Personally, I’ve had little care for most Chrome apps other than the SSH client. Browser windows and tabs were the norm for my interaction prior to Android support. Most that I’ve installed on my Chromebooks were more about having a shortcut in the dock or a dedicated window than anything else really app like.
I look at the end of native client stuff with a small amount of sadness, since it was an intriguing idea. But today, you’d probably be screwing with Web Assembly or whoever passes for that since I last looked in on the subject.
But then again in kind of weird. I don’t consider Javascript a good idea unless it’s legible Javascript rather than pimpy faced fad of the month Javascript. And likewise, I prefer application development for platforms like Android and conventional Linux to slamming everything down the browser hole.

The Verge: Google and Dell team up to take on Microsoft with Chromebook Enterprise laptops.

As someone fond both of Android tablets and of Dell’s Latitudes, I’d be a lot more tempted by this if it wasn’t for two problems:

  1. My Chromebook is a lot more buggy than my Android, Linux, and NT devices.
  2. Chrome’s “Stable” channel prefers rapidly pushing versions over Q/A.
Or as I like to think of it: there’s really two reasons I’ve been using my Latitude running Debian ore than my Chromebook the past few reasons. A Core i5 smokes a Celeron, and I’m tired of OS upgrades that leaves me grumbling over quality, both at the Android support and native Chrome OS.
In practice these days I’ll usually have Stark and Scarlett at my sides during the work day; with my Chromebook relegated to a spare machine. That’s after using the Chromebook as my main workstation for a year and after a lot of years using an Android tablet as a workstation replacement.

Damned temptations

Things that tempt me: the latest XPS 15.

At this point my desktop, Centauri, is old enough that if you buy any variant of Core i5 or i7 laptop: the crunch power will exceed it. Let’s just say I’ve gotten Every, Last, Dollar out of my 3570K and I’m finding its limits as the years go on. I built the system back in 2012~2013 with the plan for it to retire around 2018. Officially it’s re-issued expiration date is 2023 based on it being decrepit for my use case by then.

From a bit of poking around: I imagine between my desktop’s CPU bottleneck and how old my GTX 780 actually is that such a laptop model GTX 1650 is probably powerful enough for my gaming needs. Close enough that I don’t need to spend for a Thunderbolt eGPU dock for the old war horse until bottlenecks actually show up. That counterbalances the sales on the previous chipsets. Games like RE7 and FF15 kinda cause low level fractures in Centuari’s Aging Kick Ass Factor.

Likewise there’s a fairly viable jumping off point for the fifteen inchers. The heavier assed 15s maintain dual RAM slots and a full sized SATA bay. Where as the lighter 13s only have the M.2 and soldered RAM. Thus allowing me to reuse the Centauri’s SATA SSD and its whopping 1 TB of game / video storage. Migrating to 32 GB of RAM is something I fear will happen within the next ~5 years based on my experiences on machines with 16, 12, 8, 4, 3, and 1 GB of RAM that I still use. Which means if I bought an XPS 13 the minimal capacity would be 16 GB.

So sadly the 15″ models become far more attractive to me than the 13″ models. Because I don’t want another couple year and its crap device, if I’m paying that much again: I want a use until fall apart device.

That said, I don’t really like the idea of a laptop that weighs almost 2 kg as much as I’d rather one weigh closer to 0.5 kg, but getting such performance in that light a package is at least a decade or two away for PCs >_<.

The concept of paying off such a war beast makes me groan. But on the other hand Centauri is already past her retirement age. And provided no pancaking: it would be a war beast that could both replace Centauri for the next ~5 years while deep sixing the choke point of the beater I use for work.

My Chromebook 3 cost me about $50, as a decent machine for my lab bench. But it is limited by the dinky CPU which leaves me groaning far to often as the machine struggles to keep up with my flow of terminals, emails, and tabs. So much so that I already delegate a lot to my my more powerful Android tablet, with its cracked screen. Which leads me towards using my development laptop, Stark as a bench box rather than kept safely on my desk. Because while Stark is about as old as Centauri, a a 3360M totally nukes the crap out of an N3060 any day.

Heavy lifting usually lands upon Centauri and Stark. The difference is the non compiling code all day tasks are both what Centauri does and where its weaknesses are growing. I imagine that Stark would remain the development system, and that Centauri would replace my file server, Cream; or end up donated to the office.

Ahh, so much to plan.

Chrome Unboxed: Google Assistant Could Arrive On All Chromebooks In Late Summer.

For the most part I’ve been done with Google Assistant, and lax in using such tools. But I wouldn’t mind seeing them in more places as an option.

My relationship with voice tools tend to take two forms: pressing the microphone button on my phone and sighing at Google’s failures to handle my reminders and pressing the microphone button on my remote and asking Alexa to launch something I want to resume watching on Fire TV.

It’s nice to have options even if most of the options have failings.

Even my desktop is able to use Alexa and Cortana without much effort; Google Assistant not so much. But of course none really do that much that I find useful in that machine.