Saturday, March 11, 2017

Chromebook Seduction

Blogger note: RantWoman uses several trademarked terms. This sentence reflects good intentions as far as appropriate usage of the trademark symbol. One of these days RantWoman will figure out how actually to render trademark symbols where appropriate.


The short version: RantWoman is pretty sure she wants to try out a Chromebook but is still narrowing down options.

RantWoman has duly checked out a number of Chromebook options on Amazon. RantWoman is very glad to note that most of the models come with USB drives or SD card slots or both.

RantWoman is very grateful to have access to knowledgeable and well-informed tech support. RantWoman emailed Knowledgeable and Well Informed Tech Support Person  from The Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing a list of links from Amazon and a bunch of questions. A very helpful conversation resulted the next time there was face to face time.

RantWoman has turned her search engine loose on a number of terms discussed in detail below.

Short digression for language nerds among us, the linguistic specimen of the day.

RantWoman is pretty sure the voice in the video is computer-generated. The text also seems to have been Google translated and not rechecked by a native English speaker. This sort of experience tends to make RantWoman grumpy, except that rantWoman already knows she is a little bit in technological Wild West country and did still manage to extract some key concepts and search terms. To wit:

--As of the 2017 model year Android apps are supposed to be able to play on all Chromebook devices. As if Need for Accessibility Tools were not already frequently a journey into the technological borderlands "Supposed to be able..." sounds to RantWoman like "probably journeying into the technological wild west and hardy user skills needed." Okay, hold off on trying to figure out Android TV for oneself and do not even talk about RantMom.

--But to find a list of Chromebook manufacturers and devices known to be able to play Android apps, check the website for the Chromium project. No url was mentioned but the search engine yields both Github and Wikipedia pages. RantWoman MIGHT want to look at Github but ix-nay on expecting RantMom or other average users RantWoman knows to do that.

(Readers who have no idea what Github is should probably work harder than rantWoman has to wade through comments with things like Youtube and product reviews on vendor sites. Or readers should invoke the Ask a human and then check things out online algorithm.)

Now, back up a couple steps: Recently someone handed RantWoman a Chromebook and said, basically, here. Do you want to play with it  before it gets sent off for another project. The device had access to Wifi. RantWoman had another device nearby on which to do a fast search about to turn on Chromevox, the Chrome OS built-in screen reader. RantWoman turned on Chromevox, fussed a little with screen enlargement and immediately found some Youtube videos she wanted to watch. Okay, some new non-windows keyboard shortcuts to learn. Okay...

The video break was the end of that day's technological explorations, but the ease in getting to something RantWoman wanted was more than enough to nudge RantWoman's willingness to be seduced up a notch or two. Also helpful on the willingness to be seduced front mention in an electronic venue of the possibility of running Android apps in Google chrome.

RantWoman has thought of wanting to be seduced for awhile: RantWoman has conversations about school kids and Chromebooks. The conversations tend not to include mention of accessibility but the conversations do cause RantWoman to think about whether Chromevox can be relied on for different categories of users and their needs.

RantWoman also wants a device that is bigger and has slightly different capabilities than her smartphone. RantWoman has in mind a non-separate keyboard for one thing. RantWoman really likes the price tag and the thought of being able to get along without accessibility software beyond what is built into the operating system. RantWoman is not crazy about the always needing an internet connection to store data piece. RantWoman from time to time likes to journey to places where there just IS NOT connectivity and still wants to watch videos and edit files.  RantWoman has been excited to discover that most Chromebook models come with USB ports, SD card slots, or some kind of solid state built-in storage.

Another reality:for better or worse RantWoman can probably easily afford a Chromebook based on her Amazon gift card balance, but Amazon might or might not be RantWoman's first choice for vendor. Frownie Face. Further Frownie Face for the needing to sort out cheap connectivity and data options, but RantWoman is going to lurch forward one increment of change at a time!

Some useful links which RantWoman is going to leave as bare urls

And while we are at it, nothing like exhortations to upgrade one's device because one keeps being told there are android operating system updates except that one's device insists that the outdated version is the most current.

Stay tuned!

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