2012 – The Year I went with Apple


I have never owned a Mac. I used them in college. I’ve used them in Mac districts that I work with. Bu I’ve never had one as my primary computer. Until now.

When they asked me at my new job at Kean what type of laptop I wanted, I jumped on the chance to try something new. It was time to get a Mac. I have had an iPad since they were released in early 2010. I’ve had an iPod Classic and an iPodTouch for many years. I even got the iPod Nano and watch band for the holidays this year. But, I wanted a chance to learn about the operating system and some of the software packages only available for Macs. (Perhaps I wanted some of my friends that have Macs to stop picking on me as well.)

So, my Macbook Air was delivered to me at work just about a month ago. The first thing I did was install the Chrome browser so that I would have access to all my personalized apps and extensions that I had used on my Chromebook and PCs. But since then, these are the apps that I’ve asked the office to install for me.

I’m happy I made the change as I look forward to seeing what some of these pieces of software can do, but honestly, I really only use the Chrome Browser. The rest is just gravy. (Yummy gravy.)

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Google Chrome: The Power of the Omnibox

What’s an Omnibox? I have always referred to the bar at the top of a browser where you type in a URL as the “address bar” But I was informed that in Google Chrome, that bar is so much more. It’s the Omnibox. It can:

  • Search the web and visit addresses
  • Search for apps, bookmarks and browsing history
  • Create bookmarks
  • See security, pop-up and extension alerts
This week was the first two of six Chromebook events I am helping to lead with Lucy Gray, Joe Donahue and the Google Apps Team. We presented in Boulder on Monday, Chicago on Wednesday and next week, we’ll be heading to Austin and New York.
My topics were actually Gmail and Calendar, but we were also responsible for demonstrating some of the amazing things you can do with the Chromebooks or even just Chrome. Over the last month or so, I have been exploring the Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store.
Here are my favorite Apps and Extensions:
  • Scratchpad – A simple note-taking app. Take notes offline and optionally syncs to the cloud when you’re online.
  • goo.gl URL Shortener – Shorten url with goo.gl, the Google URL shortener, and share with many different service!
  • Screen Capture – Capture visible content of a tab, a region of a web page, or the whole page as a PNG image. Support horizontal and vertical scroll when capturing whole page, with an all new autosave capability.
  • App Jumper App Launcher – Quickly launch Apps from browser toolbar. Organize Apps and Extensions into Groups. Manage Apps and Extensions with ease.
  • SdTimer – Great in-browser timer which can count down from any time. Shows time on tab title and buzzes once done.
  • Chrome 2 Phone – Google Chrome to Phone Extension enables you to send links and other information from Chrome to your Android device.
If you haven’t already, take 15 minutes and explore the Chrome Web Store.  I can honestly say now that Chrome is my browser of choice.
Do you have any Apps or Extensions that you like and think I should share with the educators at the Chromebook Events?

CR-48: The Google Chromebook

My daughters wanted to know what was in the box when we opened it on April 14, but I knew immediately what it was. I had been hoping since I had filled out the form for the pilot program, that I might receive a Chromebook

I’m sure you will agree that there’s nothing like unboxing a new computer. They’re so clean and pretty and they are a blank canvas.

Usually, the first thing that I do with a new laptop is install my must have apps like Skype and Tweetdeck. But the only installs on this laptop were going to be Chrome Apps. I knew I wanted to take it with me to the NJECC meeting the following day, so I spent about 30 minutes checking out a few things making sure it was ready to go.

      1. Turn it on.
      2. Take a picture using it’s camera for your profile
      3. Log in using your Google Account
      4. Select a Theme
      5. You are ready to go!

The next day at the meeting, I had some more time to look into things. (Yes, I was multitasking.) I found Tweedeck and Diigo in the Chrome Apps store. I also realized there was no way to take a screenshot from the keyboard, so I installed a screenshot app as well.

I am happy to report that after 2 hours of heavy browsing, I still had 74 % battery life. Even after an additional hour, I still had 62% power remaining, but the meeting was over, so I shut down. One of the benefits to the CR-48 that I found out in the following days, was the built-in 100mb of Verizon 3G per month. I realize that this is not a lot, but to have this available at no extra charge during the 2-year pilot, was awesome. (You can purchase additional data.)

So, just over a month later, news has come out that Google will be leasing out these computers. You can read about it here. There is some skepticism about this hardware that you can read about here and here, but on the whole, reviews have been positive and helpful.

I’m enjoying it and so are the other four users that have accounts on it.

Have you tried Google Cloud Print?

Source: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com

So perhaps I’m a little behind, but when I was in Australia a couple of weeks ago at the GTASYD someone mentioned something called Google Cloud Print.

On my home network, I have been having a problem getting my Win7 laptop to print over my wireless network. Not having read the FAQs for Google Cloud Print, I thought it might be an easy solution. The bad news is that after reading a post about it on the Google Mobile Blog, I learned that this application only works on mobile devices, so it will not work from my Win7 laptop.

The good news is that it will work from my:

Who needs the Win7 laptop at this point anyway? Really!

If you have a mobile device such as the ones listed above, or an iPhone, consider adding Google Cloud Print to your list of tools. All you will need to do is alter some settings, in Chrome, on the computer that is attached to your printer. Follow the directions here and you’ll be able to print form the Cloud.