The Myths About Chromebooks

Yes, I have written often about Chromebooks but my latest article has generated a lot of comments. Permit me at least one more article to answer some frequently-asked-questions…

lenovo-thinkpad-13

There are lots of myths concerning the $150-to-$300 Chromebooks. You will hear people say (or write online) “Chromebooks are just a browser” or “Chromebooks don’t work offline” or “Chromebooks don’t perform many tasks” or “Chromebooks aren’t secure” or similar nonsense. Lenovo has a video that dispels those myths.

To be sure, this video is an advertisement for a Lenovo Chromebook ThinkPad 13, one of the higher-end Chromebooks. However, most of the information in the ad applies to ALL Chromebooks and the bit of info that is specific to the Lenovo is obvious.

“Hard drives and desktops? That’s so yesterday!”

Take a look below or at https://9to5google.com/2016/11/28/lenovo-busts-chromebook-myths/

10 Comments

We have two chromebooks, and use them all the time. The only drawback is not being able to create a hardcopy document.

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    —> The only drawback is not being able to create a hardcopy document.

    You can print from any Chromebook, even select different printers. For instance, you can configure two different printers in any Chromebook: one at home and one at the office. When you want to print something, just select the appropriate printer and the output will appear on that printer. That’s true even if you are thousands of miles away from the printer at the time.

    There are many online articles that describe how to print with a Chromebook. You can start at https://duckduckgo.com/?q=chromebook+printer&t=h_&ia=web to find those articles.

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Any thoughts on replacing an Android tablet with a chromebook? I have an aging 7″ tablet I really like but the performance is beginning to be unreliable.

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So if there is no storage in a chromebook, I assume using genealogical software like FTM is not possible then?

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    —> So if there is no storage in a chromebook,

    There is a lot of storage in a Chromebook. But you won’t need all of it.

    All Chromebooks will have somewhere between 16 and 64 gigabytes of internal storage space PLUS room for a plug-in Secure Digital card (which can be up to about 200 gigabytes of storage space) plus USB sockets for flash drives and other USB peripherals. 256 gigabyte flash drives are common these days and bigger capacity ones are available at rather high prices. Of course, you can use multiple flash drives, should you wish to do so. You can also plug-in external hard drives to the USB connector. 8-terabyte (which is 8,000 gigabytes) hard drives are common these days and even higher capacity drives are available.

    HOWEVER, most Chromebook owners find they only will use a fraction of that amount. The last time I looked at my Chromebook, after about one year of frequent use, I have used about 4 gigabytes of its internal 16 gigabytes of storage space. I doubt if I will ever fill 16 gigabytes.

    Chromebooks are designed to use secure file storage space online (“in the cloud”) as their primary storage. That is more secure and more or less infinite. You can have hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of storage in the cloud, always backed up instantly and always available to your other computers, if any. The internal storage is used primarily for the operating system although you can also use the internal storage for data files, digital pictures, movies, and more, should you wish to do so. However, I never do that. I store all my data in the cloud where it is safer, is backed up, and is instantly available to my desktop computer(s). It is also to share files in the cloud with others, if I wish to do that. (I do that occasionally with relatives and once in a while with a newsletter reader or two.)

    In short, it is almost impossible to ever fill up the storage space in a Chromebook.

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So, is there a list somewhere out there that shows which genealogy software programs will load and work on a Chromebook? And while you have to download the install program for LiberOffice (thereby eliminating the need for a CD/ROM option), not sure that major software application will run on a Chromebook. I might be behind the times in information, though.

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I am considering purchasing a Chromebook. When you speak of unlimited storage “in the cloud”, I assume there is a monthly cost involved (no free lunches and all that!). Can you give me a ballpark figure on what I should expect to pay for all of this unlimited storage? My family tree is on Ancestry.com and I have downloaded it to a flash drive. However, I can only access the information from the flash drive if the location I am using subscribes to Ancestry.com. So, basically, it’s a bit useless. One more question, If my family tree from Ancestry.com is stored in the cloud and I decide to e-mail it to a relative, will they be able to open it if they do not subscribe to Ancestry.com.???? If they cannot, then this is also useless to me. The cloud seems like a good option, maybe, but I am concerned about costs and what can and cannot be viewed when software like Ancestry or My Heritage, etc. is involved. Thank you.

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    —> When you speak of unlimited storage “in the cloud”, I assume there is a monthly cost involved (no free lunches and all that!).

    Yes and no. Different cloud-based storage services typically include some free storage space but the amount included varies from one company to another. For instance, Dropbox only gives 2 gigabytes of free storage space, Google Drive gives 15 gigabytes of free storage space (and will give even more storage space free with certain promotions, such as when you buy a Chromebook), while Mega.nz gives 50 gigabytes of free storage space. There are some other file storage services that will give up to 100 gigabytes of free storage space.

    Also, Amazon Family Vault offers UNLIMITED Photo Storage free of charge. You can store hundreds of thousands of pictures at no charge.

    One company, called pCloud, is offering one terabyte (that is 1,000 gigabytes) Lifetime Premium Cloud Storage for $60. I haven’t used the company’s services so I cannot make any recommendations about their service. However, LIFETIME access to one terabyte for $60 is an attractive offer. The offer is good this week only. See https://deals.androidauthority.com/sales/pcloud-premium-lifetime-subscription for the details.

    If you need more space than that you can (1.) spread your data out over multiple file storage services or (2.) pay for additional storage space. With most of the file storage services, the price for purchasing additional storage space is quite reasonable.

    —> Can you give me a ballpark figure on what I should expect to pay for all of this unlimited storage?

    Anywhere from free to perhaps $10 a month, depending upon how much space you require. Commercial companies often pay more than that simply because they need a lot of disk space. However, I doubt if many private individuals pay more than $10 a month. That will store a LOT of pictures, documents, genealogy databases, and much more.

    —> One more question, If my family tree from Ancestry.com is stored in the cloud and I decide to e-mail it to a relative, will they be able to open it if they do not subscribe to Ancestry.com.????

    No. That is a restriction of Ancestry.com. The company uses a proprietary file structure that is not used by anyone else. However, I believe there is also an additional option to download a GEDCOM file which IS used by all other modern genealogy programs so the bottom-line answer is: “You can share with others if you select the correct option.”

    —> The cloud seems like a good option, maybe, but I am concerned about costs and what can and cannot be viewed when software like Ancestry or My Heritage, etc. is involved.

    First of all, you never get a sudden surprise about costs with any of the leading companies. All the companies I know of will notify you when you fill up the available space and will ask your permission before charging you for any more space. Next, your data is available to you (alone) in your desktop computer, laptop, tablet, cell phone, and anyplace else you need it. Finally, you can OPTIONALLY share the data with others if you want to and if you and the other person are both using compatible software. However, if you wish to keep your data private, visible only to you, that is also easy to do with most of the cloud-based services.

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