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Ra - not just the Sun God, but a mighty fine programmers editor for Chrome for editing local files

I like my Chromebook (an Acer C720) because it's lightweight, slim, the battery lasts forever, and the performance is great. It's a wonderful machine on which to browse the web, run Gmail, Google Docs, etc. But there are several things I do frequently that is keeping me using my Mac desktop computer. The potential for freedom using the Chromebook is beckoning, but these use cases keep me chained to the Mac.

JavaScript doesn't tell you the Date object is bad, here's how to figure that out before crashing your program

In JavaScript, creating a Date object from a string is real convenient ("var foo = new Date(dateString)"), but what if dateString has a bad format? How will your code know about this? The Date object doesn't have a getter to tell you the date is bad.

Accidental Amazon Kindle purchases: It's easy to buy for Kindle, and hard to return

Maybe this has happened to you, you're on and accidentally purchase a Kindle book. The way it happened for me was simple, I had entered a book name to search for it, then hit TAB (don't remember why), then hit RETURN, and next thing I knew I was on a page thanking me for making a purchase. The culprit? Me, and the design of the Amazon website.

Do 3rd party commenting systems (Disqus et al) support my community, or theirs?

It used to be that Web 2.0 was the cool new thing, and a core feature was that the audience could leave comments on websites. It's common nowadays for websites to support comments, and comment areas have become (in some cases) a war zone full of partisan bickering. It was ground-breaking the 10ish or so years ago that websites began to support 3rd party comments. Really.

How to fix Google Chrome crazily creating extra new tabs when opening a new browser tab

Recently Chrome (on my Chromebook) began crazily creating a zillion new tabs every time I asked it to open a new tab. It was very painful, because every time opening a tab there was an explosion of new tabs being opened, and it meant trying to click the close-tab button to stop the explosion. At first I thought, "oh, Chrome got updated with a bug, they'll sort it out, and issue an update." After waiting for a few days and it didn't fix itself, I saw a note in passing that Google had changed something with the "New Tab page" ..

Chromebox for Meetings should decimate the incumbent audio/video conferencing market

Chromebooks are now being joined by Chromebox's, and we should start to wonder whether Chrome devices will represent a whole new wave of computing platforms. That is, will Chrome devices take a place alongside Windows PC's, Mac's and Android/iOS mobile devices as a major computing platform? I'm typing this on a Chromebook and have to say the experience is pretty good, enough that I haven't used my Macbook Pro for several days where previously I'd used it daily.

Why do we need Skype et al on Chromebook - should Google do everything for us?

My last blog post concerned how to install Skype and other applications on a Chromebook. The task is straight-forward and I believe the blog post is informative - but it generated some controversy. The controversy wasn't over the methodology, but why would I want to do that in the first place? Aren't Hangout's sufficient to replace Skype?

Installing Skype, photo/video editing, word processors, and more on a Chromebook

Chromebooks offer respite from antivirus software hassles, system maintenance hassles, and more. The idea is that with the Chrome web browser as the only user interface, people can compute in safety. But what about the whole slew of existing software that runs outside web browsers - Skype being just one example. What about video or audio editing? What about traditional word processors or spreadsheet applications? None of those run inside a web browser. Yet.

Here's why net neutrality is important, and why the Internet may have died this week

net-neutrality.jpgThis week a federal appeals court overturned the FCC's ability to ensure open access to all websites. The details of what this means may get lost in the translation, but the image on the right encapsulates the problem very well. Now, with this ruling, Internet Service Providers will be able to block websites on a case-by-case basis for purely business reasons, and will be able to create a menu of addon "services" that we now enjoy for free.

VLC is a great way to transfer videos or other personal media to iPhone or iPad without using iTunes

We love our iPhone or iPad, they're beautiful machines, but try to do something Apple thinks you shouldn't do and you run into a brick wall. We live in a walled garden designed by Apple. It's a very pretty walled garden, but it can be frustrating at times. The example today is the desire to transfer those videos you own outright from your computer to your iOS device. Apple's preferred method to transfer stuff to an iOS device (iPhone, iPad) is through iTunes. The iOS devices are not, technically speaking, cloud computing devices, because Apple designed them to tether to iTunes.