On switching from Mac OS to Chrome OS

chromebook

Because it just works.

I’ve been an Apple fanboy since 1991 and I saw that smiling Mac on boot on an Apple Macintosh SE at College.

Since then I have gone through my own collection of Macs over the years:

  • SE
  • PowerBook 165c
  • PowerBook Duo
  • IIsi
  • IIci
  • Motorola Starmax 3000 Clone
  • PowerMac G4 (Yikes)
  • iBook G3 clamshell
  • iBook G4
  • PowerBook G4
  • MacBook
  • MacBook Pro
  • Mac Mini
  • PowerMac Quadra 800

and probably a few more that I can’t remember.

Then there’s the monitors, Newtons and more SCSI and appletalk cables than I could ever count.

Let’s just say I liked Apple computers.

This isn’t to say they were perfect. I have probably lost years of my life to watching progress bars dance across the screen or trying to troubleshoot an system extension crash.

But over the years, the Macs (and knowing how to use them) have offered my the opportunities of both employment and self-employment that I would never have been able to have otherwise if Apple did not exist.

Heck for more than a few years tracking prices on Apple memory upgrades was my full time job. That job has come to pass due to technology marching on and as I wrote earlier that this site has come full circle but if it weren’t for Apple and their Macs I am sure my career path to date would be so much different.

The price of Apple products always produced some friction compared to PC’s regardless of year or model, but my argument over the years was that if you needed to buy a hammer, why not get the best hammer you can buy?

And for a very long time, Apple was my hammer of choice.

Then Google Came Along

And then the internet and web browsers and finally – Google came along.

And the products from Google kept on getting better and better. Gmail, and Calendar and probably the biggest change: Chrome.

By the time Steve Jobs died, I realized that an Apple product wasn’t really needed any more as Google did it better (most times) and cheaper too. I realized I spent more and more time in a browser and less and less time in real apps.

It’s been a few years since then and Google’s offerings have only gotten better and better.

Apple? meh.

I never thought I would say this, but time marches on and Apple and their current product line leaves me unimpressed, and that’s something I thought I would never, ever say.

But the Chrome OS is so good for my needs that I don’t need anything else to get work done.

I mostly write these days so I fire up caret and start to write in markdown.

I’ve tried lots of other Markdown apps, but I find that if I just fire up a text editor and start to write that’s distraction-free enough for me. And because it’s plain text I just save the file on my Google Drive and I can access it from any chrome OS device I tend to be working with at the time.

Photo editing on Chromebooks

In a past life I had a job as a photo editor at a daily newspaper where we needed the power of Photoshop versions but for my personal photos I don’t need to shoot in raw, and lately more and more of my photos are being shot with my phone and if I need to I can tweak them a bit in Google Photos and for sharing online with family and friends they’re good enough.

You can’t beat the price of a Chromebook

I have an 11 inch Chromebook that costs me $179.99. You can’t buy any Apple computer for that little. It’s not the prettiest device and looks like something that would come from fisher-price with it’s thick plastic. But you know what? Plastic bounces. Aluminum dents, and it seems to me that the MacBook Air’s are the worst when it comes to getting bumps and dents.

At under $200, if I spill a Coke on it, it’s really not that big of a deal. My little 11 incher has an IPS display and because Chrome OS is so light compared to other more advanced operating sytems you really don’t need much processing poower.

Battery life is amazing with at least six hours which is more than enough for my needs as I use these as coffee shop and couch warriors rather than all day notebooks anyway.

Google all the Way.

My files are in Google Drive. In fact, this entire site is backed up to Google Drive. My email is gmail (or inbox), my calendar is google, my phone is Google’s
Android.

My Chomebook and current phone cost me less than $500 for both. I can’t buy an Apple notebook and an iPhone from Apple for that kind of money.

I still own a Mac

I have a 2008 iMac that I installed an SSD drive into and it runs El Capitan, so for those few times I have do need to use a Mac I can, but what I end up doing is deleting all the Apple software and installing the Google stuff anyway.

Apple stuff does offer pretty good value over the years. This iMac was bought used for $100 and the fact that it runs a still current OS is pretty amazing. And with the SSD upgrade this 2008 iMac runs surprisingly well.

There was a time when adding ram was the best upgrade you could do for your Mac, but now your best bet is to add a solid state driv first and then consider a ram upgrade. (another thing I thought I would never say)

Summary

You would be surprised what you can do from Chrome OS. Heck, I can even upload this article to Github via the browser to create the post (or copy/paste) but all this happens in the browser.

There a lot of Apps on google’s web store and you would be surprised what you can do with Chrome OS.

Apple has become a luxury item, and I don’t need to spend so much to jut be able to write, surf the web and tweak the odd photo.

Chrome OS does all that and more.