Saturday, April 19, 2014

Everything is a Chromebox

Not long ago I bought an ASUS Chromebox. And not long before that, I bought an Acer Chromebook. Around the time of my Chromebox purchase… I decided that Chrome OS would be the environment of choice for my personal computing needs.

As a result of that decision I moved all my personal data onto Google Drive. I still have large stash of MP3s. I also have a fair number of TV shows and movies that I bought from the Apple iTunes store.

I’ve already uploaded all my MP3s to Google Play Music. So I don’t need access to those. And I can stream any of the shows I bought from the Apple iTunes store directly from Apple via my Apple TV. So that means I’m done. My life is in the cloud.

After some exposure to the community and the various ideas about Chrome OS, I’ve been very excited about the whole concept. But here’s the thing. Sure a Chromebox is simple, nice and convenient. It boots quickly and updates seamlessly. And they're typically inexpensive when compared to a full-blown PC or Mac.

But the nicest thing about choosing to live within the boundaries of Chrome OS is that the operating system and hardware that I use is no longer important. Any machine that has Google Chrome installed will give me the same functionality as a Chrome OS device. It actually makes no difference at all what hardware or operating system is running under the Chrome browser.

Our household has three Windows 8.1 machines. I also like to play with various distributions of Linux. But none of that matters. Because now, to me they are all Chrome devices. That is now the only functionality of these machines that I need or depend on.

A new version of Ubuntu came out yesterday, and I had previously been anxious for it’s release. But I figured my days of playing with Linux distributions were over now that I had moved to Chrome OS. Then I realized, not only could I slap the latest Ubuntu on my machine, but I could largely skip the painful and tedious configuration process that always follows. Because all I need it to do is run Google Chrome!

I have to say that it’s pretty liberating to wipe a drive and install a new OS and not worry one little bit about my data or configuration. My computers now only have one operating requirement. As long as they run Google Chrome, the rest is gravy.