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Old 11-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #121
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The two ARM Chromebooks use a Samsung chip that's more usually found in tablets and phones. I had a look at the technical manual and it would appear that it can address up to 4GB RAM, but various reviews I've read have said that the maximum the chipset could handle was 2GB. . . . The rumours are that the next generation ARM Chromebooks from Samsung are going to be able to address more memory.
If I understand you and ApK correctly, Chromebooks can be augmented in terms of RAM and drive space, but if RAM's a priority, then one must be careful to choose a Chromebook with a processor that can handle the upgrade.

In an age of miniaturization, I'd have thought that Chromebooks would be designed to avoid allowing people those options. Awfully glad to know they aren't. Does anyone have links to sites, blogs or user posts in which people detail their upgrades? I used to see that sort of thing done to netbooks on Bit-Tech and the Sammy Netbooks Forums.

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(This stunting of the ability to add memory for Chromebooks makes me think that some of the semi-Machiavellian theories about the big PC companies changing PCs into appliances that have to be replaced every 2 years, and also moving all computing power to the cloud isn't totally overblown.)
As much as I respect and admire Niccolò Machiavelli, his name is usually invoked whenever someone does something clandestine and unscrupulously self-serving.

Do you mean that the theories are about Machiavellian strategies or that they themselves are Machiavellian? If the theories as opposed to the strategies were Machiavellian, then I'd expect them either to celebrate the ingenuity of planned obsolescence or engineer some nefarious end through their meticulously calibrated sociopolitical effect.

BTW: I'm not trying to be a usage Nazi (see next parenthetical) so much as sort out what people mean when they use the word Machiavellian. (Godwin and I have always considered it unfair that the term is two gradations away from Hitlerian!)

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Old 11-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #122
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If I understand you and ApK correctly, Chromebooks can be augmented in terms of RAM and drive space, but if RAM's a priority, then one must be careful to choose a Chromebook with a processor that can handle the upgrade.
I should point out that as well as possibly the processor not being able to handle the upgrade, the RAM is also soldered in place on the ARM Chromebooks.

But, as noted, some other makes do have RAM you can upgrade. I think we'll see an increasing variety of devices. More RAM does make more sense with Chromebooks, as it will allow more tabs/windows to be open at once. However, 2GB is certainly adequate for the ARM Chromebooks, whose main focus is to be light, cheap and have a long battery life.

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #123
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I think you're referring to the Samsung Series 5s rather than HP. Those were built on Intel chips and so could address more memory, and were more costly.

The two ARM Chromebooks use a Samsung chip that's more usually found in tablets and phones. I had a look at the technical manual and it would appear that it can address up to 4GB RAM, but various reviews I've read have said that the maximum the chipset could handle was 2GB.

I don't think there's anything too Machiavellian going on. The rumours are that the next generation ARM Chromebooks from Samsung are going to be able to address more memory.

Graham
That sounds correct about the series 5.

On the other hand I stand pat on my Machiavellian theme. The intention is to reduce the hardware life cycle and make everything work off of licensed and payment plans for the cloud.

SAAS! "software as a service" and "storage as a service"
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:46 PM   #124
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There are two very valid reasons why Chromebooks are not the right choice for a lot of people, so not usually the people who are the loudest contributors to the shouting match...um...conversation:

1. Need for ubiquitous, high-speed connection. Lots of people do not live in a world where they get always-available high-speed Internet. I often have trouble with my Internet connection at home. I find dead spots on my smartphone. I travel underground during my commute. Having to plan ahead and download a document I want to work on before I get into the subway is a nuisance and having to wait until I'm out of the subway to ensure my changes are saved to my Google Drive are serious limitations.

2. Money. You can go on about how cheap they are, but most discussions about how great they are include phrases like "With a Chromebook, I find myself reach for my laptop less and less" and "When I need to do more than my tablet allows, I grab my Chromebook" and "It's so much lighter than lugging a laptop". All these conversations illustrate that this is a "sometimes" tool that one uses, selected from a range of options a user has. Well, I can't afford a bunch of toys that do mostly the same thing. I'm typing this on a six-year-old laptop because I can't afford another computer right now. I'd be happy to have a tablet or two (a ten inch and a seven), but food and rent come first. My e-reader was purchased refurbished from the manufacturer during a sale. My smartphone didn't require a cash outlay but has me tied to my provider, unless I want to pay it off. This argument about about how totally awesome a Chromebook is seems to assume that the user will have a pile of toys to choose from. I'd rather have my laptop. Not as elegant, light, or easy for some things that the Chromebook can do, but it can do those things and it can do the other things as well. If I can only have one tool, I'd rather it have maximum functionality.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:55 AM   #125
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1. Need for ubiquitous, high-speed connection. Lots of people do not live in a world where they get always-available high-speed Internet. I often have trouble with my Internet connection at home. I find dead spots on my smartphone. I travel underground during my commute. Having to plan ahead and download a document I want to work on before I get into the subway is a nuisance and having to wait until I'm out of the subway to ensure my changes are saved to my Google Drive are serious limitations.
Then there are people like me who only use a computer when they have internet access. Take the internet away and my computer is totally worthless. I'll turn it off and find something else to do.

If I had your commute, I'd listen to an audiobook.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:01 AM   #126
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Then there are people like me who only use a computer when they have internet access. Take the internet away and my computer is totally worthless. I'll turn it off and find something else to do.

If I had your commute, I'd listen to an audiobook.
Most of my computer work is done with an Internet connection (when I can make it connect). On the subway, I sometimes want to use my phone to make notes or edit part of a story I'm working on.

I used to use audiobooks a great deal when I had a 90+ minute commute each way. The Sansa Clip+ is the commuter's friend. Now I'm usually only underground for 15-20 minutes each way.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:37 AM   #127
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Most of my computer work is done with an Internet connection (when I can make it connect). On the subway, I sometimes want to use my phone to make notes or edit part of a story I'm working on.

I used to use audiobooks a great deal when I had a 90+ minute commute each way. The Sansa Clip+ is the commuter's friend. Now I'm usually only underground for 15-20 minutes each way.
90+ minutes

Thankfully, my job is only 20 minutes away and doesn't require me to use a computer outside of work. That allows me to use my computer for entertainment only. Even then, some devices get ruled out.

The only thing stopping me from getting a Chromebook is its inability to handle OverDrive audiobooks. That requires a Windows machine. Since I don't want two computers, my choices are limited.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:48 AM   #128
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I used to use audiobooks a great deal when I had a 90+ minute commute each way. The Sansa Clip+ is the commuter's friend. Now I'm usually only underground for 15-20 minutes each way.
And another devotee... all hail the mighty Sansa Clip
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:00 AM   #129
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90+ minutes
On the nether hind, a 90 to 120-minute commute allows me to catch up on lots of reading and correspondence (the commute's strictly one way; I'm provided with a town car and driver to take me home). The only drawback is when frustration with the intermittent signal or UI on my phone carries over into the tone of the discussion (as it did elsewhere in this thread!).

I've had a phobia about audiobooks ever since trying to listen to them with my Hoary iPod 4: I dislike floating or easily reverted bookmarks.

When a device tends to forget one's place and/or move one's bookmarks, then one passes endlessly through the revolving doors of repeated passages within a larger work. That can make even Tolstoy sound like La Monte Young.

Graham: Thanks for the RAM-soldered clarification. I'll avoid ARM-based Chromebooks, then (as I probably would anyway for other reasons).

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Old 11-20-2013, 03:16 AM   #130
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1. Need for ubiquitous, high-speed connection. Lots of people do not live in a world where they get always-available high-speed Internet. I often have trouble with my Internet connection at home. I find dead spots on my smartphone. I travel underground during my commute. Having to plan ahead and download a document I want to work on before I get into the subway is a nuisance and having to wait until I'm out of the subway to ensure my changes are saved to my Google Drive are serious limitations.
This is somewhat true, but perhaps not for the example you give. If your documents are in say, Microsoft Office formats, then yes, you'd need to plan ahead and download them in advance of losing your internet connection.

However, it you're working in gMail, or in Google Docs, your recent work will be available offline. The big limitation at present is Google Sheets, which you can't yet edit offline.

However, assuming you have gained access to your documents to work with offline, or have created new ones while offline, you'll find that you can save them to your Google Drive folders while still offline. The changes then sync with your online Google Drive as soon as a connection is re-established.

You can also answer your emails offline, and the messages get sent once you're back online.

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2. Money. <snip> If I can only have one tool, I'd rather it have maximum functionality.
Agreed. As you said, most commentators note that ChromeOS is not yet ready to be your only computing device. If there's functionality you need and you can only have one computer, then clearly a Chromebook is not for you.

However, if money is not completely a restriction, and Chromebooks are pretty cheap, consider that the convenience that comes with them can be an overall benefit.

Yes, I still have to deal with maintaining my Windows 7 machine, but I turn it on far less often nowadays. For most of my tasks the ChromeOS device is quicker, far quieter, and more pleasant to use.

Having all the functionality available from one device doesn't necessarily equate to having a more convenient, pleasant experience if both devices are to hand.

Of course, if there's functionality that you need when away from home, then the equation tips in favour of having the single laptop running Windows, OSX or Linux. This is why much of the conversation around Chromebooks focusses on what you can and can't do. For many, the limitations aren't a big problem when away from the second machine at home.

Graham

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Old 11-21-2013, 06:18 PM   #131
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A report attributed to Amazon France says Acer is adding touch screen to its 720 series of chromebooks.

Now if they just up the cpu.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:54 PM   #132
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A report attributed to Amazon France says Acer is adding touch screen to its 720 series of chromebooks.

Now if they just up the cpu.
The 720 has the Haswell CPU, that should be enough horse power for the intended use, no? Not to mention the reduced power consumption that comes with this generation.
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Old 11-23-2013, 03:49 AM   #133
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,,,,
Graham: Thanks for the RAM-soldered clarification. I'll avoid ARM-based Chromebooks, then (as I probably would anyway for other reasons).
Vacuum de-soldering stations or simple wicks are available, but not good for inexperienced.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:15 PM   #134
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Vacuum de-soldering stations or simple wicks are available, but not good for inexperienced.
Desoldering the old RAM would be pretty easy. Resoldering in the new RAM, with such a high pin density, would be a far different matter.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:03 PM   #135
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That sounds correct about the series 5.

On the other hand I stand pat on my Machiavellian theme. The intention is to reduce the hardware life cycle and make everything work off of licensed and payment plans for the cloud.

SAAS! "software as a service" and "storage as a service"
Earlier this week, my wife called on me for advice. It seems she is using her little Acer 4GB Ram, 320GB HDD Chromebook, that she dearly loves for its portability, for redesigning the layout of some rooms in our church. Table, chair, stand placement, aisles and the like.

She had started with a free program on the Chromebook, draw.io or something like that, but needed more power and had then moved on to the free version of Autodesk360. Knowing I used Autocad she thought I could answer some questions. Well I did, and in doing so, found out that Autodesk on the Google Chrome System has a price schedule like this.

a stunted, limited, totally minimized free version - (well free!)
1 month unrestricted (of better more complete version) use- $5
1 year unrestricted use- $50.
1 year unrestricted of best super version- $99.

SaaS!
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