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Is a Google Chrome Notebook Right for You?

Is a Google Chrome Notebook Right for You?

    If you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t follow the tech industry all that closely, you might not be aware that Google has been working on their Chrome operating system and a notebook that runs off of it.  In late 2010 they began taking applications for people to test out the never-to-be-released, beta notebooks known by the moniker CR-48.  They’ve since distributed the notebooks to a select group of media people and other random folks chosen from the applications, and on Wednesday word began to leak about when a Chrome-powered notebook might actually be available to consumers for purchase.  It looks as though at least one Chrome notebook will hit the market this summer, but how do you know if this would be the right purchase for you?  Here are a few things to consider:

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    What will you use it for?

    If you’re hoping to get a Chrome notebook to replace your existing laptop or desktop computer, it’s not quite there yet.  Having used the CR-48 for several weeks now, I would say it’s a great internet device.  There is no physical harddrive included in the setup, and you can’t run programs like Photoshop on it.  But if all you want to do is surf the net or type up a report, it’s perfect.  It’s lightweight, boots incredibly fast, and has an amazing battery life.  It’s great for taking along, and for browsing the web while lounging on the couch.

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    Like Android and iPhone smartphones, Chrome notebooks rely on apps for additional functionality.  Apps for the device are available in the Android Market.  And if you really do need to save something, the device includes a SD card slot so you may as well invest in a fairly large capacity SD card if you just can’t break away from the habit of saving everything on a physical piece of memory, rather than having it out there in the cloud somewhere.

    Right now, a Chrome notebook won’t completely replace a traditional computer.  You’ll want to check them out though if all you really want is another cool toy that will let you surf the net.

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    How much do you have to spend?

    For a notebook that lacks a harddrive and a CAPSLOCK key (they replaced it with a search button — genius!!), I can’t say I’d see them pricing it ridiculously high. My guess is they’ll be valued at around $500 MSRP, give or take a few dollars.

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    The latest rumor is that the search giant will release the notebook as a subscription service, with users paying in the $10-20 per month range.  Those who’d rather not deal with monthly fees could skip the installment payments and just buy it outright.  In other words, if you’re lacking funds to pay for it, you can get on the subscription service and pay only a little bit at a time.  Or if you’ve got extra cash and, you can just pay for the thing all at once and not have to worry about making a monthly payment. The subscription service, however, will make the Chrome notebook available to more people.

    Summary:

    The Chrome notebook isn’t quite up to snuff to compete with enterprise computing, but for the average Joe consumer, it’s got mostly everything needed.  You can still plug-in your digital camera and upload your photos to Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, or whatever other online photo sharing service  you use, you can check your email, surf the net, and write a report with Google Docs.   It’s a great device for when you really don’t need “everything”, and boasts some pretty good specs. It’s just so simple and easy to use.

    If you’re itching to get your hands on a Chrome notebook and weren’t selected to be a part of the CR-48 program, don’t fret — they’re hitting the market soon.  On Wednesday sources indicated that at least one model would be available in June/July, which is not that far around the corner.  It will be interesting to see how the consumer devices have been altered from the CR-48 test units, but I don’t expect it to be a far cry from what I’ve already seen.

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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