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Old 11-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #46
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By the same token, Microsoft seem to be in no hurry to release a version of Skype that will run on ChromeOS.

Graham
That's true, but not surprising really giving the competitive nature of the companies involved. On the Chrome you have to use Google's Hangouts for videoconferencing, of course. I wouldn't expect to see Skype any time soon but at least it's possible to conference from an Apple if you first d/l the Hangouts app from their app store.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #47
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That's true, but not surprising really giving the competitive nature of the companies involved. On the Chrome you have to use Google's Hangouts for videoconferencing, of course. I wouldn't expect to see Skype any time soon but at least it's possible to conference from an Apple if you first d/l the Hangouts app from their app store.
Only recently not surprising though, which in itself is surprising. Skype is, after all, available for Mac, iOS, Android, Blackberry, 6 variants of Linux, some landline phones, TVs, Blu-ray players, and PlayStation.

I don't know if all those were available before Microsoft bought Skype, but they're being actively supported. But it appears they have no plans to support ChromeOS. Or if they do, they're keeping it very quiet.

It's also worth pointing out that there are at least five other video chat solutions available for the Chromebooks from the Chrome webstore, so Google aren't deliberately restricting the platform to Google Hangouts.

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Old 11-13-2013, 07:20 PM   #48
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It's also worth pointing out that there are at least five other video chat solutions available for the Chromebooks from the Chrome webstore, so Google aren't deliberately restricting the platform to Google Hangouts.

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Five others, you say. Good to know. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:05 PM   #49
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I'd love to get a Chromebook to replace my Windows machine, but lack of OverDrive and WMA support is a deal breaker for me.
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Chromebook has shortcomings like with offline printing, and some programs that don't have offline capability, but security is no more a problem than with any other computer.

This worry about Google peeking at your files as has been discussed in this thread is way overblown.
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And you can't run Calibre on it, right? We have a Chromebook that's great for internet. But not for the programs I use on a daily basis, Kindle4PC, Calibre, Sigil, Q-Dir file manager, Adobe Digital Editions.
This answer is pretty much cheating, but how about adding an adjunct/complementary OS to accomplish what you want?

The first thing I did with my cheapo Acer Chromebook ($130 refurb from Acer) with the 320 GB hard drive was to install a simple version of Ubuntu Linux, Crouton, from which I can hotkey back and forth between ChromeOS and Linux and share the Downloads folder.

The first application I installed in Crouton was Calibre. Easy, since there's a Linux version of Calibre.

And switching from ChromeOS to Linux allows me to print any ChromeOS documents that I put in the Downloads folder to a USB-attached printer.

Stretching this bogus answer further, perhaps Wine (Windows Emulator) for Linux would work and thus allow OverDrive to be installed and run (I don't know, Crouton is a scaled back Ubuntu and I haven't tried this--though even if it's not in package management, I imagine a motivated person could use git and compile from source). You could even play the WMA DRM audiobooks in the Linux part of your Chromebook with Mplayer (you need to find the SID using freeme2).

Amazing what computing one can do with a $130 machine.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:26 AM   #50
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Something slippery, large and porous tells me that many of the posts discussing that aspect of Chrome were not entirely serious. At least one poster mentioned being mentally unbalanced and in the throes of a pathological fear of open internet spaces.
Well, there is that rather insistent prickling of the hairs on the back of my left thumb. A chance breeze?
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:28 AM   #51
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Stretching this bogus answer further, perhaps Wine (Windows Emulator) for Linux would work and thus allow OverDrive to be installed and run (I don't know, Crouton is a scaled back Ubuntu and I haven't tried this--though even if it's not in package management, I imagine a motivated person could use git and compile from source). You could even play the WMA DRM audiobooks in the Linux part of your Chromebook with Mplayer (you need to find the SID using freeme2).

Amazing what computing one can do with a $130 machine.
That's cool, but I'd have to know with 100% certainty that it would work with whatever Chromebook I might get. I only want one computer and it must run all of the programs I use; not most of them.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:32 AM   #52
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That's cool, but I'd have to know with 100% certainty that it would work with whatever Chromebook I might get. I only want one computer and it must run all of the programs I use; not most of them.
Only death and taxes are certain my nimble friend.
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:51 AM   #53
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To be precise, it's not a very eReader friendly platform. As noted above, I can buy Kindle and AdobeDRM books on the Chromebook and read them there. What we can't do is use the Chromebook to register those DRM-protected files and sideload them to an eReader.

(If your preferred reading device is a wireless-enabled Kindle, Android phone or tablet, though, you could buy your books via the Chromebook and they'd be delivered automatically to the reading device.)
Chromebooks pose no obstacle for ebooks for me. I can purchase or borrow Kindle ebooks on my Nexus 4 and then read them on my Kindle 4. No computer needed whatsoever.

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We also don't have a great way to manage non-DRM protected ebooks, as we can't run Calibre on a Chromebook without dual-booting to a Linux environment, but we can use Google Drive or the local file manager to organise the files and sideload using USB to the eReader.
Dual booting isn't a problem for me; just as long as the programs I use can be run.

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As you say, though, we're currently stuffed for audiobooks via Overdrive. That's at least partly due to the proprietary nature of WMA. By the same token, Microsoft seem to be in no hurry to release a version of Skype that will run on ChromeOS.
This is the major roadblock for me. I value audiobooks far more than ebooks. I need a computer that will allow me to borrow OverDrive WMA audiobooks from a public library and then allow me to load them onto my Sansa Clip, iPod touch, or any of my Android devices I have.

I realize the OverDrive app will allow me to borrow and listen to MP3 audiobooks on my Android and iOS devices, but that format is in the minority. By far, most library audiobooks are in WMA format.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:02 AM   #54
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I love our chromebook. Easily enough for seniors, beefy enough for any hardcore nix nerd (not me). Urban theft is not uncommon and the State has liberties at the border -- a easy to wipe cheap chromebook has some utility here.

No prolonged updates like our Win and Mac machines.

I could not teach my mother how to use the old iPad gen1 I wanted to hand down to her: tap here to turn on wifi, tap this app square to get the browser, tap here to enter your search, etc..

She was frustrated with learning gestures, what app does what; she just wanted to research places she likes to travel.

Chromebook: Just flip open and use; close lid when done.

Her reply: "That is perfect for me!"

She is used to going to the library and using the computer to browse there.

The typewriter came before the touchscreen-- keys vs gestures

Now I just have to get her a Google account.

I suspect a lot of seniors are in the same boat.


As for our use: I use the chromebook more than the iPad due to instant on and primarily the keyboard which i have to pair when typing on the iPad.
I get inexpensive Linux laptop with power management from ChromeOS courtesy of crouton.
Crouton adds a chroot and I journal with vim (vimwiki) and browse with Firefox. A key macro switches me back to ChromeOS.

Offline ChromeOS SUCKED like 6 months ago, but now with Caret and Text; editing is great and secure offline.

epubs are referenced (i read on kindle or phone) with Readium and I've yet to find a decent offline reader but primary use is web web web.

What do people use a computer for.... alot?

Other cons are lack of java based / enterprisey stuff like GotoMeeting but there are some remote software that I haven't tried weaving through yet. Also stuff not compiled for my Samsung ARM I have to build from source like Truecrypt.

I would tell all the pundits: try it for a month then go back to your land of downloading updates

Chromebook gets the 80/20 job done fer $250?!
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:14 AM   #55
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...

I suspect a lot of seniors are in the same boat.

....
Dang, I missed the boat.....

P.S. Good for her!
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:18 PM   #56
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I'm pretty sick of everyone trying to be a salesmen these days. Just honestly, every damn person on the internet who's into tech has to have a word in about how great the device their using is and why everything else is subpar. On some message boards it's just unbelievable at how ignorant some people can be. Especially when people go on Apple related sections of sites and make these types of posts.

That article was a waste of time, it just told us that the guy thought the other guys were "wrong" about their opinion and showed Chrome being used in some ridiculous instances. The same BS that people argue of why Android is better than iOS.
If it was a "Chromebook is the best EVAR!" article, it would be a waste. It's not the same as saying Android is better than iOS, it isn't saying that Chromebook is better than other systems. The article is responding to the sort of things you object to.

If someone says that a computer is wrong for them, they are almost certainly correct. The problem is when people insist that a computer is wrong for me, regardless of what I think about it. If someone insists that the Chromebook is wrong for me, they are incorrect.

If someone wants to play World of Warcraft, the Chromebook is not for them. If they often find themselves in a location where WiFi is not available, the Chromebook may not be for them. If they need to have installed applications, then the Chromebook is not for them. I fully acknowledge that the Chromebook is not for everyone.

The problem with fanboys is that they can't imagine that other people might use technology differently than they do. I have too little free time to play World of Warcraft. I use my Chromebook at home, so I always have WiFi. I can get by with what the web offers. Just because a computer isn't right for everyone doesn't mean it is wrong for everyone.

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I can hook up a controller to my MacBook Pro and do the same thing. And I'm not limited to just the games that can run in a browser.
No one said you couldn't play games on the MacBook Pro.

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But then again, aren't we supposed to advocate REAL work being done on these machines and not just screwing around and being distracted like that guy apparently is?
People should use their computers for whatever tasks they wish to use them for.

Last edited by QuantumIguana; 11-14-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #57
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That's cool, but I'd have to know with 100% certainty that it would work with whatever Chromebook I might get. I only want one computer and it must run all of the programs I use; not most of them.
Sorry, I won't be trying this. I found nobody claiming definitively that it would work on Crouton. And even if it could be installed on my Intel Celeron Chromebook, it would probably be agonizingly slow on an ARM-based Chromebook, so wouldn't fit your criterion of "work with whatever Chromebook I get"--it would have to be an Intel-based Chromebook, if it would even work.

Besides, if you were the real tubemonkey, I might risk my extra-clean installation to give back for all you do. But the real tubemonkey, the one who gathers all these deals for us and entices us to buy (I got one bargain PRS-350 because of you), would NEVER want only one computer. Tubemonkey is a multiple-multiple-multiple device person.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:16 PM   #58
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Of course.

And I understand that some people can get by with a Chromebook. However, I don't like the repetitive articles by people in the tech space pushing it towards the other people in the tech space who aren't onboard.

If it's not for everybody, then why keep writing pieces that say it's not?
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #59
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Of course.

And I understand that some people can get by with a Chromebook. However, I don't like the repetitive articles by people in the tech space pushing it towards the other people in the tech space who aren't onboard.

If it's not for everybody, then why keep writing pieces that say it's not?
I don't recall seeing endless articles pushing the Chromebook. Most of the articles are rants from people who can't imagine it might be of use to someone.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:39 PM   #60
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Whatever it does, if a device or a piece of software is in any way dependent on a third-party, then I don't want it.

I'll never use online-only applications, I'll never use software that depends on a permanent internet connection to function (yeah, I know: I browser does. No wise-cracking here, you know what I mean), and I'll certainly never store any documents in a cloud.

I'm staying off-line with all of my data and software, forever.

That enables me to use a piece of data or software as long as I have a platform to run it on, be it a real computer running a real operating system, a virtual machine running an old operating system, an emulator, or even something like WINE on Linux.

The only reason that I accept the Windows activation is because I *need* that operating system for some of my software (and games). In 2020, when Windows 7 will go out of support, I'll re-install it, and update and activate it, after which I'll create an image. That way, I'll be able to run it on this computer as long as the hardware lasts.

A Chromebook heavily depends on online services, and thus it changes when the online service changes. I detest that. I don't want my computer to change suddenly.
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