Basics – Chomebook – Making the most of your touchpad

Move the pointer Move your finger across the touchpad.
Click Press or tap the lower half of the touchpad.
Right-click Press or tap the touchpad with two fingers. You can also press Alt, then click with one finger.
Scroll Place two fingers on the touchpad and move them up and down to scroll vertically, or left and right to scroll horizontally.
Move between pages To go back to a page you were just on, swipe left with two fingers. To go forward to a page you were just on, swipe right with two fingers.
See all open windows Swipe up or down with three fingers. (If you have Australian scrolling turned on, swipe up; if you have traditional scrolling turned on, swipe down.)
Switch between tabs If you have multiple browser tabs open, you can swipe left and right with three fingers to quickly move between tabs.
Drag and drop Click and hold the item you want to move. While holding, move the item. Release your finger to drop the item at its new location.

Change touchpad settings

To set how fast or slow your mouse pointer moves and how your touchpad works:

  1. Click the status area , which is the bottom right corner.
  2. Click Settings Settings.screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-19-58-pm
  3. In the “Device” section, adjust the sliders to set your touchpad or mouse speed (how quickly your pointer moves).screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-18-01-pm
  4. Click Touchpad settings (or Touchpad and mouse settings) to:
    • Turn tap-to-click on or off
    • Swap your primary mouse button
    • Choose traditional scrolling or Australian scrolling
      Note: With traditional scrolling, you can swipe up on the touchpad to move up the page, and swipe down to move down. Australian scrolling works in the opposite way.screenshot-2017-02-16-at-9-18-17-pm
  5. Click OK to confirm the desired setting

source – google

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Evolution of the Chromebooks

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My entry into the world of Chome OS started with the original HP Chromebook (shown above).  It was a 14 inch, no frills, cheap laptop body that they put no extra effort behind.  Essentially, they took an existing, low end pavilion laptop and put Chrome OS on it.  When I ordered this device, I chose to do so because I didn’t want to spend a lot on a new laptop. I needed something to suffice until I saved enough for a higher end machine.  Much to my surprise, the Chromebook far exceeded my expectations.  The build of the laptop was about what I expected (cheap and made of plastic) but once I started using it I noticed that it didn’t perform like a low end computer.  The performance on the internet was similar to a machine (in the windows world) that was double or triple the price.

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The first Chromebook on the market was released in December 2010 and was called the CR 48. It was an ugly, boring, matte black laptop that was testing a concept of Google’s. They wanted to make a low powered simple machine that did everything on the web without downloading extra programs.  This early Chromebook was essentially a stripped down version of the Linux operating system that ran one program, the Chrome web browser.  Google and Tech enthusiast were the targeted market.  According to reports, only about 60,000 were made but this started something much bigger.

chromebook-pixel

While the total number of Chromebooks sold last year is still unknown, the first quarter of 2016 shows sales that outpaced mac laptops, shipping around 2 million machines.  Today, Chromebooks are much more than just a web browser and with each release they inch toward Mac and Windows level ability and performance.  More basic functionality is baked right in to the operating system including things like printing and being able to organize in folders. However, most programs (in the Chrome web store) are online only and do not work without an internet connection. This is about to change.  In the fall of last year google released the beta version of the Android Play Store for Chrome OS.

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Pictured above is the new Samsung Chromebook Pro/Plus (Click here for more infomation). It will be the first Chromebook to ship with the non-beta version of the Play Store for Chrome OS.  Co-Developed by Samsung and Google, it is designed to take advantage of all the new features coming soon to Chrome OS.  This new vision essentially combines an Android tablet and a Chrome OS Laptop into one powerful device.  Adding this functionality will be a big step forward into allowing users to move their Chromebooks from an ancillary device to their main device.

The key to Chrome OS is to keep the operating system streamlined and fast but also to add features to make it more robust.  I have put together a wish list for future Chrome OS machines.

2017

5 Things I Want – Chromebooks

Chrome OS has evolved over the last few years.  (See this article about the evolution of Chrome OS).  It has gone from being essentially just a web browser to a full featured OS, ready to take on Mac and Windows – Almost.  Here are 5 things I would like to see on my next Chrome OS device.

  1. Let me access the Desktop.  There is a desktop on Chrome OS. It is there and shows me a nice background image, but it is essentially useless.  For most users that is where we put our most used files and programs.
  2. Give me space.  I’m not taking about cloud storage, although that’s nice to have. As more functionality is introduced into these machines, 32 GB is not even close to being enough for internal storage.  I’m hoping the next Chromebook Pixel starts at least at 128 GB.
  3. More apps beyond just the basics. I know that Android apps on chrome is not even here yet but that is only the first step.  Encourage application developers to make robust apps.  I’m looking at you Adobe!
  4.  Installable OS.  This could go along way to expanding the base.  Allowing users and amateur system builders to build customized machines and convert old machines over to Chrome OS would expand what is possible with the platform more quickly that just OEMs rehashing the same machines.
  5. Give me Steam.  This point goes well with my previous few.  Google, please give Gabe a call. He has already started to lay the ground work for games in Linux. Chrome OS is Linux based. It would be easy.

Right now Chrome OS can do about 80% of the things I want to do on my computer, and it does that 80% flawlessly, but with just a few steps further it could be at or near 100%

Deal – Google just sweetened the deal – Samsung Chromebook Plus

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If you have been thinking about or have recently purchased the Samsung Chromebook Plus, google just sweetened the deal with a $20 google play gift card.

Once you purchase the Chromebook follow this link to activate the $20 play store credit.

And here is the article about getting $100 from Best Buy

Deal – New Samsung Chromebook Plus Save $100

samsung-best-buy-deal

Best buy is offering a great deal on the brand new Samsung Chromebook Plus.  If you have an old laptop that you no longer want to use, bring it in and save some money on one of the best and most innovative Chromebooks on the market.

Best Buy – Deal information

Staying Virus free

I am often asked which virus scanner I use on my PCs. Typically, people are shocked when I tell them that I do not use one. How can I keep my computer safe with no premium virus scanner?  The answer has more to do with the way I use the computer than anything else. It’s important to know what to avoid and how to tell when things don’t seem right.

Knowing the basics about viruses and where they come from will help keep you safe in the mine field that is computing. For example, no company is going to call you out of the blue and offer to fix your computer remotely.  If you receive an unrequested call from anyone claiming they are from Microsoft (or any other technology company) wherein they inform you that they need access to your computer in order to fix it, this is a scam. Hang up! Do not give them access to your personal information.

Another common scam is when your browser gets hijacked.  In this situation, your browser redirects you to a scam page which will ask you to click on a link that may contain viruses or call a number. Like the direct calling mentioned before, once you call this number, they will claim to be offering a necessary service and ask to gain access to your computer, talking you through the process of how to give this to them. If you are browsing the internet and any page pops up asking you to call for service, it is most likely not legitimate.

You can easily tell if a page is legitimate or not by looking at the URL. Make sure that the page being displayed matches the address you entered. Even legitimate websites can get hacked and redirect you to a virus. More often than not, the fake redirected site will inform you that you need to click to update your browser or flash player. Don’t click anywhere on this page as doing so may give you a virus. Don’t worry though, the solution is usually simple. Close the browser window by clicking the X at the upper right (or the red button at the upper left on a mac). Other times it can be more complicated. The hacked site can lock your computer so that you can not close the window. In this case, force close the window by opening the task manager (ctrl + alt +del). Find your browser and click “end task”(Click here to see how).  If all else fails, as a last resort, hold your power button down until the machine turns off.

Here is an example of a hijacked page. chrome-update-scam-1

Lastly, every once in a while, it’s a good idea to make sure that there are no programs installed on your computer that you did not install.  An easy way to check this is to open the control panel (or application list on a mac) and do a visual check.  Reorganize the list to show you the most recently installed first.  Common virus programs will claim that they are optimizers, virus scanners, and cleaners, (ironic, right?)  Another classic sign that your computer is infected is when these programs load automatically when you first turn your computer on.  They often will claim they are a Microsoft partner. If you have programs like these you should probably take your computer in to a professional to get them removed.