Using Chrome Remote Desktop For Gaming In Chrome OS


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In earlier Articles I’ve talked about using Chrome Remote Desktop for using Windows Programs in Chrome OS and for using Microsoft Visual Studio in Chrome OS. While wanting to use Windows Programs in Chrome OS is a slightly more mainstream than wanting to use Microsoft Visual Studio in Chrome OS, there is one area of Computing that’s not fully covered by Chrome OS equivalent web Apps is Gaming & this is where Chrome Remote Desktop really comes into its own, there’s no performance issues for playing built-in Windows Games, more advanced games might have a problem unless you’ve got a Multi-Core CPU, a dedicated Graphics Card and lots of RAM.
I’ve not had much time to experiment with Gaming through Chrome Remote Desktop, and will do a follow-up Article when I’ve had chance to experiment with Gaming via Chrome Remote Desktop, but doing the standard stuff like Programming and using Windows Programs on my aging Toshiba Laptop via my Acer C720 Chromebok via Chrome Remote Desktop is as smooth as using my Toshiba Laptop directly even when connecting over a 3G connection, but Gaming will need a high-speed connection that is as stable as your WiFi connection if you want to successfully Game using Chrome Remote Desktop over the Internet.
Roland

Google+

Learning To Program In Microsoft Visual Studio: From A Chromebook & Chrome OS User


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While there is the Neutron Drive IDE Web App for Programming in Chrome OS, anyone who wants to learn how to Program in any or all the Languages that come as part of Visual Studio, it’s probably best to learn how to Program using Visual Studio since it’s the Industry Standard IDE for Programming.

But Visual Studio is expensive!!!! I hear you cry, well that may be true for the Professional & Ultimate Editions of Visual Studio which have been part of the Visual Studio line since 2005. visual Studio Express 2013 is composed of 3 different Editions (Visual Studio Express Web for Developing Web Applications, Visual Studio Express Windows for Developing Windows 8+ Modern UI Apps & Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop for Developing Traditional Windows Programs that run on all versions of Windows) There is also an Express Edition of  the server-side Version Control Team Foundation Server that also runs on Client Machines thanks to Windows built-in Web Server IIS. These Express Editions including Team Foundation Server are free to Download & use on as many Windows Desktops or Laptops as you like, Visual Studio 2013 only runs on Windows 8/8.1 so if you’re running Windows 7 then you will need Visual Studio 2012. Visual Studio Express takes all the complexity out of Visual Studio Professional or Ultimate.

Programming using Visual Studio & Chrome OS

The only way to Program using Visual Studio on Chrome OS requires a Windows Computer with Visual Studio installed along with the Chrome Web Browser & the Chrome Remote Desktop extension installed and the Chrome Remote Desktop installed on your Chrome OS computer. See my last Article for more on Chrome Remote Desktop.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Visual Studio runs just as smooth as if you were using it directly on your Windows computer over Chrome Remote Desktop when on a WiFi Network but it runs slightly slower when using a Mobile data connection, but this might show that there is some form of compression going on that’s not as noticeable when on WiFi.

Programming in Visual Studio while using Chrome OS gives you all the benefits of Chrome OS. This is true for any Programmer who wants to Program while away from home or the office, as they don’t have to take a heavy Laptop.

With Chromebooks being light and inexpensive compared to Windows Laptops, & Windows Ultrabooks of a comparable size and Wight being the same price if not more expensive than a regular Windows Laptop then a Chromebook makes the excellent companion  for a programmer especially when using Chrome Remote Desktop means that a Programmer doesn’t have to take their expensive Laptop on the road with them to Program.

Visual Studio Express is the perfect IDE for any novice Programmer as it allows you to install the correct tools for what you want to create.

  • If you want to create Web Apps then Visual Studio Express Web Edition is the right IDE for you.
  • If you want to create Windows 8 Modern Apps then Visual Studio Express Windows Edition is the right IDE for you.
  • If you want to create traditional Windows Programs then Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition is the right IDE for you.

It’s even possible to install all three of the Visual Studio Express Editions if you require all three. If you’re a student and lucky enough to be able to get a Student MSDN Subscription then I’d suggest getting one of the none Express Editions of Visual Studio from there. (intact I’d recommend that any student that is able to get a Student MSDN Subscription gets all the downloads that they’re entitled to while they can).

Why I chose Microsoft Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition

  I chose Microsoft Visual Studio Express Windows Desktop Edition because I’m currently interested in creating traditional Windows Desktop Programs not the Windows 8 Modern Apps or Web Apps. Once I’ve learnt how to write Programs in all the different Languages available in the Windows Desktop Edition I’ll move on to the Windows Edition before finally going on to the Web Edition.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to Program since Visual Studio Express originally came out in 2005 so learning to Program for the Windows Desktop was the obvious first step to take in the learning process for me, but for many of you that are reading this and are maybe thinking about learning to Program then the Visual Studio Web or Windows IDE’s might be more of what you’re into for your first step into Programming. (The downside to Programming for Windows & not the Windows Desktop is that you need to pay for a Developer Subscription to distribute your apps on the Windows Store, where as Windows Desktop Programs can be easily distributed  through Source Forge, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive & Copy meaning that you can get your Programs out there with little or no cost involved.)

I’ll do a follow-up Article at some point in the future.

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Windows Desktop Edition running on Chrome OS via Chrome Remote Desktop

Roland

Google+

Using Chrome Remote Desktop To Use Windows, Mac OS X Or Linux In Chrome OS


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While many people call Chromebooks not real Laptops because you can’t run programs like Visual Studio or Office on them and the fact that some of the Chrome OS apps that do the same thing are a little lacking in features compared to their Windows, Mac OS X or Linux equivalents.

Google does offer a lightweight and convenient solution for anyone who needs to use Windows, Mac OS X or Linux programs in the form of Chrome Remote Desktop, Chrome Remote Desktop allows you to keep using your Chromebook, Chromebox or Chromebase while being logged into a different OS remotely. This is handy if you need to use a particular program doesn’t have a Chrome OS equivalent.

I use Chrome Remote Desktop to log into my Windows 8.1 Pro Laptop to keep it up-to-date as well as  use programs like Visual Studio & PhotoShop. I can see Chrome Remote Desktop being a very useful app for College students, as they can keep their heavy Windows Laptop or MacBook Pro at home or in their dorm room and use a Chromebook at lectures and still be able to use programs like Visual Studio e.t.c. without having to worry about carrying a heavy Laptop all day along with their textbooks e.t.c.

A Windows 8.1 Pro session open in Chrome Remote Desktop, while TweetDeck is open and docked to the right hand side of my Chrome OS Desktop

A Windows 8.1 Pro session open in Chrome Remote Desktop, while TweetDeck is open and docked to the right hand side of my Chrome OS Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is really handy for me as I prefer the Keyboard on my Acer Chromebook to the Keyboard on my Toshiba Windows Laptop, so Chrome Remote Desktop allows me to Code in Visual Studio while still using my preferred Keyboard.

Google Calendar on the left of my Chrome OS Desktop, while Google Remote Desktop is on the right with Visual Studio running in Windows 8.1 Pro

Google Calendar on the left of my Chrome OS Desktop, while Google Remote Desktop is on the right with Visual Studio running in Windows 8.1 Pro

Chrome Remote Desktop has another handy little feature that is Remote Assistance that allows a Desktop can be shared to allow for someone to help with troubleshooting while not being sat in-front of the computer that needs troubleshooting, but this is beyond the scope of this Article as it’s not really a feature that many people will use compared to the Remote Desktop feature.

Roland

Google+

What’s On My Chromebook Shelf Right Now (August 2014)


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THE MOST USED APPS ON MY CHROMEBOOK, AND

WHY THEY’RE THERE

This is my latest Chrome OS shelf line up that I’ll probably stick with for at least the near future. While my iPhone and Google Nexus 7 Tablet are mainly used for leisure, my Chromebook is used mostly for work, I spend I’ve most of my day, it’s what I use to update this blog and work on various other projects. So I thought I’d do a post in the style of the what’s on my Mac Dock and why, but for Chromebooks, so here’s what’s on my Chromebook Shelf and why. First off we’ll cover some of the stock Chrome apps, and there are a few. The first is Chrome as it’s permanently placed on the Shelf by default, Files as it’s easier than having to go through the App Drawer to find it, finally I’ve got the Wallpaper Picker as it’s convenient for quickly changing my Desktop Wallpaper. Now onto the rest of my Apps.

  • Clock Calendar.  Clock Calendar adds a nice convenient Month view Calendar and Clock that can be used like a widget.

Screenshot 2014-05-04 at 08.51.31

  • Google Calendar. I Use Google Calendar on a daily basis, not always to add events. So it’s essential to have Calendar in easy reach.
  • Google Drive. It’s essential for me to always have quick access to all of my work with more advanced features than using Files.
  • Full Screen Weather. I use Full Screen Weather, because it’s always nice to keep an eye on the weather.
  • Google+ Photos. I use Google+ Photos as it’s a nice simple way to view all my photos that are backed up on Google+& even shared to Google+.
  • Google Play Music. I use Play Music as a lot of my music is already stored on Play Music, and having it on the Shelf makes it easy to use when I want to listen to anything.
  • Hangouts call. Hardly ever used, but it’s still there if I need it.
  • iCloud. I’ve replaced WeVideo with iCloud since I never did my Home Office Tour video, an since I’ve started using my iCloud email address as well as my Hotmail,Outlook & GMail addresses I thought that I might as well add it to my Shelf line up and maybe I’ll get some use out of the other iCloud features.
  • Notifier for Twitter. I’ve started using Notifier for Twitter as it adds pop-up Notifications via the Chrome OS Notification Centre. Even though Notifier for Twitter is a Chrome extension it has a pop down Twitter Client that can also be detached from Chrome and pinned to the Chrome OS Shelf as well as docked to the left or right edge of the Chrome Desktop. Currently I’m using Notifier for Twitter along side TweetDeck, but if I like the Notifier for Twitter Client over the TweetDeck Client I’ll probably switch to it full-time. I’ve stopped using Notifier for Titter as a Desktop Client, but I’ll still use it as a Desktop Notification service for Twitter.
  • Offline Dictionary. Offline Dictionary adds a nice hand searchable Dictionary that does what the name says and works while offline.
  • OMG Chrome. As it’s nice to keep an eye on the latest Chrome & Chrome OS news.
  • Spotify.  I like using Spotify & it’s nice to be able to use Spotify from the Shelf.
  • Sunrise Calendar. I’ve started to use Sunrise Calendar on my iPhone and the Android Beta on my Google Nexus 7 for review purposes, so I thought that it makes sense to use the Chrome/Chrome OS version as well and it has some nice extra features that you don’t get in Google Calendar, so Google Calendar has taken a back seat for now.
  • WeVideo. I’ve added WeVideo to my shelf as I’m planning on doing a tour of my Office/Desk at some point during the next week and thought that it would be an ideal time to experiment with WeVideo, so it’s gained a place on my shelf for at least the next few weeks.
  • TweetDeck by Twitter. I’ve still got TweetDeck on my Shelf despite hardly ever using it any more as I prefer Notifier for Twitter to TweetDeck just for the simple fact that Notifier for Twitter displays Chrome OS Notifications even when the App is closed. I’ve gone back to TweetDeck by Twitter as it’s far more simpler to use as a Desktop Client than Twitter Notifier.
  • Weather Now. I’ve replaced Full Screen Weather with Weather Now as Weather Now is clean and simple and displays like a Chrome OS Notification so it doesn’t take up the entire screen just to check the weather.

Screenshot 2014-07-09 at 17.39.45

  • WordPress.com. Since my blog is hosted on WordPress.com it makes sense to keep the WordPress.com app on the Shelf.
  • YouTube. I watch YouTube videos nearly every day, so keeping the YouTube app on the Shelf makes sense.
  • Google Play Music Mini Player. Having the Google Play Music Mini Player on the Shelf means that I can get access to some of the Google Play Music features without having to go into the Google Play Music app, would be nice to be able to use the Google Play Music Mini Player while the Google Play Music app is closed though.

That’s everything on my Chromebook Shelf. I’ve got loads of other apps on my Chromebook, but the list I’ve provided in this post are the select few that I use enough to allow to grace a spot on my Shelf. That’s enough about my Chromebook, what about you? Be sure to share your Chrome Shelf set-ups in the Comments.

Roland

Google+

 

What’s On My Chromebook Shelf Right Now (July 2014)


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THE MOST USED APPS ON MY CHROMEBOOK, AND

WHY THEY’RE THERE

This is my latest Chrome OS shelf line up that I’ll probably stick with for at least the near future. While my iPhone and Google Nexus 7 Tablet are mainly used for leisure, my Chromebook is used mostly for work, I spend I’ve most of my day, it’s what I use to update this blog and work on various other projects. So I thought I’d do a post in the style of the what’s on my Mac Dock and why, but for Chromebooks, so here’s what’s on my Chromebook Shelf and why. First off we’ll cover some of the stock Chrome apps, and there are a few. The first is Chrome as it’s permanently placed on the Shelf by default, Files as it’s easier than having to go through the App Drawer to find it, finally I’ve got the Wallpaper Picker as it’s convenient for quickly changing my Desktop Wallpaper. Now onto the rest of my Apps.

  • Clock Calendar.  Clock Calendar adds a nice convenient Month view Calendar and Clock that can be used like a widget.

Screenshot 2014-05-04 at 08.51.31

  • Google Calendar. I Use Google Calendar on a daily basis, not always to add events. So it’s essential to have Calendar in easy reach.
  • Google Drive. It’s essential for me to always have quick access to all of my work with more advanced features than using Files.
  • Full Screen Weather. I use Full Screen Weather, because it’s always nice to keep an eye on the weather.
  • Google+ Photos. I use Google+ Photos as it’s a nice simple way to view all my photos that are backed up on Google+& even shared to Google+.
  • Google Play Music. I use Play Music as a lot of my music is already stored on Play Music, and having it on the Shelf makes it easy to use when I want to listen to anything.
  • Hangouts call. Hardly ever used, but it’s still there if I need it.
  • iCloud. I’ve replaced WeVideo with iCloud since I never did my Home Office Tour video, an since I’ve started using my iCloud email address as well as my Hotmail,Outlook & GMail addresses I thought that I might as well add it to my Shelf line up and maybe I’ll get some use out of the other iCloud features.
  • Notifier for Twitter. I’ve started using Notifier for Twitter as it adds pop-up Notifications via the Chrome OS Notification Centre. Even though Notifier for Twitter is a Chrome extension it has a pop down Twitter Client that can also be detached from Chrome and pinned to the Chrome OS Shelf as well as docked to the left or right edge of the Chrome Desktop. Currently I’m using Notifier for Twitter along side TweetDeck, but if I like the Notifier for Twitter Client over the TweetDeck Client I’ll probably switch to it full-time.
  • Offline Dictionary. Offline Dictionary adds a nice hand searchable Dictionary that does what the name says and works while offline.
  • OMG Chrome. As it’s nice to keep an eye on the latest Chrome & Chrome OS news.
  • Spotify.  I like using Spotify & it’s nice to be able to use Spotify from the Shelf.
  • Sunrise Calendar. I’ve started to use Sunrise Calendar on my iPhone and the Android Beta on my Google Nexus 7 for review purposes, so I thought that it makes sense to use the Chrome/Chrome OS version as well and it has some nice extra features that you don’t get in Google Calendar, so Google Calendar has taken a back seat for now.
  • WeVideo. I’ve added WeVideo to my shelf as I’m planning on doing a tour of my Office/Desk at some point during the next week and thought that it would be an ideal time to experiment with WeVideo, so it’s gained a place on my shelf for at least the next few weeks.
  • TweetDeck by Twitter. I’ve still got TweetDeck on my Shelf despite hardly ever using it any more as I prefer Notifier for Twitter to TweetDeck just for the simple fact that Notifier for Twitter displays Chrome OS Notifications even when the App is closed.
  • Weather Now. I’ve replaced Full Screen Weather with Weather Now as Weather Now is clean and simple and displays like a Chrome OS Notification so it doesn’t take up the entire screen just to check the weather.

Screenshot 2014-07-09 at 17.39.45

  • WordPress.com. Since my blog is hosted on WordPress.com it makes sense to keep the WordPress.com app on the Shelf.
  • YouTube. I watch YouTube videos nearly every day, so keeping the YouTube app on the Shelf makes sense.
  • Google Play Music Mini Player. Having the Google Play Music Mini Player on the Shelf means that I can get access to some of the Google Play Music features without having to go into the Google Play Music app, would be nice to be able to use the Google Play Music Mini Player while the Google Play Music app is closed though.

That’s everything on my Chromebook Shelf. I’ve got loads of other apps on my Chromebook, but the list I’ve provided in this post are the select few that I use enough to allow to grace a spot on my Shelf. That’s enough about my Chromebook, what about you? Be sure to share your Chrome Shelf set-ups in the Comments.

Roland

Google+

 

My Home Office Set-up 2014 (Update)


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My Home Office setup isn’t like the video tours that you see on YouTube, it used to similar at one time. It’s now a lot more modest and minimalistic, but it works well for me.   So here’s my text and picture tour of my Home Office as it didn’t seem worth while doing a YouTube video. The storage part of my Home Office is an old Computer desk that houses a Box of Printer Paper, a Shredder, a Box of Envelopes and a brown box that has some Computer stuff on the bottom shelf, the Keyboard drawer has an old Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard while the top shelf has a Printer Organizer with mostly odd bits of scrap paper and the charger for my Asus Google Nexus 7, Bluetooth headphones and my Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 USB Headset & on top of it I’ve got my Kodak esp 1.2 AIO Printer.

Printing station

Printing station

On the floor in front of the desk I’ve got a locking filing case that I keep all of my important paperwork and weekly bus pass in.

Filing area

Filing area

Now onto the main part of my Office. My work area is a two-seater sofa where my Targus Slimline Netbook Case lives.

Tech storage

Tech storage

The front pocket mainly holds Headphones and Memory cards along with my 32GB Samsung SD Card, Pens, my Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini, a keyboard dusting brush and the charger for my Acer C720 Chromebook.

Accessory storage

Accessory storage

The main compartment holds my Acer C720 Chromebook in an iPearl hard shell full body cover, my Asus Google Nexus 7 (2012), External USB 3.0 HDD and the power cord for my Acer C720 Chromebook.

Main storage 2

Main storage 2

The great thing about this setup is that I’m always ready for going on the road, as all I’ve got to do is attach the shoulder strap for my Targus Slimline Netbook Case and I can leave the house with my bag.

Static to mobile office with the case shoulder strap

Static to mobile office with the case shoulder strap

This probably isn’t one of the best Home Office setups around but a Home Office isn’t always about large desks and dedicated room, but something that can go from static to mobile office and as long as your setup works for you, and ever since I started my blog in 2010.

Here is a couple of pictures showing how versatile my Home Office setup is.

Home Office

Home Office

Mobile Office

Mobile Office

Since I originally did my Home Office tour post I’ve now added a Desk to my setup in the form of a Laptop tray, This is a handy little Desk as it has a powerful LED Desk Lamp built-in along with a Pen/ Pencil Holder and a Cup Holder.

Laptop Tray Desk

Laptop Tray Desk

The Laptop Tray has a fleece underside attached to the Tray & is filled with bean bag beans meaning that it’s comfortable on your knee, it also has a compartment in the bean bag base for the battery pack of the LED Lamp & it even has a carry handle on it.

The Desk can also be used for handwriting in a notebook e.t.c. but I also use it for addressing envelopes and folding letters as well as for a Desk for my Chromebook.

Roland

Google+

My Current Chrome OS Desktop & App Drawer Layout (June 2014)


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In this post I’ll describe the layout of my Chromebook Desktop with a full description to why I’ve chosen the layout etc.

The Wallpaper is the stock one from the Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer beta 1 (also that was used in the WWDC OS X Keynote), if you want to use this Wallpaper then just Google OS X Yosemite Wallpaper.

I’m using the OS X Yosemite Wallpaper as I find it more visually appealing than the Stock Wallpapers that come with Chrome OS.

I’m using the Notifier for Twitter Chrome Extension as my current twitter Client, as even though it’s meant to be a Chrome Notification extension for Twitter it has a nice drop down Client that can be detached from Chrome and pinned to the Chrome OS Shelf. The Notifier for Twitter Desktop Client can be docked to ether of the left or right Dock ports of the Chrome OS Desktop, the Chrome OS Notifications are handy if you have the Client minimized.

Notifier for Twitter Client & Desktop Notifications

Notifier for Twitter Client & Desktop Notifications

On the System tray side of the Chrome OS Shelf I’ve got the Google Hangouts extension open & minimized for quick access. unfortunately Google have decided that it’s not a good idea to give Google Hangouts the ability to be pinned to the Shelf, meaning that every time Chrome OS is booted.

For a full tour of my Chrome OS Shelf then please see this post.

I’ve got my App Drawer organized into categorised and alphabetically sorted folders instead of one big list of short-cuts.

Roland

Google+