Posts Tagged ‘chrome’

Google Apps & Chromebooks in Malaysia

Google's I'm feeling lucky (black) (back)I’m surprised not a single local media site in Malaysia covered the fact that Google Apps & Chromebooks are coming to Malaysian classrooms. That’s 10 million students, teachers & parents getting Google Apps accounts. Primary & secondary schools get Chromebooks. This, I guess has something to do with the fact that there will be a laptop provided for every student if BN wins again.

It looks like the only cost to us is the Chromebooks. The Google Apps for Education accounts are free, implying a significant investment into Malaysia by Google.

Read more about large deployments of Chromebook. It seems that the deal is between YTL, Frog, Samsung, Acer & Google. YTL provides the Internet connectivity via YES4G/1BestariNet. frogasia is a YTL subsidiary, and it looks like they’re providing learning apps.

I worried about generations being tied to Microsoft Office. Is it time to worry that the next generation gets tied to Google Apps? I continue to worry overall that the focus is doing everything in-browser, and while I’m a big proponent of the idea that the browser is the OS, I still do a lot of things outside the browser.

It seems like Chromebooks can be provided by either Samsung or Acer. There must be something custom being built for YTL’s WiMAX chips to be popped in. Nonetheless, I doubt that there are many Malaysians experienced with Chromebooks or accomplishing everything within a browser.

Further reading: Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015, Classrooms, Chromebooks & The Web: Lessons from Miami to Malaysia.

I’m buying a Chromebook (not the Pixel) to take a deep-dive. There are virtual machines too.

Google Native Client & Chrome about:flags

I stumbled upon Google Native Client today. It looks really interesting and you can see why Google seems to be targeting their technologies for the Chrome browser first (link with regards to Dart, their future of JavaScript; quote: “We will strongly encourage Google developers start off targeting Chrome-only whenever possible as this gives us the best end user experience.” – Mark S. Miller).

Google Native Client doing PiThe promise of better in-browser games for example, is what excites me about this initiative. There is also the promise of better native/traditional desktop apps, running in the web browser. I was at a show recently where I saw this HRM app that is Windows-only and their proposal to run it on Linux? Use virtualization. This is something they might find useful, for example.

Try out the example apps. Its surprisingly easy to get started. On OSX, you can see that when running the Pi example, the Native Client module is using quite a whole load of CPU time (in Chrome, do Window -> Task Manager).

In all that, I learned about Google Chrome’s about:flags. You need to enable Native Client support and restart Chrome to get this all working. There’s a fairly good about:flags resource; clearly lots more things to play with there (and helps me understand what the idea being the ChromeOS/Chromebook is now).

Chrome Web Store – AppStore for Web?

Google recently launched a Chrome Web Store. The web browser has always had an “appstore” model, considering you could have extensions and plugins. Firefox popularised this.

What the Firefox add-on‘s appstore does not have yet, is paid apps. You can donate to applications, but you can’t buy applications. The Chrome Web Store allows purchasing applications, as evidenced by their top paid apps page. We’re generally already used to buying desktop apps (I write this using MarsEdit which I purchased, and on my toolbar I can already see OmniOutliner and TextMate). If the future is living in your web browser, you will end up buying apps within your web browser. Google is pushing this lifestyle with their ChromeOS Cr-48 notebook.

You get everything you need for the Chrome browser in the web store. Apps (extension of web pages), Extensions (your add-ons), Themes and they also have curated collections (holidays, students, et al).

In other news, go download WOT. You don’t even have to restart Chrome to have it working. This is a bonus over installing stuff on Firefox (though I hear, Firefox 4 will allow you to install extensions without restarting the browser too). I also installed Chrome for a Cause during the one week where the more tabs you opened up, the more you could donate for a cause.

Do you have a favourite Chrome extension/app? Anything I must try?