Working Tools 37. HEY

Heard of Basecamp? It’s a collaboration tool for remote teams.

Well, the guys behind it have been working on re-imagining e-mail. The aim is to put the user in charge. Privacy-driven, workflow-oriented, with some additional clever elements. It’s called HEY. If you have a half hour, go check out this video by the CEO.

I was seduced. Back in February, the company advised interested parties that they were opening a list for early access in June. I missed that, but eventually caught up and got my request sent in May. I believe, at launch (June 15th) there were 40 to 50 thousand people awaiting their invite.

Basecamp have been dripping out the invitations. The idea is that you use your code to sign up online and get your new e-mail address, and then download the relevant apps for your platform and get going. You have 14 days to try the service. If happy, you can sign up, for £99 per year.

If the service works, and does what it says it does, I will happily pay £99 per annum. That’s not to say that the service is perfect, or without missing features, but the pros outweigh the cons, – for me.

I kept checking my inbox for my code. I’d like to secure my favoured user name. FOMO anyone?

Then, Twitter blew up. Apple is threatening to pull the app – because the subscription element is outside the App Store. Ie: Apple doesn’t get a cut. That’s a no-no.

Unless it’s not a no-no.

There are plenty of examples of apps that already do this with no trouble – one of them being Basecamp. Other e-mail services do it too, Fastmail, Protonmail and Gmail, for example. I’m no expert on this sort of thing – go read John Gruber’s take, here.

I’m not a developer, nor an Apple shareholder. I’m not even a European regulator. (Look out Apple.) I’m a consumer.

I understand the debate – should Apple get a slice of everything that touches their platform or should other parties be allowed to profit from their own innovation atop IOS? There are good arguments on both sides, and I look forward to learning.

However – from a consumer point of view, I’m just annoyed.

Apple is the biggest company in the world. How in God’s name did they create a system that is inconsistent, opaque and so difficult to navigate? They approved the application and then changed their mind? OK on Friday, no good on Monday? Really? That’s the Quality system?

I feel for Basecamp, I’m sure this is not what they want to see. Some are suggesting this is a superbly engineered PR stunt. I imagine the same people think the Earth is flat and Covid-19 a hoax. Without IOS, Hey is crippled, headlines or no headlines.

The promise of the service is fantastic, the marketing clever, and the hype exciting. Bravo Basecamp – a rising tide lifts everyone.

Now, the tide’s out. Apple looks like a greedy monopolistic behemoth, stifling innovation.

Smart Apple would acquire Basecamp. Ruthless Apple would load the development team for its own mail applications, sherlock and supersede Hey.

Rotten Apple, in full view of its customer base, crushes an exciting initiative on the basis that, it hasn’t been cut in on the action.

I have no problem with Apple making money – but it takes a special kind of stupid to make yourself look this bad.

Legal counsel are telling Tim Cook that they can beat the anti-trust investigations in the US and the EU. Maybe they can. Regulators will never bring Apple down.

Greed and complacency might though.

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Working Tools 33. iPad Pro – Fight!

An iPad is not a laptop. Yes, it is. No, it isn’t. YES, IT IS! NO, IT ISN’T!

People do like to get tribal. The internet is getting all shouty about the latest must-have accessory from Apple.

The tech colossus has released a software update that greatly enhances the efficacy of using a mouse or a trackpad with the tablet. Additionally, they have released a new keyboard attachment for the iPad Pro, that includes a trackpad.

Taking these two things together, an iPad Pro can now look and function in a very similar fashion to a laptop.

The internet is awash with videos, podcasts and articles positing that this configuration is truly the laptop replacement. Some are delighted, some horrified and others incredulous of everyone else’s opinion.

Diplomat that I am – I will steer clear of that debate.

Everyone’s wrong. (Alright, not entirely clear of the debate.)

My view

The iPad Pro flutters its eyelids and in a gravelly, seductive whisper says “What do you want me to be, baby?”

The new keyboard, infuriatingly named the same as the keyboard that accompanies the desktop iMac (Magic Keyboard) does indeed give the tablet a similar form factor to a laptop. Macbook killer. Allegedly.

The software update makes the tablet a desktop. The iMac killer, if you will. It sits on a stand, and is controlled by the the old magic keyboard and trackpad. A stripped-down desktop, unsullied by cables.

The Road Warrior sticks to the smart folio keyboard, (no magic there apparently), which allows for typing but preserves the lightweight portability of the tablet. Essential in the old days when she shuttled around the world making deals, kicking ass and taking names.

When the day is done, the user dons a turtleneck, retires to the couch and reads something impressive and intellectual on the naked tablet.

There are more modes – think Apple Pencil, external displays – but you get the picture.

The iPad is all about flexibility of environment and working practice. By happy accident or prescient design, it’s on the way to becoming the device for everyone – or at least most of everyone.

Apple’s view

Apple is a business, and will have no trouble selling us desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, accessories and services as long as we buy them. Arguments between Apple fans about which hunk of metal is best, bother it not a jot. Apple wants to capture all those people who don’t “compute” on Apple devices. Apple wants the young “future-consumers” to get aboard. These markets aren’t going to be buying huge desktops or $3,000 laptops, at least not many of them.

The iPad is the best tablet on the market, and it’s a pretty damned good desktop and laptop too.

My Usage

I’m writing from my dining room table, where I have setup a temporary workstation while my wife recovers from surgery. I’m in mini-desktop mode.

It’s too hot for a turtleneck, but I do subscribe to magazines and newspapers which I read on the couch through my magic slab of glass.

Eventually, we will be allowed to move again, and I can see myself outside a beach bar, or jammed into a airline seat, tapping away on a folio cover keyboard.(Sand can’t get under the fabric.)

The laptop form? Not for me. I suspect it’s much more stable than the folio if you type on your lap – but I don’t, and if I’m at a table, I find the desktop setup more ergonomic.

These things are always subject to change, but I can’t see myself buying a desktop Mac or Macbook again. Others may buy more of these things – and I’ll be honest, I’m not bothered.

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Working Tools 26. Periodic Apple Whine

I need an Apple whine. I need some grape wine too, but then that’s a constant state.

My Setup

MacBook Pro 15 inch 2017. High spec
iPad Pro 10.5
Apple Pencil 1st Generation
iPhone X
Apple Watch Series 3
AirPods 2nd Generation
AirPods 1st Generation
HomePod

Software

All devices are off-beta on the latest versions of operating systems, so iOS 13 and macOS Catalina.

The Whine

Every device functions less well than it did on the previous OS.

My MBP is slow. Horribly slow. Months into the upgrade cycle, it is still trying to get all its ducks in a row with cloud services. I’m not smart enough to work out exactly what’s going on, but photos and notes are always “working” and never fully synchronised. Various 3rd party services that worked flawlessly in the past, now intermittently fail. Apple Mail is so dreary, I’ve gone off into 3rd party land again. Apple Watch unlocks the MBP, sometimes. One time yes, one time no.

The iPad Pro and iPhone have the same struggles with photos and notes. Almost every day, something stops working for no apparent reason. Usually, the something starts again at a later date. Again – I don’t know what’s causing what.

My second generation AirPods do weird charging stuff. This morning, the left pod was 100% charged, the right one 1%. Maybe I did something? Who knows, it all seems OK now.

The HomePod. This device relies on Siri. Like everything else that works on Siri, it works properly so seldom, that it’s best left alone. We essentially use it as a less-reliable, and vastly more expensive, radio.

The Reality Distortion Field

People used to talk about the ability of Steve Jobs to distort reality. It wasn’t him. We do it to ourselves.

Apple’s software isn’t working properly. For several years, its laptops have been fundamentally flawed, in that the keyboards are insufficiently robust. Its artificial intelligence/voice activation is garbage.

The most expensive IT stuff in the market and none of it works as intended.

And yet, the share price is firm, and the revenues enormous. Why?

Stockholm Syndrome

Apple release a new laptop, that APPEARS, so far, to have a keyboard that, you know, works. Like bullying victims ignored for one day by the bully, we all smile, and tell each other that things are on the up. Even though we’re not buying the new laptop, we bathe in the halo from its release.

The Cartel of Mediocrity

Apple should now be being demolished by the competition. Their overpriced hardware is not fit for purpose and is made unreliable and unusable by software that is either entirely untested before release, or has been tested by hamsters. Apple Users should be flocking to Google or Microsoft. They can’t be this bad.

Ah. Well. Actually…

Ripoff

Apple has sold me goods that are not fit for purpose – the MBP with inadequate keyboard. It has charged me large sums of money for hardware (everything else), which it has then rendered unreliable with recommended operating system upgrades.

What will they do about it?

Release a new top end computer that costs the same as a car — that won’t work as advertised because the operating system is crap.

Yay!

Sort yourselves out Apple.

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Living the Dream – 71. Spitting at the screen

I’m regularly spitting at the screen. My favourite comedian, Billy Connolly referred to his “muesli-covered Radio”, involuntarily pebbledashed each morning, by the outrage he felt at the nonsense being spoken.

I’m doing the same, but at various digital screens.

Politics

Obviously, I don’t live in the UK anymore. However, I’m still British and therefore interested in events there.

Brexit, or rather non-Brexit has gone beyond farce. This isn’t a piece supporting one side of the argument or the other, but whatever side one is, the school playground antics of the last few months have been maddening. Now, an election has been called, with each side certain that they will triumph and be able to force through their own agenda.

I can’t be the only person who has worked out that the campaign will be all about Brexit. Putting aside the blind optimism of zealots on either side, a single issue campaign might result, again, in a split roughly down the middle. Poor old British tax payers will spend millions on an election to get us back to the exact same spot in which we currently languish.

IT

Exhausted with the lunacy of politics, I retreat to work. I sit, surrounded by my beautiful designed, recently updated Apple hardware. Over recent years, Apple has been telling us that the future is in the cloud. Everything that we value, photos, media, and data will live in the loving care of Apple who will protect and cherish it. We will access these treasured resources through any and all of our sleek, expensive devices.

Sign me up!

They did, and I pay them each month for all manner of things. Yet, my data is not syncing. My photos are different on different devices. Applications that used to work, don’t work any more. Apple maintains a dignified silence on these things. All its utterances are passed through a “liability” filter, so at no point will they acknowledge specific issues. Mostly, they tell me to “turn it off and turn it on again”. Again, I find myself spitting at the screen.

The specific issues are not the point. I can cope that my Mac and my iPad have different versions of a note. I can copy them both elsewhere to ensure that I don’t lose anything. However, what else is Apple looking after for me? Oh. Wait. A lot. Really a lot. Copies of important documents, photos, scans, passwords…Apple has a hand in all of them.

What gets me spitting though, is that while users complain of errors in Catalina and IOS, Apple is reporting huge revenues, and launching new and exciting headphones. The CEO is almost certainly spouting some sanctimonious crap about privacy somewhere.

When did mediocrity become OK for Apple?

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Working Tools 25. – The Mac Pro

The Mac Pro

The Mac Pro is on its way.

For years, hardcore Mac aficionados have been railing, whining and whingeing about the lack of a successor to the Mac Pro, less than affectionately known as the “Trash can.” Why had Apple abandoned the top end of the market? When had mediocrity become the target segment?

No! Not good enough. Not modular enough, not high-end enough.

The Kit

Somebody, deep in the Apple-core, rolled up their sleeves and swore fluently and silently, flint in their eyes.

The Mac Pro was previewed at the worldwide developers conference (WWDC) last week.

Boom.

I understand little of these things, but by all accounts, this thing is a monster. Massive processing power. The ability to ramp up the specifications to levels never hitherto considered.

There were gasps and rapturous applause.

Cost

The machine will start at $5,000. Should you want a matching screen, you can have one of those for $5,000 too.

So, everybody’s happy now.

Ah. No.

Not exactly.

It appears that the quoted prices are a mite misleading. The base machine has a 256 GB SSD, which is way too small for most purposes. Apple are renowned for high prices on SSD upgrades. The monitor price is a starter too. Should you wish to have the monitor on a stand, then you need to pay another $1,000. Or, you could plump for a bracket to attach to a monitor arm, yours for $200. I suppose you could lean it against the wall.

I was just listening to two avid apple watchers agree that they expect to be able to configure a single workstation up to $50,000.

Outrage

Twitter is alight. How dare Apple produce a machine so good, so modular, so high-end that it’s so unaffordable!

Apple of course is laughing all the way to the bank. I have no idea how many units will be sold to people that make full use of their capability. I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of sales will be to people who have generated elaborate justifications for why they need the machine. (Look out for key phrases “Spare capacity”, “future-proofing” and the like.) I write as one who has a strong line in elaborate justifications.

Additionally, the iMac Pro has gone from “top end” to “sensible option for pros.” Folk that were hanging on for the Mac Pro will either buy one, or pull the trigger on buying the iMac Pro.

Clever people at Apple. I believe that one day, they’ll be the biggest company in…Oh. Wait.

Other announcements

There were lots of positive announcements on the future of software in the Apple world – and plenty of encouraging words around my favoured device the iPad.

As previously posited, I see no reason currently to upgrade my hardware. Apple is relaxed with that, and has adjusted its pricing accordingly. People are upgrading less frequently, but when they do, oh boy, brace yourself.

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Working Tools 23. – Time to Upgrade?

Is it time to upgrade my hardware setup?

Hardware

The first post in the #Workingtools series was a description of my hardware setup, and the second was on software. That was in April. All of the hardware is 2016 / 2017, which is unusual for me.

The laptop is of the generation(s) with the fragile keyboard. I’m hoping that it is relatively safe, as I use it in clamshell mode with an external display and keyboard. The iPad Pro is a 10.5 inch and I use it more and more for work.

WWDC

As I write, the Apple WWDC shindig is a week away, and it is widely rumoured that many of the software limitations of the tablet will be removed. This spring event focuses on software, so I expect no new hardware.

Expectations

Realistically, I don’t expect to be closer to an iPad-only workflow. Recording a podcast, importing photos and then editing them, are tasks that I expect to remain easier on machine that allows for some physical connection. However, some of the expected changes will, I suspect, increase the advantage that the tablet has over the laptop for some tasks. I welcome that, but at the time of writing, I’m still happy with the hardware that I have, or rather I cannot justify the cost of any available upgrade.

Presumably, the new software will enable Apple to release exciting shiny things in the autumn, things that will be appreciably more powerful than the things that I’m using now. Perhaps that will be the time to upgrade?

Conclusion

I’m disappointed now. I started this post with a vague idea that WWDC would mark the time that I should upgrade my tablet and pencil. However, as I wrote it, I came to the conclusion that I have no need for any new electronics. I must be getting old.

Still – I may be wrong, Apple may have a surprise in store.

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Working Tools – 2. Software

Working Tools – 2. Software

I wrote last in this series about the digital hardware that I use. It makes sense to now cover what software I am in most often.

I prefer, whenever possible, to use apps that work consistently on all my platforms.

Shopify. Nero’s Notes runs on Shopify. It’s a strong platform that eases many of the difficulties and challenges of running an online shopping site.

Xero. Accounts for the businesses are produced here. I cannot recommend these guys highly enough. I can reconcile sales to the bank account on the couch.

Bank Apps. I’m migrating from ‘big banks’ to challenger banks, both for business and personal. Banking should be easy, so a good app is an absolute must for me now.

Microsoft Office. Given the choice, I would not have any of these apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc) on any of my devices. They are huge, endlessly updating, monsters. Thing is, everyone else uses them, particularly corporate clients. iWork is compatible with Office, but it’s clunky.

Mail. I use Apple’s stock app. It’s not brilliant, but it’s ok. Using the stock app means it syncs well, and links with other apps and share sheets.

Fantastical. The best calendar app. Natural language input is such a winner. I have multiple calendars shared with different people.

Creating

Ulysses. My writing tool of choice. I love the simplicity of the interface, and the focus that it brings. I will publish this article directly to the website from Ulysses.

Ulysses Logo
A Flutter-bye!

Audacity. I record my end of the podcast on Audacity, and then send it to TJ. He works the magic in the edit.

iMovie. On the rare occasion I upload to YouTube, I try to tidy things up on iMovie first. A lot still to learn.

Consuming

Unread / Feedly. Unread is where I read blog posts. It’s a reader, and needs a feed. I use Feedly to subscribe to blogs, but I never read in it. I just prefer Unread.

Overcast. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I would rather use Apple’s own podcast app, for the same reason that I use Mail, but Overcast is just that much better. It’s a great app.

Netflix and Apple Music. I subscribe to both. So, particularly when travelling, this is where downtime happens.

Communicating

Slack. I belong to several Slack groups and administer one or two. I barely understand it, and I’m sure I don’t use a tenth of its capability, but in a world of tense, tetchy open forums, it is nice to inhabit some safe spaces.

‘The Socials.’ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Not places that I love. However, I run an online business. I need to utilise these channels. I’ll promote this post through them. Whenever I can, I use Buffer to schedule posts. This is more efficient, and means that I don’t get sucked into endless scrolling.

Messaging. iMessage. What’s App, Messenger, SMS. Different contacts seem to use different formats.

The Message Bubbles
iMessage by Apple

Talking.

Cellular, Skype, FaceTime, What’s App, Messenger – again there is no consistency across my range of contacts, so I have lots.

My favoured apps are constantly evolving. In creakingly, I look for ones that I find simple and not distracting. Huge monster apps with masses of functionality that I don’t need distract me. They become an end of themselves.

Next, in #workingtools –  OSX v IOS.

Working Tools – 1. Digital Hardware

Working Tools

I love the analogue. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love digital too. People ask me about both my digital and analogue setups. This then, is the first post in a series called #workingtools.

Apple makes great kit.

First, I bought the 3G iPhone, then the 4, the 5, the 6S and the X. I have had iPads, iPad mini and iPad Pro. I adored my MacBook Air, MacBook and several MacBook Pros. I’m on my second iMac. Naturally, I have a Homepod and an Apple Watch. No wonder Apple is the biggest company in the world.

My Setup

At my desk

Here in Cyprus, I have a MacBook Pro from 2017, that works effectively as a desktop. I never found the Touch Bar useful, and now that my Apple Watch will unlock it, I don’t miss Touch ID either. The machine sits in a TwelveSouth stand, under my desk, and is connected to a LG 4K 21.5inch display. I use the Apple Extended keyboard and Magic Trackpad. The LG display gives me a few more ports, and my backup drives are taped to the back of it. I tie the cables together, and run them down the back of the monitor, giving me a nice clean look. Beneath the desk sits a printer and a document scanner. The podcast mic is a Blue Yeti, mounted on a Roder swivel mount.

A tidy desk!
Standing Desk
On the terrace

Increasingly, I find myself working on my iPad Pro. I have the 10.5 inch 2017 model. I use it several ways. In a shameless copy of Matt Gemmel’s setup, (buy his books by the way, they are great.) I sit it on a Lamicall stand, pair it with an Apple keyboard and use it as a mini-desktop. To store the Apple Pencil, I have a dock from Samdi. I keep the keyboard in the excellent Canopy, by Studio Neat.

Ipad on a stand
iPad Pro 10.5
In the comfy seats

Sometimes though, I want to work in an easy chair, and then, I slip the iPad Pro into the Smart Cover. I sit with my feet up, and the setup is steady enough for me to type away on my lap with no problems. I love that if I’m just consuming, I can fold the cover back (or take it off) and use the iPad with no keyboard too.

Easy chair and footstool
Where I read, work with my iPad, and…snooze
On the road

Usually, I travel with the Smart Keyboard. If I’m on a long trip, where I feel I have time for some extended work, then I might take the canopy and Apple keyboard too. While the Smart Keyboard is absolutely fine, I still prefer the ‘proper’ keyboard. I can’t imagine ever taking the laptop.

Ever-present

iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. To have a powerful computer in the my pocket still thrills me. There are many aspects of my business that I can run entirely from this tiny device, as well as listen to music, podcasts, hell, even make phone calls.

Next in #workingtools, software.

Review

img_20161129_083442

Ducks on the Pill Brook at the end of my street.

This morning, I was watching a very brave journalist broadcasting from Aleppo in Syria.

I do not claim to have any real handle on the rights and wrongs of that terrible conflict. I watched in horror and shame. Will we ever stop being a cruel and murderous, species I wonder?

I am fairly certain that the involvement of this joker hasn’t helped.

It is difficult to maintain any sort of perspective in relation to the events that I mention above, but I thought I might provide a review on a variety of things.

IT. I posted here about moving away from Apple, and here about moving to Google. My Pixel XL phone is great. Reliable, efficient and fast-charging. I can say the same for the Chromebook. The biggest change though works regardless of hardware. Turn notifications off. All except phone. This one simple step puts you in charge of your apps, rather than they in charge of you.

Politics. A lot of nonsense continues to be talked about Brexit. A favourite is the clamour for the government to publish a plan. A plan for a negotiation. A chocolate teapot. Eventually, the PM realised that all she had to do was agree. She will soon publish a plan saying – “We want free trade, and control of our borders.” Remainers will cry foul and demand to know what is going to happen. The government will respond – “Don’t know. It’s a negotiation.” Still. It keeps them busy.

US Politics. From a field of two, one candidate won. He is certainly a departure from the usual. There is a lot of noise about the inherent unfairness of the electoral system, and at the moment, outrage that a foreign power is alleged to have attempted to influence the outcome of the election. Apparently such claims made with no trace of irony. How will ‘The Donald’ work out? I really don’t know. I suspect he will continue to delight in upsetting any apple-cart that he can find.

The CaminoThe word alone brings a smile to my face. Somehow we managed to ensure that the pilgrim with the photos is the one least able to share them, so I have not written or posted as much about that week as I had planned. Walking twenty miles or more each day certainly simplifies life and I can’t wait for the second instalment next year.

Journals, organisers and stationery. I have chopped and changed through a myriad of schemes to organise myself. Both digital and analogue. My preference is analogue, yet digital is far better for sharing. Thus, I use a hybrid. My calendar, shared with Mrs L, is kept on Google; accessible from multiple electronic devices. Many events, I also transfer to my Economist desk diary. Here, I get some perspective on how my week looks. I find this more attractive than an electronic output and better for my weekly review. On the move though, the diary has too much heft. I now carry a simple paper A6 notebook with a Fischer space pen. I would rather use a fountain pen, but I often dress casual – and ink and jeans can be uncomfortable companions. Here, I employ parts of the #BuJo system to run my daily tasks. Of late, I have even developed a double page system to prioritise. I also have a reflective journal – which I would like to keep daily, but often is neglected. Joyfully, the journal has no notifications function, and therefore does not berate me for missing a day.

Corporate. I have a couple of clients for whom I provide support in anti-money laundering systems. I have also been reviewing a multitude of potential acquisitions. Both of those things are, by their very nature, confidential, but hopefully the work done this year will lead to good outcomes.

Writing. The last few months I have done no work at all on Sean. I have been perpetually busy on everything above. Now, given that I am largely (when Mrs L lets me) master of my own time, I have to ask myself why it is that I can find time for anything, anything at all, except writing.

That’s probably another post all on its own.

 

 

Hello, Google

google-logo

Yesterday, I posted about my love affair with Apple coming to an end.

This was a little scary – as over the last few years, my brief encounters with Windows machines have not been happy ones. Never-ending updates, relentless malware attacks…

What was the alternative?

Since 2014, I have been using Google Apps – now suggestively renamed GSuite. It allows me to use Google’s e-mail, calendar and other apps under my own domains.

I had vaguely heard about something called a Chromebook.

These are typically pretty low specification machines that run a web browser, specifically, the Chrome browser. The processor is old, the memory is tiny. There’s nothing to them. They are cheap though. And fast.

The principle is that you keep everything in the cloud. All of your files. All of your e-mail. All of your programs.

Useless. How could that possibly work? I do far more than online stuff.

Actually…No. I don’t. Or, rather I do very little that cannot be done with a chromebook.

What do I actually do with my device?

All the top procrastination tools are online – Social media, online shopping, email.

Spreadsheets? GSuite has Google Sheets that can view and edit Excel. Likewise for Word and Powerpoint. There is even a work offline mode should the broadband go down or if I’m on the road. Microsoft programs are all available as web apps.

This post is being written on WordPress – a web app.

So – I bought a Chromebook. I’m writing on it now. Naturally, being me, I bought one that is premium. This is an HP, with a metal body, a gorgeous high definition screen, B&O speakers. Frankly, it looks a lot like a Macbook. Currently there are 8 tabs open. The machine is like lightning.

The laptop boots up in seconds. There are no programs taking an age to start up. Virus protection is done server-side by Google. As there are no programs, there are no updates. I like it.

Oh…and you can have two for the price of a Macbook. Three or four for the price of a high spec Macbook Pro.

I’m told that I will struggle to mix my next single or edit my 4k video release on this machine. Not things that I do.

rsz_img_20161108_093158

Are there limitations?

Maybe.

First. Everything is stored on GDrive, in the cloud. Navigating around that does not come naturally to me – but I I suspect a little research and I will discover a quicker way.

Second. I write (not enough) on Scrivener. Scrivener is great on a Mac, OK on a Windows machine, doesn’t work on a Chromebook. I will need to write elsewhere. Thus far, Google Docs looks favourite. It has only a tiny fraction of the functionality of Scrivener – but it has the bit that I need. 99% of Scrivener is wasted on me.

My Iphone has been retired too. I have a phone made by Google, called a Pixel. I tried an android phone before – and regretted it. This one however is great, and just works. A bit like Apple used to.

My hardware is built for Google apps. I’m using Google apps. Unsurprisingly, it’s seamless.

I suspect the real cost of this is that Google has everything. I have no doubt that it hoovers up all this data. Privacy? What’s that?

But, truth be told, I suspect that the privacy ship sailed a long time ago.