Why You Will Not Like a Samsung Chromebook

A while back, I wrote this post on why I loved my wife’s Samsung Chromebook.

Well, funny how things change…

About a month into the Chromebook experience, it decided that it didn’t like staying connected to Wi-Fi.  It would disconnect and reconnect over, and over and over.  Sometimes this would happen right when you fired it up.  Sometimes it would stay connected for an hour before it would start having its fits and make the Chromebook useless – especially as it is completely dependent on the Internet.  (A feature I still appreciate.)

And so began the saga with Samsung…

It actually first started with Best Buy.  I went back to them asking if they could help.  They were willing to ship it back at no charge for repair.  But, then, that same day, a Geek Squad guy called me and interrogated me, saying “these types of problems are always with customer’s routers.”  I explained to him my level of expertise and that no other device in the house (Android or Windows) was having this problem.  Then, he said, “well, then we always flash them back to their original state.”  I told him I had Power Washed the device; something he had never heard of.  (Huh?!)  I capitulated and let him do his thing.  I got back a Chromebook that was on a really old version of the OS, and still disconnected.

I found out about and contacted the Google Ninjas.  That was useless.

Samsung at first seemed like they were going to step in.  They paid for shipping for it to be returned for repair.  I told Samsung, “please don’t let the technician just fire it up, see it connect, and declare ‘no problem!'”  Well, that’s what they did.  Many calls and emails later over like three months and Samsung finally agreed to refund our money.

I love Samsung products.  We’ve had a Plasma TV since 2010 we love.  I love my Galaxy Note II (though Samsung support was useless on a calendar problem – Recurring Appointments made out of time zone do not show at the right time.  Samsung’s “senior technical support” people shrugged their shoulders and hung up on me), and when the Chromebook worked, it was great.  But, service to the customer, from any organization, has to extend beyond the product to make raving fans.  Samsung is not there.

Rich in Faith

Living Word Bible Church, Mesa, Arizona

A repeating theme in my life lately is that wisdom is critical.

Personally, I believe in being a Life Long Learner to help gain that wisdom, and, I believe that teaching is one of the best ways to learn.  So, I wanted to exercise that and share what I learned today – that it’s a huge myth that God and Jesus wants you to be poor.

Today, in church we looked at Luke 19:1-27 NKJV.  In the first part, it shows how Jesus didn’t look down on the rich tax collector; instead, he embraced him.  As Dr. Tom said, “Jesus had a choice – he could have gone and hung out with the poor and have porridge (which, of course, all kidding aside, he certainly would and did), or, go hang out with Zacchaeus and have a steak.”  Turned out that the tax man was an okay guy.

Next, he related a parable where basically he (Dr. Tom says the guy in the parable is Jesus) gave ten minas (about $9,000) to each of his ten servants and told them to “go on and do your business,”  or, in other words, use this money and make it grow.  When he came back later, only three decided to show back up with the money.  You can read it below; he praised the two that grew the money and let them keep it (they grew rich).  The one who thought he should just “stuff the money in his mattress?”  Jesus said, “you goof ball – why didn’t you grow it?  Give it to the first guy!”

A related theme today was “you grow in your blessings as you grow in Faith.”  All goes hand in hand and was very impactful and meaningful to me today.


Luke 19:1-27 NKJV

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there  was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.  So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’  But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’  And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’  And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’  Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.  For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’  And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.  Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’  (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)  ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

Swype Ditches Beta Tags, Lands in Google Play | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Saw this today in the news

After a lengthy beta phase, the Swype virtual keyboard has finally made its way to the Google Play store for Android devices.

I tried Swype a couple of years ago and was very impressed with it.  It was always dead on.  However, I’ve moved on to SwiftKey.  Their prediction capabilities are unparalleled   After a reboot of my Samsung Galaxy Note II, its default keyboard with its “predictions” are there and I always give it a try.  But, I always, and quickly, fire back up SwiftKey – it’s just that much better.

Swype Ditches Beta Tags, Lands in Google Play | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.

Instant On and Where Microsoft Windows Missed The Boat

Well, where they missed at least one boat.

Every morning I grab some on-line device.  My Samsung Galaxy Note II; my HP DV4 Windows 7 Machine, or my wife’s Chromebook. This morning, all three were right in reach, including my Windows computer as I left it on the couch the night before.  (Usually it’s in my office, because it needed charging).  What did I grab?  I went right for the Chromebook.

The Chromebook is like my phone.  It’s instant on – it’s ready to go.  Windows?  Well, Windows 7 is sure better than the past when it comes to booting and resuming, but, it’s just not the same.  I love grabbing a device and being ready to go with what’s on my brain right at that moment; not “kill the excitement” waiting for the Windows World to come to life.

At some point I want to write a manifesto about how Microsoft really got it wrong with Windows 8.  However, here is one main point – Microsoft should have focused more on making Windows 7 better, like making it instant on, as opposed to radically changing it.

Google Reader Going Away and Alternatives

I was surprised by Google’s decision to discontinue Google Reader.  I have used it for a long time and figured it must be the same for many others.  But, Google must have the data to say it’s time for it to go.

This has put me in the hunt for something different.  So, right now, it looks like the alternative is Feedly.  I haven’t dived deep into it yet, so, I appreciated Feedly taking the initiative to woo Reader users like me with this post.  Hope it helps others.

Tips for Google Reader users migrating to feedly | Building Feedly.

Why You Will Love the Chomebook

We bought a Samsung Chromebook for my Mother In Law.  She needed a DVD Drive, so, my wife took over the Chromebook.  When she is not looking, I hijack it, and I absolutely love this computer!

I started out on a Commodore 64 when I was a kiddo.  I loved that computer; it fired right up, it had a great keyboard.  It let me do what I want to do.  Fast forwarding through my HP-41, Apple IIe, clones, etc, I live in Windows 7 today.  I like Windows 7, but, it’s not like the “wow” days of the Commodore, nor the Chromebook.

The Chromebook:

  • Is truly instant on!
    • My Windows 7 laptop, though better than past versions of Windows, takes a few seconds to resume from hibernation   It doesn’t feel “ready to go.”  The Chromebook?  You open the lid and BAM!  It’s on and ready to go.
  • It always has battery!
    • The Chromebook’s battery life is in excess of eight hours.  You just keep using it like a tablet or phone.
  • It’s light and just “goes” with you!
    • When I pick it up, it’s light; it feels very natural, like, “yeah, pick me up and go – go do what you want to do.”  My HP laptop is truly like a brick, and, two years ago it was considered “feather light.”
  • If you can do it in a browser, then you can do it!
    • In my personal world, I pretty much live in the browser now days.  Rhapsody, Pandora, G-Mail, Evernote (well, when I’m on the Chromebook I use the web client.  Else, I use the Android or Windows client).  It all works seamlessly.

It’s that last bullet that strikes the Chromebook down as being my full-time, next computer.   The sole mission of the Chromebook is to get you on the net.  Yes, apparently there are some Google apps that will work off-line, like G-Mail (I haven’t tried that yet).  But, the Internet is where you have to live.  In my work world that doesn’t 100% fit yet.  I need Skype.  I need a .NET app.  I need Office (thought I might be able to use SkyDrive for that).

Also, our Chromebook’s right side palm rest has a “creak” in it.  Many other people on line have noted that, but most say, “hey, it’s a $250 computer, what do you expect?”  And, that’s probably true.

I think my Commodore was like $600 way back when.  So, now, having a computer that is on par with a Macbook Air for $250?  Yup – I like where the world of computing is going.

Why American Airlines is Bankrupt

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A short while back, I flew American Airlines across the country.  It was the first time I had flown them in years.  Probably like 20?  I fly and love Southwest, so, I wasn’t real excited to fly the “we hate our job” skies – which is the attitude I’m use to on any other airline besides Southwest.  Yet, I was pleasantly surprised.

Recently, Southwest has reconfigured the interior of their planes with what they call EVOLVE.  It was touted to be the best thing since sliced bread.  However, it’s turned out to be like sitting on sliced bread as that is about how thick the seats are now.  They also decreased the legroom.  So, now, short of getting the one and only Emergency Exit Row seat that has room, I’m pretty cramped.  American’s, on the other hand, were very roomy.  I flew east on an older MD-80 and I was near the front (not First Class, sadly, but like row eight). I had great leg room; comfortable seat, and it was quiet (as the engines are way in the back on that plane).  The employees were very friendly.  I wrote a compliment to American on two of them.

Alas, I don’t think American will make it being it takes seven employees to load the baggage.  Southwest does it with two.  And, that’s too bad.

As for Southwest, I don’t want to bash them to hard above.  They still LUV you; and I appreciate that.  Just wish they would take a different course with the new interior.

You have to look for the Cross

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I was on the road awhile back and having a really low moment. As I sat in my hotel room, despondent, I was looking at all the squares, or boxes, in the pattern of the carpet. At the moment, it felt very iconic of how I was feeling – boxed in, trapped, frustrated. Then it struck me – for a fleeting moment; instead of boxes, I saw crosses. I felt really moved. I suddenly realized, thanks to the Holy Spirit, that one has to “look for the cross” and focus on that. You have to proactively remember to have Faith; you have to move forward.

I use the word “fleeting” because, just like in life, your brain can quickly shift back away; back to the negative; back to the boxes. It takes constant effort to keep focused on and see the cross; the positive. I’ve been working on keeping that focus. It has been hard, but, improving and paying off.

Keep your focus. If you are a Faith based person, keep it on the Cross; on Him. If that’s not your cup of tea, keep your focus on moving forward; being positive and not focusing on the past. Either way, it will be very rewarding.

Here to help you move forward.