A: Changing the luminosity does not remove white and blue light from your display. Those colors are still unnatural and will irritate your eyes, even if dimmed. A full day in front of your computer screen can wreak havoc upon your melatonin cycle and internal clock. The unnatural light can also harm your eye retina. Screen Shader is designed to considerably reduce these effects by eliminating enough white and blue light to provide you with the best browsing experience and eye comfort.

✓Screen Shader includes a huge array of settings including:
➤ Custom day and night shade
➤ Custom transition phase
➤ Custom colors
➤ Custom screen darkening
➤ Full screen mode
➤ Shaded scrollbar
➤ Increased contrast, darkening, and hardlight modes.
➤ A cool color-changing icon
➤ Custom shades for specific urls

✓Screen Shader includes these keyboard shortcuts:
➤ CTRL SHIFT UP to increase shade
➤ CTRL SHIFT DOWN to decrease shade
➤ CTRL SHIFT s to turn off the shade
➤ And many more! Edit them in the menu.

✓Screen Shader does not require any page reloads. It works instantly on all your tabs!

✓Screen Shader also shades just about anything fullscreen(not flash and java applications though)!

✓Screen Shader is continually tested on windows, mac, and chrome OS, and is constantly being bugfixed and updated with input from its users. Send me an email, or comment here. I'll usually reply in a day or two :)

Q: Why not G.lux?
A: Because G.lux has none of the many features mentioned above!

Q: But I already have F.lux.
A: Well, Screen Shader provides quite a few more options and keyboard shortcuts. Try using both and forget about tired eyes! It sure works well for me ;)

Q: Help! It doesn't work with fullscreen flash games, hulu, etc.
A: Flash and java objects are pesky. When they go fullscreen they ignore all css/html applied to the page. So here is what you can do:

Use the Hulu Easy Pop Out extension and right click on a thumbnail to open a fullscreen Hulu player with shade.

For other sites you can use an extension like MediaPlus to make the video or game fit the size of your screen without going into fullscreen and losing its shade.

Update log:
1.7:
Fixes for pages using buggy backdrops and backgrounds.
Big speed optimization for bug fixing subsystem.
Fixed bug with 10px bar at the top of the screen
Screen Shader now force-loads itself on every tab when it loads up, so every tab is shaded :)
Screen Shader now can safely work in incognito mode (if you enable it to do so on chrome://extensions)
The party easter egg was unfortunately removed because too many people were running into it accidentally
Fixed issues on xml documents
Fixed issues with lastpass extension
Fixed scrollbar issues in upcoming chrome versions
Screen Shader now shades podStation Podcast Player, another great extension you should totally try out!
Fixed incompatibility issues with norton security extensions.
Save Screen Shader's settings to a file and load settings from save file.
Other various bug fixes.

1.6:
Screen Shader now works on anything fullscreen!
Screen Shader's content scripts have been rewritten to pure js. No more JQuery!
Screen Shader won't mess with your printing anymore.
Shaded scrollbar updated to v5.0
Polished the cross-extension messaging feature. Other extensions can now ask Screen Shader for a shade element!
Screen Shader will now stay off if you turned it off and close the browser.
Bugs with newtab page should now be fixed
Option to disable party mode and scroll shortcut
New keyboard shortcuts to increase/decrease darkness
A few bug fixes (of course)

1.5:
New option to set shade as high as you desire.
No White Flash script implemented
Fixed bugs with the new interface
Added donation page.
Using chrome.commands api, so now you can create your own keyboard shortcuts!
Added a ton of new keyboard shortcuts.
A lot of bugfixing.
All Screen Shader elements are now organized in their own parent

1.4:
Fixed printing issue for google docs
Added a cool dynamic icon changer
Switched from hex color values and opacity to rgba color values(150% faster!)
Fixed a bug where the screen blinked when using the ctrl alt + shortcut
Compressed unnecessarily large images. -1.4 MB size!
Completely new and improved UI, thanks Jeeves!
Mix-blend-mode option for chrome. 20% cooler!

1.3:
Fixed bug where the shader menu did not display correctly
Switched to a more reliable geo-ip service
Completely rewrote the shaded scrollbar, so it is now usable.

1.2:
Fixed slowness issues on slow computers like chromebooks
Removed a good portion of the unnecessary code used for debugging
Improved the loading speed of the popup by running some scripts after the popup loads
Redid loader for map display
Removed console.logs
Updated sendRequests to sendMessages for next chrome update
Changed the 'Thank you' page to be more visually appealing

1.1:
Finally! I updated/removed old code, improving performance.
Added ctrl alt scroll shortcut, and now keyboard shortcuts affect all tabs
Added the language option
Fixed a few bugs relating to the custom url option
Wrote a global system that manages the shade on every tab at the same time
When shade is changed, it affects all the tabs at the same time, so you don't see a blink or a flash when you change tabs
Page reload is no longer required on install

1.0:
Uploaded to web store. yay :D
Added fullscreen mode
Added shaded scrollbar
Added custom urls option
Added a larger color selection interface + a new color picking menu
Added a download page to thank you guys for downloading Screen Shader!

Time article: http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/13/computer-eye-strain-explained-and-how-to-avoid-it/

I am in no way endorsed by or affiliated to Time inc or its partners.
The article was written by Laura Newcomer"
chromebooks  chrome  extensions  light 
january 2018 by robertogreco
The points about how technology are used are sound, but here’s a couple of thoughts…
"The points about how technology are used are sound, but here’s a couple of thoughts…

I would not want to manage a network of $350 consumer level laptops that I bought at Best Buy. I got one of those for my kid once and had to return it twice b/c of the cheapo electronics such as the wifi card kept crapping out. Chromebooks are a lot of things, but “unreliable” isn’t one of them.

Um, no you can’t run your school’s email system for under $100 a month. Not well and responsibly anyway. Not unless you don’t count the salary of the person who has to maintain it.

Use this: https://scratch.mit.edu/

and this: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/coding-with-chrome/becloognjehhioodmnimnehjcibkloed?hl=en-US

and this: https://create.arduino.cc/

and this: http://iforge.genlrn.com

And you can do everything in Papert’s paper on a chromebook.

RPis are awesome, and schools should use them. They have more flexible software and the Linux OS. But add in the keyboard, mouse, screen, power adapter, and you start to get close to the Chromebook price or even higher. Don’t have the stats in front of me, but I doubt the processor power is better than most chromebooks.

Like with anything in our industry, the problem isn’t the “device.” It’s in how schools choose to use them. I think chromebooks were the answer to many districts’ prayers about how to deliver computerized, standardized tests. Many districts never pushed beyond that overly simple use. THAT is the real problem."
chromebooks  gardystager  2017 
november 2017 by robertogreco
First, let me start off by saying that I highly respect Dr.
"First, let me start off by saying that I highly respect Dr. Stager and his work for moving to more authentic education in our schools. However, as with most people’s impression on the ability of a Chromebook his thoughts are limited.

I just spent about 15 mins doing some searching on the Internet and it appears the Chromebook is far more capable for STEM type stuff than Dr. Stager has mentioned. Take into consideration that now Chromebooks are also capable of installing and running Android apps, I wonder what it is you can specifically do on a Windows machine, which by the way is the only device in our BYOD that has problems connecting to our WiFi, is constantly needing updates, crashes the most and is super slow, that you can’t do on a Chromebook. I regularly make screencasts, edit videos and images as well as do design work on a Chromebook. I have also done STEAM type learning activities with kids using Chromebooks.

Here are a few things I found in those 15 minutes of searching. Some of these I have actually done with students.

Programing Arduinos (Did this with students last year)

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1803

Programing Lego Robotics (WeDo and MindStorm did this last year and this year as well)

https://education.lego.com/en-us/support/chromebooks

How to use Chromebooks with 3d printer

http://www.mkrclub.com/2015/08/3d-printing-with-chromebook-or-just.html

Coding on a Chromebook (Had middle school kids code their own games using Scratch)

https://medium.com/adventures-in-codeland/coding-on-a-chromebook-a-how-to-guide-part-1-ec87152c00b1

Apps?

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/programming%20?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon&_category=apps

Laser Cutting. You can do all the prep you need on a Chromebook and then print it from a teacher’s computer. I am assuming, if a school had enough money to get a laser cutter they would also have a dedicated computer from which to “print” from. If not there are other options.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gcode-sender/ngncibnakmabjlfpadjagnbdjbhoelom

Using the Makey Makey with a Chromebook

https://makeymakey.com/faq/#h.CaZNmj8SHllVHx4IlVGrSyX5zrgN

This is just what I was able to find in 15 mins. I am sure if I put more effort into this I would be able to find many other ways that a Chromebook is a device capable of doing STEAM work.

I like to teach kids how to use the device they have to do the things they need rather than suggest a certain device for everyone."
chromebooks  coding  shannondoak  garystager  2017 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Coding with Chrome - Chrome Web Store
"Learn, improve, or teach coding skills within a Chrome browser.
Coding with Chrome is a Google project to provide an easy-to-use coding/programming environment (IDE) within the Chrome browser that even works offline. Currently, users are able to create programs using Blockly, Coffeescript, HTML, Javascript and Python with output to Logo Turtle and/or connected toys such as the Sphero, mBot and Lego Mindstorms.

Please note that the project is a running experiment and we welcome your feedback.

By installing this item, you agree to the Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy at https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/.

Licence: Apache 2.0 (http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/License:Apache2.0)
Credits: https://github.com/google/coding-with-chrome/blob/master/NOTICE.md "
chromebooks  coding  chrome 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Kenn White on Twitter: "Every blog post, Medium, and StackOverflow I've read the past month on setting up a developer Chromebook is wrong."
"Every blog post, Medium, and StackOverflow I've read the past month on setting up a developer Chromebook is wrong.

If your 2,000 word howto starts with: "Step 1: disable every security feature on one of the most secure platforms on the market", just stop.

Gist in progress, but teaser: TPM, Yubikey, FDE, no silly "cloud" (remote) IDE, decent terminal, local Go/Node/Java, local ssh/web etc.
$169

it's a WIP. I haven't figured out how to screenshot with an external keyboard, so here's how things look atm [image]

I know this piece is nothing earth shattering, but pretty cool to see that flashing blue, and things Just Work [image]"
kennwhite  chromebooks  2017  security 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Best Photo Editor for your Chromebook | Android Central
"Polarr Photo Editor is the best way to edit pictures on your Chromebook."

[See also: https://www.polarr.co/ ]
chromebooks  photoediting  graphics  software 
october 2016 by robertogreco
How Chromebooks Are About to Totally Transform Laptop Design | WIRED
"That’s not to say the Chrome OS crew are fortune-tellers, of course. They did miss out on one very important thing: smartphones. You may have heard of them. “Back when we were starting Chrome OS,” Lin says, “the web and mobile were in a dead heat. We were betting big on the web, and the Android team was betting big on mobile.” He doesn’t say the obvious next part, which is that mobile and Android won.

There are still times when you want a keyboard and trackpad, though, or a screen larger than the palm of your hand. And lucky for the Chrome team, Android’s also part of Google. So the two teams started talking about how to integrate. They had lots of concerns about performance, integration, and above all security. A couple of years ago, a Chrome engineer ran an experiment: He took containers, a way of separating parts of a system that’s common in data centers, and ran them on a local machine. Android in one, Chrome OS is another. “A few of us saw it,” Sengupta says, “and our eyes literally opened up.” That was the answer.
Android apps solve a couple of Chrome OS’s lingering problems. Most important, they bring all the software people are now accustomed to using, onto a new platform. Remember when people used to complain about Chromebooks not having Word? There are now billions of people who now reasonably expect their laptop to have Snapchat and Uber. Apps also offer offline support in a much more robust way, and they bring the kind of multi-window, desktop-app functionality that feels familiar to the old-school Windows users. Of course, they also require totally different things than traditional computer software. Most apps assume you’re using them on small, touch-enabled screens, running on devices with cellular connections and a bunch of sensors that you definitely don’t have in your laptop.

So, OK, new question: what does a laptop look like in the age of mobile?

New Puzzle Pieces

Imagine you want to build a Chromebook. Great idea! Before you can do anything, you have to deal with Alberto Martin Perez, a product manager on the Chrome OS team. Perez is the keeper of Google’s documentation, the huge set of requirements and standards given to all Chromebook makers. The documentation is an ever-changing organism, concerned with everything from how much RAM and battery life a Chromebook needs, to how hard you have to press the trackpad before it registers as a click. If your Chromebook takes more than ten seconds to boot, or the power button isn’t on the top right? Get on the plane back to China and try again. The long, complex document is written in engineer-speak and is remarkably detailed. It’s Google’s first line of defense against corner-cutting manufacturers.

When Google decided to integrate Android apps with Chrome OS, Perez and his team combed through the documentation. “We wanted to make sure we were ahead,” Perez says. “It’s really easy to change a web app, it’s really hard to change a laptop.” Google now strongly recommends—which is a lightly-veiled warning that it’ll be mandatory soon—that every Chromebook include GPS, NFC, compass, accelerometer, a fingerprint reader, and a barometer. Those are all smartphone parts that have made little sense in a laptop before. But Android apps are inspiring manufacturers to make devices that move, that adapt, that take on different forms in different contexts.

Computer industry execs believe Chrome OS has come into its own, that people will now choose it over Windows for reasons other than price. For many new customers, says Stacy Wolff, HP’s global head of design, “their first device was a smartphone. And they look for the cleanliness, the simplicity, the stability of what we see in those devices.” That’s the thinking behind the sharp and business-like HP Chromebook 13, the company’s new $500 laptop. Wolf sounds eager to continue down the fancy road, too: When I ask why the Chromebook 13’s not as nice as the Windows-powered Spectre 13, which is one of the best-looking and lightest laptops ever made, he pauses to make sure he’s not giving too much away. “I can’t talk about the future, but there’s nothing that stops us from continuing to go and revolutionize that space.” The $1,000 Chromebook used to be a silly sideshow, Google’s way of overshooting. Soon enough, it’ll be a totally viable purchase.

The next few months are shaping up to be the PC market’s most experimental phase in a long time. The addition of Android apps “begs for higher performance hardware and new form factors to support these new use cases,” says Gary Ridling, Samsung’s senior vice president of product marketing. Batteries are more important than ever, as are touch-friendly displays. Windows manufacturers have been experimenting with convertible and detachable devices for the last few years, but the combination of Android and Chrome will actually make them work.

The results are already starting to trickle out. Acer announced the Chromebook R13, which has a 1080p, 13-inch touchscreen that flips 360 degrees, along with 12 hours of battery, 4 gigs of RAM, and up to 64 gigs of storage. It’ll only get crazier from here: you’ll see laptops that are maybe more like tablets, a few that are maybe even a little bit like smartphones, and every imaginable combination of keyboard, trackpad, and touchscreen. Google and its partners all see this as the moment Chromebook goes from niche—for school, or travel, or your Luddite dad—to mainstream. “The ability to run their favorite apps from phones and tablets,” Ridling says, “without compromising speed, simplicity, or security, will dramatically expand value of Chromebooks to consumers.”

When the legendary Walt Mossberg started his personal technology column at the Wall Street Journal in 1991, he opened with a now-classic line: “Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault.” 25 long years later, that story’s finally changing. Chromebooks are exactly the computer the world needs now: simple, secure, usable. They just work. And starting this fall, they’ll work they work the way people do in 2016: online everywhere, all the time, in a thousand different ways. “Personal computing” left desks and monitors behind a long time ago, and personal computers are finally catching up."
chromebooks  laptops  2016  martiperez  android  chromeos  google  acer  srg 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Andromium's $99 Superbook turns your Android phone into a laptop (crowdfunding) - Liliputing
[See also:

"Superbook"
https://getsuperbook.com/

"The Superbook: Turn your smartphone into a laptop"
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andromium/the-superbook-turn-your-smartphone-into-a-laptop-f

"Superbook is a $99 laptop shell for Android smartphones"
http://liliputing.com/2016/04/superbook-is-a-99-laptop-shell-for-android-smartphones.html

"This $99 gadget can turn your Android phone into a laptop — here's how it works"
http://www.techinsider.io/andromium-superbook-photos-android-phone-laptop-2016-8

"The Superbook is a $99 laptop shell for your Android phone: The dream of the Motorola Atrix lives"
http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/7/11/12152850/superbook-laptop-shell-android-phone

"HP's Elite x3 is designed to be your Windows phone, laptop, and desktop: A powerful phone meant to be your one and only device"
http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/21/11068496/hp-elite-x3-announced-specs-windows-10-mwc-2016

"In Less Than Two Years, a Smartphone Could Be Your Only Computer"
https://www.wired.com/2015/02/smartphone-only-computer/ ]
superbook  chromebooks  android  laptops  hardware  2016  windows  windowsphone 
september 2016 by robertogreco
h264ify - Chrome Web Store
"Makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos
New: Block 60fps option for lower end machines.

Try h264ify if YouTube videos stutter, take up too much CPU, eat battery life, or make your laptop hot.

By default, YouTube streams VP8/VP9 encoded video. However, this can cause problems with less powerful machines because VP8/VP9 is not typically hardware accelerated.

In contrast, H.264 is commonly hardware accelerated by GPUs, which usually means smoother video playback and reduced CPU usage. h264ify makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos.

Github: https://github.com/erkserkserks/h264ify "
extensions  chrome  chromebooks  video  youtube 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Gravit
"Use the world's most advanced design tool for beginners and design professionals. Easily create beautiful logos, business cards, websites, flyers and social media covers to impress your customers, family and friends."
illustration  illustrator  onlinetoolkit  chromebooks  webapps  gravit 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Amazingly Simple Graphic Design Software – Canva
"Use Canva's drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics."
onlinetoolkit  chromebooks  webapps  graphics  design 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Guide to Chromebook Privacy Settings for Students | Electronic Frontier Foundation
[via: https://boingboing.net/2015/12/01/what-happened-when-a-parent-fo.html ]

"If your child's school issued them a Chromebook, there are some important settings you can chance to improve their privacy.

Be sure to also check out our Guide to Google Account Privacy Settings for Students.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/11/guide-google-account-privacy-settings-students

Open the Chromebook’s settings by clicking on your username in the bottom right-hand corner, then clicking “Settings.”"
chromebooks  privacy  2015 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Apple Offers to Replace iPads With MacBooks in Maine State Classrooms - Mac Rumors
"Apple and the Maine Department of Education have offered to swap school iPads for MacBooks at no additional cost, after it emerged that students and teachers overwhelmingly favor the use of laptops in class.

According to a report in the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal, schools in Auburn and other districts in Maine are set to benefit from the "Refresh" swap, following surveys of students and teachers across grades 7 through 12, which revealed that 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students preferred laptops over iPads. "



"One teacher wrote in the survey that iPads "provide no educational function in the classroom. Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible. I applaud this change."
chromebooks  ipads  laptops  edtech  technology  education  schools  sfsh  learning  apple  teaching  via:lukeneff  ipad 
june 2016 by robertogreco
How to reset your Chromebook: Powerwash it! | Android Central
"If you're going to sell your Chromebook, give it to someone or just want to switch accounts, you'll want to reset it and wipe away all your user settings and data. Much like your Android, this is pretty easy and doesn't need any fancy developer tools or voodoo magic. Just Powerwash it.

Before we get into it, let's talk about what Powerwashing actually does. When you wipe your account from your Chromebook with Powerwash, every single bit and byte of data connected with every account on the Chromebook's actual storage is gone. If you just want to get rid of a single user account (not the primary user, that requires a powerwash), you can do that by finding the profile picture at the login screen and clicking the arrow in the upper right to remove the user. That removes the data associated with that particular account, without erasing everything from other accounts.

When you Powerwash, nothing on an SD card or any external storage device is erased. But all the data — pictures, search history, passwords, credit card info and everything else — that's stored securely on the Chromebook's internal storage is erased. The data that's backed up to your Google account in the cloud is not erased. You'll need to visit your account settings via a web browser to do that. But the Chromebook itself is returned to a clean version of the OS, just as it would be if it were brand new."
chromebooks  howto 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Cars, trucks, iPads, and laptops | Macworld
"Steve Jobs famously likened touchscreen devices to cars and traditional PCs, including the Mac, to trucks. The idea was that in the future–especially as older people who grew up with keyboards and mice and were accustomed to them–computers would become marginalized, powerful tools that would be used for specific purposes. General-purpose computing, on the other hand, would become the province of the ubiquitous car.

This story is frequently told in the context of the iPad. The argument is that the iPad and touchscreen tablets like it will ultimately replace the PC. And while that may yet happen, I think it misses the larger point. This entire thing has already happened. The world is being transformed into a smartphone-using culture. The smartphone is already the car, and everything else is a truck.

So let’s talk trucks, and consider the iPad again. With the release of the iPad Pro–I’m writing this story on one right now–we’ve all been considering the question of if the iPad fits into getting work done. My feeling is that it absolutely can, though it will be a big adjustment for those of us in that keyboard-and-mouse crowd.

The assumption many of us have made, myself included, is that it will really take a new generation of computer users, those weaned on iPhones and iPads, before the iPad and other touchscreen devices take their place as the computing trucks of the future. It makes sense, right? Kids love iPhones and iPads. The touch interface is easily understandable, even by small children. The future is inevitable.

So here’s the problem with that way of thinking. My daughter, born in 2001 and raised in a world of iPods, iPhones, and iPads, has two devices she absolutely requires in order to live. (My understanding is that she would shrivel up into some sort of husk and die if either of them were to go away.) One of those devices is her iPhone, of course. She is endlessly iMessaging, Instagramming, Snapchatting, and FaceTiming with her friends.

The other device is a laptop. (A Chromebook Pixel, in this case, but it could just as easily have been a MacBook Air.) In fact, when I offered her the use of my iPad Air 2 instead of her laptop, she immediately dismissed it. A native of the 21st century–the century where the keyboard and mouse are left on the sidewalk with a cardboard FREE sign as we embrace our tablet futures–is flatly refusing to switch from a laptop to a tablet.

Of course, I asked my daughter why she prefers the laptop to an iPad. Her school relies on Google Docs for most of the work she does, and she likes being able to do that work on the laptop. (Given the limitations of the Google Docs apps on iOS, I didn’t even try to convince her that her experience on an iPad would be equal to that inside a Chrome browser tab.)

But beyond schoolwork, the main way she uses her laptop is as a video player. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, you name it–she’d rather watch most shows on her 13-inch high-resolution laptop screen than on the 60-inch HDTV in my living room. (Some of that is because this is a screen that she can control and watch without being bothered by another family member.)

She also seems to have been burned by her middle-school experience with iPads, which apparently was rife with buggy apps.

In the end, my daughter’s judgment about the choice was fairly simple: “I feel like you can do more with a laptop than with an iPad,” she told me during an exclusive interview as I drove her home from school.

(As a Mac user, I also have to point out that while my daughter used to use a hand-me-down iMac, she now is exclusively using the Chromebook. So when she says “you can do more with a laptop,” she isn’t referring to native apps–only tabs inside the Chrome browser.)

One teenager’s opinion won’t decide the future of tablets and laptops, but I’m intrigued by the fact that her choice was the opposite of what I expected. Perhaps the computer users of the future are more open to old-fashioned computers than I thought. Perhaps the lack of native apps on the Chromebook isn’t a stumbling block for them, because they live on the web.

Still, if my daughter had to pick only a single device to use, it would undoubtedly be her phone. Her love of the iPhone makes me think that sometime, in the future, she might be willing to try an iPad again. But I’m not sure I’d put money on her switching from a laptop to a tablet anytime soon."
ipads  education  chromebooks  ios  apple  schools  jasonsnell  2016  via:lukeneff  ipad 
february 2016 by robertogreco
How to turn your sluggish old Mac or PC into a faster Chromebook | The Verge
"Earlier today we published a story about Neverware [http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/17/11030406/neverware-google-chromebook-chromium-os-education-microsoft ], a New York City startup that is helping schools refurbish old Windows PCs and Macs that had been abandoned as unusable, converting them into "Chromebooks" students can actually work on. Neverware charges schools a licensing fee for every machine it enables this way, but it also offers the software for free to individual users. And starting today, you can set up most computers to dual boot into their original operating system or Chrome, meaning you don't have to get rid of anything on your machine to give it a spin as a Chrome-capable laptop.

Now these aren't technically "Chromebooks" because that name is a trademark reserved for the laptops created by Google and its hardware partners. A Google representative suggested we call them Chrome laptops, or Chromium laptops. I'm partial to Chromiumbook myself. In any case, you'll find that the experience is mostly indistinguishable from Chrome, and that all the Google apps and services you expect work without a hitch.

I have been using a six-year-old Dell Latitude laptop running Neverware's CloudReady software for a few weeks. In Chrome it boots in under 30 seconds and runs fast enough for me to use it as my only computer at work. In Windows, well, not so much. As we noted in our feature, an irony of the cloud computing era is that a lot of older machines discarded as obsolete actually have far more horsepower, in terms of pure hardware, than the latest Chromebooks coming to market.

Older machines will probably still have problems Neverware can't fix — my Lenovo's battery, for example, leaves a lot to be desired — but if you have some spare hardware lying around that no longer works, Neverware's software is an interesting and easy way to try and resurrect it as a netbook that you can get some real value out of. The download is available here. [http://www.neverware.com/freedownload ]"

[See also: “Neverware turns your tired laptop into a speedy Chromebook”
http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/18/neverware-turns-your-tired-laptop-into-a-speedy-chromebook/ ]

[See also: http://www.neverware.com/ ]

[See also: "What's the dopest old laptop to install Chrome OS on?: Free your mind of time and space"
http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/19/11075148/the-dopest-old-laptop-to-install-chrome-os ]

[See also: "Wanna convert your old computer into a 'Chromebook'? Read this first"
http://www.computerworld.com/article/3036161/cloud-computing/cloudready-convert-old-computer-into-chromebook.html ]
neverware  2016  reuse  technology  onlinetoolkit  cloudready  chromebooks  os  operatingsystems 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Crouton: Turn Your Chromebook into far more than a “glorified web browser” | AndroidAuthority
"Congratulations! You now have a very capable operating system installed on your Chromebook. Video/photo editing, coding, web development, audio production, advanced file management, and office work are only a shortcut away. You can also perform these tasks while offline, unlike Chrome OS, which requires a constant internet connection to be truly effective (though there are a growing number of offline apps even with Chrome OS).

The moral of the story is: certain operating systems are suitable for specific tasks. Chrome OS is by far the best platform for casual computing, while Linux has all the tools a professional could ever need. By installing Ubuntu on your Chromebook you get the best of both worlds and have transformed a relatively inexpensive laptop into a very capable and flexible piece of hardware.

It is important to note that, while the aforementioned tasks require far less capable hardware on Linux than competing platforms, I highly recommend installing Linux on a Chromebook with at least 4 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and an Intel CPU (preferably a Core i3 or better) for the best overall experience. Any Chromebook users out there? Do you utilize the power of Linux, or is Chrome OS alone more than enough to suite your needs?"
chromebooks  chromeos  linux  srg  ubuntu  2016  crouton 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Ed-Tech Might Make Things Worse... So Now What?
"Indeed, technology might actually make things worse, particularly for disadvantaged students, in part because of the type of tech and how it’s used in their classrooms. The OECD report found, for example, that “drilling” software has a negative effect on performance (that is, to be clear again, performance on the PISA). And yet this type of software, and more broadly computer-based math instruction, is much more commonly used for disadvantaged students.

Much of the press coverage of the OECD’s report latched on to the finding that “overexposure” to technology leads to poor academic performance (as well as to lower levels of well-being). But again, it’s worth asking what that technology usage actually involves. What are students doing when they’re “using computers” in the classroom? Are they “using computers” or is it, rather, that their teachers are? That phrase – “using computers in the classroom” – can mean a lot of things after all. “Using computers” how and “using computers” to what end – that is, what are the goals of increasing the amount of tech in the classroom? (A recent Education Week headline might give us a clue: “Chromebooks’ Rise in U.S. K–12 Schools Fueled by Online Testing.” Simply put: is increased tech usage a reflection of increased testing?)

“One interpretation of these findings,” the report’s executive summary reads, “is that it takes educators time and effort to learn how to use technology in education while staying firmly focused on student learning.” Yes, that is one interpretation, one that fits neatly into a narrative that teachers and schools have failed to “innovate.” But rather than allow the burden of addressing ed-tech’s “effectiveness” to be shifted to educators, let’s ask too why so much of ed-tech remains crap – exploitative and punitive crap that is well-funded by venture capitalists and heavily promoted by ed-tech enthusiasts, I might add. Ed-tech that, as this OECD report suggests, likely makes things worse. We cannot shrug and say “it’s not the technology’s fault.” Because what if it is?

“We expect schools to educate our children to become critical consumers of Internet services and electronic media,” the OECD report says, “helping them to make informed choices and avoid harmful behaviours.” But I think expecting schools to educate children to become consumers is a flawed approach to technology from the very start. (It’s one that surely enriches the ed-tech industry, who by all accounts are the ones most clearly benefitting from widespread adoption of tech in the classroom.) This is a flawed approach to education too, I’d argue – this notion that knowledge is something delivered either by teacher or machine and in turn consumed by students. If there is any agency in this equation at all, it’s the agency to buy, not the agency to build. Most ed-tech has done very little to support students’ agency as creators – not just as creators with digital technology but creators of digital technology.

But the same can be said, unfortunately, for most classrooms, with or without computers. Students are objects in the education system, shaped and molded by institutional and societal expectations. Framing students as “consumers” posits that the only place they gain subject status is when we reduce “learning” to a transaction – and in particular to an exchange of money or, increasingly, of personal data. And if that is the framework guiding ed-tech (its present and its future), it should be no surprise that the results will be profoundly unjust.

To its credit, the OECD report does make the following policy recommendation: “Improve equity in education first.”
In most countries, differences in computer access between advantaged and disadvantaged students shrank between 2009 and 2012; in no country did the gap widen. But results from the PISA computer-based tests show that once the so-called “first digital divide” (access to computers) is bridged, the remaining difference, between socio-economic groups, in the ability to use ICT tools for learning is largely, if not entirely, explained by the difference observed in more traditional academic abilities. So to reduce inequalities in the ability to benefit from digital tools, countries need to improve equity in education first. ****Ensuring that every child attains a baseline level of proficiency in reading and mathematics will do more to create equal opportunities in a digital world than can be achieved by expanding or subsidising access to high-tech devices and services.**** (emphasis added)

It’s easy to dismiss the OECD report because it draws so heavily on the PISA framework – although no doubt that’s a good reason to be critical of “what counts” here as “learning outcomes.” And surely there are benefits to computers beyond what PISA can measure. But can we articulate what those are? And can we articulate what those are without using meaningless cliches like “innovation” and “collaboration” and “future ready”?

I confess, I’ve grown pretty tired of the response that “we must” use tech. It’s a surrender, too often and again, to this idea that we are required to interact, to connect, to think deeply through the confines of a certain kind of technology, of a certain kind of economic and social and institutional arrangement – as consumers of tech, and as the product itself.

Despite the insistence that digital technologies are “the future” and as such must be incorporated somehow into the classroom, “the future” remains an unknown. We cannot say with any certainty that “the future” will include any of the technologies that we use today. Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, we might not have “Google” or “YouTube” or “Blackboard” or even “the World Wide Web” – we certainly will not in their current form. There is no inevitability to technology nor to the direction that “technological progress” might take.

And education technology in and of itself is surely not progressive."
edtech  audreywatters  2015  oecd  technology  teaching  education  pedagogy  pisa  testing  consumption  creation  chromebooks  progressivism  progress  inequality  inequity  schools 
september 2015 by robertogreco

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