Two months of living in the Chrome browser – Making the switch to a Chromebook

Two months of living in the Chrome browser – Making the switch to a Chromebook

It sounds really good, the promise of all the things a Chromebook will enable us to do. Checking everything from e-mail and all the social networks to the news and our favorite blogs, when away from home and the office. Can’t say I’m against that. But the real question here for me is if that promise will turn out to be just as good when I purchase my own Chromebook.

Google’s philosophy has always been to have everything you do on your pc available on the web as an app – everything in the cloud. The Chromebook is an extension or product of that philosophy. They could just as well have called it their Webtop. Silly, I know, but it does describe what this device really is: the Internet. And that brings the story to me.

My own life rapidly becomes increasingly entwined with the web as much of what I do takes place online. Checking e-mail, something I should really get a handle on by the way, writing reports en spreadsheets in Google Docs and checking progress at work are just some of the things I do on a daily basis. All that web-based activity gradually got me at the point where getting a Chromebook seems to be an obvious next step. I deliberately say seems, because that step is not one easily taken.

Suppose I were to switch to the Chromebook and completely live online. I would have to change about everything in the way I use my laptop and computer. For starters, I would have to transfer everything to the web and leave nothing, or virtually nothing stored locally. No music, no word documents, no spreadsheets, nothing. All that without me knowing if it’ll be the right step to take. This living online requires practice and some mental flexibility in leaving the beaten path. Before I decide to spent my hard earned money on such a switch I would like to test it first.

The Challenge

Having said that there’s only one thing left for me to do. Before buying the Chromebook I will have to prove to myself that it works, so that I won’t strand finding out I can’t do half the things online I need to. Or worse, that the very things that are most important to me can only be done on a “regular” laptop or computer. It’s time for a challenge.

The next 60 days I will live in the Chrome browser to find out whether or not the Chromebook will work for me. And to add a little extra pressure for me, I’ll post my progress and the things I’ve learned so far here on ChromebookHQ for your reading pleasure. The rules will be simple (there’s only one, really): I do what I do online, or I don’t do it at all. Only in those cases when it really, really, really must be done I’ll make an exception. But that’s gonna be a point towards the ‘failure’ of my challenge so I won’t take this escape lightly.

Preparation

Before rushing head over heels into this adventure it’s a good idea to start with a mind map of all the things I can up with that need testing. When you’re about to participate at home I suggest you do the same. The obvious question to ask is “What is it I do on my laptop that I need to find an app for online?”. The answers to that question will make up the mind map.

Back to the old pen and paper mind mapping technique. There are apps for it I presume, we can go look those for during the testperiod, but so far I have the joy of the intuitive ease of a pen to help me out here. Here’s a picture of the result (hope you can read it):

The order in which I jotted it all down is simply the order in which it all sprung to mind. Well, ‘sprung’,  slowly crept is a more accurate description since my sinus infection slowed things  down a bit for me.

Traffic

One of the first things I thought of is that I need a way to keep track of the amount of data that I’ll up- and download the coming 60 days. Since I’m simulating a Chromebook experience I’ll need to calculate at one point what data plan I will have to purchase in case I’m to buy a Chromebook. Because let’s face it, when you go Chromebook you do so anywhere, not just at those places that have free wifi. It’ll be difficult to decide what percentage will be paid 3G traffic and what not, but that’s for later to figure out.

Continue

The coming 60 days I’ll keep you posted on how I’m progressing. I’m guessing the next post will be about on how to enjoy your already purchased music in the Cloud. Do you have any tips on how you’re enjoying your music online? Give us a shout out in the comments and tell us how you do it.

Have fun Chroming and until next time!

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