7 days in the cloud: My week with the Samsung Chromebook

It was the best of devices; it was the worst of devices.

By , ITworld |  Cloud Computing, Chromebook, I'll try it

Now setting up a POP client, like Outlook or Thunderbird, to get mail from Gmail is pretty straightforward. Using Gmail as a client to a POP server, that's a bit more complicated.

To do this, you need to go to the Gmail's Gear icon on the upper right and go to Settings/Accounts and Import. On this tab, select "Add POP3 Account." You'll then be asked several questions about your POP account such as what port to use and whether your server uses Secure-Socket Layer (SSL) for the connection and so on.

So, while I was quickly reading all my e-mail from my Chromebook, if you use another system besides Gmail for your e-mail, I'd be sure to set this up when you have time to work on it and there's help available rather than setting out on a business trip and then finding out that you're in over your head as an e-mail admin.

 

Monday: So far, so good

I very rarely print anything. I think that if God had wanted us to still put marks on paper he wouldn't have given us a computer display. So, of course, today I had to print out a PDF form for a contract I'm working on. Reading the PDF document wasn't a problem. ChromeOS, and thus the Chromebook, comes with Adobe Reader functionality baked in. Printing from a Chromebook, that's a little tricker.

You see, while the Samsung has two USB 2.0 ports, ChromeOS doesn't directly support printers. Instead, you need to use Google Cloud Print. The only printers that directly support that at this time are the HP ePrint line. Fortunately, you can connect your old printer to the Google Cloud Print so you can use it instead. If that is, you have a printer that's accessible from a Windows or Mac OS PC. You can't do it -- yet -- from a Linux desktop but that's coming. See, I knew there was a reason I kept Windows PCs around!

To do this you need to download and enable the Google Cloud Print connector in your local PC's Chrome Web browser. It's pretty simple, and once you're done with it, all you need do is leave Chrome on your PC or Mac and you can print to any printer it can reach. In my own case none of the printers are attached directly to a PC. Instead my printers are connected to network printers that hang off an openSUSE 11.4 and Windows Server 2008 R2 server. Chrome doesn't care about that part though. If your resident PC with Chrome Cloud Print set up on it can find a printer, your Chromebook can use that printer.

 

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