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Saturday, September 19, 2015

USAS BoneBook - the Savvy Blogging Tool of the Future

After I got back from the last trip, I had a talk with Jimmy Poon.

"Jimmy Poon," I said, because that is his name, "it was great having the company laptop in Vegas and everything because then I could blog live, but isn't there something a little more portable that I could use?"

"What's wrong with laptop?" asked Jimmy Poon.

"It's too heavy, for one thing. It weight almost 5 pounds and my carryon bag is only 20 pounds. It has a heavy power supply with a big heavy cord, too."

"Let me see what I can do, Royal," said Jimmy Poon.

A few days later, I get an email that there is an Amazon delivery scheduled to arrive at my house the next morning.

Great, I think, and I'm expecting an 8 foot bikini-clad bathing beauty.


Instead, I get this:

I opened it up and the coolest, tiny, little, laptop you ever saw is inside.

It's called a BoneBook.

I called Jimmy Poon.

"Jimmy Poon, Amazon came, and instead of an eight foot goddess I got something called a BoneBook instead."

Jimmy Poon's elfin laugh echoed across the cell towers.

"Heee heee heeee. It's a BoneBook. Very light. Very small. Got touchscreen. ChromeBook knockoff made in a Pac Rim country so small, so unknown, that they've never even heard of the word 'patent'."

"Well thanks, Jimmy Poon, I'll try it out, and see how it goes."

I did some reading on ChromeBooks and it seemed like it would be the perfect tool for blogging on the go. I composed a checklist of features I'd need to have.

Fast Forward - I decided that the best way to figure out this new BoneBook would simply be to start creating some blog posts and using it for all the other things I need to do when blogging. I was able to get the Amazon picture loaded from a URL, and I took a picture of the Amazong box using my piPhone, and then running Blogger on my phone, and dumping the photo into the blog post directly. But that probably won't do when I'm on the road and blogging from Vegas - it's just too cumbersome.

Anyway for this post, I am using the bare BoneBook, and learning as I go. It has a touchpad, so I'm using that and so far so good.

It had to be light - my new BoneBook is under two pounds and has a power supply the size of one of those fuzzy ring boxes that rings come in that you give to some girl to signal the end of your life and freedom as you know it. About an inch and a half by an inch and a half by an inch thick. (The same size you'll be after ring giving etc. etc. etc.)

It has to go on the internet - check. And it's pretty fast too. It does email like a champ. Well duh, everything does.

I have to be able to write on it - check. The keyboard, though small, is just big enough for me to hammer out Vegas blog posts.

It has to support a mouse - check. I plugged a USB thingy in and my mouse worked immediately. It supports bluetooth mice too so I might get one of those to try out.

I have to be able to run blogger on it - I usually use Chrome for Blogger anyway, and the BoneBook comes with a nice Chrome compatible browser (cryptically called 'BoneBrowser') and it runs Blogger just fine (evidenced by these here words you are reading now).

I have to be able to process my photos for blogging on it - this is where it is going to get tricky. On a laptop, I transfer the pictures via wire from my piPhone 3.14 (another knock-off product courtesy of Jimmy Poon's shady Pacific Rim manufacturing buddies). Then I resize them using batch mode in IrfanView. Then I write the blog and upload as needed into the blog post.

The jury is out on how I'm going to work with my live Vegas photos. I tried plugging the piPhone into the BoneBook and it asked me 50 times if I trusted the computer. Every time, I said "YES, GODDAMMIT!". But all I got was an empty window.

I had to google how to do a screenshot but I got it done, and cropped it too.
I have to be able to access my favorite Vegas sites to spread the word on the new posts, and FaceBook too - if you got to this post via FaceBook, then you'll know it worked!

I'm kind of worried about the photo workflow. Photos coming from my Cameron digital camera got transferred to my laptop via putting the memory card into the card reader. The BoneBook has a memory card reader - but it's a TFT card reader, not one of the 'puny' variety. (TFT = Teeny Fucking Tiny).

I have to be able to view movies on the plane on it - there is a Chrome Plex app. YAY! The Chrome Plex app doesn't support syncing content directly to your ChromeBook knockoff. BOO!!!

That sucks, cause I have 16 GB of storage on this bad baby.

There are going to be a few more wrinkles to iron out (there don't seem to be page up/down and home/end keys, wtf is up with that???), and there are some really cool features to show you about this USAS BoneBook.

More to come.

Did I mention that I'm taking this BoneBook on an upcoming Vegas trip? Oh yes I am. I'm not going to go Royal-less in 2015 if I can at all help it.

Sit tight, I'll tell you all about it - when it's time.

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