I wrote some time ago about how I turned an old Windows laptop into a Chromebook for my son’s virtual school . At the time I did this I used software from an organization called Neverware. It all worked well and I was recommending it to many.
Not long after that Google bought Neverware. I thought: oh no perhaps we will lose this ability to recycle old machines in this way. What a shame.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Google is coming out with Chrome OS Flex, and I presume it will provide similar capabilities that Neverware’s software provided. If so, I recommend it. It’s a great way to recycle old computers.
For more on it, here’s two more pieces worth taking a peak at:
Here’s the problem: you are trying to connect your Chromebook to a wifi network like the one at Dalhousie University that uses the LEAP protocol. That protocol is likely well and good if you use an up to date Windows or MacOS computer. But as I found, it’s no good for the Chromebook I had because it did not have LEAP as an option. What to do?
Well if you get into the network settings and you go with the EAP-TTLS with the settings above, you can get your device to connect. (The above does not show the user I’d and password fields, but you will need those).
This piece explains the logic behind getting certain relatives a Chromebook so as to relieve you of being tech support: I bought my mom a Chromebook Pixel and everything is so much better now – The Verge.
Now your mom may be tech savvy and not need a Chromebook (my mom was). But for some people’s moms or dads or children, it can be a very good solution. Especially for people who don’t travel much with their computer and who have a stable IT environment (e.g. the networking set up doesn’t change, the printer is good).
Chromebooks may not seem good value. You might compare what you get from a Chromebooks vs a Windows laptop and think: I get more from the Windows laptop. If you are good with computers, that true. But that’s not how to look at it. Factor in the cost of the relative’s computer plus the time you spend solving problems with it. When you factor that in, the benefit of the Chromebook jumps out.
Superbook, a $99 computer project on Kickstarter, is impressive in itself. Based on the sponsorship of this project, many agree with me.
Essentially it extends your phone like a Smart Watch does, but instead of the form factor diminishing, it’s increasing. In some ways, it does what the Chromebooks do, but with the use of your phone. If it works well, it is one more nail in the coffin of the personal computer. Already tablets and other devices have distributed computing away from the personal computer. I can only see this trend increasing as displays and memory and CPUs get better. Sooner than later, the attachment of the display to the keyboard will dissolve, and people will assemble “personal computers” from a variety of tablets and other displays, keyboards, and whatever smart phones they have. The next step is better designed and detachable keyboards, along with more powerful phones. (The phone isn’t a phone anyway: it’s a handheld computer with built in telephony capability).
Networks are going become more pervasive, faster and cheaper. Displays are going to become cheaper. Phone makers are going to need to give you more reasons to buy phones. All of these things point to computing devices like this becoming more prevalent and personal computers getting further and further displaced.
You can find out more about the project, here here.