Chromebooks and ChromeOS

How to know when ChromeOS support is ending on your ChromeBook

(Tue Feb 26 2019 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Chromebooks are so perfect at what they do - light weight computing that just works. We bought our Acer C720's a few years ago and then haven't thought a bit about whether Google would keep support going, meaning continuing to patch and update the software. Turns out that Google's promise is approximately 6 years of support updates for each ChromeBook model. That timeline is not from the date you purchased your device, but from the date the specific model was launched.

Google starting Androidization of ChromeOS with v70 release due mid-October

(Wed Aug 29 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) ChromeOS 70 is due in mid-October, and this video demonstrates many new features that are directly related to Android P. Remember that ChromeOS is in a transition period with incorporating Android Application support, Linux support, and tablet computers. The video says there is indications a new ChromeOS tablet is on its way, and should be announced in early October.

Crostini is here, allowing Linux apps on Chromebooks, should supplant Crouton

(Sat Jul 07 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) A few months ago enticing news surfaced of Crostini which would hugely simplify running Linux on a Chromebook. It is starting to be available now, and with the right ChromeOS device you can run Android and Linux applications side-by-side with the familiar web browser environment of ChromeOS.

Crostini supports running Linux apps on Chromebooks, should supplant Crouton

(Mon Apr 23 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) Chromebooks are built on Linux, but does not allow access to the command line -- for security reasons. Therefore it's attractive to access the command-line, and Crouton has existed for years allowing us to install a Linux version on a Chromebook. Crouton requires the Chromebook to be put into Developer mode. Crostini is different as it is leveraging virtual machine and/or container technology Google is building into ChromeOS.

HP Chromebook x2, worlds first detachable screen Chromebook tablet/notebook

(Sun Apr 08 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) A tablet-like computer running both ChromeOS and Android, with a detachable keyboard, has exciting potential. The keyboard is there if/when required, and it operates as a tablet (with pen) when/if required. Potentially it's the best of both worlds, offering keyboard, touch, and pen input, to applications running in either browser or Android applications. The pen is only available for selected models. As a tablet, it is an ultra-thin device (8.2mm) weighing a diminuitive 1.62 lbs. Attaching the keyboard makes it 15mm, and increases weight to 3.14 lbs. It sports a 7th generation Core processor, up to 8GB memory, up to 32GB SSD storage, and has an MicroSD slot for up to 256GB external storage. It has two USB type C ports for charging and data transfer. Price starts at US $599, with availability starting in June 2018 through the HP online store and Best Buy.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10, First Chrome OS Tablet

(Mon Mar 26 2018 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) The first Chromebook Tablet computer has arrived from Acer. It is a 9.7 inch tablet that weighs just 1.21 lbs. It is geared for the education market, and some of the specs (5 megapixel rear camera) are not top end. It does include the Google Play store for easy access to Android applications. It comes standard with a Wacom EMR stylus for drawing on the screen or taking notes.

Installing Android on (almost) any Chromebook

(Fri Apr 14 2017 00:00:00 GMT+0300 (Eastern European Summer Time)) Android has come to ChromeOS devices, which is supposedly great if your device is one of the few for which Android is supported. What if your Chromebook or Chromebox does not support Android? This video shows a method for installing the Android Play Store on those devices which will eventually be allowed to run Android apps. It involves putting the device into Developer Mode and running the Canary builds, so this is not for the faint of heart. After some other low-level tweekery, you have the Android Play Store.

Installing Skype, photo/video editing, word processors, and more on a Chromebook

(Wed Mar 01 2017 00:00:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Chromebooks offer respite from antivirus software hassles, system maintenance hassles, and more. The idea is that with the Chrome web browser as the only user interface, people can compute in safety. But what about the whole slew of existing software that runs outside web browsers - Skype being just one example. What about video or audio editing? What about traditional word processors or spreadsheet applications? None of those run inside a web browser. Yet. For a long period of time the only way to install Skype involved installing Crouton, the add-on supporting Linux software as described below. Since this was originally posted in Feb 2014, Microsoft released an official Skype for Chromebooks. However, Crouton is still useful because of the need for other software such as Gimp, for image manipulation.

Revisiting software development on Chromebooks - rapidly improving state of Chrome apps for developers

(Thu Nov 12 2015 01:25:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Chromebooks make surprisingly great laptops for software developers. If you don't know much about the Chromebook model, you might dismiss it as just a web-browser with delusions of grandeur. I'm a long-time software developer, writing code for a living since the mid-80's primarily on Unix/Linux/MacOSX systems, and I've pretty much abandoned my MacBookPro in favor of a Chromebook. The Chromebook is much faster than the MacBook (primarily due to the SSD drive), and lots lots lots cheaper to buy/own than any MacBook or MacBookPro. Yes the Chromebook doesn't have native code apps, but there is a growing list of Chrome apps available and if you're desparate enough for native app support you can always jailbreak the thing and install Linux and access the open source native apps. The result is a system with a top-of-the-line modern web browser (Chrome), with a hugely great security story, many very interesting Chrome apps, and the possibility to install Linux.

Can I use a Chromebook with ATT DSL? Or other WiFi router to the Internet?

(Thu Nov 12 2015 01:25:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) Chromebooks are popular inexpensive computers that are wonderful to use around the house for light-weight web surfing and e-mail and writing. Chromebooks connect to WiFi and sometimes to Ethernet. They can connect to any LAN supporting either. If that LAN has a gateway to the Internet, they can easily use that gateway and provide access to the general Internet.

Mounting Dropbox, SFTP and other remote filesystems on ChromeOS

(Sat Mar 28 2015 12:14:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time))

A crazy limitation of Chromebooks has been the inability to access remote file systems (other than Google Drive). While Google Drive is a fine cloud oriented file system, and works great with Google Docs, I need to access files on my Drobo (with SMB/CIFS protocol), or various remote services like Dropbox or an SFTP connection to webservers. My needs may be a little more complex than most because of the web development work I do. Anyone contemplating adopting a Chromebook in a business would have to be nervous about handing company documents or other files over to Google for safekeeping. Hence, there's a serious need for Chromebooks to access remote file systems other than Google Drive.

Successfully mounting Drobo shares from a Chromebook with Crouton w/ Ubuntu 14.04 installed

(Mon Feb 16 2015 13:10:00 GMT+0200 (Eastern European Standard Time)) The last couple weeks I've switched my working environment from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook that has Ubuntu installed under Crouton. A lot of my work is developing Node.js software, and writing website content, and my habits are to live at the command line typing commands. But it also means accessing the large amount of content I have stashed on the MacBook Pro, and a Drobo 5N. MacOSX can easily mount shares on the Drobo, letting me access those files as if they were on the local machine. By default Chromebooks cannot do this, meaning the Chrome browser side of my Chromebook cannot (at this time) access anything stored on the Drobo. Because Ubuntu is installed (via Crouton), that side of the Chromebook theoretically can mount shares on the Drobo, but I ran into problems trying to directly mount the SMB share using Ubuntu 14.04 tools. Fortunately I've developed an alternate method that's nearly as good and quite easy to implement.