On a new Chromebook.

I dropped by one of the big box stores today looking for a new PowerPoint clicker, so naturally I walked out with a new-ish Chromebook. It was an open box, so it was 25% off. I figured I’d give it a test drive; worst case scenario I could return it and lose the restocking fee.

It’s an HP Pavilion 14. It feels a bit lighter than the MacBook, the screen’s a little bit wider, and the color has taken a little getting-used-to. The blues are a little different on this screen, a little bit lighter than on my MacBook or on my work computer, which is a Cray running LCARS. This Chromebook feels like cheap plastic, likely because it is cheap plastic. The savings have to come from somewhere.

The keyboard is wider due to an extra column including PageUp, PageDown, Home, and End, so on-the-fly editing has been an adventure. Apparently there’s a real live BACKSPACE key that I can use instead of holding down FN and DELETE. I found that out the hard way, which was by accidentally deleting the last five words instead of the last five letters. Thank the gods that CTRL-Z is still the “undo” function. The alphabetical keys are positioned a little further left than I’m used to. The function/control/alternate keys serve different purposes. But I suppose that’s what you’ll deal with on any new computer. It’ll take some getting used to.

This is the first entry I’ve composed using Google Docs, which means that Google probably has a permanent record of it, which means the NSA probably has a permanent record of it also… but they already had access to everything on every other computer, too, so why not start keeping stuff on Google Drive or whatever they’re calling it this week? Let them pick up the cost of the extra hard drive space. Anyhow, I normally use TextEdit on the MacBook, which is more than versatile enough to meet my blogging needs, or Microsoft Word, which uses magnitudes more processing power than is necessary to blog. But Google Docs looks to approach Word’s capacities while remaining deft and lightweight like TextEdit.

It’s an impressive little toy so far. I wonder if Google is going to push their product line by making laptops and tablets available at bulk discount to any school districts– say, mine– so we can get rid of some of the plodding dinosaurs the district issued us back in ‘06.

Still no new clicker.

I want to have hope for the Bears, I really do. The playoffs are still a legitimate possibility, but the run defense is gone. Trestman & Co. seemed to have solved the offensive line problem, but now they have exactly the opposite problem: no defensive live. It’s humiliating to think that these Bears– who wear the same blue jerseys as Urlacher, Briggs, and Colvin; as Dent, McMichael, Hampton and Singletary; as Butkus and Atkins and O’Bradovich; as George and Turner and Musso; even as Nagurski and Grange and Trafton– have the worst run defense in the league and one of the worst defenses overall. They’re going to have to revamp the d-line, fix the secondary (the linebackers usually seem to work out well), and use up more of the clock on offense.