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Falko Löffler
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"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." - Douglas Adams
"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." - Douglas Adams

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I've got the Play Store to work on my Google Apps for Work account on my Acer R11 (Stable channel). Well, sort of. Perhaps this is of interest for +Karl Gingerich and some others here. :)
I was digging through the admin console to see if there are new settings and that seems to be the case. Sorry for the German screenshots, but as you can see it's now possible to click a checkbox in the Device Management tab. After that you can go to a section in the Apps tab and activate it.
So far, so good. But currently I don't have the normal app store available because "your administrator has not provided you with any apps". Well, that admin is me, so I guess I have to dig a little deeper in the Admin settings (which is mostly terra incognita for me).
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26.09.16
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Play Store on my Acer R11 in Beta. Great!
But as far as I can tell I can only use it when I log into my personal Google account. In my Apps for Work account it's not possible to activate it (it says I should ask my administrator, which would be - me. :D ). In the Admin console I don't see a function to allow the Play Store. (Sadly, when I log into my personal account as a secondary login the Play Store is still locked - it needs to be the first login to work.)
Or does anybody know a way to already make the Play Store sing with Apps for Work? Guess it will happen sooner or later, perhaps in Stable.

What, Chrome OS 50 drops in Stable Channel and no one mentions it? :D It's not even on the Chrome Releases Blog. (In my case it's on an Acer R11.)
The changes to the interface are really subtle. After the reboot I thought there were no Material Design changes at all. But when I started to use it I found all those little things that are very welcome - the three dots instead of the sandwich menu, the exploding effect on the buttons, the bigger tabs ... all in all everything looks more polished, but as far as I can tell there are no changes in usability. Which is a nice thing. :)

With a heavy heart I returned the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2014), because the Bay Trail is too slow. No beating around the bush here.

New favourite: Acer Chromebook R11 (4 GB model). Already in love with it, the perfect successor to the C720 for me.

There's only one thing I can't get my head around: is there a way to put the Acer to sleep when in Tablet Mode? (Checked the manual - it explains that the keyboard is for entering data. Yeah, rly? :D But no word on tablet mode.)

The on/off switch on the side only lets it power down when pressed long. A short press only starts the logout process without going through with it. Having to close it every time seems a bit dumb when you want to use it as tablet for a longer period of time. Someone else here using it? :)

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Es ist schon etwas albern, dass ich mich primär als Romanautor sehe, aber zuletzt 2010 tatsächlich einen Roman rausgebracht habe. In der Zwischenzeit kamen viele Spiele, ein paar lustige Bücher und es wurden neue Romanideen in Konzeptform ausgearbeitet. Und dann war da noch der Politthriller, von dem ich immer wieder erzählt habe. Wenn nicht schon wieder was schiefgeht, erscheint der tatsächlich sehr bald.
Den Kollegen von gamers.de habe ich erzählt, was ich alles mache, und nebenbei verrate ich dort zumindest den Titel dieses Buches.

http://www.gamers.de/der-geschichtenschmied-autor-und-storywriter-falko-loeffler-im-interview/

Recently I've bugged you about some machines, and I'd like share my findings. I guess you all here are more interested in this than, say, my wife. :D

I had bought a Lenovo Ideapad 100s with Win 10 to see if those machines have become viable alternatives to Chromebooks. At least the price matches by now. The Ideapad is great. I loved the keyboard, the 180° hinge and the build quality. But the SD slot and the trackpad were faulty, so I returned it. Then I decided to give the Asus EEEBook F205 a shot. The specs are comparable to the Lenovo. Turns out, I love this thing. Less than 1 kg, 10+ h of battery, ok screen, ok keyboard. Killer for 219 Euros.
- 32 GB eMMC and 2 GB RAM are barely enough for Windows. But it's enough if you restrain yourself. Tabs in Chrome reload rather often, but it's usable.
- Deleting old system versions frees more than 5 GB on the eMMC.
- Of course, you get the perks that come with windows. At least it's possible to install a few old DOS games from Gog.com. :D
So, the Asus is my new road warrior. Primarily it will be used just like a very slow and basic Chromebook.

But, of course, I also need a Chromebook. :)
I had an Acer C720 and Acer CB-15 (Full HD), but thought it was more practical to trade them in for a Toshiba Chromebook 2 (only the 2014 model available in Germany, sadly). So this I did.
- Performance of this older Bay Trail seems to be exactly between the two Acer models - and with the 4 GB RAM more than usable.
- First indication of battery life was only about 6 h. Hope this improves.
- You buy this thing just for its screen and don't care about anything else.
Thanks to all who recommended it - very happy with this CB.

In the end:
- Windows is catching up. The machines for about 200 bucks are usable and great value for the money. If the specs go up just a little bit (faster Atom, 64 GB, 4 GB) while Win 10 gets more efficient ... I'd recommend those to most people instead of CBs. Couldn't say this about the Netbooks from yesteryear.
- Chromebooks need better performance, even in the low end models. Or they need to become even cheaper (which they do, as far as I can tell, with the Hisense models etc).
- Still, nothing is easier to set up and use than a Chromebook. Basic setup of the Asus took around 5 h. Unpacking the CB, updating, loggin in - the same in minutes.

Would you still buy the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2014) non discounted?
It's a dire situation in Germany. The upated version of the TC 2 with backlit keyboard never arrived here. The 2014 edition still sells for 379 Euros. The only alternative with a 13" screen is the Acer model, and the Tegra and dim screen are even more outdated. Dell doesn't offer its CBs here, and the only Pixel available is the Pixel C ...
Coming from the Acer Chromebook 15" (Celeron, 4 GB, Full HD) which is a great overall machine, but not portable (duh, yeah :D ) I'd like to make the switch to the Toshiba, but I never had the chance to try it firsthand. I know that its performance is probably below the Acer, but would you still be happy with the 2014 model (Full HD, 4 GB RAM) in 2016 for normal use? (Simultaneously edit a few Docs, stream Spotify, have some social media tabs open ...)

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Alright, hell's freezing over.
I love my two Chromebooks (Acer C720 11" and Acer C910 15" - especially the latter is pure joy to use). But I'll be travelling in the coming months and I need to work on MS Office files for customers a lot. Which works fine in Office Online on the CBs - but only when you're actually online. I can't afford to rely on Wifi when I only have a short turnaround time.
So ... I'm giving this thing a try:
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/100-series/100s-11-inch/#80R2003XUS

It may replace my (aging) C720 if ...
- Boot time is quick and sleep mode works flawlessly.
- Chrome & Drive offline work just as on a CB.
- Battery in real life is 7+ h as advertised.

The perfect solution would be to use "Cloud Ready" from Neverware as a dual boot solution, but the BIOS is locked, so no option here.

If you're interested I'll add a few comments here how this turns out. I'm familiar with Win 10, but I'm eager to find out if the small Win notebooks have become usable by now - my last EEE PC with Win 7 was a good reason for making the switch to Chromebooks. Since then I live in Google Apps for Work and don't plan to give it up. :)

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Übrigens: Wer aktuelle Sachen von mir lesen möchte, sollte das (derzeit) nicht hier versuchen, sondern bei Medium: https://medium.com/@falko

Bislang konnte ich mir Kickstarter-Kampagnen mit faszinierter Distanz anschauen. Nun stehe ich selbst dort in einem Beschreibungstext und, tja, blicke etwas genauer hin, wie es läuft.

Das Team von Rockfish Games aus Hamburg entwickelt derzeit „EVERSPACE“, einen „rogue-like 3D space shooter“, bei dem ich an Story und Spielwelt mitmischen darf.

Hier ist der Link zu Kickstarter: 
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rockfishgames/everspace?ref=nav_search

Wer sich weiter über das Spiel informieren möchte:

Website: http://everspace-game.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/everspace.game?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/everspace_game

Und eine Weiterverteilung der Links – besonders zur Kampagne – ist natürlich besonders willkommen. :)
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