I’ve been away with a few friends this weekend to Ledbury, which, in case you were wondering, is near Hereford. In other words, it’s the heart of cider country, and very close to the source of Stowford Press, my favourite on a night out (or in). So no prizes for guessing what we all did on Saturday morning.
This weekend was also my first chance to try out a recently acquired gadget, my IMuto 30000mAh battery bank. It’s not light, but on a weekend away where I was driving anyway, taking it along was no great hardship. It takes forever to juice it up from 0 to full (about 3 days using the USB sockets in my flat), but once juiced, it’s capable of charging my OnePlus Two overnight at least three times, and simultaneously taking care of my Huawei W1 smart watch. Really useful to have along on a trip, though it does have an annoying habit of cutting off power to the port if the device stops pulling for a moment (this happens with the watch when it hits full, and means it’s dropped off a couple of percent by the time I wake up – but the watch is far longer lasting than the phone, so no great shakes). This should be the antidote to hotel rooms with not enough sockets, though the house we rented on this occasion actually had plenty of power bars for the modern traveller.
Google kindly gave my employer a Chromebook recently – all the better to talk to Google’s marketing team on about what one might buy. And once that call was over, there was no immediate use for it around the office, so I … borrowed it … for an extended road test at my flat.
Asus C202S Chromebook
So far, I’m impressed. This particular Chromebook is the Asus C202S, and it’s almost supplanted my company-issue Lenovo X230 as my do-everything laptop at home. One particularly impressive thing is that it can sit on my lap for hours without producing enough heat to be uncomfortable – something any “proper” laptop fails at within 30 minutes or so.
Since nearly everything is done via a browser these days, doing life admin and messing around on the internet is all taken care of. The only things I miss are Thunderbird (because the best webmail client I can find lacks the “redirect” feature) and an SSH client (yes, I have an installation of Shell In A Box, but that requires a password rather than SSH keys).
It uses some slick integration with Google Drive to make up for the lack of a local filesystem, and given I have an Android phone, that works well.
All in all, I suspect I’ll be buying one of these as my next “home laptop” rather than anything more full-fat. But then, I do still have a desktop with two 19″ monitors for the heavy lifting.