Starting a new year: 2015

Chris HOHMANN

Chris HOHMANN – Author

The first day of the year 2015 started with a beautiful sunrise, which I saw as a good omen for the 364 days to follow.

The first day of a new year is highly symbolic for a new start, resolutions and hope, even so the same new start, resolutions or hope could happen on any other day in the year.

That’s why my new year started one month earlier, when joining my new company and receiving a lot of kind congratulation messages from my personal / pro network.

Joining this new company brings new exciting perspectives and learning opportunities.

Especially Theory of Constraints, still barely known in France, will be part of my assignments and not only an opportunistic support to Lean and Six Sigma. All three approaches or methodologies combined as TLS synergy are on the ‘regular menu’.

I wish all of you to find your own reasons to get passionate and celebrate successes in 2015!

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Chromebook, the end of honeymoon

One and half year after purchasing my Samsung Chromebook model 303C12, the advantages I once saw faded away in front of growing frustration, ending the honeymoon.

Let’s be fair, my Chromebook did overall well for what I asked it for. I wanted it mainly for convenient writing, long battery life and low weight.

I purchased it 300 Euros in July 2013, at a time no laptop PC I remember could meet this price. The limits of the Chromebook and applications became soon apparent as I tested it, but sticking to my prime requirements, still found it was a nice piece of technology.

Over time though, the limitations grew annoying.

Processing power

From the beginning it was clear I could not ask my chromebook to be an assistant to view high quality pictures taken with my DSLR, the processor was not fit enough to handle smoothly typical 7Mb photos without making you wait an eternity.

Watching videos in streaming also quickly faces the limits, which is a pity as I found convenient to use the Chromebook as a wifi receiver for TV shows replay on the Web and connect it to a TV set via HDMI.

Knowing the challenge such a thing is for the Chromebook, I did it over and over again, sometimes with fair results, but mostly with frozen screens while it was buffering up. When this happens every twenty seconds, you’ll quit watching.

Google docs

Great when I discovered it, Google docs in conjunction with Google drive allowed me to share files and write on any device in the most different locations and situations. But over time, docs begun to suck, especially when magnifying a bit the display, the cursor did not match the actual cursor position and drove me crazy as soon as I typed something after the left half of the doc’s page.

Due to this erratic cursor behavior I lost precious time to correct all my typos and my temper altogether.

Another great feature I use and abuse is the right-click search or define function. Alas, for some reason the first attempt in any session causes the search to freeze all the page and after a quite long moment to return a kind of “service not available” message.

This is even more frustrating as after regaining control and retry, the search or define works usually well.

What also increased over time is the freezing of the page (probably while Google docs tries to save onto Google drive, what it does permanently). It happens more and more often, which reduces greatly the interest of what I once felt as convenient writing tool.

Google sheets and slides

Sheets and Slides are simplified versions of Excel and PowerPoint. Ok for small modifications or quick work on small files, but not serious when trying to work and share files for professional use. I was once in a situation I had only the Chromebook at client’s premises and I understood it was to remain the only time.

Google drive

I was happy to discover I could use my iPhone to keep writing on docs while commuting by bus, but here also, over time, the crashes multiplied, letting me write few sentences before Google docs suddenly closed. By chance, the last sentences were generally still there, but every restart caused a long waiting time while the phone tried to connect to Google drive.

Alternately to crashes, Google docs suddenly denied any typing because it lost the connection to drive. The latest surprising change with Google Drive was the impossibility to edit a file without installing Google docs, which was not necessary previously.

This has nothing to do with the Chromebook you may say. That’s right, but docs, drive and the terminal used are a system and the Chromebook heavily depends on the other components.

Conclusion

The Chromebook and apps work best where PCs do as well: in environment with good WiFi and gets quickly disappointing elsewhere.

Only advantage left is longer battery life, but what’s the use if no meaningful work can be done?

Given the PCs price drop, they regained advantage especially because serious software can be installed.

For me that’s the end of honeymoon. I bought myself an Asus F200M with touch screen, barely heavier than 1 kg.

I will keep going with the Chromebook as a commodity.

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Five truths about (ordered) lists

After extensive research, I am ready to publish my Five truths about (ordered) lists.

1. A list of “n something about something else” is a powerful attractor, a kind of visitor-magnet that pulls visitors to web pages, blog posts or whatever.
Don’t say no, you’re reading this post because of it.

2. An ordered list starts with a number or a letter to prove it is ordered. Yet this is not always the case and as I introduce this possible deviation, this point is true and I have my second truth about (ordered) lists.

3. The biggest merit of the list author is to put numbers or letters in front of the items. The list content is generally already known but nobody had the idea to put a number in the front. Numbering the items is a great leap forward to enforce point number 1 above. If you read this more than twice, you’re stuck in a loop, skip to point number 4 to escape.

4. The disappointment reading such a list is positively correlated to the effort required to access the list. If you have to do anything more than one click like subscribe, sign-in and so on, be prepared.

5. A list shorter than five items doesn’t look serious. A list holding more than ten items is discouraging, thus the biblical benchmark about commandments.

I will monitor the visits on this page to confirm point number 1 and monitor retweets, likes, mentions and of course read your comments to assess the sense of humor of (ordered) lists readers. Results of this study to be published soon.

Bandeau-penseur2


One year with my Chromebook

In July 2013 I purchased a Samsung Chromebook model 303C12. Convenient, silent and always ready sidekick at home, when I couch-surf or need quick access to the Web, but also as a travel companion on holidays.

The highlights for me:

  • lightweight, slim, compact
  • long battery life
  • silent, barely warming

You may read >my testing here<

December 2014, after one and half year, honeymoon ends. Read why >here<

About the author
View Christian HOHMANN's profile on LinkedIn

July 2014 – This blog is 6 months old

I started this blog on January 5th, 2014 to broaden my audience from the French-reading to the whole world by publishing English-only posts.

On June 30th, 181 days later, 109 posts are online, nearly one every two days, a way to measure my willingness and pleasure to share.

Besides posting in English on this blog, I keep posting in French on my website, tweeting, writing possible future books and make a living as consultant, writing business proposals, reports and some position papers and post for the company’s blog.

The audience increases steadily accumulating 9311 views so far. Some weeks ago the visitors by web search outnumbered the visitors lured by my tweets. Nothing to brag about, visitors may reach 100 a day, but not everyday yet.

Bandeau_CH12

I hope you reading these lines have read other posts here and found some interest. You may comment, suggest, correct my English or whatever you’d like to share hereunder.

You may even follow me on twitter or subscribe to follow me on WordPress.

Thank you for passing-by!


 

Fighting boredom at Ikea

What can a guy like me do to fight boredom at Ikea, with a smartphone but no carrier network?
Photos! I realized that this place is full of patterns, shapes and colors.
The self-imposed challenge was to take close-ups and find some interesting angles with available goods.

Soon I found lots of pictures to shoot and it was the first time at Ikea my wife had to wait for me!

For those interested in technique: the pictures were shot with an iphone5 with HDR function on.I kept the best shot HDR/non-HDR and later cropped the pictures for web publishing.

Some pictures have been slightly corrected for contrast and/or saturation in post treatment.

The challenge is to get a steady position while avoiding reflections. Ambient light is no problem, there is plenty, but reflections can be a problem.

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I didn’t move any objects except a black hanger a temporarily put atop white ones.

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I like the repeating patterns and color variations

That’s me! A selfie in a bowl.

More to come, soon.