Let me save you some money.
I’m talking about the money you may spend on your next computer.
I you are like most people on social media you will run to one of the big box stores to buy a computer to use for Facebook or Twitter without thinking about ways you are going to use that computer. You will spend $300 to $1,000 to stay in touch with your friends and to catch the latest news from The Brazil Times.
It’s wise to ask why you are buying a computer, determine what software you will need and then choose the computer.
If you don’t, you may be like the person who buys a ¾-ton pickup truck just to take the family out for ice cream and to Walmart. That truck may be a fine vehicle but he will probably wish he had bought something smaller that cost less money and carried his family just as well.
My wife was wise when she bought her computer. She knew she would use it to keep a few simple spreadsheets and check her email. So she bought a Netbook on sale and has been happy with it since.
Recently, when my 10-year-old laptop kept crashing and would not operate like I wanted it to, I reinstalled the operating system. When that didn’t help, I started looking at new computers.
I had spent several hundred dollars on that HP brand laptop a decade ago but I didn’t want to spend that much again. After reading reviews I decided to get a Chromebook.
A Chromebook operates on the Chrome operating system from Google and is akin to the Android system in many cell phones. In fact, my Chrome can use Android programs.
Chromebooks are made by several companies and use the Internet “cloud” for programs. Most of the programs are from Google, such as the Chrome browser, which I prefer anyway.
I am writing this in Google Docs, though I could use the online version of Microsoft Word.
There are advantages to using a Chromebook. The machine cost less than $200, it starts up in less than 10 seconds, it is impervious to viruses because the operating system is also in the cloud and I rely on Google to keep those files clean..
To use the truck analogy, instead of buying that huge pickup for my light work at home, I bought a compact car, which meets my needs, even the extensive writing I do and in an emergency I can edit audio or photos using my Chromebook.
This all came to mind after I posted a message in a Chromebook community on Google Plus, a social media site.
After I mentioned the advantage of virus protection, a member of the group who calls himself “The First Horseman” replied, “If you're afraid of viruses on Windows, then you've succumbed to the Norton and Macafee propaganda.”
What ensued was a lengthy conversation about the merits of Windows vs. Apple vs. Chrome operating systems.
He is apparently a photographer who uses his computer for some heavy duty photo editing.
I have used computers since the 1980s, including Radio Shack TRS 80s, Windows and Apple OS machines.
The computer I use at work has to handle putting pages together to send to the printer and fairly hefty photo editing chores. It also cost at least $1,000.
I would not recommend using a Chromebook for such work but my Chromebook certainly meets my needs at home.
So, my friendly advice is, when you go computer shopping, be as smart as when you look for a new car!