Make the wife happy with me… it might be possible

Well, it’s happened… the MBP17 (v1.1) is no longer “needed” by the Mrs. I’m going to turn it into a media center since it still has front row. Now I have to get something for the Mrs. to use day to day. There is where the scrivenerati come in…

Mrs use is simple: Google apps. I moved her over to that about three years ago as I was tired of “finding” stuff shotgunned all over the OS (she managed to save a file in /Applications even though she was not an admin user). She wants portable, more than MBP17, but she’s avoiding the iPad mess as the size is actually too small for her comfort. She also feels there would be wasted features. Linux… eh… still too much OS for her to mess up. MS is not welcome in my home so that leaves me with Chromebooks.

So Druid, what do I want to get the Boss? This is just the wife’s machine so no need for linux dev capability. Just something that can play a decent vid resolution. I think a slightly smaller than normal keyboard would be OK for her, but no micro or detachable. Price range is indeterminate.


MacBook Air!! Wossammta wid ys?! ‘s a no brainer, init? :open_mouth: tch!tch! wot y’ like…eh?

Second the MacBook Air. My wife’s is umbilically attached, as near as I can tell. It’s a 13-incher; the 11-inch version seems meant for people who travel a lot, and when home plug it into a big monitor.

MBA … but wait until after the Apple event on 9 Sept … things might change.

Over kill. Especially for the price. My next laptop will be an air.

And… how do i say this … I’d feel better with a cheaper unit given the boss’ track record with my hardware.

Yeah, MB Air is nice, but if she only does Google Docs and online video with the thing, no reason to go with the Air. I hear the battery life on those Chrome Books can be amazing (measured in days, not hours), which has got to be freeing. I have no opinions on them, other than small keyboards tend to mess me up, and I have rather small fingers compared to other men.

I can’t see any advantage to a MBAir for the usage pattern Jaysen describes above.

Tha’s a cop-out pal.
Good init!? :smiley:

if it would let her do email she would love it.

cums in diferent culers two :wink:

Hrm. What about one of the Nexuses? I’ve got the 7, and it’s nifty. (Buying a smartphone would’ve been a waste for me, since I hardly use the cell phone I’ve got. I wind up rolling over 800 minutes a year, anyway.) I get annoyed with the lack of access to the FS, but it might work for your wife, so long as she doesn’t install some sort of FS-viewing app.

And how the hell did she save something in /Applications, if she wasn’t an admin?

FS access is the single biggest problem. She is not “computer organized” and winds up with multiple copies in multiple folders. She is better in google docs, but unless I remove pages, text edit, mail, scrivener I spend way too much time re-explaining OS level filing.

I’m trying to figure that out. This is 10.6 (or is it 7) on a 32b duo. One of the apps must be suid. It might be safari or flash. At this point I’m focused more on staying married than figuring out what she did.

Try to stop talking to her like a geek, in turbocharged, cyber geekenese, and communicate with her like a loving hubby. The art of good teaching, relies on the teacher using a language that the student understands. :wink:

If I didn’t think I was already doing that …

Seriously though. She admits it confuses her. Not going to argue with her. Easiest solution is a device that limits options but is more than just an awkward phone.

Well, you could go the MBA and just stick to Apple products - they all automatically default to saving in iCloud. No need to worry about file systems and other such monstrosities.

Although, given events of recent days… (this is awkward)… er… what kind of pictures do you send your wife? :blush:
Then again, as long she’s got a good password and uses two-factor authentication.

If you’ve already committed to Google then… just check the ads displaying above your emails. They should have worked out by now what you’re looking for. :unamused:

I see 2 drawbacks potentially with a Chromebook: 1, you really want to be online most of the time using it (this might not be a problem for a given operator), 2, they tend to be cheap, as in cheap components. A chromebook (other than the Pixel which costs a lot more than a MacBook Air) is built as a downmarket PC only with ChromeOS rather than WIndows. Since the Mrs is hard on gear, this should be a consideration.

The reviews I have seen all say that the Intel based Chromebooks perform faster and better than the (Samsung) ARM-based Exynos units.

Typically you get 2 gigs of ram and 16 gigs of storage. You might get a sale unit for about $200US and just let her play with it with minimum investment. But there is this consideration too: does she do NOTHING but google apps AT ALL? Sometimes it seems as though somebody will only use a few things, while forgetting that one or two programs that are used only occasionally, and will only annoy by their absence. “You mean I can’t use that EVER?”

She is also used to a good quality big 17" screen. The Chromebooks I see usually are smaller and lower quality. HP makes some that are 14.1" you could look at, though HP has had serious quality issues lately with batteries and power cords recalled because of fire danger. As for screen, you might make sure you get a Chromebook with a HDMI port so she can plug it into a TV when she wants to go big.

It sounds from your first two messages here that you have decided on a Chromebook and are only asking us if this would be a disaster or not. I don’t think it would be a disaster with the qualification that she mostly needs to be online to use it (there are a few components, like Google Drive components, you can use offline), and the build is likely to be cheap and low quality.

One more thing, haul her into a store and have her pound on the keys and move the trackpad of any potential Chromebook to make sure they are to her liking. She will be using them a lot.

  • asotir

I’m actually not committed to chromebook. Was looking at android as well.

I think it is important to note that my wife is tech agnostic. She really doesn’t care what she uses. She doesn’t like complex tech as she is a paper and pen type mind set. OS filesystems are too abstracted for her (very visual learner). The nice thing about google apps, other than I’ve been using them since before mac was in the house, is that everything is “right there”. Since she has been using GA so long it won’t be an issue for her.

Online: she is only on the system at home and online. No offline use. Not an issue.

Size: she uses the MBP17 because it is old. When I’m “fixing it” she uses my son’s chromebook (arm, 11") and is ok with it. Didn’t like the daughter’s MBA with “feels too fragile and small”. Doesn’t like my MBP13" because it is “too expensive and seems nice”.

Logic: seems to be in short supply here. I love her all day, but … one of us may not survive much longer.

So here’s what I’m looking for real input on (not flame but rational reasons for preferences):

  1. Chrome or Android based?
  2. Which model? (needs to be laptop but not necessarily full size)
  3. Major points that drive the above…

You may have noticed that I have one CB in the house. Kid loves it. i never deal with it. I like that.


Is there a clue here, might this be lady-speak for, ‘I’m trying to hint that I’m worth it but don’t want to seem extravagant’?

Buy it, if it doesn’t work you have a nice MBP 13 and the moral high ground. If it does, she is pleased as punch to have a machine she will grow to love, and a man who thought she was worth it?

They are incredibly complex things… :wink: aren’t they?

See, this is why Steve and I have separate computing devices. He hates Slackware and KDE. I hate gnome and Ubuntu, and using Windows 8 (albeit just to game on) would make me cuss a blue streak. We don’t even have admin on each others’ computers. (Not that I wouldn’t trust him with sudo. It’s just that he doesn’t particularly need to use mine, and I don’t need to use his.)

Can you take your wife to a few bigboxes? Not to actually buy, but for her to get an idea of what she’d like.

What would happen if you have a limited “you break it, you bought it” kind of support? That is, you’re happy to help maintain, but if your wife does something against your advice, she’s responsible for fixing it? I’m thinking it would help reduce your load, and she’d have to learn a few things as to why you did what you did. Some people (myself included) don’t learn unless they blow their entire leg off, instead of shooting themselves in the foot. You also learn computers best by fixing what goes horribly wrong, at least in my experience.

That having been said, android with a bluetooth keyboard might be what works. Be careful, though, that she doesn’t install apps willy-nilly, as some of them can be laden with all sorts of malware. So long as she sticks with the “store,” she’s fine. (It’s a setting to allow installing apps from other sources, but you have to dig. Not like it can be turned on automatically.)

MBPs or women? :confused:

Why not give her sole use of the CB, and let the kids get their own if they want one. Simples…eh?

She’s pretty clear about her meaning in this case. Went to get her a new phone. She demanded an old flip. Couldn’t figure out why a smart phone was worth it for her, “Too complicated and too expensive”. On the other hand, she had very clear “fancy” demands on the car I bought her for her birthday. I get in more trouble for buying things than otherwise.


Refuses to go. “Just get me the right thing.” She honestly doesn’t care about the low level details. Just email, limited youtube, and websites. So much for “technically advanced” in my home.

Have you heard of the concept of “divorce”? If I wasn’t in the house she wouldn’t own a system. She’s never done anything malicious. All her messes are honest to God mistakes. They are just so frequent that I have to manually set fs perms to keep her out of things in her own home dir. She really is the classic “perfect candidate” for the chome/android/ios no-os-fs-access use case. This isn’t a maintenance issue as much as a perpetual “click here, then here, then click save” problem. Not sure that made sense.

Need to look at that more. If there are $$ involved she’d be safe.

CB belongs to the one I still “support”. Not sure he’d give it up without me dangling a new one in front of him. Which is a valid direction. Hmm…