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Category Archives: Cloud

Meet the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks

Chromebook.

They don’t actually go on sale until June 15, but you can check out their specs (not too shabby, for network-connected devices) and make the decision about which one suits your particular needs.

The (slightly) smaller of the two is the Acer Chromebook, shown here.

Acer Chromebook Running Chrome OS

The Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook is the smaller of the two, but not by much. It offers an 11.6-in screen, compared to the Samsung’s 12.1-in screen. Otherwise, apart from the Acer’s HDMI-out port (the Samsung has a mini-VGA-out port). Full specs are available at the direct links for the systems.

The larger Chromebook is from Samsung, show here.

This picture of the  Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi Chromebook makes it look a LOT larger than the Acer, but it’s just a trick of the angle of the photo and the screens on the units. TechCrunch was on hand at the Chromebooks launch and got some serious hands-on time with the Samsung Chromebook, which is available in white!

Check out TechCrunch’s mini-review of the Samsung Chromebook, and a whole bunch of photos of the white unit in action.

YouTube – Introducing the Chromebook

YouTube – Introducing the Chromebook.

Simple overview and explanation of what a Chrome OS-powered computer, or Chromebook, is.

Check out the Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook and Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi Chromebook – both available for pre-order on Amazon.com. Both units will eventually be available with built-in 3G wireless access, which of course would require a 3G wireless plan (and monthly fees). If you have Wi-Fi at your house, school, workplace, even along your commute – why not just stick with the Wi-Fi only model?

Stay tuned, when these new devices are released, we’ll bring you reviews and updated information.

Google To Lease Chrome Laptops for $20/Month [REPORT]

Google To Lease Chrome Laptops for $20/Month [REPORT].

I like this idea – a lot. I tried (and failed) to get into the pilot testing program for Google’s Chrome OS-powered CR-48 notebooks. The CR-48, powered by the minimal browser-like Chrome OS, offers minimal power in terms of hardware – compared to multimedia or high-end market notebooks – and has NO local storage. The CR-48 has a solid state drive with the OS, and all apps that you run are found online.

I think this is certainly a viable model for students, who will almost always have Internet access to “the cloud” – where their applications, email, calendar and all data will reside – and should be considered for some businesses as well.

With Internet access becoming more pervasive, why should you pay $500, $1000 for a laptop, when you can lease a platform to do the largely the same work for just $20/month, or just $240/year when you think about it that way.

I would certainly give it a shot. Most of my data is online these days anyway.

11 Free Microsoft Tools You’re Overlooking | PCWorld Business Center

11 Free Microsoft Tools Youre Overlooking | PCWorld Business Center.

Much is said these days about the “cloud.” How you can work, store data, photos and share all of it with co-workers, family and friends using (largely) free online tools from Google, Yahoo, Box.net, and many other web application players.

It’s not that well-known, however, just how many good (and free) tools that Microsoft makes available. Not all of them are cloud-based, but many of them are, allowing the same freedom of access and sharing capabilities as the other more well-known tools.

Google blames software update for lost Gmail data | Digital Media – CNET News

Gmail inbox (July 2009)

Image via Wikipedia

Google blames software update for lost Gmail data | Digital Media – CNET News.

I must say this outage gives me pause.. I keep my main email on Gmail, as well as  a number extra accounts, for archives, notifications, and other uses, as well as a multitude of Gmail accounts I have setup over the years for various client operations and social media logins. I have found setting up my own Gmail account to use for a client is typically easier than getting a new email from the client’s IT department.

Even though Google assures users email will be restored “for everybody” – I have to wonder about how wise it is for me, or anyone else, to rely so much on this service.

Am I worried enough to use another service, one that would require fees? Probably not, at this point. But I think I will look into backing up more of my accounts offline, as I do with my primary email now.

Introducing an All New Box: Simplicity Remade

Introducing an All New Box: Simplicity Remade « The Box Blog – Read about new features, interviews and more.

I’ve had a Box.net account for some time now, but have just recently gotten into using it heavily. Box.net basically provides storage in “the cloud” – that amorphous thing that all the Microsoft commercials refer to lately, and you’ll find it discussed on most computer- or software-related blogs as well.

Just as I’ve been a long-time proponent of web-based email services, first with Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and now everyone’s favorite Gmail from Google, Box.net provides storage for files, as well as sharing tools that let you collaborate with others. Those “others” can be anywhere in the world, as long as they’ve got an Internet connection. I think it’s safe to say that nearly all business people these days have a connection to the Net. They can be co-workers, other freelancers, or others in your business.

Box.net offers free storage that allows for 5GB, and ramps up through a number of other storage size options aimed at individuals or business accounts, and even enterprise level accounts.

WindowsZone: OffiSync–Synchronize MS Office with Google Apps

WindowsZone: OffiSync–Synchronize MS Office with Google Apps.

OffiSync Open Document Dialog Box in MS Word 2010

Those of you either using or thinking of using the Google Apps online suite of tools will find this interesting. OffiSync, a free download, provides a toolbar for your Microsoft Office applications that allows instant access to your Google Apps document space. You can save to, and open from, your Google Apps documents as if it were just another hard drive connected to your system.

OffiSync can be downloaded and installed in less than ten minutes – more if you need to hit Google Apps and create an account. Hint: If you have a Gmail address, or a Google Account of any kind, you already have access to Google Apps. Simply go to google.com/apps and login.

If you need to sign up for Google Apps, try the free version, still available at that link.