Chromebook scratches

My Pixelbook Go has been wrapped in a dbrand black carbon top skin. That seemed like the right thing to do to prevent scratches on the top of this device. The bottom of the device seems fine so far, but the top was picking up scratches. Now it is all wrapped up in black carbon skin from dbrand. The installation process was pretty easy and took maybe five minutes to complete. Most of that time was related to using the hairdryer on the edges and corners.

Apparently, I’m on a 10 day weblog publishing streak. That seems sort of exciting. I’m not exactly sure why, but it does seem a little exciting. Beyond the general blog writing that has been happening each day I’m tackling my new Substack posts with near reckless abandon. I’m working on them in the morning and the evening every day. That is a recipe for getting things done and it is working out so far. My goal is to get pretty far ahead in Substack posts so that a lot of refinement and tinkering can happen along the way.

On chromebook stickers

Yesterday was a day where some NFL games were watched. I watched 3 or so full games throughout the day yesterday via the over the air broadcast. The picture was super clear and the upscaling was solid on my 4K television. It was very strange to see the games without the fans in the stands, but it did feel like things were a little more normal with football occurring in September. We stayed in the house and socially distanced from the world, but that has been the routine for the last 6 months. Oh, I forgot to mention that during the first game for some reason I pulled all the stickers off my Google Pixelbook Go chromebook and put them in my standard Moleskine art sketchbook. It’s just a notebook without any lined pages. I’m not making any kind of art in the notebook that I’m aware of unless you consider the cacophony of thoughts that are captured to be some type of work of art. I would not agree with you on that one, but you might be able to make a case. The process of pulling the stickers off was actually really easy and cleaning the surface took just a couple of minutes. I’m not entirely sure why yesterday was the day I went from wanting stickers on my chromebook to being completely against stickers to the point of compelling some type of action on my part.

Thinking about privacy shields

This is a recording of my blog from December 5, 2019

Well I finally broke down and started looking for a privacy shield for my Google Pixelbook Go. 3M makes one designed to fit the screen exactly. It has been a long time since I purchased a privacy guard for a personal computing device, but it seems like now is the time to make that happen. I have been doing a lot more writing in public places and it seems like the best way to avoid folks reading the screen is to get one of these 3M privacy filters. Given that a good chunk of what I write is published online that might seem unnecessary, but it feels like it will be a good thing to do. We will see what happens and if it ends up getting used. The screen on this Pixelbook is really good and people can read or see my code at a pretty wide angle compared to looking directly at the screen. Anyway — those are my thoughts about that at the moment. 

Earlier today I started to think about rewriting the standard talk I give about machine learning. The last time I sat down at the airport and wrote out about 5,000 words in one really large run through of exactly what I wanted to say. Sitting down and writing out a talk without actually speaking is an interesting method of putting something together. My Google Pixel 4 XL supports a recorder feature that produces pretty accurate transcripts. I could have gone the other way and just recorded my dry run and edited the transcript after the fact. One of the things about writing it out and working on that draft is that it helps refine the positions being taken and allows me a certain degree of perspective about the work being produced. That is important to make sure everything flows together and the overall story being told remains impactful. 

Oh, I almost forgot… I enrolled in the Coursera “Architecting with Google Kubernetes Engine” specialization by Google Cloud. I’m going to try to finish it in the next 7 days during a free trial.

That course specialization is part of my ongoing efforts to keep current and engage in professional development.

Those first Pixelbook Go impressions

Right now I’m starting to type with the Google Pixelbook Go for the first time. A few of the reviews I had consumed this week talked about how quiet the keyboard was during normal use. I’m wearing my Bose Q35 headphones right now and listening to music at a reasonable volume. I can still hear the keyboard during my rapid typing. I’m wondering if the noise is more or less my fingers traveling against the keys or if it is a mechanical noise made by keystrokes. If you strike the same key over and over again, then the sound is not present, That probably indicates that the typing noises I’m hearing right now are from the way I am typing not from the keyboard itself.

Game seven of the World Series is on Fox right now. The second inning is on. I’m going to spend the night writing. Getting used to this new keyboard is taking a little bit of time. The keyboard on my ASUS Flip has a very specific feel. This Google Pixelbook Go has a decent keyboard that is very different from what ASUS has to offer. It always takes me just a bit to get used to working on a new computer. I’m still a little surprised that Matt Scherzer is pitching tonight. It really sounded like Matt was done for the year.

My first real observation about the Pixelbook Go is that it shows fingerprints both on the shell, keyboard, and mouse. I have only been using it for a couple of days and I can already tell it is showing signs of use. My Dell laptop has not had the same problems. It normally takes a bit of time for this type of wear to show up on a laptop. It does not in anyway impact the functionality of the device, but it is just a little bit unexpected.

Getting down to writing is about taking the time to translate thoughts into keystrokes. At the moment, I’m sitting down on the sofa and working on a bit of writing. It is about the feel of the keys and the process of moving along from one thought to another. I’m going to try to ignore the spell check and get into the writing groove for a little bit here. It is a bit of a throwback to the stream of consciousness writing that generally occupies my days. Today was an interesting day. I dusted my bookshelves. That is just how far it went today. Part of cleaning up my office is about getting my personal workspace into a top notch writing condition. Sure — I know that having a clean office is not related to my willingness to sit down and write. Really all I need is some type of writing medium and time. That is pretty much how it works.

The zoom on this Google Doc has been changed to 125% from width. The text was a little bit to big on the screen and needed to be condensed down just a little bit to better enable writing for long periods of time. Tonight is one of those times where writing is going to happen. Game seven of the world series is about to move into the sixth inning. Nothing is stopping me from spending some time using this new Pixelbook Go. Over the years, I really wanted to get one of the original Google Chromebooks, but the price was just out of control on those. This device was about two hundred dollars more than the ASUS Chromebook that I would have purchased to replace my C101P. This form factor and spec seemed to check every box for the things that I needed and it was exciting to purchase.

The seventh inning is about to start. This keyboard is starting to become comfortable. I’m getting used to typing on it and that seems to be helping my productivity. A lot of the advertisements these days seem to be talking about food deliver or the delivery of things. Maybe the better way of saying it is that a lot of the advertisements these days are focused on delivery. That feels like a relatively new phenomenon over the last few years. For the vast majority of time that I can remember the primary delivery advertisements were for pizza. Times have changed for sure.

Oh all that snow

Denver started off running a little slower as a city this morning. This October snow storm is dropping a sustained precipitation. Perhaps better said another way — the snow keeps falling and it just has not stopped. My window overlooks the front yard and I can see the snow as it falls. Wind is thrashing the snow about. Earlier this morning, my Google Pixelbook Go landed at a FedEx sorting facility in Denver. Today weather allowing might be the day that my new Chromebook arrives. That is something that seems to be pretty exciting. I considered trying to use the Dell KVM switch built into my monitor to make the mouse and keyboard at my desk available to the Chromebook. That configuration is probably not something that I need to setup or would ever really use. I might set it up just for fun to see how the Dell monitor KVM switch performs.

Ok — setting up the KVM switch on the Dell UltraSharp 38 Curved Monitor model U3818DW was really easy. Honestly, I just unplugged my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard and wired Corsair gaming mouse from the Corsair Cube and plugged them into the U3818DW. Windows made the discovering new hardware sound and all of a sudden both the keyboard and the mouse just worked. I did run the USB downstream port cable back to the computer, but the keyboard and mouse worked without that cable being connected.

A FedEx driver was able to deliver the Google Pixelbook Go today. I booted up the device and signed into my account. Right now I have the USB Type-C cable plugged into the Pixelbook Go and Chrome OS is extending the screen to the Dell U3818DW. The KVM switch automatically switched over and the keyboard and mouse both work really well with the Chromebook. I now have a pretty decent one cable docking configuration setup to use Chrome OS as my primary workstation operating system. I’m not sure how that will work out in terms of productivity, but it is possible.

It seems a new Pixelbook is really coming

The new Pixelbook 2 seems to be going through FCC review under the codename Atlas. It might even be a more affordable version of the device. I’m buying it either way. The build could be affordable or super premium. Either way works for me. My ASUS Chromebook is missing some keys and needs to be replaced. Writing on my Pixel 3 XL is challenging. Typing is different than working with an on-screen keyboard. It might be the rate of input or perhaps the thought required that makes the difference.

Wondering about the next Pixelbook release

Today was one of those days where I started to ponder my next Chromebook. At Costco, I looked at a 14 inch HP Chromebook for a few minutes. All of my other Chromebooks have been built by ASUS and they have been aluminum body models. They have also been touchscreen devices. I’m hoping that the rumors about the Pixelbook 2 being a nice midrange device are true. At this point, I’m waiting for the release of the next Pixelbook version. The Pixelbook 2 is going to be my next Chromebook. It needs to show up here sooner than later. This ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P has several broken keys on the number row.

Ugh… when is the next Google hardware event?

Today in the middle of watching This Week in Tech (TWIT) episode 723, I started wondering when the next major Google hardware event is going to be held. Right now, I just spent some time learning about the new HP Chromebook 15 that seems to be a very compelling sub $500 dollar mobile computing option. My next piece of mobile hardware is probably going to be the Google Pixelbook 2 (or whatever they end up calling it).

I’m in the market for a new Chromebook

Here we go again with some technology related challenges. My ASUS Chromebook flip C302 now has had two separate keys fail on it. The number 5 and 6 keys are not working at all. Both keys have been taken apart and I messed with them several times. None of that worked out. Right now I am working on a Google Docs file on my Pixel 3 XL smartphone typing on a Bluetooth keyboard. That could be the new normal for some time. This is one way to go about writing and it could be the path forward. It is for sure the lowest cost path forward given that I already have the phone and the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard. Maybe that is enough to seal the deal and drive me to writing on my phone. I had tried this before for a few days and it did not work out very well.

This time around might be different. I just went into the keyboard settings and turned off the onscreen keyboard when the physical keyboard is connected via Bluetooth. Just making that one change increases the amount of screen open to viewing words by about double. Maybe that will help make this more interesting this time around. My plan is to go back to writing for over and hour a day. Most of that writing time will happen at night right before bed. For better or worse that writing window has always been the best way to go about producing a large amount of words. This is one of those times where thinking out loud is probably the right way to go about things.

I upgraded to the ASUS C101P

Proprietary format device charges are the worst. My original ASUS Flip C100PA-DB01 Chromebook had a proprietary charger. Locating that charger became problematic today. The charger has gone missing. It cannot be located. That meant it was either time to buy a new charger or to buy the ASUS C101P and upgrade. Finding the right upgrade path was easy enough. The ASUS C101P has USB-C charging capabilities and that is enough to make things easier. I’m going to use this device for about a week and then write a review.