Chrome OS Takes a Leap In The Right Direction

Chrome OS

David Pierce reports for The Verge:

For email, document editing, and web browsing, the Chrome OS experience is at least as good as any desktop operating system — I’d rather use Gmail on the Chromebook than in Chrome on my Macbook Air. Once Google solves the offline problem —which it’s been promising to do since Chrome OS first debuted — Chrome OS could really be a compelling option for people who want a computer that’s not hard to figure out and doesn’t overwhelm you with options or apps.

[…] Google is closer than ever to convincing the world that we can live online, that we can do away with the old hard drives and local apps and spend our lives on the web. If you’re shopping for a dead-simple computer to use as a secondary machine or to give to someone with only basic computer needs, the latest Chrome OS machines are worth a long look.

Chrome OS has always been the subject of distinct fascination for me. Quick, cloud-centric, and utterly steeped within the tenets of minimalism, Chrome OS offers a very great deal to the seeker of computing simplicity.

Although I doubt I could live within the bounds of Chrome OS for my personal day-to-day tasks, the operating system holds an odd allure for those non-work-intensive moments at home, or when traveling. Of course, for me, this gap has already been filled by the presence of my iPad, but that’s certainly no cause to feign ignorance toward the ever-improving Chrome OS environment.

As I’ve written in the past, I have a romantic entanglement with the concept of a cloud-centric computing environment. With some work, I’ve mostly been able to achieve the realization of this concept with my Mac, but the experience is obviously ill-fitting of both OS X and my working requirements. Perhaps Chrome OS has many faults but, more so many others, I believe it’s indicative of the future of the computing environment for the average user.

Accordingly, I tend to find Chrome OS infinitely more interesting than Android, and I certainly hope any intersection between the two can be stayed. Chrome OS has its own trajectory — one that is of true interest to me — and I wholeheartedly intend to follow its growth over the coming months and years.

Cloud-Centric

iCloud

Earlier this afternoon, following a link from Mr. Pat Dryburgh, I eagerly read through Elliot Jay Stocks’ piece regarding his abandonment of a traditional hard-drive-centric computing setup for a cloud-centric model. Without delving into the specifics of Elliot’s piece, I contend that his endeavors toward such a setup are indicative of an important shift in the nature of computing.

Simply put, the notion of a cloud-centric computing setup is representative of our impending future — a future that is endlessly enticing to me.

For the better part of a year now, I’ve steadily angled toward utter reliance upon a variety of cloud services. Thanks to the rising prominence of Rdio, Spotify, and Apple’s iCloud, such an endeavor has been natural, painless, and lacking of any semblance of struggle.

Although an OWC Data Doubler cradles a 500 gigabyte hard drive in my early-2011 MacBook Pro’s DVD bay, the drive is rarely graced with activity in my day-to-day life. Instead, my workflow centers around a 40 percent full solid state drive. Only 128 gigabytes in size, the drive — when coupled with a variety of cloud services — is an adept, robust, and versatile means for my computing needs. Fundamentally small for holding swathes of media, the drive has fostered a healthy cognizance of the overarching notion of enough.

As the nature of the Mac, iOS, and commercial cloud applications stand, I’m on the cusp of unfettered confidence in transitioning toward a MacBook Air with a relatively small drive as my primary means for traditional consuming (i.e., excluding my iPhone and iPad). Despite certain outlying situations in which such a setup is riddled with impracticalities, I tend to air on the side of optimism with regard to such a model. If the timing’s right, I hope to embark upon such a lightweight setup within the next two-to-three months.

As an aside, it’s worth noting, however, that with the (purportedly) impending arrival of Retina displays for the Mac, app sizes may steadily be subject to growth. Thus, a somewhat larger drive may be required to avoid encroaching upon a safe reserve of space in the latter 50 percent of the drive.

Arguably the effort put into achieving such a setup is somewhat counterintuitive, but I cannot help but regard the cloud as the future of computing. As I’ve written in the past, I have a romantic infatuation with the prospect of a frictionless, effortless, and seamless computing environment. While I believe such a reality is rapidly coming to fruition, I am — as with many others in this community — characteristically impatient when it comes to innovation, ease of use, and productivity.

Most importantly, however, is the guiding concept of carrying less.

Less, as a concept, allows for greater agility, unhindered flexibility, and contextual impartiality. Thus, whether computing, exercising, cooking, or what have you, a central tenet of my life thus far has been the endeavor toward less.

For further intellectual stimulation on such a topic, I highly suggest you read Mr. Patrick Rhone’s phenomenal treatise on the matter, Enough.