I think I’m going to return the Chromebook.

I bought an iPad Pro. Well, two of them, because I couldn’t make up my mind which size I wanted, but the 12.9″ iPad Pro was just too big. Heavy, too! And the iPads Pro I bought I configured with cellular access so I could take them anywhere; I have an iPad mini with cellular access I use for keeping track of my tasks for work, and while I could just tether to my phone when I need to, I’ve found that having a easily-accessible always-on data connection in a mobile device so convenient.

Anyway, I bought both sizes, decided I didn’t like the larger size, and took it back to the Apple store today to return and to check out the cases for the 11″ model. I never really liked the previous version of the iPad Pro keyboard and thought that I’d dislike this new one too but after doing some typing tests in the store (I got about 90 WPM on Key Hero) and seeing if the keys would bother me with the keyboard folded back (not really, since I hold it on the left side where there aren’t any keys), I decided to give it a try. I’m trying it right now, in fact – typing this post on the Smart Keyboard Folio and seeing how I like the Ulysses text editor – and so far I’m liking both the keyboard and the text editor.

I did find a few issues with the Chromebook. One was actually with the Chrome browser: I use Fever for a self-hosted RSS syncing service, and I figured that I could use it to read my RSS feeds on the Chromebook. Fever is no longer supported or developed, and apparently a change to a recent version of Chrome disabled scrolling the feed list using the spacebar or jumping to the previous or next feed entries using the keyboard, so I poked around in the code and made a few tweaks of my own to fix the scrolling and change the keyboard shortcuts to ones that reflected my preferences in my usual RSS reader Reeder.

I also wasn’t impressed with the screen. Yeah, it’s “only” a $200 device, so it’s not going to be the best display, but it had to be pointed almost exactly perpendicular to my face for a decent image. Not a big deal but also not as pretty as I would prefer.

I think Saturday is the last day for me to return the Chromebook so I need to hurry up and make up my mind, but this iPad, with a cellular connection, with a keyboard that works better than I expected, well… it’s exactly what I was looking for.

Ok, now to figure out how to publish this post…



That was an enjoyable six stops

Two buses pulled up in front of me at my bus stop to go home from work. The front bus was standing-room-only while the one behind appeared to be almost entirely empty. I looked back and forth at them trying to determine which one would let me get on – I wanted to board the rear bus, but it was further back and the front bus was in front of me at the stop. Eventually the front bus opened its doors.

Lucky me! The bus I got on had an old lady yelling and cussing at the man standing next to me, and two other men men making threats and each daring the other to knife, shoot, or otherwise assault while a third man tried to calm his friend down. I have to admit that it took me a confused minute to realize that there were two arguments happening simultaneously that had nothing to do with each other. Fun!



Sugar in the cranky-case

Been in a Mood the past few days. When my mood hasn’t been “bad” it’s at the very least been “frustrated” or “meh”. It hasn’t been over a single thing, and nothing personal to nobody, but it’s been rather just many small annoyances building up over days that have made me tired and dissatisfied.

The worst was Friday night when I came home. After running a few errands on my way home and driving what felt like forever in the rain I couldn’t park on my street. I had to haul my bags of groceries in the pouring rain from a few blocks away to my apartment so I was already grumpy. I got in, started putting my groceries away, and discovered a pile of sugar in my refrigerator (what, you don’t store your sugar in the refrigerator to keep it away from bugs?). Turned out that the bag had ripped on the side of a shelf on the refrigerator door. I only discovered this when I pulled the bag out to inspect it and sugar poured all over my (wet) sneakers and my (wet) floor (from walking home in the rain), making a sticky mess.

At least it solved the question of “why do I keep feeling something gritty on the floor in front of my refrigerator even after my Roomba supposedly cleaned in here?”. 😛 Yup, it was the bag leaking trace amounts of granulated sugar on the floor each time I opened the refrigerator door.

I had to jump into disaster cleaning mode: dustbusted the larger piles of sugar and then set the Roomba on a few cycles of cleaning my kitchen floor area while I tossed my sneakers into the laundry and mopped my floor over and over again.

Saturday morning I was feeling a bit better about myself until I cut my left ring finger on a sharp corner of my filing cabinet. As I told my girlfriend, even though all these things were unrelated, and I’m not the superstitious type, it still had me feeling uneasy as if I were waiting for yet another shoe to drop or something bad to happen. What made this even more ridiculous was that I was then feeling warm as we were sitting in my car at a red light so she offered to help me take off my raincoat. As she helped me out from said jacket I pulled a muscle in my neck!

I felt better as the weekend went along but today I’ve been kind of “eh”. Tired and unmotivated and headachey. Going to bed early to see if that helps my mood. I’m also hoping Apple has some good news for me at their announcement in the morning; I sure could use a new Mac mini for my webserver…




Not much to say for tonight’s blog post except that I tossed out the box and started peeling off the stickers from the Chromebook, so I guess this means I’m keeping it, hah. Last night I wondered as I was drifting off to sleep what I’d do for writing without a network connection (since I had been using MarsEdit on my Macs and it has an offline editing mode, and everything I had been doing so far with the Chromebook has been with the web interface for my blog, and part of the appeal of a Chromebook is that you do practically everything in a web browser… which is kind of hard to do if you don’t have a network connection). I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to use the WordPress Android app but when it came up in my search today for offline Chrome OS-based editors it was so obvious. I’m still getting used to it. I definitely prefer the web-based interface a lot more.

Spent the day today shopping with the ladyfriend, visiting with extended family for a birthday / Halloween / celebration of life party for a cousin of mine whose birthday was this time of year and who loved Halloween but sadly passed away earlier this year, and then spent the evening tidying up and preparing for the work week.

Apparently this is my 5,500th post. Wish I had something more interesting to say to commemorate the occasion, but I guess that’s what happens when I decide to type up a quick post when I should be sleeping.



Chromebook blogging

A few years ago I bought an eMate off of eBay to hopefully turn into some sort of blogging machine. Unfortunately, while it was a fun project to tinker with (I replaced its battery with a setup that could use either regular AA batteries or rechargeables!), I couldn’t really get any data on or off of it very easily if at all.

Today I was talking with my coworkers about rumored Apple MacBooks and one of them mentioned the old 11″ MacBook Air and I thought something like that would make a pretty nice blogging machine exactly how I originally intended my eMate to work. After looking at some 11″ MacBook Airs (…MacBooks Air?) on eBay I thought a Chromebook might do the trick. Found one for sale at MicroCenter for $200, placed my order, and picked it up on my way home. It’s an ASUS C202SA, and in the hour or so that I’ve spent playing with it I think it’ll work perfectly. Funny how both the eMate and this ASUS were both intended for education markets, but something that’s low-power with a good keyboard and not much other capabilities for writing or travel is exactly what I was looking for.

It’s sad that this $200 Chromebook has such a better keyboard than the current Apple laptops. When I saw this has a whole 2 millimeters of travel for its keys I thought it sounded perfect. I can’t stand the lack of key travel on the current MacBook Pro line, so I’m holding on to my 2012-model MacBook Pro with non-retina screen and multiple ports and replaceable components as my actual laptop for as long as I can.

This isn’t my first Chromebook, though. I had bought another one a few years ago to try out, but I found too many stumbling blocks for me and ended up returning it. Now that 1Password is available in the browser via 1Password X my biggest issue is solved! Now just to try it out for a week or two to see if it works as well as I hope.