Monday, October 12, 2015

Going Mobile with a Chromebook for Blogging - Part 1








I'm testing out Chrombook technology to see if it will cut the mustard for travel bloggin.

The next technologically advanced test I needed to do on the Chromebook clone (aka the Bonebook) was a field test - I’d need to see if I could really take this little machine somewhere and write a blog post from it.

I’m on a shopping trip right now so I stopped at Denny’s to see what I could do. Got a table and fired up the Bonebook - this thing boots up fast.

I tried to get on their internet but the password won’t take. So I tried using Blogger - and it needs the internet to work.

Google docs will work without a connection though, so I started it and created a new document - this one. And it reports as I go that it is saving it locally. We shall see.

My backup internet provide is my piPhone, so now I’m going to fire that up and see if the Bonebook can get internet through the personal hotspot.

And this test is failing. I have the hotspot turned on but the Bonebook just doesn’t ‘see’ it. This is concerning because I’ll be relying on my piPhone for connectivity whilst I’m traveling about Las Vegas.

Well, actually, I did manage to get the Bonebook to ‘see’ the piPhone and exchange a confirmation ID for pairing - but the pairing simply results in ‘Unable to Connect’. Damn.

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Back home, I tried a third alternative - connecting the piPhone through a cable to one of the two USB ports on the Bonebook. Last thing I want is to have to carry a cable everytime I take the Bonebook anywhere, but there you have it.

And it worked.

Next step, see if the Google Document I started offline in Denny’s was still there - and it was, and now I’m adding to it. I’ll have to now past this into Blogger.

Being an idiot on the internet takes a lot of savvy work, let me tell you.

So, the copy past from Google Docs to Blogger worked but it brought all kinds of weird text formatting with it. This is the same kind of thing that happens when you paste from Word. You either live with the bloated HTML code, or you remove the formatting, which, for some reason known only to the devil of blogging, leaves about 3 extra blank lines between each paragraph.

I have yet to figure out how to solve this.

Let's move on to something easier - can I play movies on the plane using the Bonerbook?

As mentioned, I bought a 64GB chip, and dumped a couple of legally obtained movie files onto it.

I just put the chip in the Bonebook's little chip slot and it told me to use the File Mangler to access them. I did. I double clicked on the first movie and it started to play. And it was jerky. And there was no sound. Fuck me. Shouldn't we be over this by now? Don't even say the word codec to me.

Don't.

Tried the second file and it worked just fine. Smooth playback, and even had sound!

It was all in black and white though.

But it's because it was a black and white film.

Okay, that checkbox is checked off - with some restrictions obviously, something I am not happy about. I've been so spoiled by Plex's content sync and remote playback on the piPhone capability that this is a pretty big miss on the Chromebook knock-off's part.

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I retried using the bluetooth wifi broadband narrownose interweb stealth secure open piPhone connection (with up-drop) and this time it worked, sans cable.

(For those of you who are not francois savvy, that means sans wire thingy that connects two thingies.)

Okay, that hoop is jumped through, but only here in my Flusherville abode. I need to try it in the field again to see if it will really work.

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The photo thing is completely sorted. I installed the Google Photos app and it took quite some time to upload the 9,374 pictures of video poker screens from my phone to the cloud. But now that it's done, it is going to make life very simple for blogging, at least, in terms of phone pictures.

The Photos app syncs my phone pictures automatically. I can view them in the Google Photos site in a web browser, and even do some editing online.

When I want to put one into a blog post, I click the little 'insert image' button, and one of the places to get pictures from is 'From your phone'. All my uploaded pictures are right there. So that is going to save me a lot of messing around with copying photos to a computer, resizing them, uploading them and so on and so on.



3 comments:

  1. If you aren't already using it, download VLC Media player. It's free and plays every format known to man. I've been using it for a decade and have never had to use the word codec since.

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  2. I agree VLC is excellent. Highly recommended. And there's the rub, with Chromebook, its hit or miss as to whether the software you need and want is going to be available. There is no VLC version for Chromebook. I'm not expecting a Chromebook to replace a laptop - it's a browser machine with some added goodies. But there are two or three apps I would really want for travel, and solid video playback is at the top of the list.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Give this a shot:

    http://chrome.blogspot.com/2010/09/tip-just-text-please.html

    ReplyDelete

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