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Another Reason Why a Genealogist Might Want to Buy a Chromebook

Acer_ChromebookI have written a number of times (see to find my earlier articles) about Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop computers that boot up quickly, are simple to use, never get viruses, and perform the computer tasks that many computer owners want.

Chromebooks also have a long-life battery life. A Chromebook does not slow down over time and there are no long boot times — just flip it open and get busy doing anything other than waiting.

Because Chromebooks safely and securely store almost all data in the cloud, nothing is lost if you break or lose a Chromebook. It’s all in the cloud, no matter what. As a result, a thief can steal your Chromebook but will not gain access to any of your personal information or documents. And because the technical requirements for running Chrome apps are so low, you still get reasonable performance, even from a sub-$200 laptop.

One of the weaknesses of Chromebooks has been the lack of good genealogy apps. That is now changing.

Get an Acer Chromebook 11 CB3 for $90

Acer_Chromebook_11_CB3UPDATE: This apparently was a very popular offer. It apparently sold out within a few hours. There are none left.

I have written a number of times about Chromebook laptops. (See for my past Chromebook articles.) I love mine and use it often. Chromebooks are not for everyone but they have become very popular, amongst the hottest-selling laptops on Amazon and from other retailers. As of the time I write these words, a Chromebook is the third most popular laptop sold by Amazon. (See for the sales figures.)

Writing in the CheapSkate Blog, Rick Broida now describes the Acer Chromebook 11 CB3 for $90, plus $5 for shipping. In my opinion, that is a GREAT deal, especially as the normal retail price of this Chromebook  at is $199.

Use Dropbox on Your Chromebook and Add it to File Manager

I have written a number of times about Chromebooks. Click here to find my past Chromebook articles. These low-cost laptop computers are great for many purposes even though they do not have many genealogy apps. Chromebooks can save files and documents in any of several cloud file storage services or in the Chromebook’s internal hard drive or in a Secure Digital memory card or in a flashdrive or other external storage device that connects via the USB connector.

The Chromebook’s default is to use Google Drive for storage. Many people prefer Dropbox. Of course, you can always use Dropbox’s web interface at but now there is an easier way.


File System for Dropbox is a free Chrome app that integrates your Dropbox files right into Chrome OS’s file manager. I just installed it on my Chromebook and found it is easy to use, faster than using the Dropbox web interface, and it quickly finds files by using the Chromebook’s SEARCH option.

The $99 Chromebook

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks, the low-cost laptop computers designed primarily for use with the cloud. (See for a list of my past articles about Chromebooks.) Now we will see the lowest-priced (so far) Chromebook on Black Friday.

CB3-111_White_nontouchBlack Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US, a day when retailers offer a number of very low prices on their products in an effort to entice Christmas shoppers into their stores in hopes they will purchase the sale-priced item and more. Best Buy reportedly will offer the Acer Chromebook with an 11.6-inch display, Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM memory, and 16 gigabytes of built-in storage. The price will be just $99, or $60 less than its normal price.

Easy File Encryption on your Chromebook, Windows, or Macintosh Computer with miniLock

A few people have phobias about placing their personal files in online file storage services, even though the online services have proven to be safer and more reliable than saving the same files on your own computer’s hard drive. Sadly, most of these users do not know how easy it is to add bulletproof security: simply encrypt your files before storing them ANYWHERE: online, on your computer’s hard drive, in a flashdrive, or anyplace else. Encryption is used by military and government agencies, by banks, by stock brokers, and, yes, even by drug dealers, to make sure nobody else can read the information. You can do the same. Encryption works well.

I wrote about one easy method of encrypting files in my Privacy Blog web site at If you want to keep any files secure, I suggest you read the article there.

Convert Your Old Windows or Macintosh Computer into a Chromebook Clone

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks. (See for a list of my previous articles about Chromebooks.) These inexpensive laptop computers are great for many purposes. One obvious use is to provide a computer for anyone who is not computer literate, including children, senior citizens, or any adult who has never had a need to learn much about computers. The Chromebooks are simple: they just work.


Chromebooks typically cost $200 to $300 although you can occasionally find them for less if you watch the sales. That’s cheap, but not free. Now a company called Neverware can provide software that will convert your old Windows or Macintosh into the functional equivalent of a Chromebook. Best of all, the software is FREE for individuals.

Add a Printer to your Android Device, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Chromebook, Windows or Macintosh Computer

Google Cloud PrintGoogle Cloud Print is a great service that allows you to connect printers (anywhere in the world) to Android and Apple mobile devices as well as to Chromebook and traditional Windows and Macintosh computers. Several of these devices can even share one printer. I often see things on the screen of my cell phone or tablet computer or Chromebook that I would like to print. However, you cannot simply plug a printer into those devices. Google Cloud Print solves the problem.

When traveling with a Windows, Macintosh, or Chromebook laptop computer, I normally do not carry a printer with me. How can I print something? Most hotels offer business centers that have printers available, and I do use those often. However, when at a coffee shop or a restaurant or even on an airplane, I don’t have access to a local printer. Instead, I occasionally want to print something on the printer back home, where it will be available to me when I return. Again, Google Cloud Print solves the problem.

Make an Easy Switch to Chromebook Now (and Never Look Back)

I have written a number of times about Chromebooks, the inexpensive and very useful laptop computers. (See for a list of my past articles about Chromebooks.)

chromebookI have owned a Chromebook for three years or so and use it often. It is very secure, boots up quickly, and it only cost about $200. Best of all, its software is always up to date, the same as the newest Chromebooks. The newer Chromebooks may be a bit lighter and have faster processors, but my older system’s software is identical to what is installed in the brand-new Chromebooks.

Unlike Microsoft and Apple products, Chromebooks automatically update the operating system whenever a new version is released. Most releases are small, incremental improvements and are released every few weeks. There is never a huge download like Windows 10 or the Macintosh OS X Yosemite that change lots of things and sometimes break installed programs.

Buy a Refurbished Chromebook for $119.99

This has to be the best bargain of the week: an Acer 11.6″ Chromebook Laptop for only $119.99, including shipping, while supplies last. I am guessing these won’t last long.

I have written a number of times about Chromebook laptop computers. (See my previous articles by starting at and especially my Why Use a Chromebook? article at

Chromebooks are excellent low-cost laptop computers that are very easy to use. They boot up quickly, never gets viruses, and seem to be very reliable. I have owned a Chromebook for several years and use it often. A number of my friends also use Chromebooks, either for themselves or for their children. I also know a 90-year-old lady who uses a Chromebook frequently. All seem pleased with them. However, if you are looking for a laptop that is as powerful as your present Windows or Macintosh system, a Chromebook probably is not for you except possibly as a traveling system.

Update: A $129 Chromebook

Since I published the article of A $129 Chromebook at yesterday, several newsletter readers have written to ask if their favorite application(s) will run on a Chromebook. I am always willing to look those up for you but there is a faster and probably easier way to do it yourself: go to the Chrome Web Store at and enter the name of your desired application into the box labeled “Search the store” and then press Enter.

A $129 Chromebook

I have written several times about the advantages of using a low-priced Chromebook laptop computer. (See my previous articles about Chromebooks by starting at I have also stated a number of times that the “prices keep dropping.” That is certainly true today as BestBuy is now selling an Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook for $129.

This isn’t a refurbished or otherwise used laptop. It is brand-new, still sealed in the box from the factory. You can purchase it in a BestBuy store or order it online with free shipping. Where else will you find a full-sized laptop capable of running tens of thousands of programs for $129?

Introducing $149 Chromebook Laptop Computers

I have often written “the price of hardware keeps dropping” and that has never been more true than today. This morning, Microsoft announced a new 1.37 pound Surface 3 tablet with Windows 8.1 selling for $499. (See my earlier article at for details.) A few hours later Google announced that two companies will soon sell Chromebook laptop computers for $149 each. That is a very attractive price for a full-sized laptop computer that can run tens of thousands of programs!

Today’s announcement of $149 Chromebooks is only going to make these systems more popular. I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of youngsters found Chromebooks under the Christmas tree later this year. Quite a few adults may do the same.

Developed by Google but manufactured by a number of different companies, a Chromebook is a laptop computer for yourself, a child, a grandchild, or for an adult with limited or no computer experience. These low-cost systems also have become very popular in schools and in corporations where dozens, even hundreds, of computers need to be made available in identical configurations. As of last July, Google boasted it had sold more than a million Chromebook units to schools the previous quarter alone. System maintenance costs on Chromebooks are almost zero, much cheaper than the cost of maintaining a large number of Windows computers.

Want a Cheap Linux Computer? Buy a Chromebook!

I have written often about Chromebook computers. See for a list of my earlier articles concerning Chromebooks. I have one of the early Chromebook models and use it often. Most Chromebooks sell for $200 to $300 and yet meet all the needs of many computer users. Early Chromebooks were limited to running cloud-based applications that required an Internet connection all the time. However, the programmers continue to add new features and now you can perform many tasks offline when using the Chrome operating system. (See for details.)

Technically-savvy users have also been able to reformat the hard drives and install Linux almost since the day the first Chromebook appeared. However, a new method of installing Linux allows both the Chrome operating system and a full version of Linux to run simultaneously. Linux will operate in a window within the Chrome operating system. Not bad for a cheap computer!

HSTRY – Create Multimedia Timelines on Your Laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or Tablet

HSTRY is a FREE multimedia timeline creation tool that will work on your laptop, Chromebook, iPad, or tablet. It is designed for classroom use by teachers and students. However, I think it is also a great tool for use in history and genealogy. The first application that springs to mind is showing historical events that happened during an ancestor’s lifetime. Another use is to record the births, marriages, deaths, and other important events within a family over a period of years, possibly over centuries.


HSTRY is free to use to create and share timelines. The company does offer some pre-made timelines for sale.

Photo Editing Just Like Photoshop on a Chromebook

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks, the low-cost laptops that boot up quickly, never get viruses, and have price tags of $180 to $300 or so. Their security, ease of use, and portability is rapidly making them a popular choice for schools, businesses, and university students – all of whom are taking note of their advantages.

When Chromebooks first appeared, they were limited to using simple programs that ran in a web browser. However, time marches on and so do the programmers. Chromebooks today can do most, although not all, of the tasks that a Macintosh or Windows laptop can accomplish.

Buy a Chromebook and Receive 1 Terabyte of Free Google Storage for Two Years

Are you thinking of storing a lot of files in a cloud-based file storage service, such as Google Drive? Here’s a deal for you: buy a Chromebook.

Google is now offering one terabyte of storage FREE of charge for two years to anyone who purchases a new Chromebook laptop computer and redeems the offer by January 31, 2015.

Get your calculators out and do the math: one terabyte of storage on Google Drive normally costs $9.99 per month. Multiply that by 24 months for a total of $239.76. Let’s round that up to $240 for simplicity’s sake.

The Recent Growth of Chromebooks: Right For You?

I have written often about Chromebooks, the low-cost competitor to Windows and Macintosh laptop computers. (My earlier Chromebook articles can be found by starting at I purchased one of the first Chromebooks and still use it often. As Mark Spoonaur writes in Laptop Magazine:

Whether it’s because of their very affordable prices or an aversion to Windows 8′s complexity, more and more shoppers are buying Chromebooks. There are some valid reasons to choose a Chromebook over a Windows machine, including a very intuitive interface (it’s largely browser based), a lack of upgrade headaches, and less worrying about malware. And while Chromebooks have limited offline capability, there’s a growing number of apps that work without a Wi-Fi connection.

In fact, sales of desktop and laptop computers have been declining in the past few years; but ABI Research found that, in the most recent quarter, Chromebook shipments increased by 67 percent, quarter over quarter. The research company expects that, year over year, Chromebooks shipments will double. (Details may be found at ABI Research Analyst Stephanie Van Vactor made a statement that “Consumers are hungry for a product that is cost effective but also provides the versatility and functionality of a laptop. The growth of the Chromebook market demonstrates a niche that is gaining traction among consumers.”

Chromebooks vs. Windows Laptops: What Should You Buy?

I have written often about the advantages of Chromebooks when compared to Windows systems. (See my past Chromebook articles by starting at Now Laptop Magazine has published a side-by-side comparison by Anna Attkisson of Chromebooks versus Windows. If you are considering the purchase of either a Windows or Chromebook laptop, you will want to read the article.

Attkisson compares the following:

Get a 14-inch HP Chromebook and Free 4G Wireless for $179.99 or $199.99

I have written often about the low-cost Chromebook computers and how useful they are. I own one of the earlier Chromebooks and use it often. Now Rick Broida has found a bargain that is appealing. (I love the bargains that Rick finds!) This Chromebook has much better specs than my aging computer.

The refurbished HP Chromebook 14 is available for $179.99, plus $5 for shipping. That’s for the white model with 2 gigabytes of RAM memory. If you want 4 gigabytes of RAM and your choice of white, turquoise, or peach, the price jumps to just $199.99.

The best thing of all is the included 200 megabytes of monthly wireless data connections, courtesy of T-Mobile, at no extra charge. This laptop is not limited to short-range wi-fi networks, although it can use wi-fi also. As long as you are within range of a T-Mobile cell phone tower, you can read and write email messages, surf the web, and do most anything else you want to do online. There is no annual contract and no credit card required to activate the service. (I have the same service in my iPad and use it often.)

Forget Linux – A Chromebook is the Perfect Replacement for Windows XP

Here is one more article about Chromebooks. This one was written by Daniel Price and is available on the MakeUseOf web site at

You can read my earlier articles about Chromebooks by starting at and at