Friday, February 19, 2016
The Chromebit Saved my Budget!
As you know, I have long promoted the importance of contentment, stewardship, and simplicity.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided we really had to do something about our computer situation. Our computers were years and years old, and were not handling updates anymore. We have traditionally been a mac family, but I couldn't swallow spending over $1000 on a computer at the moment.
I stumbled upon the Asus Chromebit.
You might be familiar with the chromecast, which is a TV accessory that plugs into an HDMI port, turning a dumb TV into a smart one.
The Chromebit is the same concept, but it turns a dumb or smart TV into a computer running the Google Chrome operating system. The best part is that it costs $85!!!!! We have an extra TV in storage that has been replaced, but still has HDMI inputs. I bought a USB Hub for about $7 and a wireless keyboard and mouse combo for about $35.
Note that the Chromebit works with bluetooth or wireless keyboards and mice. It does recommend purchasing only a self-powered USB hub. If you follow the links I provided, both products will work very nicely with the Chromebit. The keyboard I bought is a little nicer, but it is the same brand. The USB Hub is the actual one I own.
I am very happy with how it all works. Now, I know this is not a tech review site. I don't pretend to be savvy enough to give you thorough information about that. You can look elsewhere for technical specs.
I will tell you how we went from Apple dependent to Google.
1. We do not have iPhones any longer. I will post another time about how we escaped the cell service monsters. Teaser: My wife and I pay $25 a month for our cell service combined!!
2. I used the Google Photos uploader app to move our photos from Apple Photos to the Google Cloud. With a Google account you have up to 15 gigs to store originals for free, but you can store unlimited "high quality" photos for free. All my photos are in the cloud now, so I don't have to constantly be upgrading my hardware to handle them. Google Photos has a lot of very cool features on its own too.
3. I converted my old MacBooks to ChromeBooks. I simply removed all the gobbledy gook off of them, and started using Chrome rather than Safari. Chrome runs the Google web app products. I bookmarked them to the bar, and that carries over across devices. If you have a gmail account, you have all of these products - they are free.
4. I use Google Docs instead of word. Google docs reads and exports .docs, it is web based and free. After using it for a couple of days, I found it easier to use than Word. I am writing a novel with it.
5. I use Google Drive - cloud storage that is available across platforms. You get up to 100 gigs free when you purchase the Chromebit. This has a time limit though.
6. I used my old external hard drive plugged into the USB hub to give me like 300 gigs of storage. This is a small old one. Of course you can get multi - TB size drives that would serve the same purchase.
7. We use streaming music services. We are off and on with Spotify, but with our Amazon Prime account we get Amazon Music for no additional cost.
I highly recommend this product, and do so knowing that it stands in line with my financial philosophy. Please check it out!