I must look for my Chromebook

I haven’t always been so inactive. I remember as a kid flying down hills on my bike, cutting through the puddles in the park which inevitably resulted in me being thrown off and grazing both knees, elbows and hands.

Anyone who has ever been a kid knows that grazes turn into scabs and the urge to pick scabs before they are ripe is just too strong. Now I haven’t had many scabs as an adult, but every once in a while I’ll enter a phase that I just can’t shake off. It is where I hear about something, or see something that I’m itching to buy. Resisting is futile because usually the voice(s) inside my head come up with all kinds of reasonable and useful possibilities for the new toy device.

Often the only way to tame the phase is to swipe a card and then deal with buyer’s remorse later on after the voices have left my head and I’m left with a device that I didn’t need. Sadly that’s often the script and the last time I went form the itching to seeing blood was when I bought a Blackberry Playbook – I must have used that thing 3 times. With my most recent purchases I’m trying to be more careful. Below are the items I succumbed to:

  • Synology DS1513+ NAS and 20TB of storage
  • Wacom Bamboo graphics drawing pad
  • Samsung Chromebook
  • HTC One X M8
  • iMac 27″

Out of the above I have to say that the iMac and the HTC One X were my most awesome purchases and I haven’t experienced any low with either of these products (I was also upgrading from a much older iMac and the original One X). The Synology – well, I think I’m future-proofed for about 5-7 years given that I have probably used only about 2TB – one day it will become everything I had planned it to be. The Wacom tab has been useful in my work as a teacher and for some of my YouTube tutorials – but has sat in its sleeve for about 5 months (still no low from that purchase). That leaves my Chromebook.


The Chromebook has also sat in it’s sleeve for about 5 months and I really don’t want it to end up like my Blackberry Playbook. There’s a strong possibility of that happening given that it’s been misplaced in my office, much like the other device and it’s probably in a stack of papers or books. I’m sure there’s still hope that I can find the time and love for it again.

I even recommend the product to others and to the schools I work at even though my relationship with it has moved on. I’ve been feeling guilty about it recently and started to reflect on why this is happening.

The reasons I purchased the Chromebook in the first place (despite having an aging MacBook Pro) were:

  1. To try it out for school (considering rolling out Chromebooks for student use)
  2. To experience the convenience of having a device that was light-weight, stay cooled and had much longer battery life
  3. Understanding that my devices are always connected to the web, I wanted to organize and focus myself to complete work in the cloud and collaborate efficiently with others who I’m working on projects with
  4. It’s a cheap device $200-249 at the time I bought it


I think the big reasons why I haven’t been using the Chromebook at all over the last few months is because I’ve needed applications like Photoshop, that aren’t available for ChromeOS (however Pixlr is a crippled neat alternative). My early experiences of Google Docs was really positive, it has come a long way – but very quickly I became frustrated that I cannot achieve the formats that I needed and that were so easy to do in Word and Excel. I have also experienced the frustration of my students as they prepare and print documents that are in Google Docs. I am really rooting for the Chromebooks to be a great solution in my school as well as for me as I type in front of the TV or hop from site to site doing work.

I knew when I bought the machine that I was making some sacrifices and at the time I felt positive that I’d overcome them – but it’s almost a year on from my original purchase and it’s make or break time. I plan on finding the Chromebook and seeing if I can find a part of my life where I can use it and love using it. Please comment with your experiences and tips and in a few weeks I’ll write about the outcome of reintroducing the Chromebook to my life.


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